Tepui Tents Kukenam Sky Tent Installation and Review

First off, I know you are all going to be like, “Why do you need a tent on top of your car that costs over a thousand dollars, when you can put one on the ground.”

I will tell you why, and when its all said and done, you will agree with me.  If you don’t, enjoy being miserable.

Tepui Kukenam Sky Link


  • Convenience.
    • I tend to like to move place to place, check out different areas different days.  Having a tent on the car (or trailer) makes it super easy to stop, deploy, sleep.
    • All my stuff is in there!  there is a great 2″ memory foam mattress already in the tent.  With that, I leave both sleeping bags, or blankets when used, thermarest pillows for resting.
    • VERY fast deployment and packing.  I timed it.  Under 4 minutes from stopping the car, to being able to sleep.  Sure that doesn’t count opening all 4 windows and stuff, but when its raining or nasty out and all you want to do is sleep after a long day on the trails, its a very very nice thing.  I can pack it up by myself in about 10 minutes.  I haven’t really timed it all that much, so I cannot give you an exact time.
  • Space saver
    • Im sure you will be like, “Oh, but it takes up all that space on your roof!”.  I designed this rack to specifically take the tent, and also give me a Yakima Load warrior (without extension) worth of storage on the front.  I couldn’t get a Baja rack or frontrunner to fit without alot of bracket making and stuff, so I just had one made.  It still holds a good bit of gear forward of the tent, and looks amazing (Mad max anyone?)
    • No more crap inside the car.  I effectively eliminated a host of things that I Used to have to carry.  Tent, Extended vestibule (when carrying the larger 6 person) two sleeping bags (quite large when rolled up and put in the back of a Subaru Outback, or Forester for that matter), Air Mattress (because I’m not a backpacker, so screw that whole pad thing) and pump, batteries for pump (can’t use 12v because not always next to the car!) as well as stakes, guy lines, etc etc.  Its a rather large amount of gear, that I no longer have to load up in the precious cargo area of the outback.  If it was a larger vehicle like an FJ or a Land Cruiser, I cannot say that it would be a worry.  But after about 20-25 nights this year out camping, it makes a huge difference in what other gear I can bring (camera, video etc)  Or just not have that much crap in the car.
  • Rain.
    • This alone is the main reason that caused me to swap to a roof top tent.  I was ground camping when it came a storm.  A massive storm.  Tent did fine, wasn’t really an issue.  However, it is the aftermath that people never think about.  When you have to pack up that sopping wet ground tent and fly, in a bag, and put it into your car, then 8-12 hours later open it back up and deploy it….it is MISERABLE.
    • With this tent (tested and verified) I deployed in the pouring rain, the next morning, while still raining, folded it all up, packed it up (with all the bedding inside still of course minimizing my time in the rain rolling up bags, and crap) and went on our way.  That evening, when I deployed the tent…….dry.  Everything inside was dry.  The shell was still damp of course, but the inside was totally dry.  I could climb in and get to my melodic snoring that my better half loves for sure.

Now we get to the meat and potatoes (say like hobbit guy and it means more) of this.  What is the actual install like?

It comes to you via freight, and very big.

Be very careful unpacking it.  It can fall over if you aren’t careful, and you can cut into things as well if you aren’t watching what you are doing.

The next part is to lay everything out and figure out whats going on.  If you are putting it on your car so it flips out to the side, you will put your cross rails on like I did.  If you are having it open to the rear or front, then you need to just put them the other way, and trim them.  When all else fails, the arrangement of attaching that doesn’t have you cut things, is the way you want to flip it over to the side.

From there, its just a matter of attaching the ladder.  The instructions weren’t perfect, so It took a few minutes to make sure how the arrangement was.  It will be swapped out with quick release pins soon enough anyways.

Tepui Tent review (6 of 10) Tepui Tent review (5 of 10)


The boring stuff is pretty much done.  Now it is just a matter of figuring out how to get it up on the car.  Being noone was around, and the lumberjack that I am, I simply threw it on top of the car.

Ok. Lets be real, I struggled, let out cries of strength that didn’t really do much, and eventually muscled it up.  It isn’t that it is really HEAVY.  It is just a hair over 100 lbs, but it is just AWKWARD to lift.  The width is JUST too wide to get a good hold on it, so you have to hold it kinda like a diamond and it just makes it hard.  The time after this, I grabbed a fellow resident of the area to help.
Tepui Tent review (7 of 10)Once you have it up there, just slide in the bolts and small slides, and then bolt it down as required for your configuration!

Tepui Tent review (9 of 10) Tepui Tent review (8 of 10)

I love it when a plan comes together.


Tepui Tent review (10 of 10)

The skylights are perhaps the best part of the tent.  While not great in fall when there is alot of condensation. Summer months it will be great.  These panels also have mesh for bugs, and a cover that keeps everything out of the same material of the tent.  It was amazingly nice at Mid Atlantic Overland Festival.

I will also be doing a video for you guys shortly, So Many things, So little time!


For more information contact Tepui Tents  and let them know Grant from Offroad Subaru sent you.  They may be even nicer than they already are!

5 thoughts on “Tepui Tents Kukenam Sky Tent Installation and Review”

  1. I have now read every post in your site and am figuring out mods to my Outback. Can you tell me a bit more about your rack? Do you have more pics or a description of the build? (I gather that it was custom.)

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