Need Expert Advise?
Your cart is currently empty.
Or View Cart
WELCOME TO YOUR PREMIUM OVERLANDING GEAR STORE!
Elevate Your Overlanding Experience With These Bed Rack Accessories
November 24, 2022
Clamshell Roof Top Tent vs. Side Opening Hard Shell Roof Top Tent: What Should I Get?
November 18, 2022
Choosing The Right Truck Bed Rack Height
November 11, 2022
Posted on Mar 12, 2021 by Karsten Koberg
I used to own a Tacoma, until 2018 when I sold it and changed my ride. Honestly, I regret it. I loved my Taco, and I can easily say it’s been the best car I’ve ever had in my life. It was a Toyota Tacoma 3rd Gen TRD Pro. A beauty.
I did have some aftermarket mods put into it, and used it to camp a lot and some light overlanding. My passion has mostly been about traveling and exploring new places, not as much doing heavy off-road trails, or testing my driving skills in the mud. I’ve done it, I enjoy that occasionally, but I’m more the kind of guy who likes a quiet camp-out under the stars.
One of the best journeys of my life was a trip all around Arizona and Utah. Unbeatable views in places like Tonto National Park, Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, Sedona and more.
That Tacoma was equipped with a Slimline II roof rack on top, and an Leitner Designs ACS Classic for the bed. I had a Tepui Kukenam sitting over the bed rack. And oh boy how many miles we did together.
Enough reminiscing, time to talk about what you came to read. This article will give you some insight into the best rooftop tents for your Toyota Tacoma, regardless if it’s a 1st Gen, 2nd Gen or a 3rd Gen, these tents have been chosen because they fit any Taco very well, and because quality and durability wise, they’re almost unbeatable.
Of course, myself and the rest of the team at ORT have not tested ALL the RTTs in the world, but we’ve been around, we know most of the brands in the market, and this is a list we feel very confident about.
Depending on where you will be mounting our tent there are a few features to consider. Regardless, before you buy one, you do need a reliable roof rack or bed rack, so my advice is for you to read this blog post to know what rack option to go with:
“The 12 Best Roof Racks & Bed Racks For Your Toyota Tacoma”
Now, let’s say you choose to mount your tent over the cab of your Taco, at this point you’ve chosen the rack and you’re ready to go. If your Tacoma has an Access Cab, then we don’t really recommend getting a hard shell roof top tent, UNLESS, you have a bed rack or canopy to help the tent sit both on the cab and rack or canopy.
Why? Simple, if it sits only on the Access Cab, the tent will have way too much overhang over the bed, and that’s dangerous. For Access Cabs, it’s better if you choose a softshell.
If you have a Double Cab, then you have a wider choice, from a hard top tent, to a soft top tent. There should be enough space, especially if you choose a hardshell such as the Skycamp Mini.
If you go with an RTT for the bed of your Tacoma, you have more options. If it’s a long bed, regardless of the size of the cab, there should be enough space even for some of the longest tents, especially if the bed rack sits at the same height as the cab. You can go with a Skycamp 2.0, or even an Eezi-Awn Stealth or Blade.
All those tents mentioned above are hard-shell rooftop tents, quite long, but with a Long Bed, you have over 120 inches of length to go with a tent.
However, if you choose a bed rack that’s not as tall as the cab, sitting at 12” or 18” tall, then there might be some limitations, such as not being able to fully enjoy the annex of a soft-shell roof top tent, for example. There are tents that if not sitting at a height of 79-80”, the annex might be a bit too low, drag on the floor and risk to get damaged, and you’re not using the tent to its full capacity.
These are just some factors to consider. Now, let’s finally take a look at the best rooftop tents for your Toyota Tacoma.
Picture courtesy of David Noyes. IG: @david_noyes
On top of your cab, on a low or mid height bed rack, on a cab height bed rack or even over a canopy, this soft shell roof top tent gives you the flexibility of mounting it on any setup of your Toyota Tacoma, and it’ll work at its best.
The tent itself is of the highest of qualities. Guana Equipment is a Costa Rican brand that has focused on crafting high quality RTTs for years now. They regularly test their models and their improvements in design and materials in the Costa Rican rainforest. All of their tents are suited for a 4 -season use, but especially to be used under heavy rains.
56.3" (143cm) W x 96" (244cm) L x 49.5" (126cm) H
56.3 " (143cm) W x 48" (121cm) L x 12" (30.5cm) H
Includes: Annex, anti-condensation mat, 2 boot bags, utility net.
Overview: As mentioned above, this tent has a style of design that allows it to be used in pretty much any rack and setup of your Tacoma. Given that it’s not too big, nor too complex, you can use it at its full capacity.
A few things I really like about it, are the fact that all the windows are covered by a type of rainfly or awning, to stop the rain from coming into the tent, just like with any softshell rooftop tent. What makes it different then? Simple, all the window awnings have plastic windows to look through that give you a real 180 angle if you look out your window.
Another smart idea was to make sure the windows didn’t need spring rods to be opened. Instead, you can roll them up and tie them. The window isn’t just fully open allowing better air flow, but in case you are using a low or mid height bed rack, and you couldn’t properly put the spring rods to open the window facing the back of your cab, now you can just roll that window up and voilà! You’re good to go!
For the price you are getting, the Nosara 55” is one of the most affordable roof rack tents for a Tacoma. Plus it comes with a bunch of extras like the anti-condensation mat, the shoe bags, utility net and annex. Given the annex is not as big as soft-shell tents with an overhang, you can even install it on a lower bed rack, and use it as a changing room or as a storage room. It includes a floor.
Finally, the tent is made of 420D polyester ripstop canvas. It works great against the rain and snow, as it is fully waterproof. Plus it works better against mold or mildew than other materials. For more information READ HERE.
Picture courtesy of Scott Schaeffer. IG: @tacomamountain_ut
Everyone knows CVT or Cascadia Vehicle Tents. This Bend, Oregon brand has been manufacturing tents for years, becoming one of the household names thanks to their quality, design, innovation and reliability.
I’d be confident to say that all of their tents can work perfectly with a Toyota Tacoma, but I want to focus on the Mt. Hood Hard Top Tent as I like it a lot.
The Mt.Hood has the traditional clamshell design, easy to open and close, literally a matter of seconds. They open from the back, then you climb into it, and it’s a great RTT for a couple or perhaps two adults and a child or pet when you get the 60” wide edition. Enough with the intro, let’s check the specs.
82" L x 47 W "x 55" H up to
82" L x 57 W "x 55" H
85" L x 50" W x 9.75"H up to
85" l x 60" W x 9.75" H
203 lbs to 226 lbs
Includes: Two crossbars that go on top of the tent, built-in M8 “T” channels to attach accessories, overhead net for storage.
Overview: One of the best hard-shell rooftop tents in the market, the Mt. Hood by CVT comes in three different widths for you to choose from:
The tent will always maintain a length of 85” as well as the same height open or closed regardless of the width. If you are a taller or bigger person, or you simply want to sleep comfortably, then choose the wider model. 60 inches is perhaps the best width for a tent for 2 adults to sleep really comfortably and even have space for a child or pet.
As to other features, this hard top tent is made of aluminum, with a honeycomb aluminum base which is one of the strongest in the market. The canvas is 280g ripstop poly-cotton, which is thick enough to be used in all of the 4-seasons, and of course fully waterproof.
What I probably like the most about it is two things: quality and the adaptability. CVT is a synonym of quality and reliability. You buy this roof rack tent, and you’ll be good for years and years.
The second aspect is how it adapts to all of your needs. The Mt. Hood hardshell has a perimeter with built-in M8 “T” channels, that will allow you to attach to the sides of the tent any accessory you can think of. Shovel mounts, axe mounts, boot bags, showers, lights, you name it. It’ll be easy to have them there and have your whole camping or overlanding experience ready. Finally, it has two crossbars on the top shell, which can take up top 150 lbs of weight. Put boards, more luggage or accessories and you’re maximizing space.
The CVT Mt. Hood can be fitted into the top of the cab of your Tacoma if you have a tall bed rack, or if you have a long bed, then even on a low or mid height rack you’ll be good to go.
I was a bit conflicted on whether choosing the Skycamp 2.0, or the Skycamp Mini, nut went ahead and chose the latter because it’s perhaps a better fit for not only a Tacoma, but all pick-up truck in general.
You’ll see in the images that it fits great on the cab, without leaving any overhang at the front or back, and it will also fit any size of bed. Therefore, this was my reasoning.
57.1 L x 82.6 W x 45.3” H
57.1 L x 54.3 W x 12.5” H
Includes: Telescoping ladder with special steps parallel to the ground, insulated aluminum panels.
Overview: Red Dot Award winning design for the 2020 year, the Skycamp Mini is yet another innovative RTT by iKamper. Made in South Korea at iKamper’s own factory, the quality of this hard-shell roof top tent is simply outstanding. Let’s not kid anyone: iKamper has not only some of the most innovative and revolutionary designs in the industry, but their quality is out of question. Worldwide they seem to keep leading in many areas.
The Skycamp mini is a 4-season RTT that comes with insulated honeycomb aluminum panels, helping you remain considerably warm even during harsh winters. Still, keep in mind without good bedding and gear, nothing can fully protect you from a harsh winter or cold condition.
The canvas is made of 300gsm poly-cotton, extremely breathable (helps against condensation), and quite thick. Once again, suitable on all weather conditions and seasons.
The size is great for couples, this is the ideal tent for 2 adults to sleep really, really comfortably. Thanks to the fact that you can pull out one side of the tent, even though it looks a bit small in closed footprint, it ends up having a width of over 80 inches, and a length of 57 inches. The mattress inside the car tent is comfortable, and you will have lots of space.
The best of it all is that just like any other hardshell, it closes and sets up in less than 60 seconds. But guess what? The Skycamp Mini is only 125 lbs of weight, and it only takes as much space as the smaller rooftop tent sin the market. Therefore, you can fit it on any type of rack, crossbar or bed rack system and it won’t compromise the weight capacity of your rack system, or the space available in your Toyota Tacoma.
If you want to read more about the iKamper Skycamp Mini for your Taco, READ HERE.
Thule bought out Tepui a couple of years ago. The roof top tent giant from California is now in the hands of the Swedish crossbar giant, and the marriage has helped the brand grow, and the products be available to a worldwide audience.
The Autana Ruggedized has been one of the signature models that Tepui has had over the years. Let’s discover why, and why it’s been chosen to work with a Tacoma.
Autana Ruggedized 3
56" W x 122" L x 52" H
56" W x 48" L x 12” H
Includes: Telescoping ladder, annex, anti-condensation mat.
Overview: Tepui is a brand that has been around in USA for around a decade. It’s been one of the pioneers and giants of the industry, and the quality, manufacturing details and durability of their tents is excellent. On top of that, you buy one and you know you are in safe hands when it comes to warranty, spare parts and such. That’s a factor to consider when making an over $2000 investment.
That said, let’s talk about the tent. It has the entrance overhang design that characterizes a few of the softshell RTTs in the market. It includes an annex, which works great as a private changing room, or for additional coverage space in case there’s rain, wind or such. You can even think about sleeping pets down in the annex, or storing bags and accessories.
The canvas of the tent is made of a really rugged material (hence thew Ruggedized name). Literally, 360g poly-cotton, 600D ripstop fabric. This is the best of the best for a true 4-season camping experience, allowing you to be safe and insulated, and even warmer than with other materials. It’s a bit heavier than other models due to that factor, but it is worth it.
Where to place it over a Tacoma? Well, ideally it must go on the roof (cab), or on a cab height bed rack. The reason being, it already includes the annex and you preferably want to use the annex at full height. Of course, it can go on a low or mid height bed rack, and you can either not use the annex room, or have it drag on the floor. No one is saying you can’t.
However, my suggestion is that you place it at at least a height of 78”, ensuring the annex is used at its maximum capacity. If you want more information on the Thule Tepui Autana Ruggedized 3 rooftop tent for your Tacoma, READ HERE.
Picture courtesy of Jonathan Ly.
A mixture between a hardshell and a softshell roof top tent, the High Country 55” Premium is a great fit for your Taco. Thanks to a special design, it can open and close in less than 60 seconds, just like hard top tents, however, this model doesn’t have any hard top, but works as a soft-shell, and it does have a bit of extra space.
High Country 55” Premium
55" L x 98" W x 47" H
58" L x 52" W x 14" H
Includes: Tri-Layer integrated walls for better insulation, 2 boot bags, telescoping ladder.
Overview: Once again, I cannot get tired of mentioning how easy it is to open and close this rooftop tent, it literally takes 60 seconds just like. Hard-shell. However, it is not a hardshell, and it offers more space. When open, it has a huge area of 55” by 98”, meaning it’ll easily and frankly comfortably accommodate 3 people.
Add to that the Tri-Layer premium technology, which essentially means the tent has 3 layers of canvas or fabric, and you know this is a 4-season RTT, as well as being one that does offer serious coverage and insulation from the coldest temperatures. This tent is a beast even in cold weather.
What I like about it, is the ease of the design, how easy and flexible it is to use it during any given situation. Open it real quick, then if you need to leave just close it, hop on your Tacoma and off you go in less than 5 minutes. That’s true comfort.
Now, thanks to it not being as big, bulky or long as other tents, it will work just fine for both a long bed Toyota Tacoma (to be placed over the bed on any type of bed rack or load bars), or even to be used on a Double Cab roof rack. It’s perfect at any height, so once again, it’s a very adaptable and flexible to use car top tent. And to make things better, the price is hard to beat for the quality and features it brings to the table. Highly recommended.
If you want more information on the GoFSR high Country 55” Premium Rooftop Tent, READ HERE.
I know this is a short list, and I know there are many more roof top tents out there, and probably I’ll even be criticized by other Tacoma owners on the tents I left out. The idea of this article was to show you not only different and very HIGH QUALITY roof top tents, but also the different designs and how you can sue them with your rig.
Let’s not forget that there are quite a few mods you need for your Tacoma, from the right roof rack or bed rack, to other accessories and aftermarket parts you should get to complement the use of the tent, especially if you’re serious about camping or overlanding.
If you need more information, you can read other blog posts about the best roof top tents HERE.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and send us an email to: email@example.com, or call us at: 844-200-3979.
ALSO, if you would like to share info, pictures or anything roof top tent or overland related, please feel free to do so Joining Our Facebook Group HERE.
Any roof top tents for around $1000
I am trying to put a rooftop tent onto the cab of my 2013 double-cab tacoma. I have a hi-liner shell that sits higher than the cab of my truck and I’m running into issues left and right. Is there ANY system (racks) and rooftop tent (softshell) that will fit my cab? I’m feeling pretty defeated about the possibility that nothing will work for me.
I just bought 2021 short bed Sr5 double cab
need to put a bed rack and hard shell cover tent
on my back of bed truck. How much it will cost
Do you have an office softer near San Jose Ca
The Guana Equipment Nosara 55" roof top tent would certainly be a great fit on your long bed Taco. Perhaps this blog post can help you finding the right bed rack to go with your tent: https://offroadtents.com/blogs/news/best-roof-racks-bed-racks-for-your-toyota-tacoma
I looking to is stalling that Equipmemt for my pickup Toyota Tacoma year 2014 long bed
All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
is added to your shopping cart.
is added to your wish list.