Gear Up For Adventure Camping With Quality Outdoor Tents from Intents Outdoors
Intents Outdoors are performance specialists in ultralight and lightweight camping tents and tarps and roof top tents. Strange combo - but we like to think that we provide tents for adventure seekers into hiking and tramping, backpacking to bike packing, kayaking, hunting and climbing and navigating off road tracks in 4x4s. Enjoy the freedom of doing what you want, when and where you want. With our outdoor gear face your challenges with confidence.
Intents Outdoors lead the way in engineering tents for the harshest New Zealand wilderness conditions. Our own Orson Outdoors brand incorporates the latest technology, knowledge and materials to design ultralight and lightweight tents, shelters, adventure camping gear and roof top tents - all in the name of ultimate freedom, mobility and ease of use.
With Intents Outdoors, make your next ‘off the beaten track’ journey the best ever.
How do you choose a great roof top tent that’s going to be just right for you and your next adventure? Here’s 13 points to help you choose a roof top tent that is best for you.
You’ve probably already done a bit of research, had a look at roof top tents pros and cons, and pictured yourself kicking back up in your ‘room with a view’ on a beautiful beach watching the sunset, or waking up in front of a stunning snow-capped mountain.
At Intents Outdoors we’ve been designing, importing and working with roof top tents for years. So here’s some things to think about to narrow down the choices to find a roof top tent that will work for you. Catch our next blog for a list of exactly what to look for when checking out a rooftop tent in person.
But first here’s our list of things to consider beforehand to decide what kind of roof top tent will be best for you.
Like most things these days the sky’s the limit. See what's available your price range. High end tents have a lot of features and branding. And also be aware that really cheap roof top tents aren’t going to be great quality or last a long time.
There are lots of designs around. Lots of soft top styles and ‘clamshell’ hard tops mounted on roof racks. Some soft shells have an extended awning over the entrance, useful in the wet and some don’t with a clear view front and rear. Some open up by unfolding, some pop up, some are manual, some automatic, some are custom built into the roof, some open to the side or rear or both. Do some research, see what you like, know what you want.
What are you going to be using the tent for? Campsites or hardcore 4x4 offroad mud? How often are you going to be heading out? Summer camping or out in winter snow? Are you easy on your gear or give it hell? How are you going to get it on and off the roof? Have you got somewhere to store it? Will your vehicle with roof tent on top fit in the garage? Will you be leaving it up on the roof for the summer months or taking it off after every trip? Uses and needs are not the same for everyone – answers to these questions help you decide which tents are a good fit for you.
How many people will be using the tent? Most models are for 2 people, but 3 and 4 person ones are around.
It hot and sunny, sometimes windy, and rains a fair bit in NZ. Is the tent weatherproof and waterproof? Make sure it has a decent rain fly over the top. If the main tent is a lighter polyester fabric, it should be PU coated and tape seamed or if a heavier canvas should be ‘weathered’ or ‘seasoned’ to become completely waterproof. Check that the internal ridge poles are sturdy or can be supported with stabiliser bars.
The base of the soft shell tents is aluminium - thicknesses vary. To handle knocks and scrapes from putting it on and taking off the roof racks aluminium tread plate bases are sturdier and have a more rugged look. Make sure that the sandwich base of the tent is made of waterproof polyurethane materials and not of cheap MDF or wood which if wet will not last.
Packed Tent Profile
Roof top tents add extra height and weight to your vehicle.The bigger the profile the greater the drag and higher the centre of gravity when driving. Have a look at photos and the measurements of packed tents. Square slide ladders have a big profile, telescopic ladders a low profile. Some tents also have raised hinges to allow more bedding to be packed away, but this will also mean a higher profile.
The rain fly over the top of the tent is usually polyester and should be a good thickness and waterproof to keep rain off the main tent (PU1500mm is usually minimum to be considered waterproof). The main tent is usually a durable polycotton canvas - 280gsm to 380gsm is fine (too light is not great but heavy canvas can be overkill, too). Some tents are polyester so will be lighter and should have an adequate PU coating to be waterproof.
Check that ladders fit the height for your vehicle. Roof top tents usually have an aluminium two piece sliding ladder or a telescopic ladder. Sliding ladders come in 2 pieces and extend out before locking into place. One half sits on top of the other half, so the roof top tent has a bigger profile with a large rectangular ‘bump’ in the middle. Telescopic ladder heights can be more easily adjusted and the ladders have a much lower profile when packed away.
It’s important to work out the height of your vehicle set up - measure from the top of the roof racks to the ground. Make sure that any tent annex and ladder are ok for your set up.
That room option under the tent - some people love them and some never use them. Annexes are useful but require a bit of effort to set up and pack away. They can give you an extra room, a space to sleep, get changed or store extra gear. They come in different setups with doors, windows, awnings and back access to the vehicle, floors, no floors, detachable floors ... see which layout appeals to you. And again, make sure the height will suit your vehicle.
An important and often overlooked part of the tent that needs to be watertight and waterproof to keep the tent dry. Hardshells usually have popup fibreglass or aluminium covers which double as the tent roof. Softshell tents usually have heavy duty PVC covers secured with zips or Velcro – both have pros and cons. See how the cover hangs and is stored when the tent is open. Black covers may end up getting really hot in the summer sun, grey or khaki less so.
Other things to look out for are … gear lofts to stow gear, shoe hammocks to keep your shoes dry and in reach under the tent base overnight, bungy cords to help pull the tent sides in to make pack up easier, comfy mattresses with washable covers, colour combos, LED lighting, even remote controls … and make sure that the supplier carries a range of accessories and spare parts just in case.
Now you know what to look for check out our range of great Orson roof top tents. Arrange a time to come out and view one. We’ve ticked off all the boxes to come up with some great roof top tents with some unique features to fit your needs and put you on the road trip(s!) of a lifetime!
“I’ve already got a tent, so why get a tarp?” A camping tarp, hoochie, or fly is a simple piece of gear but has multiple benefits and uses. Tarps are usually square, rectangular or hex cut pieces of fabric with tie out points. Great to use with a tent and for some, instead of a tent. They are really adaptable and have lots of uses - an essential bit of camping gear to keep handy. Yeah, nah? Here are 15 reasons to get a tarp (there’s probably heaps more) to make your next camping adventure even better.
What are the best tent poles? Which tent poles are right for me? Aluminium, fibreglass, steel, inflatable air poles, carbon fibre, … no poles. Poles are an important part of any tent - they hold up your tent. But do all poles do the job you want them to? Different pole types are suited to different types of tents, purposes and budgets.
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Right Tent for the Right Environment
Aren’t all tents pretty much the same? Tents are increasingly designed for specific purposes - different tent designs perform well in different terrains. When looking at purchasing tents, it’s crucial to consider where you’ll be using your tent and what conditions you’ll be experiencing. If you’re a keen camper you might be looking for a versatile, durable tent to handle varied situations or you might need a certain type of tent to handle your specific needs on your next adventure. There are many things to consider.
Dome tents have flexible poles which cross over the middle of the tent and have ends that are secured to webbing straps at the corners giving them a dome shape. Generally perform well in windy conditions, have good interior space, can deal with challenging weather conditions, including snow and are a very popular design. Geodesic tents use 4 or more criss-crossing poles to form a strong triangular structure, meaning they have greater stability in extreme weather conditions such as on mountains or windy, exposed areas. Semi geodesic tents work on the same triangular structure but typically use fewer poles. A good combination of weight and weather resistance in varied conditions makes tunnel tents a popular choice. They use a series of parallel arches giving them a tunnel shape and good internal space, and are ideally set up into the wind, but must be staked out for them to take shape and stay up. These are just a few of the tent designs available.
Sounds kind of obvious but you’ll also need to consider what you need your tent to do. Think about your priorities and what conditions you’ll be facing, then what kind of tent meets your priorities and is best suited to handle those conditions. You might like the look of an ultralight tent – wow, looks great and weighs less than your water bottle - but it’s not for you if you’re going car camping with the family.
Weather Proof Tents
The ideal weather-proof tent should be able to withstand the elements. It should cope with heat providing ventilation to keep you cool and comfy and provide shade from the sun. In rain, it should also be waterproof to keep you and your gear dry. And in the face of heavy wind your tent should be able to remain standing. Tent fabrics used should be able to contend with the stresses of sun, rain and wind. Most tents are rated as 3 season tents suitable for use in spring, summer and autumn while 4 season tents are designed for use in colder winter conditions with heavier rain, snow and winds that can destroy lighter weight tent poles and fabrics.
More and more people are finding that a shelter provides lots of options when camping. They protect against the sun, wind and rain. When used in unison with tents they provide a covered communal area day or night with multiple uses for living, dining and storage. The good news is we also have these available in stock with a range of accessories meaning you can customize them to suit your needs and set up a super camping HQ.
Why Shop With Us
With the multitude of tents available getting the right tent for you can be a bit confusing. Which design, purpose, specifications, size, material, rating, fly and floor, weight and packed size is right for me? Sure, making the right decision may seem tricky but with Intents Outdoors we’re here to help answer your questions. Our goal is to help you make the best possible choice for you so your next outdoor adventure goes without a hitch.
As well as the usual tents we’ve also stocked up on other camping gear like hammock tarps, windbreaks, camping and event shelters and gazebos, cot tents, sleeping bags and air beds. We have hiking backpacks, fishing packs, and fishing vests. We’ve just brought in canvas tents, swags and inflatable tents, and roof top tents for use on vehicles. Keep an eye out for new camping products we bringing in to the market.
Maintaining your gear is essential. We know bits and pieces disappear or need replacing so we have a range of spare parts and accessories for your tent including a range of tent pegs and stakes, guy ropes, and poles.
Have a question? Don’t be shy. We take pride in our product knowledge and would be more than happy to answer any questions, so we can guide you to the best camping gear for you.
The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help you find the product that is right for you. We aim to please.
Looking to buy for a big group? Buy from us wholesale. If it’s for a group of kids ready to go on their first outdoor adventure or for a company teambuilding activity, you can come to us and we’ll be ready to provide you with what you need.
In line with our goal of being your trusted shop for camping gear, we’ve made the buying process a lot easier and convenient for wholesale transactions. This way, you can save on time and effort and instead focus on counting down the days until your greatest outdoor experience of all time.
Product Quality Guaranteed
We put our name on the line with every product we sell, and so we make sure that you get great value for your money with every purchase. And better yet, all of our products come with a one-year warranty. While we are confident that you won’t have to use it, this is us saying that we have your best interests at heart.
In the slight chance that a product is faulty due to manufacturing defect, we will correct the issue. Just get in touch with us immediately and you can rest assured that we’ll do our best.
Here at Intents Outdoors, all the tent gear you need is within easy reach. Our friendly staff are happy to share their skills and knowledge with you so you can make the best decision. Your satisfaction is our mission, and we take that as seriously as you do your camping trips.
Make your next camping trip smooth and easy with top quality tents. Reach us by hitting our Contact Us button and sending your queries. We look forward to hearing from you and, more than that, we’re keen to help you with your next outdoor expedition!