Roof Top Tent Vs Ground Tent: Which One Is The Better Choice?

Roof top tent vs ground tent

Tent camping is an excellent activity you should try once in a while to relax your mind and refresh your body. However, in the case you are new to the hobby, you probably have lots of question regarding every aspect of the trip. Among them, you may have a hard time deciding the style of tent to use. Roof top tent vs Ground tent, which one should you go after? Well if you need additional information about these tents, you come to the right place. This article will provide you with the tents characteristics and their performances in the wilderness.

See previous article: The Best Tents For Rain And Wet Weather Camping

Roof top tent vs ground tent


  • Roof top tent

Roof top tent vs ground tent 1

As the name suggests, a roof top tent is located on top of a vehicle or a trailer. By keeping the occupants off the ground, the tent helps you avoid inhospitable terrains and dangerous animals. Since the tent is attached to a movable platform, you will be able to transport the tent relatively easy. The setup of the tent is quite simple as well, all it takes is a couple minute to deploy and the tent is ready to be used. Should you want to cover a lot of ground with a comfortable shelter at your side, you won’t go wrong with a roof top tent.

  • Ground tent

Roof top tent vs ground tent 2

Stable and spacious, a traditional ground tent is usually sufficient to let you rest and sleep in comfort.  It could take a bit of time to set up but you don’t have to climb up a ladder to get inside. Because the tent is on the ground, you are less affected by the wind. Another great thing about the ground tent is it able to accommodate many people without feeling cramped. You still have to choose the right model to achieve enough space though. Generally, the ground up tent is an effective shelter for camping purpose that everyone can put to good use.

Camping site

As long as the place is level, the roof top tent should give you no trouble. Because the tent is supported by the underneath platform, you don’t have to worry about mud, rock, surface temperature and so on. In the other hand, the ground tent got many requirements you have to fulfill before you are able to set it up. The search for a suitable location might take a lot effort and quite tenuous, not to mention the deployment of the stakes. As a result, the roof top tent is not as picky as the ground tent when it comes to camping site

Packing convenience

Roof top tent vs ground tent 3

In term of dimension, the roof top tent got quite a formidable profile along with a heavy weight in its packed form. Since the tent is located on top, it inevitably affects the vehicle performance and fuel efficiency due to the drag. The added weight of the roof top tent could occasionally require suspension modifications to better suit the increased load. These issues might impact the experience of the trip to a certain degree. You won’t have to face them if you decide to use a ground tent though. With a compact packed size and negligible weight, you barely know you leave the tent there.

One advantage roof top tent got over the ground tent here is it free up the vehicle space for other uses. Should you bring a ground tent then some of the space would have been occupied by the tent, stakes, sleeping pads and alike.

Set up time

In the average case, the time it takes to set up a roof top tent is often shorter than its ground counterpart. There is no need for complicated pitching, you can use the tent the moment it’s unfolded. Compared to that, the usual ground tent requires quite a bit of time to set up properly. It’s worth mentioning that not every tent on the market follows this rule. Certain roof up tents could make you spend substantial effort to deploy, especially on large size vehicles. The same can be said about ground tents, a couple of products in the category can be set up in a blink of an eye.


Roof top tent vs ground tent 4

While there are roof top tents that possess plenty of space, they cannot compete with the best of the ground tent. In most of the time, a roof top tent space is capable of supporting two campers though the tent height is barely acceptable. In contrast, a ground tent could accommodate four to six campers no trouble plus they can stand up too. It’s very convenient to enter and exit a ground tent because you don’t have to utilize a ladder. Thanks to the generous space, it’s simple to outfit a ground tent with an assortment of furniture as you see fit.


The best ground tents should cost you between 1,000$ and 1,500. But the price tag of high-end roof top tents could easily reach 2,500$ and more. The same can be said about entry-level products. It should take over 100$ to get a basic ground tent while roof top tent can only go as low as 750$. As a whole, the ground tent is an economical choice for people that are shopping on a tight budget.


Roof top tent vs ground tent 5

While you will be elevated a couple feet from the ground in a roof top tent, it’s not completely safe. Yes, no animal and vermin will be able to disturb you but a nasty fall shall ruin your trip in a heartbeat nerveless. Getting in and out of a roof top tent means you constantly have to climb up and down the ladder. One moment of carelessness and you might sustain heavy injuries so stay concentrated at all times. Or if you want to play it safe, the ground tent is a perfect alternative.

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And that is most of what you should know about these tents, quite easy to take in, right? Roof top tent vs Ground tent, it’s difficult to tell which one is the winner without having a firm grasp on their qualities. But with the assistance of this article, you can crosscheck your preferences with the tents characteristic to decide the best style to use

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