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Best Rooftop Tents for SUVs and 4x4s 2023

What to consider when buying a rooftop tent for your SUV or 4x4?

We think it is important to think of the following questions before choosing a rooftop tent:

1. What is the weight limit of my vehicle?

2. What sleeping capacity do you need?

3. Hard-shell vs Soft-shell rooftop tents

4. Will you be camping in the rainy season?

Scroll down where we help answer those questions for you!

1. Roof Tent weight limits

No matter what you need to understand the weight limit of your vehicle.


We need to understand both the dynamic and static weight limits of your car. Stay with me here, this is actually a breeze.


The main one to focus on is the dynamic weight limit of your vehicle.

Dynamic Weight

Dynamic weight is simply the amount of weight you can have on your car while it’s in motion. Basically how the forces affect it from all directions while driving.


Where can I find it?

You’ll want to take a look at your car’s manual for the weight limit.


As long as the total weight of the rooftop tent + your roof bars is less than the dynamic weight limit of your car then you're golden.

Static Weight

Static weight is just the amount of weight your car can carry while standing still; this includes your gear and passengers. Can also be found in your vehicles manual.


If you're driving a car then we recommend rooftop tents weighing less than 65kg.

SUVs and 4x4s

Your weight limit is usually higher for both dynamic and static limits so you can look at rooftop tents heavier than 65kgs!

2. What sleeping capacity do you need?

What's the best roof tent size?


One of the most important considerations when choosing a roof tent is its size, as it affects how many people can sleep in it and what kind of gear you can bring.

In short, we believe you should get a roof tent that has a little extra space for comfort and if you ever decide to get a furry little friend.

In this article, we will explore the various factors to consider when choosing the best roof top tent size for your needs.


How many people can sleep in a roof top tent?


The number of people that can sleep in a roof top tent depends on its size. Roof tent sizes range from 1-4 people or even more. However, it's important to note that the number of people a tent can accommodate is not always the same as the number of people it can comfortably fit.

Consider the amount of gear you will be bringing with you, such as sleeping bags, clothing, and other essentials, as well as your personal preferences for space and comfort. If you want a spacious tent, it's better to choose a larger size than you actually need.


What is the common roof tent size?


The most common roof top tent size is a two person roof tent which typically measures W:140cm by L:240cm. 

Common two person roof tent


This size is ideal for couples as it fits two adults with some extra space. If you're traveling solo, a smaller tent might be more appropriate, such as a 1-2 person tent, which typically has a floor area of around W: 125cm x L:210cm.


Two Person Roof Tent Dimension


What mattress size do I need for a family?


 Family sized roof tent


When choosing a roof top tent for your family, it's important to consider the size of the mattress. You want to ensure that everyone has enough space to sleep comfortably, so it's essential to choose a tent that can accommodate the right mattress size. We recommend a minimum of W:140cm x L:240cm in mattress size if you are two adults and one child.

The best thing to do would be to test out how your family would fit in a king-sized bed or super king-sized bed as these are typically as big as roof tents go in terms of size.

The Latitude Tents Pioneer XL has a mattress size of W: 190cm by L: 240cm and can fit up to 4 adults.

Below is a chart referencing the typical bed sizes in the UK: 

Small Single 2'6'' x 6'3'' 75 x 190cm
Single 3'0'' x 6'3'' 90 x 190 cm
Small Double (Queen) 4'0'' x 6'3'' 120 x 190cm
Double 4'6'' x 6'3'' 135 x 190cm
King Size 5'0'' x 6'6'' 150 x 200cm
Super King Size 6'0'' x 6'6'' 180 x 200cm


What’s the best roof top tent size for two adults?


The best roof top tent size for two adults depends on your personal preferences for space and comfort. As mentioned earlier, the most common roof top tent size for 2-3 people has a floor area of around W:138cm by L:240cm.

At this size this is bigger than a double bed which would be more than enough for most people's situation. 




The best way to determine the best size for your needs is by testing out if you would be comfortable sleeping all together in your queen size or king-sized beds and going from there. With the table on bed sizes above you can start looking at roof tents that fit that criteria for you.

If you're like us and need your space when you're sleeping you may need to budget for a bit more space. We would recommend a soft shell roof tent that has a fold out mechanism as this saves space when the roof tent is closed and fits the majority of cars. 

3. Hard-shell vs Soft-shell rooftop tents

Hard-shell rooftop tents


Usually faster & easier to set up.

Are more durable as they are made from tougher material.


Can usually store mattress & gear in the tent when closed.


Some hard-shell rooftop tents allow you store gear on top i.e. your mountain bike.


- Can be expensive due to the tougher and more durable materials


- Heavier than soft-shell rooftop tents. Typically excess of 60kg


- Vehicle performance and handling is slightly worse than soft-shell rooftop tents being heavier and bulkier in nature. 

Soft-shell rooftop tents



+ Usually more spacious as they fold out into a larger sleeping area.


+ More affordable than hard-shell rooftop tents.


+ Lighter in weight so are more suitable for smaller cars.


+ Pack down smaller as they usually fold in half when closed.




- Are harder and more time consuming to set up and pack away. 


- May not be able to leave your bedding or mattress inside when closed


- Won't be able to carry additional equipment on top


4. Will you be camping in the rainy winter season?

 Camping in the Rain

Camping is one of the best ways to reconnect with nature, relax, and escape from the stress of everyday life. But what happens when the weather doesn't cooperate? Camping in the rain can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be a miserable experience. With the right gear, attitude, and preparation, you can still have a great time and make the most of your camping trip, even if the rain doesn't stop.

Here are the top tips for camping in the rain:

Choose the Right Gear

Your gear can make or break your camping experience, especially when it's raining. Here are some tips for choosing the right gear for camping in the rain:

1. Pick a Roof Tent with Good Water Resistance

If you plan on camping in the rainy season then consider a rooftop tent with good wind and rain resistance. We recommend a hydrostatic rating level of 3000mm. Look for a roof tent with a rainfly and has a high waterproof rating. A good rainfly should also have guy lines to keep it taut and prevent it from sagging and collecting water.

2. Wear the Right Clothes

Waterproof Jacket

When camping in the rain, it's important to wear the right clothes to stay warm and dry. Here are some tips:

1. Choose Waterproof Clothing

Invest in waterproof clothing, including a rain jacket and rain pants. Look for materials with high waterproof and breathability ratings, such as Gore-Tex or eVent. A good rain jacket should have an adjustable hood, cuffs, and waist to keep water out. 

2. Layer Up

Layering is key to staying warm and dry in the rain. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, such as wool or synthetic material, to keep sweat away from your skin. Add a mid-layer for insulation, such as a fleece or down jacket. Finally, top it off with a waterproof outer layer.

Stay Comfortable

Bring a Tarp

A tarp is a versatile piece of gear that can provide shelter from the rain and wind. Use it to create a dry area to cook or hang out, or as an extra layer of protection for your tent.

Keep Your Sleeping Bag Dry

Your sleeping bag is your sanctuary when camping, so it's important to keep it dry. Use a waterproof stuff sack to store your sleeping bag, and avoid wearing wet clothes or getting in with wet hair.

Keep Yourself Entertained

When it's raining, it's easy to get bored and miserable. Bring books, games, or a portable speaker to keep yourself entertained. You can also use the time to journal, plan future trips, or meditate.

Camping Reading

Stay Safe

Watch for Flash Floods

When camping in the rain, it's important to be aware of the risk of flash floods. Stay away from riverbeds and low-lying areas, and avoid camping in areas that are prone to flooding.

Bring Plenty of Food and Water

Camping in the rain can make cooking and staying hydrated challenging. Make sure to bring plenty of non-perishable food items that can be cooked indoors, such as soups or instant noodles. Bring a stove and cooking utensils that can be used in wet conditions. And don't forget to bring extra water, as it's easy to get dehydrated in wet weather.

Camping Food