Home Gear Roof Top Tent or Ground Tent?

Roof Top Tent or Ground Tent?


We’ve all seen epic pictures of Rooftop Tents out in the wild and thought, “Man, that looks awesome.” But how do you know if a RTT is right for you?

As with any piece of overland gear, research and understanding your personal preferences are key. Where you go, and how long you stay out on the road/trail are starting points to help guide your decision making.

For us, we prefer a ground tent for a variety of reasons related to time and accessibility. Try as we might with our clam shell RTT, setup and take down time never got below 15 minutes (partly because of the vehicle height of our FZJ80). Another factor was accessibility – Corrie has RA, which means going up and down a ladder is a serious consideration. We tried it, but at the end of the day, the RTT just wasn’t for us.

Here’s the good news for those who go the ground tent route and are worried about time/convenience. We’ve found that ground tent design has upped its game in the last 2 years.

The Gazelle T3 and T4 pop up tent is quite possibly the biggest game changer to our overland pack out. These tents set up and take down in < 2 mins, and are exceptionally durable. The T4 (four person) easily straps on top of our roof rack for family trips, and the T3 (two-three person) fits securely inside our rig for 2 person excursions. A rain fly is included in both designs.

Gazelle T3
The Gazelle T3 takes less than 2 minutes to set up.

We’ve listed a few pros and cons for each based on our experience, and talk further about the topic in the above video.

Ground Tent – The Gazelle T4

1. Less $$$ than a RTT 1. Critters and Mud
2. Fast set up & take down 2. Separate Bedding
3. More sq ft 3. Takes up interior space
4. Accessible/No ladder climbing

Roof Top Tent

1. Home is where you park it 1. Takes up rack space
2. Off the ground 2. Weight up high & Cumbersome
3. Bedding packed with it 3. Accessibility
4. Vehicle not mobile

What’s your experience? Join the conversation in the comments below! We want to hear from you.