If planning a self drive safari in Kenya ……
Comfort – Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you need to compromise on comfort. Most rooftop tents come with a high-density foam mattress, which is comfortable without being too bulky. Protection from the elements is another crucial issue. A rooftop tent that does not protect you from wind and rain will leave you cold, wet, and miserable, so consider comfort a high priority.
Space – A rooftop tent should be large enough to accommodate all the people in your camping party without anyone feeling like sardines in a can. Many rooftop tents comfortably sleep three or more people, but if you are planning on camping with your significant other, a two-person tent is all you need. Keep in mind that you will also need to store some of your camping essentials and spare clothing, so make sure you have enough room for those as well.
Durability – You may only go camping a few times a year, but even so, you want a rooftop tent that is long-lasting and durable. In some weather conditions, your tent is going to take a bit of a beating, and you want the materials to be able to withstand any weather. Look for non-rip polyester that will stay intact for several years of happy camping.
Ease of Conversion – After a long drive to your favorite camping spot, the last thing you want to do is spend an hour or so setting up your accommodations. That’s when you’ll appreciate the easy setup of a rooftop tent that can quickly and efficiently convert from camping to travel mode. With some tents, you can even disconnect them from your vehicle and leave them as a freestanding tent while you drive off to a fishing spot or go for supplies.
Ease of Assembly and Installation – Another perk of rooftop tents is that most are easy to assemble and install. Look for something like a fold-and-go design that is easy to open and close as needed. Some rooftop tents may require two people to set up, while others can be set up by one. There will usually be some work involved in installing your tent on the roof of your vehicle, and, in many cases, you’ll also need to install after-market roof racks or crossbars.
Cover Convenience – The cover of your rooftop tent may be permanently attached to the rest of the tent. In these cases, the cover comes with zippers that go around the packed tent, securing it to the tent while you camp. Then there are the ultra-convenient covers that lift and form part of the roof of your tent.
Weight – This is one of the tricky aspects of choosing a rooftop tent because there are so many factors to consider. Firstly, you need to know the weight capacity of the tent and know the weight of each potential occupant. You will also need to factor the actual weight of the tent as well as the load-bearing capacity of the roof racks. However, this is only really necessary with rooftop tents installed up on the roof of your vehicle. Weight concerns are less of an issue for truck bed configurations.
Compatibility with Your Rooftop Rack – This is where you must pay attention to the specifications that come with your rooftop tent. If you already have rooftop racks on your vehicle, you will need to make sure that the tent you purchase is compatible with those racks, or you will need to see if you can add other racks to the existing ones to accommodate the rooftop tent. If you don’t have rooftop racks, then you can easily choose racks and a rooftop tent that is compatible with each other.