Truck bed camping and rooftop tents are all the rage these days, but what if you don’t have a truck? Thankfully, small- and mid-sized vehicle owners have their own convenient car camping option: the SUV tent.
A quality SUV tent can make living life on the road an enjoyable experience without the need for a big truck or RV. The wrong tent, though, can lead to countless sleepless nights under the stars.
We know how important it is to get the right shelter, so we’ve reviewed 5 of the best SUV tents on the market. Plus, we’ve even put together a guide to choosing the best model for your next adventure.
What Are The Benefits Of SUV Tents?
If you already own a family tent, you might be wondering why someone would opt for an SUV tent instead of a more traditional camping shelter. It turns out that these tents have a whole lot of benefits that can transform your camping experience, including:
Added Weather Protection & Convenience
With an SUV tent, your tent and vehicle are connected. That means that you don’t have to carry your gear from the car to your campsite, potentially getting it wet in the process.
Additionally, when your car and shelter are linked together, you don’t have to go all the way back to your vehicle to retrieve a forgotten piece of gear.
Maximize Storage Area & Living Space
An SUV tent allows you to maximize your interior living space and gear storage area in ways that a regular tent just can’t do.
If your tent and car are connected, you can make the best use of your tent space by keeping all your daytime gear and spare clothing inside the vehicle for more comfort while you sleep.
SUV tents benefit from having the added stability of your vehicle, which is particularly important in windy conditions. Plus, if the weather situation gets really bad, you can always retreat into the back of your vehicle to take shelter until a storm passes without ever stepping foot outside.
Lots Of Versatility
Many SUV tents can actually be used as a standalone shelter. Therefore, they can be pitched without a vehicle, just like a traditional tent.
Thanks to this versatility, SUV shelters are more functional in a diversity of different conditions. This means that you can use them pretty much anywhere that your adventures take you.
Unlike truck tents, which require that you own a truck with an open bed, SUV tents can be attached to SUVs, crossovers, trucks with covered beds, and even sedans. So, they’re particularly nice for families that own multiple types of vehicles but want one tent that works well with all of them.
The Napier Outdoors SportZ SUV Family Tent has a spacious sleeping area for up to 6 adults. This tent provides 7 (2.1m) feet of headroom, so it’s large enough to accommodate even the tallest of campers.
Additionally, it attaches easily to your vehicle’s trunk using an adjustable sleeve so you can use that cargo space for added gear storage. The tent’s steel and fiberglass pole structure also provides it with ample strength for use in windy conditions.
For extra livability, Napier Outdoors designed this tent with a large 7×6 foot (2.1×1.8m) floorless screen room, which is a nice place to relax on buggy evenings. The tent also has a large side awning for lounging on sunny days, plus skylights and windows for plenty of ventilation during heat waves.
- Fully adjustable sleeve allows for the perfect fit between the tent and vehicle
- Large screen porch for added outdoor living space
- Skylights and huge windows provide ample ventilation
- Side awning offers shade on sunny days.
- Can be tricky to set up at first
The Napier Outdoors Backroadz SUV Tent is a solid all-around tent that is relatively affordable but doesn’t skimp on quality. It offers enough sleeping room to house up to 5 adults, plus 7 feet (2.1m) of headroom for added comfort while walking around inside.
The tent has a vehicle sleeve that can be used on minivans, SUVs, and cross over vehicles using its integrated adjustment system. However, the sleeve can be easily removed for use as a stand-alone tent on other camping adventures.
Plus, the shelter has a large door with a small awning for easy entry and exit from the outside. It also comes with 3 mesh windows that allow for plenty of airflow on hot summer days.
- Removable connection sleeve can be used on a range of different vehicles
- Large door provides easy entry and exit
- Big windows offer lots of ventilation
- High ceiling height is more comfortable for walking around inside
- Rainfly must be used for privacy, but can significantly limit airflow
Napier Outdoors’ SportZ SUV Tent is designed to be easy to set up to save you time when you get into camp. It can sleep up to 5 people and features a bathtub-style floor and a GoBe Dry rain protection system to help shield you from foul weather.
It has fiberglass poles that are reinforced with steel for added durability in windy conditions. Furthermore, it offers 7 feet (2.1m) of headroom at the center of the tent and up to 6 feet (1.8m) at the corners for added comfort as you walk around.
Unlike many SUV tents that have a body and a fly, this shelter has a single wall design with zippered storm flaps on the windows. This allows it to provide a good mix of weather-resistance and durability while cutting down on the amount of time you need to spend setting up your campsite.
- Easy to set-up
- Tall center height of 7ft (2.1m)
- Single wall design and bathtub floor for weather protection
- Large windows provide ample airflow
- No screen porch, awning, or external living space
The Napier Outdoors SportZ Dome-To-Go Tent is a budget-friendly option for campers that want a functional and versatile SUV shelter. This tent can house up to 4 campers inside, making it a good option for a small family camping trip.
It connects easily to your small or mid-sized vehicle using an adjustable sleeve that can be removed if you want to use it as a stand-alone tent. As far as set up goes, the Dome-To-Go has shock-corded fiberglass poles that allow for a quick and easy pitching process.
One of the most unique features of this tent is its full-length rainfly. Unlike many other rainflies, this model features sides that can be rolled up on sunny days to expose the tent’s large windows. It also has a massive front awning over one of its three side doors for a bit of sun protection as you relax outside.
- Fits small and mid-sized vehicles using a removable and adjustable sleeve
- Quick set-up process
- Unique rainfly provides lots of weather coverage but can be rolled up for ventilation
- Three large doors, plus a big front awning for sun protection
- Somewhat small sleeping capacity when compared to other models
The Rightline Gear SUV Tent is a convenient car camping shelter for a small family. It is designed to fit any SUV minivan, station wagon, or pick up truck with a closed bed using its adjustable vehicle sleeve. The vehicle sleeve is even removable so you can use it without your car nearby.
This tent features a large bathtub floor that’s seam-sealed to help keep water out even when camping on wet ground. It also has a small awning above the door for some protection from the sun.
Inside, the tent has large no-see-um mesh windows to provide ample ventilation, as well as storm flaps to keep you dry in a storm. It also contains gear organizing pockets and a lantern hanging hook for added convenience during your camping trips.
- Seam-sealed bathtub floor and window storm flaps for weather protection
- Gear pockets inside for added organization
- Can be used with nearly any vehicle or as a standalone tent
- Large windows for ventilation and airflow
- Limited ventilation when the storm flaps are zipped up
- Some durability concerns with stitching around pole sleeves
An SUV tent is a great option for anyone that wants to maximize the amount of gear storage and living space of their camping shelter. Since many of these tents can also be used without a vehicle, they’re also an ideal choice for an adventurous family or solo traveler that wants just one tent that can handle any camping outing.