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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone bought and used the official CX-50 rooftop tent?

What do you like about it or find annoying?

What other rooftop tents should I be considering that might be compatible or better value?

Super interested in making it easy to camp with 2 adults and maybe 2 small kids in the future.

Plant Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle
 

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Welcome to the forum @Carl G.! I haven't bought a rooftop tent for the CX-50 but there are other places that you could check out. You might want to reach out to places like Thule, iKamper, or Yakima to see if they can help you.

How often do you go camping?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to the forum @Carl G.! I haven't bought a rooftop tent for the CX-50 but there are other places that you could check out. You might want to reach out to places like Thule, iKamper, or Yakima to see if they can help you.

How often do you go camping?
I usually go camping 5-7 times per year, but could see myself doing it more if this allowed for more convenience, especially when setting up in rainy or not ideal conditions. I’m sure that it could be more/less convenient or time consuming depending on the tent.
 

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Before you start looking at which rooftop tent to get, I would first make sure you actually want one. What is it you are hoping to solve by going with a rooftop tent over a ground tent (or even a trailer)? Forgive me if you have already gone through this part of the process.

Rooftop tents do have some nice advantages, but in my view have far more disadvantages.

Pros
  • Free up space inside the cabin.
  • Get you off the ground.
  • May help with camping anxiety.
  • Some have quick setup.
Cons
  • You need to be able to level your vehicle, not just a tent.
  • If you want to drive somewhere on your trip, you have to breakdown the tent.
  • Storage between trips (they are huge and heavy).
  • Significantly more expensive than a ground tent (3x the cost of even the nicest ground tents).
  • Setup might be quick, but breakdown is usually not. Don’t let Instagram fool you.
  • Not easy to install and take off the car.
  • Not standup height, so changing inside the tent is going to be more difficult.
Personally, I would opt for a nice ground tent and a rooftop cargo carrier if I needed the interior space. Even splurging on those two items will cost you less than a rooftop tent. We have an REI Kingdom 6 that is very comfortable for our family of 4. It is easy to set up and breaks down into a bag that is the size of a large duffle bag and weighs under 20 lbs. Not sure you would find any rooftop tent that accommodates more than 2 people. At that point you are getting near the weight limit of most roof racks, even those designed for camping. Rooftop tents look impressive, but for most situations they don’t make a ton of sense.

Having said that, you may have one of those unique situations where a rooftop tent solves a problem in a way a ground tent or trailer cannot. That is a question you would need to answer for yourself. What is it that a rooftop tent is providing me that a ground tent cannot and is that worth the trade-offs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Before you start looking at which rooftop tent to get, I would first make sure you actually want one. What is it you are hoping to solve by going with a rooftop tent over a ground tent (or even a trailer)? Forgive me if you have already gone through this part of the process.

Rooftop tents do have some nice advantages, but in my view have far more disadvantages.

Pros
  • Free up space inside the cabin.
  • Get you off the ground.
  • May help with camping anxiety.
  • Some have quick setup.
Cons
  • You need to be able to level your vehicle, not just a tent.
  • If you want to drive somewhere on your trip, you have to breakdown the tent.
  • Storage between trips (they are huge and heavy).
  • Significantly more expensive than a ground tent (3x the cost of even the nicest ground tents).
  • Setup might be quick, but breakdown is usually not. Don’t let Instagram fool you.
  • Not easy to install and take off the car.
  • Not standup height, so changing inside the tent is going to be more difficult.
Personally, I would opt for a nice ground tent and a rooftop cargo carrier if I needed the interior space. Even splurging on those two items will cost you less than a rooftop tent. We have an REI Kingdom 6 that is very comfortable for our family of 4. It is easy to set up and breaks down into a bag that is the size of a large duffle bag and weighs under 20 lbs. Not sure you would find any rooftop tent that accommodates more than 2 people. At that point you are getting near the weight limit of most roof racks, even those designed for camping. Rooftop tents look impressive, but for most situations they don’t make a ton of sense.

Having said that, you may have one of those unique situations where a rooftop tent solves a problem in a way a ground tent or trailer cannot. That is a question you would need to answer for yourself. What is it that a rooftop tent is providing me that a ground tent cannot and is that worth the trade-offs?
Thanks for the response! That makes a lot of sense, and after watching a few YouTube reviews of rooftop tent vs ground, I’m thinking a nicer ground tent with minimal setup may be best overall. We’ll trial a family roadtrip with all of the cargo and see if we need more room for a roof rack. I’ve seen several folks say that the OEM crossbars essentially collide with the moonroof causing damage, so I’ll be looking at some 3rd party options for that next.
 
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