The rest of the world has started to discover something that folks in the 4×4 and overlanding communities have known for a long time – sleeping in a rooftop top tent is much better than sleeping on the ground. This was evident at the recent Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, where several exhibitors were showing off their first entries into the rooftop market. But Tepui Tents are certainly no strangers to the joy of sleeping on top of your vehicle, and their latest offering promises to deliver a host of innovations that will make it one of the most coveted new products for your vehicle this fall.
The new White Lightning tent is a stand-out product for Tepui for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it is the company’s first foray into the hard shell market. Hard shell roof top tents have the benefit of being slimmer and more aerodynamic while out on the road, which tends to help improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle and cut down on wind noise at the same time. Additionally, hard shells are usually quicker and easier to set up, and often offer more interior space too. The downside is that hard shells often take up a lot of room on the top of your car and weigh more weigh more than their soft shell counterparts. But, Tepui has found some ways to address those challenges and deliver a great looking product in the process.
Using a fiberglass composite construction method, the designers of the White Lightning have managed to create a tent that is just 8 inches high when stored away and not in use. That’s a very low profile, even for a hard shell. On top of that, the tent isn’t especially heavy or bulky either, weighing in at about 150 pounds. That’s still more than most soft shells available on the market, but it isn’t overly heavy in comparison to the competition.
The tent comes equipped with a 2.5-inch foam mattress, it is designed for use in four seasons, and can comfortably sleep two people. An included telescoping aluminum ladder makes getting in and out of the White Lightning incredibly easy, while Tepui’s universal mount system makes installation a breeze. In fact, it shouldn’t take more than about 10-15 minutes to get the tent securely fastened to the roof on just about any vehicle.
The White Lightning has a couple of other tricks up its sleeve too. For instance, the top of the tent is “rack ready,” meaning you can put an additional roof rack on top if it to haul around bikes, kayaks, SUPs or other gear. This hasn’t really been seen on a rooftop tent before and really opens up the possibilities for outdoor adventure. The tent is compatible with most racks available from Yakima and Thule of course, as well as other third party models.
The White Lightning is the result of a successful Kickstater campaign, which ran earlier in the summer and allowed Tepui to get the tent into production. It is now expected to begin shipping in November with an MSRP of $3800. You can still order one early however and get it at a $550 discount. That’s an impressive amount of saving for a tent that offers this much comfort and value. I had a chance to see it first hand at Outdoor Retailer last week, and I can tell you that it is indeed a quality product. I’m sure it is going to make waves in the rooftop tent market once it becomes available in a few months.
Find out more at TepuiTents.com.