When you’re looking to buy a new tent that’s easy to set up, sturdy, and secure, the rooftop options may be catching your eye and it can be hard to decide which brand is right for you. You’ve probably heard a bit about James Baroud because their line of rooftop tents are firm favourites among many campers, but are they as good as everyone seems to think?
James Baroud rooftop tents have long been looked at as the industry standard, and they are still some of the most sought-after options on the market. There are many models available that are all known to be convenient to set up, extremely well built, and state-of-the-art, with a price tag to match.
A rooftop tent is supposed to give you freedom and security on the road, but their traditional ground-dwelling cousins are significantly cheaper, so if you’ve decided to invest in one you want to know that you’re choosing the right option. While the brand name isn’t everything, it can tell you a lot about the quality you can expect.
Ultimately, whether or not you are willing to pay the extra money for the higher quality of a James Baroud tent comes down to you and what you are looking to get out of your rooftop tent. A casual camper may not need the best tent on the market, but for a seasoned explorer, the cost may seem like a small price to pay.
Are Rooftop Tents Worth It?
If you want to know whether or not a James Baroud is worth forking out a bit of extra cash for, you should consider the benefits that you’re getting from a rooftop tent in the first place. Rooftop tents may not be the best option for everybody, but they certainly deliver some considerable perks.
Firstly, a rooftop tent takes away the hassle of searching for a spot and fiddling with a groundsheet – and actually putting up your tent is usually significantly easier as well. Having your tent ready to go on the roof of your car is very convenient for most campers, although you can’t carry it with you, or drive off without putting it away.
Not all rooftop tents are easy to set up, however, and this should be an important consideration when you’re buying one. Every time you want to use your car, you’re going to need to put away your tent first, so a rooftop that is quick to pack up is very valuable.
The safety and security that you get from a rooftop tent is a big plus for most campers. You are better protected from the weather in a rooftop tent if it is high quality – even more so if you go for a hardshell option. Tenting a few feet off the ground also means that you are far away from insects and other wildlife.
Another perk is that being raised off the ground keeps you at a distance from the nightmare of running water getting over your groundsheet and soaking your mattress, so you can rest a little easier no matter what the weather is doing.
How Much Do Rooftop Tents Cost?
You are not going to find any rooftop options that are as cheap as a ground tent, even a high-end one, so you want to think about what you’re paying for.
Softshell rooftop tents are less sturdy and can be much trickier to set up, but they are significantly cheaper – you can buy a good quality softshell for around $1500-$1900. Hardshell rooftop tents are much more protective and usually a lot more convenient, but they are more expensive and most will set you back around $2500-$3500.
James Baroud is known to be a particularly premium brand and even their cheapest softshell tents sell for around $3000. The hardshell options are even more expensive, so is the extra cost actually worth it?
What Are the Benefits of a James Baroud Rooftop Tent?
Particularly with the hardshell options, James Baroud tents are famous for being incredibly easy and convenient to set up and pack away. The Evasion, for example, takes less than a minute before it is ready for you to sleep in: simply undo the latches and the gas struts will do most of the work for you.
Packing up is also a breeze with a James Baroud, although again the softshell options are more complicated. The hardshell just needs you to bend the struts and pull the top down, and you’re ready to head out for the day.
One of the reasons for the price of a James Baroud rooftop tent is the very high-quality, extremely durable materials that they are made from. You can expect a James Baroud to last for 15 years or more.
The hardshell casings are made from reinforced polyester glass and covered with Gelcoat, so they are reasonably light even if you opt for a larger tent. The sides are aluminised fabric that reflects UV light and doesn’t fray or age as quickly as other materials, and they have a water-resistant coating that makes them 100% waterproof.
The canvas breathes well and is very unlikely to tear, and even the mesh openings are surprisingly strong and resistant to damage.
There are a lot of little conveniences and luxuries that come with a James Baroud. Storage is always carefully considered, the mattresses that come with the tent are incredibly comfortable memory foam, and the ventilation and dust-proofing are very impressive.
Most models come with a rechargeable LED light, and there are even solar-powered fans built into the roofs of the hardshell options to remove condensation.
Visibility is also very carefully considered with James Baroud tents, and the hardshell models like the Grand Raid have a full 360 degrees of vision, so you can really make the most of being out in the world.
There are more budget-friendly options out there for rooftop tents that may be more than enough for a casual camper, but the James Baroud certainly lives up to its cost. It is a premium option that you are unlikely to be disappointed by, and for frequent campers, it could be a game-changer.
If you want the highest quality, the most convenience, and the greatest protection, James Baroud is a brand that you can trust.
At the end of the day, the only downside to a James Baroud rooftop tent is its price tag, and if you are investing in a piece of kit like this, it is hard to argue against choosing the best of the best.
(feature image: jamesbaroud.com)