Product Review: Howling Moon Roof Top Tent

Product Review: Howling Moon Roof Top Tent

It’s about bloody time I reviewed this thing! We’ve had the Howling Moon RTT on the Patrol for a whole 5 years now, not a short amount of time for a product review! This of course leads us to one small problem, the fact that there have been a few design changes since then. That’s okay though, I’ll mention the changes as we go.

howling-moon-roof-top-tentAbout our tent

All the Howling Moon tents are 2.4 metres long, and you choose a width from 1.2, 1.4, 1.6 or 2.4 metres. Our tent is the 1.4 metre wide Tourer model, which means it has an extra large extension of canvas out over the ladder. This is great for some extra shelter, and it acts like an awning for the back of our car. There is however, a drawback. The Tourer part is built into the tent, takes marginally longer to set up and pack down; and as there is more canvas, there’s a little more effort to pack it away too. Due to the height of the Patrol, a ladder extension was needed, but we were advised a wait time of two months and a cost of $140. I took a gamble and bought a ladder extension to suit the ARB RTT straight from ARB for $30; fits like a champ!


Build quality and materials

They are excellent. When shopping for a RTT; this was one of very few tents constructed from what I call “real” canvas. It’s the type of canvas that is stiff to the touch, and lets barely any light in. You could wake up at 10am in this tent and be certain it’s the wee hours of the morning. The floor of the tent is made from aluminium composite which is strong, lightweight and has good insulation properties.

The PVC cover is outstanding. I had to replace mine at the 4 year mark, but this is because the tent stays on the Patrol at all times, and the Patrol stays out in the sun at all times. Not to mention some of the tight scrub that scratches and tears at my car on the more adventurous trips. Given those circumstances; it has performed brilliantly!

The one beef I do have with materials on the tent relates to the fly screens at either end. The side windows are great, but the other two are made from something that resembles shade cloth. I’ve had midgees and mozzies come on through with minimal effort, so I never leave them open.


How does it handle the weather?

Like a champion. I’ve used the Howling Moon on rainy weekends away, where the most break we got was a couple of hours. Then I’ve packed it up soaking wet, opened it again and still had a dry bed. There is a tendency for water to pool in the extension over the ladder area, but I’ve never had that drip through. In the wind, the fly can flap around and carry on a bit; but the tent itself is nice and sturdy. Heat has not presented itself as too much of a problem, although a sneaky afternoon nap in the midday sun is an uncomfortable affair.

Set up and pack down

This is a dream with the two of us, but a chore when it’s just me. Setting up isn’t so bad, and takes me about 15 minutes. Packing down requires a lot of tucking to ensure the cover will go back on, and works best when there is one person on either side of the vehicle. Unfortunately, the cover will not go down with any sort of bedding in the tent; pretty annoying, although on the Howling Moon website they claim it works. Maybe they have changed the design a little to accommodate bedding.


A good nights sleep?

The 1.4 wide tent is perfect for the two of us. I wouldn’t want to go any smaller for sure. Then again, any bigger and it would look awkward on the Patrol. I’m not a fan of the mattress. It’s 75mm high density foam and too thick for my liking. I use a piece of egg shell foam on top and that makes for a good rest.

Can't argue with that view!

Can’t argue with that view!

Parting thoughts

Overall, this tent has an excellent build quality, you can’t fault it there. Have a think about whether you need the Tourer tent at the cost of a little extra setup time, and make sure you have a lie down inside to see if the mattress is right for you. Like anything, a few little tweaks here and there could easily make this the perfect tent for me, but it’s pretty bloody good as it is.


Alex Garner

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  1. Davo
    October 31, 07:49 Reply
    Yep. I have lusted after this tent for a 2 years to put on my patroland agree with everything you say. They are just so much more expensive than most of the others! Cheers
  2. Al
    February 08, 18:58 Reply
    Thanks mate , it was helpful for me to read all this. You doing good job ! Some sales people either they grumpy or not interested to talk with people from another country because of accent. I watched your videos on YouTube and they are really good. All the best !
  3. Chris
    May 13, 23:24 Reply
    thanks. great review. we are finally out and choose the Howling Moon on the Defender

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