Roof Top Tent Camping With Kids


Sometimes, we just have to take our kids out of their internet-enabled shelters. Perhaps, we can all agree that life is more real closer to nature. Therefore, there is no excuse why we should not bring our little ones out for camping. Aside from being a slowing down experience for them, camping might as well be an educational endeavor. But since we are talking about kids here, we can expect a few challenges and considerations to make, for example, safety. For this reason, we should consider opting for roof top camping with kids.

Roof top camping with kids means having little humans that are vulnerable, for instance, to animal attacks. However, given that we are to sleep at an elevation on top of our cars, our kids are kept away from danger. But it does not immediately mean that our kids are already totally protected. Of course, we cannot keep them contained inside the tent. Therefore, we should still take some precautionary measures to prevent certain issues. That, at par with the best tent that has a capacity that can accommodate our family members like the following.

1. iKamper Skycamp 2.0

2. Tepui Ruggedized Kukenam Roof Top Tent

3. CVT Mt. Rainier Extended Stargazer Pioneer

4. Freespirit Recreation High Country Roof Top Tent

5. Tepui Autana Sky Tent

6. Smittybilt 2883 Overland Tent

7. Yakima Skyrise Tent

Children typically have lost enthusiasm for the adventure of a lot of adults. And we can ignite their enthusiasm alongside ours by taking them on an extraordinary camping quest. Not only are we able to relax ourselves from the constraints of our responsibilities. We can also gain a necessary bonding with our family, especially with our kids. Conventional camping is already a good option per se, but it cannot beat the tree-top simulation of roof top tents.

Safety Guide for Roof Top Camping with Kids

We hate it when our kids get into a disaster or when they get harmed no matter how minor it is. This is why it is important that we are guiding them properly, especially when trying out new things. This includes going out to camp, especially when it is our first-time roof top camping with kids. For instance, they may be climbing back and forth the ladder or roam around mosquito-infested areas.

Thus, here are some safety measures when roof top camping with kids.

Securing the Ladder

At home, we baby proof our stairs using fences to keep our children from accessing it. This is as the stairs pose potentials for falls. This is the same, thus, for the ladders of our roof top tents. Sure, we may just watch our toddlers every time they have to get in and out of the tent. However, older children may have to climb up and down the ladder by themselves. In fact, some may even find it an interesting game to keep doing it.

There is not much to do about it, but to keep the ladder secured in its attachments. We do not want our kids to fall with it just because we fail to install the ladder properly. Also, the fall may even to us, ourselves.

Thus, we should first make sure that the ladder hooks are secured on the brackets beneath the tent door. We can identify a safely fastened ladder when we hear a click. Also, it is also a similar indication when the ladder does not move from the brackets. Moreover, we should as well try and park on flat land if we can, so that the ladder is on an even ground. And in case of rain, snow, or mud, we should make sure that the ladder rungs are dry. This will prevent our kids and us from slipping on it.

In addition, we may also educate our kids regarding this safety measure. We should teach them to keep maintaining a three-point contact on the ladder when climbing. This means two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand, all on the ladder at the same time. Also, they should always learn to face the ladder while climbing on it, either up or down. It is best, though, for children that are 10 years old or younger if we stand behind them as they climb. This will enable us to support them with our hands in case they may accidentally slip.

Securing Tent Openings 

Since our tent is mounted off the ground, the biggest risks for our children are potential falls. Therefore, we should make it a point to zip up the tent at all times. It does not matter whether we are just hanging out playing or we are sleeping at night. Apparently, most tents already come with a mesh layer to keep the breeze in. Also, not only will the mesh function as a ventilation system but also as a mosquito net. Therefore, we can go roof top camping with kids without having to worry about mosquito bites.

Providing Sufficient Night Vision

Roof top camping with kids

Not being able to see what is in front of us will mostly result in accidents. This is why we have to bring with us a light source to provide us with vision through the night. This will be able to help our family in two ways. First is that our kids can move safely around because they know exactly about the space they are moving in. Second is that we can watch our kids, whether they are moving around safely or not.

Bringing a handy light source is also critical when our kids will have to go up and down the ladder at night. Thus, as a solution, we may have to install a rechargeable LED light with our tent. This can be used as a night light for entering or exiting our roof top tent. Also, we may need to bring an additional flashlight that we can use to light our kids way down or up the ladder. This will keep all their hands and feet on the ladder for safe climbing.

Drawing Garbage Smell Off the Campsite

This is basically saying that we should store our trash away properly. We would not want to store them inside the tent. Apparently, the strong smell of garbage or anything for that matter may draw the attention of animals. We may wake up one night to the sight of a bear prying around our campsite.

Fortunately for some developed campgrounds, there will be a provided, clearly-marked trash cans. There is likely to be a staff as well who will empty the trash cans regularly. However, if we are off this type of campground, we can hang up our garbage in a tree. We just have to make sure that the tree is far away from our tent. This is a basic survival measure when we are out roof top camping with kids.

However, because bears tend to be good climbers, our “bear hang” should qualify some criteria. Primarily, it should be between two trees and is hanging at a minimum of ten feet above the ground. Also, it should be at least four feet from the trunk of a tree and a hundred feet off from our tent.

Roof Top Tents for Roof Top Camping with Kids

Basic roof top tents can accommodate between two and three occupants only. However, there are some tents that are designed especially for a family, usually of four. These are some of the tents we can look up for our camping trip with kids.

iKamper Skycamp 2.0

This tent is expandable and opens to form an angled section of the roof or wall and the base of the tent. It is a hard shell roof top tent that is weatherproof and long-lasting. It is made possible by its polyester-canvas blend that can excellently withstand the elements. Also, it has a comfortable and wide mattress for a family of four. This iKamper also boasts of its installed locks and insulated base so that our kids can sleep well and warm. However, this tent might be a bit on the pricier side at around $3,899.

Tepui Ruggedized Kukenam Roof Top Tent

The Ruggedized Kukenam roof top tent from Tepui is most ideal for three adults, or two adults and children. It boasts of its ruggedized property for its diamond plate base and burly aluminum frame. Also, its fabric is dual-stitched and is about forty percent heavier than most standard designs. It comes with a variety of options and accessories to choose from for our specific camping needs. 

In fact, Tepui offers a “Zipper Gimp” system that enables us to zip off the canopy to switch with another. For instance, we may switch to the Explorer or the Ultralite, which are both Kukenam-compatible. All these valuable features at a price of around $2,149.95. Its only downside, however, is that it might be a bit cumbersome to install.

CVT Mt. Rainier Extended Stargazer Pioneer

This tent can perfectly fit three or more people in its spacious interior. It also may include an annex that hangs off the vehicle’s side for an extension of our outdoor apartment. Certainly, it measures about six feet by six feet to give us plenty of room to hang out and play in. It also has multiple windows, including a skylight, so that we can give our kids some vitamin D in early mornings. In the aspect of comfort, we can guarantee a good sleep with the 3-inch foam mattress it comes with.

Moreover, the tent is sturdy, being made of an aluminum frame and a poly/cotton ripstop fabric. This material is highly water and mold resistant to make it last long for multiple camping trips. It also comes with a polyester oxford rain fly to keep us totally dry in case of rain showers.

Freespirit Recreation High Country Roof Top Tent

The High Country roof top tent of Freespirit Recreation gives plenty of room for three to five people. It measures, when pitched, about 80 inches long, 98 inches wide, and 49 inches tall. It can hold up to a good 750 pounds for the number of people it can house in. Inside the tent is a good 2.5-inch high-density foam mattress that is wide enough for multiple sleepers. There also are plenty of storage pockets as well as gear hangers so that we can organize easily.

The tent’s exterior is constructed out of a 600D poly-oxford body fabric. Its frame, on the other hand, is a durable aluminum alloy. With that being said, we can guarantee that the tent will last long, even under extreme weather conditions. Thus, the tent is typically aerodynamic when pitched as well. It also helps that it has windows on all sides for ventilation and to reduce condensation. This means that moisture will be controlled expertly to prevent dampness inside the tent. The only drawbacks of this tent are its 172-pound weight and its $2,495 price tag.

Tepui Autana Sky Tent

This model from Tepui, like the Kukenam model, is ideal for three adults, or two adults and two children. Its size when packed measures 58 by 48 by 12 inches, and its weight, about 150 pounds. When pitched, on the other hand, its floor area covers 37.4 square feet with a size of 995 by 56 inches. Its peak height, moreover, is about 52 inches.

Generally, the tent is an all-season tent, which means that we can use it for basically any weather condition. It is made of a durable 600D poly-cotton ripstop, and its rain fly, of 430D PU, coated Oxford fabric. In addition, it has multiple windows with a no-see-um mesh that functions as ventilation and mosquito net. It functions as well by providing us much needed privacy. Also, it has two sky panels for stargazing or for natural light during the day. In the aspect of comfort, we can guarantee a good and warm sleep with its 5-inch high-density foam mattress.

Smittybilt 2883 Overland Tent

The Smittybilt 2883 overland tent is more on the least expensive roof top tents with impressive qualities. It can house up to three to four sleeping campers in its seemingly massive on-the-go loft. With that number of campers, there is still enough room to spare for our stuff or other gears. Also, there is plenty of space beneath the waterproof awning.

Moreover, the tent comes with a high-density foam mattress, rainfly, and a telescoping ladder. It also comes complete with a universal rack-mounting system and a cigarette lighter power adapter. The former tells us how convenient it is that we can work with any type of roof rack bars. And for all that, this tent-only costs a cheap $1,000, so we can spend our money on other necessities.

Yakima Skyrise Tent

Yakima has had a reputation for its roof top racking systems as well as cargo gear. Aside from that, they also offer the pocket-friendliest roof top tents in the market. For one, the Skyrise model costs only about $1,099 for several good properties. These include a weight capacity of up to 600 pounds and a capacity of up to three adult persons. With kids, this weight capacity can accommodate up to four people.

Generally, the tent is designed to stand up on all four seasons. It comes with a 2.5-inch foam mattress that is conveniently removable. Additionally, it is compatible with a variety of accessories from the same brand. These include an annex expansion room, a kayak rack, and more.

Related Questions

Can we use roof top tents for any type of car or vehicle?

It is important that we know primarily that we will be needing a car with a rack on top. The rack has to be a factory or an aftermarket rack for that matter. Also, we should check the weight capacity of the rack so that it matches our purchased or to-be purchased tents. We may also have to check with the manufacturer to see if our vehicle is compatible with the tent. However, for most tents, we may need a wagon-type vehicle, an SUV, a jeep, or a van. This is depending on the roof top tent’s size and model.

Can we bring infants to roof top tent camping?

It can be totally up to us if we can handle caring for a quite demanding little human. In case we would, we can deal with it by bringing a travel baby bed or bassinet. For younger babies, we may even utilize a pet bed if they are still immobile. When getting the baby in and out of the tent, moreover, we can always have teamwork of two. One should be in the tent to hand down or receive the baby from down the ladder. We may also opt to create a secure platform where we can stand on instead of the ladder.

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Eni Gordove

is an outdoor enthusiast. She loves the thrill of the challenges that nature brings.

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