Thule's Newest Rooftop Tent Is What Every Avid Camper Needs
Some 86 million households in the U.S. consider themselves campers, according to the 2021 North American Camping Report. Approximately 48 million of those households took at least one camping trip in 2020, up more than six million over 2019. As more people leave home to explore the great outdoors, a good tent is a must-have, and the Thule Tepui Foothill could be the perfect fit.
In February, Thule launched its newest rooftop tent, which it says is particularly excellent for campers who also double as surfers, kayakers, cyclists, anglers, and more. That's because the Foothill takes up half the roof space compared to other rooftop tents, allowing outdoor adventure enthusiasts to carry a surfboard, bike, cargo box, or other accessories alongside it.
In the spring, Thule sent me a tent to test out for myself, which I excitedly took as an opportunity to head to San Onofre in Southern California for an overnight surf trip with some friends. Prior to receiving the tent, I ensured it would fit my car, a Subaru Outback. The one thing I didn't check was that my stock roof racks would suffice when it came to carrying the extra weight. It's a lesson I learned the hard way, as I had to order new racks. If you're unsure, use the company's handy guide and learn from my mistake.
After receiving the racks, it was time to install the tent. While the racks were easy to maneuver, the tent — weighing in at just over 100 pounds — was a bit tougher. You'll likely want to ask a friend for a little assistance in putting it on top of the car. After that, you're home free.
While driving, the tent just appears like a box sitting on the roof. It's completely covered, so there's no need to worry about damage on the road.
Upon arriving at my destination, I was pleasantly surprised at just how easy the setup was. As an avid camper, I'm used to toiling away with tent poles and flaps, and finding a perfectly level spot to pitch a tent. This time, however, all I had to do was uncover, unfold, and pop it up, then prop up my ladder.
But that's not all. It even has a mattress that's large enough to fit two adults with ease.
"Rooftop tents are made for outdoor adventures, but even explorers like to sleep comfortably," Thule explains in a release about the tent. "The included high-density foam mattress offers at-home comfort."
The company also offers campers the option to purchase add-ons like 310-thread-count Thule fitted sheets or a Tepui Insulator "for those colder nights."
The tent is solid as a rock, even in inclement weather, thanks to its UV- and mold-resistant fabric, making it ideal for seaside surf trips like mine.
Following the trip, I emptied my belongings from the tent and folded it up in under a minute. If you truly love camping, but also want the space to bring along a few of your favorite toys, this tent is for you. Just make sure to read all the car and roof rack requirements, as well as the instructions that come with it. Then, set off on a journey to wherever you please.