We've been going camping for years, and we've written previously about locations such as Loch Lomond that we take our tent to regularly for camping trips. And up until recently, our camping trips had been pretty much the same - we take a pop-up tent, a few chairs, and a crate of beer.
But there has been one big change for us in recent months, and that's the addition of a car roof tent to our camping equipment. We now leave our old pop-up tent at home and instead set-up our car roof tent before we set off on a camping trip.
We've tried a number of car roof tents over the past year, and although we mostly use our Tentbox Lite (read our review of our Tentbox here), we've also been impressed by a few of the other car roof tents that we've tried. We thought it would be useful to round up the best car roof tents that we've tried, let's get into it:
Tentbox Lite 1.0
It's the car roof tent that we've used the most and actually bought for ourselves - the Tentbox Lite 1.0 is probably our favourite car roof tent that we've tried. It's got enough room for 2 people (maybe even 3 smaller people at a push), but we slept in it on our own and had a very comfortable night.
It's considered an entry-level car roof tent and I'm sure that some camping snobs might stick their nose up at such a basic tent, but we love it. The Tentbox Lite 1.0 is, as the name suggests, light and compact.
This is also one of the cheaper car roof tents that you can buy - we picked ours up new for just over £1000, which seems very reasonable given how much use we get out of it. Learn more here - tentbox.com
iKamper Skycamp 2.0
We've started to see more iKamper car roof tents on the roads, and we're not surprised at all by this - since we tried the iKamper Skycamper 2.0, we've been obsessed with the brand. This car roof tent has space for 4 people and comes with a very comfortable king-size bed with a polyfoam mattress. We helped install one of these and, unlike some of the other car roof tents we've tried, the iKamper Skycamp 2.0 arrived with all of the mounting hardware that is needed to fix it to your car.
Despite how large and spacious this car roof tent is, it was very quick to set up, and took us around 3 minutes to get it set up. We also love the large windows which provide lots of light and great views during the day, but which at night can be covered by a thick poly-cotton canvas which blocks out all light and keeps you extra warm (alongside the quilted insulation).
Learn more and buy this car roof tent here - ikamper.uk.com
Latitude is not a car roof tent brand that you'll see as often as Tentbox, but having tried the Latitude Pioneer car roof tent we really think the brand is worthy of more attention. The Pioneer car roof tent from Latitude is an excellent product, and we were very impressed when we tried it.
This car roof tent costs about £1300 from the official Latitude website, but we've seen it sold for a bit less elsewhere.
The mattress which comes with the Pioneer is made from high-density foam and we found it to be super comfortable, probably the most comfortable mattress that we'd tried in any car roof tent.
The Pioneer is made from polycotton ripstop fabric which is windproof and water-resistant,
The Pioneer could fit up to 3 people, but we think it's ideal for 2 people who want lots of room.
The Latitude Pioneer that we tried was fitted to a Land Rover Defender (pictured), but this car roof tent can be attached to any car which has roof bars and a load rating of more than 55kg. Learn more and buy it here - latitudetents.com
If money was no object then we'd probably buy ourselves a Tentbox Classic - it has everything that we love about the Tentbox Lite 1.0, just with a few added extras which really make a difference. It's almost double the price of the Tentbox Lite, and although we wouldn't say that it's twice as good as the Lite 1.0, there are a few extra features which we really like.
For starters, you get a lot more storage in the Classic compared to the Lite 1.0. We like the inside pockets in the Lite 1.0, but if we're using it for more than few days in a row then we tend to keep our belongings in the car rather than inside the Tentbox as there isn't enough room for larger items. We really like that the Tentbox Classic has room for loads of stuff, so we can keep all of our clothes and other belongings such as books and tech inside it in either one of the side pockets (they're larger than the small pockets in the Lite 1.0) or the cargo net at the top.
This was also faster to put up than the Lite 1.0 - Tentbox claims that it takes 60 seconds to put the Classic up, but we think it was more like 90 seconds (still very quick). The Lite 1.0 takes us about 5 minutes to set-up, which is still very quick.
One of the first things we noticed about the Tentbox Classic versus the Tentbox Lite 1.0 was the difference in shape - the Tentbox Lite 1.0 looks like a normal tent and has the classic pyramid tent shape, whereas the Tentbox Classic has more of a box shape and when you're inside it, it feels more like you're in a bedroom than a tent.
James Baroud Discovery
The Discovery is considered to be the entry-level car roof tent from the James Baroud range, but we were really impressed by it and we're looking forward to trying more of the tents from the James Baroud range.
For us, the standout feature of this car roof tent was how quick it was to put up - the team at James Baroud claims that it takes 15 seconds, and it actually did take almost exactly that long to set it up when we used it, which blew us away. Because this tent has a clamshell design, you basically just lift it up and you're immediately able to use it, which is so useful if you're the type of person who hates setting up a tent.
This tent is ideal for one person, but you could fit 2 people of average size in here if you don't mind being snug. We also really like the shell on this tent, which helps to protect it. Learn more and buy it here - jamesbaroud.com