As expected, setting up the Gordigear roof top tent was no different from pitching any of the dozen softshell RTTs we’ve used before. The process starts with undoing the velcro straps and unzipping the cover. We had to attach a string to the zipper to make this step easier. After rolling up the cover, you pull on the ladder, and the RTT unfolds, no pegs or poles necessary.
Finishing touches take more time than the initial setup. Once you get inside the Gordigear Explorer, you have eight spring steel rods to insert to hold up the awnings above the two entrances and two windows. This step takes a couple of minutes with two pairs of hands, and it’s well worth the protection you get from the sun and rain.
To pack up the tent, repeat the steps in reverse order. Explorer even comes with internal bungee cords that help fold the canvas walls and fit them under the cover, though it still took us some fiddling to get everything packed down tight for travel.
Size & Weight
The smallest of Gordigear RTTs sleeps two adults comfortably with a mattress size of 240 cm by 140 cm. There’s enough headroom thanks to the height of 130 cm. And in transit mode, the RTT takes little space with dimensions of 120 x 144 x 35cm.
The Gordigear Explorer Plus model comes in three widths: 140 cm, 165 cm, and 180 cm. All three are 320 cm long with a height of 130 cm when open and 35 cm when closed.
For such a spacious model, the Gordigear roof top tent is surprisingly light. It weighs only 48 kilos with cover and ladder included. The larger Plus models are quite a bit heavier. The 165 cm version weighs 63 kg, while the 180 cm model is 75 kg. Still, the load capacity stays the same across the board, at 300 kg.
|Size (close/open), cm||3200L x 1440 / 1690 / 1840W x 1300H |
1200L x 1440 / 1690 / 1840W x 350H
|Weight, kg||49-75 kg|
|Ease of Installation||8/10|
|Delivery set||80mm high-density foam with removable cover, telescopic anodised aluminium ladder, heavy-duty 1000D PVC travel cover, with zip for complete waterproofing / UV resistant straps|
If there’s one thing Gordigear doesn’t skimp on, it’s quality materials. We were impressed by the thick ripstop poly cotton blend that makes up the walls of the tent. According to the website, it’s impregnated with polyurethane to keep the water out, and it withstood the rainstorm without a single leak. The seams are stitched and taped with Amann thread, and all zippers are YKK.
The Gordigear roof top tent cover is heavy-duty 1000D PVC with UV-resistant straps and a heavy-duty zipper that keeps the dust and moisture out of the tent in travel mode.
We didn’t have enough time with this RTT to tell how well it will withstand the elements in the long term. But we’ve found plenty of Gordigear roof top tent reviews praising the materials after years of extensive use.
We wouldn’t go as far as to call the Gordigear roof top tent a 4-season setup. Although the bottom is a 25 mm aluminium/polyurethane sandwich panel, the canvas walls do not lend much protection from the freezing temperatures or snow cover. Otherwise, Explorer is perfect for rainy spring or fall trips or midsummer adventures.
The polycotton canvas is waterproof, and the seams are sealed tight to prevent any moisture from getting in. The mattress even comes with a waterproof cover that keeps the condensation from seeping into your bedding. And once the days grow hotter, you can keep the four flaps open, covered by awnings to create comfortable shade and midge-proof mesh to keep the tiny critters from ruining your rest.
The 80 mm memory foam mattress is one of the best things about the Gordigear roof top tent. It was plush enough to keep us comfortable for a weekend trip, though we would add a topper for longer adventures. And the removable cover is an ingenious addition we now wish all RTTs had. It kept the mattress dry despite condensation, and it’s super easy to clean to keep the sleeping space cozy.
The four pockets are also a nice touch, though we agree with every Gordigear Explorer plus review out there wishing for more storage. The pockets aren’t big enough to store shoes, though they work well for gadgets and knick-knacks. There’s also a velcro flap for running a power line from the 4WD, though we didn’t get a chance to use it.
Finally, the ladder is comfortable, but it could be longer. It’s only 2 meters long, and that’s nowhere enough for raised 4x4s. You can get a ladder extension, but it’s going to add to the camping gear budget.
This Gordigear roof top tent review was a pain to write, as the RTT is solidly built and well-thought-out, so most of our complaints are nothing but nit-picking. If you’re looking for a high-quality softshell tent that can sleep two or three adults, that will last for years, and that won’t break the bank, Gordigear is the one for you. Even if it could use some improvements, the same is true for every RTT we’ve ever tested. Give it a try, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.