in Roofnest Tips & Features / by Nick Jaynes
What’s the best rooftop tent for a Toyota 4Runner?
Greetings, 4Runner owners! Let us first congratulate you on buying a Toyota 4Runner. It’s an enviable vehicle to own — one which may be more synonymous with outdoor adventure than any other modern vehicle. And there are good reasons for the 4Runner’s reputation for adventure-readiness.
The marque stretches back into the 1980s. With every generation, the 4Runner has gotten a bit bigger, and Its off-road prowess a bit better, too. Although the current generation of 4Runner might be a bit stale (it’s 10 years old now), it nonetheless succeeds where its predecessors have: at being off-road adventure ready, reliable and capable for hundreds of thousands of miles.
More than just capable and reliable, the 4Runner enjoys a massive aftermarket support system, too. If you can dream of a component for the 4Runner, chances are good that somebody will make it. This is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, list positives … and on the other list negatives.
Take roof top tents, for example. Virtually every Roofnest tent can be considered a good fit for the venerable 4Runner. That answer doesn’t help you, though, and we know it. In order to simplify things for you outdoorsy 4Runner owners, we have selected three Roofnest roof top tents that we think make the best options for the current-gen 4Runner.
We start off the list with our best-selling tent, the Condor. We recommend it for precisely the reasons it gets chosen above all other Roofnest tents: its compact size when closed and its ability to expand into one of the roomiest tents we make in about a minute.
It measures a meager 60 inches long, front to back, and 48 inches wide. The 4Runner has at least 80 inches of usable roof space. This makes the Condor a great option for a 4Runner with a platform rack. That’s because bolting a Condor to your 4Runner’s roof leaves 20 or more inches of extra cargo space. This could be perfect for a couple jerry cans of gasoline or some recovery boards.
Or if you don’t go for a platform rack, picking the Condor gives you the opportunity to mount it far enough back on your roof to allow for your moonroof to be unobstructed, too. That is, if you’re a fan of wind and sunshine.
With Condor on 4Runner, you save a lot of roof space but you also get a tent that opens up to comfortably sleep two to three people. It’s a real win-win combo.
The one caution we’ll give is that if your 4Runner is lifted, the 12-inch tall Condor may cause some clearance issues in garages with low ceilings. Same goes for trails with low-hanging branches. Essentially, you’ll want to be vigilant about watching for clearance.
The next best rooftop tent for the Toyota 4Runner is the Sparrow Adventure. It’s a pop-up tent that has a ton of interior space as well as a provision for accessory crossbars on its top shell.
Sparrow Adventure measures 85 inches long and 58 inches wide. This makes it just about the size of the 4Runner’s roof. So it’s a great fit without much — if any — overhang.
When the Sparrow Adventure is closed, it can safely hold 100 pounds of gear. And it can still support 40 pounds of gear when open. This is a great feature for those who don’t want to necessarily sacrifice their entire roof to rooftop tent-holding duty. By that we mean that you can still bring along your kayak and still have a rooftop tent — it’s really the best of both worlds.
Sparrow Adventure’s gear-carrying capabilities continue. Because of the shape of the top and bottom shells, there’s room inside for a plush X-inch mattress in addition to your bedding. That’s right, you can leave your sleeping bag and pillows inside Sparrow Adventure even when it’s closed — even when your mountain bikes are mounted to its topshell crossbars.
This bedding-carrying capacity both saves space inside your 4Runner but also enables you to get to camp later (less setup) and linger longer (less to break down and pack away). With Sparrow Adventure, your 4Runner’s outdoor adventures can be longer, easier, and include more of your favorite gear.
Lastly, we come to the all-aluminum Falcon Pro. It’s Roofnest’s halo product. That’s because it combines all the best features of our other roof top tents in one premium design. Like your 4Runner, it’s been engineered to withstand the harshest conditions and keep a smile on your face mile after mile and year after year.
Falcon Pro measures 83.5 inches long and 54 inches wide. This makes its footprint slightly smaller than Sparrow Adventure and even a better fit for the roof of the 4Runner. Falcon Pro’s top shell is shaped from a single piece aircraft-grade aluminum. This means it’s both incredibly strong as well as waterproof — there are no seams for water to sneak in at.
The top shell has an accessory channel to which we mount the standard crossbars. This enables the tent to carry 75 pounds of gear when open and 150 pounds when closed. Like Sparrow Adventure, Falcon Pro allows you to bring more than just a rooftop tent on your roof. Falcon Pro is just 8.0 inches tall when closed (not including crossbars). This makes it the slimmest tent on this list and one you’ll need to worry least about causing height clearance issues.
Despite its slim profile, Falcon Pro boasts a three-inch memory foam mattress (ours is true memory foam, unlike the competition). This makes the Falcon Pro as comfortable a place to sleep as your 4Runner is to drive off-road.
Is the Falcon Pro the perfect tent for the 4Runner? It actually may be. But we won’t say definitively either way. That’s because, like the vast number of modifications available for your 4Runner, it all comes down to personal preference and how you intend to use your 4Runner.
Regardless of which Roofnest you choose for your venerable 4Runner, we know you’ll be happy with your choice.
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