Go Fast Campers has claimed to have created the ‘lightest rooftop tent on the market.’ The new GFC SuperLite 50 RTT tips the scales at only 80 pounds. We can’t find a lighter RTT anywhere.
GFC is best known for its wedge-style, lightweight pop-top truck campers, the Platform and Platform XL. It has also offered a comparable hardshell RTT for some time, called the Platform Tent. The new SuperLite is similar to the Platform Tent in size and compact stowed thickness but weighs 55 pounds less.
Because of the weight of RTTs up high on a vehicle, they generally kill vehicle handling dynamics. So the low weight of the new SuperLite helps keep your vehicle’s center of gravity low. The low profile when stowed also helps with aerodynamics, allowing you to both go faster and save on fuel.
GFC SuperLite 50 RTT
GFC says it “invented something we call a Frameless Hardshell RTT.” What that means in real-world terms is that there is no structure or frame to the sides of the SuperLight RTT. Two tent poles drop down from the roof at the two rear corners of the tent, which puts tension into the fabric and gives structure to the open tent.
While this setup isn’t as convenient as traditional hinged hardshell RTT systems — because it adds a step to lock the poles into place — it does make for a stable, super-lightweight system.
The other main feature of the SuperLite 50 that GFC touts is how easy it is to put on and take off a vehicle. The brand says it has a “bombproof quick-connect system” that makes the process easy and secure. This system is still in the works but is essentially a claw-like locking clamp that will work with most crossbars.
Because the tent is so light, GFC claims a single person can install the tent on a vehicle by themselves in under 3 minutes. We’re guessing that handling something this big and weighing 80 pounds would be doable by one person, but not remotely fun or very safe for the person, vehicle, or tent.
Inside the SuperLite 50 Rooftop Tent
The SuperLite 50 RTT is designed to be used with the traditional camping mattress of your choice. However, you can also option it with an included 3-inch air-foam hybrid mattress.
GFC also claims there is enough room in the RTT to store bedding and pillow atop the mattress. This extra bedding, as well as the mattress you use, determines how small the stowed thickness of the tent will be. GFC claims this ranges from 4 to 6 inches thick.
There is nothing revolutionary about the materials in the GFC SuperLite 50 RTT, but the combo of quality materials should make for an impressive tent.
The two hard panels in the tent are thermoplastic honeycomb composite, similar to what is already found in GFC’s Platform tent. Those panels are wrapped in an extremely UV-stable 600-denier solution-dyed polyester, which is not only durable but holds its shape well even when wet. Inside the tent, you’ll find 300-denier honeycomb ripstop polyester.
To bring the system together, GFC used a custom aluminum extrusion. It should add stiffness to the solid panels and offer attachment points for the optional ladder and surfboard rack.
All these materials come together in GFC’s Belgrade, Montana facility. The fabrics are sourced internationally, but the panels are made in the USA and the extrusions are made in house in Montana. These materials sound like they should combine to be lightweight and robust, but only time will tell.
RTTs Aren’t Inexpensive!
You can preorder a GFC SuperLite RTT now, with first orders expected to be fulfilled in November. The tent will set you back $1,199, but that doesn’t include the cost of the ladder ($100) or optional mattress ($279). All in, the SuperLite RTT will cost $1,578.
You can opt to pick up your tent at GFC’s production facility in Belgrade, Montana, or have it shipped. Shipping is about $125 west of the Rockies and $225 east of the Rockies.
The truth is that these prices are well within the norm for the industry. They’re a bit less expensive than most hardshell tents and a bit more expensive than most softshell RTTs. Remember, though, that an insanely nice ground tent will cost less, keep your gas costs down, and let your vehicle performer optimally. A ground tent isn’t nearly as cool, however!
GFC will of course offer additional accessories for the SuperLite as well. Early upgrade options will include a quick-release clamp system, an inductive charging pocket for mobile devices, and a surfboard rack for the top of the tent.
GFC SuperLite RTT Specs
- Weight: 80 lbs.
- Dimensions: 90″ x 50″
- Thickness: 4″-6″ (when closed depending on bedding)
- Height open: 40″
- Features: Windows on three sides, with two sides also having bug screens
- Materials: 600-denier solution-dyed polyester tent body, 300-denier honeycomb ripstop polyester interior, thermoplastic honeycomb composite panels, aluminum extrusions
- Accessories: Ladder, 3″ air-foam hybrid mattress, quick-release clamp system, inductive charging pocket, tent top rack
- Price: $1,199 for RTT plus $100 for ladder and $279 for mattress ($1,578 total)
Race-Ready Rooftop Tent
GFC plans to test the durability of the new SuperLite RTT by entering a race truck, with tent attached, into the NORRA Mexican 1000 race in November. This is a stage race down the Baja California peninsula, and the GFC team plans to sleep atop the race truck each night.
We have to admit that racing across that terrain with an RTT on board is a serious product test! We look forward to following the action.