Roofnest Sandpiper Review

An impressive new rooftop tent offering for 2019 that's perfect for die-hard adventurers.

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Roofnest Sandpiper Open
Roofnest Sandpiper Tent Open
Roofnest Sandpiper Roof Top Tent Side
Roofnest Sandpiper Tent Closed
Roofnest Sandpiper Rooftop Tent
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 Summary

  • The Roofnest Sandpiper is a redesign of the Sparrow X and it features a slimmer, lower profile silhouette that reduces issues with gas mileage and driving noise.
  • The tubular cross-braced aluminum rails that comprise the Sandpiper’s roof rack are strong enough to support up to 100 pounds of gear. Whether you’re going on a biking, surfing, or snowboarding trip, the Sandpiper will be your perfect companion.
  • Setting up the tent only takes seconds and can be done with minimal effort. This is possible through the Sandpiper’s well-designed system of internal struts that can lift the roof of the tent even with a 30-pound load mounted on top.
  • The Sandpiper is equipped with a high-density foam mattress, an internal insulation lining, an anti-condensation mat, and an array of storage options that make sleeping inside this rooftop tent a comfortable experience.
  • True to its 2-man design, the Roofnest Sandpiper has just enough room for 2 adults and a small amount of gear. If you need something bigger, you’ll need to look into the other offerings from Roofnest such as the Eagle.

 Reviews by our Readers


Introduction

MAKE:
Roofnest
MODEL:
Sandpiper
TYPE:
Roof Top Tent
MSRP PRICE:
$2,795
RECOMMENDED FOR:
Vehicle camping, adventure travel, solo exploration, transporting additional gear
WARRANTY:
2-year
MODEL YEAR:
2019
WHERE TO BUY IT:
Roofnest’s Official Website

Roof Top Tent Details

INTERIOR:
6’10” x 49″
EXTERIOR:
50″ x 85″ x 11.8″ tall
WEIGHT:
145 pounds
CAPACITY:
Sleeps 2 adults

Written Review

Rooftop tents are a popular thing these days for travelers who want to sleep comfortably and safely while on the road. However, using your car’s mounting racks for a rooftop tent means losing valuable space for your gear. Fortunately, this is no longer the case thanks to rooftop tents with integrated mounting racks. These types of rooftop tents aren’t exactly new – the Sparrow X, released by Roofnest about a year ago, is one such example.

New for 2019, Roofnest has introduced a brand-new tent called the Sandpiper. The four-season Sandpiper still retains the function of a rooftop tent with an integrated mounting rack but has been completely re-engineered with a new shell design. The more aerodynamic design of the Sandpiper reduces drag which helps to reduce the gas mileage and noise problems normally encountered when driving with a rooftop tent.

The Sandpiper’s hard shell is made out of a durable ABS-fiberglass material that can withstand even the harshest outdoor conditions. When closed, the Sandpiper is only 11.8” high. It also weighs in at only 145 pounds, well within the dynamic load capacity of most vehicles. The closure system of the Sandpiper has also been upgraded from the Sparrow X and now features more secure metal clasps.

The distinguishing feature of the Sandpiper is its integrated rail rack system that features very strong tubular, cross-braced aluminum rails. The rack is bonded to the shell of the Sandpiper with aluminum flanges and plates. Thanks to its ultra-durable construction, the rail rack of the Sandpiper can carry up to 100 pounds of additional weight. Compared to the Sparrow X, the rail rack of the Sandpiper now sits more level, helping to reduce drag and also keeping the load more stable. The bomber rail rack is perfect for bringing along all your outdoor gear, such as a bicycle, kayak, paddleboard, snowboard, or skis.

Setting up the Sandpiper is so ridiculously easy that it can go from closed clam-shell mode to a fully livable tent in a matter of seconds. All you need to do is to unclip the metal latches and give the roof a slight push. At this point, the series of internal pneumatic struts completely take over and instantly open up the tent. This feature is heaven-sent for travelers who have been through a long and tiring day and just don’t have the energy to mess around with tentpoles and guylines.

At this point, all that’s left to do is to attach the telescoping ladder to the edge of the Sandpiper. The durable but lightweight ladder of the Sandpiper can extend up to 8.5 feet but can also collapse into a very small package. It comes with its own heavy-duty bag so you can just throw it in your trunk or backseat.

The Sandpiper’s impressive struts are strong enough to lift the tent open even with a 35-pound load mounted at the top. If you have a SUP or bike loaded on the tent’s rail rack, you won’t even need to remove it before retiring for the night. Aside from the convenience this offers, you can also sleep soundly knowing that your gear is sitting safe and secure on top of your tent.

Opened up, the 6’10” x 49″ sleeping space of the Sandpiper is enough to fit two people comfortable along with some gear. Offering plenty of height, there’s more than enough room to sit up inside the tent. Like the other Roofnest rooftop tents, the Sandpiper has a series of pockets that can be clipped to the inside or outside of the tent. This flexible storage option is perfect for small items such as a lamp and water bottles, as well as soiled clothes or shoes. A huge mesh storage compartment hangs from the ceiling of the tent for items you’d rather have easy access to.

The tent wall material is made from a blend of cotton and polyurethane-coated polyester. This material is tougher, heavier, and much more water-resistant compared to typical backpacking tents. Aside from helping to regulate the tent’s internal temperature, this heavy material doesn’t flap around as much when it gets windy. To enhance insulation, the tent is internally lined with a quilted insulation layer that looks great on top of keeping you warm.

The Sandpiper has doors on both sides and the back, making access easier no matter where you decide to camp. For summer camping, the large doors and windows are equipped with full zip openings that allow a cross-breeze through a no-see-um mesh lining. When it’s raining, the canvas doorways can be turned into awnings using the pre-included poles.

A bunch of quality-of-life accessories have made the Sidewinder really stand out from the pack. On top of the standard 2.8-inch high-density foam mattress (which is really warm and comfortable), the Sidewinder comes with a 1-centimeter thick anti-condensation mat and a mesh ground mat. The anti-condensation mat provides better circulation and reduces condensation, which can be a huge problem on cold nights. The mesh ground mat is designed to be laid down under the ladder to act as a buffer between your feet and the cold ground when you leave the tent.

Priced at more than $2,000, the Roofnest Sandpiper isn’t exactly a budget rooftop tent. However, compared to other hard-shell rooftop tents with integrated rail racks, the Sandpiper is one of the more affordable options. The Sandpiper is a well-designed tent that blends strength, durability, and comfort in a much smaller footprint. If gas mileage is a major concern for you, then the low-profile and aerodynamic Sandpiper will be right up your alley.

 What’s Included

  • Roofnest Sandpiper rooftop tent
  • Telescoping ladder
  • Mounting hardware
  • Mesh ground mat
  • Anti-condensation mat
  • High-density foam mattress

 Warranty

Roofnest offers a 2-year limited warranty on all of their products which covers all manufacturing defects on parts, materials, and workmanship. During the first year of the warranty, Roofnest will cover all repair and replacement costs. After the first year, Roofnest will assess warranty claims on a case-per-case basis. Take note that the warranty does not cover damage due to misuse, neglect, or acts of God.

Even if you’re no longer covered by warranty, Roofnest can provide helpful ongoing support when it comes to suggesting fixes or assisting with spare parts such as struts and zippers. Roofnest’s customer service is excellent, so you’ll always be in good hands.

Pros:

  • The Roofnest Sandpiper features a more aerodynamic silhouette compared to the Sparrow X, resulting in better gas mileage and less noise while driving.
  • The integrated rail rack of the Sandpiper is made with super-durable aluminum rails and can carry gear up to 100 pounds.
  • With a well-designed system of internal struts, setting up the Sandpiper literally takes seconds. This is possible even with a 35-pound load mounted on the roof rack.
  • With an internal insulation lining, removable pockets, high-density foam mattress, anti-condensation mat, and mesh ground mat, the Sandpiper has a comprehensive set of quality-of-life features that’s sure to keep you comfortable while sleeping on the road.

Cons:

  • The Roofnest Sandpiper has just enough space for two people and a small amount of gear. If you need more sleeping space, you might want to take a look at the Roofnest Eagle.
  • While it’s not the most expensive 2-man rooftop tent, the Sandpiper is far from a budget option. If you’re looking for something cheaper, then you might consider a softshell rooftop tent such as the Tepui Kukenam 3.

 Final Thoughts

The Roofnest Sandpiper is one of the company’s newest products and it takes the excellent design of the Sparrow X and improves upon it in several ways. The lower-profile silhouette of the Sandpiper looks cleaner and more streamlined while also providing improved gas mileage and less noise. The external shell of the Sandpiper is made with the same ABS-fiberglass material that Sandpiper has been known for, while the tent material is several times more durable, heavier, and more water resistant than that of a standard backpacking tent.

The major feature of the Sandpiper is the strong but lightweight rail rack that’s made out of durable aluminum. With its 100-pound capacity, you can mount just about any piece of adventure gear on top of this rooftop tent. Sleeping inside the Sandpiper is incredibly comfortable with its high-density foam mattress, internal insulation lining, large windows and doors that allow for a cross-breeze. The array of storage options and an anti-condensation mat are the icing on the cake.

The Sandpiper isn’t cheap but for the serious adventurer, it’s a worthwhile investment. If you want comfort while traveling, buying the Sandpiper is still much more affordable than investing in an RV or trailer. It’s a simple, cheaper alternative that still affords you the luxury of having a safe and comfortable space to sleep on the road.

Click Here to Buy the Roofnest Sandpiper

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