Is this the BEST, full-featured wedge style rooftop tent value?
If you are like me, you want the most value for your hard-earned cash. But, at the same time, you also know full well that the best always costs a little more – for more features and better materials and construction. Once in a great while, you find a product and brand that delivers a superior product at a surprising price. That is the case when I purchased my new rooftop tent from 4x4 Colorado, a new company based in Denver, Colorado.
I had been searching for a new and better rooftop tent for several years. I started with the same generic soft tent that most people choose for their first purchase – based mainly on the low price. The alternatives were all too expensive. But it only took a few camping trips before I realized that I got what I had paid for – a cheap tent.
When you buy the cheapest rooftop tents you “pay” more for fussy assembly and aggravating packing. It took forever to pack the tent. I ended up cutting off the stock Velcro web straps and hand-sewing on D-rings to securely compress the load inside the bulky soft cover. But the last straw was the noise! Our final trip in the soft tent was a campout on the shore of Lake Powell with winds gusting to over 30 miles per hour. This thing was impossible to sleep in.
I immediately sold that RTT and started shopping for a hard-shell replacement. This was another aggravation. I’m sure you agree that most rooftop tent brands look interchangeable. Sure, there are small cosmetic differences. But often these small features are sold for hundreds of dollars with the premium rooftop tent models topping out well over $3,000!
Finally, my search led me to 4x4 Colorado. Not only did their RTT models have innovative features, but the cost was lower than the competition.
Now after several outings, I can report that I am very happy with my purchase. I can also offer a few tips to make your experience even better.
The model that I chose was the Nimbus wedge-style tent. I wanted the wedge profile to provide the best defense against high winds (after my previous debacle.) It’s my opinion that you can point the foot of the wedge RTT into the wind and lessen the buffeting of the fabric side walls. So far, I haven’t had the opportunity to camp on the lake shore or rim of a canyon to put this theory to the test, but I maintain my optimism.
The wedge-style tents have the disadvantage of robbing usable space at the point of the triangular shape. 4x4 Colorado overcomes this problem by adding a secondary hinge mechanism to raise the foot of the RTT. Not only does this raised section gain useful floorspace, but it also creates a fourth wall for an additional window. The small, screened window provides only minimal visibility but much improved airflow. At the high end of the roof the Nimbus has a fifth window above the rear door. This allows for unobstructed air flow from the low foot window up to the window at the highest point of the tent. This upper vent window is also under the rear door awning, so it never needs to be closed, even in driving rain.
Most of the of the other features of the Nimbus can be found on other brands, including a telescopic ladder and shoe bag. You can attach the ladder to either side or at the rear and have flexibility of three door options. The Nimbus includes a memory foam mattress over a condensation mat as standard equipment. You have an interior LED light strip provided, ready to connect to your power bank. There is a handy overhead storage compartment that includes a clear pocket for your iPad. There are also several overlapping access points around the perimeter of the tent that will allow you to snake in an electrical cord if you have access to shore power.
It's the combination of ALL these features that make the 4x4 Colorado Nimbus rooftop tent a Best Buy!
But the one unique feature that sold me on the 4x4 Colorado Nimbus rooftop tent was the standard access port for the hose from a diesel heater. This hooded sleeve is built from flame-retardant material and is sewn high on the side wall. Airy, open rooftop tents and dry, dependable, and economical diesel heaters are made for each other! Now you don’t need to compromise with a half-open window and screen anymore! Not by coincidence, 4x4 Colorado also sells a diesel heater complete with Bluetooth connectivity!
I am impressed with the construction, fit and finish of the 4x4 Colorado rooftop tent. If you have different tastes, they also offer a rectangular pop-up model called the Stratus along with a regular and extra larger side opening model called the Alto. (See also the related article that covers the Pros and Cons of the three styles of RTTs. CLICK HERE.) All three models include hard-shell aluminum tops. All three have T-tracks along the sides of the top for mounting awnings and other accessories. (I added bubble levels at the side and rear to help when setting up camp.) 4x4 Colorado also builds a roof storage rack for luggage and gear that will fit all three models.
Here is a brief video that shows how fast and easy it is to open the Nimbus tent when you reach your campsite:
I have mounted the Nimbus on both my truck rack and a camping trailer with equal ease and satisfactory results. (4x4 Colorado also sells a set of “theft-resistant” locking nuts for the mounting brackets.) In my opinion, the total list of features is an honest bargain matched with the current price of $2,795.00. As detailed here, some of these features cannot be purchased at any price elsewhere. Currently, this price also includes shipping in the U.S.
In conclusion, I give the 4x4 Colorado Nimbus and the staff a Five-Star rating. I am very happy with the product, its performance in camp, and the entire ordering process. 4x4 Colorado is striving to provide “one-stop shopping” for your overlanding needs. Besides the rooftop tent models and accessories, they now offer a growing selection of field-tested overlanding, camping, and cooking items. Follow this link to learn more: CLICK HERE.
I also made a few changes to the Nimbus RTT. Stay tuned for the next article where I provide some helpful suggestions to improve your rooftop tent camping experience!