A popular piece of equipment used by overland travel enthusiasts is the ubiquitous rooftop tent. They generally come in two variations: a fabric clamshell, or a fiberglass hard-shell. We recently outfitted our Jeep Cherokee with the latter – an Evasion Evolution by James Baroud.
Briefly, the appeal of a rooftop tent over traditional ground tents is the ease of deployment, the comfort provided by a mattress and other built-in features, and the shelter and security provided by sleeping high off of the ground.
The advantage of a fabric, clamshell-style tent over a hard-shell, is that these models offer more floor space, and they usually have accommodations for an optional, ground-level annex. If you’re looking for a rooftop tent with more versatility and livable space, you may want to look into a clamshell. However, that is where the advantages of a fabric clamshell end. What you gain in versatility, you lose in convenience.
A hard-shell tent such as the James Baroud Evasion, on the other hand, is an extremely convenient, and highly functional sleeping platform.
Most notably, the Evasion Evolution can be deployed completely in less than one minute. This is not an exaggeration. After undoing four corner latches, gas struts instantly raise the tent’s roof into position. All that remains is to unpack and place the ladder, and you’re set.
Stowing the tent will require a solid five minutes of your time. This is accomplished by reversing the deployment process. The most time consuming part is making sure that the wall fabric is tucked nicely inside the shell before closing.