Reviews

LAST UPDATED: November 5, 2019

Best Car Camping Tents: Indoor Comfort in the Great Outdoors

Combine outdoor and indoor space for a unique camping experience with these top car tents

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The Review Team

  • Product Network

    20 Products

  • Clock

    10 Hours

  • Reviews

    12 Reviews

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PUBLISHED ON November 5, 2019

With most models attaching directly to the back of your SUV or minivan, car tents are the ultimate combination of outdoor and indoor space. Whether you want access to power points, the peace of mind that comes from knowing the kids are safely locked in, or just need somewhere dry to sit when it’s raining, there are plenty of car camping tents to meet your needs.

  • Best Overall
    Rightline Gear SUV Tent
    Rightline Gear SUV Tent
    Summary
    Summary

    This SUV tent is conveniently designed to fit any size vehicle with rear hatch or rear barn door and sleeps up to four adults. It comes with rainfly, carry sack, and sewn-in construction guidelines. Includes a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

    Pros
    Pros

    Made from a water-resistant fabric with a bathtub-style groundsheet to keep water out and remove the need for a separate ground tarp.

    Zip-up windows improve ventilation.

    Cons
    Cons

    Heavy at 20 pounds and difficult and time-consuming to set up or takedown. It only has one tent access door on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

  • Best Overall
    Rightline Gear SUV Tent
    Rightline Gear SUV Tent
  • Best Value
    Backroads SUV Tent
    Backroads SUV Tent
    Summary
    Summary

    A car tent to sleep five people with easily adjustable straps and universal design for seamless, easy fitting on any SUV or minivan. Built-in storm flaps and taped seams provide protection from the elements, while large door and mesh windows provide optimal ventilation.

    Pros
    Pros

    The tent includes a lantern holder and pockets for better organization and off-ground storage. More than sufficient headroom for tall adults with a max height of 7 feet.

    Cons
    Cons

    Poles are bamboo,  super lightweight, and flexible, but not very sturdy in high winds. Rainfly may not adequately cover the door, and water can leak in at bottom of the door.

  • Best Value
    Backroads SUV Tent
    Backroads SUV Tent
  • Honorable Mention
    KingCamp Melfi Plus SUV Car Tent
    KingCamp Melfi Plus SUV Car Tent
    Summary
    Summary

    An oversized, two-room SUV tent with over 7.5 feet of headroom, removable floor, and adjustable internal doors and windows for maximum ventilation, access, and versatility. Made from quality, quick-drying materials, this tent is water- and fire-resistant, and built to last. Includes carry bag with handles for easy storage and transport.

    Pros
    Pros

    The inner lining is made of breathable polyester to ensure the inside stays dry and comfortable in all conditions. Flysheet and doors roll up to serve dual functions as canopy and awnings.

    Cons
    Cons

    Setup instructions are minimal, making already relatively complicated construction difficult for anybody not familiar with tents. Velcro attachments between the wall and removable floor are not sufficient for poor weather.

  • Honorable Mention
    KingCamp Melfi Plus SUV Car Tent
    KingCamp Melfi Plus SUV Car Tent

    With most models attaching directly to the back of your SUV or minivan, car tents are the ultimate combination of outdoor and indoor space. Whether you want access to power points, the peace of mind that comes from knowing the kids are safely locked in, or just need somewhere dry to sit when it’s raining, there are plenty of car camping tents to meet your needs.

    Best Car Camping Tent Reviews & Recommendations 2019

    Best Overall

    The Rightline Gear SUV Tent gets you off the ground when you’re camping, helping to increase both your comfort and your protection from unpredictable outdoor elements. It’s a fantastic all-around car camping tent — and it fits just about any SUV. It’ll even work with other types of vehicles, including minivans, off-road vehicles, and more. This car camping tent connects to the back of your vehicle and covers you with a durable tent that can sleep up to four people. It’s made with water-resistant fabric, tape-sealed seams, and no-see-um mesh, and the tent windows and doors feature storm covers to block out weather. A PE bathtub floor keeps you dry and keeps outdoor critters away while you’re inside. Inside this tent, you’ll have everything you need, from gear pockets to lantern hanging hooks to glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls.

    Best Value

    The Backroadz SUV Tent is a roomy, spacious car camping tent. It offers over 7 feet of headroom and can comfortably sleep up to five adults all inside its 10 x 10-foot size. But what really makes this tent a great buy is its excellent value. With an affordable, reasonable price and quality construction, you can get a lot of bang for your buck. It features a universal fit that suits nearly all crossovers, SUVs, and even minivans. It includes a full rainfly, storm flaps, taped seams, and windows, and a door like a full-size tent. It’s bug-free and watertight to keep you safe from the woes of nature. This car camping tent is even able to help you charge your electronic devices with a power outlet connection. It takes just 10 minutes to set up, giving you a cozy camping space in no time.

    Honorable Mention

    The KingCamp Melfi Plus SUV Car Tent is a great option if you’re looking for a car camping tent that offers more room for bigger groups of people. Whether you’re camping with your family or friends, this extra large tent can give you enough room for five to six adults to sleep comfortably. It offers a 9.5 x 9.5-foot interior space with two rooms. And this car camping tent is built to provide you with comfort whether it’s hot or cold, rainy or sunny. The tent flysheet is made out of 190T polyester with PU coating and the floor is made out of PE material so you’ll enjoy water resistance from all angles. You can remove the PE floor if you’d like extra ventilation, and a series of multi-position mesh windows offer cross ventilation. A rainfly that’s lightweight and quick-drying is also included to keep you dry.

    Honorable Mention

    If you’re looking for a small tent that can provide you with a little shelter and a lot of shade, you’ll love the Napier Sportz Cover SUV Shade Awning Tent. Designed to fit midsize and full-size SUVs, crossovers, and minivans, this car camping tent gives you shelter with more than 2 feet of awning coverage. It provides shade as well as enclosed protection from bugs and unpredictable weather. This car camping tent features a mesh screen that’ll keep bugs at bay — and out of your car — and an integrated storm flap that offers both privacy and waterproofing. Made out of high-quality polyester taffeta and polyester mesh, this car camping tent allows you to get shelter from the elements on a day trip or overnight camping excursions.

    Honorable Mention

    The DAC Explorer 2 SUV and Minivan Tent is a great choice if you’re looking for a car camping tent that’s very easy to set up. Camping can become convenient and simple with this tent — it uses bungee cords and plastic coated hooks to secure onto your vehicle, and it takes less than five minutes for complete installation. Once in place, you’ll enjoy the privacy and comfort provided by the no-see-um mesh insect screen and outer door panels that can be closed or tied back. Made out of durable 5-ounce polyester fabric, the entire tent weighs just 5 pounds. Suitable for use with a wide selection of different SUVs and minivans that have liftgate panels that measure less than 67 inches wide, this car camping tent is versatile, too.

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    Best Car Camping Tent Reviews & Recommendations 2019

    Best Overall
    Rightline Gear SUV Tent

    The Rightline Gear SUV Tent gets you off the ground when you’re camping, helping to increase both your comfort and your protection from unpredictable outdoor elements. It’s a fantastic all-around car camping tent — and it fits just about any SUV. It’ll even work with other types of vehicles, including minivans, off-road vehicles, and more. This car camping tent connects to the back of your vehicle and covers you with a durable tent that can sleep up to four people. It’s made with water-resistant fabric, tape-sealed seams, and no-see-um mesh, and the tent windows and doors feature storm covers to block out weather. A PE bathtub floor keeps you dry and keeps outdoor critters away while you’re inside. Inside this tent, you’ll have everything you need, from gear pockets to lantern hanging hooks to glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls.

    Best Value
    Backroadz SUV Tent

    The Backroadz SUV Tent is a roomy, spacious car camping tent. It offers over 7 feet of headroom and can comfortably sleep up to five adults all inside its 10 x 10-foot size. But what really makes this tent a great buy is its excellent value. With an affordable, reasonable price and quality construction, you can get a lot of bang for your buck. It features a universal fit that suits nearly all crossovers, SUVs, and even minivans. It includes a full rainfly, storm flaps, taped seams, and windows, and a door like a full-size tent. It’s bug-free and watertight to keep you safe from the woes of nature. This car camping tent is even able to help you charge your electronic devices with a power outlet connection. It takes just 10 minutes to set up, giving you a cozy camping space in no time.

    Honorable Mention
    KingCamp Melfi Plus SUV Car Tent

    The KingCamp Melfi Plus SUV Car Tent is a great option if you’re looking for a car camping tent that offers more room for bigger groups of people. Whether you’re camping with your family or friends, this extra large tent can give you enough room for five to six adults to sleep comfortably. It offers a 9.5 x 9.5-foot interior space with two rooms. And this car camping tent is built to provide you with comfort whether it’s hot or cold, rainy or sunny. The tent flysheet is made out of 190T polyester with PU coating and the floor is made out of PE material so you’ll enjoy water resistance from all angles. You can remove the PE floor if you’d like extra ventilation, and a series of multi-position mesh windows offer cross ventilation. A rainfly that’s lightweight and quick-drying is also included to keep you dry.

    Honorable Mention
    Napier Sportz Cove SUV Shade Awning Tent

    If you’re looking for a small tent that can provide you with a little shelter and a lot of shade, you’ll love the Napier Sportz Cover SUV Shade Awning Tent. Designed to fit midsize and full-size SUVs, crossovers, and minivans, this car camping tent gives you shelter with more than 2 feet of awning coverage. It provides shade as well as enclosed protection from bugs and unpredictable weather. This car camping tent features a mesh screen that’ll keep bugs at bay — and out of your car — and an integrated storm flap that offers both privacy and waterproofing. Made out of high-quality polyester taffeta and polyester mesh, this car camping tent allows you to get shelter from the elements on a day trip or overnight camping excursions.

    Honorable Mention
    DAC Explorer 2 SUV and Minivan Tent

    The DAC Explorer 2 SUV and Minivan Tent is a great choice if you’re looking for a car camping tent that’s very easy to set up. Camping can become convenient and simple with this tent — it uses bungee cords and plastic coated hooks to secure onto your vehicle, and it takes less than five minutes for complete installation. Once in place, you’ll enjoy the privacy and comfort provided by the no-see-um mesh insect screen and outer door panels that can be closed or tied back. Made out of durable 5-ounce polyester fabric, the entire tent weighs just 5 pounds. Suitable for use with a wide selection of different SUVs and minivans that have liftgate panels that measure less than 67 inches wide, this car camping tent is versatile, too.

    Tips

    • Park somewhere flat and level with enough space for your tent to sit behind the SUV. Check with the campsite to see if it has restrictions or rules on parking next to your tent.
    • If you’re only planning on using it in good weather, a three-season car tent should be sufficient. Four-season tents are designed for camping no matter what the weather and offer more protection from the elements.
    • If you need to drive your car during your camping trip, look for a car camping tent that can be detached and left to stand alone without any issues.

    FAQs

    Q: How big does my car tent need to be?

    A: This depends on how many people will be using it. Small tents are easier to erect than extra-large tents, but you also need enough space for everybody in your party to sleep, sit, and get dressed comfortably. As a rough guide, try to provide each person with approximately 30 square feet of space. 

    Q: What is no-see-um mesh?

    A: This is the lightweight netting used to cover tent windows. The super tiny mesh lets air through but keeps even the smallest bugs and insects out of your tent.

    Q: How do I clean my SUV camping tent?

    A: We don’t recommend the washing machine. Instead, shake it out as best you can to remove any dry dirt and debris. Then sponge it down with warm soapy water. Make sure it’s completely dry, inside and out, before packing it away.

    Final Thoughts

    With a waterproof, universal design and space to sleep six adults, the Rightline Gear SUV Tent is our best overall car camping tent.

    The 7-foot high Backroads SUV Tent is our best value pick.