in Roofnest Tips & Features / by Nick Jaynes

What’s the best rooftop tent for a Toyota RAV4?

Some people may tell you that the Toyota RAV4 isn’t hardy enough to be a camping or adventure vehicle. They’re just plain wrong.

Although the RAV4 is a mid-size crossover, it can be purchased with all-wheel drive (AWD). With a smart AWD system and 8.4 inches of ground clearance, it’s as capable as any Subaru. And, you don’t hear many people poo-pooing Subarus’ outdoor bonafides much now, do you? 

Heck, you can even get a RAV4 in TRD trim with meaty all-terrain tires from the factory. That should tell you all you need to know about Toyota’s confidence in the RAV4’s capabilities.

Having established that the RAV4 is an adept camping rig, let’s consider outfitting it for outdoor adventure. That starts, of course, with a rooftop tent. Not every roof top tent is suitable for a short-roof mid-sized crossover, though.

So, in order to simplify things for you outdoorsy RAV4 owners, we have selected three Roofnest roof top tents that we think make the best options for the current generation of RAV4.

Condor

The Condor is Roofnest’s best-selling tent. 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. What’s more, it’s perfect for the modestly sized RAV4.

Condor 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 RAV4. The usable space of the RAV4’s roof is about 68 inches long. This makes the Condor just about a perfect fit, with about 4 inches on either side. That means you can adjust its placement on your roof to suit your taste.

Although the Condor is 12 inches tall when closed, the RAV4 isn’t tall enough that, even if you add 12 inches to its overall height, you’re not risking ruining the vehicle’s ability to fit in garages and parking structures with lower ceiling clearances. Same goes for trails with low-hanging branches. RAV4 plus Condor is still a great height for trail clearance.

Condor Overland

For those who want a Condor-size tent with tough-as-nails construction and the ability to carry more gear, we recommend the Condor Overland.

Condor Overland builds on the best-selling Condor fold-out tent and blends in some of the best features of the clamshell Falcon 2 tent. Namely, Condor Overland has an aluminum top shell that has accessory channels integrated around the perimeter. Because of these accessory channels, Condor Overland comes standard with top-shell crossbars, which can carry extra gear — up to 100 pounds when the tent is closed and 40 pounds when it’s open.

While Condor Overland includes crossbars and accessory channels like those of the Falcon 2, it has the compact fold-out design of the Condor. The Condor Overland folds down to just 60 inches long by 50 inches wide. Although it’s a bit heavier (165 pounds) than the standard Condor (135 pounds), the Condor Overland easily makes up for its additional heft with more smart features and additional capability.

Falcon Pro

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.

Falcon Pro measures 83.5 inches long and 54 inches wide. This makes its footprint slightly larger (13.5 inches) than the Condor and a bit longer (15.5 inches) than the RAV4’s roof size. Although Falcon Pro is just over a foot longer than the RAV4’s roof, it’s Roofnest’s shortest clamshell tent by 4.5 inches, making it the ideal clamshell roof top tent for the short-roofed RAV4.

The Falcon Pro’s 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. 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 RAV4 is to drive in the wilderness.

Regardless of which Roofest you choose for your venerable RAV4, we know you’ll be happy with your choice.

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