Are you tired of camping on the ground and waking up to critters next to your tent or getting wet during rainstorms? Rooftop tents are a great solution, but you need to know whether your car can handle the extra weight for a good night’s sleep.
Plus, you have to get the thing on top of your car to begin with, so it helps to know what to expect!
So, how much do rooftop tents weigh, and are they heavier if they can sleep more than one person? Let’s find out!
What’s the Average Weight for a Rooftop Tent?
Here’s the million-dollar question: how much do rooftop tents weigh?
The average 2-3 person rooftop tent weighs 135 pounds. The tent construction materials play the largest factor in determining the tent’s overall weight instead of its capacity.
|Trustmade Hard Shell
|Thule Tepui Low-Pro 2
|Thule Tepui Low-Pro 3
|Smittybilt Overlander Std Gen 1/2
|Smittybilt Overlander Gen 1/2 XL
|Yakima Skyrise Medium
|Yakima Skyrise Small
|Thule Tepui Foothill
|Thule Tepui Autana
|Front Runner Roof Top Tent
|Roofnest Sparrow Eye
Tents with a solid or formed base tend to weigh more, as do pop-up options with more components and hardware. The lightest-weight tents have aluminum frames and all-around bird-like builds, much like ground-level tents.
It may be worth the tradeoff to wrestle a heavier tent atop your vehicle though; many heftier models offer better comfort, insulation, and more storage (and sleep) space.
Rooftop Tent Examples and Their Weights
Using the same list of rooftop tent models from above, let’s take a look at each of these deeper!
I’ll compare size (sleeping capacity), materials used to construct the tent, and weight options.
Tepui calls its Hybox Tent a rooftop tent-cargo box crossover, and at 177 pounds, it's a solid option for even the most rugged camper (and it sleeps two). A combination of hardshell construction, insulation, and sound dampening, and a standard cotton/polyester canopy make this tent comfortable and spacious.
This Trustmade Hard Shell Rooftop Tent is a two-person tent that is 100% waterproof and weighs 205 pounds. It's definitely on the heavier side, but it has a pre-installed memory foam mattress. It fits most vehicles with cross bars and roof rails.
A Thule Tepui Low-Pro 3 Rooftop Tent might be the best lightweight roof top tent for more than two people (or fewer folks with more gear). The two-person tent weighs 105 pounds, and the three-person model weighs 120 pounds. It looks just like a ground-level tent, but when it's folded, the low-profile design looks like anything but a tent.
If you only need a two-person tent for your next trip, Yakima has the solution. The 95-pound "small" tent aims to fit two campers and installs without tools for fast setup. Aluminum poles ensure it's lightweight, but the durable rainfly and PU coating protect you from wind and rain.
The Thule Tepui Ruggedized Autana 3 Tent is a three-person tent that weighs 152 pounds. Its extended canopy helps you achieve that true tent feel while also taking advantage of a car-top style. 360g polyester cotton and 600D ripstop fabric offer durability, and water-resistant ventilate coating plus dual stitched taped seams keep you dry.
Front Runner wins the lightweight competition with its 43kg (that's under 95 pounds) rooftop tent. It has a low profile and a super-low weight, but it can sleep two people (or possibly more) with ease. Universal mounting is a perk, and the durable frame is part of the reason it's so trim.
If you're looking for a unique and eye-catching rooftop tent solution, the Roofnest Sparrow EYE fits the bill. At 130 pounds, this unique tent isn't any heavier than competitors, but it offers a unique look and some cool features. It has a gear storage area, solar panel mounting setup, and ladder mounts on three sides. It also opens on top to reveal epic sky views.
Note: The tent weights listed were gathered directly from the manufacturer. The weights that you see listed on other websites where the tents are for sale may differ, so for consistency, the manufacturer-provided values were used.
Vehicle Considerations for Heavier Rooftop Tents
Not all vehicles can handle a heavier tent, or a heavy tent plus sleeping campers and gear, on their roofs.
Before you opt for a heavier rooftop tent, here are a couple of things to take into consideration:
- Make sure you know what your rooftop’s load capacity is beforehand. Most tents themselves have a load capacity around 500 to 600 pounds, but that doesn’t mean your roof does!
- If you can, avoid using a sedan, hatchback, or smaller car with your rooftop tent. A bigger vehicle may withstand the pressure better.
- Inspect the rack system and connection before (and after) every use. If you see signs of wear and tear or it’s not connected well, don’t keep using it.
Apart from ensuring you don’t overload your vehicle or the tent with too much weight, it’s also essential to follow the instruction manual when installing and setting up your rooftop tent.
The right steps can help avoid accidents and ensure that your vehicle doesn’t sustain damage due to your rooftop camping habits.
If you found this article helpful, then make sure to take a look at some of my other related articles linked below!