Hard Shell Roof Top Tents are now becoming more popular in Australia. Some even say that the roof tent originated in Australia because travelers wanted to spend the night over the ground away from dangerous animals.
As time went by manufacturers have improved the design of the tents that attach to the top of cars. Before you needed a way to get up to your tent, now most tents come along with a ladder.
Similar to 4×4 awning tents, these types of tents are suitable to those who enjoy driving around the country and quickly pitching up when the need arises. Roof top tents provide a more stable shelter for travelers with the convenience of not lugging around camping gear. It also offers a quicker setup than traditional tents.
There are two types of roof top tents. One is the soft shelled roof top and the other is the hard shell roof tent. Today we will be discussing the latter.
Hard Shell Roof Top Tent Comparisons
Camp King Roof Top Tent
Eezie Awn Stealth Roof Top Tent
iKamper Sky Camp 2X Roof Top Tent
Best for those wanting a high roof and rugged frame
OCAM Rooftop King Tent
Kwiky Hard Shell Rooftop Tent
Our Review Of The 5 Best Hardshell Roof Top Tents
1. Camp King Roof Top Tent
The Camp King Roof Top Tent is proudly Australian made. It was released in 2018 and has been getting a lot of positive reviews.
This tent is really easy to set up. Just open the 2 latches and the tent will automatically rise up. Get the poles from inside and stick it on the canvas so your tent can be fully upright. The poles are specially designated so you’ll know where they go.
The large windows inside are covered by an insect proof mesh to keep the bugs out but allowing enough airflow in the tent.
Side entrances can be accessed with a telescopic ladder. When you get in the tent, you can stand up even if you’re 6 feet tall because the tent maxes out at a height of 7 feet. That’s an advantage whenever you need to change your clothes because you won’t need to find a comfortable position.
The Camp King Roof Top Tent comes included with a standard sized double mattress. There’s extra space for storage but you can get a bigger mattress if you prefer to have it fully cover the floor. There are several storage pockets for your belongings around the tent.
If want to check the Camp King Roof Top Tent’s specifications, click on the link below:
- Easy Setup – Just open the latches of the tent and it will automatically rise up. The setup can be done under 5 minutes.
- Spacious – The tent is wide enough to put some of your big stuff around even with the mattress inside. Another good thing is the head space, you won’t have to worry hitting your head whenever you stand up.
- High Quality Materials – The tent is made in Australia as well as its other materials such as the canvas. The canvas is made of Australian Made Wax Convertor Coolabah Tear Stop Canvas.
- Expensive – Quality comes with a price and the Camp King Roof Top Tent is one of the most expensive roof top tents in Australia.
- Heavy – The Camp King Roof Top Tent weighs around 100 kg so you need to have a big vehicle that can handle that kind of weight.
2. Eezie Awn Stealth Roof Top Tent
The Eezie Awn Stealth Roof Top Tent has a durable aluminum roof. This roof top tent is quite heavy weighing at 90 kg so remember to consider your car’s capacity and top-heavy handling if you’re eyeing off this tent.
There are 4 stainless steel latches around the roof. The scissor mechanism and the struts on the sides help raise up the tent once opened and you don’t need to poke poles around for it to rise up.
Two side entrances and 1 large window and door at the back of the tent which provides great ventilation in the tent.
There is an integrated awning at the rear of the tent that you can extent to protect you from the sun and rain.
The ladder is recessed in the base of the tent. You just unlatch and pull it out to access it.
A mattress is already included in the tent. There are 2 large storage pockets on each side for your things.
You can charge your electronics in the tent as there is a 12V Socket and power cable installed in the tent that you can connect to your car’s cigarette lighter plug. There is also an LED interior light in the tent.
To know more about the Eezie Awn Stealth Top Tent, check the link below:
- Fast setup – The patented scissor mechanism lets you set up the tent in seconds.
- Durable – The Eezie Awn Stealth Roof Top Tent is made of heavy duty materials. Integrated Ladder – The ladder can be stowed away and pulled out from the base of tent.
- Costly – This tent on the higher bracket when it comes to roof top tent price.
- Scissor Mechanism – The scissor mechanism frees up a lot of setup time but you need to look out that it doesn’t catch the canvas when you close down the tent or else it can rip.
3. iKamper Sky Camp 2X Roof Top Tent
The iKamper Sky Camp 2X is a good option for a roof top tent for couples or a small family. It can accommodate 2-3 persons.
Weighing only 55 kg, this tent can be considered as a light weight in the hard shell roof top tent category. The tent is also aerodynamic so it’s not cumbersome to drive around with.
It opens by flipping the 2 latches off and the tent pops up. You just need to hook it up to several poles to secure the rear awning and the walls.
The special feature of the iKamper Sky Camp is the sky view. You can enjoy stargazing without climbing down from the tent.
Now the tent’s door is at the rear and there are 2 windows on the sides. It has three panels – the solid canvas wall, the clear cover and the mesh cover to keep the bugs away.
The iKamper Sky Campalso also has a lock on the hard shell top to secure your tent when you’re away.
There is an option to expand the iKamper by adding an Annex room or awning extensions. These are available on their website:
- Lightweight – The iKamper Sky Camp 2X is definitely one of the lighter options when it comes to rooftop camping set ups.
- Sky View Feature – It’s always nice to look up the starry night sky in the comfort of your tent.
- Design – The iKamper Sky Camp 2X comes in 4 colors so you can choose which one matches your car.
- Space – This tent is a lot smaller. It can only accommodate 2-3 people or 2 tall persons.
- Pricey – It’s a costly tent given the fact that it’s smaller than other hard shell tents.
4. OCAM Rooftop King Tent
The OCAM Rooftop Tents have a lot of hard shelled roof top tent options but I like the OCAM Rooftop King tent the most.
One particular thing that I liked was the size. It’s named King because it’s very spacious and can comfortably fit 4 people.
The mattress that comes along the tent is a King size as well.
The setup is fairly easy. You can open the latch and pull out the ladder and the tent stretches out with it. You can stabilize the tent’s walls with poles.
You also have the option to add an extended awning to the rear of the tent so you can have more space for other activities.
The tent’s fabric is made of waterproof materials so no need to worry about getting wet when you’re hanging out in the awning.
Mosquitos nets and mesh walls protects you from the bugs and other elements.
The OCAM Rooftop King tent has high quality aluminum poles. The roof itself is also aluminum which lessens the weight of the tent.
You can view how the tent set ups in the link below:
- Spacious – The OCAM Rooftop King Tent lives up to its name. There is a lot of space to move around even if you have companions in the tent.
- Extended Awning – This is ideal to people who need a space to cook or socialize. The awning protects you from the harsh sun and also from strong rains.
- Affordable – The OCAM Rooftop King Tents is a great value for your money due to its spacious features.
- Setup – Although the setup is fast, you still need to climb in the tent and secure all the poles to keep the tent intact.
- Awning not included – You need to purchase the extended awning separately.
5. Kwiky Hard Shell Rooftop Tent
The Kwiky Hard Shell Rooftop Tent is a popup roof top tent. It’s a smaller tent compared to the other tents we mentioned and has a recommended capacity of 2 people.
The tent boasts a fast set up. Just undo the straps around the tent and push it up and the tent is setup and ready to go. There are no extra poles needed to put up the tent.
Packing up is easy as well. You just need to pull down the sides and strap them in.
It comes with a telescopic ladder that you can adjust depending on the type of terrain that you parked on.
There are pockets on the side of the tent for you to store your things in.
Since it’s a small tent there really isn’t much head space in it, but it is generous when it comes to the length. If you are around 6 feet tall, you can still comfortably lie inside.
The Kwiky Hard Shell Rooftop Tent is a great value, affordable roof top tent. In fact it’s one of the cheapest hard shell tents I found. This is great for entry level car rooftop tent setups.
- Cheap – This is one of the most budget friendly roof top tents I found and it’s great if you’re just starting out with roof top camping.
- Easy Setup – As it’s a popup roof top tent, you just need to unlatch it and push upwards and you’re done.
- Can handle strong winds – Because of its box like structure, the tent doesn’t easily move around unlike the clam style roof top tent.
- Space – This tent is a bit small and can only handle maximum of two people. There’s also not a lot of headspace in it.
- Too simple – The Kwiky Hard Shell Rooftop Tent is very basic. It’s really built as a space to sleep in.
Things To Consider When Buying A Hard Shell Roof Top Tent
There are a lot of tents for kids you can purchase in Australia, but if you want things to be convenient, I would suggest that you go for a kids play tent. What’s so great about a instant up children tent? Keep reading to find out:
Hard Shell vs Soft Shell Roof Top Tents
Hard shell roof top tents, just as the name suggests, have a sturdier cover. This is great to protect your belongings in the tent. And whilst you’re asleep in the tent you won’t be worrying about the wind carrying off the roof. You can also put items on top of the hard shell roof top tent when you are not using it.
The soft shell roof top tent looks more similar to regular tents because the walls and roof are made of canvas. They are still made from heavy duty materials including waterproof fabrics.
Hard shell roof top tents have better insulation than soft shelled roof top tents which means the temperature in the tent is more stable.Hard shell roof top tents have better insulation than soft shelled roof top tents which means the temperature in the tent is more stable.
Both of these tents are definitely durable but the hard shell roof top tent is resilient than the soft shelled roof top tent.
The soft shelled roof top tent will be able to handle extreme weather. The hard shelled roof top tent can protect you from the harsh weather especially in areas where hail can happen.
For longevity, I would say the hard shelled roof top tent will outlive the soft shelled roof top tent.
Setting It Up
The soft shelled roof top tent set up is a lot like a typical ground tent except you don’t need to peg the tent to the ground rather you’ll be securing the tent to the car instead.
The hard shell tents set up are quicker as you only need to unlatch the tent and it will spring up fully.
The same goes with stowing away the tent. You will only need to fold down the hard shell tent and lock it in the base of the tent.
There is a difference with the weight between the soft shelled tent and the hard shelled tent but not as drastic as you think.
It’s a given that soft shelled roof top tents are a lot lighter. They are made of lighter and less materials than the hard shell roof tent.
Hard shelled roof top tents are heavier because of the materials it is made of. They are a lot more solid thus adding the weight to the car.
Nowadays, hard shell tents are made of fiberglass and aluminum which means that they are lighter and easier to carry around.
That said, soft shelled roof top tents is the clear winner on the weight category.
If you are looking for an entry level roof top tent you should consider getting a soft shelled roof top tent as they are cheaper and there are a lot of options.
Hard shell roof tops tents are a lot pricier than the soft shelled tent but it’s worth the investment.
All that said, let me introduce to you to 5 Best Hard Shelled Roof Top Tents in Australia.
Kwiky Hard Shell Rooftop Tent
I hope you were able to get some tents from what I shared. By now, you should know a little more about roof top tents especially the hard shell roof top tent types and what’s great about them.
From the 5 hard shelled roof we discussed, my vote would have to go to the OCAM Rooftop King Tent. It’s a good deal given that it’s very spacious and affordable. The additional features are very convenient for travelers.
A hard shell roof top tent is an investment if you are planning to do long travels or maybe go on a nice Australian road trip. Be sure to check your car and wallet’s capacity if you have decided to get one!