in Roofnest Tips & Features / by

A hard shell roof top tent is a no-brainer for anyone with a serious love for the outdoors. It’s the camping option that’s always ready to go when you are, with practically zero setup time.

But a Roofnest is more than just a way to experience the great outdoors with ease and comfort. It’s also a place where you can catch some R&R wherever you can park your vehicle — including in some surprising places.

From literally getting above the crowd at music festivals to finding a retreat while waiting in line for the next iPhone, here are some surprising uses of roof top tents.

1. Camping in Style at Music Festivals

Camping at music festivals is more popular than ever. Multi-day festivals like Bonnaroo and Electric Forest include onsite campgrounds as part of the package, fostering a community of like-minded nature & music lovers.

But without a Roofnest, you still have to show up early and set up your tent before the first band kicks off their set. Then after days of partying (and little to no sleep), you’ve got to pack up your tent, poles, anchors, and bedding before you can head home.

With a hard-shell roof top tent, you can park and head straight to the front row. Don’t worry about setting up your tent — it’ll only take you a couple minutes to pop it open at the end of the night, especially since you can store your bedding in your Roofnest, even when it’s closed.

Plus, your roof top tent gets you heads above the hustle and bustle of festival goers, which means you can snag a killer view of your favorite band rocking out.

And get this: if you’re attending a multi-day festival that either doesn’t offer camping or is sold out of camping spots, you can skip the hotel and just pop your Roofnest in the parking lot to stay close to the action.

2. Waiting in Line for Product Drops and Tickets

Whether you’re a tech fan, have a sneaker obsession, or are a sucker for front row tickets to Broadway shows, it seems there’s always something exciting on the calendar.

The new iPhone, a limited-edition pair of Nikes, tickets to Nine Inch Nails, a midnight showing of Star Wars…the list goes on and on. And unfortunately, so do the lines. Depending on your passions, you might be camped out for 8 to 12 hours, or even overnight.

With a Roofnest, you’ve got an urban camping getaway so you and your friends can take turns holding your place in line. While one person waits in line, the rest of you can read, snack, party, or sleep on top of your car!

3. Sleep for Free While Traveling

If you’ve ever driven across the US, you know it’s a long, long drive. Even just a drive from Chicago to New York takes two days (assuming you want to sleep at some point).

A roof top tent affords you a handy place to catch a few z’s without having to spend the money on a hotel. Stores like Walmart allow travelers to camp out in roof top tents in their parking lots, and many cities’ local laws allow this, too.

Another good resource for so-called “freedom camping” is Just be sure to check the rules of wherever you’re stopping before you hit the hay.

4. Wake Up to Spectacular Views

In traditional camping, you can sleep under the stars all over the country. But you’re still restricted to places where you can set up and anchor a tent.

With a roof top tent, you can pull over just about anywhere and enjoy roadside camp spots.

Why not take advantage of that kind of access to wake up to some truly spectacular views, like this one a Roofnest user found on a recent journey?

5. Live the #VanLife Without the Van

We’re big fans of #vanlife. Seeing drool-worthy photos of cozy rigs ready for life on the road, cute dog and Chemex included, gets us amped for wherever the next adventure will take us.

But not all of us can afford a full van decked out to the nines. On the other hand, some of us have regular jobs (gag) that keep the van life out of reach.

A roof top tent allows you to live the van life when it suits you, and still have a normal car when it’s time to head to the office. And when you’re ready to quit the 9 to 5, your Roofnest-rigged car will be ready for life on the road.

Throw in a camping stove and a mobile Wi-Fi unit and you’re ready to roll in true #vanlife style.

More Hacks to Make the Most of Your Roof Top Tent

A roof top tent is the perfect option for roughing it through actual jungles or concrete jungles. But wherever you set up camp for the night, there are some tricks of the trade that can make your next night in your roof top tent even better.

Read our list of 10 genius camping hacks »

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