Tried & Tested

Tested: Roofnest Sparrow rooftop tent for SUVs, crossovers

The Roofnest Sparrow rooftop tent fits snugly on the Honda Passport.

Photo by Nicole Wakelin

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.

Roofnest Sparrow on a 2019 Honda Passport

Photo by Nicole Wakelin

The Roofnest rests on the Honda Passport's roof rails.

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.

Watch the videos on AutomotiveMap or visit the Mungenast Classic Automobiles & Motorcycles Museum to see the cars and motorcycles in person.

Photo courtesy of the Mungenast Classic Automobiles & Motorcycles Museum

Like sand through the hourglass, these are the Honda vehicles of our lives. The Mungenast Classic Automobiles & Motorcycles Museum is dedicated to sharing the passion behind late motorcycle racer and dealership owner Dave Mungenast Sr.'s vehicle collection with the St. Louis community and beyond. Mungenast became a Honda motorcycle dealer in 1965 and was one of the first Acura dealers in the U.S.

The newest videos in the museum's "Honda Kokoro" series pay homage to the 1960s and 1970s, taking viewers on a virtual visit to the Honda showrooms of the era. They celebrate the heritage, culture, people, and products that make Honda unique, according to a release.

The two-part video that can be watched below shows of Honda's automotive and motorcycle history through the products and memorabilia that are located at the museum.

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The videos feature several rare vehicles including Honda "S" model cars that were never sold in America, a Z600, and a 1979 Civic. There's also the first Honda Scrambler to win a National Championship, a XLV750R (never sold in America), Z50 Mini Trail, XL250, CBX, GL 100 Gold Wing, and a 1970 CB750.

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To see the cars and motorcycles in person, visit the Mungenast Classic Automobiles & Motorcycles Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.

AutomotiveMap's writers chose their favorite vehicles to use to make a large Costco run.

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

It's always the paper towels. They take up more room than you think and then you're left trying to figure out where to put the rotisserie chicken.

When you're ready to upgrade your vehicle, consider these AuotmotiveMap picks, which are perfect for shopping trips to Costco, Sam's Club, and the like. Some have the most amount of cargo space you can get in their segment while others have good cargo area designs that are practical solutions for life's activities.

​2020 Ford Escape

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Sue Mead: The 2020 Ford Escape has been completely redesigned for the new model year. The sportier, more powerful, and more premium Escape comes in front- and all-wheel drive variants. It's also available as a hybrid that has up to 400 miles of range. The value-priced Escape has standard Ford Co-Pilot360 safety and driver assistance technology and a large rear cargo space.

2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Harvey Briggs: Start with 165 cubic feet of passenger volume, the convenience of stow-and-go seating, side doors and a tailgate that open wide and there's no better vehicle for hauling a 65" flatscreen, five pounds of crab legs, and four all-season radials than this. Get a black 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid with the S appearance package for a look that's bad to the bone.

​2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Jesus Garcia: When you absolutely, positively need to buy and carry everything you buy at Costco, accept no substitute than the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van with its efficient 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine and available 4x4. Like any good passenger van, it has gobs of storage space.

2020 Honda Ridgeline

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Perry Stern, AutoNXT: The unique cargo carrying ability of Honda's pickup truck – a lockable trunk below a proper cargo bed – make the Ridgeline an excellent option for the run to Costco.

2020 Chrysler Pacifica

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Nicole Wakelin: Like is hybrid counterpart, the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica offers lots of cargo room without having to fold down the seats so you can head straight to pick up the kids at school without a stop at home.

2020 Honda CR-V

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull: The Honda CR-V ticks a lot of boxes for the average family and many of them are likely big box retailer shoppers. The compact SUV seats up to five and has cavernous cargo space which means you can easily fit a stroller alongside your load of toilet paper, roasted chicken, wine, and fruit snacks.

2020 Ford Expedition Max

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Chad Kirchner: The 2020 Ford Expedition Max is the way to go because the extra 12-inches of cargo space is needed for the bulk buys when you're toting along your whole family for an excursion.