James Baroud or Autohome roof top tent

James Baroud or Autohome

  • James Baroud Grand Raid XXL

    Votes: 42 55.3%
  • Autohome Maggiolina X-long

    Votes: 23 30.3%
  • Autohome Airtop

    Votes: 11 14.5%

  • Total voters
    76

backpackbirk

New member
Hi adventurers.

I would appreciate your input on RTT, especially if anyone has experience with James Baroud tents.

I just came back from a 7 week overland trip through Eastern Europe and Turkey with my brand new Autohome Columbus X-long tent. Despite being a good tent, I am now in the search for another model and version. After sleeping 7 weeks on the roof you realise all the details you require and want satisfied in a RTT.

The first and most important one is lenght. Being a 6.3ft (191cm) man, I need the tent to be long enough to fully stretch out. Despite the Columbus being X-long version, the 'envelope-frame' makes it hard to leverage the entire length. I could stretch out, but my feet would still touch the tent canvas or top shell depending on which way I was sleeping.

Other downsides noted are: mosquito netting not fitted in the bottom for windows and rear door - needs to be stuffed under mattress. Another observation is the top lamp would randomly switch on inside the tent when packed consuming battery power. That aside, the tent worked well throughout the 7 weeks in storm, sun and rain.

However, now I want to replace it with a 'boxed' roof top tent. In my eyes, the best brands out there are Autohome and James Baroud. The James Baroud seems to have a lot of great details and internal frame system that seems to be the best for tall guys.

So, I'm now comparing three models:

James Baroud Grand Raid XXL: http://ok4wd.com/james-baroud-grand-raid-evolution-rooftop-tent.html

Autohome Maggiolina: http://www.autohomeus.com/rooftop/maggiolina.php
(now my preferred option as the scissor system takes up a lot of space in both ends)

Autohome Airtop: http://www.autohomeus.com/rooftop/maggiolinaAir.php
(also now my preferred option, as the closing mechanism and fabric seems to have a few faults).

Note, as I have a ladder on the rear door, the tent should allow for rear door access.

I met a lot of people, especially Land Rover 4x4 clubs on the road with James Baroud tents.

Any thoughts or input?

Thank you!

-Christian

Below is a photo a few weeks old from the completed 7 weeks overland trip.

expo-portal.JPG
 
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JackW

Explorer
The Baroud looks a little thin - like you might not be able to store all of your bedding and a few other things inside. The latches and ladder attach points look a little flimsy as well.
I have an older Maggiolina that is at least 15 years old. I like that I can also store a small folding table as well as three pillows, a sleeping bag, Thermarest air mattress, an extendable ladder and a blanket in the Maggiolina which frees up a lot of room in my Defender 90.
 

cj007sd

New member
BACKPACKBIRK - I AM VERY CURIOUS WITH WHAT YOUR FINALLY CHOICE WAS. I ALSO AM ALSO AN EXTRA LARGE MALE AND AM LOOKING FOR ONE OF THE BEST ROOF TOP TENTS TO MOUNT ON MY 2000 LAND CRUISER. I WOULD PERFER A HARD TOP TENT BUT ROOM IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AND MAYBE MORE IMPORTANT DEPENDING ON THE INTERIOR MEASUREMENTS. IF THIS DOESNT WORK THAN I AM STUCK MAKING A SLEEPING PLATFORM INSIDE THE 100 SERIES WHICH IN MY OPINION WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH ROOM EVEN THOUGH I HAVE READ ABOUT OWNERS BEING ABLE TO FIT AN INFLATABLE QUEEN SIZE MATTRESS. IF THAT IS TRUE THAT GIVES ME HOPE AND SAVES ME A FORTUNE OF MONEY. ANYONE OUT THERE THAT CAN HELP OUT A ROOKIE, WITH ANY ADVICE, SUGGESTIONS AND/OR RECOMENDATIONS WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!! THANK YOU CJ
 

qwerty

Observer
The first and most important one is lenght. Being a 6.3ft (191cm) man, I need the tent to be long enough to fully stretch out. Despite the Columbus being X-long version, the 'envelope-frame' makes it hard to leverage the entire length. I could stretch out, but my feet would still touch the tent canvas or top shell depending on which way I was sleeping. . . .

However, now I want to replace it with a 'boxed' roof top tent. In my eyes, the best brands out there are Autohome and James Baroud. The James Baroud seems to have a lot of great details and internal frame system that seems to be the best for tall guys.

So, I'm now comparing three models:

James Baroud Grand Raid XXL: http://ok4wd.com/james-baroud-grand-raid-evolution-rooftop-tent.html

Autohome Maggiolina: http://www.autohomeus.com/rooftop/maggiolina.php
(now my preferred option as the scissor system takes up a lot of space in both ends)

Autohome Airtop: http://www.autohomeus.com/rooftop/maggiolinaAir.php
(also now my preferred option, as the closing mechanism and fabric seems to have a few faults).


Unless the spec in the link above are wrong, you probably won't fit in the James Baroud Grand Raid XXL. The Grand Raid is only 198cm long (78 inches), and at 191cm tall (6'3"=75 inches). That's only a 7cm (2.76 inch) difference!!!

The Autohome Airtop is 210cm long (83 inches), which gives you 19 cm (7.48 inches) of headroom/footroom. The Autohome Airland XL is 231cm long (91 inches), but you have to subtract X cm/inches for the room that the scissor system takes up. For comparison, your Autohome Columbus XL tent is also 231cm long.
 

Mike S

Sponsor - AutoHomeUSA
Congratulations on your purchase of a roof top tent.

As regards the review you linked in your post of 1-16-14. I read it and it appears to be very dated, and much of the information contained in its review of the Maggiolina is simply incorrect. For instance, the discussion of the Maggiolina fabric (Dralon) describes it as 'cotton' and compares it the the Baroud 'polyester'. Dralon is, in fact, a very advanced type of synthetic material made in Germany by Bayer GMBH.

I would caution that web sources for information are not always reliable.
 

BigSwede

The Credible Hulk
It actually says 'similar to cotton'...although I would agree this is a misleading description.
 

Septu

Explorer
I too keep coming back to these two brands. Something that is giving Autohome an edge is the ability to add the change room to the Mongolia style tents. Not a crucial option (and one that would rarely get used), but would be a nice feature if camping in crappy weather for an extended period of time.
 

Lemsteraak

Adventurer
I know I sound like a broken record but one of the major things to look for in roof tents is weight. Check the weight before buying. The difference between 150 and 115 pounds is like night and day in vehicle dynamics.

Years back I had one of the AutoHome expedition tents and figured I would get the biggest and most bad assed tent they had. So I got this big honking square flat topped Maggiolina with a huge rack on top. Simply incredible tent but maybe for a Hummer H1, it took three of us to lift it on top and my jeep sagged under the load. It was something like 175 pounds, empty. I swapped it out for one of their regular tents and have never looked back. My advice is never look at any tent over 130 pounds, the sweet spot is less than 115 pounds. The AutoHome tent I have right now is like 75 pounds, and yes it was ungodly expensive, but cheaper than having to modify a suspension.
 

4xdog

Explorer
...Dralon is, in fact, a very advanced type of synthetic material made in Germany by Bayer GMBH...

Dralon is an acrylic fiber, originally developed by Bayer GmbH, but now spun off to Dralon GmbH like so many other textile fibers have been by the big multinational chemical companies.

Acrylic is a good choice for exterior applications -- it's a highly UV stable polymer with low water absorption.
 

pwalts

New member
To Septu I'm wondering if the awnings and changing rooms from Autohome couldn't be retrofitted to the Baroud? They look structurally similar- I'm betting a few bolts and clasps and the autohome accessories could be attached to a Baroud RTT- anyone else want to weigh in on that thought?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

mazatal

New member
Baroud Evasion Evolution closing, technique and force

The James Baroud Evasion Evolution is easy to setup fast, but closing it WAS pain for me until I learned how to tuck-in the tent fabric OVER AND ON TOP OF the gas struts while closing. The RTT is roof mounted to four Rhino rack crossbars on a 3" lifted 2013 4Runner Limited with 33" tires. At 5' 11" I can't reach the top of the roof corner while standing on the front door jamb and must use the front pull-down strap to get the first latch to close. Getting the first front corner (drivers side) to latch, as the top articulates down was easy, with the pulldown strap twirled around my left arm while my right tucked the tent fabric OVER AND ON TOP OF the gas strut. Then over to the other front side, tucking tent fabric correctly again, to pull the top down from the roof corner using my left arm, then engaging the latch fully. The rear is a repeat of the same process, especially mindful again to tuck properly. I found that IF the tent material is allowed to gather BELOW the gas strut, thus binding its scissored retraction, the closing is nearly impossible for me. So again I should have RTFM and watched the videos more closely. What a great product!
Many thanks to Craig at JamesBoroudUSA.com for his patience in teaching me how to close this amazing tent with trivial effort.
gary
 
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PBnFJ

Observer
I am very happy with my Maggiolina Airtop medium. I am 6'1" and don't touch either end of the fabric walls as the top mechanism is now on the sides on this model. It also has a rear door giving the OP the entry/exit option he wanted.
 

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