How to Save $300-500 on a Hardtop Rooftop Tent

A hardtop rooftop tent comes with both pros and cons. Here’s what you need to know, the best brands to buy and how to save money….

Nomad Hardtop Rooftop Tent Sleeps 2 People, Assembles Fast in 2 Minutes

Pros & Cons of Hard Shell Roof Tents:

1. First of all, hardtop tents come pre-assembled. Once attached to your roof rack, they set up in just a couple of minutes. The hydraulic lever lifts the tent, so assembly is almost effortless. In other words, they are ultra-convenient and easy to use.

2. Second, their hard top shell makes them extremely durable and hard-wearing. The case also has a slim streamlined designed for better efficiency while traveling.

Easy Rooftop Tent Sets Up Fast in 2 Minutes and has Fuel Efficient, Aerodynamic Design for Travel

3. Third, storing your tent on top of your car enables you to have more storage space inside your vehicle. Bring more gear, travel further and stay longer with this additional freedom.

All that said, these automatic hardtop tents come with some disadvantages too.

Inside View of a Hardtop Roof Tent for 2 People1. For one, they are small and only fit 2 people. Plus, you don’t get the high roof that comes with an on-ground pop-up camping tent. You can’t walk around, and you can’t do much more than sleep. (If you want to sleep 3-4 people on the roof, check out these rooftop tents.)

2. Furthermore, hardtop tents aren’t the cheapest tents. In fact, for some people, they may not even be affordable. These rugged tents are really designed for frequent travelers who want to convenience of a fast set-up tent.

3. In addition, you’ll need to have or buy roof racks for your car or truck. This accessory adds on to the expense, although you can typically get racks for about $50-100 (truck bed racks cost more).

Roof Racks for Rooftop Tents:

Hardtop Tent Mounted on Bed of Pickup TruckThese hardtop tents can attach on top of SUVs, Jeeps, pickup trucks and crossover vehicles. You just need the right roof rack.

TracRac makes the TracOne universal truck rack for pick ups that comes with crossbars and clamps. This heavy duty system can support up to 800 pounds, and it sits above the truck bed so you have more storage room underneath.

For SUV’s crossovers and other vehicles, many people use the CargoLoc Roof Top Cross Bar Set for rooftop tents. You can read the reviews for more information.

You can also use hardtop tents on Jeeps. For Jeep roof racks, check out the Smittybilt SRC Roof Rack.

Trustmade VS KingCamp Hardtop Roof Top Tents:

KingCamp Overland Rooftop tent with Hard Shell and Hydraulic LiftKingCamp makes a very similar hard shell roof tent to the Trustmade Nomad. However, it costs about $300-500 more. We’ve listed the differences below so you can get an idea of how they differ.

As you can see, the design looks virtually the same. Both versions feature ventilation windows on all sides, a front door awning, side straps and a hydraulic lift system.

Plus, they both conveniently assemble in a couple of minutes. In other words, they have very minor differences, and you may choose to get the model that has the best price.

Trustmade KingCamp
7’2″ x 4’1″ x 3’3″ 6’11” x 4’3″ x 3’9″
165 lbs 116 lbs
Weight Capacity
660 lbs 880 lbs
Color Options
Green, Beige Green, Grey, Khaki
Rain Fly Waterproofing
PU 2000mm Coating PU 3000mm Coating
Package Includes
Telescoping Ladder, 2″ Mattress, Mosquito Screens, Rain Fly, Solar Lantern Telescoping Ladder, 2″ Mattress, Mosquito Screens, Rain Fly

Note on Waterproofing: The minimum waterproof rating for tents is 1000mm. Trustmade’s fabric has double the minimum rating, while KingCamp has triple. Both offer heavy duty protecting and will last many years before needing a refresh of waterproof coating.

Specs for the Trustmade Nomad Hardtop Rooftop Tent:

  • Dimensions: 7’2″ Long x 4’1″ Wide x 3’3″ Tall
  • Closed Size: 7’2″ Long x 4’1″ Wide x 11″ Tall
  • Weight: 165 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 660 lbs
  • Tent Material: 280g T/C Rip-Stop Canvas
  • Waterproof: Yes (PU 2000mm coating)
  • UV Protection: Yes
  • Mosquito Screens
  • Frame: Stainless SteelTrustmade Nomad Rooftop Hard Shell Tent for SUVs, Trucks, Jeeps, Crossover Vehicles
  • Capacity: 2 Adults
  • 2 Colors: Black/Green or Beige/White
  • 2″ High Density Mattress Included
  • 7.6′ Extendable Aluminum Ladder
  • Detachable Storage Pouches Inside Tent
  • Comes with Solar Lantern
  • Brand: Trustmade
  • For Sale: Where to Get the Hard Shell Tent


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