When you want to pack light for your next adventure and don’t necessarily want to sleep out in the open under the stars, these best Jeep tent options will keep you covered and comfortable all night long.
Off-road adventure has always been the name of the game for both readers and writers of this site. Lately, however, given the fluidity of world events, packing up and hitting the back country, away from other people seems to have become even more popular. Overlanding and its related activities were popular before the pandemic; they’re doubly so now.
Having a comfortable spot to sleep makes all the difference in the world when spending a few nights on the trail. Waking up relaxed and refreshed sets you up for a better day ahead, one in which you’ll be more alert and less likely to put a wheel in the wrong spot. The fact there’s also less of chance that you and your driving companion will get irritated at each other is a total bonus.
To be clear, not all of these Jeep tents are miniscule in size, though some are. Your author once spent the night in a rooftop unit which would have made a pipefitter feel at home. While some models have more compact packaging for easy storage and less wind resistance on the vehicle, some are larger and flip open much like a textbook. Ultimately our staff experts focused on products that permit two people to sleep in relative comfort.
Here are our favorite picks just for you.
Lead photo courtesy RokM/Shutterstock
Table of contents
1. Editors Choice - Smittybilt Overlander Tent
This Jeep tent is a spacious example from a brand who knows what they’re doing in the off-road sphere. It includes a large 90″ x 55″ mattress for a comfy sleep, interior LED light strip, and anodized aluminum tent poles so the whole thing can easily be set up in the middle of the night. Stainless steel hinges easily withstand poor weather driving conditions with little problem, and an included aluminum telescoping ladder extends up to 6.5 feet, though it may require an optional ladder extension for lifted Jeep Wranglers.
The Jeep Wrangler tent has a versatile deployment construction, meaning it is accessible from either the driver or passenger side of your rig. That ladder we mentioned earlier is 18 inches wide, a good half-foot more than standard. Maximum load is well over 600 pounds and a durable PVC cover keeps the tent dry and out of UV light when not in use. Be sure to splurge for the matching Smittybilt SRC Overhead Rack to make sure the tent is properly secured atop your vehicle.
2. Best Tent / Awning / Annex Combo - ARB Simpson Tent Including Annex
Regular readers of this website will surely recognize the brand name represented by this rooftop tent. Mounting to the top of your vehicle for above-ground sleeping, it comes with a handy retractable aluminum ladder and a mattress thicker than any other on our list. Like the Smittybilt tent, this Jeep tent flips open and features good quality assembly hardware. There are windows on the side panels but not on its roof, and its dimensions should make it a good candidate for a Jeep Gladiator roof tent.
Just like a bonus room above a suburban home’s attached garage, this tent makes use of the space underneath its flip-out portion to create a covered room, making a great spot for changing after a swim or simply a place in which to quickly duck out of the rain. Note this tent’s travel cover is of the zip-on variety, and your author can tell you from first-hand experience it is all too easy to snag the tent material in that zipper when packing up to hit the road. Take your time and you’ll be fine.
JKloud Hammock for Jeep Wrangler
Okay – We’re stretching the definition of “tent” here to include the interior of the Jeep itself. This item is actually a hammock that goes strung up inside your Wrangler – either with the top on or off. It measures 56 inches long when fully unfurled, meaning six-footers will need to sleep diagonally on the 43-inch wide surface. It installs on the roll bar using a few clamps that are included in the package.
The seller claims this heavy-duty material can be easily reshaped to serve as a blackout sunshade or cargo cover when not in use as a place to catch forty winks. It has apparently been tested to bear the weight of two people or up to 350 pounds. Real world customer feedback suggests it won’t replace the fancy memory foam mattress you have at home but is more than serviceable for a couple of nights on the road or trail.
ARB Awning Room with Floor
An annex by any other name is apparently called an awning room, at least in the language of overlanding. This cubist structure is an addition that you can attach to one of ARBs awnings (ARB awning 814201 or 4402A) that you can set up on the ground adjacent to your vehicle and creates a nearly 100-inch square covered area. The note that this unit also has a floor is a feature that should not be overlooked, since it will provide a surface on which to toss a couple of sleeping bags without the need to drag along a separate tarp.
Exterior walls are made from UV-treated 300 denier polyester, meaning it should take more than the errant poke of a tool or utensil to rip a hole in the thing. There is a ventilated roof for crossflow, perfect for those longer stays in the bush when things start to get rank. There are heavy duty nylon hooks for an awning pole attachment plus high mounted cable access ports and guides for lighting solutions. The best thing about this is that if you want some sun protection, the awning has you covered until unless you want or need more protection. That is where this Jeep Tent shines.
UNISTRENGH Jeep Roof Top Tent
Here is a Jeep roof top tent that puts a bit more emphasis on versatility than outright space. Rather than flipping open like some other Jeep tent options, this tent pops up into something of an A-frame, one whose footprint measures roughly 86 inches by 57 inches. This is more than enough space in which to stretch out, and the tent’s high point should permit plenty of movement inside without bonking your noggin at that end. There’s no missing the tent’s blue and grey color scheme, that’s on display whether the thing is deployed or not.
While the sellers also list it as an inflatable fishing tent, and have it pictured being used as a raft on the water, we strongly suggest that the only time you have it on the water is when installed on your Jeep and you’re traversing a river or creek. Nevertheless, a long ladder is shown in the ads, making it easy to get aboard the thing when it is up where it belongs – on the roof of your vehicle. An inherent benefit of this pop up style tent is that the unit does not stick out to the left or right side of your rig when fully open, meaning the space in which you’ve parked is the total footprint you’ll need for camping.
Are there real-world differences in these tents?
Yes. Be sure to read the item description before hitting that Check Price button in order to make certain the tent provides the features you require. Measure the roof top of your Jeep to ensure the thing will fit without being balanced like a precarious dinner plate at the edge of a table. It is a good idea to also check weight restrictions. Finally, make absolutely certain that the rack atop your rig is equipped to handle a roof top tent.
The difference between a pop-up and flip-out Jeep roof top tent is not insignificant. The former permits a much smaller camping footprint while the latter allows for greater range of movement inside the tent. If your camping companions are tall, consider a flip out tent. Also, enduring a poorly designed travel cover is an experience best left to your worst enemies, since packing up to hit the road should be a relatively quick and painless experience. Stuck zippers, caught fabric, and general misery can accompany a janky cover. Read the online reviews and use your best judgement before committing to a particular Jeep tent.
Don’t these affect fuel economy?
Adding a roof top tent to any machine will surely alter its aerodynamics, but the fuel economy penalty isn’t overly severe, at least not in our first-hand experience. There is, however, a not inconsiderable difference in overall height, meaning drivers should be aware of potential clearance issues – both man-made and naturally occurring.
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