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6 Best SUV Tents

The beautiful thing about taking your car on a camping trip is that it allows you to pack extra comforts to make your outdoors experience more enjoyable. The trunk of your car can be used as an extra storage space for the cooler, gear, and backpacks. 

A good SUV tent provides the extra sleeping space needed for you and your camping party. You will want to choose the perfect tent that will suit the weather, your vehicle, and the environment for your trip. It’s important to prioritize space, comfort, and weather resistance, too. 

Our top pick for the best SUV tent is the Kelty Caboose 4, which offers exceptional protection in all weather conditions and offers a spacious interior from which to enjoy scenic spots on camping trips. 

In this guide, we’ve selected some excellent SUV tents that will suit the needs of every keen car camper.

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The 6 Best SUV Tents for 2024 

Best Overall: Kelty Caboose 4 

best-suv-tents
Image by Kelty

Specs:

  • Number of People: 4 
  • Dimensions: 7 x 9.9 x 7.8 feet
  • Weight: 25 lbs

Thanks to its spacious interior, the Kelty Caboose is an excellent all-round SUV tent. 

It is easy and quick to put together, with color-coded poles to help guide you in the setup. It connects to the back of your vehicle, creating a useful living space with an awning in between the tent and car. 

It is made from weather-resistant materials, including 68D polyester taffeta and breathable mesh, which makes it a great shelter in bad weather. There is a removable rainfly to help with ventilation. 

Inside the tent, there are several interior pockets for storing important items. This freestanding tent can be used as a traditional shelter, too, and it has a peak height of 78 inches, making it perfectly comfortable for camping. 

Best for Family Camping: Napier Family Sportz SUV Tent 

best-suv-tents
Image by Napier

Specs:

  • Number of People: 5 
  • Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 7.2 feet  
  • Weight: 37 lbs

The Napier Family Sportz SUV tent offers a great shelter for the whole family, and it easily connects to all vehicle types. 

The best thing about the Napier Sportz SUV tent is the quality of the construction and the weatherproofing. The polyester taffeta is durable and can protect from heavy rain, with taped seams and a polyurethane (PU) material coating adding to its weather resistance. 

It has a roomy interior with a detachable screen room, which allows for a safe shelter for meals and time with family. It has a rainfly and an awning attachment, too. The tent has a universal vehicle sleeve that fits a range of car models, allowing the vehicle cargo space to double as a storage area.

Some campers found it a little tricky to set up the first few times, but this tent was very popular in the reviews for its sturdy design and high quality construction. 

Best for Large Groups: North East Harbor Universal SUV Camping Tent

best-suv-tents
Image by North East Harbor

Specs:

  • Number of People: 6-8 
  • Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 7.2 feet 
  • Weight: 19 lbs

If you’re planning to travel with a large crew, the North East Harbor Universal tent is a great SUV tent with plenty of room for everyone. According to the product description, six campers can sleep in the tent, with two in the cargo area. 

This car camping tent offers generous interior space and easily connects to the back of your vehicle or truck. Made from sturdy fiberglass poles, it also has storage pockets, zippered windows, and a bathtub floor for protection against leaks. 

It can work as an SUV tent or a freestanding standalone tent. 

Best for Small Groups: Hasika SUV Tent 

best-suv-tents
Image by Hasika

Specs:

  • Number of People: 4-6 
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 8.2 x 6.6 feet 
  • Weight: 19 lbs

The four-season Hasika tent is a great value choice that will elevate your SUV tent camping lifestyle.  

It can fit with a variety of car models. It comes with a little hook to hang a lantern, an extra canopy for dining in the shade, and the peak height over 6 feet tall makes it easy to stand up inside the tent. 

Some reviewers did mention there were some issues with the water resistance in heavy rain, but overall they loved the interior space and the ease of setup. They suggest bringing an extra tarp to help keep you dry. 

Best Truck Tent: Rightline Gear SUV tent 

best-suv-tents
Image by Rightline

Specs:

  • Number of People: 6 
  • Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 7.2 feet
  • Weight: 21 lbs

The Rightline Gear SUV tent is highly regarded within the camping community. 

It comes with two gear pockets for small personal items, an overhead lantern hook, glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls, and a water-resistant polyethylene (PE) bathtub floor.

A durable and waterproof tent, this one is designed to connect to any SUV, minivan, or pick-up truck with a cap. 

Many reviewers were pleased with the quick setup and the easy directions to follow. Although it says it can accommodate six people, the sleeping space is compact. The tent is also a four-season tent, so you can rely on it in extreme weather. 

Best Budget: Napier Backroadz SUV Tent 

Image by Napier

Specs:

  • Number of People: 4-6 
  • Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 6.8 feet 
  • Weight: 13.2 lbs

It’s tricky to find an SUV tent for under $200, but the Napier Backroadz tent is one to consider if you are looking to spend a little less on your next camping adventure.

It has three windows and the interior offers a spacious living space with extra headroom, a perfect area for chilling while you’re on the road. The tent is made from polyester taffeta, which provides good weather resistance, and it has a rainfly for extra rain protection. 

From music festivals to summer road trips, this Napier SUV tent is excellent value for money. 

Buyers Guide: How to Find the Best SUV Tent 

When choosing car camping tents, it’s important to check the compatibility requirements with your vehicle, the dimensions of the tent, and the tent’s durability. Here are some other important features to look for when purchasing your next SUV tent.

Size and Compatibility

Most SUV tents are compatible with most models of SUV, but always check to make sure the tent will fit your vehicle. Some are also compatible with pick-up trucks or minivans. If you are not sure, check the dimensions to make sure it will fit properly when attached to your vehicle.

Ease of Setup

An easy setup can save lots of time on your car camping adventure, allowing you more time to relax and enjoy your surroundings. 

Look for tents with color-coded poles and a simple construction. Freestanding tents are usually easiest to set up since they are able to stand on their own without stakes. This also means you can leave the tent standing and drive away without having to take down the tent.

Materials and Durability

These tents are usually made from a lightweight, durable material such as nylon taffeta, polyester, or ripstop nylon. These materials are known for their strength and resistance to abrasion, and they also can provide water resistance and sun protection.

Also check the material of the tent poles. Fiberglass poles are known for providing a sturdy frame for your tent. 

Weather Resistance  

The tent’s waterproof rating is measured in millimeters (mm). This rating indicates the fabric’s ability to resist water penetration. A higher number signifies better waterproofing. For three-season tents, a rating of at least 1,000mm is considered adequate, while higher ratings are preferred for more challenging conditions.

Check the specifications for taped seams. This will prevent water from coming through the tent’s stitching. 

A design that includes a bathtub floor is also helpful for water protection. This is a construction that includes the sides of the floor extending up along the walls, preventing water from entering the inside of the tent. 

Ventilation

Good ventilation is an important factor to consider for all types of camping. Look for tents with mesh panels and windows that provide good airflow, which will reduce the amount of condensation in the tent, while still providing adequate protection from the elements.

Interior Space and Layout

It’s important to check the floor dimensions of a tent to see how spacious it is for campers with gear. The manufacturer will note the dimensions of the space in feet. 

You should also check the peak height to get a sense of how much head room the tent offers. 

Additional Features

Pay attention to any additional features that may enhance your camping experience, such as awnings, screened-in rooms, lantern holders, or built-in LED lighting.

Keep an eye out for information about vestibules and storage pockets, as these features will help you optimize the space. 

Portability and Storage

It is likely that your SUV tent will be stored in the back of the car, but it’s still important to consider its portability and how easily it can be packed and transported. Look for tents that come with a carry bag or stuff sack for convenient storage.

Reviews and Reputation

User reviews are great for gaining insight into how a tent performs in the real world. Look for feedback from campers who have used the tent in similar weather conditions. 

Consider the reputation of the tent manufacturer. Established outdoor gear brands with a history of producing reliable products may be more likely to offer well-designed and weather-resistant tents.

Budget 

The SUV tents on this list are priced between $200 and $600. Your budget will depend on several factors, including the weather conditions you will experience and how often you intend to use the tent.

Remember, investing in a higher-quality tent may be worth it in the long run. Think about your budget carefully and find a tent that offers the best combination of features within that price range.

Top Tips for SUV Tent Camping 

Here are some top tips to remember when you are SUV camping: 

  • Look for a level, flat spot to park and set up your tent.
  • Take time to set up your tent properly so you don’t experience any leaks.  
  • Freestanding tents are best for car camping, since they can work as independent structures. You can drive away once the tent is set up if needed.  
  • Lantern holders are a super useful feature so you can light up the tent interior and find your way around in the dark. 
  • Invest in a camping mattress to make it extra comfortable. 
  • Read our guide to car camping in the winter.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Will my SUV tent work with any type of SUV?

SUV tents are designed to fit a wide range of SUV models, from Jeep to Suburu, and more. However, it’s essential to check the specifications and compatibility of the tent with your specific vehicle. Some tents may be more compatible with certain SUV designs or sizes than others.

Can I camp on the roof of my car? 

Yes, but you will need to purchase a rooftop tent rather than a regular SUV tent.  Rooftop tents are specifically designed to be mounted on the roof racks of vehicles, including cars, SUVs, or trucks.  

You will need to check that your vehicle’s roof racks are able to support the weight of a rooftop tent and that the tent’s mounting system is compatible with your vehicle. 

Rooftop tents tend to be more expensive than regular SUV tents, with prices starting around $1,000 for a good quality rooftop tent. 

What is the difference between a 3-season and a 4-season tent? 

Most SUV tents are either three-season tents or four-season tents. 

Three season tents are suitable for use in spring, summer, and fall, and four-season tents can survive winter and extreme weather conditions. 

See our guide to three-season vs. four season tents.

Final Thoughts: The Best SUV Tent

Purchasing the perfect SUV tent will take your car camping lifestyle to new heights. There are many options out there, so finding the right one will come down to the type of vehicle, predicted weather conditions, and the amount of space you think you will need. 

It’s worth researching several tents before you make up your mind. Read reviews and learn from other campers’ experiences with SUV tents. Our top pick, the Kelty Caboose 4, is a strong favorite for its strong construction and comfortable living space. 

See you on the road.

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