Off-roading has always provided a way to escape and explore away from the clutter of everyday life. While we love our local parks, there's nothing more exciting than using our long trips side-by-side. In the past, that meant packing some coolers, a stove and tent, and using years of overland landing skills and gear to make things a little more comfortable on the road.
That's where the idea logically ends: with a rooftop tent bolted to a Honda. The tent is a large, lightweight unit with a fiberglass flap. And, thanks to its gas-assisted poles, it can be inflated in the time it takes for your partner to inflate their sleeping pad. Unlock the latch, flip open the lid and you're almost done. All that's left to do is unfold the platform, unroll the ladder, and lift the window cover. With a little practice, things will go from fully mobile to ready to sleep in about 10 minutes. Inside, you can accommodate up to four adults if you're happy with the comfort, ample ventilation, built-in LED lighting and even a skylight. Oh, and there's a comfortable built-in foam mattress.
Of course, none of this will work if this thing turns your gear into a dog. Initially, we were concerned that throwing 150 pounds side-by-side on the roof would make the machine awkward, but after three days of driving, we were surprised at how well it handled its new burden. Its fiberglass shell got rid of low-hanging branches that kept the dirt and dust out of the tent while the Honda male goat climbed up rocks, crossed deep water and slid down smooth two tracks as usual.
That's not to say the setup was perfect. Because of the angled roofline, we needed to use roof bars to separate the front attachment points. Even then, the tent still had a nice tilt. But that's okay. We wanted to know if a rooftop tent like this was a viable option for side-by-side camping, and it was. Next time, we'll find a flat roofline rig, put on some other useful pieces to spend time on the sticks, and make a splash.