Out of all the rooftop tents at Amazon.com four are popular, and out of those four two come from Tepui: Ayer 2 and Kukenam 3. But Tepui also makes 4-person tents: Autana 4, Ruggedized Kukenam 4 and Ruggedized Autana 4. I’m going to walk through going from Kukenam 3 through 4 tents ending in the Ruggedized Autana 4. Although, it’s not hard to figure out that bigger models weigh more, cost more and hold more people. Also, the ruggedized versions have thicker material which adds to the weight.
Kukenam 3 to Autana 3 to Autana 4 to Ruggedized Kukenam 4 to Ruggedized Autana 4
(No Kukenam 4)
Here are some specs on all five tents:
|Specs||Kukenam 3||Autana 3||Autana 4||R. Kukenam 4||R. Autana 4|
Notice the closed size for each tent. The 3-person tents have the same closed size and sleeping area. The 4-person tents too.
What is the difference between the Kukenam 3 and Autana 3? Same base but the Autana has overhang for an annex.
“The Explorer Series Autana 3 offers an extended private canopy entrance and includes a removable annex with PVC floor, side screened windows and a rear door for easy access into your vehicle.” – Source:
They have the same sleeping area and same material. The Autana-3 has an extended canopy entrance. You can see this by comparing photos below.
Take a look at a photo of the Autana 3:
Now look at a picture of the Kukenam 3:
The Autana 3 has a much more extensive awning right over the entrance as compared to the Kukenam 3.
Now let’s look at the annex (more room for dressing) that comes with the Autana 3. For Kukenam 3 you can purchase a smaller annex separately.
Annex for the Kukenam 3:
In essence, the Autana 3 is a Kukenam 3 with much larger annex that incorporates the canopy entrance.
Let’s look at the Autana 4. It’s just like the Autana 3 only bigger. Take a look at the inside of the tent:
It looks like 2 adults and 2 child could work but they might be a little snug. Here’s a picture of the outside:
The Autana 4 is 150lbs which is a little heavy but doable. Once you get over 165lbs then it would be a good idea to use something like a truck or trailer. The next two tents are over 200lbs.
What makes a tent ruggedized?
What is the difference between the Kukenam 3 and Ruggedized Kukenam 4 besides the size?
This is what you get (extra) with the Ruggedized Kukenam 4:
– 360g (vs 260g) Dual Stitched Fabric (40% heavier than standard models)
– Anti-condensation mat (1/2″) under the mattress
– Diamond Plate Base
– Fully wrapped 3/4″ heavy duty internal frame
– Heavy duty 3-bolt hinges and welded aluminum base construction
– Extra-large internal pockets, gear anchor points, and bedding straps
This Ruggedized Kukenam 4 weighs 210lbs compared to the regular Autana 4 which weighs 150lbs. To me that increase in weight is a game changer unless you’re mounting it on the bed of a truck or a trailer.
In the video below a couple mounted a Tepui Ruggedized Autana-3 (195lbs) on an FJ Cruiser. They discuss the pros and cons of rooftop camping:
She does mention how windy conditions affect driving. Overall, they really like this tent and rooftop camping. Notice the tie downs in the video. That’s a good idea.
What’s the difference between the Ruggedized Kukenam 4 and the Ruggedized Autana 4?
The difference is the same as the regular Kukenam 3 and Autana 3: The Autana comes with an extended canopy entrance and an annex. The Autana is ruggedized just like the Ruggedized Kukenam 4. Mostly that consists of heavier fabric, anti-condensation mat and some beefed up areas.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Just because you can mount a really heavy tent on a vehicle doesn’t mean you should. If you change the rack to accept a heavy tent then you still have a problem – a center of gravity problem. That means you still need to be mindful of the original factory cargo limit that applies while the vehicle is in motion. Vehicle handling could be adversely affected by changing the center of gravity. You’ll need to take it easy until you understand how your vehicle reacts to various conditions.