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Key Features to Consider Before Buying a Hard Shell Roof Tent

Dec. 04, 2021

If none of these hard shell roof tents appeal to you, that's okay. Once you're ready, you'll need to understand how to choose the right roof tent. We've done some research and found the right features that many experts believe are most important. Here are the features you should keep in mind before buying your next rooftop tent.


Hard Shell vs. Soft Shell

Softshell roof tents are more traditional and most closely resemble the design of a ground tent. However, they are not as stable as hardshell roof tents. Alternatively, hardshell roof tents are more stable and heavier. Keep in mind that hardshell roof tents also tend to be more expensive.

Car Roof Tent


Weight and weight capacity

Not every car is the same, and you need to know how sturdy your car is. The rooftop tent you choose should fit comfortably on top of your car without causing damage. This is where the weight comes in, and finding something under 200 pounds is critical.

If the tent is larger than the top of your car, a small portion of it may hang off the roof. If this is the case, weight-bearing capacity is also important. You don't want to destroy a part of the tent by being too heavy. However, these hard shell roof tents tend to have a lot of durability in most cases.


Internal capacity

Since you are buying a rooftop tent as a shelter, you need to keep in mind how many people will be sleeping inside. To find the right tent, you will need to check the dimensions. Generally, rooftop tents have an indication that will tell you how many people can be accommodated. However, some of them are very tight and you may need to look for a size larger.



If you do not have steps leading up to the tent, these features include ladders. You'll also need to look closely at windows, entry points, racking systems, awnings and other accessories. If you have additional features like a solar system, these may also be a great benefit. 


Waterproof Rating

Almost every rooftop tent you purchase will have something called an HH rating. This HH or hydrostatic head rating refers to how durable the tent will be in wet weather conditions. In most cases, you should not consider buying a roof tent with an HH rating below 2000mm if possible.


Is a hard shell roof tent right for you?

Finding the best roof tent is not difficult, but keep in mind that the best options are often very expensive. Hard shell roof tents are great value for money, and you can install them with minimal effort. But we understand that they are not for everyone.

If you're looking for a cheaper, more spacious option, you may want to consider a soft-shell roof tent.

We hope this guide helps you find the perfect hard shell roof tent for your next adventure!

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