Roof Top Tent (RTT) Questions

Randun

Member
Hello everyone!

I'm thinking of getting a roof top tent, and I was wondering if anyone has any opinions on the different types of RTTs that are out there?

I have been doing my research and I see that there are soft tents, hard ABS/Fiberglass style tents, and I have also seen aluminum tents. Does anyone have any pros or cons of these different types of tents?

Thank you so much for your time and your help!
 

SP Jon M3

Observer
I have only had one RTT and it's the James Baroud that I still currently use. Things I like about the hard top over a soft top. Easier setup and takedown. I can store all of my bedding and pillows up there. I like that the roof is solid and the tent fabric is taught, this means it's quiet in the wind and with the material on the JB tent it stays dark in the tent so you can sleep in (the FSR tents appears to block out light as well). I feel like the design is more aerodynamic which might give a bit better gas milage than a boxy soft shell tent. Since I can enter the tent from either the driver side or passenger side it makes parking at camp easier.

I have no experience with an aluminum tent. My only concern wold be heat/cold transfer, but they might have insulation to help mitigate this. I feel like aluminum tents are better for mounting racks to carry more gear or to mount a solar panel.

The things l like better about soft shell tents are: They have more room inside vs hardshell. They don't take up as much space on a roof rack allowing you to use more of your roof space. Usually the entrance is more sheltered from the elements, at least compared to the James Baroud that I have.
 

Lemsteraak

Adventurer
It is pretty easy, think of it like a sleeping bag and buy what you need. Bigger isn't necessarily better. What you want is something that handles the conditions you go out in. And .... the well built ones last a very long time so get one to fit you and not necessarily your vehicle because it changes and you don't, well you know what I mean.

Need lots of room - folding tent

Want warmth and convenience - hard shelled

Want something that lasts well and designed for expedition use - expensive

Couple times a year - go cheap

Generally you get what you pay for, the cheaper knock off tents are produced in China, the expensive ones are made everywhere else.

- Rich
 

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Randun

Member
I have only had one RTT and it's the James Baroud that I still currently use. Things I like about the hard top over a soft top. Easier setup and takedown. I can store all of my bedding and pillows up there. I like that the roof is solid and the tent fabric is taught, this means it's quiet in the wind and with the material on the JB tent it stays dark in the tent so you can sleep in (the FSR tents appears to block out light as well). I feel like the design is more aerodynamic which might give a bit better gas milage than a boxy soft shell tent. Since I can enter the tent from either the driver side or passenger side it makes parking at camp easier.

I have no experience with an aluminum tent. My only concern wold be heat/cold transfer, but they might have insulation to help mitigate this. I feel like aluminum tents are better for mounting racks to carry more gear or to mount a solar panel.

The things l like better about soft shell tents are: They have more room inside vs hardshell. They don't take up as much space on a roof rack allowing you to use more of your roof space. Usually the entrance is more sheltered from the elements, at least compared to the James Baroud that I have.
What a great review! Thank you so much for your time and your help!

I have heard that the hard top RTTs are easier to set up and break down. Thank you for your opinion on those ideas too.

I thought you brought up an interesting point about the fabric too. I had not heard that before, but it makes perfect sense.

I have the same concerns that you do about an aluminum RTT. I think I have talked myself out of one of those.
 

Randun

Member
It is pretty easy, think of it like a sleeping bag and buy what you need. Bigger isn't necessarily better. What you want is something that handles the conditions you go out in. And .... the well built ones last a very long time so get one to fit you and not necessarily your vehicle because it changes and you don't, well you know what I mean.

Need lots of room - folding tent

Want warmth and convenience - hard shelled

Want something that lasts well and designed for expedition use - expensive

Couple times a year - go cheap

Generally you get what you pay for, the cheaper knock off tents are produced in China, the expensive ones are made everywhere else.

- Rich
I agree with you completely! Thank you so much for your time.

I'm leaning more towards a soft sided RTT or a hard shell RTT.

95% of the RTTs on the market are made from the same 3 factories in China. So I'm not too worried about that. I'm just trying to make a decision regarding the material that it is made of.
 

1000arms

Well-known member
Have you looked at articles on ExpeditionPortal.com?

A quick search revealed:








 

Randun

Member
Have you looked at articles on ExpeditionPortal.com?

A quick search revealed:








Yes I have. Thank you so much for asking.

love this forum. It is full of so much good information.

Have fun out there!
 
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