Hi and welcome to 10ts-tents.com
I am Greg, enthusiast about camping, roof top camping, outdoors-y stuff and in general just spending time outdoors. The idea of this website came when I wanted to learn a bit more about rooftop tents.
I am probably getting old and I often look back on memories from my younger years. One
defining experience was my backpacker tour in Tuscany, Italy in my early 20s with a friend of mine.
We walked off our feet in Florence, Bologna, Pisa and a lot of smaller towns, hitchhiked from Genoa to Milano but ultimately we spent all our evenings in one of the campsites. And I remember so clearly even today how astonished I was when I first saw a rooftop tent. It was right after we tried to set up our tent on a very rocky, dry piece of land. We managed to bend 2-3 pegs and my thumbnail was hurting me and was turning to purple because I just hit it with the hammer.
A Life-Changing Moment
Then THEY rolled in to the very next parcel, and five minutes later they had their tent set up on the top of their Land Rover and they already popped a can of beer. I knew it back then that I was going to have one of those one day…I mean the rooftop tent, not the beer.
They looked glorious smirking down on us as we were struggling with out tiny little tent, but I did not hate them! The concept of a roof top tent just seemed so obvious I could not, I still cannot, understand why is not there more people have their tent of the top of their car.
It makes everything so much easier! No hassle, no swearing just camping!
More Than A Decade Later…
So here I am, in a sentimental mood, trying to find roof top tents. I like to read reviews before I commit to buy, at least two of the same product to make sure they are not biased. But I could not find any. I mean it. I tried it with Bing, and then Google, and then Bing again but not a lot. Definitely not a comprehensive amount of unbiased reviews…
And of course the ones that were really of my interest were not reviewed anywhere. I discounted the customer reviews on the official websites, cause obviously I won’t find any negatives on there. But apart from those, there was nothing. It seemed an enormous task to make notes of all the different attributes, sizes, fabric thickness, minimum requirements of the car etc. And on top of it all, compare things such as warranty and the price tag…So it is a lot.
The Idea of 10ts-tents Was Born
So I decided that I research, I that I share my findings with everyone. I have worked out a system for the reviews (initially for hard shell roof top tents) in hope that I (and everyone reading the reviews) can get a clearer picture before leaving a big chunk of money on the table.
This is an ongoing project, so I gladly take any suggestions, advise, comment or just a few friendly words! Don’t forget to subscribe to my Newsletter so you get notified by email of all the new posts!
What is your opinion of the Napier truck bed tents? Do you have any experience with these? My wife wants to go camping, but, sleeping on the ground or even on a cot is not desirable. She is willing to do the truck bed because of the air mattress and being off the ground.
To be honest I haven’t tried them, but they look solid and very practical – as long as you don’t keep a lot of stuff in the back or happy to clear it every time you set the tent up.
Hi Greg, this is an interesting blog you have.
May I pick your brains?
I’m a Brit living in Indonesia and my wife and I have been dreaming of travelling around the archipelago for years. We live on Java but ferries can take us to Sumatra, Bali, Sulawesi and Borneo, so there’s plenty to see.
At first I wanted to build a teardrop caravan but police and transport ministry said not allowed. We then planned to buy a jeep but somehow or other in a moment of weakness we ended up buying a Mitsubishi ASX. To make things worse it has a panoramic roof! I still can’t believe we did it but we have to live with it for a while.
I’ve read that when carrying a rooftop tent secured by clamps on rough, uneven roads or travelling offroad the maximum dynamic load figure should be reduced by up to half. Have you heard this? Our car’s maximum dynamic load is 80kg and we’re never going to find a roof tent at under 40kg (there is now an inflatable roof tent (17kg?) available but it’s not within our budget even without cargo fees and import taxes and duties.
Any idea whether the panoramic roof makes the vehicle weaker?
Also, would a roof rack (which adds extra weight) help spread the weight better than cross rails?
Thanks for any input
Thanks for your comment, always happy to help if I can! I feel your pain, my Vauxhall has a panoramic roof too, reducing the dynamic load capacity from 100 kgs to 60 kgs!
As for your issue: the main issue with putting anything on top of your car is that it affects its stability by raising the centre of balance. This is less of an issue on built roads and generally, by limiting the weight and the speed of the car the risk of the vehicle overturning is kept to minimal.
Off-road – but bear in mind that I’m not an off-road expert by any means – it’s slightly different as terrain can change rapidly, and even if you keep the speed to minimal, the vehicle can overturn. WHat you must keep in mind, that if you put anything on top of your off-road vehicle – tent, or any other form of cargo – it will affect its off-road capability for the worse.
This ballpark figure of halving the dynamic load capacity: I have never heard it before. You can quickly overturn your Mitsubishi with ‘only’ 40 kgs on the roof, if you’re not careful. But it’s also true, that if you have the skills and you don’t push the limits of the off-road capabilities of your Mitsu, then you’ll probably be safe to drive with a 75kg roof top tent.
I know it does not help much but…
The Front-Runner Featherlite weights only 43 kgs, but other 2-person soft shell RTT are around 50 kgs too. (This is my review of the Featherlite)
In any case, I’d also ask the same question on an off-roader forum, they might have a different opinion, having first hand experience.
Ugh, forgot to add this:
You can check the exact (99% of the times) roof load capacity of your car here:
I’ve just recently found it, really useful, you can search literally every model and trim, I am sure you’ll find the exact ASX trim you have…
I’ve had a lovely few days reading and researching using your website about inflatable tents. Have you considered reviewing easy to put up tents? The Vango for example do some really simple tents, i’m now looking into those as they seem half the price of the inflatable.
It’s lovely to hear that. I have considered, yes, to be honest I have dozens of articles to write I just haven’t found the time to finish them…:(
Just getting into this and looking at the Tentbox Lite and at the other end of spectrum, the iKamper X-Cover. Need some steer really, have read both reviews. Thinking, I cant go wrong witgh starting off with the Tentbox, before I spend circa £2.5K.
What do you think?
Manay thanks Ben
Totally agree. Although the X-Cover is great, if you are getting into this, a cheaper but decent roof tent like the TentBox Lite would be just as good as any. It may turn out that overlanding is not your cup of tea at all… The only question is, if the TentBox lite would be big enough for you… I mean, the X-Cover is much bigger in every direction. These 2-person rooftents can feel a bit small at first (1.1 metre inner height, 140 cms width), although the TB Lite is still one of the bigger ones and the roofwindow helps a lot making it feel a bit more spacious.