We’ve all heard the saying that you get what you pay for, and when it comes to cheap rooftop tents this couldn’t be more true. When considering which rooftop tent is right for you, it can be tempting to go for a cheap roof top tent option that promises all the benefits that you can expect from a more established brand.
There are plenty of small websites offering roof tents at 10-20% cheaper prices, however, there are some major disadvantages to choosing a cheaper roof top tent that could (and probably should!) impact your purchasing decision.
To help you evaluate whether it’s worth paying that little bit more for a premium tent, from a brand like TentBox, take a look at the main reasons we think you should avoid going cheap.
Cheaper Tents = Cheaper Materials
On the surface, this comparison seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many people forget that you really do get what you pay for. Photos online can make a product look great, but in reality, a cheap roof top tent will use poorer quality fabric which is less water-resistant and will get easily damaged in the sun.
It’s not just the shell of the tent you need to think about either – the little things can make a big difference and this is often where cheaper rooftop tents skimp on costs. Things like waterproof zips and waterproof sealant tape around the seams are a must, but cheaper rooftop tents won’t factor in these things. For this reason they often leak and rip easily.
Another thing that will often go with a cheaper version is the gas struts, opening mechanisms and closing buckles. They’ll break and fail, leaving you with a useless product.
At TentBox we use premium quality materials, such as SBS waterproof zips, genuine 280gsm canvas, waterproof seam seals and UV protective agent to build a premium quality product.
You’ll Need To Replace A Cheap Roof Top Tent
A cheap rooftop tent can be handy as a short term investment, however, it’s important to realise that you will need to replace it very quickly.
If you buy a cheap rooftop tent, you can expect to replace it every year or two if you’re using it regularly. Cheap roof tents do not stand up to the elements, and if you’ve opted for a rooftop tent that uses cheap materials you’ll soon see them start to break.
The very first TentBox customers have had their tents for over five years now, are still using them without any issues, and continue to be strong advocates of the brand.
Lower Prices, Mean Low Quality Customer Support
Lots of cheap roof top tent brands come and go within a couple of years and are unable to live up to their warranties or deal with aftercare and spare part support. There have been countless occasions where we have been contacted by owners of other roof tent brands, looking for help because they can no longer get in touch with the company that they purchased from.
TentBox is a well established brand that has been growing for 5 years, has many happy customers and a genuine warranty. On top of that, our support team is always on hand to help by phone, email or whatsapp offering a personal and quick response whenever you need it. As well as our two year warranty, we have a warehouse full of any spare parts, if they are required later down the line.
Cheaper Rooftop Tents Have Less Of A Community Surrounding Them
One of the best reasons to choose a more established brand like TentBox is that you’ll be able to join a growing community, and read reviews from previous customers in order to understand the quality that you are buying.
Cheaper roof top tents are essentially cheap replicas from China and won’t have a community of brand ambassadors to offer inspiration and boost brand trust. When you go with a more reputable brand like TentBox, you’ll be able to see the brand loyalty on various platforms like Facebook and Instagram where you can read independent reviews and get a feel for the brand.
TentBox has a growing number of ambassadors and dealers who are happy to represent the brand and discuss the pros and cons. This kind of community can be invaluable when choosing a rooftop tent and will give you the insider info. Our TentBox community is very friendly and welcoming and is always happy to meet and represent the brand across the UK and Europe.
They Don’t Stand Up In Bad Weather
One of the most common complaints that we hear about cheap rooftop tents is that they don’t cope well with bad weather. Nobody wants to get wet when they’re camping, but with a cheaper rooftop tent you run that risk every time you use it.
There are tonnes of articles online detailing horror stories of how cheap roof top tents have not been water and windproof, and have completely ruined people’s camping experiences. The good news is that with TentBox, you can rest easy in the knowledge that all of our products are 100% waterproof.
All of our TentBoxes are tried and tested, use modern waterproofing techniques, and are rated for use in winds of up to 39mph.
Going for a cheap roof top tent might sound like a good idea in the moment, but when you’re in the remote UK countryside getting battered by the elements you’ll probably think differently!
What Is The Best Roof Tent To Buy?
If you’re looking for a long term investment, a cheap rooftop tent just isn’t going to cut it. Cheaper tents have short lifespans and will be more likely to experience water and weather damage, tearing and general degradation.
A cheap rooftop tent is going to cost you money and stress in the long term, and they’re often only 10-20% cheaper. Alternatively, a slightly more expensive rooftop tent that is created with top quality materials will last longer, be more comfortable and offer you a much better camping experience.
Still wondering which is the best rooftop tent to buy? Discover the best way you can travel with a rooftop tent, by checking out our store. You can also read up on our predictions for the end of lockdown travel changes over at the content hub.