The most common thoughts people have of when they are think of camping, is probably a tent or a travel trailer. However, modern times have brought modern luxuries in the form of extravagant glamping tents, and many families might rent a cabin instead of roughing it.

Some people might even own or rent an RV. However, for people looking for a simple solution that neither costs a lot of money, comparatively, nor leaves people sleeping on the ground amid rocks and insects, the car camping with your family has never been easier.

In fact, the best car camping tent has features that beat regular tents in terms of comfort, room, and durability. Conversely, some of the worst ones can leave you in the lurch, so to speak in a sudden rain storm.

Top Car Tent For Camping in 2021

Product Name

Price

Rating


KingCamp Melfi Plus SUV Car Tent

$$

Sportz Link Ground Tent

$

Napier Outdoors Sportz #82000

$$

Rightline Gear 110907 SUV Tent

$$

Ozark Trail SUV Tent

$

Napier Outdoors Sportz #84000 SUV Tent with Screen Room

$$

Backroadz SUV Tent

$

Smittybilt Overlander Tent

$$$

Raptor Series 100000-126800

$$$$

Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland Rooftop Tent with Annex Room

$$$$

1. KingCamp Melfi Plus


Overall Rating:

5/ 5

Few car tents offer the seasonal flexibility to camp during colder or warmer weather because they can either get way too cold or way too hot. The Melfi Plus car tent by King Camp, however, offers three-season camping.

Three-season camping capability ensures you can stay warm in colder months while also enjoying a breathable, vented tent during warmer months. However, for the windows, the mosquito mesh keeps pests out of your tent.

The meshing is waterproof, boasting a 3,000 mm PU coating, which is capable of shedding water rather than letting it pool and soak. It is durable enough to sustain blustery days without folding. That said, it is easy enough to set up within 15 minutes.

Finally, although it is a car tent, it can easily accommodate four to six adults, ensuring an entire family and visiting friends have a place to sit, eat, and sleep.

Pros

  • Larger than most other tents on the market
  • Easy to install and take down
  • Multiple awnings with large windows

Cons

  • Does not have an add-on changing room
  • No camping bathroom or shower

2. Sportz Link Ground


Overall Rating:

5/ 5

The Sportz Link tent by Napier offers enough room for four people and a design that allows a dual-level living arrangement to keep people from having to endure overlapping space. For instance, the upper dome covers a truck bed, and a tunnel expands over the lowered tailgate.

Connected to this tunnel is a floor-level tent that is large enough for you enjoy the shade while relaxing with friends and family.


The tunnel is fun for kids to move around without leaving the designated camping area. This tent has a peak height of 6.5' and only weight 17 lbs. which is ideal for a small family to maneuver around.

Pros

  • Ground-level tent offers 64 square feet of space
  • Multiple levels
  • Spacious design

Cons

  • Not compatible with vans or smaller cars
  • No awning for ground-level tent

3. Napier Outdoors Sportz #82000


Overall Rating:

5/ 5

With 81 square feet of space, this tent by Napier rivals a small room spacious enough for three or four people to relax, play cards, or enjoy conversation against a scenic backdrop. The awning offers shade in front of the tent, and the vehicle sleeve offers sealed connectivity to an SUV, minivan, or truck.

Additionally, with a peak height of 84 inches of head room, even the tallest member of your group will not have to stoop.

In terms of construction, the steel poles are lightweight yet sturdy, and the tent can be set up in less than 15 minutes by a single person.

Pros

  • Fits multiple type of vehicles
  • Easy set up and take down
  • Lots of head room

Cons

  • Does not fit small cars as well
  • No flooring in the awning / patio area of the tent

4. Rightline Gear 110907


Overall Rating:

5/ 5

The Rightline Gear 110907 is a compact, stylish vehicle tent designed to fit SUVs, cross-overs, and trucks. That said, it will even fit larger cars with hatchbacks, allowing you to jump in your car and day camp or enjoy a night beneath the stars with your friends and family.

In addition to the spacious tent area, the flooring is a tub-style basin that provides a layer of protection against you and the ground. The tub-style edges raise upward and connect to the walls, preventing bugs from climbing over and into your tent.

The windows and door are spacious, allowing lots of visibility and light. If you are scared of the dark when the sun goes down, you can use a rechargeable flashlight that will last you nights on end.


Finally, the vehicle sleeve can be closed in case someone needs to take the car during the day. It's one of the more versatile tents that can be set up and packed with ease.

Pros

  • Tub-style flooring
  • Versatile design
  • High visibility

Cons

  • Small awning
  • Does not have multiple rooms in the tent area

5. Ozark Trail


Overall Rating:

4.5/ 5

This Ozark Trail tent fits larger cars with hatchbacks as well as crossovers and SUVs. It features a primary tent area, and the sealed sleeve connects over your vehicle's raised hatch, allowing you easy access to supplies in your car.

Its mesh windows offer plenty of visibility, and the rainfly allows you to stay dry in seriously wet weather. Finally, the cross-style framing ensures taut durability and superior resistance against the wind.

Pros

  • Spacious with multiple windows and rainfly for wet days
  • Connects to smaller vehicles
  • Generous awning

Cons

  • Door has a small ledge you have to step over
  • Do screened-in patio area

6. Napier Outdoors Sportz #84000


Overall Rating:

4.5/ 5

The Sportz car tent is capable of accommodating four to five adults. It offers a screen room that provides protection against bugs while offering plenty of visibility and breathability.


It sets up in less than 10 minutes, and it offers a shaded awning that will extend far enough to cover a picnic table. Perfect for families who decide to spend their day in the great outdoors.

Although the tent is large enough for SUVs, it will also fit crossovers and larger vehicles with a hatch. This is easily a good choice for 4 people to fit comfortably.

Pros

  • Awning for picnic table
  • Fits multiple vehicle types
  • Screen room

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Does not fit truck beds very well

7. Backroadz


Overall Rating:

4.5/ 5

The Sportz Link tent by Napier offers enough room for four people and a design that allows a dual-level living arrangement to keep people from having to endure overlapping space. This tent has a peak height of 7' and has adjustable strap to fit majority of SUVs and minivans.


For instance, the upper dome covers a truck bed, and a tunnel expands over the lowered tailgate. It's also a stand alone tent if you ever need to move the car, the back closes completely without losing ventilation. The fiberglass tent poles make it easy to adjust and set up within minutes.

Connected to this tunnel is a floor-level tent that is large enough for you enjoy the shade while relaxing with friends and family.

Pros

  • Ground-level tent offers 64 square feet of space
  • Multiple levels
  • Spacious design

Cons

  • Not compatible with vans or smaller cars
  • No awning for ground-level tent

8. Smittybilt Overlander


Overall Rating:

4/ 5

This car-camping tent by Smittybilt is an overhead tent designed for SUVs, crossovers, or station wagons. The platform attaches to the top of your vehicle, providing a safe, stable, and secure floor for your tent area. In terms of stability, it will hold up to 661 pounds, and it is roomy enough for two to three adults.

Because it fits atop your vehicle, you gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are up off the ground and away from bugs and animals. Additionally, you can enjoy the extra safety that comes from sleeping over your car.

Of course, like any other quality car-camping tent, it is waterproof, so you will not awaken to the constant dripping of water leaking into your tent. It comes with mosquito netting, so you can enjoy sitting in the tent protected against pests.

As a pleasant side note, the flooring serves as an awning, so you can enjoy shade as you relax in your camping chairs. Finally, the car-camping tent comes in an extra-large option that will have enough sleeping space for four people, making it more of a condo for your car.

Pros

  • Accommodates any vehicle with or without a hatch
  • Comes with an optional annex for extra room or storage
  • Supports over 600 pounds
  • Very stable ladder

Cons

  • Annex is sold separately
  • Only comes in brown

9. Raptor Series 100000-126800 Rooftop Tent


Overall Rating:

4/ 5

For individuals wanting to camp and also enjoy some security and safety by being removed from the ground, the rooftop tent is the tent for you.

For instance, it comes with a floor grid that fits solidly atop your vehicle, ensuring you do not dent your roof. The ladder allows you to easily access the tent, and the cushioned cot provides you comfortable sitting and sleeping quarters.

In terms of ease of use, it features sturdy grip bars that allow you plenty of leverage as you climb up or down. The mesh is designed to shed both wind and rain, and the netted door provides plenty of air while also protecting you against bugs and rain.

Finally, one person can set this up in seconds. Yes, you read that right. You can set this up in less than a minute.

Pros

  • Provides protection against any animals or people
  • Sets up quickly
  • Rain and wind resistant

Cons

  • Not large enough for four people comfortably
  • Low visibility

10. Tuff Stuff Ranger Overland Rooftop Tent With Annex Room


Overall Rating:

4/ 5

The Tuff Stuff rooftop tent is another car tent designed to get you off the ground when you are sleeping.

However, in addition to providing safe, comfortable quarters above your vehicle, this one comes with a side room that allows you somewhere to easily change clothes, bathe, or relax.

The ladder is sturdy, allowing you to set up the tent on uneven terrain, and the platform, itself, can support you without bending or scratching your car. The meshing is durable, protecting you against wind and rain.

Regarding the annex room, it offers total privacy and is suitable for a solar camp shower or a place to put daytime gear. Finally, the tent fits a variety of trucks and SUVs.

Pros

  • One of the most durable vehicle tents on the market
  • Extra space in the annex room
  • Durable frame

Cons

  • Does not fit small cars
  • Not ideally suited for families

Buying Guide For Car Camping Tents

Camping is fun, but it's even better with a vehicle. Especially during a road trip when you don't want to wake up with a stiff back, you can just easily set up a tent and enjoy the sunset and sunrise with your family. These are just some of many important factors to look for when buying a car camping tent.

Construction

You should look for tents that offer a blend of cotton mesh and some type of synthetic blend. A cotton mesh, for instance, will draw moisture and mildew. A polyester fabric will not breathe. For the best results, you need a hybrid because it will not mildew, and it will not turn into a humid box in the sun.

Additionally, the seams should be water resistant. For car tents with ladders, you should look for durable poles that do not bend when you climb. Finally, the side poles should be durable, and the entire tent should be easy to put together. Most base camp are able to stand alone even if you need to move your vehicle.

Weight and Size

The size of a car-camping tent should envelop the back of your car of 4 while providing enough patio-style coverage for sitting, eating, and relaxing. In terms of width, 84 to 96 inches will generally suffice.

In terms of length, look for something up to 12 feet long. That said, some of the best car camping tents are merely a large tent with an opening that backs right up to your vehicle that can comfortably fit sleeping bags.

Weather Resistance

If you are a proficient planner, you will likely not experience any rain. However, drizzling weather can creep in around you, and even on sunny mornings, the dew can collect and drip through your tent.

Consequently, you should look for a waterproof or water-resistant tent. If you opt for a tent that is only resistant to moisture, you can seal the seams with seam sealer.

Ease Of Use

When searching for a car camping tent, this is the most under rated factor to consider. It should be easy to set up as well as put away. It may take a little practice at the beginning, but after a few trials and error it should be muscle memory.

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Camping Tents

What is a car camping tent?

A car camping tent is a shelter you can easily set up and attach to the roof or back of your car to make one complete unit. It's often used for road trips or sight seeing.

What do I need for car camping tent?

When car camping all you need is a sleeping bag, source of light, and heat. Another good idea is a shovel and toilet paper for when you need to handle your business in the middle of the night.

You can bring just about anything that would fit in a car, it's not necessary for a car camping tent but anything to make you feel more comfortable.

How to poop when car tent camping?

When you go car tent camping, always bring toiletries and hand sanitizer. Some people like to use a portable toilet or just dig a hole with a shovel and bury it after.

Just make sure you stay as far away as possible from your sleeping area when you need to poop, so that the aroma does not follow you. That's all there is to it.

Bottom Line

Hands down, the Melfi Plus is the best car camping tent for families, looking for a good blend of value, size, and durability.

It offers formidable protection against inclement weather, and it fits just about any vehicle comfortably enough to allow you to retrieve supplies or enjoy the car radio. Because it sets up quickly, you can spend most of your time camping instead of preparing to camp.

Additionally, it ensures that you can enjoy time with friends and family as it is big enough to accommodate adults who want to eat or play board games.

In any case, you should check it out and review all its features. In terms of comfort and reliability, it is guaranteed to do you justice on your next camping trip-and the next one and the next one after that.