Images courtesy of Front Runner Outfitters
For various reasons, some based on ingenuity and practicality, and some based on sheer trendiness, Roof top tents have exploded in popularity. And while Tepui really put this decades-old concept on the map for the average outdoorsperson, versus the intrepid overlander of years past, there’s actually more than a dozen makers of quality roof top tents (RTTs) out there.
Roof top tents are easy to set up, keep you off the cold ground, away from bugs and crawly things, and usually come with a comfortable mattress — all the while giving you great views from wherever you decide to stop. You don’t have to worry about hard, rocky, uneven ground and you can literally set up the tent wherever you can park on a reasonably level surface.
That said, they come with one major downfall: once installed, you’ve got a very large, heavy unwieldy item bolted to the top of your truck, killing your gas milage and restricting your access to many parking garages, or even your home garage. It’s at least a two-man job and slightly time consuming to get them off your racks, only to have to re-bolt your RTT back on the next weekend when you want to use it again. That entails getting tools out, wrenching in tight spots, and burning precious time.
Front Runner’s new Quick Release Tent Mount Kit gives roof top tent campers the newfound ability to remove and remount the tent without tools in just a matter of a few minutes.
Front Runner Outfitters began with a handful of friends from South Africa with backgrounds in engineering, design, manufacturing and off-road racing. After numerous equipment failures on their expeditions around the world, they decided to take their passion for vehicle-based adventure and dream up smarter, tougher gear. Today, Front Runner’s products have a global reputation for quality, intelligent design and durability, including roof racks, water tanks, tents, awnings, drawer systems and camping accessories.
Now, no tools are needed to remove or install the tent. Once the four quick release brackets have been mounted onto the roof rack and the base bushes have been installed, slide the tent base into the brackets. Removal is just as simple: release the tabs and slide the tent out.
Designed and manufactured in South Africa, the brackets are made of powder coated stainless steel and are built off-road ready. The low-profile design keeps the vehicle looking good with or without a tent. The brackets are small, unobtrusive and can be left on your roof rack when the tent is not mounted, leaving rack space for bikes, kayaks, ladders, etc. During travel, Front Runner says, the tent stays latched into place with no rattles.
“Aesthetics are important to us, but all of our products have to be expedition quality. Those are our roots from South Africa and we stay true to those,” said Tina Payne, owner of Front Runner Outfitters. “Versatility is also paramount, which is why these brackets are not just made for Front Runner’s roof top tent, but also work with all Autohome/Maggionlina, James Baroud, TJM, ARB, Tepui and many other popular roof top tent brands.”
Unless you live in Boulder and just want to drive around all the time looking cool with your new RTT, this innovation might just drastically improve your daily driving.