A lot of us tend to focus on going ultralight and shoot for a minimalist approach to our camping setups. What if we had a chance to carry all the comforts with us in a portable and easy to set up tent for our next outdoor overnighter? If you have considered such a situation and you can drive to your camping spot then I’d like to introduce you to a company called Tepui. Amongst other things (Tepui Gear Bags Review), they make top quality and pretty nifty rooftop (or truck bed top) tents.
I had the chance to test out one of their Autana Sky’s and quite frankly was really impressed. When it showed up all packaged in relatively flat (maybe 8″-12″ tall) rectangular cover I wasn’t sure how it was all going to unfold (ha ha). Let me say this was easily the fastest tent I have ever set up. Excluding actually mounting it, in less than 5 minutes this bad boy was ready to go. It appeared roomy and the material felt like it could handle many seasons traversing the countryside. The thought of being off the ground was also appealing to me.
The setup was my favorite part of this tent. Very simple and fast. All I had to do was peel off the cover which was attached with some Velcro and a couple straps and unfold it. The interior hinged supports rotated as designed and next thing I new my tent was up. That only left me to extend the ladder and get the window flaps opened. Please note, take 2 seconds and read the directions. While I was easily able to set up the tent without reading them, had I read them I would have known that there were poles stashed away in the cover to open up the window flaps. However what self respecting woodsman would take the convenient way out? Not this guy…I used the handy paracord guy wires as an improvised tactic. Not necessary, just use the included poles and you’ll be in great shape. Seriously, that’s it. I can’t elaborate much more than that. Soooo easy.
The only issue I had with the tent at all was the ladder. It’s telescoping which is nice and compact but I couldn’t get the bottom rung to stick open. I’m sure it was operator error (me!) but thought I would just mention it as I want to completely honest with my analysis. The issue was easily remedied by placing a couple sticks between rungs so the “button” would not be pushed upon applying my weight to the step.
I took a very simplistic and likely not recommended approach to mounting the Autana Sky to my pickup bed. I just used some 2x’s I had laying around and threw them across the bed rails. This was of course after I reached my desired location. While this method did work for me, I would highly recommend using an actual engineered roof rack or bed rail system. This would allow to snuggly mount the tent for travel and secure it for set up. There were mounting brackets included with the tent so once you have a rack/rail system in place on your vehicle attaching the mounting brackets should be a snap.
So with a tent you of course get a basic shelter. Tepui did take it a few steps further and provide some very nice additions to make life just a little better. They took the liberty of adding some vents to keep the condensation down (I never noticed condensation as a problem until the last elk trip I made. I had everything closed up in my tent and everything was definitely damp the next morning. Venting a little more air the next night remedied the issue but Tepui went ahead and took care of the that for you).
The coolest thing I noticed was they took the liberty of adding clothes lines inside the tent so you could air out your clothes. The small things and attention to detail was awesome.
The Sky also gives you plenty of windows to keep air moving or allow for star gazing.
There is more than enough room in the Sky for one person and gear. Two people could for sure fit but you would definitely get to know each other. The good thing about having a tent that mounts to your vehicle is you still have your vehicle to store gear in. So when its all said and done I would say it’s a two person tent and your gear would be stored inside the truck. Also, I’m 6′ tall and still had room to spare length wise.
If I was ever in a situation in which I had the ability to drive to my campsite, this would be a badass setup. A tent that keeps me off the ground, is sturdy, weather proof, and comfortable that sets up in minutes is priceless. Tepui knows what they are doing. They’ve figured this whole car top tenting thing out. I could easily call this base camp in all seasons and camp stress free (other than trying to fill my tag). If you can drive to your campsite, whether it be for hunting season or hitting the trails during summertime, take a look at Tepui. They offer a fantastic and functional product. I hope to have a future opportunity to utilize Tepui tents for hunting camp because I know I’ll be comfortable and dry.
Disclaimer: I was sent this tent to perform an honest and unbiased review. To the best of my abilities this is exactly what I delivered. Unfortunately I had to return it so the next guy could perform the same type of review I did. Tepui does have their act together and I wouldn’t hesitate to call a Tepui Tent home during my outdoor excursions.