Smrt Summit Suit roof top tent on top of a parked Toyota 4Runner on Vancouver Island looking out at the ocean. A lady is sitting smiling inside the roof top tent.


Many people find themselves asking, why should I buy a roof top tent? You know you’re interested but not quite sure the investment is right for you. You find yourself thinking, “ My regular tent has been just fine”. That right there is the answer, it is... just fine. Roof top tents give your adventures more versatility, usability, weather proofing and accessibility. If you're thinking about a roof top  tent the idea of a van or trailer purchase must have crossed your mind. A roof top tent is an affordable investment choice in comparison.

Whether your main goals are to get away for a quick relaxing weekend, explore new terrains or reach new heights off-roading, a roof top tent will meet your needs. Exhaustion will kick in and you’ll want the most comfortable place to rest up and do it all over again. They can be attached to any vehicle that supports an after-market roof rack and the tent will accommodate all adventures you’re planning to have in your vehicle! This makes them a versatile choice and allows you to bring good sleep anywhere you find yourself.

Imagine driving up a mountain, sleeping on a mattress (that’s right, a mattress!) and waking up to stunning views from high up on top of your vehicle, from experience, it’s a game changer. Roof top tents are durable, built to last, as well as typically more insulated than a tent, allowing your adventures to last season to season. 

A series of three images. First one is a roof top tent on a truck, open and with a lady sitting in it. Second one is a close up of someone's feet climbing up a ladder. Third is a view from inside to outside of a lady with her dog cuddling in side the roof top tent.

Key Components of Roof Top Tents:


Ease of use is one of the best qualities in roof top tents! Typically roof top tents have minimal set up and take down time and come with a mattress embedded in the tent. Hardshell roof top tents use latches or straps, and upon releasing them the tent pops open and you can be set up in a matter of minutes or less! Softshell roof top tents require slightly more set up, but they come with their own perks as well. Both are useful for road trips, remote areas, rocky terrain, or just wanting a comfortable sleep with less packing and prep involved.


A SMRT soft shell roof top tent set up with chairs and a cooler outside. On top of a highlander in the desert of Drumheller Alberta.


People often say “I want to get a roof top tent, but I have to wait until I have an SUV or truck”. This is not the case! No need to postpone your exploration and recreation, as a roof top tent will mount to any vehicle that will support an after-market roof rack. Yes, you can even get a roof top tent for your car or hatchback. There are many options for what roof rack you can get, though it is important to ensure it has or supports cross rails and the weight capacity will sustain the added weight. Our Summit Suite tent offers the ability to add extra weight on top with cross rails, to store any extra cargo while on the move. We’ve set up solar panels on some and have shower accessories that come in handy when adding on a few extra days here and there to your weekends away.


Everybody has a different sense of adventure, but if you’re interested in roof top tents, it’s likely you’re passionate about being outside and exploring. Maybe it's fishing, mountain biking, hiking, overlanding, or just having a ‘couple’ drinks with your pals in the bush. The durability and ridiculously quick set up and take down time makes a roof top tent the perfect companion for rocky or difficult terrain, allowing you to go further and sleep better! Having a roof top tent on your vehicle keeps you ready for whatever adventures get you excited.

If you love off-roading or overlanding, check out our Heavy Duty Mounting Brackets, we recommend them for taking your tent out on difficult terrains!

A Toyota 4Runner with a SMRT Summit Suit roof top tent on top driving over some difficult rocky terrain.



The days of waking up sore on a deflated air mattress or losing sleep due to uneven or rocky ground are over. With a roof top tent you can leave the rock in the “Rock & Roll’’ you're listening to around the fire and sleep on a high-density foam mattress. The unspoken rule of “oh your glamping or cheating the outdoor experience” is silly, you’re allowed to be comfortable while enjoying the great outdoors. Having a roof top tent mounted to your vehicle allows you to take a comfortable and insulated sleeping area so you can explore well rested wherever and whatever conditions you end up in. Which lends to our next point, weather resistance!


Weather Resistance: 

Typically roof top tents are more insulated than ground tents, often having internal quilting or anti-condensation mats. Being off the ground and shielded from rain or snow, a roof top tent will help keep you clean and dry. Awnings are a great addition of shade or keeping the elements at bay around any doors you might need to open. This allows you to camp all year round, provided you have access to appropriate clothing and gear for when the weather get's cold, wet and/or snowy. Have a read through our Winter Camping post to make sure your ready.


A guy with a rain jacket on looking at a Toyota 4Runner with a SMRT Summit Suit roof top tent on it. The tent is closed and it's raining out.


Roof top tents are not just accessible in the sense of ease of use, they also make for greater adventures as they allow you to bring a mobile base camp with you! Trailers and RVs have more comforts of home, though are not as easy to take just about anywhere. A roof top tent will come along wherever your vehicle can go! This makes them perfect for off-roading and backcountry settings.


Affordability in comparison to Trailers or Vans:

Roof top tents are an investment, however a much smaller investment than a trailer, RV or van. A roof top tent will not grant you plumbing or running water but we've tested and loved the camping showers and portable pressurized water systems we offer. They provide you with a smaller, still comfortable and more mobile base camp!


To learn more about roof top tents take a peek at our Roof Top Tent models.

 Stay Adventurous!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *