TentBox Classic is a roof top tent that sits on top of your car, truck or SUV, making it possible for you to camp anywhere you can drive. Developed in the U.K., TentBox has been popular there for years, but recently, U.S. customers have discovered this alternative to tent camping.
Starting in 2015 with the TentBox Classic, the brand has expanded to include 2 other models, the Lite and Cargo:
- Classic – The original. A mid-priced option, perfect for solo campers or couples.
- Lite – A good size for smaller cars. Still sleeps 2 people comfortably.
- Cargo – A little larger at one end to accommodate for more movement, and the ability to add cargo bars on top of the tent shell.
Having a rooftop tent makes it easy to camp anywhere a 4WD can go.
Setup for the TentBox Classic couldn’t be simpler.
Unhook the 2 front clips, push gently, and the front of the tent pops up with the help of gas-assisted struts. Then unhook the 2 back clips and push again to pop the back up. You also want to check that the canvas flaps are down over the hard bottom piece to ensure water runs off in the case of bad weather.
Breaking the tent down is just as simple. Pull the strap on the back of the tent to collapse it, then do the same to the front. In about a minute, you’re ready to go.
Is TentBox Classic for you?
The TentBox Classic is perfect for camping a few days at a time. Those who make frequent short trips —hikers, photographers, solo and couples campers — absolutely love it.
There’s no gear to carry into the campsite, and no tent equipment to set up, so you can enjoy every sunrise and sunset on your trip without worrying about setting up or breaking down your tent in the dark.
Even for beginners find the installation and setup quick and easy.
The TentBox Classic is best for adventurers who camp frequently, but probably not a good fit for those who prefer lots of amenities when camping. People who only camp a few times a year can still enjoy the benefits of a roof top tent, but they’ll be inconvenienced by installing and uninstalling it between trips.
The cost of a TentBox Classic may also be a deterrent for casual campers. For a fraction of the cost of a roof top tent, occasional campers can purchase a traditional ground tent and be just as comfortable.
What We Like About TentBox Classic
Once installed, the TentBox Classic can be completely set up in about 60 seconds. Zip doors on each side allow you to place your ladder on either side, depending on where you are parked.
There are also windows (end vents) on the front and back that can be used with fly nets down or canopy style to let more of the breeze in.
Rooftop campers love being off the ground while they sleep because they stay dryer, warmer, and safer from wild animals.
Inside the tent, you’ll appreciate lots of headroom, since there are no wasted corners like there are in a ground tent. The bed itself is about the size of a full-size.
The TentBox Classic is lightweight, so it doesn’t add much extra weight to your vehicle thanks to an aluminum frame. The only the exposed hardware is stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about rust.
This rooftop tent can double as a luggage shell with the mattress removed when the tent is fully closed, or you can leave bedding be inside while driving.
While camping, you have the flexibility of using a sleeping bag or regular bedding on the foam mattress.
The hard outer shell is made of ABS plastic that is UV resistant, so there’s no need to worry about fading, and if you camp often, you can leave the TentBox Classic on your car for extended periods.
The canvas walls are also very tough, yet breathable enough to keep you comfortable in different types of weather. In addition every seam is reinforced with PU membrane and silicone tape.
What We Don’t Like About TentBox Classic
Of course, there are a few challenges that any rooftop tent is going to bring about.
First, you will need to install a roof rack system on your before you can install the Tentbox Classic. While it does come with all the equipment needed to affix it to your roof, a roof rack must be installed first.
Wind can be an issue in a rooftop tent. If you have trouble sleeping when camping anyway, the rocking may prove troublesome. TentBox Classic is rated for up to 39 MPH winds, but that rating refers to safety, not comfort and quiet.
In extreme cold, you may need to purchase the additional Insulation Pod (available on the TentBox website). This pod fits inside the rooftop tent, blocking wind and insulating the tent.
A rooftop tent can be hard to reach for setup and breakdown on a tall vehicle like a Jeep or SUV. The straps help, but you may still have to climb the ladder a step or two to reach it.
What’s Included with TentBox Classic?
- A collapsible ladder
- Storage options, including a cargo net that fastens overhead and covers roughly half the total size of the roof and several interior pockets
- A small strand of fairy lights (USB powered) and a puck light (battery powered).
- Memory foam mattress
- Installation hardware, including a wrench, 8 bolts, 8 brackets and 4 rubber-coated fasteners
- Wire props to form canopy windows
Once you have installed roof bars on your vehicle (not included with TentBox Classic), you’re ready to install this rooftop tent with nothing more than what’s provided. To be ready for camping, you will only need bedding.
Although the roof of the TentBox Classic is insulated, you may want to purchase the additional Insulation Pod if you’ll be camping in extreme temperatures.
- TentBox Classic is extremely convenient and comfortable for the avid camper.
- You have your choice of color (black or white) to best match your vehicle.
- TentBox doesn’t require any extra space next to the car. All you need is space for the ladder, which is nearly perpendicular to the vehicle when fully extended.
- Speaking of the ladder, it can be installed on either side of the tent for the safest and most logical entry.
- The included foam mattress is more comfortable and warmer than an air mattress.
- The quick, easy setup and breakdown give you more time to enjoy the activities you love.
- At 140 pounds, it can be difficult to install by yourself, but with the help of another person or a garage lift, you can quickly install it and remove it from your car.