Ozark Trail 5-Person
Our recommendation for best SUV tent goes to the Ozark Trail 5-Person Tent. It is versatile accommodating up to five adults on the ground, but with the option to adapt your cargo area into a sleeping space for a further two people.
Made of high-quality steel frames and polyester fabric, the Ozark Trail provides weather protection and will last many camping seasons. Its detachable rainfly will keep you sheltered from the rain, whilst the mesh roof keeps it ventilated enough to keep you cool. However, you need not spend a hot day inside as there is also an extension where you can relax under the shade outside.
Internally, there are gear pockets and a lamp holder, as well as a waterproof floor to keep water, critters, and debris out. With all its features and its sturdiness, this SUV tent is also perfect for use as a standalone tent. This Ozark Trail will attach to both an SUV and minivan.
The Best Tents for SUVs Reviewed
Looking for a great tent for SUV camping?
You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:
- Breakdown of the most important components of an SUV tent.
- Reviews of the best SUV tents for camping on the market.
- Our unbiased #1 pick for the top tent for SUV camping
When camping outdoors, sleeping space, comfort, safety, and transferring the camping gear from your vehicle to the camping site are your main challenges. However, all these factors are addressed by choosing from amongst the best SUV tents for your vehicle.
With a tent attached to the top or back of your vehicle, you get a spacious, comfortable, and functional living space to enhance your camping experience. You can take advantage of the technological advancements of your vehicle (such as climate control and sound system) through the rear door or the sunroof. Most SUV tents are also compatible with your truck or minivan, so you never have to buy a new set if you prefer to take a different vehicle next time you camp.
SUV tents come with many different features and in various materials. As a camper, you want cover that will protect you from the elements, as well as lasting several camping seasons. This guide shows you how to pick a durable, easy-to-assemble, spacious, and functional tent for SUV camping.
Why Use A Hatchback Tent?
The main benefit of using a tent attached to your vehicle is the safety and protection it offers. In case of dangerous weather or animals, you can retreat to your vehicle for protection. Additionally, minivan camping tents allow you to adapt the cargo space of your vehicle for additional sleeping space. If the tent is large enough to accommodate all campers, the cargo area is available to hold food, clothing, and other camping supplies.
What To Look For In An SUV Camping Tent
Size and capacity will determine how comfortable you feel when sleeping. A spacious tent should be over 6 feet tall so you can walk around in it. In this regard, dome-shaped tents for camping are less comfortable as only the middle may be tall enough to accommodate your height.
For comfort you should also have enough storage space for your pads, clothes, food, and other essentials. Car tents with only an awning, such as the Napier Sportz Cove 61500, might be budget-friendly, but they are less spacious – you sleep on one side and place luggage on the other.
Materials & Durability
Most camping fabrics are either polyester or nylon with a polyurethane coating that makes them weatherproof. Both materials are strong and durable and do not absorb water. If it rains, the materials dry fast. When shopping, look for ripstop nylon or polyester as it is more heavy duty than other materials.
Ideally, camping tents have a breathable nylon or polyester material for use during sunny days, and a rainfly to protect from downpours. These are more versatile, and you can use them in three seasons.
The frame material is either steel or fiberglass or both. Steel is stronger than fiberglass, but fiberglass is more versatile. Both materials will serve you right as long as you have strong stakes/pegs and cords to secure your tent.
Ventilation will come from the use of a breathable material, from a mesh attached to the tent fabric, or from windows and doors. For a small tent, a breathable fabric and mesh window are enough to enhance air circulation. For a large tent, accommodating four people or more, you will need more than a breathable fabric. Here, at least two windows and a door come in handy.
Note, the sleeve attached to your vehicle should not leave any ventilation spaces; bugs might crawl through the gaps. The seams also need to be completely sealed to make sure water doesn’t seep inside.
A good SUV camping tent should protect you from the rain, wind, and intense sun. Nowadays most will come with an awning to protect you from the sun whilst being able to enjoy the fresh air outside. Ideally the awning material will have a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of at least 50. This means that only 1/50 of the sun’s rays can penetrate through the material.
You also need protection from the wind and rain which can be easily achieved by choosing a product with a rain and storm flap. These flaps sport high-quality material with a polyurethane coating to keep out any rain and wind. It is also advisable that you ensure cords and stakes/pegs hold the tent firmly to protect it from strong winds during a storm.
Weight & Packed Size
Weight will increase with both size and the materials used. Steel frames add weight more than fiberglass. It is advisable to pick the most compact and lightweight tent to fit in the trunk of your SUV. Weight is also important for free-standing tents that you may need to use independent of your car.
Features such as an awning, storage pockets, a screen room, lamp holders, and many more always come in handy. Others, such as a protected floor with high-density polyethylene, protect you from critters and water while you sleep.
Ensure that the tent comes with the needed installation accessories such as guylines and pegs – easy to set up SUV tents for camping generally require a minimal number of components.
Q: How many people does it require to set up an SUV tent?
A: Most will only require one person to set up, but extra-large versions might need an extra set of hands to make the job easier.
Q: How long do tents take to dry after a storm?
A: The polyester or nylon material used will take a few hours to dry.
The Best SUV Camping Tents Reviewed
Ozark Trail 5-Person
Thanks to its large construction, the Ozark Trail 5-Person SUV Tent is ideal for family camping. It is a tall tent with ample sleeping space for campers, bags, and pads.
The tent is free-standing, and you do not have to disassemble it when you close your SUV’s back door to hit the trails. Additionally, it sports a detachable rain cover which can be easily removed during hot days to enable better air circulation to keep you cool.
Inside there are different storage features, including a media pocket and other pouches to hold your essentials. Furthermore, this product features a mud mat attachment to help keep the interior clean, and a vestibule to protect you from the wind and rain.
However, this product is not sturdy without the provided guide ropes which are only in use when the rain cover is on. Therefore, if you want to enjoy the stars, which requires removing the rain cover, you inevitably reduce the structural integrity of the tent, which may pose a problem in higher winds.
- Spacious interior to fit a queen mattress
- Full mesh roof for air circulation
- Removable rain cover
- Has an e-port to run electrical items
- Less sturdy with the rain cover removed
Bottom-Line: Overall, this is a great family camping tent for attaching to your vehicle.
Napier Sportz Cove 61500
The Napier Sportz Cove 61500 is a universal fit canopy that will fit an SUV, minivan, truck, and many other cars. It features loops that adapt it to the size of your car.
Unlike the Ozark Trail version, the Cove shelters you from the sun and rain with two feet of awning, but it does not give you sleeping space. Because the rear of your vehicle is open, the Cove comes with a mesh bug screen to keep insects out of your car while you enjoy the shade outside.
There is an integrated storm flap that provides weather protection, as well as enhanced privacy. With the flap off, you can pack your car near the shore and fish under the awnings shade. The ropes on either side of the tent facilitate a sturdy assembly but because this product does not set up on the ground, you will be sleeping in your vehicle with the awning protecting you from the elements.
- Lightweight and comes with carry bag
- Easy to set up
- Versatile and attaches to different car makes and models
- Only works as a canopy without providing sleeping space
Bottom-Line: Overall, this has a lightweight canopy for day camps when all you want is to experience nature and then drive back home.
Napier Sportz SUV Tent
If you are looking for a spacious minivan tent for family or group camping, the Sportz Tent might be an excellent choice for you. It comes with many rooms to accommodate up to five adults comfortably.
This SUV tent for camping attaches to the rear end of your SUV, allowing you to adapt the cargo space into a sleeping area for one or two people. This setup also allows you to connect to power outlets inside your vehicle so as to keep your devices charged. Inside the tent, you can set up other sleeping beds and pads within a space of 10 by 10 feet and with a headroom of 7 feet.
It sports a universal sleeve with adjustable straps, that attach to a wide range of vehicles, for a fit that is both watertight and keeps out insects. This product features a steel-fortified frame that is sturdy enough to ensure it stays on even when the wind is strong.
Besides the large 10 by 10 room, there is also a screened room for extra shade and shelter, as well as a side awning where you can set up a picnic table. The whole construction is fully waterproof and has a polyester taffeta construction with polyethylene floor.
The quality construction and size of this tent means it is more expensive. But if you can afford it, it will make your camping experience much more enjoyable.
- Roomy for up to 5 adults
- Easy to install & set up
- Ideal for SUV, CUVs, and minivans
- Comes with a carry bag for proper storage
- Relatively expensive
Bottom-Line: Overall, this is an ideal SUV minivan tent for group camping – it is sturdy, roomy, and comes with an expandable carrying bag for secure storage.
The Napier Backroadz SUV Tent features Napier’s trademark versatility and durability. It is a smaller, toned-down version of the also reviewed Napier Sportz but does have a better value price tag to match.
Like the Sportz, this SUV tent comes with a spacious sleeping room measuring 10 by 10 feet to accommodate up to five adults. Additionally, it features 7-feet in headroom so you can walk around. It is however dome-shaped, which means the sides will have less height – so unless you are standing in the middle, you might have to bend. Inside there is a gear pocket to hold essentials and a lantern holder for when darkness descends.
When setting up, this minivan tent attaches to the cargo area of your vehicle providing extra sleeping space. It has large doors and three meshed windows to keep the room ventilated when you sleep or shelter under its shade. Its integrated storm flaps protect you from rain and provide additional securing for the tent.
Like other tents from Napier, the sleeve is adaptable to attach to a variety of vehicles. If you need to use your vehicle and don’t want to disassemble the tent, you can simply detach the sleeve creating a stand alone tent.
- Sturdy with fiberglass poles and strong setup ropes
- Optimal ventilation through mesh windows
- Easy to set up
- Dome shape limits the height of its sides
Bottom-Line: Overall, the Napier Backroadz SUV Tent is excellent for group camping. It is sturdy, spacious, and durable.
If you are looking for the best SUV tent for use with or without your vehicle, the Rightline Gear SUV Tent might be the option for you. It is excellent as a standalone tent having strong poles and set up ropes to keep it grounded even in strong winds.
This SUV tent allows you to adapt the cargo area of your vehicle to sleep up to two adults, with the ground tent accommodating up to an additional four adults. The Rightline Gear SUV tent features a simple strap attachment system that makes it easy to set up. These straps enhance its versatility as they are able to attach to a variety of different makes and models of cars. For car camping the straps are connected both under and above the wheels. If your vehicle has a roof rack, it can attach to that too.
The Rightline Gear SUV Tent has a weatherproof construction with all tape sealed seams to keep the elements out. Whilst at the entrance a small foot long awning provides extra shade and protection. Internally, it features large pockets to hold your camping gear and essentials. Additionally, this sUV tent has a built-in PE bathtub floor to protect you from critters and water.
The Rightline Gear comes at a premium price, but all of its features make it worth the expense. However, the product does not easily compress to go back into the bag it comes in, and when it does, it takes more than one strong person to do so. Granted, you might have to buy a large carry bag to make it easy to pack.
- Accommodates up to six campers
- Easy to install & set up
- High-quality construction materials
- 100 percent weatherproof
- Seams are poorly made and may gape with time
- Not easy to pack in the bag it comes in
Bottom-Line: This product is durable, easy to set up, and roomy enough to accommodate a group of campers.
KingCamp Melfi Plus SUV Car Tent
The Melfi Plus delivers unrivaled space for a group of campers with the ground tent room accommodating up to six adults and featuring further side and front screen rooms to accommodate more campers.
The main room measures 9.5 by 9.5 feet giving you a cabin feel, whilst the front and side screened rooms add an extra 9 by 6.5 feet. Every part of this product features a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) floor that will keep water, dirt and bugs out.
Both rainfly and tent are composed of a water resistant fabric made of high-quality polyester with a polyurethane coating. The frame is a combination of steel and fiberglass creating a sturdy construction against even the stormiest of weather. Additionally, you get 32 pegs and 10 cords for setting up. Whilst this tent takes relatively more time to put up, the setup process is simple.
With its three doors, meshed windows, and breathable polyester you will easily stay cool inside this tent. You can also step out and enjoy the fresh air outside whilst protected under the awning canopy.
Price-wise, you will pay relatively more. If you camp as a family or in a group of six or more people, it will definitely be worth it.
- Spacious for groups of campers
- Sturdy fiberglass and steel frame
- Breathable polyester with doors and windows for added ventilation
- Weatherproof with high-quality floor
- Relatively pricey
- Not so easy to set up
Bottom-Line: One of the more multifunctional van tents for camping this model meets the needs of a variety of group campers. It attaches to SUVs, CUVs, and minivans.
Last update on 2021-11-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API