Best Roof Top Tents for Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, Outback

Last Updated on May 20, 2022

The static weight capacity and the dynamic weight capacity of Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek’s roof rack are 700 and 176, respectively. Meaning, that when the vehicle is moving, the roof rail can take up to 176 lbs load and 700 lbs when parked.

So, when it’s about buying the best roof top tent for Subaru Crosstrek, Forester, Outback you must buy one that weighs less than 176 lbs.

Besides weight, you should consider the following parameters too –

  • The tent fabric and cover quality.
  • The ladder quality and ease of height adjustment.
  • Sturdy base.
  • Ease of setup and takedown.
  • Tent’s floor area, height.
  • Ventilation, skylight, etc.
  • Durability, usability.
  • Add-ons like shoe pouches, inside pockets, etc.
  • Price.

Keeping all the above vital buying factors, I’ve listed the best rooftop tent for Subaru Crosstrek, Forester, Outback mentioning their benefits and pitfalls.

I’m sure it will help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

Best Roof Top Tent for Subaru Crosstrek, Forester, Outback

1. Thule Tepui Kukenam (Explorer) Roof Top Tent

Pros

  • The weight of this tent is quite ok to carry on the Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek.
  • A sturdy ladder offers a telescoping height adjustment system, which is quite easy to deal with.
  • Effortless setup and takedown process.
  • It is constructed with high-quality material to ensure its usability.
  • This tent offers a strong base consisting of an aluminum cap sheet.
  • The purchase includes a high-density comfortable foam mattress.
  • Four big pockets inside help you to organize different small gear.
  • You will get plenty of ventilation inside because of its multiple windows and awing features.
  • A quality quick-release rainfly comes with the purchase.
  • The price is quite acceptable.
  • A handy user manual helps to assemble the tent in a quick time.
  • Multiple colors are available to choose from, depending on your preference.

Cons

  • No boot bag comes with the tent. Shoe pouches should have been included with the purchase at this price range.
  • The zipper design around the cover is not infallible.
  • Generally, it’s not that ideal for extreme cold weather. However, adding this Tepui insulator will get the job done perfectly.

Thule Tepui tent was previously known as Tepui tent; later, it was acquired by famous rooftop tent manufacturer: Thule and has become Thule Tepui. The quality of the tent remains the same, though.

It’s a 3-person tent having a dimension of 96″ X 52″ X 52″, which is sufficient for comfortably lodging three people.

As this tent weighs only 131lbs, it’s suitable for Subaru Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek without any doubt. But, remember, the weight carrying capacity of this tent is 600 lbs. So, even if your vehicle allows about 700 lbs, don’t consider putting more than 600 lbs inside this tent.

Not too many tents offer a foam mattress with the purchase like this one. I believe it sets it apart from the crowd by saving some money for you. You have to buy a foam mattress separately if the tent doesn’t offer one.

Overall, this Thule Tepui roof-top tent is the overall best rooftop tent for Subaru Crosstrek, Forester, and Outback considering the usability, price, etc.

2. Smittybilt Overlander Tent – Best Value for Money

Pros

  • It’s lighter than my top pick Thule Tepui tent. So, it’s even suitable to carry over Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek.
  • Setting this tent up, securing it, and taking it down are some easy and quick jobs.
  • A long and sturdy ladder comes with this tent.
  • Enough space inside to accommodate two tall people with ease.
  • The red straps help to get in and out with ease.
  • This tent is quite capable of handling high wind and thunderstorms.
  • A shoe storage bag, inside storage pockets, LED strip, everything makes it quite a cost-effective option.
  • It (including the tent cover) comprises quality material.
  • Excellent customer service from the company.

Cons

  • Adjusting the ladder height is a troublesome process. Managing the pins, moving the ladder up and down should have been more convenient.
  • A thicker mattress would have made the camper’s life more comfortable.
  • The LED is too bright.
  • The rain fly flaps on the side in high wind conditions makes it very loud and causes disturbance sometimes during sleep.

This particular Smittybilt Overlanding tent weighs about 116.5 lbs. Meaning it’s within the weight limit of Subaru Outback, Crosstrek, and Forester.

It’s a 2-person tent having a dimension of 95″ X 56″ X 51″. It’s quite evident that it has ample space for lodging two campers without any hassle whatsoever.

As it’s made of high-quality material and has an overall quality build, it can handle high wind like 30 mph. Moreover, it has the ability to keep inside dry during heavy rain. The high-quality rain fly plays a major role in this regard.

Overall, considering the price, the quality features, and the benefits it offers, undoubtedly this one is the overall best Subaru Outback roof top tent.

3. Thule Tepui Foothill Low Profile RTT

Pros

  • It’s a half-size rooftop tent that leaves empty space to one side of the rack. Hence, it’s possible to put other accessories on the roof rack along with the tent.
  • Easy to manage telescoping height adjustment system for the ladder helps to deal with the ladder effortlessly.
  • There is plenty of ventilation because of several windows, including an opening option in the roof.
  • Easy to set up and takedown.
  • A cleverly designed tent.
  • Durable canopy.
  • It’s pretty straightforward to get the tent cover off and put it back on.

Cons

  • Not an ideal tent for two tall persons because of its narrow width.
  • As it’s a low-profile roof tent, it doesn’t have enough headroom for tall people.
  • It’s not the perfect tent for winter camping trips.
  • The mattress could have been thicker to provide more comfort in winter.
  • The price could have been better.

If you do diverse outdoor activities and are looking to carry an RTT on the roof rack without sacrificing all the space, This Thule Tepui Foothill tent is the one you should get your eyes on. This feature alone sets it apart from the crowd.

This particular low-pro roof tent weighs about 108 lbs without the ladder. So, there is no issue in terms of weight in carrying it over the Subaru Outback/Crosstrek/Forester’s roof rack.

This tent is about 45″ in width and 79.5″ in length, which is enough to accommodate two campers.

As the tent occupies only half of the roof rack when packed, you will be able to carry other accessories or things like kayak/mountain bike, etc., along with this Subaru roof rack tent.

All in all, it’s a compact tent, lightweight, good for two people, and ideal for spring to autumn camping. However, it has some drawbacks that I mentioned earlier. My top two picks (Thule Tepui Explorer and Smittybilt Overlander tent) don’t have most of those issues.

4. OVS TMBK Rooftop Tent

Pros

  • Decent tent fabric ensures the overall quality and durability.
  • Adequate airflow inside due to multiple windows.
  • The mesh quality of the windows is good enough to keep you free of bugs.
  • Sufficient headroom lets tall campers sit comfortably.
  • The mattress is thick enough to provide the desired comfort.
  • It boasts high-quality stitching and seam tape for its protection.
  • The heavy-duty tent cover protects the entire tent while transporting. 
  • Two red straps on both sides help to get into the tent conveniently.
  • Shoe pouch, multiple inside pockets ensure maximum convenience.
  • A quality rain fly that comes with the tent is well capable of keeping dry inside during rain.
  • The price is a bargain.

Cons

  • The ladder doesn’t offer a convenient height adjustment process.
  • Repacking this tent is a troublesome process if you are a newbie.
  • It doesn’t come with a handy user manual. The assembling process of this tent is not hard, though.

The features of this tent are pretty close to the ones that the Smittybilt Overlander tent offers but at a way lower cost. 

It weighs only about 108 lbs, which is suitable for transporting over the Subaru’s roof rack without any issues whatsoever.

The material quality of this tent at this price range is worth mentioning. It’s made of ripstop fabric that prevents ripping or tearing.

I suggest replacing the ladder with another ladder that offers a telescoping height adjustment system.

All in all, this tent model from Overlanding Vehicle System is quite a budget-friendly handy tent for your Subaru Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek. Yes, it has a few downsides, but no question about its usability. The customer support from this company is top-notch too.

5. Campoint Sunroof Rooftop Tent Review

Pros

  • Ample airflow inside because of multiple mesh windows.
  • Several storage pockets inside the tent help to keep the camping gear in an organized fashion.
  • Light enough to fit on the Subaru model’s roof rack.
  • Easy to figure out the installation process.
  • The ladder is long, strong, and easy to adjust height.
  • It’s capable of handling different wind conditions efficiently.
  • The high-quality rainfly covers the tent entirely to keep it dry after rain.
  • It’s reasonably priced considering the other rooftop tents for Subaru Corsstrek, Outback, and Forester.

Cons

  • No instruction manual comes with the tent.
  • Considering the capacity, it could have been lighter.
  • More than two adults may find it cramped.
  • Setting up and taking down this tent might require longer than usual for beginners.

Campoint Sunroof RTT weighs about 122 lbs. So, no doubt you can easily put this tent on the Subaru’s roof rack and move with it without any trouble.

Yes, it’s weird that this roof tent doesn’t come with a manual but setting it up and taking it down are not an uphill task. However, I suggest taking assistance from another person if you are not that expert in handling these tasks. 

It doesn’t include an annex. Nonetheless, you can buy a quality annex separately from here that is made for this particular Campoint tent.

Although this camping tent doesn’t come with a user manual, you can get a PDF version by contacting the manufacturer.

6. X-Bull Roof Top Tent


Pros

  • Ideal weight to put it on the Subaru.
  • Highly portable, easy, and quick to set up. Folding it back to the initial stage is a quick process too.
  • Easy to operate telescoping height-adjustment ladder.
  • Multiple pouches inside let you organize the small gear with ease.
  • Different hookups for mounting lights.
  • Quality stitching like other pricey roof top tents.
  • The air vents on both sides, as well as the windows, ensure enough ventilation inside.
  • It’s quite inexpensive compared to other quality roof-top tents on the market.

Cons

  • Although it’s a 4-person tent, I think more than three campers will find it cramped.
  • It doesn’t come with some essential add-ons like shoe bags, LED.
  • The instruction manual is not up to the standard.

This X-Bull RTT implements the required security measures to keep it secure and sturdy. A black security strap goes from one end to another to provide extra protection.

It weighs about 119.05 lbs. Meaning this tent is also light enough to put it on the Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, etc.

The dimension is 94.5″ X 55.0″ X 51.0″, which is spacious enough for lodging two campers. Three campers will find it somewhat ok. However, it’s not going to work for four adults for sure.

If you are on a budget, this particular X-Bull roof top tent is the one you should give a try. This one is one of the latest additions to the roof-top tent market. 

If you want to buy some proven tents, The Thule Tepui Kukenam, Smittybilt Overlanders have been there for several years now.

Final Verdict

Considering the quality and usability, all the tent models mentioned above are some of the best rooftop tents for Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, and Forester. 

Moreover, all of them weigh within the dynamic weight limit of the vehicle.

However, they vary in price. If you are on a budget and looking for inexpensive tents, go for either the OVS TMBK roof-top tent or the X-bull RTT.

Both The Thule Tepui Kukenam (Explorer) and the Smittybilt Overlander tent are the best overall options. However, you might want to replace the ladder of the Smittybilt one with another ladder featuring a telescoping height adjustment system for a better camping experience.

Subaru Rooftop Tents FAQ

Can a Subaru Forester support a rooftop tent?
A Subaru forester can lift almost 700 lbs on its roof rails, while a roof top tent weighs between 100 and 200 pounds. The Subaru Forester is, therefore, able to comfortably hold a roof top tent.

Can you put a rooftop tent on a Subaru Outback?
Subaru Outbacks are great for roof top camping. To put the Subaru Outback roof tent, first, you have to make sure to install good roof rails that can support the roof top tent.

Is Subaru crosstrek good for camping?
Subaru Crosstrek is really good for camping. It has a ground clearance of 8.7 inches. When traveling over rocky terrain, you can feel confident that your underbody will not be scraped.

Best Roof Top Tents for Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, Outback
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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