Over the last couple of years, rooftop tents have gained a lot of popularity among campers, and it seems like no overland 4×4 is complete without one. However, this doesn’t mean that the rooftop tent is the ideal solution for everyone. In fact, ground tents are still going strong, and many people, especially novice campers, are torn between the two types. Deciding which type will best suit your needs requires some evaluation of the pros and cons of both types. Let’s take a look at their specifics.
Rooftop tents are the most popular type in Australia, and for a good reason. A typical Australian getaway into the wilderness involves covering a lot of ground, so the fact that rooftop tents can be set up very quickly makes them very convenient. But perhaps the biggest reason why a roof top camper opts for that solution are the various toothy beasts that want nothing but to play with you…with their teeth.
Moreover, with rooftop tents, you just need a place to park, and within minutes, you’ve got a place to sleep. Sleeping in a rooftop tent is sublime, as most models are fitted with a luxurious mattress that offers wall-to-wall sleeping bliss. Additionally, it allows you to catch even the slightest breeze which help make Australian hellish weather much more tolerable.
However, their disadvantage lies in their size and weight. They’re also not very aerodynamic, which means that a vehicle fitted with a rooftop tent has a low level of fuel efficiency due to the drag. But for the average roof top camper, these issues can be neglected for the most part. The largest issue is the fact that besides sleeping in them, there’s not much else you can do. If the weather is bad, better pick up a good book and wait for it to pass.
Ground tents have been around for many years, so let’s just say, we’ve had enough time to design a decent portable shelter. The amount of different types of ground tents is limitless, and if you can’t find one that fits your needs, you aren’t looking at the right place, or hard enough. The main advantage of these tents is that they are very flexible and can be moved from one vehicle to another relatively easy. They’re at ground level, so you can pitch them anywhere you want.
Ground tents are capable of accommodating multiple people and they can also have chairs, tables, cots, etc., thus creating a cozy quarter for you and your crew. Additionally, they’re space-saving, typically lightweight and easily portable.
But on the downside, it’s sometimes difficult to find a suitable place to pitch a ground tent. Moreover, if you do find a good spot, you’ll need to spend about twenty minutes to properly deploy it, which is a deal-breaker if you’re time-limited.