The campground at Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu, California is beautiful, but you don’t exactly use it rough. There are indoor piped park restrooms and a Starbucks 10 minutes away. Each campsite has a fire pit with a built-in cooking grate and there’s a cute little shop where a disgruntled local teen will sell you firewood, medicine, snacks and booze. Every evening you can see a postcard-worthy sunset on the beach of the Pacific Ocean. It’s camping for people who don’t quite like camping. It’s camping for people like me.
That’s why I dig all the way Porsches new roof tent. It’s very easy to set up and quite comfortable inside, and it makes a weekend outdoors a lot easier if, like me, you don’t live your life like it’s a REI catalog. Yes, the tent is ridiculously expensive, just over $7,000. But if you’ve already spent the money on a brand new Porsche – in this case a $170,000 Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo – an extra 7 grand is probably just a drop in the ocean. I assume anyway.
Full disclosure: Porsche lent me a Taycan with a roof tent on top so I could go camping with it Jalopnik writer Kyle Hyatt and his wife. I built a fire and cooked a s’more while Hyatt got me a pre-mixed Aperol spritz, because he’s a true friend.
Available through Porsche’s Techquipment accessories catalogue, this $7,028 tent can be mounted on any of the company’s cars – those that can at least support roof rails and crossbars. A tough car like the Taycan Cross Turismo is perfect for this setup, but note that Techquipment has many photos of this tent on top various 911s, so please, future 911 Dakar buyers, go wild. All packed, the tent weighs 123 pounds, so getting in and out of the car isn’t a one-man job. But setting it up at the campsite is totally something you can do on your own while your friends yell at each other trying to pitch their rickety Target tent — and it only takes about 10 minutes, tops.
Once parked in camp, a key unlocks two latches on the passenger side of the tent. The hard shell rises to reveal a strap to pull the ladder down. Since the tent is intended to work on different sized cars, the steps of the ladder are adjustable. That’s also useful if you’re parked on rough or uneven ground, not that you’ll find much of that at Leo Carrillo; the summer tires on my Taycan Turbo never came off the curb.
Before you actually get into the tent, climb the ladder and unzip the entrance flap so you can secure the two tension bars. This will be a cute little zippered arch that you can easily crawl through. Go in there, place the two-piece sleeping pad to cover the length of the hard floor, then use the other two tension rods to secure each window awning. That is it. You are done. Very easy.
The zippered windows can be fully opened, covered with a mesh screen or completely closed from the harsh daylight. There’s also a skylight above you that works the same way, although you’d better keep that closed or the morning dew will trickle in. (Ask me how I know.) Under each window, you’ll find zippered storage pockets for things like your wallet, glasses, or phone. But there isn’t really much room inside for other things. Even up there, I had room at my feet for a backpack, but I wouldn’t try to stuff a suitcase in there and still sleep comfortably. Guess that’s what the inside of the Taycan is for.
This also brings me to the other hurdle: changing clothes. Assuming you’ve brought your wearables into the tent, there really isn’t enough room to stand upright. That means you do the sit knee bend dance to get dressed and undressed. There are hooks you can hang bags or coats on, at least under the ladder, but that’s still outside so you’ll have to lean out of the tent and reach for your stuff. It just takes a little extra preparation to ensure that you can change easily and comfortably.
When you’re finally in the tent and all set for the night, sleeping is pretty decent. The tent is insulated, and despite temperatures hovering around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (California in December, amirite?), I stayed pretty warm with just a plain old sleeping bag and flannel pants. If you’re alone there’s plenty of room to toss and turn, but if you’re going to be sharing the tent with a friend or partner then I hope you real like each other. Depending on your height and width, it can be a bit tight.
When the camp weekend is over, taking down the tent is also a piece of cake. Remove the tension rods, raise the ladder and grab the huge strap to pull the hard top down. When it’s almost closed, make sure all the fabric flaps are closed and secure the locks with the key. The tent takes even less time to close than to set up. Seriously, 5 to 10 minutes maximum.
Does this 123-pound tent change the way the Taycan works? Not really. And thank goodness – the Turbo Cross Turismo is awesome. The 93.4kWh battery pack sends up to 670hp and 626lb-ft of torque to a pair of electric motors, and I can’t imagine the extra weight will shorten this car’s estimated 0-60mph time of 3.1 seconds. hinders . Acceleration, braking and even cornering aren’t really affected by the ever-slightly higher center of gravity, especially as most of the Taycan’s weight is already deep in the chassis.
The EPA-estimated 233-mile range of the Turbo Cross Turismo isn’t hampered too much either, even with the aerodynamic punishment of a box on the roof. In addition, I always have the Taycan’s EPA numbers are notoriously easy to beatand with an 800-volt electrical architecture, you can take advantage of 270kW charging speeds from a 350kW public charger – assuming it works anyway.
The main thing that stands out when driving with the tent is the extra noise. The Taycan, like all EVs, is largely silent in operation (unless you turn on the stupid futuristic boo-ahh-woo-wee sounds). However, when you drive onto the highway, you can actually hear the air rustling around the rooftop tent. It also renders the standard glass roof panel of the Cross Turismo virtually useless, although at least the large box provides more shade to help keep the car’s interior cool.
I would be remiss not to point out that companies like iKamper offer comparable rooftop tents for thousands of dollars less. Then again, if you already own the Porsche, you’ll probably prefer buying the Porsche-approved accessory. And yes, sure you could just drop a hundred bucks on a tent from the local department store and put it on a tarp, but um, that’s gross and uncomfortable and I guarantee if it rains you’ll wake up damp. Besides, it doesn’t look that impressive on social media, and you fucking own a Taycan Cross Turismo. Camping may not be your favorite pastime, but it’s your public duty to keep it that way hashtag active lifestyle image alive.