Two models fit the the cheap roof top tent category. One is the Smittybilt Overlander Rooftop Tent for $900 at Amazon.Com. The other one is the Raptor Series Offgrid Voyager Rooftop Tent for $850 at Amazon.Com.
The best cheap roof top tent is the Smittybilt Overlander. It leads by far in popularity at Amazon.Com. Nothing else comes close. That’s because it compares favorably to much more expensive roof top tents. It is a four season tent. It sleeps 2 to 3. It now has over 200 reviews at Amazon.Com. Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5. Check out the video below to see how it held up after one year.
How has my [Smittybilt Overlander] ROOF TOP TENT held up after 1 Year? – YouTube
The issues with this tent mostly revolve around the installation – mounting the tent on your vehicle. You’ll need to watch YouTube videos about the installation process because the instructions aren’t very good. Once you get the tent on your vehicle then the setup and take down at the campsite are pretty easy.
Some people find the floor a little uncomfortable and buy a 2in foam mattress cover. That seems to solve the problem.
One reviewer said:
Initial impressions are that I made a good choice going with the cheaper option. I made a quick cargo rack out of square tube from home depot and mounted this on my truck bed. One question I had prior to buying it was whether it could be mounted rearward instead of sideways like you always see. The answer is yes, you just bolt the rails on it differently. but the bolt holes are all equally spaced specifically to allow that so it doesn’t take any modification or extra effort. just look at where the hinges are. I have mine mounted towards the front of my truck bed so my dog can jump up to the tailgate and climb in – I’m not about to haul him up a ladder over the side. Also it’s sheltered from the wind so I won’t lose a significant amount of fuel economy.
The materials seem good. I live in washington and it’s fall, so it was drizzling when I unpacked it. That means another question of mine was answered – is the tent body itself water resistant or only the fly? It definitely is water resistant all over. I wouldn’t take off the fly and expect the tent to protect me from a monsoon, but in a light rain all the water was beading and running off and there was no water seeping inside. Also you won’t need to worry about wind blowing rain against the side and having it soak through. The mattress is decent, it’s not particularly comfortable but I don’t know that would be a reasonable expectation of a mattress that folds up this small.
The two main improvements I’d like to see for the 5th star would be anti-theft nuts (these things are super easy to steal and there’s not really a good way to secure it right now, but that applies to every manufacturer not just Smittybuilt) and a bigger rain fly.
Now Smittybilt has come out with another model: Smittybilt GEN2 Overlander Tent – 2583. Check out the video:
This tent is available at 4WheelParts.Com for $1,150. This next generation tent has solved the crappy ladder problem. The fabric is the same but the color is different. Overall, this tent looks to be very similar to the prior model, although there may be some minor issues addressed like the poor straps.
This tent is an interesting design: It’s about 7 feet long and the base doesn’t fold. You sleep along the length of your vehicle. Amazon.Com rating: 4.5 from 14 reviews. It sleeps 2. The cost is $850 which is the cheapest price out of the popular roof top tents at Amazon.Com. Don’t discount this tent until after you have read the questions and answers section. A lot of questions revolve around mounting on this vehicle or that vehicle.
Offgrid Voyager Rooftop Tent by Raptor Series – YouTube
The video shows how easy the set up is.
What one reviewer said from Amazon.Com:
I love how this thing fits on my bronco and H3! The inside is comfortable and it has little to zero road noise. I love how the windows keep it ventilated and double as pockets. The huge door is a bonus. Also, I love how the ladder still has room for repositioning on my vehicle with a 6 inch lift. The only thing I can think of that is a negative is how I wish the mounting rails were longer. This tent was easy to install and set up. Also, way easy to take down and drive home. Also, this is made of high quality materials and I see it lasting a long time. My wife and I love it. So does my dog.
This tent is fantastic in the rain, sun and snow! Great for all four seasons! Tested and verified