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Autohome US
Overland How to Choose - Vehicle roof top tents for Car Camping, Expeditions, Off-Road
When considering the purchase of an AutoHome roof top tent, people often ask us what model is the right choice for them. We have to answer, “It depends.”

Here we offer some guidelines and suggestions for choosing a roof top tent, based on our own experience, and on what our AutoHome users have shared with us.

Please note that all AutoHome roof top tents, regardless of model, are supplied complete—ready to use right out of the box, you just add bedding. Any of these tents will serve you well in any climate—from the tropics to the arctic. Specific points of comparison between the tents are in the table below. For engineering details, see the ANATOMY Page.

Side-by-side comparison
  Hard-shell tents - In general, fiberglass (hard-shell) roof top tents are better if you are going to leave the tent mounted on your vehicle all, or most, of the time. These tents deploy very quickly, provide comfort in any weather, and offer little air resistance when driving. Fabric tents - For maximum interior space in the smallest possible package, choose an all-fabric tent. They are also able to take a lot of abuse. These high quality tents do offer more frontal air resistance than our hard-shell models when driving at highway speeds.
CLICK for Maggiolina roof top tents CLICK for Columbus roof top tent OverCamp CLICK for OverLand roof top tent OverCamp
  Designed for 4 season use and tested world-wide.  Both fiberglass and carbon fiber models offer light weight and simplicity of operation Instant deployment. Low air resistance while traveling. Available in extra long model. Advanced fabric tent with many new features A rugged and versatilefabric tent. A simple, ruggedfabric tent that stows small.
  Maggiolina Columbus Columbus Carbon OverZone OverLand OverCamp
Design Strengths Both fiberglass and carbon fiber models offer Excellent for all-weather performance.
Deploy quickly with low wind resistance while traveling. Available in extra long model.
Light weight and simplicity of operation
Instant deployment. Low air resistance while traveling

Super light  carbon fiber shell – tough as steel Instant deployment.
Low air resistance while traveling

Maximum interior space
Rugged & durable
Good interior space
Maximum interior space
Rugged & durable Good interior space
Maximum interior space
Rugged & durable Good interior space
Weather Protection Excellent in cold, wet climates—good in hot weather Excellent in hot, humid climates—good in cold weather Excellent in hot, humid climates—good in cold weather Very good all-around protection integral awning protects entry Very good all-around protection Excellent in warm weather
Good all-season
Wind Capability
Excellent Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good
Security when closed Excellent—crank handle acts as a ‘key’ Locking rear latch to secure contents Locking rear latch to secure contents Good—but not lockable Good—but not lockable Good—but not lockable
Storage space Excellent to good Good Good None None None
Comfort Excellent Excellent Excellent Very Good mattress thickness is limited due to folding design Very Good mattress thickness is limited due to folding design Very Good mattress thickness is limited due to folding design
Interior Space Good - but Low ceiling f(35” to 38”) or warmth retention Good – excellent head room Good – excellent head room Excellent Excellent Excellent
Ease of Deployment Opens quickly – 30 to 45 seconds Almost instant – 5 to 10 seconds Almost instant – 5 to 10 seconds Good – about 3 minutes Good – about 3 minutes Good – about 3 minutes
Ventilation Very good—two doors two vent windows breathable fabric Excellent —three doors large vent window Excellent —three doors large vent window Excellent —two large doors and end vents Excellent —two large doors and end vents Excellent —two large doors and end vents
Privacy Excellent, especially Grand Tour and Extreme Very Good – flexible door options Very Good – flexible door options Excellent – awning aids privacy Excellent when doors are closed Excellent when doors are closed
Access Two doors - Enter on either side Three doors – enter either side or rear Three doors – enter either side or rear Two doors - Enter on one side only Two doors - Enter on one side only Two doors - Enter on one side only
Insect Protection Fully screened openings – zip separately on doors Fully screened openings – zip separately on doors Fully screened openings – zip separately on doors Fully screened openings – zip separately on doors Fully screened openings – zip separately on doors Fully screened openings – zip separately on doors
Fuel economy impact Low Low Very low Higher at highway speeds Higher at highway speeds Higher at highway speeds
Wind noise when driving Very low - not noticeable Very low - not noticeable Very low - not noticeable Moderate – depends on mounting Moderate – depends on mounting Moderate – depends on mounting
Bedding Carried in place Carried in place Carried in place Most bedding can be carried in place Most bedding can be carried in place Most bedding can be carried in place