Camping has come a long way in the last few decades. Tents were once very basic and just acted as a simple covering but modern versions incorporate technology and scientific features to ensure your camping experience is one of luxury.
These days, you can choose from a wide range of tents including SUV models. These “truck beds” are spacious enough for a group of people and can attach to the rear of your SUV, Jeep, or hatchback.
Have you ever been camping and found there wasn’t enough room for you, your friends/family, and everyone’s belongings? There is nothing worse than being cramped up in a small tent feeling very uncomfortable.
Thankfully, an SUV tent can combat this problem. This spacious tent can maximize your living space with a design that can double your footprint inside. This will allow you to have more comfortable camping trips with added waterproofing that ordinary canvas tents fail to offer.
We know finding the best SUV tent can be tricky. That is why we have spent over 20 hours finding the best SUV tents on the market so you can sit back and choose the right one for you.
Can’t wait to see our overall winner? Here it is!
Our number one choice for the best SUV tent is the outstanding Smittybilt Overlander Tent. This model fits perfectly on top of your SUV and is very easy to set up and take down.
Instead of leaving your SUV alone for your camping trip it becomes a very useful resource and helps you utilize more resources.
Although this isn’t the most spacious on our list, it is perfect for couples with enough room to sleep two adults.
Its height is tall enough to allow people over six feet to stand up straight inside and there is additional room for children and pets.
There are multiple windows as well as a large sunroof installed to give this tent a lot of ventilation and light so if you like sightseeing, this is the tent for you.
Setting up and unfolding the tent only takes a few minutes so you don’t have to spend too long figuring out what part goes where.
- Extremely easy to set up and takedown to save you time to enjoy your camping trip
- Includes a heavy-duty waterproof top and rainfly to keep you and your belongings safe and dry during wet days and nights
- Includes a very safe, strong, and sturdy ladder to get in and out of the tent safely and easily
- The floor of the tent tends to be quite hard without a mattress so can be uncomfortable
Our best value tent which offers the most for less money is the highly impressive Napier Backroadz SUV tent.
There is enough space to sleep up to five people with a maximum headroom height of seven feet. Even your tall basketball buddies can stand up straight in this tent!
With three large-sized mesh windows, this tent will always be well ventilated to keep you comfortable inside.
Although there are no separate rooms with the Backroadz SUV tent, it does supply ample storage space with a lantern holder and a gear pocket.
This is especially unique in vehicle tents as many tent manufacturers believe you will use your car to store most of your supplies. Of course, you may not have room inside the car so having extra storage space is always a plus.
The tent’s universal sleeve design ensures the tent will fit well with any vehicle with excellent compatibility. This fitting can become very tight or a little loose spending on what car model you have.
- Highly affordable SUV tent which should suit most budgets
- Provides a variety of storage space inside so you don’t have to use your car to hold supplies in and leave the tent every time you need a certain item
- Made with a full rainfly and built-in storm flaps for the windows and door to give you maximum privacy and weather protection.
- Although the vehicle sleeve is universal and fits all sizes, it fits some vehicles better than others
- Tends to leak slightly in very heavy rainfall
With weather being so unpredictable, it is important to find a tent that can keep you dry even in the wettest conditions. Thankfully, the Rightline Gear-110907 SUV Tent is to the rescue.
With a waterproof rating of 2000mm, which is much higher than standard shelters, this tent is designed to withstand heavy downpours or relentless rainstorms.
This isn’t the most spacious tent with a sleeping capacity of four adults. Its waterproof and durable nature more than makes up for this, however.
If you are looking for a smaller-sized tent, you couldn’t go wrong with this Rightline Gear model. It has an excellent design to fit securely and tightly to your vehicle which then pushes rain away from your car and tent canvas.
It is built with a bathtub base for protection against puddles and mud so you can keep the interior dry and clean at all times. Taped seams ensure maximum dryness inside so your belongings will be safe too.
If there are any issues, a one-year warranty covers the tent so you can camp safely in the knowledge that you are covered for the first year.
- Has a very high waterproof rating proving its reliable nature of keeping you and your belongings dry
- A sewn-in bathtub floor keeps water and bugs out with no tarp required
- Very easy to install with a universal vehicle sleeve that attaches to the rear of your truck
- Interior is a little small compared to other SUV tents so it may be more suitable for couples
BEST FOR FAMILIES
If you are looking for a spacious sleeping area that can fit up to 6 adults, the Napier Outdoors Sportz SUV Family Tent could be the one for you. No more cramming everybody in like a tin of sardines.
You will all have your own space to stretch out and camp comfortably. With 7 feet (2.2m) of headroom, even the tallest campers can stand up straight inside.
As it is an SUV tent, it attaches to your vehicle’s trunk easily thanks to an adjustable sleeve. This means you can use the cargo space of your car to store extra items.
The last thing you want is a tent that feels like it will break with a little gust of wind. Fortunately, the Napier SUV tent’s steel and fiberglass pole structure provides solid strength and durability for windy conditions over long periods of time.
This Napier tent is designed with a floorless screen room measuring 7x6 feet (2.1x1.8m). This is a perfect place to sit back and relax when those pesky insects are at war with you.
A large-sized awning to the side of the tent provides more lounging space on hot summer days with skylights and windows built-in for excellent ventilation throughout the tent.
- Built with a fully adjustable sleeve to fit between your tent and vehicle allowing more space in your car’s cargo area for additional cargo
- Can transform the tent into a regular ground tent by simply removing the vehicle sleeve so you can take the tent anywhere
- Very durable design with a steel and fiberglass pole structure which will withstand harsh weather conditions and is easy to set up by one person
Most of us have a budget in mind when it comes to buying a new tent. SUV tents are not typically very cheap so finding one that is affordable can be difficult.
Thankfully, the Napier Sportz Cove SUV/Minivan tent is ideal for your camping needs and comes at a far lower price than most.
Unlike some other SUV tents, this model acts mainly as an awning so you can use it for picnics, tailgating, or lounging out of the way from the sun or rain.
Although this tent doesn’t provide actual living space, it does provide a lot of ventilation into your vehicle while keeping bugs out too.
There is enough room for two people to enjoy this awning so it is perfect for a couple’s getaway or a day out.
Integrated storm flaps supply added privacy and protection from stormy weather. When you’re finished with the tent, simply pack it up in its carry bag easily and store it away until the next time.
- Very easy to install and use with a universal fit canopy that fits mid to full-size SUVs and minivans
- Provides a plentiful supply of ventilation for you and your vehicle helping make your experience more comfortable
- Extremely lightweight and compact for easy storage and carrying
- Doesn’t provide actual living space and acts more like a mesh window/door rather than a family tent
BEST FOR SOLE CAMPERS
The Explorer 2 SUV and Minivan tent is ideal for solo campers who want a budget tent that fits simply onto their vehicle’s rear hatch.
It's simple sleeve attaches with a few bungee cords within minutes so you can sit back and relax under the awning’s shade.
This tent is perfect for those who want to go car camping and don’t want to feel restricted by closing the hatch.
You may not be as protected from bugs and nature but if you are a solo explorer, we’re sure this wouldn’t affect you.
This tent is wonderfully lightweight and comes with very few components. It folds back up into the provided bag so you can store and carry it very easily.
- Quite a secure tent for when you have to leave the campsite. Just close the hatch back up and lock to keep your belongings safe
- Very easy to set up by just one person saving you time to enjoy other activities on your camping trip
- Highly convenient as it allows you to step into your car without having to close the hatch
- Not a perfect fit for all SUVs so you may need extra bungee cords for it to stay secure with some vehicles
- The hatch of your vehicle could extend too far and lift the tent out of place depending on the model of the car
Best SUV Tents Buying Guide
Here are a few factors to consider before buying your new SUV tent.
Modern vehicles have various ranges in size, styles, and shapes. Most SUV tents are designed to fit the majority of these car’s designs.
The SUV tent you desire will need to fit your vehicle’s specific size. Fortunately, SUV tent manufacturers have worked very hard to produce tents that fit the widest range of vehicle sizes around the world.
Most car tents are highly adjustable so you can fit them perfectly over SUVs, minivans, and jeeps. However, you must study the specific size ratings of an SUV tent before purchasing one but, most of the time, you should find an SUV tent that will fit your particular vehicle.
As with regular or traditional tents, SUV models have a maximum capacity. This is specified by how many people can fit in the trunk of your vehicle (this is usually two) and how many can fit in the tent’s space.
Most SUV tents are made to accommodate between two and six people but many exceed this number. You can also find models that fit just a sole camper which is perfect if you like to explore the wilderness alone.
Some tents primarily act as mesh screen doors between your car’s interior and the outdoors. Others include expandable tunnels to add more space and extra rooms.
At the end of the day, your SUV tent’s size is determined by the free space left in your vehicle and the amount of people camping.
If you can’t decide between differently-sized tents, you should consider choosing one which provides the most space.
This will be more comfortable to sit or lie in while lessening any claustrophobic feelings.
The more room you have to move inside, the more pleasurable your camping experience will be.
You will want a tent that will be long-lasting and stand the test of time.
You should be looking for polyester and nylon blends that offer durability and added strength. These are also very lightweight, waterproof, and easy to maintain.
Plastic poles and sheeting can be flimsy and result in an uncomfortable camping experience with more chance of drafts entering the tent and water affecting your tent or car’s interior.
Consider using heavy-duty magnets between your SUV tent and your vehicle as this can give a very tight seal between them both preventing any water from leaking inside.
For the most sturdy framework, look for fiberglass, steel, or aluminum with fiberglass being the most inexpensive and rust-resistant material.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are SUV tents any good?
SUV tents have many benefits that traditional tents can’t offer. To begin with, SUV models mean you don’t have to sleep on the ground and experience the discomfort and cold that can come with this.
You will feel safer and in a more comfortable position when using an SUV tent due to being lifted off the ground and higher up with your vehicle.
They protect you from the elements such as wind and rain as well as using your car as added protection. SUV tents are typically far sturdier than traditional tents too so you can camp in bad storms with confidence.
They are ideal for camping anywhere too so if you like to go off the beaten trail, these tents will be your perfect companion. When you do find a great camping spot, SUV tents are very easy to set up with little work involved.
SUV tents save you from lugging all of your camping gear from one spot to another. Simply step out of your vehicle and you’re almost done!
What is the purpose of an SUV tent?
An SUV tent is primarily used for those who like to go car camping frequently.
They maximize your living and sleeping space as well as your car’s interior space. Its main purpose is for added convenience when camping and to provide more comfort.
How does an SUV tent work?
As the name suggests, SUV tents attach to the back of your SUV. You simply attach these hatchback tents to the rear of your vehicle using restraining straps that fasten securely to the wheels.
You then use an elastic band or elastic bands that wrap around the back of your SUV for the tent to stay secure and sturdy. You can use heavy-duty magnets to reinforce the tent further.
What is the best SUV for camping?
The Kia Telluride is regularly regarded as the best SUV for camping. It has a powerful 291-horsepower V6 engine with seats that fold down easily leaving 87 cubic feet of space.
It offers more than enough room for two adults to sleep in as well as store camping supplies. Offering superior comfort and lots of space, the Kia Telluride is the perfect companion for an SUV tent.
What is the best SUV tent?
For sheer durability and comfort, our choice for the best SUV tent is the Smittybilt Overlander Tent.
It is supremely easy to set up and take down and is one of the most waterproof tents on the market.
Of course, if you are looking for a larger tent that fits more than two people, we highly recommend the Napier Family-Tents Sportz SUV Tent for its spacious interior and very strong frame.
How do I set up an SUV tent?
It is very easy to set up most SUV tents. While there are many variations, most set up in the same way. Here is a quick guide based on the Napier Sportz SUV tent:
- Clear rocks and sticks from around the camping area to create a smooth flat surface
- Lay out the tent with the vehicle sleeve facing toward your car’s cargo area
- Unfold each tent pole section to start assembling each one
- Insert the poles into the pole sleeves on the roof of the tent
- Place one end in the center hub and the other into the starred end of the center joint
- Next, raise the tent by inserting four or six poles into the corner joints
- Insert the opposite ends of these poles into the corner grommet holes
- Attach poles clips to the outside of the tent
- From inside, unzip the access door to the vehicle
- Move the tent towards the cargo area of your vehicle
- Slide the tent’s sleeve over the open hatch of your car and under the bottom bumper
- Attach the sleeve’s straps around the roof of the car or use long straps to extend to the front of your SUV and attach under the hood
- Make sure your exhaust pipe is outside of the sleeve
- Locate the center strap by the bumper from inside the tent and attach this to the tailgate latch
- Attach the outer hooks to the cargo bag hook/tailgate latch
It should be ready to go!