Help Me Pick a RTT

Stryder106

Explorer
Looking to get a RTT for my Avalanche. I'm intending to build a rack over the caps of my truck and have the bottom of the roof top tent slightly below my roof height in order to minimize how high above the roof it is when closed. Because I have to fab this rack, I have to be positive on the RTT I pick and I want to only ever have to get one. Looking to also have the annex as well. Here are the contenders:

1) Eezi-Awn TTop Xklusiv 1400 or 1600 (if the 1600 will fit, then that is my preference): I know it's good, but they are awfully proud given the price point. Is it really $2K better than the other contenders? Have there been any updates to this tent? Does the annex have a floor?

2) ARB Simpson III - I can't find any CURRENT reviews on this tent - but it seems to get pretty solid reviews. Given ARB is known for continuous improvement, have they made improvements to the previously uncomfortable mattress, breathability, etc? Again - nothing really current that is an actual comparison.

3) 23Zero - Litchfield or Bundaberg. I can't find any actual reviews on them - where they are compared to other RTTs. The adjustable floor in the annex and the sky windows are very appealing - but what of the quality, and durability?

4) CVT Cascadia - can't find a comparison review nor can I find an overlanding recommendation

Any help is GREATLY appreciated. Again - I'm looking to only ever having to buy 1 tent. I would like a tent to use whenever and wherever I decide to go out (likely only North America, but could add some MX and Baja MX, and perhaps further down if the bug bites me hard enough).

Eezi-Awn is the only tent that I can find that actually advertises as a 4 season tent. While the others state they can go out any time...........pretty vague.

Again - I know Eezi-Awn is historically the top dog - are they still? Have competitors closed that gap to the point that there are serious challengers for the title? Has Eezi-Awn kept up with features and kept the gap wide enough between them and the competition to justify the nearly $4000 price point, compared to the others who are half that (or less)?
 

Lc80series

New member
Have no personal experience with any of these tent brands. Currently in research mode like you too. Eezi-Awn certainly seems to be the best soft cover tent but, for the money, you're in AutoHome hard top territory. I only need a two person tent so just can't see spending 2.5-3k on an Eezi-Awn. For soft cover tents, seeing a lot I like about GordiGear. I'm in AZ and their US distributor is in Phoenix so I could save on shipping. They seem to be well made (taped, double stitched seams, water proof impregnated canvas, pvc cover over mattress to keep moisture out, etc.), are comparably inexpensive, and seem to have great customer service. Have watched many positive YouTube videos. They have been around longer than some of the other brands you listed and are used in different climates all over the world. What's not to like? I'm at the point where deciding if I want to shell out the extra cash for an Maggiolina, maybe a used JB, or just go with the less expensive GordiGear soft cover tent. Just my two cents. Good luck!
 

Mgyver1

Observer
Don't forget Howling Moon too. Quality tent made in South Africa like Eezi Awn. Both are top quality tents, but both are top price too. I have a Howling Moon Stargazer purchased from Sierra Expeditions and love it. Only thing I changed was the cheesy guy ropes for the awning. They're fairly waterproof without the rain fly on, I've only had it rain on me once without it and didn't have much problem. I've never had condensation under the mattress but I've had plenty inside the tent, apparently I need to open the vents even more.
 

crazysccrmd

Observer
You can find reviews, pictures and personal experiences with most brands and models of RTTs in this thread. https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/the-rtt-owners-thread-with-bs.312269/

I have an ARB Simpson III and my only complaint is the ladder. I plan to swap it out for the telescoping style available from other brands.

Another brand to look into is Tepui Tents. You can buy them easily through REI and Bass Pro if you have one local. If you're an REI member you can also take advantage of their 20% off member coupons they send out occasionally.
 

statticcling

New member
i recently purchased a tuff stuff overland rtt with an annex that includes a zip on floor and am extremely happy with this product. very resonably priced and the quality seems to be good. they had a 2 day sale so the tent was originally 1500 it was on sale for 1000 so we jumped on it
 

Jarred

New member
I purchased a Tepui Grand Sabana Ruggedized last year and have been very happy. The ruggedized has a little bit heavier duty tent material and structure. There is another thread on the forum here called"**Tepui RTTs and Accessories**" and you can read all the conversations. I went through it before pulling the trigger on my tent.

Good luck!
Jarred
 

quadforce4

New member
I think the biggest advantage to a roof top tent is ease/speed of setup, and that's only present with the hard-shell tents. Those are the only ones I'd consider personally.
that's where I'm at as well, and looking at an Autohome Air Top. Given the amount of rain around here, soft shell RTTs don't seem that appealing.
 

Stryder106

Explorer
I like the tepui. My concern is I don't like orange or camo and if they feel the need to offer a ruggedized version then what does say of their confidence in the durability of their regular fabric? A bit concerning.
 

Box Rocket

Well-known member
I like the tepui. My concern is I don't like orange or camo and if they feel the need to offer a ruggedized version then what does say of their confidence in the durability of their regular fabric? A bit concerning.
I can tell you there is no concern about the standard materials on Tepui tents. I currently have two Ruggedized models, but prior to that I had two standard models and I used them extensively in a wide range of conditions. When I sold them, they were in excellent condition still and sold for almost what I paid for them. They are equal to or better than most other brands out there in standard form. A side by side comparison or first hand look would take care of your concerns in that regard. The Ruggedized models were to satisfy the needs of more extreme conditions. The Ruggedized models are comparable to something like an Eezi-Awn but at half the price.
.
Also there are other colors other than orange or camo. Depending on the tent you order there is also grey, olive green and tan.
 

andy_b

Member
I think the biggest advantage to a roof top tent is ease/speed of setup, and that's only present with the hard-shell tents. Those are the only ones I'd consider personally.
I second this. I had a Chinese knock-off soft cover for a while. It was better for my uses than a ground tent, but not by much despite being quite a bit more expensive. The setup, take down, and maintenance (cover, mold control, etc) was a huge hassle. I used it in the PNW and it stayed on my truck year round. That meant I was always fighting moisture in the tent just by driving. The covers always leaked or I was constantly resealing them. The workmanship and materials of the non-knock off tents are better, but the nature of the soft cover makes it an expensive and/or time consuming wear item.

We have an AirTop now and love it. It is much faster to use and easier to maintain than any tent we have owned. We've camped in it year round from the NW to the SW and never had any leaks or condensation buildup inside. It does amazing in the wind and so-so in the snow (in terms of the roof holding a snow load). The customer service at Autohome leaves something to be desired, but it sounds like they are working on that. I know nothing about JB tents, but that doesn't prevent me from having an opinion - they seem like they have a lot more doo-dads and I prefer the aesthetics of the Maggiolina. The one advantage I've seen comparing JB to Maggiolina is how the JB tents secure the ladder to the lower shell in contrast to just hanging on the Maggiolina. The truck inevitably shifts through the course of the night and I always need to double check the ladder before exiting. It appears that the JB tents have solved that problem.

Back to the OP's questions: if you don't need a ton of space for people and can afford a hard top, I would recommend that without reservation. The only reason I could understand not getting one is their limited interior size. Based on the description of your setup, it sounds like you have limited space to place the tent. If that is the case, it sounds like you are stuck with a folding soft cover. I strongly suggest you reconsider simply because the performance of the hard shells are so much better and their impact on fuel economy is limited. If you are set on the soft cover style, don't bother getting a knock off of any brand because they simply won't last. If you can compare them side-to-side, it will be pretty obvious.
 

toyick

I build Boat Anchors
I have used a few, i really liked the Ezi-awn, and i currently have a howling moon, My parents have a 23 zero, and i live down the street from Tepui, and when my parents wanted an RTT, we walked in and walked out...nothing compares to the ezi-awn or Howling moon... The 23 zero is a great tent for the money.. and why my parents got one. The 23zero also comes with a whole anex for a great price.

I tried to be super unbiased when going to look at Tepui tents, but even the Ruggedized models didn't compare close to my Howling moon, or the Ezi-awns. But take that for what its worth.. Only down side to the Howling moon is the little plastic balls...for the over hang..Tepuis are everwhere and i am sure good tents...but side by side...I can defiantly tell the difference..
 

Box Rocket

Well-known member
I have used a few, i really liked the Ezi-awn, and i currently have a howling moon, My parents have a 23 zero, and i live down the street from Tepui, and when my parents wanted an RTT, we walked in and walked out...nothing compares to the ezi-awn or Howling moon... The 23 zero is a great tent for the money.. and why my parents got one. The 23zero also comes with a whole anex for a great price.

I tried to be super unbiased when going to look at Tepui tents, but even the Ruggedized models didn't compare close to my Howling moon, or the Ezi-awns. But take that for what its worth.. Only down side to the Howling moon is the little plastic balls...for the over hang..Tepuis are everwhere and i am sure good tents...but side by side...I can defiantly tell the difference..
How long ago were you in the Tepui shop?
 

Xsanchito

New member
I would suggest also Gordigear, they are well made and top quality. I had Gordigear tent for a long travel and it was even possible to accommodate two adults and two kids (10,7), the price is very good and customer support is top. They are designed and partly made in Australia and when I was choosing the tent I read a lot of Australian forum reviews of this tent. All of them were apprising the tent for high quality.

Here is a little video from gordigear:

Couple of pictures:
IMG_7468 by jorge sanchez, on Flickr
IMG_7249 by jorge sanchez, on Flickr
Jorge
 
Top