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Piggyback room – car roof tents in the test: the most expensive is at the bottom

Not every camper indulges in the current camping bus trend. Rooftop tents have also enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years, and they can be found more and more often on cars. For this reason, ADAC has now tested seven models without a hard shell, which – once mounted on the roof – can simply be unfolded for overnight stays and then supported on a ladder.

The criteria that were important to the testers were assembly and dismantling, processing, weather resistance, pollutants and suitability for camping. The pleasing result of the first roof tent test: no model failed, six tents received the grade “good” and one model even “very good”. But although all folding tents have a similar basic construction and the results are close to each other, there are clear differences. Test winner is only not ideal when it is cold. And that also shows no weaknesses in the criteria of comfort, usability and pollutant rating. Only when measuring the temperature in the cold chamber can the model not keep up with others. According to the manufacturer, the Thule Tepui Autana can be used all year round and in any season and in any climate. Other manufacturers offer a thermal inner tent for lower temperatures, which the Thule lacks. The Gentletent GT Roof model (model 2021) is not set up with tent poles, but inflated, thus saving weight. But that doesn’t make it quicker to set up. There are also compromises in terms of comfort, because ventilation is difficult with the few, small windows. In addition, the testers noticed a rather poor processing. The fabrics were not processed properly, and the seams gave way in some places during the test period. Water also entered this tent in the rain test.Taking a close look at pollutantsThe ADAC examined the tent fabrics and mattresses for pollutants – and found what they were looking for in some samples. In no case were the legal limit values ​​exceeded, at least not for the pollutant limit values ​​for adults. However, since families with children also use roof tents, the ADAC has used limit values ​​that apply to children’s toys. These limits are exceeded by the dare to be different, Vickywood, Campwerk and Horntools tents for various pollutants. Since children also sleep in tents, the ADAC calls on manufacturers to adhere to the limit values ​​of the toy directive, despite the actually legal measured values, in order to ensure maximum safety. Anyone who wants to buy a roof tent should know that the individual models are compared are significantly more expensive than a conventional tent. The tents in the test were between almost 2000 and over 3000 euros. In order to be able to decide on the right model, you should ideally rent at least one roof tent on a trial basis. Once the tents are on the car, setting them up is usually easy. But getting to the roof takes a bit of practice: some of the tents are very heavy, and based on the experience of setting up and taking down in the test, you should be at least two people, preferably even four. And: When the camping holiday is over, you should take the tent off the car again. Because the ballast on the roof brings clear disadvantages, above all a high fuel consumption.
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