Last update on 2024-02-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Subaru Outback is a great vehicle for camping trips, its performance and look are loved by thousands of people around the world, but in order to have the best camping experience, you need to have a rooftop tent, in this guide we reviewed some rooftop tents that are used by a lot of Subaru owners and we chose the ones with the best value to price ratio.
Best Subaru Outback roof top tents
|Tepui Explorer Kukenam
|Tepui Explorer Ayer for Outback
|Rightline Gear 110907
|Up to 6 adults
In the world of roof top tents, Yakima is one of the most famous brands, it offers a large number of choices, with different colors and sizes to suit various vehicles like the Subaru, Outback, Forester, and outback.
Yakima was founded by Otto & Jeanne Lagervall in 1973, the name Yakima is the same as the city Yakima where the company was founded, Yakima city, Washington state.
In its first days, Yakima produced some footwear for kayaks and canoes, but in a few years after that, the business of the company vastly expanded to produce more products.
In 1979, Yakima was bought by Don Banducci and Steve Cole, and they transformed it from a small machine shop to one of the biggest roof boxes and roof tents manufacturers.
In 1984, The 7-eleven cycling team won most of the Olympic medals mainly because of the help of Yakima’s new gear.
In 1995, Yakima introduced its first bike mount locking fork, named SteelHead, and the famous S towers that are still in production to this day.
The company concentrated its efforts on the development of many accessories that increase the performance and the capabilities of many types of vehicles.
Other than roof top tents, Yakima produces a wide range of products, from roof racks to roof boxes, surfboards, trailers, and many more.
Yakima Skyrise is one of the most recommended roof tents for Subaru Outback and also for the Outback and the Forester, it combines many features that are essential for long-duration camping and optimized design that has a balance between the weight and good internal space.
Yakima Skyrise is available in two sizes, a “Small” size and a “Medium” one, the existence of different sizes allows this roof top tent to be installed on different types of vehicles, including Subaru Outback, Outback, Impreza and Forester, the only thing that the owners of these vehicles need is the right roof rails or roof racks.
250D nylon is the main material used in the manufacturing of the Yakima Skyrise, this nylon gives it a very acceptable strength in comparison to its lightweight, this is the same material that is used in most top of the line roof top tents that exist today.
Nylon does not let water in, but it will do the reverse too, it keeps the breathing and sweating water in, Yakima includes mesh windows to let the excess moisture escape outside, these mesh windows are also needed for Subaru campers that like watching stars at night you can open and close these mesh windows using a zipper.
A rainfly with a waterproof coating layer is also included to regulate the temperature inside the tent and also to provide protection against the sun’s UV rays, you can remove this rainfly if you like to have more airflow during the hot summer nights.
Pitching this tent is quite easy, The installation time of the Yakima Skyrise is 15 minutes and the setup time is 5 minutes (in average), the mounting of this tent is tool-free, one of the signatures of Yakima camping products.
A 2.5” Foam mattress is included with the tent to get rid of the need of bringing an additional mattress with specific dimensions, this mattress is comfortable and doesn’t add a lot of weight to your roof rack, this foam mattress has a removable cover to make its cleaning process easy and fast.
Yakima Skyrise is also one of the best Aluminium roof top tents that I could find, its Aluminum poles will not have any rust on them, and they are also strong, and far lighter in comparison to steel poles, this strength allows the roof top tent to resist strong winds.
An SKS security system (the same system that is found on Yakima roof top boxes), the SKS prevents unwanted hands from messing with your Subaru roof top tent.
To make the setup and the access to the tent easier, a ladder and everything that you will need is included when you get the Yakima SkyRise for Your Subaru Outback.
What do we like?
- The ease of installation and set up.
- The wind resistance.
- The usage of aluminum poles.
- The compatibility with the new Subaru vehicles like the Outback.
- The security system.
- Ease of cleaning
What we didn’t like?
- The zippers of the mesh windows must be handled with care, a small drawback that must be noted.
Tepui Explorer Kukenam
Tepui started its business in Venezuela, its first products were camping focused to help their customers to have the best possible camping experience.
It is currently based in Santa Cruz, in the state of California, a state famous for its awesome camping sites.
During 2018, Thule, (the famous roof boxes manufacturer know of manufacturing the best Subaru roof box available on the market right now ), bought Tepui to expand its business to roof top tents
Now part of the Swedish Thule Group, with over 2200 employees and many sales locations all over the globe.
Tepui is known for its high quality but expensive roof tent, but in this guide, we will only review the best Tepui roof top tent for Subaru Outback, the Tepui Explorer Kukenam.
I got this roof top tent while searching on Amazon for the best roof top tent for my Subaru, and I wasn’t disappointed with it, it looks good, super comfortable on the inside, and easy to set up.
Kukenam got similar features to the other tent on this list, an easy to use rain fly with a fast release clip with double panels on the roof to observe the sky.
These panels are made from canvas and allow air to pass through but their mesh doesn’t allow insects (especially mosquitoes and spiders) from entering inside the roof top tent.
The zippers of the Tepui Explorer Kukenam are far stronger than the ones on Yakima Skyrise, this is one of the benefits of using a material with better composition and higher strength, these zippers have also the ability to block water from getting inside the tent during rain and storms.
And of course, a telescopic ladder is included (If you have an SUV, you shouldn’t get near any roof top tent without a ladder), you don’t need to attach another extension to this ladder, its length of eight feet and six inches is perfect for a Subaru Outback.
Two persons are needed to install the Tepui Explorer Kukenam roof top tent, the installation could be done in half an hour while the set up during camping does take 15 – 10 minutes in general.
The tent can support three campers inside of it, but I use it while camping alone (I know, that’s sad) because I like to have a lot of room while camping inside a tent, especially in cold weather.
Kukenam tent can resist wind of 50 knots of speed and hours of constant rain, which makes it a great tent for camping during winter.
The walls of the Explorer Kukenam roof top tent are made using a combination of cotton and 600 denier polyester, this combination is augmented with a waterproofing layer that helps the tent to withstand heavy rain and prevents water droplets from getting inside the tent, while the rainfly is built using 420 polyester (also waterproof).
An awning is included with the tent (check the link below) that can be shut during storms and can offer great protection against the sun.
Aluminum poles are the main structure of this tent, similar to the Yakima SkyRise, these poles are strong and not prone to corrosion, and they are made to provide a good headroom space.
We already reviewed this tent multiple times, and each time we praise the universal mounting system that makes it compatible with many types of roof rack (including the ones on the Subaru Crosstrek, Subaru Forester, Subaru Outback, Subaru Impreza), we should note that your roof rack needs to have a dynamic weight capacity of 60 kilos to support this tent.
And finally, you need to calculate the estimated weight of the people that will use this tent, you can’t pass the threshold of 275 kilos, you might damage the tent and the roof rack bars if you do.
What do we like?
- The ease of installation and set up.
- Wind and rain resistance.
- Great internal design.
- High durability zippers.
Tepui Explorer Ayer
The second Tepui roof top tent on this list, it is a four-season tent that is compatible with a huge number of sedans and SUVs, its capacity is a little bit limited, only two persons can sleep inside of it.
It is made from 600D high quality waterproof polyester mixed with a layer of cotton to conserve heat inside the tent during winter, and it has an included foam mattress to have a more comfortable sleeping experience.
The mesh panels are also available plus four large internal storage pockets for your tools and electronics, and you can swap the canopy if you like to camp in an area with different weather conditions.
The sleeping footprint of the Tepui Explorer Ayer is 48 by 84 inches.
Rightline Gear 110907 SUV Tent
The Rightline gear 110907 is technically not a roof top tent, but it is also not a ground tent, it is classified as an off ground tent, it tries to combine the benefits of both worlds, the low cost of roof top tent and the protection offered by roof top tents, so, if you are looking for a good cheap tent, the Rightline Gear 110907 is your best choice.
In addition to its low cost, this tent comes with a full year warranty.
Sleeps 4 people inside it, a great choice for camping with your family.
It is waterproof thanks to its tape sealed seams and water-resistant fabric.
Subaru Outback roof top tent buyer’s guide
Difference between dynamic and static load of a roof rack
The dynamic load is the weight or the force applied on a roof rack while the vehicle is in motion,
Dynamic weight means when your car is in motion, the rating of the dynamic load is often lower than the static one due to the additional forces (wind drag, road shaking, off-center of gravity).
The dynamic load of Subaru Outback is 150lbs.
When you are in the campsite, Subaru parked, now we calculate the static weight, and fortunately, the static weight of a roof rack is far higher than its dynamic weight, the reason for that is passengers security, the roof of the car needs to support the weight of the vehicle, which means that you can install a roof top tent on it plus many other camping necessities like portable dehumidifiers or lights, etc…
What to check before buying a roof tent?
These are the most important things to check before buying a roof top tent for your Subaru
- Is it waterproof?
- Can the roof of my vehicle support the weight of this roof top tent?
- Can I use this tent in the winter during rain and snow?
- How many people can be inside of this tent?
- How much time does it take to install this roof top tent?
Should I get a roof or a ground tent for my Subaru Outback?
There are many differences between ground and roof top tents, the most important ones are the prices, the ease of installation.
When you are camping on a roof tent, you are away from many potential dangers of camping, snakes, crocodiles, and many more dangerous animals.
As a final verdict, roof top tents are the best choice for a Subaru Outback.