I have spent a lot of nights in tents and experienced a variety of backcountry lodging arrangements – everything from tipis and traditional ground setups, canvas spike tents to glamping gigs, and even a few take-anywhere overlanding rigs. In fact, in the years since first pitching my then-boyfriend’s tent in the backyard, I’ve realized that finding the right home-away-from-home can be a tough task. There are a lot of factors that go into picking “the one”.
On the initial considerations, I think about the region and weather conditions, group size, and type of camping I’m planning to do (car camping, ultralight backpacking, etc.). From there, I look at size/weight and packability. And to throw a third layer on it, nowadays, our family of four looks at comfort, setup time and durability (it’s amazing what a three year old can do to gear!).
And speaking of that third tier…a few years ago, rooftop tents (RTT) started to move onto the conventional camping and road tripping scene. What was once a necessity for die-hard overlanders has become a great setup for individuals and families alike. And in the last few years, they’ve made impressive strides in innovation, including the Tepui Low-Pro 3.
Pros: As soon I got the tent installed on my Subaru Outback, three things struck me. First, I couldn’t believe just how low profile the Low-Pro really was. Closed, the tent cover fit snuggly (ill-fitting flappy material, be gone!) and stood just seven inches high – a feature, I’m pretty sure, my gas mileage silently thanked me for.
Second, when I swung the tent open, I thought, ‘wow, that was easy’. The ladder detaches from the tent while stored, so all I had to do was pull the ladder from its storage bag and click it in – easy peasy.
And third, as I climbed said ladder to take a peek inside, I was immediately struck by how spacious it was. I’ve experienced both two and four-person RTT models, but was new to a three-person size. Long and short of it: I was impressed. This tent fit two adults, a rambunctious 3-year old and his kid-sister (a 10 month old infant) very comfortably – dare I say, with room to spare.
I particularly appreciated the mattress pad (no blowing up air pads when the kiddos are overtired and in meltdown mode), mosquito/no-see-um-proof mesh windows throughout (including the ceiling!), and the light-colored tent body fabric (3000WP breathable ripstop polyester) to help keep the interior cool in the heat of the day. Comfort and airflow were top notch in the Low-Pro3.
Cons: While I appreciate the slender profile, the Low-Pro 3 is still a lot of tent. Weighing in at a spec’d 120 pounds, it took two people to install it on my roof rack. Thankfully though, I didn’t feel or hear any more/less resistance than I did with my cargo box while driving. If your partner or a buddy can assist with the loading/unloading, share a 6-pack with them and go find a fun spot to camp!
Where we took it: This tent was all over Colorado since June 2019. We slept under aspens and in open parks between 8,000-10,000 feet and in a variety of weather conditions from rain to clear, crisp skies.