What are some rooftop tent alternatives?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “What are some rooftop tent alternatives?” We will discuss the alternatives along with some of the pros and cons. We will also talk about a few combinations that can be used for camping. At the end of this post, you will get to know some incredible camping alternatives that are affordable and versatile.

What are some rooftop tent alternatives?

Some rooftop tent alternatives are

  • Hammock with tarp
  • Tarp
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camping cot
  • Yurt
  • Pickup truck canopy
  • Pickup bed tent
  • Portable awning
  • Bivy sack
  • Teardrop trailer

Hammock with tarp

  • A hammock is often been a great alternative for a rooftop tent and many people find a hammock handy. There are alternatives for rooftop tents and there are several people who prefer to opt for these alternatives.
  • The only disadvantage of a hammock is that it is not suitable for all weather conditions. A hammock is not a good idea when it comes to rain and snow. However, campers use hammocks as an option to camp with a help of a small fire at night.
  • You might require a hammock with a mesh if you plan on camping at night. There are a variety of hammocks that are used for sleeping. Be sure to get the ones that are built with strong fabric. Some hammocks are also used for more than two or three people.
  • One of the biggest advantages of a hammock is that they are cheap and easy to set up within a couple of minutes. The only disadvantage is that they are susceptible to the elements.


  • Another alternative or probably the simplest option is using a tarp. This is easy to install and all you need is a small flat space to get your trap up.
  • There are special tarps that are available for camping. These tarps are constructed with strong material to keep you safe from rain and other elements.
  • The only disadvantage is that they are not perfect for camping in the snow or extreme rain. Tarps are lightweight and easy to pitch. It can also accommodate more than two to three people if you use a huge tarp.

Sleeping bag

  • A sleeping bag is another alternative that is used for camping. You can easily use a sleeping bag inside your car and it is not too expensive at the same time.
  • These sleeping bags are cheaper than tents and they can be set up in no time. Using a combination of a sleeping bag and a tarp at the same time will keep you warm during the night.
  • These sleeping bags are waterproof and they also have strong fabric to protect you from other elements. Just be sure to get breathable sleeping bags.  

Camping cot

  • Having a foldable cot is another great alternative to a tent. A foldable cot is perfect for those who do not like to sleep on the ground. These foldable cots are easy and lightweight.
  • You can store these cots in your vehicle and set them up in no time. Be sure to check the weight of these costs before purchasing one.
  • A foldable cot along with a sleeping bag or blanket is another good option. These can be comfortable and you can easily camp near your vehicle. There are also a huge variety of shapes and sizes.


  • Ever heard of a Yurt? A Yurt is one of the best modern-day camping inventions. There are yurt-specific campgrounds across the country.
  • These are dome-like structures and they are more of a luxurious comfortable camping alternative. You can easily have space for up to four people to sleep comfortably.
  • The biggest advantage of a yurt is that it is pet-friendly and you are sure to have enough space to store all your bags and trekking gear.

Pickup truck canopy

  • A pickup truck canopy is another good alternative and there are communities for people who camp in their pickup trucks.
  • These are known as camper shells or truck caps. The rear compartment offers enough space for you to sleep and there is enough space to store bags and baggage as well.
  • This is a multi-purpose alternative as you can transport stuff and camp at the same time. It is also good for storing all your cargo.
  • You can easily opt to install a pickup truck canopy on your vehicle and convert that space into a bed. Many people have converted their pickup trucks into motorhomes.

Pickup bed tent

  • Another option is to have a pickup bed tent. This is pretty easy if you already have a pickup truck. All you need to do is purchase a tent that will fit well on your truck bed.
  • There are multiple options for pickup bed tents and you can choose one which seems appropriate. You can assemble the tent in no time and the bed provides enough sleeping ground.
  • There is no need to worry about bugs and other insects that come crawling. This is a cheaper option when compared to a pickup truck canopy. The only requirement is having a pickup truck.

Portable awning

  • Portable awnings are another alternative to rooftop tents and they are known to be used in RVs and travel trailers. These awnings are easy to install and are sure to give your protection from the sun and rain.
  • These awnings are attached to the vehicle and they provide enough shade. Portable awnings are also used on your patio to protect your outdoor furniture from the rain, sun, or snow.
  • The advantage of a portable awning is that it is flexible and multi-functional. They are easy to install and they also provide additional space.

Bivy sack

  • A bivy sack is another option that is used for camping. These are a combination between a sleeping bag and a tent. A bivy sack has enough headroom with an extended cover. This cover is made from mesh and it also gives you a good view.
  • Many hikers use bivy sacks and it is easy to lay out on the ground. It also acts as a good pad at the bottom to give you more comfort.
  • A bivy sack keeps you covered while sleeping and it is well-insulated. It is also small and compact when stored. However, one of the major disadvantages is that they are not waterproof and cannot be used in rainy climatic conditions.

Teardrop trailers

  • For those of you who can afford a teardrop trailer, you are sure not to regret it. Some people might need a little more space and something sturdy, a teardrop trailer is one of the best options in this situation.
  • You can also carry a small kitchen along with you at the rear if you have a teardrop trailer. Teardrop trailers are lightweight, aerodynamic, and insulated against most elements. There is no need to worry about rain or snow.
  • You can also accommodate up to two people comfortably. Teardrop trailers are not too expensive and they are also easy to maneuver or tow. You can easily fit them in a garage.
  • There are various add-ons for teardrop trailers and it can be the perfect camping alternative to a rooftop tent. However, remember that teardrop trailers are slightly more expensive that rooftop tents.

There are various alternatives for rooftop tents and you can also use a couple of combinations to bring out the best results. A hammock tent is also a great combination that will keep you elevated from the ground and protect you from rain and sun at the same time. Since not many people can afford a motorhome, these are some of the best alternatives.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “What are some rooftop tent alternatives?” We have discussed the alternatives along with some of the pros and cons. We have also talked about a few combinations that can be used for camping. Leave us a comment below and tell us if you know of any other rooftop tent alternatives.



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