I know. I know that a few weeks ago I just did a review of a rooftop tent. But, I thought we could talk about the differences between the two different types of rooftop tents. The fold-out type that I already reviewed and the TopOak Overland Galaxy 1.0 which is a wedge type.
As I mentioned in the review of the Yakima SkyRise rooftop tent, we’ve had that same type of fold-out style tent on our previous Jeep. We had it for a long time and wanted to try something different. Specifically, we wanted to try a wedge-style tent on our new Jeep, but they’ve always been so cost-prohibitive. Until now.
TopOak Overland Galaxy 1.0 Rooftop Tent
I love a good bargain and let me tell you, the TopOak Overland Galaxy 1.0 rooftop tent that I’m reviewing is a total bargain. So I got one. I was a little weary of grabbing one because sometimes a price can be “too good to be true” and quality can be questionable. But, for this style tent with this type of price tag, I thought I would take the chance on it. So, far I’m glad I did.
It seems very close to being the same tent as a RoofNest Falcon Pro rooftop tent, but the TopOak Galaxy 1.0 retails for only $1,299, not $3,995. You could buy three Galaxy 1.0 tents for the price of one of the Falcon Pro tents.
The Galaxy 1.0 is a wedge-style rooftop tent, with a hard aluminum shell. It uses externally mounted, self-opening struts, and has three different mounting spots for the included telescoping ladder.
It also comes with an adjustable built-in LED light, a shoe bag that hangs outside the tent, and a boatload of inside storage pockets.
I like the storage that is on the inside of the roof. It has six suspended pockets that you can use, or you can pull it away from the ceiling and store clothes or something behind it.
It has two locking clamps at the opening. The locks are a little bit wonky and don’t seem super secure and it came with weird, large keys. It’s not the highest security, but it does the job.
The tent also has a unique feature where the front of the tent expands out to give you much more room inside the tent than a standard wedge-style tent. That “kick-out” section also has a removable rainfly and a built-in skylight, so you can stargaze while lying in the tent.
Shipping the Galaxy 1.0
Shipping the tent anywhere in the contiguous US will cost $299, and is said to arrive within 7 days. TopOak has a warehouse in Los Angeles, allowing for pick-up if you are local. I opted to get mine shipped, and it arrived in 2 days, through a freight company.
The freight company called me the day before it would arrive and gave me a 2-hour window for when I could expect it… and actually showed up at the front end of that window. That was nice.
When the tent is packed to ship, it’s big, and weighs roughly 220lbs, according to the freight guy. I was by myself the day it came, and he was kind enough to drop it in my driveway.
After inspecting the box, it didn’t have any sign of being handled roughly. TopOak says that every tent is insured, and to feel free to contact them if your tent shows up damaged. That was nice to know.
I started the unpacking and was pleased to see the tent sandwiched between two pieces of plywood, with dense foam placed between the wood and the aluminum hard shell. It was packed very well and arrived without a single scratch.
I needed to ask for help to lift this bad boy onto the Yakima Load Bars on our Jeep. The tent, by itself, with nothing in it, weighs 172lbs. Not crazy heavy when it comes to rooftop tents, but not light either. In comparison, the Yakima SkyRise HD Medium rooftop tent that I reviewed weighed 114lbs.
Make sure that the load bar/roof rack system on your vehicle has a dynamic weight capacity of at least 172lbs before you install this tent on your vehicle. The Yakima Rib Cage Rack System for the Jeep JL has a dynamic weight rating of 330 pounds, so that is plenty.
Once the tent was on the load bars, I easily slid it around to find the right spot to start installing it with the provided hardware. I will note that the tent only came with knobs to fasten the metal straps around the load bars. I opted to go to the hardware store and swap them for some good Nylock nuts.
Also, the steel straps seemed a little thin for my liking, so I will be swapping those at a later date for a thicker stainless steel version. But, for the most part, I am very pleased with how easy the tent was to attach to our loadbars.
Galaxy 1.0 First Impressions
After getting the tent mounted on our Jeep, I did some opening and closing practice runs. It is incredibly easy to set up and close down. I’m storing some sleeping bags (laid out flat), the included shoe bag and ladder, as well as some small pillows up in the tent when not in use.
With that stuff stored in it, the tent was a little bit harder to close, but still closed up just fine. This convenience is much easier to deal with when closing the wedge-type tent when compared to the fold-out type tent tent.
We’ve done around 600 miles with the Galaxy 1.0 on the roof, as well as a few offroad trails, and so far it’s felt solid and has been quiet. I didn’t notice the extra 60lbs on the roof while driving around with the tent. I didn’t think that would happen, I thought it would be noticeable.
One of the most noticeable differences between the fold-out and the wedge-type of tents is road noise. The TopOak Galaxy 1.0 has a hard aluminum exterior shell that seems to glide through the wind. This makes it much quieter than the soft cover of the SkyRise HD Medium tent.
The Galaxy 1.0 sits much lower on top of the Jeep than the SkyRise did. At only 8″ tall when closed, the Galaxy 1.0 has a full 9″ lower profile than the SkyRise. Not only is the Galaxy 1.0 much quieter, but it’s also allowed me to gain back between 2 and 3 miles per gallon putting me very close to the factory gas mileage for the Jeep. That was surprising.
I’ve got a bunch of small desert trips planned for the tent in the next few months, along with a big multi-day Death Valley run and a huge run through North East Nevada and Virginia City.
These trips will put this tent to the test. I’m curious how well a $1300 tent will do while running some rough trails through an unforgiving desert landscape. Stay tuned here for the full review of the TopOak Galaxy 1.0.