After researching for 10+ hours, we picked the North East Harbor Universal SUV Camping Tent as the best SUV tent. For larger groups, we were impressed by the Napier Family-Tents sportz SUV Tent. And for those without an SUV, we loved the Napier Sportz Dome-To-Go Tent.
SUV tents give a literal meaning to the phrase, “car camping.”
They double your storage space and sleeping options by connecting your tent to your vehicle through a tunnel-like sleeve.
There’s quite a few SUV tents on the market, but here’s our top choices.
Overall, we selected the North East Harbor Universal SUV Camping Tent as the best SUV tent. It offers surprising quality and protection from the elements while remaining incredibly affordable.
The Napier Family-Tents sportz SUV Tent is our favorite for larger groups, thanks to its enormous amount of space and the bonus screen room and awning.
Finally, the Napier Sportz Dome-To-Go Tent is the perfect option for anyone who wants to experience SUV camping without having to own an SUV.
Best SUV Tents – Top Recommendations
Best SUV tent overall:
- North East Harbor Universal SUV Camping Tent — astonishing durability and weather protection in a budget-friendly package
Best SUV rooftop tents:
- iKamper Skycamp 2.0 Tent — rugged choice for 1-2 campers
- Raptor Series Truck SUV Camping Rooftop Tent — larger capacity at a premium price
Best SUV tents for larger groups:
- Napier Family-Tents sportz SUV Tent — enormous amount of space, including a screen room and awning
- Napier Backroadz SUV Tent — affordable option for fair-weather camping
Best SUV tents for smaller groups:
- Napier Sportz Dome-To-Go Tent — fits smaller cars; doesn’t need an SUV!
- TailVeil Vehicle SUV Tent — hang out at the sports game in your very own, portable screen room
North East Harbor Universal SUV Camping Tent
- Space & comfort (40%) – 7/10
- Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10, quite weatherproof even through thunderstorms
- Build quality and durability (20%) – 9/10, numerous campers praise its quality
- Ease of setup (10%) – 8/10, easy and hassle-free pitch
- Weight & Portability (5%) – 7/10
Best for: small groups of 2-3 looking for a sturdy all-weather tent on a budget; $
If you just can’t swing the cost of a bigger-brand SUV tent, consider the North East Harbor Universal SUV Camping Tent.
I promise, you won’t be sacrificing quality to spare your wallet. This tent actually blew our team away with its functionality and durability at its price point.
Right off the bat, the universal sleeve means it will fit just about every large vehicle: jeeps, SUV’s, vans, and more. Not only that, campers say it “fits like a glove,” which isn’t always the case for other models.
The sleeve isn’t the most weatherproof area, but several people have proposed waterproofing it yourself as an easy solution.
Thankfully, that seems to be the only part of the tent that’s not waterproof. The North East Harbor has withstood strong thunderstorms without any leaking.
Campers also love the sturdy construction. Many say that the materials have a weighty, quality feel to them. Again, this is surprising at this price.
Finally, it’s been praised for its ease of setup. One camper even pitched it in 5 minutes in the dark!
As far as drawbacks go, I’m nitpicking when I say that there could have been more mesh. Yeah, there’s 2 large mesh doors and a small window. But that limited mesh tends to cut in on picturesque views.
- Astonishingly budget friendly option doesn’t go cheap on quality
- Durable materials; tarp-like floor
- Weatherproof; proved itself by enduring harsh thunderstorms
- 8×8’ living space and 7’ height is more than enough for a few campers
- Easy 5 minute pitch confirmed
- Could use more mesh; not many scenic views
Napier Family-Tents sportz SUV Tent
- Space & comfort (40%) – 9/10, incredible amount of living space
- Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10, withstands bad conditions
- Build quality and durability (20%) – 7/10
- Ease of setup (10%) – 8/10, attaches and sets up easily
- Weight & Portability (5%) – 7/10
Best for: families or campers of 4-5 who want the ultimate living and storage space; $$$
A lot of SUV tents are too small for families or larger groups. But thankfully, the Napier Family-Tents sportz SUV Tent is large enough to accommodate everyone.
With 10×10’ of space, this is definitely the largest SUV tent on our list.
Not only that, but you also get a floorless 7×6’ screen room and a 6×6’ awning. That’s an insane amount of room for people or gear!
The Napier Family-Tents Sportz doesn’t chince out on standing height either. You’re getting an extremely generous 7.25’. With this height, even the tallest campers can stand fully upright.
Another nice feature of this tent is its ability to function as a standalone.
In other words, you don’t need to attach it to your SUV unless you want to be connected to that added storage space inside your vehicle.
As far as weather protection goes, the tent is equipped with a detachable rainfly. Meanwhile, the bathtub floor and taped seams offer superb protection against the rain.
But don’t take our word for it. Campers have confirmed that the tent withstands rain and heavy gusts while in the field.
The only downside to the Napier Family-Tents Sportz is its price. You may be getting a premium amount of space, but you’re also going to pay for it.
- Offers a ton of room to move around or store gear; 10×10’ and 7.5’ peak height
- Includes 7×6’ screen room and 6×6’ awning
- Holds up in bad weather
- Amazing ventilation; plenty of mesh
- Includes gear loft, 2 mesh pockets, and ceiling loop for lantern
- Decently expensive
Napier Sportz Dome-To-Go Tent
- Space & comfort (40%) – 8/10, includes awning
- Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10, withstood heavy downpours
- Build quality and durability (20%) – 7/10
- Ease of setup (10%) – 6/10, a bit difficult to assemble
- Weight & Portability (5%) – 8/10, 30lbs is light for an SUV tent
Best for: 2-3 campers searching for a tent to attach to a smaller car; $$
If you’re not an SUV owner and you’re feeling a little excluded, the Napier Sportz Dome-To-Go Tent is the choice for you.
Touting itself as the only SUV tent specifically designed to fit smaller cars, it offers all the benefits of camping with a tent attached to your SUV without….actually owning an SUV!
Inside the tent, you’re getting 8.5×8.5’ of living space and a 6.5’ height. This is ample room for a smaller group, or a mansion for a single camper.
Oh, and did we mention that Napier throws in a free awning? This makes an awesome space for storing some extra stuff, cooking, or just relaxing in the shade.
If the clouds start to threaten rain, not to worry. The Napier Sportz Dome is equipped with a taped-seam rainfly.
More importantly, users have recalled trips where they remained dry despite steady downpours. Sure, there were a few tiny leaks at the edges, but nothing that couldn’t be hand-wiped with a tissue.
- Can attach to a smaller car; sedans and hatchbacks
- Bonus awning is included in addition to the 8.5×8.5’ interior space
- Fast pitch
- Provides superb protection from the elements even in severe conditions
- Gear loft and interior pockets to keep necessities nearby
- Setup is advertised to be quick, yet some campers reported difficulties
iKamper Skycamp 2.0 Tent
- Space & comfort (40%) – 8/10, similar size to ground tents
- Weather resistance (25%) – 9/10, extremely weatherproof
- Build quality and durability (20%) – 9/10, heavy-duty
- Ease of setup (10%) – 8/10, quick setup
- Weight & Portability (5%) – 6/10, heavy
Best for: 2-4 campers who want more space in a rooftop solution and are willing to pay for it; $$$$$
For anyone determined to camp on a roof – even with a bigger group – the iKamper Skycamp 2.0 Tent is the ideal all-weather solution.
Boasting a floor plan just over 7×7’, the iKamper is comparable in size to a lot of ground tents! Except this tent comes with a plush foam mattress that covers the entire floor.
Inside, it’s clear that iKamper has paid meticulous attention to all the aesthetic details.
From the bright red accents adorning the rollable windows to the quilted insulation featuring a gray-toned world map, you’ll be in for a visual treat.
But this tent is about a lot more than just looks. It’s equipped with an impressive 3,000mm PU coated rainfly to keep out the weather. Plus, all the seams are taped for extra protection against rain.
These impressive specs – plus some satisfied campers testimonials – solidify the iKamper as a fantastic choice for all-season camping.
- Larger capacity of 7×7’ is comparable to a lot of ground tents
- Impressive weatherproofing has proved itself
- Lovely aesthetics inside
- Hard shell exterior offers extra protection when on the road
- Universal mounting system fits most vehicle roof racks
- One of the more expensive options available
Raptor Series SUV Camping Rooftop Tent
- Space & comfort (40%) – 6/10, might be too small for the advertised 2 people
- Weather resistance (25%) – 9/10, amazingly weatherproof
- Build quality and durability (20%) – 9/10, durable and long-lasting
- Ease of setup (10%) – 9/10, instant pitch
- Weight & Portability (5%) – 6/10, rooftop tents are heavy
Best for: 1-2 small campers looking for a quick solution for all-season rooftop camping; $$$$
If you’re looking for a rooftop SUV tent on a bit of a budget, have a look at the Raptor Series SUV Camping Rooftop Tent.
While all rooftop SUV tents are painful on the wallet, the Raptor Series is surprisingly one of the more affordable models.
And yet, you don’t sacrifice quality for the cheaper price.
Campers repeatedly praise not only its weatherproofing abilities, but also its superior insulation.
As such, the Raptor Series is a spectacular rooftop choice for all-season camping.
But keep in mind that this is definitely a solo or 2-people maximum solution. Offering a width of 4.5’ and a length of 6.5’, some might say it’s too small for the advertised 2 people.
On the plus side, users are happy with the quick pitch. Some campers even claim it’s one of the fastest available.
This is easy to believe, considering all you need to do is remove the soft cover, and pull on the two straps.
- Rugged and durable; heavy and quality materials
- Perfect for all-season camping
- Extremely well-protected in bad weather
- Great ventilation
- Incredibly fast and easy pitch
- Though it’s rated for 2 people, the 4.5’ width still might be too narrow
Napier Backroadz SUV Tent
- Space & comfort (40%) – 9/10 lots of room on a budget
- Weather resistance (25%) – 5/10, campers have reported leaks
- Build quality and durability (20%) – 6/10, tears easily
- Ease of setup (10%) – 8/10, fast pitch
- Weight & Portability (5%) – 7/10
Best for: 4-5 campers who need an affordable option for fair-weather trips; $$
As you’ve probably noticed, SUV tents aren’t cheap. Sure, there are some smaller models on our list that are quite affordable. But what if you want to bring along a few friends?
In that case, the Napier Backroadz SUV Tent could resolve both issues.
Offering 10×10’ of living space with 7’ of standing height, there’s no doubt that all campers have enough real estate to spread out.
When it comes to setup, pitching is a fast and hassle-free 10 minutes.
Plus, you don’t need to fuss about triple-checking your vehicle’s measurements. The Napier Backroadz is equipped with a universal sleeve to accommodate any SUV or van.
Clearly, this tent has found the balance between size and price. But you can see how this was achieved when you examine the quality.
Unfortunately, some users have warned that it’s a bit delicate. It can tear easily, so handle it with care.
To make matters worse, the 800PU coating on the rainfly is comparably poor against other SUV tents. And as it turns out, this low rating is one reason that this tent handles poorly in the rain.
So while the Napier Backroadz is great for larger groups on a budget, we’d definitely recommend it for fair-weather trips only.
- 10×10’ space and 7’ height is plenty for 4-5 people
- Affordable price for that size
- Universal vehicle sleeve ensures fitting compatibility to any SUV or van
- Wonderful ventilation when the fly is not on
- Poor weatherproof performance; multiple users report leaks
- A little delicate
TailVeil Vehicle SUV Tent
- Space & comfort (40%) – 8/10
- Weather resistance (25%) – 5/10, included rainfly sometimes leaks and blows around
- Build quality and durability (20%) – 6/10, mesh is delicate
- Ease of setup (10%) – 8/10, reported a quick setup
- Weight & Portability (5%) – 9/10, 5lbs is quite light for an SUV tent
Best for: 1-2 people looking for a way to watch a sports event without the bugs; $$
Maybe all the other SUV tents are way too overbuilt for you. In that case, let me direct you to the TailVeil Vehicle SUV Tent.
This SUV tent is essentially a screen room that attaches to your vehicle. And thanks to its adjustable strap, you can connect it to almost any minivan or SUV.
In fact, one camper even hooked it up to their Toyota Prius. Being able to connect the TrailVeil to smaller cars is a welcome surprise, since a lot of SUV tents are meant for…well, heavy-duty SUV’s.
Because the TrailVeil is a screen room, it doesn’t weigh much – only 5lbs. This makes it awesome to throw in the back of your car whenever you want to stretch out in your bug-free sanctuary.
Inside, you get a comfortable 6’ of standing height. The floorplan is 6.5 x 5’, which is enough to fit a table and several chairs.
If you happen to get caught in the rain, the TrailVeil comes with an attachable rainfly. However, there’s no venting on the fly. So it will likely get stuffy if you have to wait out a long-term storm.
Plus, campers told a few stories of the rainfly not being very leakproof. For these reasons, we recommend this tent for fair-weather daytrips and hanging out at outdoor sporting events only.
- Screen room tent provides bugless and shaded relaxation
- Versatile SUV tent fits smaller cars
- A highly portable 5lbs
- Spacious 6’ peak height
- Included rainfly hasn’t proved itself in bad weather; tends to leak and blow around
- A little pricey
How to Choose the Best SUV Tent
Broadly speaking, SUV tents are complex pieces of engineering. After all, most are just as detailed as regular tents...except these have to hook or mount to your car!
In addition, it can be confusing to navigate the multitude of available options.
So we’ve tried to make your life easier with this buyer’s guide. We walk you through the categories you’ll need to consider before purchasing your new SUV tent.
For the most part, SUV tents come in three main types.
The first type is a fully-functional ground tent. To check one out, have a look at the Napier Family-Tents sportz SUV Tent.
We say they’re fully functional because they offer the same functionality and similar experience as a regular tent.
Fully-functional ground tents also happen to look just like normal tents! Plus, they can be used as a standalone tent (as in, not attached to your SUV) if desired.
Next, we have an awning-style SUV tent. Most of these tents are just that: an overhang for you to shelter under. Some have floors, but you probably won’t see this very often.
A tent like this is great for quick and temporary setups. They’re also extremely portable; the TailVeil Vehicle SUV Tent weighs only 5lbs!
Finally, there’s rooftop SUV tents. Yes, these are exactly what they sound like: a tent on your car’s roof!
Although they sound scary, rooftop tents like the iKamper Skycamp 2.0 Tent are remarkably stable. The tents are built on top of a sturdy metal panel which is then mounted to an existing roof rack.
But one of their biggest downsides is their limited capacity.
Despite heavy weights of over 100lbs, roof rack tents have decreased capacities compared to a ground tent – usually 2 people at most, such as the Raptor Series SUV Camping Rooftop Tent.
Sometimes you’ll see increased capacities, but only up to around 4 people, as is the case with the iKamper Skycamp 2.0 Tent.
Speaking of which, let’s dive deeper into tent capacity so you know how to choose the right sized SUV tent.
Size and Capacity
Just like with regular tents, you need to decide how many people you’ll be fitting into your SUV tent.
Keep in mind that your answer will most likely influence the type of SUV tent you should choose.
For example, we’ve already seen that roof top SUV tents trend on the smaller size of around 2-4 people.
Conversely, ground tents like the Sportz Dome-To-Go Tent offer 8.5’ square floor plans. This is enough to accommodate 4 people.
Luckily, ground tents can get even larger, as can be seen with the 6P 10’ Napier Family-Tents sportz SUV Tent.
(By the way, if you’re a huge fan of camping with especially large groups, check out our article on the 10 best extra large tents!)
All that said, here’s a disclaimer: tent manufacturers tend to over exaggerate their capacities.
Therefore, if you see a 4P tent, there’s a good chance it will only house 3 people without you all feeling like sardines.
While weight isn’t a big deal for ground tents or canopy tents, it’s a huge factor for anyone considering rooftop tents.
First, check the weight rating for your SUV’s roof rack. You want to look for the dynamic weight capacity rating.
This measure, given in pounds, refers to how much weight the roof rack can carry while you’re driving. For reference, for the 160lb iKamper Skycamp 2.0 Tent, your roof rack needs to be rated at 160lbs or higher.
To make things even more complicated, there’s also a static weight rating, which states how heavy a load a rack can bear while the car is stationary.
This weight is often three times higher than the dynamic rating.
Why? Because the weight of the tent is being more evenly distributed. The attached ladder helps relieve stress as well.
Okay, there’s only one more weight consideration, I promise!
This rating involves the rooftop tent itself rather than your car’s rack. Yes, the tent itself has a weight limit to how many people it can handle!
This is because the tents are built on top of a platform, as we mentioned earlier. Due to this, that platform can break if the weight is exceeded.
The majority of SUV tents are made of a synthetic fabric called polyester.
Polyester is decently hardy and wonderfully affordable. Its strength can increase if the denier number is on the higher end.
Meanwhile, some SUV tents like the iKamper Skycamp 2.0 Tent utilize a combination of polyester and cotton canvas.
Canvas is a highly breathable and naturally waterproof material. Thanks to its breathability, you won’t see condensation building up on the tent walls like you might with synthetic fabrics.
But unfortunately, those benefits come with a steep price! So keep this in mind if you’re on a budget. Speaking of which, we take a deep dive on camping finances in our article, The Total Cost of Camping.
When searching for a tent that will protect you regardless of the conditions, one of the first things to do is check the tent’s Hydrostatic Head (HH) rating.
If this number is high, then it will be more resistant to water seeping through.
Next, look for taped or inverted seams. Seams are a natural weak point in tents – rain can sneak through the tiny needle holes that stitch the fabric together.
But seam taping prevents this by laying down a thin layer of polyurethane over the entire seam, effectively sealing it from the elements.
Sometimes you’ll see double precautions taken with the use of inverted seams.
Lastly, a bathtub floor is a great barrier against unwanted water.
Bathtub floors extend several inches up the sides of the walls. Since there’s no seams low to the ground, there’s no chance for groundwater to leak through.
For more information on weather protection, check out our article on 10 best tents for bad weather.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why use an SUV tent?
For car campers, SUV tents bridge that gap between your car and your tent.
In doing so, it creates a combined space that you can use to double your storage or sleeping capacity. For example, you can choose to sleep in the comfort of your vehicle while keeping all your stuff in the tent.
How easy is it to pitch an SUV tent?
Setting up an SUV tent is easier than it looks! Some rooftop tents are near-instant: pull a few ropes, and presto! Instant tent.
Regular ground-dwelling tents feature setup times that are similar to their non-SUV counterparts. Usually this is around 5-10 minutes.
Can you use an SUV tent without the SUV?
Because a lot of ground SUV tents can be completely disconnected from the vehicle, it’s possible to use it as a standalone tent. Just remember that rooftop tents do not have this ability.
How do I know if an SUV tent will fit my specific vehicle?
If possible, look for SUV tents equipped with universal vehicle sleeves. Some SUV tents will refer to this function as “adjustable vehicle sleeves.” These sleeves have straps that can be reconfigured to fit any width or height of your SUV.
If these options aren’t available, then you need to first measure your vehicle’s width. Then, pop the trunk to its full height, then measure the distance between the tip of the trunk and the trunk bed.
In conclusion, we’ve found the North East Harbor Universal SUV Camping Tent to be the best SUV tent.
It withstands severe weather conditions while managing to keep campers dry. Additionally, it boasts quality materials that have stood the test of time and the elements. Then its quick pitch and universal vehicle sleeve – all at a bargain price – seal the deal.
The Napier Family-Tents sportz SUV Tent is our favorite option for families or those with larger groups. Not only does it offer 10×10’ of interior space, you also get a screen room and awning.
Lastly, the Napier Sportz Dome-To-Go Tent is a must for anyone who doesn’t own an SUV but still wants to experience SUV tent camping. Small and nimble, it attaches to any small vehicle while providing superior weather protection.