Hannibal Rooftop Tent Part I: A Family Tent That's Better Than a Ground Tent
- Category: Dad's Dirt Roads: A Blog
- on Sun Jul 18, 2010
- by Mark Stephens on Sun Jul 18, 2010 - (16) Comments
When you have a marriage founded on fun road trips, outdoor exploits, nights under the stars, back road travel, and (mainly) the memories molded and created along the way, invariably you will endure and address an increasing desire wisdom for more comfort.
In no particular order, here are a couple of dismal moments we've had that we look back on and laugh, but at the time . . . well, you know:
- A monsoon brought a torrent of rain over night, and the Swiss-cheesed floor of our well used Coleman ground tent let in gallons of water that soaked our sleeping bags, and therefore us, at about 2:00 in the morning
- While backpacking, I once tipped over the little stove cooking our meal, sending our eats into a puddle of mud
- Kicking softball-sized rocks to clear partially decent space for setting up that ground tent
Most miserable moments have something to do with precipitation, sleep, or a combination of the two.
Now that we're a family of three, the priorities have changed. It's not so much our daughter who demands comfort as much as it is us - hell, she has no issue whatsoever with sandy knots in her hair and eating granola bars and PB&J for every meal; and after a day of all that she crashes hard for 10 hours of sleep anywhere. Kids are just fine.
We parents want a solid night's sleep while camping. We parents want a place to stand and change clothes without being exposed to the world. We parents want a way to wash our hands and face (and shower if we can). We parents want a decent meal to eat, not a can-o-beans heated over coals. If we're comfortable, we'll have more fun. So we believe. And even better if we can get the child down to sleep by 8:00 or 8:30 at night so we can enjoy a few hours of being off duty from active parenting that's not in front of a television screen but perhaps with a few good friends and roasty campfire.
Which brings me to the Hannibal rooftop tent with a Jumbo Kit (the lower room). "Tent" is such a bad word for these things. Primarily because they're really a bed - there's a thick foam mattress inside - and all the bad connotations of a standard ground tent are practically eliminated with one of these. Consider sleeping on the flannel sheets, comforter, and life-size pillows we bring from home.
Top 3 Things We Like About the Hannibal Roof Top Tent w/ Jumbo Kit:
- Comfortable sleep on a thick mattress
- Enjoying a place to stand, get naked, and change clothes inside the Jumbo Kit
- Painless attachment to the truck using a Yakima base rack
Not that I still don't come with the potential for knocking over the stove because of this tent. But we do have space in which to stand up and change clothes in private, cook dinner out of the wind, take a shower (or a poo...) in private, and sleep like babies with little set-up trouble. We'll see how this works in the long term.
Disclosure: I did not receive any of this tent, nor payment of any kind (cash, credit, or other goods), from the manufacturer, distributor, or an outside firm for this review. The opinions are my own. The Hannibal tent is purchased from the U.S. distributor at www.hannibalsafari.com