As car camping increases in popularity with every coming year, the technologies and equipment available for it grow. Many SUV drivers love to take camping trips in their car, as these vehicles are very well designed for such use. You might not know that SUV stands for, "Sports utility vehicle," and this type of car is one of the most popular to drive from any manufacturer. Like the best motorcycle camping tents, SUV tents are specially designed to make your camping experience much more enjoyable. If you drive an SUV, and you love camping, just wait until you hear about these fantastic SUV tents. Now let’s dive straight into the 10 best SUV tents reviewed!
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:
10 Best SUV Tents - Overview
- Spacious 10’ x 10’ tent providing over 7’ of headroom and sleeps 5 adults
Napier Enterprises has made many contributions to this selection of SUV tents, but the Backroadz has to be our number one selection. This tent offers a fantastic balance between great features, plenty of room, and lots of value. It attaches directly to most models of SUV, CUV (crossover utility vehicle), and minivan using a vehicle sleeve which is weatherproof and bug proof.
The tent can sleep up to 5 adults with a 10-foot square footprint, with a standing room of 7 feet so you won’t have to hunch over. While Napier advertises this tent for 5 campers, we think it’s the perfect size for a couple so you have plenty of additional space. One large D-shaped door as well as three mesh windows provide all the ventilation you need.
We also love that this tent can stand alone if necessary, which means you can pitch up with or without your SUV. Napiers patented vehicle sleeve is easy to attach and detach so you don’t have to pack away while making a supply run. Storm flaps are integrated throughout to make sure your camping trip stays dry even if the weather turns sour. In addition, an awning can be set up over the door to keep the rain out while maintaining ventilation.
Unfortunately, this tent does not come ready to use. You’ll need to add a DWR to the seams before using it in a rainstorm as it is not factory sealed. Check out our article on how to waterproof a tent for more information. Also, solo campers might struggle to set up alone, but in this case, a 5-person tent isn’t the right choice. If you’re camping alone with your SUV, the next tent review might be a more appropriate buy.
- Universal fit canopy shade fits mid-to-full size CUVs, SUVs, and minivans
This SUV tent is ideal for road trips and tailgating, turning your SUV trunk into a decked-out shelter. This budget option from arguably the most popular SUV tent brand is a great choice for people who want to try out camping in their car for the first time. It’s more of an awning than an actual tent, utilizing the back door of your vehicle as a roof and providing a ventilated door instead, with a large rain shelter that’s perfect for tailgating.
A large mesh screen will keep bugs out of your vehicle, and the integrated storm flap offers weather protection as well as privacy. Rather than using a ground tent, you can turn your car into the perfect backcountry shelter with everything a solo camper needs! A single-pole is all that’s needed to hold up the awning, making setup easy and simple. However, it’s worth noting that there’s no solid door, only a mesh window, so privacy may leave a little to be desired. The generic fit will work for most SUV and CUV models, however, small gaps in the connection are possible where bugs could enter.
- SLEEP OFF THE GROUND: Nothing beats the comfort of your vehicle; plus the SUV Tent is free standing when you go about the day’s adventures.
This premium SUV tent has some fantastic features which really set it apart. Firstly, a sewn-in bathtub floor offers superior protection from potential flooding as well as unwanted critters. The Rightline Gear SUV tent is advertised to sleep six, but note that only four campers are intended to sleep in the tent while an additional two can sleep in the vehicle cargo area. This is a great option for families, offering a bit of separation between the kids and parents' sleeping area. The main selling point of this tent is the waterproof rating of 2000mm, making it the best choice for rainy weather.
The large windows are made from no-see-um mesh, and a single entranceway to the tent is covered by a small awning. The tent can be disconnected and sealed during the day and will remain free-standing until you return with your vehicle. This versatile backcountry accommodation can connect to any SUV, minivan, crossover, wagon, Jeep Wrangler hardtop, or even a pickup truck with a cap, using straps to secure it to your vehicle. We also like that this tent is simple enough to set up as a solo camper. However, many tent components such as the fiberglass pole sleeves are made from mesh, which raises some durability concerns. In addition, the footprint of 8x8 is smaller than other “family-size” options.
- 8.5 (L) x 8.5 (W) ft. tent sleeps 4 people along with the extra sleeping or storage space provided by you vehicle’s cargo area
This Napier tent is slightly smaller than the Backroadz model, but it has some additional features that we love. Like the previous SUV tent review, the Sportz Dome-To-Go has Napiers patented vehicle sleeve which is easily removable and fits most recreation vehicles. The 8.5-foot square footprint can sleep up to 4 campers, but again, we recommend using this tent with up to 3 for extra storage space.
There are two large doors, an upgrade from Backroadz’s single entrance, and 3 large mesh windows. In this model, the windows are made from no-see-um mesh which offers a great improvement for privacy. Internal features include 2 storage pockets as well as a gear loft to keep larger items away from the ground. The tent is made from high-quality polyethylene and polyester taffeta which is long-lasting for year-round use. A large awning attachment is also included offering an additional 6-foot shaded area beside your tent.
The headroom in the Napier Outdoors Sportz SUV tent is slightly reduced at 6.5 feet, enough for standing room in the center. However, in a dome-style tent, an extra half-foot of height does make a difference. Another downside to this reduced size is that it makes the tent harder to fit larger hatchback SUVs, taking away from Napier's universal claim.
This standalone tent from Patio Joy is a truly 5-person SUV tent. Boasting a huge footprint of 14 x 9 feet, the interior has 7 feet of headroom. The spacious interior offers a ton of space for family camping, with a large living space and exterior vestibule. The rainfly is removable if you need extra ventilation throughout the day, which could be necessary as this tent does not have any windows.
It’s a great budget option for family camping in your SUV, but our next tent review has more features and improves quality. We do like the multiple storage pockets as well as a media pocket, which is very helpful for keeping your gear organized. A Mud Mat is attached to help keep the interior clean, but you may want to use a ground tarp as well.
- Roomy 10- by 10-foot tent sleeps 5-6 people with over 7 feet of headroom; 7- by 6-foot floorless screen room
For a truly family-sized SUV tent with all the best features, consider Napier Sportz’s largest offering. This 10-foot square tent can sleep 5-6 people, with over 7 feet of headroom! If that wasn’t enough, a 7 by 6-foot floorless screen room is also included. This pricier model is well worth the money with so many fantastic features. It can even be set up by one person due to the new steel and fiberglass pole structure, although this tent is clearly not intended for a solo camper.
As the screen room is floorless, you’ll probably want to add a waterproof ground tarp to your setup. A tent footprint is available specially designed for this model, sold separately on Amazon. The sleeping area can easily fit more than one air mattress, with plenty of additional space for gear storage. As well as the screen room, the Napier Outdoors Sportz Family Tent has a 6x6 foot side awning with an extra door that is perfect for picnics and provides even more rain shelter.
The tent floor is a bathtub style for reliable water protection, and two skylights offer great ventilation. Napier’s universal SUV attachment means this tent will fit most vehicles, however, some users might struggle with the rainfly. Most common models from brands including Honda and Chrysler should have no issue with the fit. This roomy tent is higher priced than other 5-person options, but it really can’t be beaten on versatility and space.
- Used for: 2007-2013 CR-V, 2003-2011 Element, 2005-2013 Odyssey, 2009-2013 Pilot. Main Tent Material is high quality polyester with 1,200mm of waterproof protection.
This fantastic car camping solution is made by Honda, for Honda owners. It’s not a universal tent as it fits only certain Honda models, but if you’re the lucky owner of one then it could be a perfect choice. The tent offers 10 square feet of internal space, which is enough to sleep 4 campers, while a further 2 can sleep in the car bed. The tent upper is made from ripstop polyester while the floor is double-coated polyethylene, promising high-quality water-resistant materials.
There are two doors with large windows making ventilation as well as ingress and egress a breeze. Above one door, a 6x6 foot rainfly extension gives you extra usable shelter during bad weather. It also doubles as a shade from the sun. This Honda innovation can be used as a standalone ground tent when you need to detach your car. Interior tent features we love include mesh storage pockets, a gear loft, and a handy lantern strap. The only change we’d like to see is the use of no-see-um mesh for privacy.
- Sleep Off The Ground - Nothing Beats the Comfort of your Vehicle, plus gives you the added security of having access to your vehicle
The brand North East Harbour brings an excellent SUV tent offering in this 8-person model. While it’s advertised to sleep eight campers, the 8 x 8-foot tent floor would be more suited for up to 5. The tent is 7.2 feet high which means more headroom than most other options, and can detach from your vehicle to become a free-standing tent. However, the opening for SUV attachment leaves a hole when you move your vehicle, making it less secure than other tents.
It has one large door, with a smaller entrance on the reverse side which is useful for ventilation. There’s only one mesh window in the larger door panel, which could be why the second door is needed. A universal fitment can connect to most SUVs, minivans, and Jeep Wrangler Hardtops as well as other models. However, this area is not covered by the rainfly so leakage could be an issue.
- Product compatible with ARB Awning ARB4402A or ARB Awning 814201
The ARB brand provides privacy, durability, ease of use, and value for your money with this easy-to-set-up ARB 813208A Awning room. It is a highly reviewed, highly loved SUV Tent choice.
With the ARB 813208A Awning Room, you get to choose from two different sizes: 2000 x 2500mm or 2500 x 2500mm. These two sizes differ in dimension but match in quality. Made from an outer material of UV Treated 300D Oxford polyester, this tent provides privacy, protection against the weather, and protection from insects. This fully functional tent is designed with the needs of its users in mind.
The ARB Awning is easy to set up upon arrival at your destination. It deploys easily to show off several useful layers designed to provide comfort. The inner mesh layer is especially useful for providing cross-ventilation and keeping annoying insects like mosquitoes out of your tent.
The four exterior walls and mesh panels can be rolled up to create an open area for gazing out across the sunset or whatever activities you deem fit while still enjoying an overhead shade provided by your awning. To protect yourself against dust, wind, or rainfall, simply lower the exterior walls. All four walls provide easily accessed doors that are operated using zippers. Everything about the ARB 813208A Awning Room is thoughtful, right down to the polyethylene waterproof floors.
The tent comes with several accessories and functions that make your camping trip a more enjoyable experience. The mesh walls take away the need for you to log a mosquito net about with you. The tent provides a separate ceiling that enhances insulation from the sun. The rear walls also unzip to provide easy access to your vehicle. This way you do not need to leave your tent to reach your vehicle. The ARB 813208A Awning Room includes meshing pocket panels to house things like magazines or other personal items.
This awesome tent even features a removable ladder organizer which can be found in the rear part. There are also two zippered ports located in the top corners which allow for easy power cable access. To improve overall safety, Power cord guides are incorporated into the roof corners. These are effective for keeping users from tripping over wires. A good way to avoid accidents.
The ARB 813208A Awning Room is accompanied by a packing bag for easy storage and transport and 2 guy ropes & 6 pegs for easy set up of your very own sturdy awning. Altogether, the awning packs to a nifty 3 pounds. It is also available for gift wrap as a thoughtful gift to your beloved camping enthusiast.
- The Overnighter is a universal fit window bug screen for camping in an SUV. Keep the bugs and rain out while your windows stay open for fresh air.
The ROADIE Window Tent turns your car into a tent. It is a one-size-fits-all window bug screen that helps you camp in your car while keeping your window open and the rain and bugs out.
The SUV Window tent measures 10.24 x 3.35 x 10.24 inches fully and installs easily by stretching around the car door. It doesn't require the use of any tools and still allows the operation of the side power windows. It comfortably fits SUVs like 4Runner, Caravan, CR-V, Element, Escape, Expedition, Forester, Highlander, Grand Cherokee, etc without any problems. It provides enough privacy. The rain fly poles are flexible and the screen has dual zippers for easy access through the window. It is weatherproof and saves you the stress of setting up a tent.
There is a huge range of options for campers looking to utilize their SUV, and each of our top ten offer excellent quality and utility. Every choice on this list offers good value for money and great features, but one stands out if a winner must be crowned.
The Napier Backroadz SUV Tent offers excellent value with a prized list of features, and a seamless universal vehicle connection that works with almost any SUV. While you need to rain-seal this tent before use, it’s good maintenance practice anyway and every camper should know how to re-waterproof their tent.
There’s plenty of room inside and an external awning for rain shelter and shade. Three mesh windows offer plenty of light and ventilation, and the storage pockets and gear loft help you keep your stuff organized. With a setup time of only 10 minutes, we couldn’t ask much more from this fantastic tent for SUVs. Now you’ve got accommodation sorted for your next trip, check out the best car camping gear to see what gadgets you’re missing out on.
Why Buy an SUV Tent?
If you’re car camping in an SUV, there’s no reason not to use a regular tent. However, you could be missing out on some of the amazing and useful features of SUV tents! They seamlessly attach to the rear of your vehicle to create a multi-purpose camping area. Pickup truck tents are a similar option where the tent sits in the truck bed, as well as roof top tents, but these can put a lot of pressure on your vehicle. We prefer SUV tents because they utilize the extra room without threatening damage to your car.
Bonus tip: Check out this video for some useful car camping advice!