For those looking to hit the road for summertime adventures, there's no better piece of gear than a rooftop tent. Mounting onto a vehicle's roof rack, these longtime safari favorites are finding their way more and more into the casual consumer market. The benefits of a rooftop tent are plentiful. Aside from freeing up room in the car, the tents pop up in no time and you can keep bedding folded in place while you're on the go—not to mention the comfort of a mattress over the hard, and sometimes wet, ground. Couple this with the safe proximity from (most) wildlife and you might just make a camper out of even the most hesitant explorer. Culled from the ever-growing rooftop tent market, here are three models that present a diversity in size, construction and budget.
Ayer by Tepui Tents
The ideal entry-level rooftop tent for budding explorers, the Ayer from Santa Cruz, California-based Tepui Tents is a perfect fit for smaller trucks, SUVs and wagons. Weighing in at just under 100 pounds, the tent comfortably accommodates two adults. Constructed from high-quality 600D ripstop ventilate coated poly-cotton, the tent stands up to heavy rain and wind, leaving you high and dry—in a good way. And a built-in mattress feels more like sleeping at home than roughing it. Equipped with mounting hardware and a telescopic ladder, the Ayer is available online for $745.
Le Tente by Poler Stuff
Known mostly for their wearable sleeping bags and knack for spreading #campvibes across Instagram, Portland's Poler Stuff recently made its first rooftop abode, Le Tente. In true Poler form, the design references a classic outdoor aesthetic with time-tested materials to match. You won't find any space-age nylons here; a heavy duty waterproof canvas gives the tent a vintage feel and it holds up to the worst the Pacific Northwest can throw at it. While the canvas adds character, it comes at a cost. At 140 pounds, Le Tente weighs significantly more than many of its rooftop brethren that hover just below the 100 mark. Awning windows and a wide open entry contribute to a sense of openness and provide ample ventilation, while a queen-sized foam mattress makes for a cozy bed that might just rival your regular night's sleep. Reserve yours from their second run of Le Tente for $1,000.
Tamarack Constellation by Treeline Outdoors
Hailing from the mountainous, rugged province of Alberta, the team at Treeline Outdoors makes some of the most sophisticated, feature-packed rooftop tents on the market. And the brand's latest offering is nothing short of top of the line. Equipped with quick-mounting hardware, the Tamarack Constellation attaches in minutes and is among the quickest to set up and break down for camp. Oversized awning windows with ultra-fine screens allow for nearly unrestricted views and keep the bugs out. Skylights in the 420-denier Diamond Ripstop rainfly let in plenty of morning sunlight to get you going. Still, the tent's greatest assets lie in the technical design and construction. Significantly stronger and lighter than anything else on the market thanks to an aluminum honeycomb base, the Tamarack Constellation packs down to an aerodynamic 30cm. Though aesthetics, convenience and high-grade construction don't come cheap at $2,400, the Tamarack Constellation is built to last and will see you through plenty of adventures.
Images courtesy of respective brands