FSR X Trail Roof Top Tent Review

By Daniel Walczak, Instagram @dan.and.kay

At Driftwood Provincial Park

My wife and I enjoy getting out of our usual urban professional routine, whether it’s to go hiking, kayaking, camping etc. While you can enjoy the outdoors simply by stepping out your front door, when it comes to camping we wanted something that would give us a bit more comfort than sleeping in a regular tent, often on soggy ground, but not take up a lot of space like a trailer which we don’t have room to store. This led us to the FSR X Trail Roof Top Tent (RTT), Alpha Ranger Model. This is exactly what is sounds like, a tent that goes on the roof of your vehicle.

Description: The RTT is 7” thin, so we can drive it into our single car garage with it still on our vehicle (a mid-size SUV). It is made of 1.2mm honeycomb aluminum, along with 280G Polyester cotton canvas Diamond Sandwich Fabric with waterproofing of 6000+mm, so you’ll stay dry in a downpour, and eliminates wind noise (no more flapping tarps or rain flies!). It also has detachable roof racks (e.g., to transport a SUP or Kayak).  Overall it weighs just 128 lb and dimensions are 82” x 57” x 7” closed or 82” x 57” x 47” open.

Sleeping: This particular model is intended to sleep 2 to 3 full size campers (or 2 full size campers and 2 Jr. Campers), although I would say 2 full size campers comfortably (I’m 6’ and my wife is 5’4”)  and 1 Jr or furry friend. It has a 7 cm memory foam mattress that is very comfortable and a moisture proof 3D mattress cover to help protect against condensation.

Other things included: No See-um mesh cover for doors and windows, telescopicing ladder, 2 Shoe bags to store your footwear before you get in, and LED light inside.  

Our experience: We have now had the RTT for two seasons and used it for about a half dozen weekend getaways to various campgrounds. It has certainly made our camping sleep experience more enjoyable, and the best is having a bird’s eye view when we manage to snag a coveted spot on the water. While some RTT owners leave theirs on all seasons, we choose to put it on just before a trip and remove it after. This is a bit more effort, but we prefer to have it off  as our vehicle is our daily driver. The RTT has kept us dry in rain storms, warm when the tempters drop around 0 C, and allowed us to have quiet nights sleep on windy days. The RTT is also a great conversation starter as many have never seen one before.  

Some pros

  • Comfortable sleep, quiet, warm on cooler nights, and dry in rain storms.
  • Quick and easy set-up at camp – it only takes one minute to open
  • No significant impact on vehicle fuel efficiency
  • Above the ground (no more waking on wet soggy ground)

Some cons

  • Length of time to take it on and off (you’ll want a pulley or winch system in your garage to assist you like we have)
  • Condensation  – like with any tent, some condensation can build so you’ll want to make sure to vent it out after use so it’s put away nice and dry
  • Price – the high cost can be a barrier for many

To wrap up, our RTT has given us many more options for our adventures, from remote camping, to further multi-day distance trips where you want to be able to set up and take down camp quickly. While it may not be for everyone, we really like it and hope to get many more years of enjoyment.

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