Rooftop Tent Camping With Kids

Rooftop Tent Camping With Kids - Freespirit Recreation



By: Tim Daiker and Kristine Sewell

For kids, sleeping off the ground in a rooftop tent is a fun and magical experience, it is like sleeping in a tree house with a different view every night! Star gazing and views as far and their eyes can see make it a magical and unique camping experience. For families, it gives time together while making memories and having fun in an elevated adventure.

Rooftop tents are quickly gaining in popularity from coast to coast in the United States (and world really). It provides a comfortable camping experience off the ground, away from bugs and critters. Freespirit Recreation rooftop tents are fast and easy to set-up so that you can get out and enjoy the trip without having to spend a long time setting up camp. The tri-layer fabric allows for multi-season use, making sure everyone is comfortable. Learn more about Freespirit Recreation Rooftop Tents by clicking here.

What are some of the things to consider when camping in a rooftop tent with kids?

  1. Safety: Safety is always a concern for families when camping with kids especially in a rooftop tent. When camping in a roof top tent you need to remember that the height of the tent is a fall hazard so precautions should be made to minimize the risk especially when camping with kids 8 and under:

-Ladder/Tent Location: Whenever possible, choose a location that is free of rocks or other obstacles that a child could hit in the event of a fall such as rocks, stumps, tree branches, etc.

-Climbing Up and Down the Ladder: Never ever go up or especially DOWN the ladder while facing out.  Always face the ladder, use both hands, and do not skip any steps if you are in a hurry.

-Ladder Access: When dealing with smaller children that like to climb, it is suggested to have something available that could be used to block access to the ladder or would limit how high they could climb.  A good example would be Grandma's Child Saver which was designed to prevent children from climbing up ladders to swimming pools but can also be used for numerous other ladder applications:

-Zipper Accessibility: Most falls out of the rooftop tent tend to happen when a child leans on the front door of the tent that is not closed all the way.  Always try and create a good habit of not only closing the front door but zipping the door up in a way that the zippers end up near the top of the door versus near the bottom.  

-Lighting: Always make sure you have proper lighting on the exterior of the tent so if someone needs to get up in the middle of the night, an exterior light is always illuminated so kids (and adults) know where they are putting their feet and hands when going down the ladder. A Readylight would be a good idea for an exterior light. The Freespirit Recreation Premium tents come with an LED light strip in the tent that can help with light when moving in and out of the tent.

-Shoe Bags: Shoe bags are a convenient place to store your shoes and other gear but should only be accessed by an adult.  It may be more convenient to keep a waterproof bag inside the tent to store the kids shoes so they do not try and reach for the shoe bag hanging from the outside of the tent.

  1. Ladder Pads: The ladder pads were developed for kids.  As much as parents tell kids to always put on their shoes and sandals before climbing the ladder, most kids will not listen and learn the hard way.  It can be painful to use the ladder in your bare feet.  If you do not want to add ladder pads to the gear list, maybe bring a pair of sandals specifically for the tent kind of like bath slippers.
  1. Water: It's always recommended to keep water inside the tent so everyone stays hydrated.   The challenge is that water bottle spills always seem to happen, even with adults, so having a water container that slows or eliminates a spill is always a great idea.
  1. Tent Games: Nothing creates more memories than time spent inside the tent, uninterrupted quality time chatting and laughing about the day will be childhood and family memories that last a lifetime.  To add to the fun, pick up some games that use very little pieces or travel games that have magnetic boards to keep the pieces from going everywhere inside the tent. Before bedtime is a fun time to play games and star gaze!
  1. Star Gazing: Always remember that even though you are only 6 feet or so off the ground, to a child they feel like they are 100 feet up in a tree house!  Tap into their imagination by turning off all the lights on a star filled night and watch for shooting stars.  If you really want to look like a superstar, bring a stargazing book that shows you the different constellations and see if you can spot any of them. 

Enjoy time together, laugh, make memories, and more importantly…HAVE FUN!

If you have any questions for the Freespirit Recreation team, please reach out to us at

Happy (Rooftop Tent) Camping!


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