Roofnest Falcon 2 Review
Cons: No room for ladder or additional bedding while in transport mode, expensive, considerable weight
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Roofnest Falcon 2
|Price||$3,595 List||$3,195 List||$1,875 at REI|
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|Check Price at REI|
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$1,275 at Amazon
|Pros||Aerodynamic design, effortless setup, lots of included accessories and options||Effortless conversion, no assembly, tons of cargo space||Very comfortable, durable, has entrance awning, great weather protection, included annex||Durable canopy, telescoping ladder, versatile, quick conversion||Wide and sturdy ladder, boot bag, LED light strip, spacious|
|Cons||No room for ladder or additional bedding while in transport mode, expensive, considerable weight||Big while in travel mode, expensive||Longest conversion time (though not by much), side window awnings don't roll up, pricey||No entrance awning, no added extras||Ladder may require drilling, velcro cover not the most efficient cover system, heavy|
|Bottom Line||The best option for those that want a top-tier rooftop tent with minimal wind drag||A high-end hardshell rooftop tent that is comfy, spacious, and incredibly easy to install and set up||A versatile rooftop tent that offers maximum comfort no matter what Mother Nature decides to do||Our top soft-top recommendation for most people provides excellent quality and comfort across all four seasons||With a durable design and many handy features, this model competes with the top models while costing significantly less|
|Rating Categories||Roofnest Falcon 2||Roofnest Sparrow EYE||Thule Tepui Autana 3||Thule Tepui Kukenam 3||Smittybilt Overlander|
|Space and Comfort (30%)|
|Ease of Conversion (20%)|
|Ease of Assembly and Installation (15%)|
|Cover Convenience (10%)|
|Specs||Roofnest Falcon 2||Roofnest Sparrow EYE||Thule Tepui Autana 3||Thule Tepui Kukenam 3||Smittybilt Overlander|
|Weight||160 lbs||130 lbs||130 lbs||130 lbs||144 lbs|
|Max Inside Height||60 in||44 in||52 in||52 in||51 in|
|Pockets||2 detachable, gear grid with 5 pockets||1 detachable||4||4||5|
|Windows||2 side||2 side||3 side, 2 roof||3 side, 2 roof||3 side, 2 roof|
|Floor Dimensions||86 in x 48 in||83 in x 49 in||56 in x 96 in||56 in x 96 in||56 in x 96 in|
|Floor Area||29 sq ft||28 sq ft||38 sq ft||38 sq ft||38 sq ft|
|Vestibule Area Dimensions||n/a||n/a||26 in x 56 in||n/a||n/a|
|Packed Size||11 in x 50 in x 85 in||6 in x 50 in x 88 in||12 in x 48 in x 56 in||12 in x 48 in x 56 in||12 in x 48 in x 56 in|
|Floor Materials||Honeycomb aluminum||Fiberglass-reinforced ASA/ABS||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum|
|Main Tent Materials||320g poly-cotton||Polyurethane-coated polyester and cotton blend||420 D||420 D||420 D|
|Rainfly Materials||n/a||n/a||600 D||600 D||600 D|
|Number of Poles||2||2||6||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|
|Extras||Matress, 8.5' ladder, anti-condensation mat, dual detachable pockets, privacy tent, and LED lights||Matress, LED light, privacy tent, ground mat, anti-condensation mat||Awning over ladder||n/a||Interior LED, extension cords, boot bag|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We test a lot of products at GearLab, and every once in a while, we come across a design that is truly exciting, innovative, and helpful. The Roofnest Falcon 2 outscored most of the competition in many of our assessments while maintaining a razor-sharp look and a minimalistic design.
Space and Comfort
This metric makes up the largest portion of each tent's overall score. Comfort is paramount for a good camping tent, and the livability of the interior space is a close second, though a bit more subjective. The amount of space you require will largely depend on how many people, how many pets, and how much gear you intend to store inside your setup. Comfort, however, is a bit more universal. Laying on a memory foam mattress will most certainly be more comfortable than sleeping on the ground. To gather data for this metric, we meticulously measured the floor space and ceiling height of each tent while in camping mode. We then slept in each tent for several nights to ensure that our testing team could provide the best feedback possible.
During this portion of our review, the Falcon 2 produced a strong score. The mattress's comfort is top-notch. On the high side of the tent, the tent's interior height is as tall as we've ever encountered at a whopping 60 inches.
We couldn't score the Falcon 2 quite as high as some of the three-person tents or tents with annexes for this section of our review, simply because it does not offer a comparable amount of cubic space inside. It also cannot store anything besides thin sheets inside the tent shell while in transport mode because of its thin construction. This model does not allow for storage of the ladder within the tent either, so you'll need to find a place for it in your vehicle while traveling. Falcon sells additional crossbars for storing bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, or a rack for additional gear, but the upgrade isn't cheap.
Despite these drawbacks while in travel mode, the Falcon has several elements that we consider luxurious when it comes time to camp. This model includes two boot bags that hang outside the lower tent body once the tent is set up. Not only do these large pockets house dirty shoes, but they also have extra compartments for any other piece of equipment that you'd rather not have in your sleeping space.
The Falcon 2 has some very useful amenities inside the tent as well. There are USB-powered LED strips running up both inside edges of the tent and a massive cargo net with a plethora of pockets above the sleeping area, including a clear pocket in case you need to keep a phone or tablet accessible for viewing.
To evaluate the durability factor of each model, we opened and closed every tent a minimum of 25 times and used every zipper a minimum of 25 times. To ensure our laboratory-themed experiments weren't missing anything, we went camping in each tent at least five times. Our testers carefully noted any flaws, weaknesses, or shortcomings they noticed in any of the models in our review.
The Falcon 2 is a decently strong contender in this metric. We appreciate the aluminum construction on the main tent body. Metal is much stronger than rubber or plastic, so you can rest easy knowing that you don't need to worry about impacts on the Falcon while it's in transport mode and that you won't need to worry about pine cones, branches or hail while in camping mode.
However, we did find a flaw or two. The hydraulic pistons are on the outside of the tent shell, leaving them exposed to the elements. Our other gripe is with the tent canopy material. The polyester/cotton blend is not nearly as durable as the ripstop nylon that many top-tier models are made from. However, the canopy is much more breathable than nylon versions, which may be desirable for some folks. We very much appreciate the bomb-proof metal buckles that hold the Falcon shut while it's in travel mode, and the telescoping ladder is super-rugged.
Ease of Conversion
Our favorite part about rooftop tents, as opposed to ground tents, is the difference in the time they take to set up and break down. Deploying an RTT is substantially faster than the latter, and the Falcon 2 is one of the fastest models when it comes to converting from travel to camping mode.
Once you find your camping spot, the steps to set the Falcon 2 up are simple –- unlock the buckles, let the hydraulic pistons erect the tent, put the ladder in place, then put the awning poles in place. From start to finish, this process takes about two minutes if you're taking your time. With the way this model is designed, the awning must be erected; otherwise, the rainfly flap will blow around in the wind all night.
When it's time to break it down, the Falcon 2 takes just a few moments longer than the top-scoring models for this metric because you need to ensure that the tent canopy will get properly tucked into the shell as you collapse it. Still, this process is much faster than any softshell rooftop tent in our review. This tent can realistically be converted from camping mode to travel mode in a matter of a couple of minutes.
Ease of Assembly and Installation
Some people may enjoy assembling a new toy before its first use, while others may loathe the process or simply not have the tools or the time. For this section, we examined the time, tools, and effort required to get the tent out of the box and installed onto our testing vehicle.
The Falcon 2 pretty much knocked it out of the park on this one because it comes fully assembled. Unlike other hardshell models, the hardware, tools, and ladder come in a separate box, so you can lift this tent directly out of the box and onto your rack. After a few minutes of organizing hardware and aligning your tent to your desired specifications, you simply use the included ratcheting wrench to tighten the nuts down, and you're off. That said, we could not give the Falcon 2 a perfect ten for this metric because it weighs 160 pounds, and you'll need a friend or two to install it safely.
The final portion of testing is dedicated to the type of cover each model comes with, the material it is composed of, and how difficult it is to deal with. With models such as the Falcon 2, there really is no inconvenience regarding the tent cover because the hardshell lid is both a travel cover in travel mode and the roof of the tent while it's in camping mode.
For a top-tier, high-performance model that offers cutting-edge tech in the world of rooftop tents, you're going to have to spend the extra dollars. The Falcon 2 is for the person that can spare some extra funds on aerodynamics and sleek looks. And, at around half the thickness of any other tent in our review, this model is also the way to go for minimal wind drag.
If you want a super-streamlined tent while traveling and amazing features while camping, we highly recommend the Roofnest Falcon 2. The mattress is top-notch, the accessories are very helpful, and it takes a matter of seconds to convert this tent from traveling to sleeping mode. Well done, Roofnest.
— Ross Patton
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