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CVT Pioneer Series Bachelor Review

A light and compact rooftop tent that doesn’t have any special accolades to speak of
CVT Pioneer Series Bachelor
Credit: CVT
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Price:  $1,575 List
Pros:  Compact, light, thick cover
Cons:  Lacking space, extra installation steps
Manufacturer:   CVT
By Ross Patton ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 28, 2022
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 10
  • Space and Comfort - 30% 6.0
  • Durability - 25% 6.0
  • Ease of Conversion - 20% 8.0
  • Ease of Assembly and Installation - 15% 7.0
  • Cover Convenience - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The CVT Bachelor is essentially a run-of-the-mill two-person rooftop tent. It’s not uncomfortable, but it’s not especially uncomfortable either. The installation process is pretty straightforward, but the manufacturers chose to leave a few steps for us to figure out on our own with some rather unclear instructions. The cover is on par with most, and converting it from travel to camping mode and back is the same process as most other softshell rooftop tents in our review. While we appreciate the thick rubber cover, both the tent canopy and the rainfly are made of lightweight materials that don’t really match this price point. The best thing that this model has going for it is that it is super light, and the conversion process while setting up or breaking down camp is easy for a softshell model.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Compact, light, thick coverDurable canopy, telescoping ladder, versatile, quick conversionTool-free mounting system, locks to rack, decently lightLight, more affordable, breathableWide and sturdy ladder, boot bag, LED light strip, spacious
Cons Lacking space, extra installation stepsNo entrance awning, no added extrasMounting system is limited, large gap between tent and rackQuestionable durability, bulky for a two-person modelLadder may require drilling, velcro cover not the most efficient cover system, heavy
Bottom Line A light and compact rooftop tent that doesn’t have any special accolades to speak ofOur top soft-top recommendation for most people provides excellent quality and comfort across all four seasonsA quality rooftop tent that doesn't require a handyman or a toolbox to installA decent two-person rooftop tent with a breathable canopy great for warmer nightsWith a durable design and many handy features, this model competes with the top models while costing significantly less
Rating Categories CVT Pioneer Series... Thule Tepui Kukenam 3 Yakima SkyRise Medium Thule Tepui Explore... Smittybilt Overlander
Space and Comfort (30%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Durability (25%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Ease of Conversion (20%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Ease of Assembly and Installation (15%)
7.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
Cover Convenience (10%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Specs CVT Pioneer Series... Thule Tepui Kukenam 3 Yakima SkyRise Medium Thule Tepui Explore... Smittybilt Overlander
Seasons 3 4 3 3 3
Weight 98 lbs 130 lbs 115 lbs 106 lbs 144 lbs
Max Inside Height 45 in 52 in 48 in 38 in 51 in
Pockets 2 4 4 4 5
Windows 3 side 2 roof 3 side, 2 roof 3 side, 2 roof 3 side, 2 roof 3 side, 2 roof
Floor Dimensions 96 in x 48 in 56 in x 96 in 56 in x 96 in 84 in x 48 in 56 in x 96 in
Floor Area 32 sq ft 38 sq ft 38 sq ft 28 sq ft 38 sq ft
Room Divider No No No No No
Vestibules No No No No No
Vestibule Area Dimensions n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Packed Size 48 in x 48 in x 15 in 12 in x 48 in x 56 in 12 in x 48 in x 56 in 11 in x 42 in x 48 in 12 in x 48 in x 56 in
Floor Materials Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Main Tent Materials 280G poly-cotton Rip-stop 420 D 210 D nylon 260g polyester cotton 420 D
Rainfly Materials 420D 600 D 600 D 600 D 600 D
Number of Poles 8 8 8 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
Design Type Fold-out Fold-out Fold-out Fold-out Fold-out
Extras n/a n/a Locks, quick release, clear sky windows in rain fly n/a Interior LED, extension cords, boot bag

Our Analysis and Test Results

The CVT Bachelor was not designed to be a top-tier state-of-the-art rooftop tent. As shown by our analysis below, it doesn't compete with the award-winning models. That said, it does have some admirable and attractive traits. It is super light, which makes installation and removal substantially easier on your back, and is ideal for smaller vehicles. Additionally, converting the tent from travel to sleep mode and back is faster and easier than many other softshell models.

Performance Comparison


CVT Pioneer Series Bachelor rooftop tent - the cvt bachelor is a very nice tent but did not stand out in any of...
The CVT Bachelor is a very nice tent but did not stand out in any of our evaluations.
Credit: Ross Patton

Space and Comfort


For our most heavily weighted metric, we looked at how spacious and comfortable the tents were compared to one another. For the testing process, we carefully measured the dimensions of each tent's floor area, then sent our team out into the wilderness to camp and subjectively assess the comfort factor for each model.

The Bachelor was one of the least spacious tents that we've reviewed. With two people inside the tent, we felt pretty cramped. The main interior hinge where the frame poles converge is right where your hips are when you sleep –- and right where you would hope there would be extra room. Although it's a bit small, we think this model would be wonderful for one person and their gear. Also, it should be noted that, while in travel mode, it hardly takes up any room on your rack compared to three-person softshell tents or hardshell tents.

CVT Pioneer Series Bachelor rooftop tent - the cvt bachelor is small enough to leave plenty of access to the...
The CVT Bachelor is small enough to leave plenty of access to the bed of your truck for things like firewood, gas cans, and coolers.
Credit: Ross Patton

Durability


Our team did not find that the Bachelor has any glaring durability flaws. Still, based on the manufacturer's technical specifications and our own comparisons, it is clear that the canopy material is not quite top-tier. If you're worried about wear and tear over years of abuse, we suggest going with a model with a tent material that's rated higher.

CVT Pioneer Series Bachelor rooftop tent - the cvt bachelor has a fancy logo, but it's printed on material that...
The CVT Bachelor has a fancy logo, but it's printed on material that may not hold up to industry standards.
Credit: Ross Patton

Ease of Conversion


Every rooftop tent in our review is much faster to pitch than most standard ground tents when you get to camp. However, within our review, the time each takes to convert from travel mode to camping mode and back can significantly vary from model to model. This evaluation section showed strong results for the CVT Bachelor. The tent cover is easily removed by undoing two straps and unzipping the bottom. This model's ladder effortlessly extends, then there is plenty of leverage to use the ladder to unfold this relatively light tent. At this point, the tent is ready to sleep in.

CVT Pioneer Series Bachelor rooftop tent - the cvt bachelor is on par with the easiest softshell rooftop tents...
The CVT Bachelor is on par with the easiest softshell rooftop tents when it comes to converting it from travel to camping mode and back.
Credit: Ross Patton

If you'd like to utilize any of the awnings or set the rain fly up, this will add a minute or two to the setup process. It's also, as you might imagine, more challenging on taller vehicles.

Setting up the rain fly or the awnings adds a bit of time to the...
Setting up the rain fly or the awnings adds a bit of time to the conversion process, but nothing that we would consider to be significant.
The CVT Bachelor rain fly can be a bit difficult to set up or remove...
The CVT Bachelor rain fly can be a bit difficult to set up or remove on taller vehicles.

Ease of Assembly and Installation


Installing a rooftop tent on your vehicle is never a simple task. Most softshell versions require around an hour of unboxing and assembly before you're ready to put it on a rack and the CVT Bachelor is right about in the middle of the pack for this metric. It comes packaged like most softshell models we've seen — tightly wrapped up in cardboard and plastic straps with the cover, ladder, hardware, and mounting rails inside of the tent. All of the necessary tools are included, and so long as you have a buddy to lend you a hand, it really isn't that difficult to get everything bolted into place. At only 98 pounds, the Bachelor is one of the lightest models we've ever tested, making a big difference in the installation process. We had to dock some points because the straps used to roll up the cover and stow it out of the way while you're camping do not come installed. This is a task that would be simple at the factory but might be a pain for somebody without the right tools.

CVT Pioneer Series Bachelor rooftop tent - when you order a rooftop tent, be prepared for a large freight truck...
When you order a rooftop tent, be prepared for a large freight truck with a lift gate to arrive at your house.
Credit: Ross Patton

Cover Convenience


The cover for the CVT Bachelor is just as easy to use as other models in our review that have similar construction. It has two straps secured with large metal D-rings and a heavy-duty zipper that goes around three sides of the tent floor.

CVT Pioneer Series Bachelor rooftop tent - get out there and get lost.
Get out there and get lost.
Credit: Ross Patton

Value


The Bachelor is a fairly affordable model, but it doesn't offer much in the way of space or comfort. If you're willing to drop this much money on a tent, we think it's either worth it to spend a little more for higher performance or save more and go with a cheaper model. The person who should purchase the Bachelor is somebody that is very concerned about overall weight, wants a fairly easy conversion process, and doesn't mind limited space. Otherwise, other options cost less and offer more room and luxuries.

Conclusion


The CVT Pioneer Series Bachelor didn't bomb in any of our evaluations, but it didn't shine either. The strongest element that it offers is that it is super light and relatively compact while in travel mode. It's great that it's fairly easy to convert from camping to travel mode and back, but other models still performed better.

Ross Patton
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