The Best Van Skylights For Van Life – Stargazing From Bed

Last update:

These are our top picks for best van skylights in 2023.

A skylight in your van provides much-needed light and can make the space within your van feel much larger. Not to mention potentially being a great source of ventilation.

Imagine lying in bed at night and stargazing through your skylight as you fall asleep. I spent nearly a year living in my van full-time and a big reason was to live closer to the elements. A skylight is a great way to do that.

Many van lifers will install a skylight on one end of the van and a vent fan at the other. This creates a comfortable cross-breeze throughout your living space. Skylights are also a great way to provide light and ventilation when stealth camping.

Our top choice for best van skylight is the Dometic Mini Heki. It’s large enough to provide ample light. It opens and closes in a variety of positions to provide custom ventilation. And it’s loved by many van lifers for its durability.

Every van lifer’s needs and priorities are different so we provide a few other “best of” recommendations below.

Let’s get started.

Skylights are great for stargazing

Our Best Van Skylights

Van Skylight Reviews

Here are our reviews for the best van skylights.

Dometic Mini Heki – Best Overall Skylight

  • Size: 21.26 x 21.26 in
  • Operation: Manually
  • Opens to: 3 positions, Max 50 degrees
  • Features: Bug + blackout screens included, Forced ventilation
  • Install Difficulty: Easy

The Dometic Mini Heki is our best overall van skylight.

It opens manually to three separate positions with a maximum opening of 50 degrees.

This skylight comes with bug and blackout screens included so you don’t need to worry about purchasing these separately. It has forced ventilation to keep your van cooler and provide better airflow.

Installation is pretty straightforward with the instructions included. This is a great skylight that is popular in the van life community.

ICON RV – Best Budget Skylight

  • Size: 37.9 x 21.8 in
  • Operation: Doesn’t open
  • Opens to: Doesn’t open
  • Features: None
  • Install Difficulty: Easy

The ICON RV is our choice for best budget skylight.

It doesn’t open and doesn’t include bug or blackout screens, but the large size and affordable price make it a favorite for many van lifers.

The installation is pretty easy. The ICON RV skylight won’t provide any ventilation, but it’s a great budget consideration for those who want to stargaze and let a lot of light in at an affordable price.

Dometic Micro Heki – Best Bathroom Skylight, Best Small Space Skylight

  • Size: 11.02 x 11.02 in
  • Operation: Manually
  • Opens to: 50 degrees
  • Features: None
  • Install Difficulty: Easy

The Dometic Micro Heki is our top choice for best bathroom and small space skylight.

If you want a skylight but have limited rooftop space, this is the skylight for you. It’s not very big at just over 11 x 11 inches, meaning it will provide that little bit of light in a small space.

It opens manually to a maximum of 50 degrees meaning that it will provide a good amount of ventilation.

The installation is similar to the Mini Heki. It doesn’t come with bug or blackout screens included but you can buy these separately.

Arctic Tern Electric – Best Roof Hatch Skylight

  • Size: 22.3 x 33.6 in
  • Operation: Electric
  • Opens to: 45 degrees
  • Features: Bug and blackout screens included, Roof hatch access, LED lights
  • Install Difficulty: Medium

This is our top choice for best roof hatch skylight. If you have a rooftop deck or want easy access to the roof to clean your solar panels, this is the skylight for you. Warning: it comes at a hefty cost though.

This skylight opens and closes by connecting to your van’s electrical system, providing the ease and comfort of remote operation.

It comes with bug and blackout screens included, along with four LED lights. This should cut down on the number of lights you’ll need to install separately in your ceiling. Installation for this skylight is a bit more advanced than the others given the electric motor.

Off Highway Van Skylight – Best Luxury Skylight

  • Size: 3 x 5 ft
  • Operation: Doesn’t open
  • Opens to: Doesn’t open
  • Features: Insulated blackout screen included
  • Install Difficulty: Requires hiring the manufacturer to install

If you want to spend as much on a skylight as some people spend on their van, you might want to consider the Off Highway Van skylight. We’re including this in the roundup more as a “what’s possible” piece of inspiration as the cost is prohibitive enough to price most people out.

A three-by-five-foot skylight looks stunning and I can imagine stargazing through this while laying in bed on a clear night. It does make me wonder about ventilation and productive use of rooftop space though. But perhaps a quality skylight is a top priority on your van wishlist.

You can’t install this skylight yourself as the cost includes custom installation by the manufacturer. It comes with an insulated blackout curtain which seems absolutely necessary. Without it, you’d have a ton of heat loss through this during winter camping.

Van Skylight Buying Guide

When researching skylights for your van it’s helpful to consider why you want a skylight in the first place. If you want a skylight because it brings in a lot of light the size might be more important than how it operates. 

If you’re looking for a roof hatch to get access to your roof then a combination of factors come into play. If you’re looking for ventilation then how it opens and closes might be most important.


Durability is going to be important as the form factor of many skylights will create airflow drag when you’re driving down the road. As you open and close the skylight, if that’s possible, it’s going to provide wear and tear. Getting a quality manufactured skylight will give you peace of mind.


While you might want all the bells and whistles, the fact remains that there’s no end to how you can upgrade your van rig. It’s good to have a priority list of what’s most important so you can determine your budget for each component.

Natural light can be a great way to feel like you have more space in your van


Size is important for a variety of reasons. It determines how much sunlight and ventilation will come in. It determines if you can use it as a roof hatch to get access to your van roof. It also is conditional on what else you plan to put on the roof of your van.

If you’re planning to have a lot of rooftop accessories such as a vent fan, solar panels, roof rack, cell booster, or anything else this will put limitations on the size and location of your skylight.


A skylight can provide a great source of ventilation, but this requires that it opens. Some skylights don’t open and just act as a source of light and a view of the outside world. How important this is boils down to your personal preferences.


For those skylights that do open and close, it’s helpful to determine how they operate and to what extent. Some skylights have limited fixed positions and others give you precise control over how open you want it to be. Some open manually and others electronically.

Install Difficulty

Cutting a big hole in the roof of your van can feel intimidating. Luckily, most of the skylights reviewed here are easy to install with the help of the provided instructions, the manufacturer’s support team, and youtube.


Many skylights come with additional features not listed above. I’d recommend choosing a skylight that includes a bug and blackout screen. Or at least one where you can order these separately.

A skylight without a blackout screen is going to let in a lot of light, but there are times when you’ll want to block that light out. You’ll also want to be able to cover the skylight if you’re ever winter camping to avoid heat loss.

Some skylights come with LED lights around the rim, thus potentially reducing your need for as many ceiling lights.

Our Verdict

You’re now prepared to make an informed buying decision for a van skylight. Spending some time considering why you want a skylight will help you to rank what features are most important.

The Dometic Mini Heki is a great overall skylight that is a favorite of many in the van life community. We wish you happy stargazing.

Photo of author


Robert Johnson is the founder of Van Simply. He spent eight months traveling full time in his converted camper van and takes frequent shorter trips to explore the world. He enjoys taking his van on surf trips, visiting national parks, and meeting up with the wonderful people he has met on his travels.

Rent A Van For Your Next Adventure

Outdoorsy allows you to rent a van so you can check out this lifestyle before diving in. Full insurance is included in your rental.