Tried & Tested
Tested: Roofnest Sparrow rooftop tent for SUVs, crossovers
The 2019 Honda Passport splits the size difference between the CR-V and the Pilot, giving those with an adventurous spirit a more rugged two-row SUV to shop for. Honda recently highlighted that idea by customizing a Honda Passport Elite with all-wheel drive to include a higher ride height, underbody cladding, and larger tires. It also put a Roofnest tent on top for a unique way to stop for the night.
AutomotiveMap put the Roofnest Sparrow, which retails for $2,795 and comfortably sleeps two adults, to the test. The Sparrow collapses to 11 inches and expands to 85" by 50" with canvas sides. A collapsible ladder attaches to the bottom shell for easy access, although adding duct tape to the rungs to prevent slipping is a good idea.
Opening this Roofnest is easy and requires only one person. Pistons hidden inside the tent do the bulk of the work, but those on the shorter side might find opening the door and standing on the sill necessary to reach all four clips
Each side has a zippered panel to let in fresh air and there's a soft mattress on the floor that's easily as comfortable as an air mattress. There's room for sleeping bags, necessities, and a handy net on the roof to hang things you want within easy reach, but out of the way.
The trickiest part of the Roofnest is closing it up, which calls for two people. Pull down the front strap, secure the front clips, then pull a similar strap in back to partially collapse the tent. Next, tuck in the fabric sides and slowly pull the front fully closed.
Since it needs to be collapsed before driving, the Roofnest isn't ideal for those who plan to be in one spot for a weekend and drive to favorite hiking trails. If, however, you're on the go and want to stop anytime and anywhere, then the Roofnest is an appealing option.
Roofnest tents aren't just for the Honda Passport. The company offers a number of tent options that can be placed on top of more robust SUVs including the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota FJ Cruiser, and even crossovers like the Subaru Crosstrek.