Best Rooftop Tent

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Jay Elliott

Chief Camping Officer

A rooftop tent is a big investment so trying to find the best rooftop tent can be a stressful experience. This article will help clear the fog and help you quickly find the best rooftop tent for you. Though rooftop tents have their pros and cons, their recent popularity suggests they are a very handy piece of kit.

Best Rooftop Tent Tips

There is a range of things you need to think about that will guide your end rooftop tent purchase. Getting clear on these things will help you sort through all the options to find the best rooftop tent for you. 


Are you going to install the rooftop tent on your current vehicle, or are you planning a new vehicle in the future that you will do most of your camping?

It doesn’t matter which, as long as you have an idea of the types of vehicle you want your tent to be compatible with. 

Hard Shell Vs Soft Shell Rooftop Tent

Rooftop tents come with both hard and soft covers. The hard shell rooftop tent covers tend to be more waterproof and also protect it more from any other objects (sticks and branches).

The softshell covers do a pretty good job for the most part, and if you are on a budget then they should serve you well, but a hard shell rooftop tent is preferable if you find one in your budget. 


You can get budget rooftop tents for less than $1000, or you can spend well over $2000 and more if you want.

Get clear on how much you want to spend at the start to make sure you don’t blow your budget with your end rooftop tent purchase.

Rooftop Tent Size

Most rooftop tents are a double/queen size, designed for two people but there are some bigger ones out there.

Make sure you are clear on exactly who and what you are hoping will fit inside the tent, to help you sort through all the rooftop tent options you come across.  

Kings Rooftop Tents – Best Budget Rooftop Tent Option

If you are looking for a cheap rooftop tent the Adventure Kings range from 4WD Supacentre will probably be your best option.

Kings rooftop tents are like the ‘Hyundai’ of the rooftop tent world and their affordability has made them super popular.

For many peoples, the Kings rooftop tent is perfectly adequate for their occasional needs, and thousands of people have bought them and been really happy with them.

If you scour one of the many Facebook groups dedicated to people that use Adventure Kings gear, you’ll see plenty of positive reviews but also some people discussing their bad experiences.

On the whole, for the amount of these that they sell, they seem to be a good value for money. 

Adventure Kings
Rooftop Tent

  • 3 minute setup time
  • Huge 75mm thick foam mattres
  • More than 1 metre head room at the peak
  • Breathable and waterproof 320gsm canvas

The Adventure Kings Rooftop Tent is the cheapest rooftop tent in Australia. Access is easy with a 2m extendable aluminum ladder, and designed to reach the top of any 4WD (even those of you who jack your suspension even further!).

Fully waterproof and insect-proof thanks to the 320gsm canvas, and windows all around, you can lie in bed the next morning after a big night and take in nature while you wait for your head to stop pounding.

It includes a soft shell PVC cover keeping your tent well protected from trees, or other overhead obstacles, and also keeps the weather off.

No more packing tents, or towing trailers. If you want to go camping anytime, just jump in the car and drive, all for less than $900.

Kings Kwiky MKII Hard Shell Rooftop Tent

  • 2 Minute setup time
  • 100% waterproof ABS polymer Hard Shell
  • Sleek aerodynamic design

Even the best canvas designs can be vulnerable to water leakage, but this hardtop camper means water will never get through.

You can set this up in less time than it takes to brew your coffee, meaning you’ll be in your chair with your feet up, sipping a brew before the car engine is cold.

Versatile entry with two possible doors, and when not being used as a door the same opening can be transformed into an awning with support poles to match.

Measuring over two meters long, and nearly a meter of headroom, you will not be short of space inside, with room for a partner.

The ladder can extend up to 2.3m, so no matter how big your vehicle, you will reach with ease. Setting it up is as simple as undoing two little buckles, and then giving it a nudge, and up she goes. Even if you arrive late, and it’s dark, you can set up with ease.

A fitting kit is included allowing you to attach to either a flat rack or crossbars.

Darche Rooftop Tents

Darche Hi-View 1400 Rooftop Tent

  • Tropical fly to reduce moisture build up
  • Zipped start gazing window
  • Aluminium frame
  • 2.3m extendable ladder
  • Optional annexe available

Check the latest price at these retailers:

Galileo would have loved this model thanks to the zipper star gazing window. You can lie in your comfy bed, free of nasty insects, and take in the starts of the outback, away from the smog and pollution.

In addition, it also includes a full-length window to provide visibility of your ground-level surroundings as well.

Darche has a solid long-term reputation of providing high-quality products, so though the features may seem comparable to the cheaper Kings version can be confident or a more robust, hard-wearing product.

Includes a fitting kit for easy installation, and the additional annex accessory gives you significantly more weather protection for your gear, and other humans and pets.

Darche Hi-View 2200 Rooftop Tent

  • Need space? This is it (over 2x2m area)
  • Dual ladder access and entry points
  • Dual zipped star gazing windows
  • Use on a car or camper trailer

Check the latest price at these retailers:

If you want a rooftop tent with space then the Darche 2200 is what you are looking for more than 2x2m squared, with dual access points, you can even use this fixed atop a trailer as a camper.

Space does come at a cost with 2200 being significantly more expensive than 1400, but the increase in space you get is definitely worth it.

Superior air venting system keeps it dry and moisture-free, and internal storage pockets mean you don’t lose your phone in the middle of the night when you need a light or are curious about the time.

The two ladders mean you can get in and out without disrupting the other person making it great for friends, and not just couples.

The amazing 180-degree windows and zipped star-gazing roof windows mean you can take in the amazing scenery around and above you, from the comfort of your bed. This is a standout feature of eh Darche range.

If you are needing extra space for other gear, or people, they also sell additional annex’s so you can extend your protected area.

Dometic Rooftop Tents – Premium Luxury Rooftop Tents

If you’re not pinching pennies then you must check out the Dometic options. Not for those that are short of a dollar, but full of features and comfort for those who like to invest in high-quality, premium gear.

The Dometic rooftop tents are the ‘Rolls Royce of the rooftop tent world and ooze class and sophistication.

This video gives an insightful look at the Dometic rooftop tents so you can see them in action:

Dometic TRT140M – Manual 4WD Rooftop Tent

  • Lightweight alloy frame
  • Two layer fabric construction (seriously waterproof!)
  • Easy install on your crossbar roof racks
  • 5cm density foam comfort mattress

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Dometic is not the cheapest product on the market but they are always well designed and made with care and quality, so for a few extra dollars, you get something that will last.

It includes the standard rooftop tent features like the extendable aluminum ladder and easy setup, but the unique and innovative design is where the Dometic TRT rooftop tents set themselves apart from the competition.

The dual-layer canvas design means that all weather is being absorbed by different layers of canvas to the one surrounding you on the inside.

So even if a small amount of moisture does make its way through the exterior there is an additional layer of canvas protection ensuring you and your sleeping gear stay warm and dry.

This additional layer of canvas also has an insulation effect and helps you stay warm, when it is freezing out.

Another nifty aspect of the Dometic design is the hanging pockets out the front of the tent for your phones and torches and belongings, so you can find them easily in the morning, or in the middle of the night.

Dometic TRT140E – 12V Electric Rooftop Tent

  • 12v Remote Control Operation (hands free)
  • Dual layer canvas design
  • Superior quality
  • Extendable aluminium ladder

Check the latest price at these retailers:

My personal favorite rooftop tent currently on the market in Australi is the Dometic TRT140E. Comparable in most ways to the previously discussed Dometic TRT140M, this model comes with a 12v motor that powers the setup of the tent.

This means you can pull up your car, and start sipping wine immediately while you control the setup of your rooftop tent via remote control.

If you want a real luxury camping experience then this Dometic rooftop tent is what you need. Highly recommended.

 Secondhand Rooftop Tents

There is a small but growing market for secondhand rooftop tents. The main places to look are Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, Facebook groups (especially camping groups) and eBay might be worth looking at as well. 

If you are looking at secondhand rooftop tents, make sure you ask these questions:

  • Why are you selling the rooftop tent?
  • How does it go when camping in the rain?
  • Does rain ever get in through the cover when it is not in use? 
  • Are roof racks/mounting brackets included?
  • Is the ladder in good working order?
  • Is the frame still structurally sound, not bent etc?

Secondhand might sound like a good way to save money, but given you can buy a brand new rooftop tent for less than $1000, I would strongly recommend you consider that in your first instance.

For a few more dollars you get something no one has ever used and potentially damaged. But if the budget is super tight, then secondhand is still a solid option. 

Best Rooftop Tent – Frequently Asked Questions

How many can sleep in a rooftop tent?

Most rooftop tents are designed for two people, but there is no specific limitation to how many people can sleep in one.

The two mains things you need to take into account are how much space you have, and what the weight rating of your rooftop tent is, as each rooftop tent will have a suggested maximum weight it has been designed to withstand.

How does a rooftop tent affect mileage?

There are two main ways a rooftop tent will affect your car’s fuel consumption. The weight and the shape.

Though they are not too heavy the extra weight will be added to the load your car’s engine has to push and will have a slight impact on consumption. But the main impact they have is on the aerodynamics of your car as they add another barrier that catches the wind that your car’s engine has to push through.

How much are rooftop tents?

Rooftop tents start at around $850 for an Adventure Kings rooftop tent and then go up from there. You can pay well in excess of $3000 depending on the manufacture and features of the rooftop tent.

How do you lift a rooftop tent?

Different models have different structures that set up different ways. Some rooftops tents have gas struts that raise them with a small nudge, and others are made of a folding aluminum frame that you pull with a string.

Why would I buy a rooftop tent?

The main benefit of a rooftop tent is that you don’t need to pack or tow anything, and they are set up really quickly.