The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Tepui Autana 3 Review

A versatile rooftop tent that offers maximum comfort no matter what Mother Nature decides to do.
Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $2,000 List | $1,999.95 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Very comfortable, durable, has entrance awning, weather protection, included annex
Cons:  Longest conversion time (though not by much), side window awnings don't roll up, price
Manufacturer:   Tepui
By Ross Patton ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 3, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 5
  • Space and Comfort - 30% 9
  • Durability - 25% 8
  • Ease of Conversion - 20% 7
  • Ease of Assembly and Installation - 15% 7
  • Cover Convenience - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Tepui team members are no strangers to adventure. With their headquarters located in Santa Cruz, California, they are within a day's drive of most ecosystems in the United States. Having to consider desert heat, coastal fog, torrential rain, and the potential for a rogue snowstorm during research and design has shone through in their premiere fold-out rooftop tent, the Tepui Autana 3. From small details like the quality of stitching to huge advantages like having the ladder protected from the rain, this tent is the best option for less than favorable weather, restoring your faith that you can head out no matter the conditions. At the same time, with large sky windows and a 2.5" foam mattress, it offers the highest level of comfort. The ladder is simple to use, and the cover is convenient so that you can spend more time enjoying the great outdoors and less time setting up camp. With many features that outperformed the competition, the Autana 3 is the obvious choice for our Editors' Choice Award.

The main drawback of the Autana is its high price tag. This category is expensive, and the Autana is on the higher end of the price range.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Tepui Autana 3
Awards Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $1,999.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$1,499.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$1,599.00 at Amazon$869.78 at Amazon$1,263.85 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
80
100
0
76
100
0
71
100
0
67
100
0
43
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Very comfortable, durable, has entrance awning, weather protection, included annexDurable canopy, telescoping ladderTool-free mounting system, locks to rack, lightWide/Sturdy ladder, boot bag, LED light strip, spaciousLightweight
Cons Longest conversion time (though not by much), side window awnings don't roll up, priceNo entrance awning, no added extrasMounting system limited, large gap between tent and rackLadder may require drilling, Velcro cover not the most efficient cover system, heavyMay require drill to adjust ladder, thin mattress, only two pockets, poor durability
Bottom Line A versatile rooftop tent that offers maximum comfort no matter what Mother Nature decides to do.The Kukenam 3 is the standard of which all other rooftop tents are measured.A quailty rooftop tent that doesn't require a handyman to install.An outstanding rooftop tent at a reasonable price.If weight is the absolute deciding factor for which tent you want, this is the one for you.
Rating Categories Tepui Autana 3 Tepui Kukenam 3 Yakima SkyRise Medium Smittybilt Overlander Front Runner Roof Top Tent
Space And Comfort (30%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
5
Durability (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
3
Ease Of Conversion (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
4
Ease Of Assembly And Installation (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
0
4
Cover Convenience (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
6
Specs Tepui Autana 3 Tepui Kukenam 3 Yakima SkyRise... Smittybilt... Front Runner Roof...
Seasons 4 4 3 3 3
Weight (in lbs) 130 lbs 130 lbs 115 lbs 144 lbs 93 lbs
Windows 2 side, 2 roof 2 side, 2 roof 2 side, 2 roof 2 side, 2 roof 2 side, 1 roof
Pockets 4 4 4 5 2
Number of Doors 2 2 2 2 2
Max Inside Height 52in 52in 48in 51in 55in
Floor Dimension 56in x 96in 56in x 96in 56in x 96in 56in x 96in 52in x 98in
Floor Area 38 sq ft 38 sq ft 38 sq ft 38 sq ft 35 sq ft
Room Divider No No No No No
Vestibules Yes No No No No
Vestibule Area 26in x 56in n/a n/a n/a n/a
Packed Size 12in x 48in x 56in 12in x 48in x 56in 12in x 48in x 56in 12in x 48in x 56in 12in x 48in x 53in
Floor Materials Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Main Tent Materials 600 D ripstop 600 D ripstop 210 D nylon 600 D poly 400 D PVC
Rainfly Materials 420 D 420 D 210 D 420 D 200 D
Number of Poles 6 8 8 8 6
Pole Material aluminum/spring steel aluminum/spring steel aluminum/spring steel aluminum/spring steel aluminum/spring steel
Pole Diameter 1/4 in 1/4 in 1/4 in 1/4 in 1/4 in
Design type Fold-out Fold-out Fold-out Fold-out Fold-out
Extras Awning over ladder n/a Locks, quick release, clear sky windows in rain fly Interior LED, extension cords, boot bag Velcro loops on roof for hanging gear

Our Analysis and Test Results

When it comes to fold-out style rooftop tents, the Autana 3 is king. While staying on par with the other tents we tested in every metric, it outperforms the competition in the aspects that we deem to be the most important.

Performance Comparison



Space and Comfort


Where the Autana 3 truly shines is space and comfort. The foam mattress is so nice that it will have you feeling like you woke up in your bedroom. The maximum internal height in the Autana is 52" which leaves lots of space to relax. With the rainfly removed, the top of the canopy nearly completely opens to the sky with two large windows that have mosquito screens that unzip and roll up. With all of the windows open you truly do feel like you're sleeping in the stars. To us, other aspects of comfort are privacy and peace of mind. The entrance awning adds both as it blocks out other campers and also keeps your ladder dry during storms.


The Autana 3 also has an included annex. Once your tent is converted to camping mode, the annex is hung from the bottom of the tent floor. This essentially adds an entire extra room to the tent which can be used to change clothes, store extra gear, or hang out. It has the main door, two side windows with bug screens, and a rear door to access your vehicle from inside the tent. Most other products in our review do offer annexes as an additional purchase, but because none of them have the extended entrance awning, the annexes are smaller than the Autana 3 version. With the other annex type, the ladder is outside which means it's exposed to the elements and you have to go outside of the annex to go up to the sleeping quarters of the tent.

The Autana offers the most space  privacy  and protection from the weather  but when the sun comes out it easily converts to open air.
The Autana offers the most space, privacy, and protection from the weather, but when the sun comes out it easily converts to open air.

One thing to consider is that the side window awnings on the Autana 3 are part of the main canopy as opposed to the rainfly like the Front Runner and the Yakima Skyrise so they can not be removed or rolled up. Without the rainfly on, the Featherlite and Skyrise have unobstructed views out of the side windows; so if 360-degree views are on your list of make-it-or-break-it features, you should consider one of those models.

The annex that comes included with the Autana 3 adds a lot of extra living space as well as keeps your ladder completely dry from any rain.
The annex that comes included with the Autana 3 adds a lot of extra living space as well as keeps your ladder completely dry from any rain.

Durability


Depending on your application, durability can be a very important factor. After converting the Autana 3 from camping mode to travel mode more than 25 times and sleeping in it for several nights, this tent shows no signs of wear and tear. This comes as no surprise as the canopy is made out of 600D ripstop. With a canopy this beefy, tears and creases are not very likely. On that note, this material will easily keep you dry in a light storm without the rainfly attached. Although the ladder is telescoping style, it is exceptionally sturdy. Telescoping ladders also offer the most amount of options for height — if the ground is slightly uneven, you can adjust the ladder height accordingly. That way you aren't ever putting stress on the ladder or the tent floor by having your ladder too steep or not steep enough.


Added durability usually means added weight, which seems to be the case with the Autana. For some people, durability may not be quite as important. If you're only going to use your tent on occasion and you're very kind to your gear, then a canopy tent that weighs less may be a better option. Also, with an increase in canopy durability likely means it will be less breathable, as thicker fabrics tend to lend longevity but lack breathability.

The 600D ripstop canopy material on the Autana 3 shows no signs of creasing or weakening after dozens of conversions.
The 600D ripstop canopy material on the Autana 3 shows no signs of creasing or weakening after dozens of conversions.

These products pack a hefty price already, so we think it should last you many, many seasons of recreating. And we believe the Autana is one of, if not the, most durable model among our test group.

Ease of Conversion


All of the rooftop tents in our review take about the same time to convert to camping mode. The Autana 3 does take an extra minute or so because of the awning over the ladder, which all of the other models in our test lack. In times of high wind, the awning will also need to be anchored to the ground with included ropes and stakes (or attaching to heavy objects). However, when converting back to travel mode, Tepui is ahead of the game. Their telescoping ladder system has integrated buttons on the bottom of each rung of the ladder that self-release as the ladder is closed. This means that you're only having to push two buttons to put the ladder away which makes getting back on the road painless. While this may sound small, our testers found this to be a significant bonus.


The only tent that scores higher in this metric is the Autana's cousin the Tepui Kukenham 3. With the identical ladder, but without an entrance awning, the Kukenham requires a little less time to convert. The Skyrise also has a telescoping ladder, but it lacks the self-release system of the two aforementioned models.

The Tepui ladder has a button release system that allows each ladder step to release the step above it as the ladder collapses.
The Tepui ladder has a button release system that allows each ladder step to release the step above it as the ladder collapses.

Ease of Assembly and Installation


The Autana is relatively easy to mount and remove from a vehicle using the included wrenches. The 13mm ratcheting wrench helps you install the tent on your rack more efficiently than a normal wrench.


Also, at 130 lbs, the Autana 3 isn't the lightest rooftop tent that we tested. If you plan on removing your tent from your vehicle often, then a lighter tent may be a better choice.

The included ratcheting wrench makes installation or removal of the tent quick and easy.
The included ratcheting wrench makes installation or removal of the tent quick and easy.

Cover Convenience


The Autana 3 cover is one of the easiest to use. There are two straps that close around D rings with Velcro that take a matter of seconds to open and close. Once the straps are off, there is a beefy zipper that easily unzips around three sides of the cover. One great feature on the Tepui models is that the D ring side of the straps double as straps to roll the cover up when it is not in use while still keeping it attached so that you can access your vehicle or truck bed while you're camping.


When it's time to put the cover back on, the zipper system on the main closure is faster and easier than models which use Velcro as their main closure. It's also very fast to throw the straps over the tent and attach them to the D rings without climbing on your vehicle. Big convenience points there.

The D rings on the Tepui cover straps are big and easy to use.
The Tepui cover straps are also used to roll the cover up while you're camping so that you can still access your truck bed or car doors.

Best Applications


The Autana 3 is the right tent for a couple or a family of three that likes to get a lot of use out of their tent. This tent will perform well in any condition, and it's not going to easily break down over time. It's comfortable, it's spacious, and it does offer exceptional privacy. Its durability and protection make it one of the most versatile options out there.

The extended awning over the entrance on the Autana protects the ladder from the weather as well as provides extra privacy.
The extended awning over the entrance on the Autana protects the ladder from the weather as well as provides extra privacy.

Value


The Autana 3 is the most expensive model in our review. For many people, the added features and performance may not be worth the high price. If you don't care about the entrance awning and you don't think you'll be running into foul weather, then it makes sense to go with something cheaper. You'll get the most value out of this model if you use it often. If you want more occasional use, you might want to save some cash and go with a less expensive model.

Conclusion


Between the durability, the comfort, the privacy, the versatility, and overall execution, the Tepui Autana 3 is an easy choice to win our Editors' Choice Award. Whether you're in a crowded campground or in the middle of nowhere, whether you're in a low elevation dry desert or in a high alpine meadow getting dumped on, this quality rooftop tent does it all.

Rooftop luxury  provided by Tepui.
Rooftop luxury, provided by Tepui.


Ross Patton