Treeline Outdoors Tamarack Plus Rooftop Tent

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Overland Journal’s Spring 2022 Issue.

Many tents are coated in flame retardants to meet regulatory standards in North America, and these chemicals can easily transfer from fabric to skin to the hands (and ultimately, to your mouth). This is where Treeline Outdoors is making progress toward a safer alternative. They recently moved production from China to Canada, and their new Tamarack Plus rooftop tent is Oeko-Tex 100 certified. This means that “every component of [the] article, i.e., every thread, button, and other accessories, have been tested for harmful substances and that the article, therefore, is harmless for human health.”

Oeko-Tex testing limits are often more stringent than government-issued standards, and their certification takes into account regulated and unregulated substances. Products lacking the accreditation are not necessarily dangerous, but it’s worth including in your pre-purchase research.

Ever since the Tamarack Plus arrived at Overland HQ in Arizona, I was eager to put it to use in the field. The changing of the seasons and cooler weather was an ideal initial test of its 3-inch, cold-proof memory foam mattress (optional), which was warm, comfortable, and, as the name implies, remained supple despite cold temperatures. It was also thick enough for me to sleep on my side.

The Tamarack Plus has excellent ventilation. Between the large entryway, three large windows, and two skylights, I enjoyed plenty of fresh air and sunshine. While you ultimately might not spend much time in your tent during the day, it’s nice to know that you can retreat inside during inclement weather without feeling like you are holed up in a dark cave. Chemical off-gassing was never an issue, not even on first use.

And speaking of bad weather, a thorough spray test delivered positive results. The tent cover and fly were both worthy barriers against the rain simulator (picture it: me and a garden hose). A direct stream of water aimed at the closed-side windows did allow a light mist to enter through the zippers, but weather conditions that would replicate this degree of driving rain are unlikely, or at least infrequent in the field.

Gear organization was ample, with zippered pockets, a gear loft, daisy chains, and secure rubber straps (for rods or paddles). I found the rubber straps difficult to operate due to their position on the underside of the tent, slightly above my head height.

It’s worth mentioning that the included tent cover has already faded due to sun exposure and is showing some signs of wear on the corners where it contacts the extruded aluminum tent frame. Additionally, the Velcro that secures the edge of the tent cover to the underside of the tent body has begun peeling off (it was attached with an adhesive). The good news is that Treeline has already addressed two of these issues with a UV fabric treatment as well as more robust materials in the aforementioned wear areas.

The setup and breakdown of the tent each took 25 minutes (50 minutes total) by myself. Flipping the tent into the open position required some physical strength, but the biggest challenge was climbing around the perimeter to insert the fly tensioning rods into the tent platform. Finally, two guy lines and stakes secure the vestibule while a ridge pole can be connected for added stability in windy conditions.

As far as rooftop tents are concerned, this is a comfortable and spacious model that provides excellent protection against the elements. It’s not quick to set up, but for rooftop tent users in North America, it ticks all of the boxes required for a good night’s sleep.

$3,549, $399/mattress |

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Matt is a paragliding pilot and adventure seeker living full-time in a 25-foot Airstream travel trailer pulled by a Ram 2500. His love of the outdoors has driven him to explore remote destinations across North and South America in search of the most aesthetic peaks and beautiful flying sites. IG: @m.b.swartz