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Tepui Kukenam 3 Review

The Kukenam 3 is the standard of which all other rooftop tents are measured.
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Price:  $1,500 List | $1,499.95 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Durable canopy, telescoping ladder
Cons:  No entrance awning, no added extras
Manufacturer:   Tepui
By Ross Patton ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 3, 2019
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

The industry standard in rooftop tents, the Tepui Kukenam 3 has earned its reputation. The innovative, self-collapsing telescoping ladder makes tear down an easy chore. The 600D ripstop canopy is ready for any weather, so you can rest easy knowing that you're going to be dry even if the elements decide to throw a curve ball at you. It's easy to convert from travel to camp mode, and the cover is pretty convenient to use as well. We would recommend this model to nearly any friend because it's versatile and high-quality.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Tepui Kukenam 3
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $1,499.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$1,999.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$1,499.00 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$900 List$1,263.85 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Durable canopy, telescoping ladderVery comfortable, durable, has entrance awning, weather protection, included annexTool-free mounting system, locks to rack, lightWide/Sturdy ladder, boot bag, LED light strip, spaciousLightweight
Cons No entrance awning, no added extrasLongest conversion time (though not by much), side window awnings don't roll up, priceMounting 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 The Kukenam 3 is the standard of which all other rooftop tents are measured.A versatile rooftop tent that offers maximum comfort no matter what Mother Nature decides to do.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 Kukenam 3 Tepui Autana 3 Yakima SkyRise Medium Smittybilt Overlander Front Runner Roof Top Tent
Space And Comfort (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
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
8
10
0
7
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 Kukenam 3 Tepui Autana 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 No Yes No No No
Vestibule Area n/a 26in x 56in 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 8 6 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 n/a Awning over ladder 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

The Kukenam is the standard of rooftop tents for several reasons- It's durable, it's comfortable, and it's affordable. The canopy is thick, the zippers are strong, and the mattress offers top-notch comfort. Tepui has been in the game long enough to know that subtle details like the ease of use of the ladder and the cover really make a difference when it comes to performance. The Kukenam is a first-class rooftop tent.

Performance Comparison


There is nothing wrong with Kukenam. It's easily the tent to measure other rooftop models against.
There is nothing wrong with Kukenam. It's easily the tent to measure other rooftop models against.

Space and Comfort


The Kukenam 3 has a maximum interior height of 52", which is among the best for this style of tent. It also has one of the most comfortable memory-foam mattresses of any model tested. The Kukenam 3 does offer the exact amount of interior floor space as its cousin the Autana 3 but without the added entrance awning.

The Kukenam mattress comfort and interior space are legit. We also love the star-gazing capabilities of this model.
The Kukenam mattress comfort and interior space are legit. We also love the star-gazing capabilities of this model.

Durability


Durability is an important factor when considering which rooftop tent to purchase. The last thing you want is to be deep in the wilderness and have a canopy tear or have a zipper fail. The Kukenam 3 is strong in this department. After opening and closing every zipper a multitude of times, this tent shows little or no signs of wear and tear. The 600D ripstop canopy is made to take a beating, and the fully taped seams partnered with the rugged 420 D rainfly can withstand a monsoon. If durability is high on the list of purchasing factors for you, the Kukenam is a great choice.

The Tepui tents have the most durable canopies in our review.
The Tepui tents have the most durable canopies in our review.

Ease of Conversion


The Kukenam is one of the easiest tents to convert from travel to camping mode. Once the cover is off, the ladder easily extends to unfold the tent. The Tepui self-collapsing telescoping ladder is adjustable to any height up to 8' 6". Tepui tents also come included with added internal bungees that help the tent fold up when it's time to tear your camp down.

The Kukenam telescoping ladder helps make it effortless to convert from travel mode to camping mode and vice versa.
The Kukenam telescoping ladder helps make it effortless to convert from travel mode to camping mode and vice versa.

The internal bungees on the Tepui and Smittybilt tents help the canopy to fold up with ease.
The internal bungees on the Tepui and Smittybilt tents help the canopy to fold up with ease.

Ease of Assembly and Installation


The Kukenam 3 directions are clear and easy to follow, which makes assembly and installation easy. Tepui includes a ratcheting 13mm wrench with every tent, which means installing the tent on your rack takes less time than with an old school wrench.

Both of the Tepui tents that we tested come with ratcheting wrenches.
Both of the Tepui tents that we tested come with ratcheting wrenches.

Cover Convenience


The cover on the Kukenam 3 is one of the easiest to deal with. A very durable zipper closes three of the four sides of the cover. The remaining side is semi-permanently mounted so that you can throw the cover out of your way. The straps that hold the cover on when you're in travel mode double as a way to roll the cover up when you're in camping mode.

With the Tepui covers  the cover straps are also used to roll the cover up when you're in camping mode so you can still access your vehicle from underneath the tent.
With the Tepui covers, the cover straps are also used to roll the cover up when you're in camping mode so you can still access your vehicle from underneath the tent.

Best Applications


If you're looking for a dependable, easy to use rooftop tent, then look no further than the Kukenam. This tent is great for any weather condition, the mounting system is strong, and Tepui is a name that you can trust. Another great feature of the Kukenam Explorer series is that you can buy additional interchangeable canopies, so you can have a four season tent when the weather is nasty, but if you know you're going to be spending time in the desert, you can go with a lighter canopy.

Value


The Kukenam will keep you warm and dry anywhere in the world. For this reason, we think it has a large amount of value. It isn't the cheapest rooftop tent on the market, but with the amount of comfort, ease of use, and durability that it offers we'd say it's still well worth the investment.

Conclusion


The Tepui Kukenam 3 is arguably the most popular rooftop tent in the world for a reason. It's durable, comfortable, and easy to use. You can't go wrong purchasing a Kukenam.


Ross Patton