We review the year's best cheapest rooftop tents, from lightweight soft-tops to sturdy hard-top models.

Best Cheapest Roof Top Tents of 2022

When planning your camping vacation, you’ll want to make sure you have a tent that won’t break the bank. You should also look for items that complement your personal camping aesthetic. Perhaps this is why you’ve been considering the cheapest roof top tents. These will make your camping trip one of a kind and will ensure the comfort of you and your loved ones. The fact that you simply need a parking spot rather than a sizable campground means that they can assist you set up camp just about everywhere. Better still, using any of these cheapest roof top tents will enhance your adventure.

Below is the list of 10 best cheapest roof top tents of 2022.

Smittybilt Overlander

Our ratings

4.4/5

Thule Tepui Explorer Autana

Our ratings

4/5

Front Runner Roof Top Tent

Our ratings

4/5

Raptor Series OFFGRID Voyager

Our ratings

4/5

Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2

Our ratings

4/5

Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland

Our ratings

4/5

Yakima Skyrise

Our ratings

4/5

Tepui Explorer Kukenam

Our ratings

4/5

ARB Series III Simpson

Our ratings

4/5

Thule Tepui Foothill Low-Profile Rooftop Tent

Our ratings

4/5

1. Smittybilt Overlander

If you’re looking for a quality rooftop tent, the Smittybilt Overland Tent is a great option. The full-size foam mattress is waterproof, and the tent is too. There’s room for two or three people inside, and the tent’s poles are made of lightweight aluminum. There’s also a telescoping ladder for convenient entry and exit. The Smittybilt shelter is designed only for Jeep Wranglers of the JK generation (2007-2014). To ensure a secure fit on your vehicle, we recommend using it with the Smittybilt SRC Overhead Rack (available separately).

Rain may be avoided inside the tent thanks to the rainfly. This tent can be put up in no time, and its sturdy zippers will prevent any leaks or tears from occurring during use. The Smittybilt Overlander has a PVC cover to shield it while it’s not in use, so you can hide it away while wreaking havoc on the trails. An included 12-volt power adapter makes it simple to maintain operational electronics and convert voltage.

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2. Thule Tepui Explorer Autana

The Tepui Explorer Autana is a great option for a truck or SUV rooftop tent due to its separate annex and privacy door, making it ideal for camping along roadside paths. This tent is a good investment for your comfort when hiking because it can be used year-round, can fit three people, and is spacious. Ripstop polyester cotton blend fabric is used in the construction of the Tepui Explorer Autana, making it highly resistant to moisture and wind in any environment.

Four spacious inside pockets provide easy access storage. Awning holes on the upper section’s windows provide shade from the sun or protection from the rain, respectively; this makes keeping an eye on things simple and the included netting keeps pesky insects out. The tent packs down into a compact size and may be carried about in a lightweight fabric bag with straps. In addition, it has universal mounting brackets so that it may be attached to a wide variety of roof racks and crossbars.

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3. Front Runner Roof Top Tent

The center of gravity and air resistance will both benefit from the Front Runner Roof Top Tent’s low profile design. Its length of approximately 7.5 feet means there’s plenty of space for two passengers and their belongings. The Front Runner Tent mount kit, which is compatible with the Front Runner tent, is adaptable to a wide range of vehicles.

The metal base and mattress of the Front Runner are insulated to keep you warm as the temperature drops. This tent’s polyester cotton mix body and polyester rainfly are both waterproof. For a hassle-free setup and a speedy transformation from exploring to resting, it opens with a single move. The Front Runner tent may be mounted so that the door can be positioned on either the driver’s or passenger’s side, depending on your desire. It can also bend to fit onto most load bars and roof racks.

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4. Raptor Series OFFGRID Voyager

Off-road adventurers will appreciate the convenience of the Raptor Series OFFGRID Voyager Rooftop Tent. The switch shell top design enables for speedy deployment, so you and your passenger can set up camp and take it down in a flash whenever you need to get moving or put it away for the day. You may enter and exit without having to take a giant leap of faith thanks to its eight-foot metal ladder.

A full-sized foam mattress and convenient hanging storage compartments can be found inside the Raptor OFFGRID Voyager. It may be installed on a variety of rack and crossbar systems, both factory-installed and those purchased separately. This tent features a unique awning over the entry side and a netted window that allows for unrivaled ventilation and visibility. Excellent for intrepid explorers, the Raptor OFFGRID Voyager tent will have your traveling companions gawking at your one-of-a-kind pop-up shelter.

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5. Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2

The Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 tent is one option to consider if you want a more conventional appearance for your rooftop ten as well as a design that can distribute the weight equally. Coated 600D and a 260g poly-cotton mix help keep you dry, and the tent’s customizable canopy coverings provide a good fit no matter the weather, the season, or your personal taste.

The Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 includes two side windows and an awning on each side, as well as four storage spaces inside. A foam mattress (2.5 inches thick) is also provided for a cozy night’s rest. In order to save some weight, the tent is packed within a bag constructed from the same ripstop material. The A-frame structure provides a spacious interior with enough headroom for dressing and moving around. If you want to equip the tent, you should have the Thule brand roof racks made for this model, as most simple and standard aftermarket roof racks and crossbars won’t work.

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6. Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland

Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland’s Annex Room and tiny ground area may give faster weather protection than other rooftop tents. The Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland’s cotton-polyester mix fabric and polyester rainfly keep you dry. The Annex Room fits a queen-size air mattress, making it ideal for family camping outings.

A PVC tent cover reduces wind resistance when driving. The Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland tent ladder should be 76 to 78 inches from the floor. The upper level has a 2.75-inch foam mattress. Included mounting brackets fit original and aftermarket roof rails and crossbars. The supplied ladder can be removed to save space in the annex.

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7. Yakima Skyrise

The Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent is a robust shelter for three people that can be set up atop many different kinds of automobiles. Because of its lightweight nylon construction, it can withstand the elements without deteriorating and has less of a chance of toppling than bulkier alternatives. The Yakima Skyrise incorporates insect- and ventilation-enhancing mesh panels. To keep the mesh canopy dry, there’s a rainfly that’s been laminated with a polyurethane sheet.

However, the material used in this tent is not designed for use in the winter, and a disclaimer to that effect is included. While this does add to the lighter overall weight, it will also make setup easier since there will be less mass to work with while propping it up. A vinyl storage bag and clip system are included with the tent to keep it in place while not in use.

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8. Tepui Explorer Kukenam

This tent is well-suited for the adventurous camper like yourself, since it can provide for most of your needs when you travel by road or trail. The polyester-cotton blend used in the construction of the Tepui Explorer Kukenam makes it resistant to rain, wind, UV rays, and mold growth, and it can accommodate up to three people. It comes with a foam mattress to provide you more comfort, and a telescoping ladder to let you reach any height.

The Tepui’s versatility is further enhanced by a selection of optional canopies that can be purchased separately, as well as an annex that can be used to increase the tent’s footprint if necessary. There are four inside compartments for storing essentials for the night, and the mesh panels on the sides provide ventilation if needed. You can transport your tent safely without worrying about it becoming damaged thanks to the included PVC carrying bag. It’s pre-assembled and compatible with the majority of factory and aftermarket truck and SUV roof racks and crossbars.

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9. ARB Series III Simpson

When it comes to rooftop tents, the ARB Simpson is the best of the best since it’s both stylish and affordable. This tent is exceptional due to its high build quality and thoughtful design. The tent is constructed from some really hefty stuff. Most companies’ rooftop tents use it, although it’s one of the heaviest fabrics available. This is what contributes to the considerable heft of the tent. However, the fly isn’t particularly substantial and just extends along the ceiling of the tent. When the fly is removed, a noticeable improvement is felt, and the sailboat is able to withstand rather strong gusts without being too burdensome to use. When you take off your fly, it rolls up neatly. Put it in the Jeep’s flat back seat.

The tent features a nylon exterior and a foam pad that is two inches thick. Although the mat is not particularly plush, it is bearable. The tent has a very large storage capacity. ARB tent components are inexpensive, which is a major plus. Even in North America, you can purchase the necessary pieces.

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10. Thule Tepui Foothill

Thule’s Foothill ($2,199) rooftop tent unfolds compactly, leaving room for bikes, kayaks, and gear. Thule’s symmetrical Foothill may be put on either side of your rack.

It’s low-profile when folded, with a soft cover and a redesigned foundation that increases strength and stability. Internal telescopic poles snap into place when unzipped and unclipped.

The Foothill’s wide door made hauling a duffel bag easy. Even on warm nights, the tent’s panoramic back window and dual skylights provided excellent ventilation. It offered 360-degree stargazing.

You may leave a bike or boat on the roof with the tent and awning folded down.

Thule’s tent has a high-density foam mattress for wonderful dreams. Book, flashlight, and other small goods fit in four inside compartments.

Buy Thule’s 310-thread-count fitted sheets to get fancy. Tepui’s insulator, a quilted lining, provides four-season insulation. Separately.

Foothill’s UV- and mold-resistant canopy fabric is year-round. Rainfly adheres rapidly in rainy weather. When you want air and stargazing, it folds up.

Foothill takes 10 minutes to remove off a vehicle. Four 13mm brackets attach and remove it. It’s 9.5 inches higher than a car’s roof rack when packed.

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How to Choose the Best Cheapest Roof Top Tents?

It’s possible that none of these rooftop tents will work for you. You’ll need some guidance in order to make an informed decision. Now that we’ve established that, let’s examine some of the most important factors to consider when selecting the cheapest roof top tents for your family.

How Much Space Does Your Car Have?

You should begin by figuring out how much cargo space your car truly has. You shouldn’t exceed the weight or volume limits of your vehicle. Keep in mind that there is a wide range of sizes and materials available for rooftop tents. Due to their unique construction, all vehicles have their own maximum load capacities. If you don’t want to ruin your car, you should stay inside certain parameters. It’s important to pick a rooftop tent whose weight capacity is less than the maximum your vehicle can handle (including supplies and your personal weight).

What Extras Are Included?

The equipment included with various rooftop tents varies. You may find some that are attached to the main building or have canopies. You never know what sort of doors, ladders, floors, pockets, windows, and more some of them could have. Each of these factors is important, and you’ll need to weigh them to figure out what you need. You can still obtain  wonderful cheapest roof top tents and something you’ll feel comfortable in on a budget, even if it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as a more expensive option.

Which Type of Tent Is Better, a Hardtop or a Fabric One?

When you embark on a trip, your tent will be set up on top of your car. That means it will be open to the elements while you’re on the road, which might be a concern in more extreme weather conditions like rain, wind, and snow. If your tent has a hardtop, it will be safer from the weather and the ground. The cloth is protected from moisture and wear by a tough outer layer. However, the cost of these shelters will increase. Keeping costs cheap may necessitate a cloth tent, so be sure to take all necessary precautions to ensure its safety while looking for cheapest roof top tents.

How Many People Are Going?

You won’t have a lot of leeway in terms of overall vehicle size when dealing with a compact automobile, but there are still a few considerations to make. If you’re camping with a group, you might want to consider renting a tent with an attached annex. It’s possible that bigger tents can fit in bigger cars. For everyone’s sake, make sure the tent you pick can accommodate the whole number of campers. To be sure, this is another another area where the budget may make a difference. If you want to keep everyone happy without breaking the bank, you might want to come closer together.

When Are You Going to Camp?

Tents come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and degrees of protection from the elements, depending on when and where you want to pitch them. All-season tents are designed to keep you dry and warm in a variety of weather conditions. They need to be weatherproof. Most tents are made to last for just three seasons, so when the weather gets too hot, you should find another place to camp. On the other hand, certain structures might be made to resist even the coldest winter conditions. The decision to spend a bit more on a more spacious and durable tent rests squarely on your shoulders. There are ways to reduce the likelihood of unpleasant experiences, such as dressing warmly or scheduling vacations during the warmer months.

FAQs - Cheapest Roof Top Tent

Q. What Is the Benefit of a Rooftop Tent?

Elevated from the earth in a rooftop tent, you can take in the scenery. In most cases, the ventilation in them is superior to that of a ground-level tent.

You can avoid the grime and insects that lurk there by pitching your tent high atop your car. Because of this, sleeping in a tent atop a building is far less nerve-wracking.

Setting up a rooftop tent is typically a simple and quick process. Having a tent on your roof means it’s constantly accessible, which may lead to some exciting spur-of-the-moment excursions.

Not just sleeping pads and inflatable pads, but mattresses and bedding may also fit in rooftop tents. Many tents even allow you to keep your sleeping bag inside until you depart.

Q. Can a Rooftop Tent Be Mounted on a Car?

Most car-mounted rooftop tents are made to fit a variety of vehicles. However, not every tent can be used with every vehicle. Your car’s roof rack must be able to support the weight and size of the tent you intend to transport.

You should replace the factory racks with better ones, but using aftermarket bars is recommended. It’s a good idea to double check that your car and roof rack are compatible by visiting the respective manufacturers’ websites.

Q. Why Are Rooftop Tents So Expensive?

Due to the superior materials, engineering, design, and accessories required for a rooftop tent, its price tag exceeds that of a standard ground-staked tent by a significant margin. You may set up a platform for your tent on the roof of your car with a rooftop tent, which flips over when not in use. That’s a lot trickier than just throwing up a tent and putting a canvas floor on the ground.

You can imagine the high price tag of a rooftop tent after factoring in the price of a mattress, a ladder, and a hardshell exterior.

Q. Which Roof Top Tents Are The Most Cheapest?

Costing less than $1,000, the cheapest roof top tents are readily available. You may also save a lot of money by purchasing a secondhand version.

Tents come in a wide variety of sizes, but keep in mind that not all of them will fit in your car. You might be able to purchase a tent with larger room, better stability, easier assembly, and other perks by spending a little bit more money.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, there are a variety of factors that make rooftop tents worth further investigation. Still, this camping experience may be had without going into serious debt. The cheapest low-cost roof top tents are the ones that meet your requirements and are suitable for the whole family. Camping in this fashion is a fantastic adventure and a lot of fun, whether or not you choose to use any of the possibilities we’ve covered above.

You may also  read our 13 ways to make the roof top tent more comfortable.

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Daniel Wisdom
Daniel Wisdom

Hi! I'm Daniel. My interest in various Automobile Accessories dates back to my childhood.

At our website, roofboxhub.com, one of my primary goals is to offer helpful information that is uncomplicated and easy to understand in the area of automotive accessories.

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