Top 10 Things To Make Your Rooftop Tent More Comfortable


Are you wondering how you can make your rooftop tent more comfortable? We created a top-10 list of easy things you can do, so you can create a very comfortable time while traveling with your rooftop tent. 

Top-10 Things to do to make your Rooftop Tent more comfortable: 

1) Buy A New Mattress
2) Use absorbent sheets and condensation mat
3) Use A Duvet instead of a sleeping bag
4) Use your own pillows
5) Create lightning inside
6) Use a hot water bottle in colder times
7) Create an outside living space – buy an awning
8) Create an outside lounge area – buy a travel hammock
9) Use a shoe bag 
10) Create a movie stand inside the tent

We have been traveling with a rooftop tent for over a year, in 2019 we made a road trip through Europe and Morrocco. Always in our small Toyota Yaris with a rooftop tent on top. It’s always exciting to go on a road trip, and we always have a very comfortable time. Probably because we used many of these tricks ourselves, to make our rooftop tent more comfortable. And you can do this as well, let’s find out more! 

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1) Buy A New Mattress

Many rooftop tents have a basic mattress that isn’t very comfortable. Often the mattress is very thin and doesn’t provide good breathability. Both factors are essential for both comfort and health. Sleep is known as an important factor that contributes to overall health, a good mattress improves sleep quality, which can improve your health. Find out more about the importance of enough sleep on this page of the CDC. 

Overlander Rooftop Tent Mattress

When you’re sleeping in a rooftop tent with a basic mattress, it’s probably not the most comfortable. I would recommend buying a new mattress, which is comfortable and durable. The Overlander Rooftop Mattress is specially designed to sleep more comfortably in a rooftop tent. It may be a bit pricey, but if you bought a cheaper rooftop tent, I think it is worth the extra investment;

Ikamper Rooftop Tents – Known For The Best Mattress

There are also rooftop tents available on the market that have standard a good mattress. Ikamper is one of those brands. They are not only known for their high quality, easy to set-up, rooftop tent. Also, their rooftop tents are known as comfortable sleep with a kingsize mattress. It feels like sleeping at home! 

Ikamper Rooftop Tents are one of the most expensive tents in the market. However, with such good quality, it’s worth the price, because you don’t have many extra costs to buy additional gear. And many of their tents are lightweight, like the X-cover model, which is around 120lbs (55 kilograms). Most Ikamper rooftop tents easily fit on regular cars. 

2 ) Use Cooling Sheets And Condensation Mat

Condensation in your tent is very annoying. Waking up in the morning, finding out that your whole tent is wet inside. If you recognize this problem, you probably already bought a condensation mat and cooling sheets. Otherwise, it’s time to buy one! 

When you don’t use a condensation mat in your tent, I would recommend buying one. It absorbs the condensation while sleeping creates a more breathable environment, which, in the end, improves your sleep quality. Also, lower condensation is better for the quality of your tent and helps improve the durability. Find out the latest price on Amazon;

A great tip to prevent condensation in your rooftop tent is to always leave at least one window of the tent open or slightly open. At least enough for fresh air to flow through the tent. Even when it’s cold outside, it is recommended to do. Fresh air doesn’t only prevent condensation, but it also improves your sleeping cycle. 

Always make sure to close your mosquito net thought, you don’t want to end up with a bunch of mosquitos or other insects in your tent, keeping you from your sleep. That would be even more annoying! 

Cooling Sheets

Cooling sheets also help to keep your sleeping environment fresh and prevent condensation. When you use high-quality sheets you’ll have a much better sleeping experience. Bamboo sheets are known to be very soft, anti sweating (thus less condensation), and breathable. Perfect for in your rooftop tent, and at home! Find out the latest price on Amazon;

3) Use A Duvet instead of a sleeping bag

Let’s stay in the sleeping area for now. One of the best ways of making your rooftop tent more comfortable is creating a sleeping environment that feels like home. 

A night of good night sleep has a lot of benefits, and you’ll enjoy your travel adventure even more! 

So, we already fixed the mattress and condensation problem for your rooftop tent. Another you can improve with many rooftop tents is the bedding. 

Many people sleep in a sleeping bag, which is fine for a few nights, but when you travel longer, you probably want to have more comfort. It’s time to ditch your sleeping bag and bring your own duvet! Which is much warmer and more comfortable anyways. 

You might think, where do I leave my duvet when I close the rooftop tent and continue traveling? Well, in most rooftop tents, there’s enough space to leave your bedding while closing the rooftop tent. It saves a lot of space in the car! 

However, in some rooftop tents, it is not possible leaving your bedding when you close the tent. Many rooftop tents that close sideways don’t have a lot of extra space left when they’re closed. But even when you bring large stuff like a duvet, there’s still a solution to how you can save extra storage space in your car. 

Vacuum Storage Bags

I recommend using vacuum storage bags when you can’t store your bedding inside your tent. If you buy vacuum storage bags with an electric vacuum pump, you can easily save up to 40 – 50% of the storage size! There are even handy vacuum pumps that work with USB that you can connect on a power bank. So if you run out of electricity, you can still use it! 

These vacuum bags are also great to save on storage space for clothing, swimming clothes, towels, and other bedding like, for example, your pillows. Check out the latest price on Amazon!

4) Use your own pillows

The last thing you can do to create an even more comfortable sleeping environment in your rooftop tent is bringing your own pillows. I think a good pillow is essential for a good night’s sleep. When your pillow is too small or thick, it can create neck pains or headaches. Something you don’t want to have, ever! 😉 

So, time to get rid of something else, many people say, ‘it’s very handy while camping,’ the inflatable pillows. You’ll have a much more comfortable night when you’re able to lay your head on your own pillow. 

And like we said, depending on your rooftop tent, you might be able to leave your pillows in your tent when traveling, and the tent is closed. If not, you still can use those vacuum bags, remember?!

5) Create light inside your rooftop tent

Rooftop tents don’t have those nice lighting settings you probably have at home. To create a setting that feels more like home, and is much more comfortable while relaxing in your rooftop tent, I recommend creating some lighting. 

You simply need lights if you want to go reading a book or playing a board game when it is dark. And you don’t want to hold your flashlight all the time, right?

Depending on the kind of rooftop tent you have, there are different possibilities to create lighting inside your tent. For some rooftop tents, you can connect a light strip to the tent poles inside, and you can maybe hang a small light in the ‘roof.’

We both have our own lamp, which we can use when we want to read a book inside the rooftop tent. It is just a small light, that’s not too bright, so it isn’t annoying if one of us want to sleep. We also have a larger lamp that illuminates the entire tent, and which we can also use when we sit outside.

Recommended Rooftop Tent Lights

If you want to buy lighting for your rooftop tent, Amazon is your friend! There’s a lot of choice for camping lights. You can find everything you want, from lightbulbs, light strips, flashlights, and much more. Depending on your Rooftop Tent, and what you find most convenient, you can choose the lights that you prefer most. Check out the latest prices on Amazon;

Light Bulbs For Inside The Rooftop Tent:

Table Light For Outside:

Light Strip For Inside The Rooftop Tent:

Natural Light

Sleeping under the stars, or waking up with the rising sun. It’s all about that perfect setting while camping and traveling with a rooftop tent. Many rooftop tents have different windows, which make it perfect to create natural light inside the tent.

Some tents even have a roof window, which automatically allows you to sleep under the stars. For obvious reasons, always make sure that you close your mosquito net when you open the windows! 

The more luxury rooftop tents, like the Ikamper rooftop tents, often have plastic seethrough windows. You can use these when its cold outside, but you still want to have the natural daylight coming in the night. A must-have when you go camping during the winter! 

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6) Use a hot water bottle in colder times

In winter times and even during spring, and sometimes summer, nights in your rooftop tent can be freezing. And your rooftop tent doesn’t have standard comfortable heating as you have at home. It is too much of a hassle installing an electrical heater in your rooftop tent, it’s not even necessary. And, many places you go camping, you probably don’t have electricity. If you want to have that luxury, you might want to shift to traveling with an RV. 

However, keeping your rooftop tent warm at night is very easy. Of course, first, make sure that you bring your warm and comfortable duvet. If you feel it is still too cold at night, I recommend using warm water bottles. You can easily leave this in your bed when you sleep, and they keep you extra warm at night. 

If you want to have a warm tent before you go to bed, make sure to put the warm water bottles (of course, filled with warm water) inside the tent, like half an hour before you go to bed. Your mattress will be extra warm this way! 

Always make sure you use warm/ hot water when you fill those warm water bottles. For safety reasons, you can’t use boiling water. 

The only downside is that these water bottles can cause extra condensation in the tent. You can quickly fix that by leaving a window open, so fresh air will flow through your tent at night. It might be a cold idea, but fresh air is essential for a comfortable sleep! 

7) Create an outside living space – buy an awning

When traveling with a rooftop tent, it is not ideal to only have your rooftop tent as both a living area and a sleeping space. Especially when you stay in one place for a couple of days, you want to have some extra space. So, time to create your pop-up living room! 

There are a few easy things you can do when creating an outside living space, and thus a more comfortable living area around your rooftop tent. The easiest thing to do is buying an awning, like an extra tent, that you often can connect to your rooftop tent or car. 

I would recommend buying an awning that also can close on the sides. This way, you can comfortably sit ‘outside,’ even when its a rainy or windy day. 

Most awnings are basically extra tents and have enough space to put in some chairs and a camping table. 

Ikamper Awning/ Annex Tent

When you’re using an Ikamper tent, I definitely recommend buying the Ikamper awning. It easily zips on the rooftop tent and is a perfect extension of your living space. Also ideal for colder days, when you can put an electric heater inside the extra tent, which also warms up your rooftop tent! 

Ikamper Rooftop Tents are known as one of the best and most comfortable rooftop tents in the market. The rooftop tents fit on almost every car, and with many different accessories, it is easy to create the perfect outside living space.

Awnings For Every Rooftop Tent

If you’re using a different rooftop tent, probably the easiest awning is on you can directly mount to your car. The only downside of this option is that when you drive a small car like we do, in our Toyota Yaris, the extension tent only reaches the height of your car.

So you probably not able to stand, which is not ideal. If this is the case, you might want to use an awning that you can easily connect to the trunk of your car. 

Rooftop Tent Awning/ Sunscreen

Rooftop Tent Annex/ Living Room

8) Create an outside lounge area – buy a travel hammock

Let’s assume you’re rooftop tent camping with beautiful weather. You created an amazing outside living space and did almost everything to make the sleeping part in your rooftop tent as comfortable as possible. But you’re still missing something. A lounge spot! 

A place where you can absolutely relax after a day busy day of hiking, kayaking, surfing, or another great outdoor activity. Maybe you have a nice BBQ, and its time for an ice-cold beer (if you have a fridge). But wouldn’t it be better to enjoy all this while relaxing in a hammock? Or when lounging in an inflatable lounge chair?

It’s super easy to create a lounge area next to your rooftop tent. We always bring our lightweight travel hammock, which you can easily connect between two trees, poles, or even your car and a tree. And if we don’t have that opportunity, we’re relaxing in our inflatable lounge chair, we’re using the ‘lamzac original from Fatboy.’ 

The beauty of these two products is that they are very small when fold, and thus don’t need much space in your car. Our hammock is even so small, you can easily put it in your pocket! The hammock is made of parachute fiber, so very strong, and it can easily hold two people. 

You don’t need more when creating a lounge area next to your rooftop tent! 

Lightweight Travel Hammock

Lamzac Original – Inflatable Lounge chair

9) Use a shoe bag 

When entering your rooftop tent, always make sure to take off your shoes of flip flops, and check if you don’t have any sand or dirt on your feet. There’s nothing more annoying than having sand in your rooftop tent on the place where your sleeping. It’s one of the things Kirsten hates most when I forget to check for sand when entering our rooftop tent (sorry!). 

It’s easy to fix, just put off your shoes before entering, and leave them on the roof of your car. This can actually damage your roof when you have like small stones or sand scratching over your roof. So to prevent damage, I recommend buying a shoe bag, which you can hang next to your tent. You just put your shoes or flip flops inside before entering your tent. No more sand inside! 

10) Create a movie stand inside the tent

One of our best online friends is a streaming service, like Netflix! Even when we go on a camping trip, we still love to watch a series or a movie. You might think watching Netflix or another streaming service can be difficult in a rooftop tent. Still, there are actually a few easy ways to do so. 

Of course, when watching on your phone, you can just hold your smartphone and don’t have to fix anything else where you can put your screen. But if you want to watch on a bigger screen, you probably want to have something where you can put your screen, instead of holding it all the time. 

So, inside your rooftop tent, you probably want to create a laptop or tablet stand to maximize your Netflix experience. There are actually custom screen holders for different rooftop tents. Ikamper has a movie stand accessory that you connect to your ceiling and fits a standard tablet or Ipad. 

Your Own Open Air Movie Night

When it’s a nice warm summer night, it is even more fun to watch a movie outside! So to create your rooftop tent cinema, make sure to bring a movie screen or a white sheet that you can use as a screen. You can span the sheet on the side of your car, where you created your lounge area. 

And when you make sure to bring this small, awesome, Bluetooth projector, you can stream and watch movies in your own open-air cinema! 

It might be possible that some other travelers want to join you, but that’s even more fun, right?!

Foldable Projector Screen

Mini Bluetooth Projector

There are many other things you can do to make your camping trip more comfortable. Still, these 10 tips will at least create a comfortable rooftop tent experience. I also would recommend creating a place where you can create your own meals. 

We’re using a simple camping stove, but if you’re into cooking, and looking for some more luxury, you might want to buy this portable kitchen. It contains everything you need when cooking, and is also a dining table that fits four people! 

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Léon Kopijn

Léon Kopijn works and lives as a Digital Nomad. He travels the world with the love of his life and writes about inspiring cultures and practical travel tips. Find out more about Léon on his about page!

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