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Best Soft-shell Rooftop Tents of 2023

What is a Soft-shell Rooftop Tent?

Soft-shell rooftop tents resembles a traditional ground tent and do not have hard exterior material.

They usually are made of lighter and softer materials than a hard-shell rooftop tent and have a full nylon or canvas body.

Soft-shell rooftop tents usually fold open so that they can expand into a greater sleeping area for you.

Since the rooftop tent folds open they will hang over the side of your vehicle and require more space when fully assembled.

Soft-shell Rooftop Tents Pros & Cons

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


What to consider when buying a soft-shell rooftop tent

1. Is the Rooftop Tent for a Car, SUV or 4x4?

 Roof Tent Weight Limits

Roof tents are becoming increasingly popular among outdoor enthusiasts. They offer a comfortable and convenient way to camp in the great outdoors without sacrificing the comforts of home. However, with this convenience comes the responsibility of ensuring that your car's roof can support the weight of the tent and yourselves when you’re in it.

In this article, we will discuss the weight limits of roof top tents, how many people can sleep in them, their sturdiness, and whether a roof can hold a 300 lb person.


Quick links

(Click the links below to jump to each section)


1. How much weight can I put on the roof of my car?

2. Where can I find my cars weight limit?

3. What weight limits do I need to know for roof tents?

4. Where can I find the weight limit of the roof tent and roof bars?

5. How many people can sleep in rooftop tent?

6. How sturdy are rooftop tents?

7. Can a roof tent hold a 300 lb person?



How Much Weight Can I Put on the Roof of My Car?


When it comes to roof tents, you should not exceed the weight limit recommended by the manufacturer of the tent or the car. Exceeding these weight limits can cause damage to your car, the roof rack, and is dangerous when driving.

In general, most cars have a roof weight limit of around 70kg but you must check your roof weight limits before purchasing any roof tent.


There are two weight limits we need to consider:

  • Dynamic Roof Weight Limit
  • Static Weight Limit


The Dynamic weight limit is the weight the roof of a vehicle can safely carry while moving.

Static weight limit is the load weight a car can safely hold when it is stationary.


So we just need to figure out the weight limit when you pack everything on your roof when driving, the dynamic weight limit.

Then we need to find out the static weight limit of your vehicle on your roof when stationary, since you’re going to be sleeping in the roof tent and potentially with your partner. This is the static weight limit.

Typically, the static weight limit is 4-5x times greater than your dynamic weight limit. 


Where can I find my cars weight limit?


You can find your car’s weight limit in two main places:

  • the user manual
  • and the sticker on the door of the driver’s seat.
Weight limit location

Some car manufacturers place this weight limit plate or sticker on the back of the car too.

The owner’s manual provides a detailed account of the gross vehicle mass, the roof load, and the gross combined weight. If you do not have your car’s manual, you can easily find it on the brand’s website or download it as a document on your device.


What weight limits do I need to know for roof tents? 


vw, volkswagen, automobile


When looking at how much weight can a car hold, it is important to note the weight ratings of the roof rack and the rooftop tents.

At first this can be tricky to understand but once you get it, you get it.


These are the main pieces of information you'll need:

  1. The Dynamic Roof Weight Limit of your car

  2. The Dynamic Weight Limit of your roof bars or roof rack

  3. The weight of your roof bars or roof racks

  4. The weight of your Rooftop Tent

  5. The weight of any additional car roof items

  6. The Static Weight Limit of the car


Using the above we are going check the following weight calculations:


For your roof bars make sure the:

Rooftop Tent Weight + Additional car roof items

is less than

Dynamic Weight Limit of the Roof Rack

For your car roof load make sure the:

Rooftop Tent Weight + Roof Rack Weight + Additional car roof items

is less than

Dynamic Roof Weight Limit

For your Static Weight Limit make sure the:

Gross vehicle weight + Roof Tent + Roof Rack + Additional car roof items + Luggage + Passengers

is less than

Static Weight Limit of the Car




Where can I find the weight limit of the roof tent and roof bars?


You should be able to find the weight limit of the roof tent in the specifications section of each roof tent and roof bars product page. If not it’s best to call in and double check with them.


How Many People Can Sleep in a Rooftop Tent?


The number of people who can sleep in a rooftop tent depends on the size and weight limit of the tent. Most rooftop tents are designed to accommodate two to three people. However, some larger tents can accommodate up to six people.

When purchasing a roof tent, it is essential to consider the size and weight limit of the tent, as well as the number of people who will be using it. It is also important to consider the weight limit of your car's roof and roof rack, as exceeding these limits can be dangerous.


How Sturdy Are Rooftop Tents?


Rooftop tents are designed to be durable and sturdy. Most tents are made from high-quality materials that are designed to withstand the elements and regular use. However, it is essential to check the weight limit of your car's roof and roof rack and ensure that your tent does not exceed these limits. Additionally, it is important to inspect your tent regularly and look for signs of wear and tear. If you notice any damage, it is essential to address it immediately to prevent any accidents.


Can a Roof Tent Hold a 300 lb Person?


Most car roofs can hold the weight of a 300 lb person, but it is important to check the weight limit of your car's roof and roof rack before attempting to install a roof tent. It is also important to remember that the weight of the tent and any other gear will add to the overall weight on the roof. Exceeding the weight limit can cause damage to your car, the roof rack, and the tent and can be dangerous.

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. 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