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How Much Weight can a Roof Top Tent Hold?

How Much Weight can a Roof Top Tent Hold?

When shopping for a roof top tent it is important to consider the total weight of all members using the tent each night. Then compare that number to the weight capacity of the rooftop tent you are considering.

The average roof top tent can hold anywhere between 200 and 400 pounds. That said, there are some models that can hold as much as 900 pounds. The best way to determine this is by referring to the manufacturer’s instructions; it will usually indicate the weight limit capacity there.

However, it’s important that you stay within any given weight limit and don’t push the tent’s capacity. This way you won’t run the risk of destroying the tent. So, understanding the total weight of everyone staying in the tent beforehand will be invaluable information.

The Minimum Weight a Roof Top Tent Can Hold

At the very least, a roof top tent can hold around 200 pounds. This weight is usually for ones that are single sleepers or those designed for children. But there are very few models on the market set at this small limit.

What Is the Maximum Weight a Roof Top Tent Can Hold?

The maximum weight most roof top tents can hold is 900 pounds. This is a special weight for tents with the capacity to hold up to three or four people. This isn’t common for most brands and the ones that do have them tend to be exorbitantly expensive.

The Average Weight a Roof Top Tent Can Hold

Most roof top tents can handle about 400 pounds. This is the weight you should estimate in the case that the manufacturer doesn’t indicate it in the instructions. However, the average roof top tent advertises anywhere between 600 and 650 pounds.

What Factors Go Into the Total Weight of What a Roof Top Tent Can Hold?

There are many factors that discern the strength and weight capacity of a roof top tent. The most important is the materials that make up the tent as a whole. Hard shell ones will obviously be a little more durable than soft shell ones.

Then there’s the issue of the metals that comprise the tent. Aluminum and aluminum alloys aren’t nearly as strong as stainless steel or iron. But, these latter metals will make the tent incredibly heavy, therefore it’s more common to see some type of aluminum put into the mix.

Does the Vehicle’s Roof Play into the Total Weight of a Roof Top Tent?

The roof of a vehicle will very much play into the weight of a roof top tent’s capacity. This is because, regardless of the tent’s materials, if the vehicle’s roof can’t handle the weight, you’ll have a problem on your hands. There are several aspects involved here.

First is whether there are racks present on the roof or not. In general, most cars can hold between 40 and 100 pounds without roof racks. With them, they can handle about 165 pounds. But, this will vary depending on the model and make.

Therefore, you will have to refer to your owner’s manual for the car. Even still, that’s far less than what most cars can hold. But, there’s a thing called static weight (weight while stationary) versus dynamic weight (weight while moving), which makes the roof a lot more durable than you may at first consider.

What Is the Strongest Roof Top Tent Available?

By all accounts, the iKamper Skycamp 2.0 is the strongest roof top tent available on the market. It can hold 900 pounds easy and sleeps up to four people without issue. It comes with a large king-size mattress on top of aluminum honeycomb flooring.

However, the Skycamp 2.0 is also one of the most expensive. But, the features, weight capacity and other nifty bells and whistles make the price worth it. One would think that for a maximum weight capacity of 900 pounds it would also be heavy to lift. But it only weighs 155 pounds, so it’s rather lightweight.

Aside from the flooring, it comprises locks made of stainless steel along poly cotton canvas and polyester on the shell. Both of these materials are really light, so most of the weight comes from the aluminum. But, it is also a soft shell, so it’s not nearly as durable or very waterproof as a hard shell one.

What Other Strong Roof Top Tents are Available?

There are many brands of roof top tents available that advertise being strong. But, only two brands are strong that also reliable and more affordable.

Sparrow Eye by Roofnest

The Sparrow Eye by Roofnest has a static weight limit of 650 pounds. This is impressive considering how compact it is. It’s most ideal for two people but the whole tent weighs a mere 130 pounds.

This comprises hard shell material, ABD fiberglass shaped in an aerodynamic way with soft insulated walls. It’s waterproof, soundproof and comes with a built-in mattress.

Tepui Tents by Thule

The other trusty brand is the entire line of Thule Tepui tents. These are soft shell and can handle a weight limit of 600 pounds, such as the Kukenam 3. It comprises rip-stop blended fabric that protects fairly well in most weather conditions. However, it does leave much to desire when it comes to severe thunderstorms.

Regardless, it can handle up to three people. But the lighter weight is due to the fact that the shell comprises fabric, it isn’t a hard shell. However, the materials are resistant to mildew and UV rays. Like the others mentioned above, this one has a built-in mattress made of high-density foam.


Closing Thoughts

Knowing how much weight a tent can handle is imperative. It will let you know how many people can safely sleep in the tent without damage to the tent or the roof of the vehicle. But there are many factors that go into this such as the make and model of the vehicle itself along with the tent’s combined materials.

You can always refer to the owner’s manual of your vehicle and the tent to help configure your estimations. But, when in doubt, estimate the tent can handle 400 pounds static weight.



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