Top 13 Rooftop Tents (RTTs) for the Toyota 4Runner – Full Buyer’s Guide

RTT (Rooftop Tent) Buyer's Guide for Overlanding & Car Camping

The Beginner’s Guide Understanding Rooftop Tent Brands, Manufactures, Material, Weight, Features & More – Buyers Guide by Spirit of 1876

Before we jump in, I want to introduce myself. Hi, my name is Mike and I run Spirit of 1876, we’re an overland-focused outfitter located in Castle Rock, Colorado. We specialize in rooftop tents, racks, awnings, along with other popular camping and overland accessories. I’ve experienced most tents over the last 6 years and decided a good overview on the topic would be helpful. Below is a hand selected list of the top rooftop tent options for the 5th Gen 4Runner on the market in 2022.

Let’s get to it!

We all like to camp and we’re always looking for ways to improve it.  Rooftop tents aren’t just an overland accessory, they provide a ton of advantages, but let’s find out if they are right for you.

What are rooftop tents? 

You’ve seen them rise in popularity year over year for the last decade here in the US, with dozens of new brands coming and going. Rooftop tents have been recognized globally for over 75 years and the end result remains the same, an easy to set-up alternative to ground camping.  It’s like a traditional tent, but designed for the top of your car or truck and ultimately helps you get out faster, easier, safer, and more remote than ever before.

The focus of this article is to help you decide if a rooftop tent is for you and if so, which ones you should be considering.  For many people, rooftop tents (RTT) although expensive have been a game-changer in how they camp.  For some, it’s the ability to have a clean dry and flat surface to sleep on within minutes, others prefer the 3” high-density foam mattress and other luxuries an RTT can offer.

Some campers find comfort in the fact it’s off the ground, while others prefer the space-saving advantages of having it on your roof vs gear in your vehicle.  As the functionality of RTTs evolves, the reasons for running one continue to add up.

What to Consider

Rooftop Tent Buyers Guide for Toyota 4Runner

Roam Rambler Hardshell Pop Up Rooftop Tent (Brand New for 2022)

When deciding if a rooftop tent is for you, ask yourself the following:

  • Am I willing to invest in an after-market rack?
  • Do I need to fit in my garage?
  • Am I concerned with weight or my current MPG?
  • Do I want or need anything else mounted on my roof?
  • How many can it sleep?

If you’re cringing at these questions, don’t worry, it’s normal.

It’s a big decision, a big investment, we get it. Believe it or not even with all these concerns people still absolutely love running a rooftop tent and with good reason.  However, this doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

The biggest surprise to folks shopping for a rooftop tent is the need for an aftermarket rack. It’s understandable, you just spent a lot of money on a very capable 4Runner, “what do you mean I can’t put a tent on it?”

The truth is, 99% of factory racks aren’t suitable for a rooftop tent regardless of how big and rugged they may seem.  The crossbars included on your typical OEM rack are designed for skis, bikes, maybe a cargo box, not a 150lb tent, or a couple of bodies on top of that.  So, Pro Tip #1, if you’re budgeting for a tent, plan to invest in a nice rack as well.

Typically, a CNC cut roof rack is a great option as they are very universal and the crossbars are designed to support lots of weight. Check out this post that references unique setups on CNC-style roof racks to get an idea of how capable they are.

If you’re looking to support the most weight possible, the Sherpa Crestone is our top pick and offers one of highest load ratings on the market. The rack you choose is the foundation for your rooftop tent, and we stock and sell all different makes and models for the 4Runner.  We’re happy to help consult you on what makes the most sense for your build.

Manufacturing Differences

ROAM Rooftop Tents for 4Runner

Most brands you’re familiar with are manufactured in China, including but not limited to, Tepui (now Thulel), CVT, 23Zero, Roam, Front Runner, Roofnest, ARB, Smittybilt, and Yakima, to name a few.

The truth is for some of these brands certain models are made by the same manufacturer in China and just branded with individual logos.  European companies like Autohome and James Baroud are known for their textiles and construction quality but come with a hefty price.

US Manufacturers will continue to grow with GoFastCampers leading the way.  Those that have been doing it the longest have already worked through the kinks, and understand what it takes to manage a successful tent company.  In other words, if something fails or you need to replace your cover in 5 years, rest assured you’ll have the after-purchase support with the big players.

There are dozens of tent manufacturers, from brands you’ve heard of, to the new flavor of the week.  Established manufacturers are able to charge as much as they do not because of seniority, but because they are selling quality products and have made improvements for over a decade.  What looks like the “same tent” from pictures, can be wildly different in the details.

Weight

Spirit of 1876 Rooftop Tent Installation Shop in Colorado

Weight directly affects MPG and comes with its own pros and cons. A ground tent will be lighter and save you valuable room inside the truck. However, If you value the convenience and luxury of sleeping in a comfy treehouse, expect to gain some weight.  Tents can range from ~100-200lbs+.

The weight should also be considered if you plan to take the tent on and off.  Removing a tent is at least a two-person job, however, there are creative alternatives like a garage hoist or forklift.

As for the weight affecting your on and off-road handling, the easy short answer is that it depends.

Of course, the center of gravity of any vehicle is drastically affected by weight.  With a 150lbs top center, the effect on your vehicle can be felt from simply taking the on-ramp to the interstate to running a more technical trail that has you off-camber.

Again, the size, height, rack, year, suspension, etc of your vehicle can all have an effect on handling and performance.  To what degree an RTT affects your rig is dependent on those factors and your driving style.

If you camp 1-2 times a year, you might want to keep it lightweight in order to sacrifice some features. If you camp 6-12 times a year, maybe having more creature comforts is important and weight savings isn’t a priority. Whatever style of camper you are, considering weight is very important.

Maintenance

Meet Mike - The Founder and Chief Adventure Officer

Just like with any tent, keeping it clean and dry is the ticket.  Airing out your rooftop tent is the single most important thing you can do to prolong its life.  Failure to do so can deteriorate the fabric and cause mold.

Although all tents are designed to be mounted year-round, some more than others stand up better to the test of time. Softshell covers with nylon straps can deteriorate like your grill cover will with time, needing replacement every 3-5 years depending on your climate and the elements.  Keeping it clean does help prolong its life.

For softshells, using some good ol’ soap and water to remove road grime and dust goes a long way, while finishing it with a protectant to help shield from harmful UV rays.  For hardshell tents, just like your car, an occasional wash and wax will help prolong the life of the paint and/or clear coat.

Softshell Tents

Yakima Skyrise (Heavy-Duty, 4-Season) HD 3 Rooftop Tent Product Overview + Trail-Tested Review For the 5th Gen 4Runner

Alright let’s just admit it, the biggest advantage to softshells is the price.  Typically, hardshells start at around $3k whereas, with a softshell, you can get in one for less than half that.

The other biggest reason folks choose softshell over hardshell is space.  Because softshells are designed to unfold, essentially doubling their footprint when deployed, the sleeping sqft has far greater potential with softshell tents.

For example, CVT and 23Zero both make an 87” softshell rooftop tent.  That’s 87” from front to back and 48” wide. However, when deployed, the footprint doubles to a massive sleeping area of 96” by 87”, bigger than a California King and worthy of sleeping a family of 5+.

The biggest downside to softshell is clearly the added steps and time needed to deploy and break down. Although it’s still significantly faster than pitching a ground tent, expect to spend 5-10 more minutes in some cases deploying a softshell tent.

The last thing to consider with a softshell vs hard from a rack perspective is the ability to carry more gear on your actual rack.  Again because the tent unfolds, the maximum width of a softshell tent on a rig is 48″ or less.  This allows room for accessories like a shovel, a hi-lift mount, or an awning.

For example, a 56” Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform, Front Runner Slimline, or even a low-profile 80/20 style rack gives you the width needed to maximize your rack space with a softshell tent.  Most hardshells sit wider than the rack making it difficult to accessorize.

Obviously, the size of the tent and specific rack contribute significantly to this, but it’s certainly something to be considered.  If you need assistance, reach out to Spirit of 1876 which installs all brands of RTTs and racks and can help minimize your decision fatigue.

Let’s jump into some of the best soft shell rooftop tent options on the market. (in no particular order…)

1. Roam Vagabond

Top 10 Rooftop Tents Roam Vagabond

Roam Adventure Company is a newer brand but continues to innovate with no signs of letting up.  The Vagabond rooftop tent is their signature tent that comes in 2 sizes, 56” (2 people) and the Vagabond XL (4 people) which is 72”.

They also offer a Lite version that is their entry level tent starting at $1699, but also doesn’t extend over the ladder, has a smaller footprint, and only weighs 120 pounds.

Roam certainly has some of the sickest colorways in the game, but the Vagabond isn’t just for looks.  Roam offers a double sunroof with skylights through the rainfly for stargazing and is the only RTT that includes a porch window allowing you to keep a 360-degree lookout.

The Vagabond is made of rugged polycotton ripstop fabric with a robust diamond weaved nylon rainfly and comes with one of the best and most comfortable mattresses available in a softshell. It includes zippered cover, a waterproof bottom, and an included condensation mat which improves cushion but is designed to help reduce moisture under the mattress.

Roam also has a diamond-plated insulated floor and a gear locker which comes in handy for exterior storage. They also now offer their tents with or without the Annex.

Lastly, Roam offers a really nice beefy exterior cover that has a unique buckle system vs what all other tent companies use.  Overall, it’s the colorways, the quality, the included FREE upgrades, and FREE shipping that makes ROAM one of the hottest soft shells in 2022!

Find it online:

Features:

  • Capacity: 2-3 people
  • Weight: 130 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Ripstop Polycotton Technology
  • Included Condensation Mat
  • Included Boot Bags
  • Included Gear Locker
  • Sky View Windows
  • 7.5-foot Telescoping Ladder

Available Add-Ons:

  • Annex Room
  • Sheets
  • Insulation Kit

Dimensions: 

  • Closed: 56″ x 48″ x 12″
  • Opened: 56″ x 96″ x 52″

2. 23ZERO Breezeway 62″

23 ZERO Breezeway 62"

23Zero is certainly not one of those “insert your name here” brands.  They saw opportunities for improvement and made them.

The Breezeway rooftop tent is one of my favorite softshells on the market, not only one of the most affordable quality 4 season tents, but the quickest to deploy and break down, and the breeziest of the bunch.

What makes it so different? The biggest differentiator for 23Zero is their signature Light Suppression Technology (LST). This keeps the interior tent pitch black even at high noon.  If the windows are closed, you’ll literally need a flashlight to find the zipper it’s so dark.

Another great feature of the LST is that it actually reduces the heat inside the tent by 20%.  This is useful for lots of reasons, but day naps for kids or hungover adults have never been easier.

At first glance, their tents may seem less expensive than the competition, but I assure you there is no sacrifice in quality.   For example, CVT and Tepui include an annex with their extended tents. However, 23Zero has more of an al a carte approach which I love.  If you don’t need it, you shouldn’t have to pay for it!

Also, optional accessories from 23Zero like their boot bags, which are sometimes included with other brands, are some of the best and well tmade in the category. In other words, 23Zero gives you quality accessories for an additional cost, vs throwing in ones that aren’t worth your time. The Breezeway comes in three sizes 56”, 62”, and 72”

Find it online:

Features:

  • Capacity: 3+ people
  • Weight: 143 pounds
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Ripstop Polycotton Canvas with Light Suppression Technology
  • 4 Season Comfort
  • Waterproof Base
  • Sky View Windows on the tent, however, not on the rainfly
  • 7.5-foot Telescoping Ladder

Available Add-Ons:

  • Annex Room
  • Shoe Bag
  • Gear Loft
  • Sheets

Dimensions:

  • Closed: 62″ x 48″ x 14″
  • Opened: 62″ x 96″ x 49″
  • Sleeping Area: 62″ x 96″

    3. CVT Mt. Denali Pioneer – Extended

    CVT Mt. Denali Pioneer - Extended

    (this color is discontinued)

    CVT is one of the strongest and most senior players in the tent game.  They have been selling tents and more importantly improving their tents for over 10 years here in the US.  CVT has always been known for its quality and excellent customer service.  With retail locations in Chattanooga, Las Vegas, Denver, and their HQ in Bend, Oregon, there’s always someone to answer the phone and get you taken care of.

    For larger families, the Denali rooftop tent is the biggest, baddest tent on the market at 87” long.

    The Pioneer Series from CVT comes in 4 different sizes, and two different styles meaning they have a tent for everyone.

    The best part about CVT is that when you’ve been making tents for over a decade, you start to learn what needs improvement. CVT is constantly making tweaks to their staple tents like this Pioneer Series that’s been around since the beginning, as well as introducing more models and styles than anyone in the industry.  The Pioneer comes in 3 sizes, 56″ 72″ and this massive 87″.  If you’re considering a softshell tent, CVT should be on your list.

    Find it online:

    Features: 

    • Capacity: 4-6 people depending on size.
    • Weight: 200 pounds
    • Warranty: 2 years
    • Included Annex
    • Ripstop Polycotton Canvas
    • 4 Season Comfort
    • Waterproof Base
    • Sky View Windows on tent and rainfly
    • 7.5-foot Telescoping Ladder

    Available Add-Ons:

    • Lights
    • Sheets
    • Winter Liner
    • Annex Extension

    Dimensions:

    • Closed: 87″ x 48″ x 15″
    • Sleeping Area: 87″ x 96″ x 44″

    4. Thule Tepui Foothill

    Thule Tepui Foothill

    Tepui is one of the OG players in the US.  Like CVT, they have been around for over a decade, so no surprise they’ve figured out what it takes to not only last but succeed in a crowded market.  In 2018, Tepui was acquired by the Swedish Global Goliath Thule, and the only thing that’s declined is their customer service.  Unfortunately, a bigger company sometimes results in less of a personal touch which would be my only knock on the Sr. player.

    However, the all-new Foothill is one of the biggest innovations in the soft shell game since they started importing them to the US over a decade ago.  The Foothill is designed to save space on your roof, using half the footprint as a traditional softshell, yet still comfortably sleeping two.  This means running the tent with a bike rack or kayak alongside it is finally an option.

    Weighing only 108 pounds, this little tent is only 24″ wide, making it one of the easiest tents to remove. This is likely going to be one of the hottest and highest selling lightweight RTTs in 2022.

    Find it online:

    Features:

    • Capacity: 1-2 people
    • Weight: 108 pounds
    • Warranty: 2 years
    • Telescopic Ladder

    Available Add-Ons:

    • Tent Table
    • Awning
    • Lights
    • Sheets

    Dimensions:

    • Closed: 83″ x 24″ x 9.5″
    • Opened: 83″ x 24″ x 40″
    • Sleeping Area: 84″ x 47″

      Hardshell Tents

      Hardshell Rooftop Tents

      The biggest reason people choose hardshell tents is the ease of use.  With some clamshells deploying in as little as 10 seconds, it’s hard to beat the convenience of a hardshell tent.

      Additional reasons include aesthetics, as hardshells have a lower profile and a more aerodynamic design not only helping minimize any wind drag for those concerned with MPG.  For example, some aluminum clamshells sit just above 6”, whereas a softshell can exceed over 16” on some models.

      Another big advantage is the ability to store gear on your roof. Some models offer the ability to mount crossbars, making it easy to carry ski/snowboards, or an assortment of accessories.

      Of course, the biggest downside to hardshells is the expensive price tag, limited sleeping footprint, and size as it can fill the majority of your new roof rack.  Meaning, because most hardshells sit wider than your 4Runner, the rack purchased to mount the tent often gets swallowed by such tent.  This makes the ability to mount gear on the top of your RTT even more attractive.  Below we look at some of the top hardshells on the market.

      5. Roam Rambler

      Roam Rambler on 5th Gen 4Runner

      Roam has finally released a preview of their upcoming hard shell release.  The good news is in typical Roam fashion it doesn’t look like any hardshell we’ve seen before.  Roam took design elements from their rugged cases with their new hardshell, the Rambler.

      Like others, this tent is manufactured with a fiberglass ABS reinforced shell. However, it doesn’t look like the others, not on the outside or inside at least.  Forget that shiny finish with goofy patterns claiming better aerodynamics, the Roam is rugged just like the cases with a rough finish and ribbed roof design.

      Inside the tent, you get more than your two doors and 2 arching windows.  The Rambler boasts two large panoramic windows, giving you 360 degrees of viewing pleasure.  The tent’s dimensions are 84″x50″x11″ which is the perfect width for 2 people and your 4runner without looking too bulky.

      Although we haven’t physically seen it, the tent is set to be released in March 2022 and we’re excited!  We’ll be looking to get our hands on this and see how the opening/closing works as well as what the latches look like.  Those two factors can make and often break hardshell designs.  After all, the whole point of paying hardshell prices is the ease of use and if it’s not easy, we’ll pass!  However, excited about this one and looking forward to sharing more soon!

      Find it online:

      Features:

      • Capacity: 2 people
      • Weight: 130 pounds
      • 360 Degree views
      • Telescopic ladder

      Dimensions:

      • Closed: 84″ x 50.5″ x 11″
      • Sleeping Area: 81″ X 48″ x 36″

      6. GFC Superlite

      GFC Superlite

      Go Fast Campers (GFC) is one of the first and strongest tent manufacturers based solely in the US.

      The Superlite tent is their budget-friendly version of their RTT.  To keep it Superlite on your wallet, the fabrics are sourced internationally, however, the rest of the tent, like their original RTT and series of campers is manufactured in Belgrade, Montana.

      Similar in shape to most clamshells, the Superelite is well, super light. At only 80-pounds, this is without a doubt the lightest rooftop tent on the market.  Starting at $1299, it’s also one of the cheapest.  Keep in mind, unlike every other tent in this review, the Superlite does not include a ladder and mattress at that price, but even with those add on’s (~$400) you’re still looking at the cheapest option for a clamshell on the market.

      Although the materials seem to be durable and the design well thought out, only time will tell since it’s a rather new product with limited miles. The biggest downside on this guy is the wait, GFC has some of the longest production times of all these options.  Want it today, get it next year.  Okay maybe not that bad, but check directly for current lead times.

      Note: The Superlite has recently been discontinued. Talk of a V2 that is fully sourced here in the US is in the works.

      Find it online:

      • GFC Superlite (Temporarily Discontinued)
      • GFC Alternate Product (Platform Camper V2): Check Price

      Features:

      • Capacity: 2 people
      • Weight: 80 pounds
      • Quick Release Clamp System

      Available Add-Ons:

      • Telescopic Ladder
      • Superlite Mattress (air/foam combo)
      • Gear Storage
      • Crossbars

      Dimensions:

      • Closed: 50″ x 90″ x 4-6″(depending on bedding)
      • Opened: 50″ x 90″ x 50″

      7. 23Zero Kabari

      23Zero Kabari

      From afar, it may look like one of the dozen aluminum clamshells on the market, but look a bit closer and you’ll see the 23Zero Kabari is in fact more than just what meets the eye.  23Zero carried over many of the attributes that make the aluminum clamshell desirable, yet addressed some of the more universal complaints, especially from those north of 6ft tall making it one of the most popular clamshells heading into 2022.

      The internal length was stretched to 7′ 2″, which allows taller campers to fit comfortably.  Another complaint with other standard wedge low profile tents has been storage. The internal height now allows enough room to stow the ladder as well as your bedding. Just like other clamshells, just two latches open this beauty within seconds making it one of the fastest tents to deploy and break down on the market.

      Where we think the Kabari really steps up is the sleeping experience.  The 3″ Rebound Foam Mattress is more comfortable than any other clamshell we’ve tested and includes a nice removable waterproof mattress cover, as well as a 3/4″ padded condensation mat giving you an additional cushion.

      More importantly, the Kabari is the first hardshell to feature 23Zero’s signature LST (Light Suppression Technology) which completely blacks out any external light when fully closed.  That basically means you could sleep in until noon and not even notice the time of day until you unzipped, it’s pretty wild.

      Furthermore, they upgraded subtle features to this tent-like a larger surround awning as well as huge side windows which I think is a nice differentiator from what’s currently offered on similar models.

      Other features similar to the competition allow you to mount an awning directly to the tent thanks to its surrounding extrusion, as well as its ability to add crossbars.  A few other small details we love on this tent is that it comes with a lined interior roof, helping reduce condensation as well as insulating the tent. Attached to that is a nice organizer with multiple pockets as well as a clear sleeve to house a tablet for movie night.

      Lastly, toward the edge of the tent, 23Zero includes a small zipper to easily allow wires for roof-mounted solar.  It’s those small details that really separate 23Zero from the pack.

      Overall, another solid release from one of our favorite tent companies, 23Zero.  The tent comes in one size, external dimensions run 90″x55″.

      Find it online:

      Features:

      • Capacity: 2 people
      • Weight: 130 pounds
      • 360 Degree views
      • Telescopic ladder

      Dimensions:

      • Exterior: 90.5″ x 55.5″ x 8″
      • Interior: 86″ x 51.5″

      8. CVT Mt. Hood

      Hardshell Rooftop Tents

      The Cascadia Vehicle Tents (CVT) Mt. Hood is currently and has been our best selling tent   CVT has been around for over a decade and their biggest differentiator has always been their customer service and R&D.  The Mt. Hood may look similar to other manufacturers, and that’s because a lot of these tents are coming from the same factories in China.  Where CVT separates itself from the pack is they aren’t just ordering from a catalog, they go to the factories and do proper R&D before bringing a product to market.

      For this particular clamshell, the additions and upgrades are what makes it superior.  For example, a thicker rubber seal sandwiched between the top and bottom keep your tent clean and dry, the carpet on the top portion helps minimize moisture along with an included condensation pad under the mattress.

      The biggest differentiator with the Mt. Hood rooftop tent is its latches.  CVT’s unique latch design isn’t like any other clamshell on the market and truly makes it the fastest tent in the West. The Mt. Hood, similar to many aluminum clamshell tents on the market, opens in seconds and offers the ability to mount gear up top thanks to the included crossbars and aluminum extrusions.

      Two latches make it super easy to deploy and the 2-gas status leaves little room for failure.  This is a huge value in my opinion because hardshells are expensive, the more components and mechanisms needed to operate the more room for failure. With only two latches and 2 gas struts, these aluminum clamshells are some of the most bomb-proof rooftop tents on the market.

      Lastly, the biggest complaint about this style of tent is its inability to store gear inside.  Due to its super-low 6.3” profile, the tent doesn’t allow for a sleeping bag, let alone a ladder.

      To solve this problem, CVT created a second model, a two-channel bottom meaning instead of 1 extrusion, there are 2 making the tent sit 8” tall.  The extra 2” allows for ladder storage yet the tent still remains one of the lowest profile tents on the market.  In other words, CVT has improved every aspect of its aluminum clamshell.  It comes in 3 sizes, 50”, 56”, and 60”, (all 83.5″ long) and includes crossbars.

      Find it online:

      Features:

      • Capacity: 2 people
      • Weight: 160-200 pounds
      • Simple Latch Design
      • Multiple Options

      Dimensions:

      • Exterior 6.25″/8″ x 50″/56″/60″ x 85″
      • Interior 57″ x 47″/53″/57″ x 81″

      9. James Baroud Explorer

      James Baroud Explorer on 5th Gen 4Runner

      James Baroud has always been considered one of the global leaders in luxury tents. They are known for their textiles and quality, with an industry-leading 5-year warranty.  The biggest downside to James Baroud here in the states is their inability to adapt and sell in the US market.  Don’t be confused by the JamesBaroudUSA.com site, it’s misleading, inaccurate, and operated by the former importer.  If you had no luck connecting with them there, your experience with the new importer will likely be similar.

      The Explorer rooftop tent, like all of their tents, is hand-made in Portugal. It’s a hard shell tent made with three layers of fiberglass.  The most unique features include 360-degree views, a solar-powered exhaust fan, and a cargo deck capable of carrying 60lbs.

      The design is sleek yet still able to stow the ladder and your sleeping gear inside.  That ability does make it sit 13.5” high, however, unlike most tents with an exterior track system for mounting, James Baroud has a recessed track making it lie flush on the rack. In some cases, this can cause mounting issues with certain racks.

      As a dealer, I absolutely love their tents but like many, I am disappointed in their inability to control the brand here in the US.  A luxury tent deserves a luxury experience, and unfortunately, that’s not the case here.

      Note: The Explorer model is the same tent as the Evasion, same features and dimensions except for the roof cargo deck.

      Find it online:

      Features:

      • Capacity: 2 people
      • Weight: 145 pounds
      • Warranty: 5-year warranty on some parts, 2-year warranty on others
      • Solar Powered Ventilation Fan
      • Rechargeable LED Flashlight
      • Gear Storage
      • 2 Piece Aluminum Ladder

      Dimensions: 

      • Closed: 78.5″ x 55.5″ x 13.5″
      • Opened: 78.5″ x 55.5″ x 41.5″
      • Sleeping Area: 78″ x 55″

      10. AutoHome Maggiolina Carbon Fiber

      Maggiolina Rooftop Tent Review - Trail4R.com

      AutoHome has a long history spanning decades of building some of the best quality rooftop tents in the world.  They use the latest in aerospace materials, high-quality fabrics, and textiles that European tents are known for. To top it off, they also combine Italian design and old-world craftsmanship.

      With looks and performance at its core, AutoHome is the only company building a rooftop tent from carbon fiber.  This not only makes the tent incredibly strong but light as well.

      Priced at over $6k, it’s certainly not light on the wallet. However, it may be the most aerodynamic/streamlined tent on the market.   These tents include a premium 3.5-inch closed-cell foam mattress and some of the best included cold-weather insulation on the market.  The biggest downside to this tent is the length, at 72” long for both the small and large, this tent isn’t for basketball players or anyone above 6′.  Also, seeing one of these in person is a challenge and with that price tag, it’s hard to justify without doing that first.

      Find it online: 

      Features:

      • Capacity: 2 people
      • Weight: 123 pounds
      • 4-inches of insulation
      • Telescopic Ladder

      Dimensions:

      • Closed: 51″ x 83″ x 12″
      • Sleeping Area: 48″ x 72″

      11. Alucab Gen 3.1

      Alucab Gen 3.1 Rooftop Tent on 5th Gen 4Runner

      Alucab is made in South Africa and has been making tents and accessories since 2000.

      The new Alucab Gen 3.1 rooftop tent looks similar to previous models but comes with features that separate it from similar Chinese manufactured clamshells. These RTTs come standard with 12v power sockets, interior lighting, USB charging ports, and storage pockets. The insulation is made out of a closed-cell foam lining that will keep you warm or cool depending on what season you’re camping in.

      Find it online: 

      Features:

      • Capacity: 2-3 people
      • Weight: 198 pounds
      • Crossbars
      • Telescopic Ladder
      • Interior Lighting
      • USB Charging Ports
      • 12V Power Socket
      • Storage Pockets

      Available Add-Ons:

      • Awning

      Dimensions:

      • Closed: 90.5″ x 55.1″ x 11″
      • Opened: 90.5″ x 55.1″ x 78.7″
      • Sleeping Area: 82.7″ x 51.2″

      12. iKamper Skycamp 2.0

      Jon Lauzon (@magneto.trdpro) iKamper Skycamp 2.0

      The Skycamp 2.0 by iKamper is one of the first of its kind.  A unique approach that seemed to answer both hardshell and softshell needs. This RTT sleeps up to 4 people on its spacious king-size mattress, and like most hardshells, it does it faster than softshells similar in size.

      A lot of people believe iKamper is a leader, or a premium option due to its consistent marketing spend, retail partnerships with REI, and premium price tag, however, I’m not convinced.  For the price, I think there are several options that far exceed the quality of an iKamper.  If you’re going to spend close to $5k on a tent, look at the European options, they’ve been making tents for decades and include a warranty 2-3x longer.

      With companies like CVT & 23Zero now making similar-style tents at a much lower price, I don’t see the value here. However, don’t forget they do have a cool quilted map on the back wall of the tent, so factor that in.

      Find it online:

      Features:

      • Capacity: 4 people
      • Weight: Not Listed
      • Warranty: 2 year or extended 3 year
      • Telescopic Ladder

      Available Add-Ons:

      • Annex
      • Awning
      • Shoe Bag
      • Bracket Locks

      Dimensions:

      • Closed: 85″ x 55″ x 13″
      • Opened: 130″ x 101″ x 48″
      • Sleeping Area: 83″ x 77″

      13. 23Zero Armadillo

      Image Coming Soon!

      The much anticipated Armadillo from 23Zero is set to release this year, so what do we know? Well, 23Zero is very hush-hush on their releases so unfortunately not much but here’s the biggest sneak peek you’ll find on the internet. The tent is a hardshell aluminum base that opens to the side similar to an iKamper.

      The tent will also feature 23’s signature Light Suppression Technology (LST) – LST basically blacks out the interior light of your tent as well as reduces heat transfer by 20%.  No more waking up with the sun.  We also know the Armadillo will come in a 62″ and 78″ version, making it small enough for the back of a short bed, or big enough to sleep the whole family.

      Additionally, unlike other models in this style, this particular hardshell will have provisions for crossbars, allowing you to store gear on top of the tent.  Although exact dimensions and weights have yet to be released, 23Zero has a strong track record of getting it right the first time, which makes the anticipation and wait worth it in our opinion.

      Find it online:

      Final Thoughts

      Spirit of 1876 Rooftop Tent Installation Shop in Colorado

      And there’s your 2022 Rooftop Tent Buyers Guide for the 5th Gen 4Runner and well, many other makes and models as well. We like to call this one… Tent Talk. Remember there are pros and cons to all tents but hopefully, this helped you understand the basics and narrowed down your search. 

      Here’s a quick recap of the top 3 reasons people choose a softshell rooftop tent:

      • Size (more interior space when open, less footprint when packed)
      • Budget (half the cost of a hardshell)
      • Weight (lighter)

      The top 3 reasons people choose a hardshell rooftop tent:

      • Convenience (easy open/close)
      • Versatility (can mount gear directly to the tent)
      • Profile (sleek looking and more fuel-efficient). 

      In our opinion, both options are more comfortable, quicker, and safer than traditional ground camping, so what’s right for you can depend on these factors and more.

      At Spirit of 1876, we prefer a hands-on approach with an interactive showroom of all the top brands.  If you’re not local, we can give you a virtual tour of the tents and help walk you through options for your build.  By carrying the top brands in racks, tents, lights, awnings, storage, armor, and gear we’re here to enhance your next adventure!

      Call us (720.787. 9070), email us (info@spiritof1876.com) or drop in our DM’s, we will get you taken as quickly as we can. Please mention that you found on Trail4Runner.com when you can or DM, thanks!!

      Stay tuned for the latest details @Spiritof1876

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      N.S.
      N.S.
      7 months ago

      What would be considered the max RTT exterior width for a 5th Gen 4Runner? Looking at the FSR Evolution 55 and wondering if there are any overhang issues. Roof rack is SSO. Also looking at CVT and Alu-Cab. Any guidance is appreciated.

      Elliott
      Elliott
      6 months ago
      Reply to  N.S.

      I just installed a 55” FSR Odyssey, and it’s too big for my liking… going to sell it.

      daddy754
      daddy754
      17 days ago
      Reply to  Elliott

      I have never used a tent of this kind, but I can recommend this site, you will find what you are looking for

      Tom
      Tom
      7 months ago

      Really want roof cutoff conversion options

      Jason Leeman
      Jason Leeman
      8 months ago

      Whats the best rooftop tent removal hoist? Does anyone have anything they recommend for a dependable hoisting system? I want to get a good hard shell tent but don’t want to run it full time. Or would be open to a lighter tent that my wife and I can easily remove is there’s no good single man hoisting systems.

      Hans
      Hans
      7 months ago
      Reply to  Jason Leeman

      I just installed the Harken Storage hoist in my garage last weekend. Got it on Amazon. Took a good 6+ hours to install it correctly, but once installed, it easily lifted my CVT Mt Hood. I’m estimating I can either remove or install it on my rig in under 30 min. I’m storing in the garage, lifted near the ceiling. I added a few safety straps to ensure it secure.

      Gary
      Gary
      8 months ago

      tents that fit 3/4 racks would be interesting to know

      Fourth
      Fourth
      8 months ago

      “Full buyer’s guide” – all the brands we sell are great!!! and here are a few that we don’t sell — they have major shortcomings and are badddddd without factual comparisons, plus some weird swipes. lost a lot of credibility once i saw those

      Matt
      Matt
      8 months ago
      Reply to  Fourth

      Actually agree. Case in point – iKamper. They came up with a novel and effective innovation to increase floorspace in a hardshell RTT, and they executed it well. I’ve had my Skycamp for 3 years now and it continues to work and look great. I’ve never had a.) any quality issues or b.) any experienced overlander/RTT owner give it anything but rave reviews. … But, sure, it would be best to avoid putting products from a (implicitly dodgy) Korean upstart on my Japanese SUV when there are “European Options” available (with half the floor space and covers that will get scratched to shit by branches). OK 🙄

      Mac
      Mac
      8 months ago
      Reply to  Fourth

      It looks like they don’t sell most of the tents listed here actually… What tent are you referencing that was put down? The post actually read pretty unbiased to me. Curious to see which tents were actually referenced with shortcomings. If there are any better options here, can you share them or explain your comment? In the market for a hardshell right now and debating the CVT or that 23Zero kabari. thanks,

      Eric
      Eric
      8 months ago

      got my 3rd hand (im the third owner, two previous owners are my friends) pop-up RTT that’s made in china.

      Good thing about it is, it is powered operation! park, get leveled, plug in power, undo the latches, hit a button and it’s up! Reverse the process for tear down.

      I can’t believe no manufactures are making that now.

      Bill
      Bill
      8 months ago

      https://roofnest.com/product/condor-overland/
      I am supprised that they were not in the list because of many of the features that they offer in the price while others charge extra for the same features.

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