New Rooftop Tent’s Smaller Footprint Maximizes Rack Real Estate

Most rooftop tents eat up all your car’s roof rack, making gear-hauling tricky. The new Thule Tepui Foothill addresses this problem with a unique, smaller footprint design.

Rooftop tents give campers a comfortable shelter that you can unfurl pretty much anywhere. They’ve boomed in popularity in recent years thanks to the excellent mattresses and sturdy construction these tents offer. But they have one major downside: They eat up most of, if not all, the space on the roof rack of smaller vehicles.

But today, Thule Tepui launches the Foothill. The brand claims its innovative footprint on the rack results in it taking up only half the roof space of existing rooftop tents.

Indeed, the Foothill is just 24 inches wide when folded for transport. That’s about half the size of most two-person rooftop tents. That should allow you to carry bikes, a kayak, a surfboard, a cargo box, or other rooftop accessories at the same time as your tent. And for those who have a lot of hobbies, this could be a major selling point.

Thule Tepui Foothill Rooftop Tent

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While the big news around the Foothill is that it folds much smaller than most competing tents, it still needs to perform.

As such, the Foothill sleeps two adults on a high-density foam mattress. It uses a telescopic internal frame that the brand claims allows easy setup and breakdown that can be done by one person.

At 110 pounds, you’ll probably want two people to install it, though. But you can mount the low-profile, symmetrical frame on either side of the vehicle, leaving space on the other side for your gear.

Thule Tepui Foothill Dimensions

  • Tent weight: 110 lbs.
  • Tent capacity: 400 lbs.
  • Dimensions (closed): 83” x 24” x 9.5” (LxWxH)
  • Dimensions (open): 83” x 47” x 40” (LxWxH)

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The Foothill will be available in February 2021 for $1,700. With pricing at par with other tents on the market, this one will be worth investigating for those who want to maximize rooftop hauling for kayaksbikes, or other gear while still maintaining an elevated place to sleep.

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Sean McCoy
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Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.