Camping is a favourite activity for people from all walks of life and a significant part of any hunting trip. It offers an excellent means of connecting with nature and escaping the trials and tribulations of our daily lives. For many, time spent camping while on a hunting excursion is a great way to relax and relieve stress.
When most people think of camping, they immediately picture the traditional tent that has been the old standby for decades, and hunters use these same tents that are popular with other campers, albeit with a camouflage design. These simple tents have served hunters well down through the years, but aside from improving materials and designing them to be easier to use, there has been relatively little innovation. They still serve their purpose, but many of today’s hunters are looking for something a little different. They want greater comfort and convenience to elevate their hunting experience, but what options are available?
Before we look at modern alternatives, let’s take a moment to review traditional tents and why they may not be your number one choice on your next hunting trip.
While these tents can certainly still do their job, they also have a number of drawbacks that are worth considering, including:
Relocating a traditional tent can be tricky, or at the very least, inconvenient. Ground tents will be anchored to keep them in place, which means that you effectively have to disassemble and then reassemble them any time you want to move to a new spot. If you are planning to move and explore multiple locations, this can be a hassle and can take time away from your other activities.
When packing for a getaway, trunk space is often at a premium, but ground tents can take up a large share of your cargo space. This becomes even more problematic if you are travelling as part of a group for a lengthy period.
Being out in the wild often means wildlife encounters. The walls of your tent will offer little to no protection from curious creatures, large or small.
To get a good night’s sleep in the average hunting tent, you will typically need sleeping pads or an air mattress. This eats away even more of your cargo space, but for many, going without them is not an option.
Camping sometimes exposes you to less than ideal conditions. Being on the ground, you are more susceptible to the cold, and moisture might seep through the tent floor. When temperatures take a big dip, you will likely find that your tent offers less temperature protection than you expected.
Today’s hunters and campers have an alternative that can solve all of these issues: the rooftop tent.
A rooftop tent is mounted, as the name suggests, on the roof of your vehicle, making it literally head and shoulders above normal camping. Let’s look at how a rooftop tent solve the issues from above:
Rooftop tents are typically much easier to set up than ground tents, often requiring only a few minutes due to their simple but clever design.
Moving your tent is a breeze when all it requires is moving your vehicle. No more disassembling, packing, moving, unpacking, then reassembling your ground tent. You can go where you want to go with greater ease than ever before.
One of the greatest advantages of the rooftop tent is the fact that it saves you a sizeable amount of cargo space that can be used for other essentials. This will give you the room you need for all your gear, food, and miscellaneous items.
Although being off the ground might seem a bit odd at first, you will be able to rest more easily knowing that you have greater protection from animals who might otherwise try to find their way into your tent.
Many rooftop tents feature built-in mattresses to provide you with a comfortable sleeping surface, eliminating the need for packing air mattresses or sleeping pads.
Being higher up almost always provides you with a better view. Having a roof-mounted tent gives you an elevated vantage point that helps you appreciate the scenery even more.
Rooftop tents save you storage space in your vehicle, but many also come with additional storage in the form of gear racks and pockets where you can store some of your essential items.
When comparing rooftop tents to ground hunting tents, the main factors that most will consider are the price and the features available. Let’s take a look at those.
Rooftop tents will generally be a bit more expensive than ground hunting tents. However, this is an example of getting what you pay for, as rooftop tents provide a greater value as a superior product built to better endure the elements while also offering greater comfort.
Rooftop tents really stand apart from ground tents when you look at their features and convenience. Some of the advantages that you will enjoy include:
Rooftops tents save you time and effort by being easy to set up and take down.
Many rooftop tents will include a built-in mattress to make you more comfortable and save you money.
Rooftop tents typically provide better insulation than the average ground tent, and being elevated, they protect against cold and moisture.
Rooftop tents are built to last, able to withstand the elements and being on the road, meaning they will last you for many hunting trips over several years.
As detailed above, rooftop tents also give you a better view, protection from wildlife, and greater mobility.
When it comes to recommendations for rooftop tents, the easy place to start is with Leitner Designs, where you will literally find the base for your rooftop camping adventures. Leitner launched in 2007 as a manufacturing firm and by 2014, shifted to manufacturing truck accessories. Today, that includes the Active Cargo System tent mounting brackets that secure your tent to your vehicle.
Some tents for your consideration:
The Meadowlark is a super-compact, lightweight softshell tent that weighs only 90 lbs/ 41 kg. It comes with a universal mounting kit, telescoping ladder with hardware kit, interior LEDs, and mattress. It sleeps 2 and is best for those who are 6’ and under. It is a great, compact, and affordable choice for those new to rooftop camping.
An updated and upgraded version of Roofnest’s most popular tent, the Falcon 2 includes a ladder, anti-condensation mat, LED lights, and dual detachable pockets. It also comes with a remarkably comfortable true memory foam mattress to give you a better sleep than you thought possible in a tent. A blackout coating ensures you can enjoy it even after the sun rises.
The Condor 2 XL is your choice when you are looking for a little extra room. It comes with a ladder, 2 detachable pockets, interior/exterior LEDs, mattress, sturdy, noise-blocking materials with blackout coating, and bug mesh windows. The Condor 2 XL sleeps up to 4, making it a great choice when you’re out with family or friends.
Rooftop tents provide a better way to camp by addressing the drawbacks of traditional tents, delivering a more comfortable, more enjoyable hunting and camping experience. Designed with convenient features such as a quick setup and built-in mattress, they are quickly becoming the go-to choice of the modern camper and hunter.
For more information about rooftop tents and how to elevate your next hunting trip, contact us today!