We independently evaluate everything we suggest. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more >

Best SUV Tents of 2024

Embark on your next outdoor adventure with a versatile SUV tent, transforming your vehicle into a comfortable basecamp.

Last update:

We researched and reviewed 40+ SUV tents, including standalone and tailgate tents, looking for the best SUV tent for the money.

An SUV tent can enhance your car camping experience and make it more accessible and convenient. Unfortunately, most SUV tents are of poor quality, and the wrong SUV tent will dampen your SUV camping experience due to poor fit, frustrating setup, and terrible weather performance. 

A handful of SUV tents, including the Napier Sportz SUV Tent, did meet our criteria and are likely to help make your SUV camping trip more enjoyable. 

As a budget-minded family, we’re currently enjoying and using our best budget SUV tent, the Vevor SUV tent, for our summer car camping trips, including our big trip to Yosemite in June.

Photo: Daniel Borkert/OutdoorFootprints.com

Best Overall SUV Tent

Napier Sportz SUV Tent

Napier Sportz SUV Tent

Best SUV Tent for Families
Floor size: 9′ x 9′
Peak height: 91″
Capacity: 4-5
Rating: 8.35/10.00

Pros

Great for families

Fits most SUVs

Double-walled

Vertical walls

Easy setup with pole hub

Awing integrated into rainfly

Concerns

Vehicle sleeve not waterproof

We think the Napier Sportz tent is the best SUV tent currently available. Napier has a 30+ year reputation for creating SUV tents. They’re known to fit well on most SUVs and seem to set up pretty quickly, although we found it difficult to set up with only one person. 

We like the two tent doors for accessibility and the included awning. We also like the fact that it is a two-wall tent with a separate rainfly. This design means you will get better ventilation and better weather protection. Unfortunately, Napier didn’t extend the rainfly over the vehicle attachment sleeve, so you might get water leaking through this area in a heavy rainstorm. 

The Sportz SUV tent is a free-standing tent that lets you detach your vehicle to explore during the day. The 9’ x 9’ floor space with almost vertical walls provides an adequate living space with room to sleep around four people comfortably. We could easily fit our queen-size air mattress with plenty of room on the sides to move around and put our other stuff. You could also squeeze in a king-size air mattress for you and your partner and have 2 to 3 kids sleep in the available SUV trunk area. Many of the leading SUV car manufacturers recommend this tent for their SUVs. Honda sells this exact model with their logo on it. 

We think this is the best SUV tent for the money, with adequate quality and features. While not perfect, it will enhance the overall car camping experience and is our primary recommendation for SUV tents.

Woman camping with Napier Sportz SUV Tent attached to her white SUV
Photo: napieroutdoors.com

Best Budget SUV Tent

Vevor SUV Tent

Vevor SUV Tent

A solid, well-priced SUV tent for families
Floor size: 8′ x 8′
Peak height: 87″
Capacity: 3-5
Rating: 7.4/10.00

Pros

Good for small families

Fits well on most SUVs

Double-walled

Performs adequately in rain and wind

Concerns

Average material quality with average durability

Poor setup instructions

We found dozens of budget SUV tents. Most tents we researched on Amazon fall into the budget price range. Unfortunately, most of these tents were subpar in design and quality in our research. 

We were impressed with the relative quality and design of the Vevor SUV tent. Most SUV tents at this price point suffer from weather protection, but the Vevor SUV tent seemed to perform adequately in the rain and wind. It’s not nearly as durable as the Napier Sportz SUV Tent, but it does well in weather conditions as a double-layer tent for half the price of the Sportz SUV Tent. 

The tent is slightly smaller, with 8’ x 8’ of floor space, but we could still fit our queen air mattress with room to spare. We primarily used the floor space to set up our toddler’s pack ‘n play as a sleeping area while we slept in the back of the SUV. The manufacturer lists this as an eight-person tent, but we found it could realistically hold 3-5 people. We would recommend 3-4 people max. 

It also fits well on most SUVs without difficulty. The instructions for setting it up could’ve been much better, but then again, it’s a budget tent, and setting it up is relatively straightforward. We didn’t really like the fiberglass poles with elastic cords as they felt difficult to push through the 3 different sleeves that support the tent and the elastic cord felt like it might snap easily. It does come with several spare parts, so that’s nice if needed.

The Vevor SUV Tent isn’t made with the highest-quality materials. The floor material felt durable. We thought the zippers were kind of lightweight and could potentially be a durability problem in the future. Still, we consider it the best budget option out of the dozens of SUV tents we reviewed.

Photo: Stacy Borkert/OutdoorFootprints.com

Another Great SUV Tent

Kelty Caboose

Kelty Caboose

An innovative SUV tent design with an open, covered living space suitable for couples or small families.
Floor size: 7′ x 7′
Peak height: 78″
Capacity: 2-3
Rating: 8.05/10.00

Pros

High-quality materials and design

Large tent door

Great weather protection

Concerns

The tent and SUV space feel disconnected

Fits 2-3 people max

We love the Kelty brand and were excited to see they made an SUV tent. The design isn’t quite the same as the other SUV tents we reviewed, as it has a semi-open connection to your vehicle rather than an enclosed sleeve. This design is nice if you want to get into your car while avoiding the rain, but it doesn’t let you use your SUV to expand your living space like other SUV tents. It almost feels like two separate spaces with a tarp covering the outdoor gap between the car and the tent. This setup might be what you’re looking for, but we didn’t think it made much functional sense for what we’re looking for in an SUV tent. 

The tent is the highest quality of all the SUV tents we reviewed. Unfortunately, it’s a bit on the small side at 7’ x 7’. Our queen air mattress can squeeze in, but it’s tight. 

The best use of this setup would involve putting the kids in the tent and the adults in the back of the SUV and using the middle covered area as a covered living space with an outdoor rug, table, and chairs.

Friend camping with their Jeep attached to their Kelty Caboose SUV tent.
Photo: kelty.com

Best Tailgate SUV Tent

Napier Sportz Cove

Napier Sportz Cove

Best SUV tent for solo travelers or couples
Floor size: n/a
Peak height: n/a
Capacity: 1-2
Rating: 8.15/10.00

Pros

Great vehicle fit (2 size options)

Awning with integrated structure

Good weather protection

Great privacy

Easy, fast setup

Concerns

Doesn’t work for families or kids due to space limitations

The Napier Sportz Cove is the best tailgate SUV tent in our research. Tailgate tents cost less and are often of higher quality.  This tailgate tent design lets you open your trunk while keeping bugs out and getting fresh air in. This also slightly extends your useable space, which a tall person like me appreciates. 

The Sportz Cove attaches well to most small—to mid-sized SUVs. Napier offers two size options for this tailgate tent, so review the fit chart before purchasing. Fit is a common complaint for most tailgate tents, so we were pleased to see how well it fit. This tent has an ingenious awing with a single-pole integrated support. The setup was also fast compared to other SUV tents. The Sportz Cove also held up well in rain and wind without significant leaking around the seals. 

The only main concern with the Sportz Cove is related to the intrinsic limitations of tailgate tents, which is limited space. The tailgate SUV tent works excellent if you travel solo or as a couple. If you have kids or need more space, then you will likely want a larger SUV sleeve tent.  

In our opinion, the Sportz Cove is a solid choice for a tailgate-style SUV tent. 

Couple camping in with their Napier Sportz Cove attached to their SUV.
Photo: napieroutdoors.com

The SUV Tent Competition – 40+ SUV Tents Ranked

Standalone-Sleeve SUV Tents Rankings

Family camping in the desert with their Napier Sportz SUV tent attached to their white SUV
Photo: napieroutdoors.com

We reviewed and researched 32 SUV tents that were available for purchase while publishing this review.

RankStandalone SUV TentsSizeRating
1Napier Sportz SUV Tent9′ x 9′8.35
2Napier Sportz SUV Tent with Mesh Room10′ x 10′8.15
3Kelty Caboose Tent7′ x 7′8.05
4Napier Backroadz SUV Tent10′ x 10′7.95
5Rightline Gear SUV Tent8′ x 8′7.75
6Vevor SUV Tent8′ x 8′7.4
7Portal 2-in-1 5 Person SUV Tent10′ x 8′7.35
8UNP SUV Tent10′ x 9′7.25
9Timber Ridge SUV Tent10′ x 8′7.05
10Trekway SUV Tent9′ x 9′6.95
11Joytutus SUV Camping Tent7′ x 7′6.95
12Idoogen Mobility A4 SUV Tent16′ x 7′6.85
13KingCamp SUV Tent15′ x 9′6.85
14Aomxay SUV Tent6′ x 6′6.8
15Ytaoeo SUV Tent9′ x 9′6.75
16H&ZT SUV Tent10′ x 10′6.75
17GoHimal SUV Tent8′ x 8′6.7
18Coumy SUV Tent10′ x 8′6.45
19Lelekdo SUV Tent11′ x 6′6.4
20GeerTop Instant SUV Tent10′ x 10′6.3
21Idoogen Mobility A1 SUV Tent10′ x 8′6.25
22MC Tomount SUV Tent10′ x 10′6.2
23S’more Glamping SUV Tent10′ x 10′6.1
24Hasika SUV Tent8′ x8′6.1
25Gardimax SUV Tent10′ x 10′6.05
26Headery SUV Car Tent 8′ x 8′5.65
27Maizoa SUV Tent8′ x 8′5.2
28Wasagun SUV Camping Tent8′ x 8′5.2
29Outsunny SUV Tent7′ x 6′5.1
30Elikoya SUV Tent 8′ x 8′5.1
31Qaoar SUV Tent10′ x 5′4.65
32Pumbba SUV Tent10′ x 5′4.6

Editorial Note: The Outdoorfootprints.com editorial team researched and rated these standalone-sleeve SUV tents in May 2024. All tents were available at the time of research and rating.

Tailgate/Hatchback SUV Tents Rankings

Couple camping by the lake in their Sportz Cove SUV tailgate tent on their black SUV.
Photo: napieroutdoors.com

We found ten available tailgate SUV tents that we reviewed and rated. Almost all the tents were within the same price range. The primary differences were the quality of materials, ease of setup, and vehicle fit.

Note that we rated the Tailgate SUV tents with the Standalone-Sleeve SUV tents but are ranking them separately.

RankTailgate SUV TentsRating
1Napier Sportz Cove SUV8.15
2M Karmater SUV Tailgate Tent7.45
3Camp Toad Universal SUV Tent7.1
4Idoogen Mobility Bat6.8
5Joytutus Tailgate Tent6.7
6Idoogen Mobility A06.55
7Hrefeu SUV Tailgate Tent6.55
8Hasika Shade Awning6.5
9Heytrip SUV Tailgate Tent6.35
10Dlucky SUV Trunk Tents6.2

Editorial Note: The Outdoorfootprints.com editorial team researched and rated Tailgate SUV Tents in May 2024. All tents were available at the time of research and rating.

Research and ranking criteria listed
Grid: Daniel Borkert/outdoorfootprints.com

Vehicle Compatibility 

Rating Weight = 10%

We reviewed the SUV tent’s compatibility with different SUV models and sizes. A poorly fitting tent results in frustration while setting up, contributing to a frustrating camping experience. Also, a well-fitting tent seals to a vehicle, keeping the rain and wind out. 

Most SUV tents specify a universal fit, but users, in reality, experience a variety of vehicle fits or, unfortunately, primarily poor fits. Also, tailgate tents usually seem to run on the smaller size and don’t fit a larger SUV. All these factors contributed to your vehicle compatibility rating. 

Livability and Comfort 

Rating Weight = 25%

The livability of an SUV was of top importance for us. We got an SUV tent because we want to enhance our camping experience. With this goal in mind, we looked at the features of an SUV tent, such as the tent’s interior space, peak height, and floor area. These all objectively contribute to a more comfortable camping experience. 

Many SUV tents had similar floor space but didn’t have vertical walls. In our experience, this tent design limits the usable living space. Minor features such as an awning, storage hooks and pockets, windows, and doors also contributed to our livability and comfort rating. 

Ease of Setup and Takedown

Rating Weight = 20%

Setup and takedown are a significant factor in our reviews of the plethora of SUV tents. Most SVU tents failed in this category.  

We have found that an easy-to-set-up tent is often used more often for camping. If an SUV tent has all the features but is difficult or takes a long time to set up, we probably won’t use it often on our camping adventures. 

We considered the tent’s setup and takedown process, including the attachment mechanism to the vehicle. We also factored in the time required and the clarity of instructions. Many manufacturers give an unrealistic setup time in our research. Also, many manufacturers didn’t provide unambiguous instructions. We also found that most tents require two people for setup. 

Weather Protection

Rating Weight = 20%

A significant factor is how our SUV tent performs in the weather. We wanted to know if it could withstand rain and how it performed in the wind. We also considered internal condensation, which proper ventilation mitigates. 

We examined each tent’s technical features, including its hydrostatic head (HH) rating, denier count (D), and ventilation system design. However, based on user feedback, we primarily evaluated each tent’s real-world waterproofness, ventilation, and resistance to wind and rain. We also examined the stake-down system with guylines and the pole material. 

Unfortunately, most SUV tents use the cheaper fiberglass pole material, which often means poor durability and wind resistance. 

Durability and Longevity

Rating Weight = 15%

We also wanted to evaluate how well-constructed and long-lasting an SUV tent might be. We want a tent that lasts more than a few camping trips, ideally for many years. 

We evaluated the SUV tent’s construction quality, materials, and reinforcements. We scored them based on the thickness of the material (denier) and pole material, reported longevity in user reviews, warranty offered, and the manufacturer’s reputation. 

Over 90% of the SUV tents we reviewed were made with cheap materials and poorly constructed. A similar number were manufactured by unknown companies with little to no warranty guarantee. 

Aesthetics and Design 

Rating Weight = 5%

We like well-designed and aesthetically appealing gear, including SUV tents that function and look great. This ranking is somewhat more subjective, but there is evidence that brightly colored tents are less hot and more comfortable inside. 

In determining this score, we considered color choices, style, and unique features like awnings or vestibules. Because this is a more subjective criterion, we weighted it less than other more functional criteria, such as ease of setup, weather protection, durability, and livability. 

Price and Value 

Rating Weight = 5%

We also looked at each tent’s price compared to its features and construction quality. We compared this to tents of similar price, size, and features, giving it a value score. This criterion also was weighted less since we’d generally expect lower quality SUV tents at lower price points and higher quality tents that cost more due to more expensive materials and manufacturing. This rule of thumb wasn’t always the case, as we found out during our research, but for the most part, you get what you pay for with SUV tents.

SUV Tent Buying Guide – Factors We Consider Important

SUV Tent Types

You and your family love the great outdoors and value flexibility when camping. A sleeve-standalone SUV tent catches your eye—it can detach from your SUV while leaving the roomy tent structure standing. An SUV tent means you can break camp quickly for a day trip without packing everything up. You envision lounging in the spacious tent at night after adventuring during the day. 

SUV tents differ from the popular roof-top and truck bed tents, which you should consider separately. You need to consider which tent type meets most of your needs.  

A key difference is that most SUV tents attach in some manner to the vehicle’s trunk. There are two common SUV tent types: the Standalone-Sleeve SUV tent and the Awning or Tailgate SUV tent

Standalone-Sleeve SUV Tent

Vevor SUV tent attached with sleeve to a black SUV
Photo: vevor.com

The most common SUV tent type is a standalone ground tent with a sleeve to attach to an SUV, such as the Napier Sportz SUV Tent or the Vevor SUV Tent pictured above. This type of tent can detach from your vehicle while leaving your tent in place, allowing you to drive your SUV when camping without breaking down the tent space. 

Pros
  • Can use without SUV attached
  • Larger tent space
  • Sturdier in weather due to independent frame
  • More features available, such as pockets, doors, and windows
  • Double-wall models available (tent with a separate rainfly) 
Cons
  • More time to set up and take down
  • More complicated to setup
  • Bulkier tent size

Tailgate or Hatchback SUV Tent

Sportz Cove tailgate tent attached to the back of a SUV with a woman sitting in the tent.
Photo: napieroutdoors.com

Tailgate tents, such as the Sportz Cove, create a protected tent door when your back trunk is open, effectively creating an enclosed space with ventilation. They often frequently include a vestibule (covered porch) off the back of the trunk. 

Pros
  • Simple and quick setup and take-down
  • Less bulky to carry
Cons
  • Limited sleeping space
  • Requires take-down to drive SUV
  • It can be less weather-resistant 
  • Single-wall

Vehicle Compatibility

You recently traded in your old SUV for a brand-new model and are eager to take it camping. But you want to ensure the tent fits perfectly for an easy setup.  

Most SUV tents are universal fit, meaning they can be attached to most SUV models. 

Features to look for include universal fit, attachment points, and adjustable straps.

SUV Tent Size and Capacity

With two kids and a dog, tent size is crucial for family camping trips. You laugh, imagining your brood squished together like sardines in a tiny tent. You decide to go big – a tent rated for 6+ people will give everyone enough room to spread out and store your camping gear.

SUV tent size depends on how many people are camping, what kind of sleeping pad or mattress you use, and how much extra floor space you want. You should also consider additional space for camping cots and other camping gear. 

Also, consider how much space you will have when you choose your campsite. Most campsites can handle an SUV tent, but keep this in mind when choosing your SUV tent. 

Floor Space

Floor space is a crucial factor in determining sleep capacity and living space. It also determines what mattress, cot, or sleeping pad you can use inside. 

The peak height inside the tent also affects floor space. A tent with a sloped wall will have much less usable floor space than a more vertical-walled tent with the same floor space. 

Peak Height

Peak height is the height of the tent inside. Traditional car camping tents are usually around 72” or 6” tall. Pole structure determines peak height. A dome tent with an X-shaped pole structure will have most of the peak height in the middle. This type of pole structure will also limit your livable floor space. 

Sleep Capacity

The manufacturer usually provides sleep capacity. Industry standards determine sleep capacity by how many sleeping bags fit inside the tent. Sleep capacity provides a good standard for determining tent size, but don’t pick your tent based on sleep capacity alone because you’ll probably want more sleep room than the cramped space the manufacturer recommends. 

A good rule of thumb is to get two sizes up from what you will need. So, if you have two adults, a child, and a dog, get a tent accommodating at least six people. If you have only two adults, then get a four-person tent. Don’t skimp on size when you are car camping.  

SUV Tent Ease of Setup and Takedown

You may consider yourself handy, but a complicated tent set up after a long drive sounds like a personal nightmare. With an easy, frustration-free setup, you can relax quicker at your campsite instead of battling tangled pole sleeves.

Prioritize tents with a straightforward setup, including attaching/detaching from your SUV, staking down, and putting on the rain fly.

Look for color-coded poles, clear instructions, and minimal components. Consider how quickly you can set up the tent, especially after a long day of driving. 

Apart from tent quality and fit, ease of setup may be the most critical factor in making a trip more enjoyable. Don’t forget to test your gear at home before a trip so you can work out any kinks in the setup process.  

SUV Tent Weather Resistance

It is essential to consider how well your tent will withstand the elements, especially any type of precipitation or wind. 

Season Rating

Tent manufacturers rate tents with a season rating. Season rating is a quick way to know how well a tent might stand in the wind or a snowstorm.

Remember that season ratings have nothing to do with the temperature but indicate how sturdy they might be in snow or high winds.

Material and Durability

Look for a higher-denier ripstop fabric with good UV and water resistance. Also, look for reinforced seams and zippers. 

Manufacturers make SUV tents with polyester, nylon, or composite material. High-quality tent material usually has a higher denier (fabric thickness) with an integrated ripstop. If you look closely at the fabric, the ripstop gives it a faint checkered pattern. A higher denier is generally more durable but also more bulky. 

Look not only at the thickness of the walls but also the floor material, as this is in direct contact with the rocks and roots. 

Look also for reinforced/taped seams and zippers. 

Tent poles are also usually made of fiberglass or aluminum. Aluminum poles are preferred because they are stronger and can withstand windy days. 

Rainfly coverage and Waterproof Coating

Some tents are double-walled, so they have a separate rainfly that goes over the tent, while single-wall tents can take on rain directly. 

Often, tent material has internal waterproofing and a separate external coating. The tent fabric is usually coated with polyester urethane (PU), polyether urethane (PE), or silicone (Sil). Many are coated with a different coating on the inside vs. outside-facing fabric. Polyester urethane (PU) is the most common but degrades over time. Silicone is the most water-resistant, but it’s expensive. 

Most fabrics also have a hydrostatic head (HH) water resistance rating indicating how much water it takes to saturate the tent and, therefore, cause leaking through. The higher the HH number, the better. Greater than 1000-1500 HH is considered waterproof. 

Most SUV tent floors are made with a standard waterproof tarp-type material. We recommend putting down a ground cloth or additional tarp to protect the bottom of the tent from dew and condensation in order to keep the bottom of the tent clean and dry. We prefer to pack up our tent dry and clean to avoid airing it out again at home.

Wind Resistance

External guylines and stakes and a sturdy tent frame provide wind resistance. SUV tents should have adequate attachment points to your SUV and the ground with their guylines and stakes. 

Interior Condensation

A completely waterproof tent might keep moisture out. Still, you should consider how to get moisture out of your tent through ventilation. Otherwise, condensation will drip from the roof of your tent. 

Look for vents protected from the elements and allow adequate air movement outside. Also, look at the materials’ breathability. Consider a two-walled tent with a separate rain fly with built-in ventilation. 

SUV Tent Additional Features

Other tent features are more personalized depending on what you expect and want in a good SUV tent.

As someone who values little luxuries when camping, you might make a checklist of desired features: mesh ceiling panels for stargazing from the warmth of your tent, interior pockets to stash camping gadgets, and a vestibule to store muddy boots. After roughing it in basic tents for years, you can’t wait to experience these small camp amenities.

Windows and Doors

Consider how many doors you need and where you will need doors to access your tent. Two or more doors are preferable for a standalone-sleeve SUV tent for access and airflow in the summer heat. 

Windows also provide airflow, ventilation, and light. 

Vestibules 

A vestibule is a covered space outside of your SUV tent. You can use your vestibule as a covered patio or a place to store your boots and other gear. Look for extendable awnings for vestibule coverage. 

Interior Pockets

Pockets inside the SUV  tent walls help you organize small items such as books and maps. Interior pockets also provide places to put cell phones and flashlights at night. A properly placed pocket is nice to have and helps make your experience that much better. 

Clips and loops

Consider whether the SUV tent has clips and loop points inside to hang a light, speaker, or other items. 

Integrated Flooring

Most traditional tents have integrated flooring, which helps keep dirt and moisture out. However, some SUV tents don’t have any flooring, so ensure this is a feature you want. 

Mesh Panels

These are part of the roof structure and are usually part of two-walled tents with a rainfly for weather protection. Mesh panels can offer stargazing opportunities.

Color

Consider tent color as a minor factor. Brightly colored tents may feel more light and lively inside than dark or drab-colored tents. 

Other Features

Depending on the SUV tent, brands often offer other minor features. These features provide convenience and extra comfort, such as electrical access ports, clotheslines, and gear lofts.

Brand vs Generic SUV Tents

You may have had enough experiences with cheaply made, off-brand camping gear that didn’t hold up. This time, you’re willing to invest more for a quality branded SUV tent from a reputable company like Kelty or Napier. Their years of experience, rigorous materials testing, and dedication to customer service give you confidence in their products. Otherwise, you will need to go through the process of determining if a brand is reputable.  

Unfortunately, generic SUV tent manufacturers dominate the SUV tent space. 

Some auto manufacturers offer SUV tents for their SUVs. Honda offers a branded Honda Tent that fits the CR-V, Pilot, HR-V, and Passport. This Honda SUV Tent looks like a Napier Sportz SUV Tent with a Honda logo. 

Lincoln offers an identical non-branded SUV tent from Napier that fits the Lincoln Aviator, Corsair, Nautilus, and Navigator. 

Ford also offers the same Napier Sportz SUV Tent that they guarantee fits the Ford Bronco, Edge, Escape, Expedition, and Explorer. 

Reputation

A reputable brand builds trust through transparency, quality, and positive customer service. Look first at the quality of the materials and construction of the SUV tent. Look at customer experiences with a brand’s quality. 

Look second at the customer reviews, especially interactions with the brand. Look at the negative reviews, as these are usually things that went wrong and other customer experiences interacting with the brand’s customer service.  

Material Sourcing

Where are the materials used to manufacture the SUV tent? Does the brand indicate any effort in sustainable and ethical sourcing? 

Material sourcing for SUV tents is often challenging to assess. Still, a more reputable brand will have a company website that transparently offers this information. 

Look for eco-friendly materials and practices in manufacturing and ethical labor sourcing. 

Warranty

A brand’s warranty guarantee often indicates its commitment to quality. Avoid tents that offer unclear or no warranty on their SUV tent. 

Return Policy

The retailer from which you purchase your SUV tent sets the return policy. This policy is separate from the brand’s warranty. 

Unlike the warranty, the return policy doesn’t indicate SUV tent quality or the brand’s reputation. 

SUV Tent Portability and Weight

Look for compact designs that fit easily in your SUV’s cargo area. Evaluate the tent’s packed size and weight. Since you are car camping, portability and weight should be the last considerations, and they don’t matter as much as quality, fit, sizing, and ease of setup. 

Budget and Price

An SUV tent provides many similar benefits to a roof-top tent or a camper but is significantly more budget-friendly. 

SUV standalone tents are usually more expensive than hatchback or tailgate SUV tents. They also have significantly more room and versatility. A standalone-sleeve SUV tent generally ranges from $100 to $400, depending on tent size. 

Consider reusability, ease of use, size needed, and SUV fit as primary factors in determining your budget.

TL;DR

After considering all these factors and reviewing our grading criteria for SUV tents, we think the best SUV tent is the Napier Sportz SUV Tent. A great budget option is the Vevor SUV Tent.

If you are a solo traveler or a couple, we recommend saving money and getting the Napier Sportz Cove tailgate SUV tent.

FAQs

What are the differences between an SUV Tent vs. a Roof Top Tent?

SUV Tents attach to the rear of your vehicle and extend the trunk/cargo area into a camping room that sits on the ground. They can connect to SUVs, crossovers, minivans, or trucks. In contrast, Roof-Top Tents mount on your vehicle’s roof rack, allowing you to sleep off the ground. This offers increased comfort, security from wildlife, and quicker setup—but at a higher cost.

Why camp with an SUV Tent?

SUV Tents provide a comfortable home base for camping at a lower cost than RVs or hotel rooms. You get an extended living space connected to your vehicle for storage, changing, cooking, etc. The tent area allows you to sleep off the ground in your SUV while being protected from wind, rain, and critters. A popular SUV Tent model like the Napier Sportz SUV Tent costs around $300-$400, much less than a basic rooftop tent at $1000+.

How do SUV tents work?

SUV Tents attach to your vehicle’s rear door/trunk area using heavy-duty straps that secure to the wheel wells. An elastic sleeve wraps around the rear to create a weatherproof seal. An SUV tent is designed to extend your cargo space into a private tent room on the ground behind your vehicle.

How do you set up an SUV tent?

1. Find a level campsite and clear the ground behind your vehicle.
2. Unroll and stake down the tent floor.
3. Raise the tent body and poles per manufacturer instructions.
4. Connect the sleeve over your vehicle’s rear door/trunk opening.
5. Attach the strap connectors to the wheel wells and tighten them for a secure seal.

Can you use a truck tent on an SUV?

Truck tents are specifically designed to be mounted in an open truck bed, so they do not work well with enclosed SUV cargo areas. SUV tents, on the other hand, are a versatile choice that can adapt to SUVs, crossovers, minivans, and some trucks with covered beds.

How do you maintain an SUV tent?

1. Hand wash with a mild soap and lukewarm water. Avoid scrubbing waterproofed areas.
2. Thoroughly air dry before storing. Don’t pack away when damp to prevent mildew.
3. Clean with a soft brush or rag any debris, bird droppings, etc.
4. Inspect for rips or holes and repair with a tent patch kit.

Photo of author
AUTHOR
Daniel Borkert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Outdoor Footprints, a website that tells you everything you need to know about camping and hiking. He is an avid outdoorsman with almost four decades of experience in hiking, camping, caving, and fishing. Daniel loves to involve his wife and kids in his outdoor pursuits and inspire other families to do the same. He lives in Seattle, Washington with his family and an energetic Boston Terrier named Zion.

Leave a Comment