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Few things bring people together quite like camping in the great outdoors. But you have more options these days than just staking a tent in the woods or “glamping” in an RV. Many travelers are now joining the “car tent” community because of the wonderful convenience these tents provide.
Car tents offer the opportunity to park your car and camp out wherever you want, along with the security and comfort of sleeping in your cargo space if you wish, instead of on the cold, hard ground. There are hundreds of different car tents available, but we’ve narrowed it down for you to the ones with all the best bells and whistles.
If you are specifically looking for SUV tents, please check out our article about the best SUV tents for camping.
1. Best Tent for Big Groups and Families
When you need a tent for more than 6 people, this Sportz SUV Tent has all the space you’ll otherwise be craving. Large enough to sleep 5-6 people on the floor and another 2 in the cargo space, this is one of the biggest car tents available.
It also has 7 feet of headroom, so you won’t have to crawl around, a removable screen room where you can relax free of bugs, and a detachable 6’x6’ awning that’s perfect for a couple of folding lawn chairs. The adjustable car sleeve fits snugly around your car’s cargo area to convert it into extra sleeping space and give you easy access to anything you need in your car. Plus, you’ll sleep safe and secure with a fiberglass and steel structure, a bathtub-style floor, the GoBe Dry rain protection system, and bug-proof closures. So next time your camping experience calls for lots of space, the Sportz SUV Tent is the way to go!
2. Best Tent for Pick-up Trucks
Give a new meaning to your truck’s “bed” with the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent. This tent is perfectly designed to go with you everywhere your truck does for all your planned and unexpected adventures.
When not in use, the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent bundles up into an easy carrying case that fits conveniently behind your truck’s seat; but when it’s time to camp out, you’ll enjoy the ease of the color-coded pole and sleeve system that sets up in no time. Choose from four different tent sizes, each with a full floor and nearly 6 feet of headroom! Cozy up inside and listen to the rainfall while the weatherproof system does its job, look through the screen windows and star-gaze while you fall asleep, or open up the bottom-hinged tent flap and enjoy the scenery before you as you sip your morning coffee. Whatever your adventure holds, the Napier Backroadz is right there with you.
3. Best Universal Rooftop Tent
For those who enjoy the security of sleeping well off the ground, the TMB Pop Up Roof Overland Tent provides that security within seconds.
Universally designed to fit most vehicles with roof rails or cross bars, this pop-up tent attaches snugly to your roof and then collapses down to only 13 inches tall for traveling. It also comes in seven colors so you can match your vehicle or just have fun with it. When you’re ready to camp out, simply pop up the tent with its aluminum frame and climb in via the included ladder! The average set up time is only 30 seconds to a minute! Inside, the tent features a convenient bungee net for ceiling storage and a pre-installed memory foam mattress that perfectly accommodates two people. And when you’re ready to greet the morning, enjoy two screened windows and two doors to let in the fresh air and make the space feel roomier.
4. Best Budget Car Tent
Looking for something inexpensive and easy to use? Then you’ll want to check out the Rightline Gear 110907 SUV Tent. This great car tent has a universal-fit tent sleeve, so you can use it whether you have an SUV, a minivan, a jeep, and more.
Backed by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, the Rightline Gear Tent guarantees you’ll be cozy and dry with weatherproof construction and a bathtub floor to keep out all the elements. You’ll sleep nice and tight in the cargo area of your vehicle with the roomy tent area available for a changing area, or you can use the main tent to sleep up to four more people. And with a 15-minute installation, this tent is perfect for camping out at road trip stops and impromptu expeditions.
5. Best Hatch Tent
If you want to avoid the ground and critters altogether but can’t support a rooftop tent, you can simply convert your car into a camper-like sleeping space with the Napier Sportz Cove Tent.
This cozy hatch tent snugly attaches to the rear of your vehicle, providing a bug-free screen door at your car’s cargo opening. Outside, a 2-foot awning offers shade and weather protection so you can keep the main flap open and enjoy the views from inside your car or sit protected outside in folding chairs or by your campfire. Couples will love the cozy atmosphere this hatch tent provides, as long as you can forgo the extra space of a changing area. The Napier Sportz Cove is designed to fit most small to mid-sized SUVs and CUVs, making it a great and convenient option for anyone who likes to switch campsites and adventures frequently.
Car tents are such a great and easy way to enjoy nature without the hassle of setting up a full campsite. They are an incredible way to break up road trips, add some little luxuries to your campsite, and sleep comfortably in otherwise uncomfortable terrains. Plus, the added security and convenience of sleeping with your car is a huge bonus for many campers. Once you join the “car tent community,” you’ll never go back to normal camping again!