Hitting the open road in a 4Runner lets you explore nature’s playground fully. But finding a good campsite and sleeping comfortably on the ground can be challenging. That’s where a rooftop tent comes in! Mounting a hard shell or soft fabric camping tent to the roof rack of your 4Runner allows you to camp anywhere in comfort and style.
However, with so many rooftop tent options on the market, choosing the perfect match for your needs and budget can take time and effort. In this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we’ll outline everything you need to know to pick the ideal rooftop tent for your Toyota.
1. Weight Considerations
When choosing which rooftop tent 4runner to choose, it will be very wise for you to consider the weight of the same since you do not want to undermine performance and may end up consuming more fuel. Soft fabric tents generally weigh 75 – 110 pounds, while hard shells range in weight between 115 and 165 pounds.
Ensure that you factor in the combined weight of the tent roof rack and other accessories. The 4Runner can only support a maximum dynamic roof load of 176 pounds with crossbars. The long-term consequences of overdoing it, however, are harmful.
2. Materials and Construction
Rooftop tents come in two main types – hardshell and soft fabric canopies. Hard shell tents have a fiberglass or aluminum shell over the fabric sleeping area. This makes them more durable and weatherproof but also heavier. Fabric canopy models have flexible poles and water-resistant canvas materials. They are more affordable and lighter but offer less insulation and may sag later.
When inspecting materials, look for ripstop fabrics and waterproof coatings. Aluminum or composite shell structures are preferred for durability and stability in wind. Make sure there are large screens to keep out bugs and decent ventilation. Many good 4Runner roof top tent options also have foam mattress pads for comfort.
3. Size and Sleeping Capacity
Rooftop tents come in different sizes based on how many people they can sleep. Smaller 2-person models measure around 55-57 inches wide, while 3-4-person tents range from 76-95 inches wide. Measure your 4Runner’s roof length and width to ensure your chosen tent fits appropriately.
You’ll also want to consider the tent’s packed size when closed. The tents fold into a hardshell case that you’ll store between camping trips. Low-profile models may be preferred if you have limited garage clearance. Just watch the opened height doesn’t hit your garage door when deployed!
Top Pick 4Runner Roof Top Tents
1. Front Runner’s Roof Top Tent
The Front Runner roof top tent is designed for mounting on top of your SUV, truck, or Jeep’s roof rack. It’s made with quality materials like aluminum and fabric to provide a comfortable sleeping space while still being durable for outdoor use. When set up, the tent platform sits about 2.5 feet above the roof, high enough to sleep well above the ground.
Some key specs on the Front Runner RTT:
- Dimensions: 48 x 96 x 37 in (L x W x H) when closed
- Weight: about 160 lbs
- Sleeping area: approx. 4 x 7 ft (fits most air mattresses)
- Sets up in under 1 minute with gas struts
- High-quality ripstop poly/cotton canvas
One of the best aspects of the Front Runner roof top tent is how quick and easy it is to set up. Unlatch the 4 corner clasps, then lift the cover. Gas struts do the rest of the work in erecting the tent. You just need to lock the poles – the process takes under 60 seconds. Taking down the tent is just as fast and simple.
The inner tent area is nice – enough room for 2 people and gear with a standard air mattress. Lots of mesh keeps air flowing, and the rainfly can be adjusted to different levels if you need more protection.
iKamper produces some of the most well-rounded and practical hard shells. The goal of iKamper, created by businessman Soon Park after his family’s multi-year road journey throughout the United States, was to develop a hardshell that could sleep four people. The project was made possible by an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign.
This is significant news, especially for families with children: hardshell tents are usually limited to just two sleepers due to their smaller floor plans, despite being superior to soft shell tents in terms of durability and weather protection. However, iKamper outgrew hard shells with its unique fold-out design, and it has since grown to become a reputable brand in the high-end rooftop tent industry.
3. Tuff Stuff
Most companies listed above specialize in rooftop tents; however, Tuff Stuff, based in California, is one of the few generalists on our list. They serve as a one-stop shop for winches, racks, and trailers, among other off-road adventure necessities. Consequently, it should be no surprise that Tuff Stuff targets the overlanding community with its tents, emphasizing durability, practicality over style, and affordability.
After reviewing the critical considerations around weight limits, construction materials, sleeping capacity, and features, you should feel well-equipped to select the right rooftop tent to mount on your 4Runner based on your needs. Make sure to measure roof dimensions and rack weight limits accurately first. From there, compare options across desired durability, space, ease of use, and budget.
The best rooftop tent provides ample sleeping room, weather protection, and convenience that suits your typical camping crew and overlanding style. Premium tents offer maximal space with hard shells and hydraulic lifts but cost more. Quality budget picks still deliver comfort at a fraction of the price through thoughtful fabric canopy designs. And remember the helpful installation and ownership tips!
With your tailored rooftop tent, you’ll gain the flexibility to camp off-ground practically anywhere your 4Runner can reach in security—no more sore backs from bumpy sites or wet ground. Just unfold your mobile bedroom, scale the ladder, and relax atop your private oasis after a day of adventure!