Hard Shell vs. Soft Shell Roof Top Tents

Hard Shell vs. Soft Shell Roof Top Tents

Camping is easier than ever with a roof top tent. When it comes to tent design, you have a couple of options. Some adventurers prefer sturdy hard shell tents, while others enjoy flexible soft shell tents.

Learning the difference between hard shell and soft shell roof top tents will make your decision easier. Before you hit the open road, consider the pros and cons of each for ultimate comfort.

Hard Shell Roof Top Tents

Hard shell roof top tents have a solid outer casing. Typically, these shells feature durable materials. At Super Pacific, we use high-quality aluminum to build our sturdy frames.


Strength and protection are the biggest advantages of hard shell tents. You don’t have to worry about rain, hail, or wind tearing your hard shell tent apart. These roof top tents can handle anything that comes their way.

Tents with solid shells are also aerodynamic. This kind of tent closes flat, reducing wind resistance while you’re driving from campsite to campsite. They’re also simple to assemble and collapse just as easily.


The disadvantages of tents with hard exteriors are minor but worth mentioning. The durable outer casing adds a little more weight to your vehicle. If you’re concerned about gas, additional weight is something you’ll need to keep in mind.

Soft Shell Roof Top Tents

On the flip side are soft shell roof top tents. These tents don’t have a hard outer casing. Instead, they resemble traditional ground tents with strong fabric materials and flexible frames.


Tents with soft exteriors are extremely lightweight. You don’t need to be particularly strong to set them up or disassemble them. They don’t add much bulk to your vehicle, either, making them great for gas mileage.

Soft shell tents are more spacious, too. Typically, they feature mesh, zip-up windows and panels, so you can let a breeze in or stargaze from your roof. Beginners can count on a soft shell’s flexibility to make camping simple.


The main drawback of soft shell roof top tents is their durability. The lack of a strong outer shell may leave them vulnerable to extreme weather. However, high-quality tents, such as those from Super Pacific, use strong acrylic materials that can withstand harsh conditions.

When it comes to hard shell vs. soft shell roof top tents, your best bet is to look for these three features: a sturdy frame, resilient fabrics, and manageable hardware. Get yourself a strong aluminum truck bed camper and robust roof top tent from Super Pacific. Our expert design and professional installation allow campers to enjoy the best of both worlds.

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