What is the Best Overlanding Tent for Camping

Last Updated on September 1, 2022

It’s quite obvious that finding the best Overlanding tent is stressful as the market is saturated with different brands and models.

To make things relaxing and ensure an educated purchase, you first have to know the key considerations of choosing the most useful Overlanding tents.

Some of them are –

  • Quality of the tent fabric and other materials.
  • Capacity.
  • Ease of setting up and taking down.
  • The ladder length and quality.
  • Ventilation.
  • Ability to keep inside dry during the rain.
  • Tent cover quality.
  • Price, etc.

Considering all those vital buying factors, I’ve shortlisted some of the handy Overlanding tents of different price ranges in this guide, mentioning their highs and lows.

Hold on to your hat, and let’s get the ball rolling.

6 Best Overlanding Tents

1. Smittybilt Overlander Tent


  • It’s a relatively light tent compared to some of the other popular rooftop tents.
  • Setting up and securing the tent takes about only 5-6 minutes.
  • Durable tent cover; taking it on and off is a straightforward process too.
  • The ladder is pretty long and strong.
  • The tent fabric, poles, zippers, and all other parts are made of top-notch materials, and they hold up really well.
  • It can handle heavy winds and thunder rain showers without causing any issues at all.
  • A high-quality rainfly comes with the purchase.
  • It’s spacious inside to lodge two tall campers without any trouble whatsoever.
  • A well-priced tent considering the other quality rooftop tents available on the market.


  • Managing the ladder up and down is not a comfortable process.
  • A thicker mattress would have made life more comfortable.
  • Too bright LED.
  • No annex comes with the tent.

The Smittybilt Overlander tent is one of the most affordable tents in the rooftop tents world that offers all the nuts and bolts to make it a user-friendly option for the campers.

You will get comfortable space inside; this high-quality, long-lasting, and reliable tent features shoe bags, small pockets, LED, strong and long ladder, etc.

It doesn’t come with an annex, though. Nonetheless, you can buy it separately from this link.

What so many campers dislike most about this tent is its ladder. It’s a two-piece ladder and runs on the rails for extending. It tends to stick while running on the rails, not a smooth run at all. On top of that, if specks of dirt get into the rail grooves, it becomes even tougher to make the piece move. 

As the mattress is a bit thin, using memory foam over it should eradicate this issue.

Despite having a few hiccups, I still believe the Smittybilt overlander tent is one of the best Overlanding tents, considering the value it gives for the price. If you want to get the best bet without spending too much money, give it a whirl.

2. Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3 Extended Tent Review


  • Easy and fast setup process.
  • Enough space inside.
  • The base is quite sturdy as it’s made of strong aluminum.
  • Ample ventilation because of the large windows around the tent.
  • Well constructed with quality tent fabric that holds up in all weather conditions.
  • The rainfly excels in quality.
  • A durable, high-density foam mattress comes with the purchase having a removable cover.
  • The LED string helps you work in the dark inside the tent.
  • Adjusting the ladder height is not an uphill task at all.
  • It’s easy to get in and out of the tent. Kudos to those two red straps on both sides to help you out in the process.
  • The overhead storage loft helps to keep different small gear with ease.
  • It features a pair of shoe pouches.
  • Reasonable price.


  • Taking this tent down takes time.
  • A bit of a wobbly ladder. Don’t angle it too much to avoid wobbling.
  • It’s a tad heavy tent compared to other options I’ve listed here.

What makes this tent stand out from the rest is the quality materials that are used to make every part of this unit, including tent fabric, ladder, rainfly, poles, annex, pockets, shoe pouches, top cover, etc.

This particular tent has enough space inside to lodge three adults or two adults and two children, which I believe is the perfect size for a family camping experience.

Setting up and taking down the rainfly, annex, top cover, etc., are pretty easy and hassle-free processes.

Although it comes with a quality and comfortable mattress, memory foam over it should make it even more enjoyable.

Altogether, Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3 Extended tent is not any phony-baloney Overlanding tent by any means. Considering the price and service, you can give it a go.

3. Smittybilt Overlander XL (2883) Rooftop Tent


  • Made from durable and high-quality materials.
  • Tent is easy to set up and take down in a relatively quick time.
  • Easy to get in and get out because of the red straps on both sides.
  • The tent cover is strong enough to protect the tent bugs, tree branches effectively during the camping trip.
  • It’s wide and long enough to provide sufficient space inside to lodge four persons.
  • Comfortable design for tall persons considering the length and it also offers adequate headroom.
  • The tent fabric is quite capable of protecting the inside from outside materials.
  • A strip of LED lights is included in the kit to offer light in the dark.
  • It features sufficient ventilation during summer and also keeps warm inside during the winter.
  • A quality rainfly comes with the purchase.
  • It’s a cost-effective off-road camping tent.


  • The ladder’s quality needs to be improved.
  • A thicker mattress would have restricted a camper from using an extra foam mattress on top of it.
  • The base is not too sturdy.

Smittybilt tends to make spacious tents, and this particular model of the tent is not an exception. The company claims it’s a 3-4 person tent. Genuinely it has quite a bit of space for lodging at least three adults comfortably. Not that narrow for four persons either.

The materials are top-notch. With that said, an aluminum base would have made it sturdier and helped it earn the top spot on my list. My top choice, the Smittybilt Overlander tent, doesn’t have this drawback.

I must mention the tent cover’s ability to protect the tent from damage when in contact with tree branches and other materials on the way.

All in all, this particular Smittybilt 2883 weather-resistant rooftop tent is quite cost-effective and useful if usability in different weather conditions and spaces are some of your major concerns.

4. Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 Rooftop Tent


  • Lightweight design.
  • A foam mattress comes with the purchase to give you extra comfort without spending any extra money to buy it separately.
  • All four sides have windows to let enough light and air go inside.
  • It shouldn’t take more than 5-6 minutes to set it up and about 10 minutes to pack it up.
  • Easily removable quality rainfly comes with the purchase.
  • Two skylights inside the tent let you see the sky once you remove the rainfly.
  • The ladder is pretty long, and adjusting its height is as easy as pie because of the telescoping height adjustment model.
  • I must appreciate the tent cover quality and how it protects the tent from all angles, even when someone drives through the rain.
  • No leaks and it keeps dry inside during the heavy rain.
  • The meshes are quite capable of keeping the bugs out.
  • It has ample space inside to accommodate two persons.
  • Breathable fabric.
  • The price is a bargain.


  • The part of the tent cover that slides into the groove tends to be frayed a little bit after taking it on and off multiple times over a longer period.
  • The zipper around the base doesn’t perform well. It tends to be stuck at times.
  • It’s durable but certainly is not the bomb-proof one.

Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 tent is durable and holds the shape after several uses over a considerably long period, including the ladder.

It has four pockets inside to keep small camping gear.

Like other useful Overlanding tents, this one is also easily mountable in any direction like the passenger side, driver side, rear side, etc.

As the tent fabric provides enough breathability, you should enjoy camping with this unit in hot climates.

It’s fairly spacious for two campers. The height is good enough for moving inside comfortably and changing clothes. However, it’s not too roomy like some other options like the Smittybilt XL 2883 I reviewed above.

Overall, this is a useful rooftop tent option for two-person camping. 

Although, it doesn’t provide useful features like shoe bags, straps on either side of the inside part to get in and out easily, etc. Still, I believe, it’s a decent tent to go for, particularly in the warm weather.

5. TMBK 3 Person Rooftop Tent Review


  • The tent fabric is quite decent in terms of quality.
  • The stitching seems good, and it features seam tape.
  • This unit offers two red straps on both sides to help you easily get in and out.
  • Enough headroom inside to let a tall man sit comfortably.
  • The mattress provides a sufficient comfort level.
  • A lot of air flows inside because of the mesh windows.
  • The heavy-duty tent cover efficiently keeps the entire tent protected from different outside materials during the drive.
  • It has a skylight to let you enjoy the evening.
  • A quality removable rainfly comes with the purchase.
  • Quick and hassle-free setup and takedown.
  • Good customer support from the company.
  • This tent is quite easy on the wallet.


  • Managing the ladder height adjustment is as troublesome as the Smittybilt ladder’s height adjustment.
  • Useless instruction manual. The assembling process is not hard, though.
  • Repacking this unit is a bit troublesome, particularly for beginners.

This TMBK tent is pretty similar to the Smittybilt tents, considering its features but costing way less.

It boasts a sturdy base and does the job just right, no doubt. As the tent is made from rip-stop polyester fabric, it makes it resistant to ripping or tearing.

Since the ladder is not the best part of this unit, you might want to replace it with a quality telescoping ladder to ensure maximum convenience.

In a nutshell, this TMBK tent is a budget Overlanding tent without compromising the quality and necessary features at all. If you are finding a budget option, this one is the best bet for you.

6. Campoint Sunroof Rooftop Tent Review


  • The telescoping ladder is long enough and easy to manage regarding height adjustment.
  • Enough ventilation because of the mesh windows.
  • It contains adequate living space for two persons.
  • Multiple small pockets are there inside the tent to keep camping gear with ease.
  • The rainfly is large enough to cover the whole tent and gives excellent protection from rainwater.
  • It’s expensive compared to other named brands out there.


  • Although it’s a 2-3 person tent, accommodating three adults might find it uncomfortable to move while sleeping.
  • Setting up and taking it down might take longer than usual for the first time. Nonetheless, it won’t take more than 7-8 minutes for every next attempt once you figure things out.
  • No instructing manual in the box. You have to contact the seller to get the PDF version.
  • It could have been lighter considering the capacity.

Not getting the instruction manual in the box is probably the worst part of buying this tent. The company should focus on providing one. Yes, you will get a PDF manual once you ask the seller, but this is not how a company should sell a tent in this competitive market.

To set up and to take down this tent, I would suggest participating two people to get things done in a quick time. Moreover, the weight of this tent demands two people to handle it properly.

Despite having a few hiccups, I still believe this particular tent is not a phony-baloney by any means. More importantly, it’s another budget option that does the job pretty well, I must say.

With that said, if you are desperate about buying a proven tent from a reputed brand, this unit is not the ideal tent for you. The Smittybilt ones or the Overland Vehicle Systems tents are the ones you should get your eye in.


I’m sure you loved reading about different Overlanding tent’s benefits and pitfalls, and now you can choose the best Overlanding tent for you.

Let me be more precise.

If you are NOT finding any budget option and quality is the topmost priority for you, then go for either of these tents –

  • Smittybilt Overlander tent.
  • Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 3
  • Smittybilt Overlander XL (2883)
  • Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2

On the other hand, if you are looking for a budget option, go for either the TMBK or the Campoint tent.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Overlanding Tent?
The Overlanding tent is a season camping tent, which can be easily transferred from one location to another. There are normally two types of Overlanding tents, the rooftop tent, and the ground tent.

Do you need a roof top tent for Overlanding?
It is not mandatory to use a rooftop tent for Overlanding. You can also use ground tents if you want. But Rooftop tents provide more comfort, have more space, and as the tent is off the ground it keeps you dry in the rainy season and warm in the winter season.

Why do Overlanders use rooftop tents?
A rooftop tent stays off the ground all the time, which ensures the tent won’t come in contact with muddy environments, bugs, snakes, rats, or other wild animals. That feature creates a sense of security and brings a good night’s sleep.

Are ground tents bad for overlanders?
The answer is no; Overlanding ground tents are not bad. It’s all about personal preference. Some people like rooftop tents more than ground tents but that doesn’t make it bad. You just have to put in a little bit of extra effort to find a sweet spot for setting it up and enjoy the rest of your journey.

Hard-shell or soft-shell? Which type of rooftop tent is better?
The simple answer is that hard-shell rooftop tents offer a lot more compared to soft-shell tents but also costs more. A Hard-shell tent should be the first choice unless you have a small car. Small car owners should go for soft shell tents as that is perfectly compatible with smaller cars.

Is a rooftop tent tricky to install?
Actually, complete installation of most rooftop tents is easier and simple than a ground tent. There is also no carrying around difficulties with rooftop tents.

Best Overlanding Tent
Author: Euell Gibbons

Outdoorsman and proponent of natural diets. He loves camping, hiking and exploring the great outdoors. Camping is a way of life for him - as soon as he can get away from work, he's out there!

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