Sleek, Stylish, Sexy. Functional? A Look at the Roofnest Falcon Tent

Sleek, Stylish, Sexy. Functional? A Look at the Roofnest Falcon Tent

Oh, times are changing. I remember a few years ago when I was camping in my roof top tent in the backcountry of Colorado. A gentleman walked past my campsite, and his curiosity took over. 

“What’s that?  Is that a tent?” He asked. 

“Yes, it’s a roof top tent.” I answered. For the next 15 or so minutes, I explained where I purchased it, why I liked it, and how a tent came to sit atop my vehicle. Times have changed. Roof top tents are no longer rare. Rather, they are a staple in the overlanding world. Lucky for us, many roof top tent options now exist.

“Dad, is this it?” My daughter, Lilly, questioned.

“Ahhhhh, I think so, “ I replied in a tentative tone. We were perched on a mountaintop in Utah and had found a lovely place to call home for the night. Two latches later and a push, the Roofnest Falcon was ready. Both Lilly and I were dumbstruck. 

“Yeah, that’s it Lilly.” I assured her. 

“Oh, wait dad, there are two poles up here.”

I quickly grabbed the poles and attached the rain fly to them. Done. Two minutes tops. For years, I have used soft-shell roof top tents but this was my first hard-shell version. Lacking prior experience, I was immediately impressed. Yep, the Roofnest Falcon captured my attention. 

Want fast? Want easy? The hard-shell tents are renowned for quick deployment and closure. Hard shell roof top tents are generally simpler to set up but smaller in terms of bed size. The top of the hard-shell is essentially the cover. Many of the hard-shell models are made from plastic or fiberglass.  However, the Roofnest Falcon is built from honeycomb aluminum. The tent weighs approximately 140 lbs., so it is not a feather atop your vehicle, but it is comparable to other roof top tent models in terms of weight.  One major advantage to the Falcon is that it’s only six and half inches tall, which means the tent is more aerodynamic as it travels down the road. 

A major disadvantage to hard shell tents is that they cover your entire roof. Your roof rack or bars can no longer carry other goodies such as chairs and miscellaneous gear. Roofnest recognized this and designed the Falcon to accommodate other gear.  The Falcon has the ability to mount crossbars, which allows equipment to be carried above the actual tent. Once mounted, gear can be secured to the crossbars. Another unique attribute is that cover and bottom of the tent feature integrated slots. Mount an awning? Done. Mount a shovel? Done. The Roofnest Falcon becomes the roof rack!   

Then, at camp, I found the tent to be quick to set up. Two stainless steel latches are opened, and then with a push, the gas struts hoist the top of the tent skyward. Think of a clamshell popping open. Done. It’s truly that simple.  There are two poles to prop open the back window and screen if desired. Many times, I simply rolled up the cover and used the affixed closure straps. Inside, an almost 3-inch thick mattress (2.75 inches) sat atop a lattice, moisture wicking mesh pad. The mattress is supportive and didn’t bother me as I slept on my side.  There are two sizes to the Falcon—the 50-inch wide (Falcon) and the 60-inch (XL).  Lilly and I slept nicely on the mattress that measured roughly 48-inches in width.  This is definitely a two-person tent.  Also, make sure you like your bedmate. The XL version is 10-inches wider so a small child should be able to sleep with two adults.   

“Dad, can I store my pullover in here?” Lilly pointed to the mesh netting on the roof.  It’s a great place to secure light items and not lose them within the sheets and bedding. The inside offered enormous headroom at the high point of the “clam shell.” There are three windows/doors in the Falcon. You can access the inside from either of the two sides or from the rear of the tent. Stainless steel ladder mounts are easily maneuvered to allow the ladder to be deployed in a variety of ways. The one drawback to the windows/doors/screens is that they open from the top and therefore, the window/door/screen lay flat at the bottom. Lilly and I had to be mindful not to damage or tear the screen as we got in and out of the tent. Overall, the Roofnest Falcon proved cozy, comfortable, and functional. 

One of the joys to overlanding is the journey to a new adventure, campsite, or vista. I do not want to spend time packing up a tent, sleeping pads, and gear. When adventure calls, the Falcon allows for a quick pack up. Lilly timed me. The poles were taken down and the tent closed in roughly 45 seconds. Okay, round up to a minute. Seriously, it is that quick. I stared at the tent dumbfounded and sure that I forgotten to do something. Nope. It’s that functional. A bungee cord wrapped around the entire tent and sucked in the tent’s fabric as I closed it. With the tent closed, I made sure the fabric was inside the rubber weather seal and latched the top with the two stainless steel latches. Boom! Done. 

Motoring to our next campsite, the Falcon did generate some noise. Yes, I did hear noise but nothing that impeded conversation or listening to music as we traveled the mountain roads of Utah. Obviously, anything atop one’s rack will generate noise; but overall, I was pleased with the noise level. As we eyed our next campsite in the Wasatch Mountains, the sun began to set in the western sky. Camping and overland equipment has made great strides in the last few years. We all are the benefactors.  The Roofnest Falcon is an excellent example. 



-The ease and speed of setting up and taking down 

-Solid, quality construction

-Stylish—it simply looks good atop the vehicle

-Crossbars allow gear to be carried, making the tent multi-functional

-Integrated slots allow for mounting equipment 

-Mesh liner underneath mattress allows for evaporation of condensation


-Price is a consideration; Falcon retails for $3400, while the Falcon XL is $3500

-Ladder can’t be stored inside tent

-Limited amount of bedding can be stored inside

-Such weight on top of your vehicle changes its handling



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