Thule Tepui Kukenam 3 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Durable canopy, telescoping ladder, versatility, quick conversion
Cons: No entrance awning, no added extras
Manufacturer: Thule Tepui
Compare to Similar Products
Thule Tepui Kukenam 3
|Price||$2,000 at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$2,000 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$2,000 at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
$1,899 at Backcountry
$1,207 at Amazon
|Pros||Durable canopy, telescoping ladder, versatility, quick conversion||Very comfortable, durable, has entrance awning, weather protection, included annex||Rectangular design allows for more room on the rack, quick installation, durable canopy||Tool-free mounting system, locks to rack, light||Wide and sturdy ladder, boot bag, LED light strip, spacious|
|Cons||No entrance awning, no added extras||Longest conversion time (though not by much), side window awnings don't roll up, price||Thin mattress, longer conversion time, Cordura cover may be less durable||Mounting system limited, large gap between tent and rack||Ladder may require drilling, Velcro cover not the most efficient cover system, heavy|
|Bottom Line||Our top recommendation for most people provides excellent quality and comfort across all four seasons||A versatile rooftop tent that offers maximum comfort no matter what Mother Nature decides to do||A rooftop tent that leaves lots of room on the rack for extra toys||A quailty rooftop tent that doesn't require a handyman to install||With a durable design and many handy features, this model competes with the top models while costing significantly less|
|Rating Categories||Thule Tepui Kukenam 3||Thule Tepui Autana 3||Thule Tepui Foothill||Yakima SkyRise Medium||Smittybilt Overlander|
|Space and Comfort (30%)|
|Ease of Conversion (20%)|
|Ease of Assembly and Installation (15%)|
|Cover Convenience (10%)|
|Specs||Thule Tepui Kukenam 3||Thule Tepui Autana 3||Thule Tepui Foothill||Yakima SkyRise Medium||Smittybilt Overlander|
|Weight (in lbs)||130 lbs||130 lbs||122 lbs||115 lbs||144 lbs|
|Max Inside Height||52 in||52 in||38 in||48 in||51 in|
|Windows||3 side, 2 roof||3 side, 2 roof||3 side, 2 roof||3 side, 2 roof||3 side, 2 roof|
|Floor Dimension||56 in x 96 in||56 in x 96 in||87 in x 40 in||56 in x 96 in||56 in x 96 in|
|Floor Area||38 sq ft||38 sq ft||24 sq ft||38 sq ft||38 sq ft|
|Vestibule Area||n/a||26 in x 56 in||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Packed Size||12 in x 48 in x 56 in||12 in x 48 in x 56 in||9.5 in x 24 in x 83 in||12 in x 48 in x 56 in||12 in x 48 in x 56 in|
|Floor Materials||Aluminum||Aluminum||Welded aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum|
|Main Tent Materials||420 D||420 D||600 D||210 D nylon||420 D|
|Rainfly Materials||600 D||600 D||600 D||600 D||600 D|
|Number of Poles||8||6||6||8||8|
|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|
|Extras||n/a||Awning over ladder||Double level pockets, loop inside for hanging lights and gear||Locks, quick release, clear sky windows in rain fly||Interior LED, extension cords, boot bag|
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. Thule 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.
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.
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.
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 self-collapsing telescoping ladder is adjustable to any height up to 8' 6". Thule Tepui tents also come included with added internal bungees that help the tent fold up when it's time to tear your camp down.
Ease of Assembly and Installation
The Kukenam 3 directions are clear and easy to follow, which makes assembly and installation easy. Thule 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.
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.
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 Thule 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.
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.
The Thule 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
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