Explosively vibrant inflatable roof tent makes small car a mini-camper
When Austria's GentleTent debuted its GT Roof and Sky Loft, we didn't expect inflatable roof-top tents (RTTs) to become much of a thing. They're not quite there yet, but we do have another brand entering the ring with its own inflatable RTT design. Dutch brand Fjordsen combines a traditional folding hard floor with an inflatable body to create a family tent that rides comfortably on everything from full-size trucks and vans to superminis and small sedans.
The Fjordsen XL's cabin tent structure is quite distinct from other inflatable roof and ground tents we've looked at.
After experimenting with various shapes, from a basic tunnel to something of a trapezoidal prism, Fjordsen settled on a final design that maximizes interior space above an 87 x 87-in (220 x 220-cm) floor. A hybrid exo/endoskeleton of inflatable beams stretches the waterproof acrylic-coated TenCate poly tent fabric out, pushing the roof up to an internal height of 51 in (130 cm). The four sides of the tent are angled outward to increase elbow room, giving two adults to a family of four a roomy, comfortable stay.
Unlike GentleTent's inflatable floor, Fjordsen uses a more traditional dual-panel folding floor. The panels sandwich the deflated tent during the ride, with a sturdy cover keeping everything protected and dry. After folding out the floor, the owner uses the included 12V pump to inflate the tent into shape. The whole setup process takes about three minutes. Fjordsen's video shows that the ladder is removable and can be pulled off and stored in the vehicle.
The XL doesn't come with a built-in mattress like other RTTs, so campers will have to bring their own mattress or pads. Each of the tent's outwardly angled sides has a door-size window inside the outer door fabric, providing the opportunity for generous views and ventilation.
With its hard floor, the XL isn't as lightweight as GentleTent models, but at 132 lb (60 kg) it is still light enough to be carried by a large number of vehicles, including surprisingly small options like the Mini Cooper, VW Polo (not the Up!, though) and Nissan Micra. Buyers should always check the roof capacity for their own vehicles ahead of time, but Fjordsen does a solid job of listing compatible makes/models with roof dynamic weight capacities.
Fjordsen has gone all in on big colors, making its lineup stand out with options like a multicolor "StreetArt," "Woodland" camo and retro-trippy "FlowerPower."
The Fjordsen XL is selling for an early bird April price of €2,650 (approx. US$2,875) in the EU and £2,385 in the UK. Shipping is free to select European countries including the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and France, and costs €95 throughout the rest of the EU and €125 to other destinations around the world. Deliveries will begin later this month.