The range of roof tents for cars is huge. For the test, the ADAC selected seven roof tents from a price range between 1850 and 3400 euros. All of the models tested are roof tents without a hard shell, which are folded out over the side of the car roof and supported with a ladder.
Further selection criteria were a lying area about 140 centimeters wide, covered access and a maximum weight including roof rack of 75 kilograms. The categories assembly and disassembly, processing, weather resistance, pollutants and camping suitability were evaluated.
Roof tents in the ADAC test: the Thule tent Tepui Autana is the winner
According to ADAC, the roof tent from Thule scores with the best workmanship and shows no weaknesses in terms of comfort, usability and pollutant rating. However, there were drawbacks when measuring the temperature in the cold chamber: other manufacturers offer a thermal inner tent for lower temperatures, which the Thule does not have. Despite this weakness, the Thule Tepui Autana is the only tent that received the grade “very good” in the ADAC test.
The most expensive roof tent performs worst
In addition, it is difficult to ventilate because of the few and small windows and shows rather poor workmanship, according to the ADAC. In addition, water entered the tent during the rain test. However, the new model from 2022 already has a newly designed rain hood and larger windows.
Seven roof tents in the ADAC test: points and verdict
When it comes to pollutants, the testers struck gold several times
Both the tent fabrics and the mattresses were examined in the pollutant test. The ADAC also found what they were looking for in some samples. In no case were the legal limit values exceeded. However, these limits apply to adults. Since the roof tents are also used by families with children, the ADAC based the test on limit values that apply to children’s toys.
Under these conditions, the dare to be different, Vickywood, Campwerk and Horntools tents exceeded the limit values for various pollutants. Thule, Nakatanenga and Gentletent were unremarkable.
The ADAC calls on the manufacturers to adhere to the limit values of the toy directive, despite the actually legal measured values, in order to ensure maximum safety.
The most important tips for buying a roof tent
ADAC recommends checking carefully before making a purchase whether the roof tent and roof rack fit together; about the width or the screw bridges with which the tents are mounted on the roof rack. The technical information from both the vehicle and tent manufacturers should therefore be carefully observed.
Ideally, you should borrow a roof tent before you buy it. In principle, the assembly of the tents on the car roof is easy, according to the ADAC. However, since roof tents can be quite heavy, at least two people are required to set them up, and four people are ideal.