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The Best Roof Top Tents, Australia 2020

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With the best roof top tents Australia offers, you have a quick and easy way to camp out in the great outdoors without having to carry extra equipment like a tent or camper trailer.Best Roof Top Tents Australia

There is a range of great contenders on the market for the best roof top tent, Australia, it’s just a matter of knowing what to look for. If you’re not completely sure what makes a great rooftop camping tent, then you are in the right place. I’ve written this complete buying guide to help you find the best rooftop tents Australia has on offer.

In this guide, I not only take you through what to consider when purchasing, but I’ll also share with you some of the best roof top campers, currently on the market. My detailed roof top tent reviews allow you to find exactly what you need at a glance.

Benefits of Owning the Best Roof Top Tent, Australia?

Firstly, why should you even bother opting for a rooftop camper when there are other options like tents and trailers or even motor homes out there?

Update September 2020: Our latest setup below – swapped the rooftop tent 4 person annex for the 6 person annex; more room for fridges and kit. Still sorting out the camping gazebo. Always a work in progress.😊

Well sure, if you have a ton of money to spend, a campervan or caravan could be great but they are expensive and not accessible to everyone. Or, if you have heaps of time in the world and don’t mind spending some of your precious camping trip setting up, pulling down and repacking a complicated tent, no worries.

However, if you want something affordable, quick to set up, that gets you off the ground, and that doesn’t take up valuable space in the car, a roof top camper could be just for you!

There are many reasons you might be looking for a rooftop tent. Maybe you have a big trip planned around Australia or maybe you just want a convenient way to go bush camping at the weekend. Whatever the reason, the best quality roof top tents make for a great way to quickly and easily camp just about anywhere.

Our Pick from the Best Rooftop Tents, Australia:

Don’t have time to read my entire guide on car top tents? Well, my pick for the top 2 are the following:

  1. Darche Panorama 2 Roof Top Tent with Annex – High quality product in every way at a sensible price point.  It is incredibly easy to install and set up, comes with a spacious sleeping area, is durable for the rugged Aussie terrain and the added annex is a really useful extra area.  Click here to check it out.
  2. Adventure Kings Roof Top Tent + 4-Person Annex – It’s true you get what you pay for, but this rooftop tent represents great value for money.  If you’re a weekend getaway person or just don’t want to spend a lot of dollars, then this is the one for you.  Overall it’s a sound product that offers a lot of flexibility.  We own one ourselves.  Click here to check it out.

The Best Roof Top Tents, Australia 2020, Comparison Table

Below is a brief overview of all the products reviewed in this guide. With this table, you can quickly compare the top rated roof top tents and their features side by side. For more information about each, keep reading for my full reviews below.

ProductTypeSleeping Area (metres)Price
Darche Panorama 2Soft Shell2.4 x 1.4Check Price
Adventure KingsSoft Shell3.1 x 1.45Check Price
ARB Simpson IIISoft Shell2.4 x 1.4Check Price
23Zero Dakota 1600Soft Shell2.5 x 1.5Check Price
Kwiky Pop UpHard Shell2.0 x 1.0Check Price
Camper Pop Up (Electric)Hard Shell2.1 x 1.4Check Price
James Baroud Explorer EvolutionHard Shell2.0 x 1.4Check Price

What to Consider when looking for the Best Roof Top Campers

Before rushing out and purchasing any old rooftop tent, there are a few things to consider to make sure it fits your needs perfectly. You might think all rooftop campers are the same – but they just aren’t. There are a few different factors to consider as well as some personal preferences.

Hard Shell vs Soft Shell

First of all, you should decide whether you need the best hard shell roof top tent Australia offers or whether a soft top will be adequate.

A soft rooftop tent is much more like a standard tent with canvas roof and walls. These are a great option if you’re just looking for a cheap roof top tent as they are simpler in design and materials and usually cost less. They are also easy to unfold and set up.

Hard shells are named as such because they come encased in a hard shell (not so surprising) so they look a little like a rooftop storage box. These are a little heavier but the shell adds extra protection during rough weather or in dusty outback areas. Hard shells are usually super fast to set up and basically pop up (you might hear them called pop up roof top tents).

Ease of Installation

Typically, it will be secured to the roof top tent racks of a 4×4 vehicle and you’ll need to have these fitted prior. Make sure your roof rack for roof top tents is compatible with the model you choose. You will also need to make sure that your vehicle and roof rack is properly rated to support the weight.

Most of the best car camping tents come with clear and detailed instructions on how to fit them and will include all the tools and fittings required. If you’re a fairly handy person and follow the instructions carefully, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

Ease of Setup

An easy install is important but even more vital is an easy setup! Nobody wants to spend hours at their destination setting up the tent and battling with poles and pegs.

Look for something that quickly pops out and has minimal poles required. Many of the options in this buying guide can be assembled within just a few minutes. Often you may find the access ladder is used as a handle to push the tent back into its box, which is a great feature.

Space and Comfort

Best Rooftop Tent Australia
Full setup – rooftop tent + gazebo tent at Lake Cootharaba

Roof top campers have come a long way and modern options can be surprisingly spacious and comfortable. Simply being off the ground can make your camping experience much more comfortable but there are other factors to consider.

Before purchasing, think about how many people will be using it regularly.

  • Are you a solo camper?
  • Camping couple?
  • Do you need space for a child as well or might do in the near future?

The built in roof top tent mattress should be something you can happily sleep on all night. There will be extra cost if it’s uncomfortable and you have to buy an additional camping mattress.

Durability

As with any camping gear, durability is so important. The Australian terrain and weather can be notoriously testing at times, especially if you plan on doing outback or bush camping.

The canvas of the tent itself should be high quality, durable, weatherproof and come with double stitched seams. All hardware needs to be corrosion resistant and able to stand corrugations and rough road conditions, just in case.

Other Features to Consider

  • Weight: Look for a lightweight option. Lifting something heavy onto the roof of your car is difficult but that added weight will also change your driving experience and mean higher fuel consumption.
  • Awnings: You’ll see plenty of options with additional annexes. These can be great if you need extra space but try to find something that can be set up with or without, for those days you just want a quick set up.
  • Openings: Being waterproof is important but zippable mesh openings are vital in our hot Aussie summers.

Roof Top Tent Reviews, Australia

Now that you know exactly what you’re looking for, read our roof top tent reviews, Australia, to find the perfect option for your needs.

Darche Panorama 2 Roof Top Tent with Annex

This soft-shell roof top tent from well-known brand Darche is built with quality materials, comes with an added spacious annex, and is specifically designed to withstand Australia’s rugged terrain.

The tent itself weighs just under 64kg with the annex an added 7.4kg. Installation is surprisingly straight forward, thanks to the clear and detailed instructions. The tent comes with all brackets, mounting plates and bolts needed to fit the tent and also includes the correct size wrench.

Once installed, the assembly is really quick and easy to with just one person. Simply remove the cover, release the straps, use the ladder as a lever to pull the tent down and then insert the poles into the lugs and peg down the guide ropes. Check out the handy video below to see just how simple this process is!

The tent has a good-sized sleeping area (2.4m x 1.4m) and the high density 50mm mattress provides a comfortable night sleep. The added annex features 3 way access and even a vehicle access door making this one of the best car top tents.

Other great features include 320gsm poly/cotton ripstop canvas, full width 180° side windows, a telescopic ladder, built in air vents, and double stitched seams.

>>>>Click here to read more reviews and to check the current price.

Adventure Kings Roof Top Tent + 4-Person Annex

This is a soft roof top tent from Adventure Kings that is incredibly spacious and even comes with the option of an impressive 4-person annex to make it even bigger.

The tent itself weighs 64.5kg which is pretty standard for roof top tents. Installation is super quick, just place the tent on top of your roof rack and use the included plates and bolts to secure it by tightening with the wrenches.

Assembly is easy, even with just one person and takes about 3 minutes! Remove the cover, unbuckle the straps, slide the ladder out then use it to pull the tent down and, finally, attach the support bar.

The sleeping area is a 3.1m x 1.45m, which is extremely generous for this style of rooftop tent.  The extra-thick 75mm open-cell foam mattress is great for a comfortable night sleep. The added 4-person annex turns this tent into a 4 to 6 person sleeping area.

Other great features include 320gsm polycotton rip-stop canvas, large doors and windows on all 4 walls, adjustable 2m alloy ladder, and a heavy-duty PVC floor that’s easy to remove and clean.

>>>>Click here to read more reviews and to check the current price.

ARB Simpson lll Rooftop Tent

If you’re looking for something from a trustworthy and well-known brand, check out the Simpson lll rooftop camper from ARB.

This tent is pretty hefty, weighing in at 81kg so be sure to check your vehicle’s roof rack capacity. Installation is fairly easy but you need to attach the rails to the tent base first and it is a little bit of a fiddly job. Once the rails are attached the whole thing is easily connected to a vehicles roof racks but you will need some extra tools on hand.

Assembly is much quicker than the installation and easily done alone. Simply remove the cover and compression straps, use the ladder to pull the tent down and then slide the support bar out and you’re done.

The sleeping area measures 2.4m x 1.4m and can comfortably fit two people. The 2.5 inch high density foam mattress is comfortable and comes with a removable cover to make washing easier. The additional annex adds enough sleeping area for two extra people or a great private space for sitting or changing.

This rooftop camper also features high quality, waterproof, poly/cotton rip stop canvas, anodised aluminium retractable ladder and windows on all 4 sides.

>>>>Click here to read more reviews and to check the current price.

23Zero Dakota 1600 Roof Top Tent

Another rooftop tent from a familiar Aussie brand is the Simpson lll rooftop camper from ARB.

This rooftop camper weighs in at just over 64kg and is made from a high quality 280gsm ripstop polycotton canvas that’s lightweight yet durable. There is a full installation kit included and it fits most popular brands of roof racks.

Assembly is easy to do single handed. Like most other soft options, you just remove the cover and straps, use the ladder to pull the tent out and down then click the support bar into place.

The sleeping area measures 2.5m x 1.5m and comes fitted with a 65mm high density foam mattress with a waterproof base to protect from condensation.

This rooftop tent also features light suppression technology to keep the interior extra dark, seam sealed throughout for added weather protection, telescopic ladder, windows on all 4 sides, and a mesh skylight for star gazing.

>>>>Click here to read more reviews and to check the current price.

Best Hard Shell Roof Top Tent, Australia: Kwiky Hard Shell

This pop top roof tent is a great option if you would prefer a hard shell, it’s super quick to set up and I really think it’s the best hard shell roof top tent Australia offers for the affordable price.

The tent weighs 73kg and the roof is made from an ABS anti-ageing polymer and features a streamlined design to protect it whilst travelling. The material walls are made from weatherproof 320gsm canvas and the roof overhangs to channel water away.

Assembly could not be quicker and is the most impressive feature of this option. It takes under 2 minutes and all you need to do is unlatch the sides and let the internal struts pop the tent out and do the work for you. There is even a long strap on each end so packing up is just as easy.

The sleeping area measures 2m x 1m with a 50mm open cell foam mattress for comfort. Although this is a slightly smaller size than some of the other options, that’s pretty normal for hard shell rooftop tents.

This rooftop camper also features a telescopic ladder for easy access, windows on all 4 sides, and midge proof mesh on all openings.

>>>>Click here to read more reviews and to check the current price.

Camper Hard Shell Roof Top Tent

If you don’t mind spending a little extra cash to get the absolute best with some great added features, take a look at this super simple to use electric roof top tent.

This fibreglass roof top tent is made with durable ripstop waterproof canvas walls, a hard protective shell and the poles are all lightweight but strong aluminium alloy.

Assembly is completely hands off and the easiest of all the options in this buying guide. You simply plug the tent into your cars cigarette lighter and the remote operation uses your cars battery to open and close the tent.

Once assembled the sleeping area is 2.1m x 1.4m and comes fitted with a 60mm high density foam mattress with a removable cover so it can easily be washed.

This hard shell tent features an LED internal ceiling light, a telescopic ladder, and mesh windows on all 4 sides to let the breeze in but keep insects out.

>>>>Click here to read more reviews and to check the current price.

James Baroud Explorer Evolution

If you’re looking for a serious 4wd roof tent, look no further than the Explorer Evolution!

This rooftop camper weighs in at just 60kg, making it a surprisingly lightweight option. It’s totally waterproof and even wind tested to 120km/hr. This tent is made from a high quality double stitched, aluminised polyester fabric. There are 6 fabric coatings that are anti UV, non-perishable, 100% waterproof, breathable and reflect the suns rays.

Assembly couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is unclip the sides and the gas strut opening and closing mechanism does all the work for you.

The sleeping area is a comfortable 2m x 1.4m and fitted with a high density mattress with an an ISO world rating for air permeability and it has a removable, washable cover.
This rooftop camper also features a solar powered fan to help avoid condensation, removable/rechargeable LED torch for internal lighting, telescopic ladder, and windows on all 4 sides.
>Click here to read more reviews and to check the current price.

Read Our Other Detailed Buying Guides

The Best Camping Fridge, Australia 2020 – Your Complete Guide

The Best Camping Generator, Australia 2020

What Is The Best Pop Up Tent, Australia 2020

Your Guide to the Best Camping Stove, Australia in 2020

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Best Roof Top Tent Australia

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2 Comments

  1. Luxe Rover

    Excellent review Keith. Personally I’ve narrowed it down to the 23Zero roof tent for price and quality

    • Keith

      Thanks mate. They’re a good unit, for sure. I’ll be posting some more reviews very soon. Cheers.


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