Subaru Outback Roof Tent Weight Limit: Essential Facts for Safe Camping

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Imagine this: You’ve just found the perfect mountainside camp spot after a day’s drive in your trusty Subaru Outback. The sun is dipping below the horizon, and all that’s left is to set up your rooftop tent for a night under the stars. But wait! Have you considered how much weight that roof can handle?

Camping connoisseurs know that the journey’s magic lies in the details. And when it comes to rooftop camping with your Subaru Outback, understanding its weight limit is not just a detail—it’s a critical element for both your safety and your vehicle’s wellbeing. Don’t fret, though. You’re about to embark on a deep dive into the ins and outs of Subaru Outback’s roof tent weight limits.

Understanding the Subaru Outback Roof Tent Weight Limit

Subaru Outback Weight Capacity

When planning your next camping adventure, it’s essential to know the weight limits for your Subaru Outback’s roof rack system. This way, you can ensure that your rooftop tent and gear won’t exceed the car’s limits. According to Subaru, the dynamic weight limit – that’s the weight while the vehicle is in motion – is 150 pounds. This means you should keep the roof tent’s weight under this limit when driving around.

However, the static weight limit – the weight when the car is stationary – is much higher. In fact, it’s been mentioned that the roof can handle up to 600 pounds when it’s not moving. That’s plenty for most rooftop tents and a couple of campers inside.

Of course, the best way to know your vehicles RTT weight limit is to refer to your vehicle’s user manual. Because it may vary not only by the model year, but the brand of rails you are using on your vehicle’s roof.

Impact of Weight Limit on Subaru Outback Models

Each Subaru Outback model may have slightly different roof weight capacities due to their features and differences in designs. But generally, the weight capacity remains consistent across the models.

It’s important to know your specific model’s weight limit, as exceeding it can impact the vehicle’s performance and safety. When you stay within the recommended weight limits, you can enjoy a smooth ride and feel confident that your Outback can handle the load, both while cruising and when parked for a night of camping.

Always remember that while the 150 lb dynamic weight limit might seem restrictive, your Subaru Outback can handle a lot more weight when stationary. 

Overview of Subaru Outback Roof Tents

Best Roof Tent Options

When it comes to choosing a roof tent for your Subaru Outback, there are several great options available. One highly recommended rooftop tent is the Yakima Skyrise, which is suitable not only for the Outback but also for the Forester. This tent has essential features that cater to long-duration camping and sports an optimized design striking a balance between weight and good internal space.

Another option to consider is the Tepui Explorer Series. These roof tents are known for their durability, versatility, and ease of use. With various sizes and styles available, you’re sure to find a fit for your Subaru Outback.

Evaluating Tent Size and Material

When selecting a roof tent for your Subaru Outback, it’s essential to consider both the size and the material of the tent. Make sure the tent you choose aligns with the weight limit of your vehicle’s roof rack or cross rails. Subaru Outback models can generally support RTT that weigh less than 100 lbs, but it’s always best to double-check your specific model’s limitations.

In terms of material, opt for a rooftop tent that’s made of durable and weather-resistant materials, such as high-quality polyester or poly-cotton blends. These materials will not only help your tent withstand the elements but also ensure its longevity. You may also want to consider tents with UV protection and built-in ventilation to keep you comfortable during your camping adventures.

The Role of Subaru Outback Roof Rails and Racks

When it comes to loading and securing gear on your Subaru Outback for a camping trip or adventure, roof rails and racks play an essential role. We’ll cover the significance of Subaru Outback roof rails and racks, and how to choose between them.

Choosing Between Roof Rails and Crossbars

To decide between roof rails and crossbars, consider your specific needs and the types of equipment you’ll be carrying. Roof rails run the length of the car and provide a base for attaching crossbars or other accessories. Crossbars, on the other hand, are installed perpendicular to the roof rails, creating a versatile platform for cargo and different attachments like a roof rack or roof tent.

Think about the items you plan on transporting as well as the frequency of use. If you’re a weekend warrior who occasionally carries camping gear or a kayak, a simple roof rail system with crossbars should suffice. However, if you’re a serious adventurer regularly transporting bulky equipment, it may be worth investing in a heavy-duty roof rack system for added support and security.

Understanding Subaru Outback Roof Rack Systems

Subaru Outback roof rack systems come in various capacities, depending on the model year. Below is a general guideline for the weight limits of these systems for some previous model years:

  • 2005 – 2009 Subaru Outback: 100 – 150 lbs
  • 2010 – 2014 Subaru Outback: 150 – 165 lbs

When loading your gear, make sure not to exceed the recommended weight limit for your specific model, as this could cause damage to the vehicle or become a safety hazard while driving. Allocator your load evenly to prevent any imbalances or strain on the rails and crossbars.

Keep in mind that the weight limit includes the combined weight of the crossbars, any additional attachments, and the cargo itself. This means that any roof rack, tray, or carrying attachments you add will also eat into the allowed weight limit. So, choose your roof rack system wisely, considering both its weight and the gear you’ll be mounting on it.

How to Properly Mount a Roof Tent on a Subaru Outback

Balancing Load and Center of Gravity

When mounting a roof tent on your Subaru Outback, it’s essential to keep the load distribution and center of gravity in mind. The SkyRise 3 (Medium) tent, for example, has a weight of 115 lbs, making it well under the 150 lb maximum dynamic load limit for the roof of an Outback. To ensure the weight is evenly distributed, make sure to center the tent on your roof and balance its load on both sides of your vehicle. This will not only prevent unnecessary stress on your roof, but it will also help with stability during your road trips.

Avoiding Subaru Outback Roof Damage

It’s crucial to avoid causing damage to your Subaru Outback’s roof while mounting a roof tent. Keep in mind that the vehicle’s manual states not to install a roof tent as it may cause damage and create safety hazards. However, if you decide to install one, pay attention to the roof racks and use recommended mounting solutions suitable for your specific tent model. Mount the tent onto crossbars that can support the weight of the tent and avoid any direct contact between the tent’s body and your car’s roof. This will reduce the risk of scratching or denting your Outback’s roof, minimizing potential damage.

Comparing Subaru Models for Roof Tent Camping

Subaru Crosstrek vs Outback

When it comes to camping, choosing the right Subaru model can make a difference. The Subaru Crosstrek offers a slightly smaller footprint compared to the Outback, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great choice for rooftop tent enthusiasts. While rooftop tents need to weigh less than 176 pounds when stowed for all Subaru models, the Crosstrek can still handle a rooftop tent without breaking a sweat.

It’s essential to use a good roof rack or cross rails on your Crosstrek to maximize the roof tent weight limit. 

Subaru Forester vs Outback

The Subaru Forester is another great option for campers looking to mount a roof tent. The Forester has a roof rail capacity of 176 pounds. This means that you’ll need to choose a rooftop tent weighing less than that when stowed.

With Foresters being a common choice among Subaru lovers, you’ll find plenty of rooftop tent models designed specifically to suit your needs. Like with the Crosstrek, just make sure you’re using a proper roof rack or cross rails to ensure your tent fits securely on your vehicle and doesn’t exceed the weight limit.

Popular Roof Tent Brands for Subaru Outback

Yakima Roof Tents

Yakima is a well-known brand in the rooftop tent market. They offer a variety of options that cater to the needs of Subaru Outback owners. One popular choice is the Yakima Skyrise, which has a sleeping capacity of up to three adults, weighs 115 pounds, and can perfectly fit on your Subaru Outback. The Skyrise comes with an easy-to-use ladder and offers comfort, durability, and easy setup.

REI and Tepui Tents

REI and Tepui Tents are two more reputable brands offering high-quality rooftop tents for your Subaru Outback.

REI has the Co-op Base Camp, which is a great choice for Subaru Outback enthusiasts. This tent has ample sleeping space, a sturdy rooftop support system, and a reliable weight limit that will have no problem fitting on your vehicle’s roof.

On the other hand, Tepui has a range of different tents to choose from, like the Tepui Kukenam 3. This is a 4-season tent that offers a spacious interior, a 600-pound weight limit, and adjustable ladder. Its design and sturdy materials make it a reliable choice for Subaru Outback owners who enjoy year-round adventures.

Thule and iKamper Options

Thule and iKamper both have options that work well with Subaru Outback vehicles. Thule is known for its lightweight and durable rooftop tents such as the Thule Tepui Explorer. This tent has a weight capacity of up to 600 pounds and can accommodate three people comfortably. Its aerodynamic design and sturdy construction make it a good option for Outback owners.

iKamper, on the other hand, offers the Skycamp 2.0 rooftop tent, which is highly regarded for its easy-to-set-up design and spaciousness. It has a sleeping capacity of up to four people. The Skycamp 2.0 is ideal for those who want extra convenience and more room for comfort during their camping experience.

Enhance Your Adventure with Subaru Features

Utilizing Subaru X-Mode

Ready to take your adventure game up a notch? Subaru X-Mode has got your back. This feature provides you with extra control and traction on those rough, off-road terrains. When you’re tackling tricky trails, rocks, mud, or even snow, X-Mode will optimize your engine output, transmission, stability, and brakes, making sure you’ve got the grip and performance you need to conquer the wild. Just press the X-Mode button, and you’re ready to roll.

Activate X-Mode with confidence, knowing that your Subaru is designed to effortlessly handle even the toughest challenges mother nature throws at it. 

Fitting Adventure Gear in the Trunk

We know you’ve got your camping gear and outdoor essentials ready to roll, so let’s talk about how you’re gonna fit everything into your Subaru Outback. The trunk is spacious enough to accommodate all of your camping needs, without leaving anything behind. Check out these tips to make the most of your trunk space:

  • Be mindful of weight: While Subaru Outback has a 150-pound dynamic weight limit for the roof rack, don’t forget to consider the tent’s weight along with the load on your trunk.
  • Organize and strategize: Make a list of all the gear you’ll need, and then sort it by size and weight. This will help you pack efficiently and ensure that your trunk doesn’t end up overstuffed.
  • Maximize space with smart storage: Use stuff sacks, compression bags, or modular storage systems to keep your gear organized and compact. This way, your trunk remains clutter-free, and you can quickly access the items you need.

With a bit of planning and smart packing, you can fit all your adventure essentials in your Subaru Outback trunk without any hassle. And remember, if you still run out of space, there’s always the option to add extra storage in the form of rooftop cargo boxes, racks, or even hitch-mounted carriers. Subaru Outback’s got your gear and your back, wherever your journey takes you.

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