One of the most interesting bits of gear shown at Overland Expo West 2019

Car rooftop tents are not a novelty. Popular Science magazine mentioned them in 1936, but it’s the Italians that are credited for inventing them - hence the large number of internet photos that show Fiats of all shapes, sizes, and eras rocking such a tent. So, it’s safe to say that California-based Tepui, also part of the Thule Group, didn’t entirely invent the wheel, but instead refined it with the Low Pro Series rooftop tents.

What are car rooftop tents?

Tepui Low Pro Car Rooftop Tents Have The Lowest Profile On The Market
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Well, the name’s pretty self-explanatory but here’s the gist. Rooftop tents, as opposed to their traditional peers, aren’t mounted on the ground, but on a vehicle’s roof. You can use your car’s standard roof rack or go for an aftermarket piece; it doesn’t really matter, as long as it can adequately hold the tent.

Tepui Low Pro Series rooftop tent - tell me more about that

Tepui Low Pro Car Rooftop Tents Have The Lowest Profile On The Market
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For starters, it’s the lightest tent in the Tepui lineup and the most streamlined, thanks to a profile of just 7 inches when closed. The tent’s base is made of honeycomb fiberglass that’s 100 percent recyclable and most important, keep heat and cold at bay. When opened, the tent rests on an A-frame design that supports the soft shell; the canopy fabric is ripstop polyester, a material that’s flame retardant and resistant to mildew.

Tepui’s Low Pro tents use the brand’s ZipperGimp tech that allows you to customize them with any canopy you want - the zippers are compatible with the company’s entire range of canopies, so it’s easy to change the tent’s appearance once you’re bored with the old look.

On the comfort front, there’s a mosquito mesh screen keeping those nasty buggers out of your tent and a hard-density foam mattress that can accommodate two or three people. For in and out access, all you have to do is use the lightweight aluminum ladder included in the package.

Tepui Low Pro Car Rooftop Tents Have The Lowest Profile On The Market
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Tepui is currently offering two tent variants in the Low Pro Series. This means you can pick the Low Pro 2 or the Low Pro 3, with the only difference being the number of people they can accommodate - two or three. Tepui’s Low Pro 2 car rooftop tent costs $1,399.95, while the Low Pro 3 can be had for $1,749.95.

You can also have a look at Tepui’s Instagram feed, as it is filled with camping eye candy:

What are the pros and cons of car rooftop tents?

Tepui Low Pro Car Rooftop Tents Have The Lowest Profile On The Market
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We’re not here to say that rooftop tents are flawless. In fact, once compared to their more traditional counterparts (aka regular tents mounted on the ground), a few pros and cons emerge. Have a look at them and see whether a rooftop tent is the best solution for your camping trip.

  • provide extra cover around the car once open
  • you can camp on any surface
  • safe from flooding
  • forget about snakes, bugs, and other critters crawling in
  • the soft base is easy on the knees and elbows
  • ventilation all around
  • rooftop tents are quite heavy
  • standard car roof rails might be too weak to hold them
  • quite expensive
  • generate more wind noise
  • forget about the often bathroom trips
  • Tepui Low Pro Car Rooftop Tent specs

    Tepui Low Pro rooftop tents specs
    Tepui Low Pro 3 Tepui Low Pro 2
    Sleeping capacity 3 people 2 people
    Seasons suitable for all 4 seasons suitable for all 4 seasons
    Size (closed) 56 inches x 48 inches x 7 inches 50 inches x 43 inches x 7 inches
    Size (open) 56 inches x 95 inches x 49 inches 50 inches x 84 inches x 44 inches
    Sleeping footprint 56 inches x 95 inches 50 inches x 84 inches
    Weight 120 pounds (58.5 kilos) 105 pounds (47.6 kilos)
    Frame 5/8 inches, aluminum 5/8 inches, aluminum
    Ladder 8 feet 6 inches, aluminum, telescoping 8 feet 6 inches, aluminum, telescoping
    What do you think?
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