21 July 2022
Patrick Cruywagen spends a few nights in the Tentbox Cargo rooftop tent. Read on to find out if he liked it
I’ve used a soft-shell rooftop tent for years, so the TentBox Cargo was my fi rst foray into the wonderful world of hard-shell rooftop tents. I discovered I could erect and pack away the TentBox Cargo in less than a minute, while mates with other hard-shell tents took several minutes. Just unclip the latches and up she goes with the help of gas struts. Furthermore, I can store my bedding and telescopic ladder in the tent and they can’t. As for the bed, the comfy 6cm high-density foam mattress is the same size as a double bed, 125 x 210cm.
Is putting it away a struggle? Negative: there’s an elasticated band that goes all around the tent and once you have this in place it pulls the tent in while you put it away. All you do is pull it down and latch it closed. Disadvantages? It weighs 72kg, so don’t even think about taking it off your rack on your own – you’ll need a little help from a friend. Yes, it is big (127 x 215 x 21cm when closed) but I still have space on the rack of my 110 to stow a few other bits and bobs. Obviously something so big is going to negatively affect your fuel consumption, but this is normal when slapping stuff onto the roof of your Land Rover. Most people take rooftop tents off for the winter.
One of the nights I spent in the TentBox Cargo was very rainy and extremely windy, but it didn’t affect my sleeping or comfort levels. Interestingly, the TentBox Cargo has a wind rating of up to 39mph. I like the dark colour of the breathable ripstop canvas, the interior too is nice and dark when zipped closed. If you want to watch the sunset, just open one of the three windows; if there are flies about then leave the mesh fly-screens closed, as you can still see out through them. Thanks to floor vents there’s no condensation build-up in the tent. A huge cargo net adorns the ceiling, while there are pockets on both sides for storing bits you might need during the night.
The one thing it doesn’t have compared with similar tents are power options and built-in lighting. I’m sure they’ll be available in time. If you’re after a hard-shell rooftop tent the TentBox Cargo is definitely worth a look. Although much cheaper than many of its rivals, I never once felt it was lacking in quality.
What I liked the most:
• Takes less than 30 seconds to erect
• Can store bedding in tent
• Comfortably houses two people
• Lots of storage space in tent
• My young son can open or close it