7 Best Waterproof Overlander Roof Top Tent
One of the best advantages of having an overlander roof top tent is they’re completely waterproof. Compared to ground tents, the fabric is high quality, durable and water-resistant.
Hard shell roof top tents are the best waterproof option. Their aluminum or fiberglass roofs keep you dry. When they’re closed, the shell prevents any water from getting in.
If you’re considering a soft shell, make sure the rainfly and body fabric are made of high-quality, waterproof materials.
Overlander Roof Top Tent Materials
Buying a tent constructed with high quality waterproof material saves you compensating for something of a lower standard.
The more breathable the fabric, the less waterproof it is and vice versa. With the right blend of materials, waterproofing and breathability can be achieved.
What materials make up the body of a vehicle top tent? Common materials are:
- Polycotton - Polyester is water-resistant but not breathable. Blending it with cotton increases breathability, giving your tent good waterproofing and ventilation.
- Ripstop nylon - Ripstop fabrics use a weaving technique which reinforces the material, strengthening it and protecting it from ripping. Ripstop nylon is usually polycotton blended with nylon.
- Ripstop polyester - The same principle as ripstop nylon, with polyester doing the reinforcing. Ripstop nylon is more breathable, ripstop polyester is more water-resistant.
- Polyurethane (PU) coating - This coating is applied to polyester or nylon fabrics and provides an extra layer of waterproofing. Teflon and aluminum coatings are also used.
Rainflies are made of thick polyester or ripstop polyester. Some have PU coating. (If you have a soft shell, remove the rainfly if you know it won’t rain - this improves ventilation).
Before we look at the best waterproof tents, here are some tips to make your tent as waterproof as possible.
- Before using your polycotton tent for the first time, take out the mattress and lightly spray the tent’s body fabric with water. This makes the cotton expand, which tightens the weave. If you have a polycotton rainfly, do the same. Allow the tent to dry thoroughly before packing it away.
- Apply a few coats of waterproofing spray. Any material’s natural waterproofing can degrade with use. Waterproofing spray like Fabric Guard boosts the material’s water resistance. You can apply it before your tent’s first use and from time to time after that. It usually needs 48 hours to dry.
- Some roof top tent brands supply weatherhoods for soft shell tents, which provide extra protection. If you’re camping in extreme weather, this may be a good option.
Now, let’s review some of the best waterproof roof top tents.
7 Best Waterproof Tents
Hard shells always win in terms of waterproofing. If you’re looking for a soft shell overlander roof top tent, we have a few recommendations for you too.
BunduTec BunduTop Hardshell Roof Top Tent
At the push of a button, this lightweight hard shell takes 30 seconds to set up. Its aluminum roof keeps you dry. So does the retractable rain fly which opens on all four sides. The body is made from Riptech ripstop canvas.
This soft shell vehicle top tent comes in two sizes. The small size accommodates two people, the medium sleeps three, and there’s an optional annex. The body fabric and rainfly are made from ripstop polyester with PU coating.
Another great feature - D rings on the base. This lets you stake it down for added protection in strong winds. Its aluminum frame makes it lightweight and it has a mesh roof panel, perfect for stargazing.
Eezi Awn Series 3
A timeless classic from Eezi Awn, this soft shell overlander roof top tent comes in five sizes. The body’s ripstop canvas is made from polycotton, double stitched throughout with wax-coated cotton thread, making it stronger and more water-repellent. It also has a PVC rainfly.
Eezi-Awn XKLUSIV Roof Top Tent
This model is made from the same waterproof materials as the Eezi Awn Series 3. It comes in four sizes and its optional add-on room is made with Teflon-coated polycotton ripstop.
But this tent offers more tactics for staying dry. You can access your vehicle directly from the tent – no need to go outside in wet weather. It also has an extended roofline – even if you don’t use the add-on room, you have extra shelter.
Eezi Awn Stealth Hard Shell Roof Top Tent
The Stealth’s aluminum shell keeps you dry while you relax on its 8 cm thick double mattress. It has a rainfly at the entrance and the shell is powder-coated, increasing its resistance to corrosion.
The body fabric is ripstop polyester, Teflon-coated for added water-resistance. The floor and roof are insulated so you’re warm as well as dry.
When closed, the tent’s height is 12 inches at the back and 6.5 inches at the front. It’s a good choice for an aerodynamic, low profile roof top tent.
TentBox Classic Hardshell Roof Top Tent
This insulated, aerodynamic and lightweight hard shell is made with PU coated ripstop canvas. Waterproof silicone sealant tape on the seams brings extra protection. For every TentBox sold, a tree is planted.
Overland Pros Anza 1400 Extreme Edition Roof Top Tent
This soft shell vehicle top tent is made from ripstop polycotton with a rubber-backed rainfly, a PVC transit cover and an optional ripstop polyester annex.
It’s not only great for wet weather. Its large entrances provide excellent ventilation and you can zip down the outer walls to increase airflow and stay cool during summer - a versatile waterproof option for all seasons.
To Sum Up
If waterproofing is your priority, a hard shell overlander roof top tent with waterproof body fabric will serve you well. We also looked at some great soft shell options and some techniques to boost water-resistance.
The main takeaway is - know your fabrics. Polycotton provides the waterproofing of polyester and the breathability of cotton. Combine that with a hard shell or rainfly and you’re ready to combat the rain.