Outdoors

Dome tents leap off the ground to the top of your car or truck

Dome tents leap off the ground...
Moab says its tent will pop up in a minute for an experienced user, maybe two for a newbie 
Moab says its tent will pop up in a minute for an experienced user, maybe two for a newbie 
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The Moab roof-top tent comes neatly packaged in a polyethylene roof box
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The Moab roof-top tent comes neatly packaged in a polyethylene roof box
Moab roof-top tents are pretty much pop-up dome tents on a vehicle roof
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Moab roof-top tents are pretty much pop-up dome tents on a vehicle roof
Moab tents can be ordered by contacting the company via its website
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Moab tents can be ordered by contacting the company via its website
Moab says its tent will pop up in a minute for an experienced user, maybe two for a newbie 
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Moab says its tent will pop up in a minute for an experienced user, maybe two for a newbie 
Moab's tent packs up neat and small
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Moab's tent packs up neat and small
Camping with the Moab roof-top tent
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Camping with the Moab roof-top tent
The ladder provides easy access upstairs 
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The ladder provides easy access upstairs 
Cold-weather camping in the Moab roof-top tent
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Cold-weather camping in the Moab roof-top tent
We'll bet they're glad they don't have to pitch their dome tents on the ground
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We'll bet they're glad they don't have to pitch their dome tents on the ground
View gallery - 9 images

The dome tent is a fixture of ground camping, traveling to camp by way of backpack or car trunk. Gently domed ripstop is not something you see in the roof-top tent market, however, where design tends to borrow more from cabin tents. Australia's Moab Rooftop Tents is fixing on changing that, pulling the stakes out of the dirt and lifting the dome tent onto the vehicle roof.

If Moab roof-top tents sound familiar in name but don't look familiar, it might be because you're remembering seeing a roof-top tent in Moab, a natural born destination for roof camping, or because you're thinking of Mother of All Bivouac (MOAB) trailers, from Arizona-based BCT. BCT's MOAB trailers are often equipped with roof-top tents, and BCT distributes Tepui tents.

Australia's Moab Rooftop Tents has something a little different to offer.

The vast majority of roof-top tents out there fit into two primary categories: hard-shell or canvas fold-out. Each style has its own pros and cons, but both tend to have some number of straight, broad walls, which are great for maximizing interior space, not so great for standing tall in rough wind.

The dome tent, in contrast, has become an icon of ground camping partly because of its superior performance in high winds – arched construction means that there are no straight, broad sides standing right in the path of oncoming wind. That's not to say that a dome tent won't flap, shake and rattle, but it'll shed wind better than broad-sided tents.

Moab roof-top tents are pretty much pop-up dome tents on a vehicle roof
Moab roof-top tents are pretty much pop-up dome tents on a vehicle roof

For five years, Moab has been working to bring the dome tent up to the car-top, and it has created a roof-top tent that splits the difference between hard-shell and canvas fold-out. Its design is sort of a life-sized camping jack-in-the-box, offering the promise of aerodynamics on the road and at camp. The tent's polyethylene case looks much like other hard-shell tents, only instead of a lid that pops or folds up to work as the roof, the Moab's lid splits in half and lets the dome tent flip out and stand freely.

To set it up, one simply unlatches the four locks, opens the front half of the lid, which stands in place with help from a metal stay, then flips the other half of the lid out, opening the tent up along with it. The camper then sets up the ladder and attaches the guy lines between the tent and the ladder to help stabilize everything. Moab tells us that one person can set the tent up in a minute or two.

Moab's tent is a double-walled design with inner and outer canvas walls and a waterproof index of 3,000 mm. The inner canvas includes mesh ventilation panels, and these can be left open by rolling back and securing the outer canvas.

Moab's tent packs up neat and small
Moab's tent packs up neat and small

One of the advantages of hard-shell roof-top tents is their sleeker, more aerodynamic packed design when compared to fold-out tents, which tend to fold in half into a block. This factors in during driving, helping to boost fuel economy and smoothen the ride. Hard-sided construction also improves durability, something to think about when taking the tent through the brush and rock.

The Moab tent weighs roughly 106 lb (48 kg) and measures 62.2 x 54.7 x 13.8 in (1,580 x 1,390 x 350 mm, L x W x H) when packed up. When pitched, it offers an interior that stretches 78.7 x 43.3 x 57 in (2,000 x 1,100 x 1,450 mm).

Moab doesn't have an online store set up but says that the tent is available now and those interested can contact it through the "contact us" feature of its website (linked below). The tent retails for AU$1,799 (approx. US$1,415), and Moab will be offering a AU$1,599 show special at this weekend's National 4x4 Outdoors Show in Melbourne.

New Atlas will be attending the Melbourne show and will bring you more information about all the latest in 4x4, overlanding, camping gear and more.

Source: Moab Rooftop Tents

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2 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really nice. I think that would also work on a trailer with a Dinoot box or a utility trailer with a cargo box on it.
Ferenc
It looks like a nice design, but how do you open the rear door? On the picture with the LandCruiser 200 for instance?