Seriously considering getting one. I think it would be real handy for my hunts that are an hour plus away from home for a night or three. Even though I have a topper on my truck, it's a pain sleeping in the back and I want all the room back there for my gear.
Quick set up and take down would be a must so I'm only looking at the clam shell types. A lot of them I've looked at are pretty expensive but I saw this one on Amazon that gets very good reviews and seems to be priced pretty reasonable. I'm keeping my eye on FB marketplace as well, looking for a deal.
Why not just get a small pull-behind camper and not screw with all that? I camped by a guy with one of these and he had to get up extra early every morning to put everything away so he could drive to hunt. I drank coffee and watched him out the window with my little furnace going...
I am with Lou unless you're not planning on using your truck once you get there. I would not want to mess with putting up and down in morning or evening after a hunt. Much rather have a regular tent I put up once and take down once or a pull behind camper.
Got one of those, Charlie. If you can put that up or take it down in 5 min., you’re a better man than me! :)
Not pulling or storing a camper. If I’m pulling a trailer, it will be my quad.
This would mostly be used for my whitetail hunts close to home when I’m only staying out a night or so but I could see it being useful when I have a tent camp set up out west and want to go explore other areas without tearing down camp.
I looked into those once. I wanted one I could put my memory foam mattress and all my bed clothes in and leave. The ones I looked at would only hold a really thin mattress that came with it that would be horribly uncomfortable. So I was a hard pass.
If you have a topper I think you got what you need. I love sleeping in the back of the truck under the topper. I set up a cot and leave it in the back all season. Easy peasy. If you're using a tent, why not have it on the ground? Does your sleeping bag and all of that stay on top or do you have to take it all out each morning and store it elsewhere? I don't get those things personally but maybe I'm missing something.
This topic has come up before and I posted this pic of mine (at the time). Someone chimed in “that looks like a solution to a non existent problem”…. I guess I’m not even smart enough to know what that means.
I with you on the sleeping in the topper. Mine isn’t sealed the best and had plenty of dust. I spent 5 nights in it. I was hopping around to different spots and didn’t want to set the tent up and be tied to an area.
I’ve never used a topper tent it looks interesting. Although I’m seriously considering a small single axle enclosed trailer just tall enough to stand up in and long enough for the 4 wheeler and my coolers. At least things would be clean and dry, and you could get dressed inside. Heck could even have a makeshift shower set up. Then my hunting stuff can stay in it for the fall. And my wife can stop complaining about all my “stuff” in the basement.
The taller enclosed trailers pull like a parachute even when empty. I have a 7x16v double axle that gets used for a bit of everything. But it’s overkill when hunting solo.
I hear you on the campers too. We use ours once or twice a year, then storing it inside and maintaining it seems like a waste. Also have a pop-up pickup camper that works good for 2 guys if we’re hunting off quads, but it’s seen better days. I don’t think there’s a perfect solution. Let us know what you decide !
a few years ago i thought they were ridiculous and out of curiosity, i stopped one day at a manufacturer/retailer and looked at them. i was right. i cannot believe they are even somewhat popular. it seems many of those that refer to camping as overlanding like them.
just get a tipi from seek outside or kifaru. easy up/down, you can have a wood stove, stand up inside, and depending on size and number or people, move around a bit inside. and, a tipi doesn't lower your fuel mileage and can be left set-up if you want to use the vehicle.
I rented a Tacoma with one when I helped a buddy on a moose hunt in Utah. I thought it was awesome but I only broke it down 2-3 times. Took 5 minutes. Your still camping. Easier than a tow behind if you are traveling and cheaper. More tear down than a fixed base camp that you leave behind. Better safety in Grizz country?? At least a wakeup when the truck is a rocking.
Even harder to get in and out than a truck bed. I'd hate crawling backward out of that thing trying to feel for the ladder rungs with my feet. A regular tent would be soooo much easier and more comfortable.
I fabricated this one myself. Loosely based off of something like a go fast camper. Make/break camp in under 5 minutes. Better than sleeping under a camper shell which I have done a lot of. Access sleeping platform from inside the bed. Sleeping platform flips up so I can stand up in the bed.
I have the Alu-Cab on my Tacoma. It takes 5 minutes to set up and break down. That includes setting up tent, unloading/loading coolers, table, chair, stove, etc. I can drive to and camp anywhere I want just as long as it's relatively flat. It's expensive but also lightweight and you can add the bells and whistles that you want. I have lighting, phone charger, a heater, water tank and two cabinets in mine. I also have the option of just sleeping below in the truck bed. To get up into the tent, you step up into the bed at the rear, up onto the cabinet, then up threw the opening. It also has large windows that swing up on each side.
The issue isn’t as much the getting in and out of the truck shell. It’s having to store gear where you sleep. All the gear you’ll have at that. It’s a pain in the butt to unload it every time you want to lay down and sleep.
To be fair, the guy who camped by me did like his for sleeping accommodations. He added a vestibule when his buddy came up and the buddy slept down below. Had a Buddy heater in there for morning chill. They used the buddy's truck for hunting so he didn't need to fold everything up every morning in the dark.
As a younger guy, I’d do overnight and weekend hunting/fishing closer to home. I threw an old single mattress with a sleeping bag in the bed of the truck and rolled the tonneau cover over me. I didn’t like camper shells because they were a pain to put on and take off. I didn’t need much gear. A backpack, bow, pole, small cooler for food, and a folding chair. Stored the gear in the back seat of the crew cab and slept on the mattress. Otherwise I was either hunting, fishing, or sitting in front of the fire. It was quick, easy, and low maintenance. If I had any issues, I could load up in minutes and head back to town.
Keep in mind I was young, and usually by myself, and it was no big deal. I even did it a couple of times in my 40’s when I lived in Wisconsin. Now I’m almost 60 and wouldn’t even think about putting my crotchety self in that situation. Back then, my desire to hunt overrode my concern for comfort. Those days are certainly gone, but it just goes to show, depending on your level of tolerance, it’s not hard to find what works best for you, despite what others may say about it. These days there are oodles of options to fit your personal needs.
I’m very intrigued with those roof top tents as well, if money was no object I’d prob already have tried one it’s not a perfect solution but I get the trailer thing, accessing some trailheads is hard enough with pickup alone let alone trailer and the west or dakotas when antelope or deer hunting covering country can be the name of the game especially if you are new to a unit, the last thing I want to do is drag any kind of trailer after a rain on the gumbo clay roads that a person encounters, I’m sure I can pop up my small tent just as fast but they look pretty cozy and comfortable idk. I seen one Chris B was using on a video and looked pretty trick.
Trailer in the background. This is my original setup.
Trailer in the background. This is my original setup.
Ive had one for years. We used to keep it on the vehicle, but I now keep it mostly on an old M101a2 military trailer so I can pull it into remote spots if needed. Super easy to set up and take down. Mattress is comfortable, you can keep all your sleeping bags, pillows etc in the tent when you fold it up. It is a bit of a pain to get in and out of in the middle of the night but other than that not many downfalls compared to a ground tent. That said, looking at selling at some point probably as we just don't really camp enough any more to justify using it, and I am thinking 4wd van possibly.
Mine stays in the garage. I see all the folks that keep it on their vehicle 24/7 and wonder if they camp that much.....
Nick - maybe look into an Ice Shanty. They are quick to set up and take down, lightweight.
I see lots of guys from Minn & Wisconsin using them for archery elk hunting up in the mtns - but who knows, they might be just trying out their ice fishing gear and drinking bad beer and eating cheese curds :)>
Beendare is spot on. Gatorade bottle to pee in at night. It was only a few years ago when i met a guy and saw his pee bottle in his modified suburban where he slept. I just stared at it in disbelief that this had never occured to me. It is SO Nice to pee easily still somewhat in your bag. I am still perfecting pooing in it.
Tent looks nice but I am for our of wind, by rock/hill trees etc. I would pick a quality "regular" tent. If you want a flat surface strap a sheet of 3/8" plywood to your roof the size of your tent.
I agree with Charlie, the Kodiak Canvas tent is great. I've got a 10 x 14, Kodiak Canvas tent. After posting a "what tent to get" on here a few years ago, the consensus was that the Kodiak Canvas was the way to go.
I researched the tent and found they have VERY good reviews. I purchased the 10 x 14 (Just so happened that it was on sale at the time). They advertised "out of the box set up in about 7 minutes".
Less than a week later, UPS dropped off my tent -- I set the timer and away I went -- from the time I opened the box till it was up, including the canopy flap, was right at 10 minutes. I will say that I was in my front yard, nice and flat with soft ground that I could simply push the stakes in with my foot.
I've had this tent for about 7 years, I use it once a year for elk hunting and now I can set it up in about 9 minutes by myself. I'm certain that if I was going to see just how fast I could really set it up, I'm sure I could shave off a minute or two.
I did add a stove jack - a little "Tear Mender" (use as glue all around the stove jack) and heavy-duty thread - it was a breeze to put in.
The last few years, we've slept 3 guys with cots and could put some of our clothes under the cots - any more than 3 (with cots) would be pretty crowded. The one year there was just the 2 of us - this was perfect - have room for 2 cots and a few tubs of gear each.
I just can't say enough good about this tent - I have absolutely no negatives about it.
Hey Nick - opinions are like arseholes, everyone's got one and they all stink lol. Bottom line, you're the one who cares about it and knows your greatest wants/needs. Doesn't matter what I've bought I've had people tell me that's retarded from an EV vehicle to electric ice auger 6 years ago etc etc, and I've been super happy with every purchase.
Personally looking at it I think the ability to run without a camper trailer is a huge plus, not having to set up a cot and sleeping arrangements etc with a hub style ice fishing shelter there are a ton of "pro's" to one and obviously they aren't a major PIA to an able bodied person. The fact that thousands are sold all the time and "Overlanding" has become its own thing means it obviously works for certain use scenarios and whether you fit in that group is up to you.
Reminds me of saddle hunting. Tons of guys look at it and say it's a huge pain, more work that it's worth on and on and on, and yet a segment of us love it., and most of them have never given it a true shot, or any shot at all. But that's the beauty of individual choice right!?
Kodiaks are great tents. Midwest has one, so he knows. But not for what he's looking for. A quick 1 night need a spot to crash, who wants to set up the Kodiak. Its not difficult, but it ain't a 5 minute set up, nor a 5 minute tear down.
I don't care for the car top tent, but I saw a few of them as camps in CO in Sept. Sounds like your mind is made up. I'm sure you'll give us the honest scoop after you've used it.
For what you’d want it for I think it would work well. Looked into it a lot myself. Really like the looks of the go fast campers but the price tag is dumb. Will probably build my own. I will say for truckbed camping is made a LOT more enjoyable with dual rear doors and a utility topper. My left side door has shelves, which keeps all the floor space in my bed for my hunting/camping junk. And the right side has regular windows for light. If I need more room for crap, a rack on the back and roof rack are more than I’ll ever need.
I think they're a dumb fad. You can get a pop up tent that serves the same purpose and deploys/folds up in the same amount of time and save yourself 9 grand.
These provide you zero bear protection. Not like you'd need it anyways as your odds of being killed by a bear next to your truck are far, far less than the odds of injuring yourself from falling while getting in/out of it.
Has anyone ever heard of someone getting mauled by a bear right next to their truck? Before you say yes, please know that I will call BS without proof. Anyways, you need to be up greater than 10 feet to get out of reach of a bear and a bear can stand in the bed of your truck just like you can.
I've done enough years in emergency medicine to know that the number of people who die, break their necks, or break their arms from falls from these things will be in the single, double, and triple digits, respectively.
Long-term waste of gas too.
9 grand for a dumb toy/fad. Get a tent or put a camper in the back of your truck if you want something more substantial.
Looking at the OP. Don't see anything that says $9K.
As far as tents go, I have a few. Unpack the tent, unpack the cot, unpack the sleeping bag, find a flat spot, clear the debris, set up the tent, set up the cot, etc., plus more crap in the bed of the truck. Sometimes my campground is a Walmart parking lot, a rest area, or the side of the road. Not setting up a tent and not worried about gas mileage when I'm only hunting an hour or two from home.
I appreciate all the comments, guys. Even if you've never used one, someone might think of a down side I may not have thought of. Funny how most of the positive comments come from the guys who have actually used one. Doubt I'll have one until next Spring before my turkey hunts at the earliest if I decide to get one. I'll keep everyone updated if I do.
Midwest The hard top version is a little quicker set up and will outlast the others. The disadvantage is they have a bit less room because of how they raise. Any of them are quick to set up/ take down and the bedding stays in while folded down. The only negative is that yes you have to take down to drive your vehicle which means what to do with the rest of camp. If you intend to move anyway then no issues. They are a great way for a quick camp setup/takedown. Very little downside for that purpose. I use them as well as a regular tent. You will enjoy it.
There was one that came in and set up a few sites away when I was at a campground on Blue Mesa here in Colorado, perch fishing last month. The thing had to be a top of the line model. It had LED flood lights for the campsite, I think mood lighting on the inside, a little deck, nice ladder etc. I kinda wish I would have went over and checked it out. I still don't want one, unless it will work on top of my Subaru, maybe.
Cot tents are great of one or two nights. I have used the one from Kodiak several times. I have also camped a couple times in a roof top. Works great if you are hunting where you are parked. I would not want to take one down in the morning and drive to a hunt.
I don’t have one and will likely never own one. That said the big downside for me would be getting out to pee but a pee bottle solves that problem. I also don’t want to spend an even a few minutes taking it down each morning then setting it up again that night if I’m in a camp for more than a couple of days.
As far as those who think it might keep them safe from bears…. Bwaaahaahaahaaa!
Some of you guys are funny. There are some that can be set up in 5 minutes some a bit longer but all are as fast or faster than the quickest setup conventional tents. Unless you have an issue getting down a ladder then peeing is not much different than unzipping a ground tent. They are not a minimalist backpack tent and they aren’t for everyone but if you can unlatch a top, let it raise on its own pistons, fit 2 straps around their hooks and climb up/ down a ladder they are a quick setup and take down. Good luck to everyone this season.
A gazelle t4 tent goes up and comes down at least as fast as a RTT, maybe faster. Plus on those really bad days where you’re stuck in camp they’re much better than the truck bed or RTT. I’ve had mine in some real bad weather, stake out the hubs and it’s rock solid. They will also reject the water better than a Kodiak Canvas. I have both, I know this is true.
Geez bunch of old hens around here. I watched a few YouTube reviews…actually sounds like it’s well made. For 1200 it’s worth a try. Being able to pull over anywhere and not having to roll out a tent, drive stakes, set up the cot, pad, bag each time. Then still have the needed room in the box is the key. I’m curious if a guy could slip in a piece of 3-4” foam to sleep on and still close the lid? Oh and the Bears! When they climb up the ladder just wait till they get to the top rung and give the ladder a good shove….har har har ;) Good luck hunting and thanks for the post.
Keep in mind, that roof top tent is more comparable to a 2+ or 3 person backpacking tent in size.
Comparing setup take down time to a Kodiak canvas with cots and sleeping bags isn’t even close to an apples to apples comparison.
Another thing to consider is over night in cold weather, my tents almost always have condensation inside. With all that moisture, I wouldn’t think you just latch the clam shell rooftop tent down with your sleeping stuff inside to drive off in the morning before daylight.
I’m guessing you would also need an enclosed dry area at the end of your trip to leave the clamshell tent opened up for a couple days to get all dried out before long term storage if it is a canvas like material.
I have lots of experience sleeping in various tents, zero experience with a roof top tent. Those are just a couple things I would look into.
Yeah, they are pretty much just for sleeping. That size is small for sure. We do run into some condensation but no more than any other canvas tent. You also develop some under the pad as well in certain conditions. They make underlayments to reduce that. We do have to pop it after the trips but really just open it up, versus setting up to sleep. Ours is a bit more involved than a clamshell but still takes a lot less time than a standard tent, and much easier to do solo.
Hey Nick, Yeah, I almost never post this late in the day but I'm trying to get on the road for Wyoming RDP Cow opener in the morning.
I'm behind planned schedule as I helped a local guy get his first ever Bull Elk/3 x 4 Raggy, he is so Happy! here in my home state yesterday on the last day of the Gen Any Bull hunt~~ feel good type deal but now I'm running in circles!! haha
No doubt, when I was putting this Roof Top Enclosed Trailor together, I shared text pix with ya.
The Big issue I had was, when I talked to other roof top tent owners, the biggest complaint was, that they had to break down camp every morning to travel to the day's trailheads or whatever.
So, I did mine this way....
5 x 8 enclosed trailer, reinforcer roofing welded in and ect.
Plus, after my 3 years of use, I $old it, inclusive for $750.00 more than I had invested at the Get-Go.