Best SUV Tents of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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SUV tents have become very popular over the last few years with the increase in overlanding and outdoor adventures. Whether you like venturing far off grid or car camping at a local campsite, a tent that easily attaches to the rear or side (or even the rooftop) of your vehicle makes for a comfortable and convenient way to enjoy nature.

We put some of the most popular SUV tents from brands like Napier, Rightline, and Kelty to the test to find which ones are the top performers. From shelters that work on trucks to pop-up awnings—and everything in between—these are the best SUV tents for your next excursion.

How We Picked the Best SUV Tents

To select the best SUV tents, I evaluated the most important factors to ensure the camping tents met a variety of needs and specifications. I looked for the most reliable tents from top outdoor brands that are compatible with a range of vehicles. Here’s how I rated the tents:

I prioritized tents that weren’t difficult to attach and adjust, like this one from Napier. Bethany Beathard
  • Compatibility: Is the SUV tent designed to fit multiple SUVs, trucks, or other vehicle models? Can the tent be easily adjusted or adapted to accommodate different SUV sizes and shapes?
  • Portability: Consider the size and weight of the tent. Is it easy to transport and pack? Some tents come with convenient carrying bags for storage and transport.
  • Space and Size: Keep in mind how many people will be sleeping in the tent when deciding on an appropriate capacity. Will you be using sleeping bags or will you need extra space for camping cots?
  • Price: Set a budget and seek a tent that offers the best value for your investment. While high-end models may have advanced features, there are also more affordable options that provide excellent quality.

Best SUV Tents: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Napier Sportz

Best Overall

Napier Sportz 8200 SUV Tent on gray and white background

Specs

  • Materials: High-quality polyester taffeta and polyethylene
  • Capacity: 4-5 people
  • Dimensions: 10′ x 10′ x 7.25′
  • Weight: 38 lbs

Pros

  • Full rainfly with taped seams
  • Extendable awning for more coverage
  • Can also transform into ground tent
  • Adjustable vehicle sleeve
  • Three windows and two skylights for light and ventilation

Cons

  • Setup took longer than expected

When testing the Napier Sportz SUV tent, I was immediately impressed by its compatibility with my SUV and how well it fit attached to the rear. I drive a Ford Excursion with a 6 inch lift and the vehicle sleeve adjusted perfectly. While the setup was slightly time-consuming on the first attempt, it became more efficient with practice—we were old pros after just a handful of tries. The directions were very detailed and are attached to the tent storage bag so you never misplace them.

With a versatile and user-friendly design, the Napier SUV tent offers a setup that enhances camping comfort. The interior’s roominess was a pleasant surprise, comfortably accommodating our family. It can fit up to five people, so it’s great for couples or smaller groups. The detachable screen room was a game-changer, providing a bug-free space for meals and relaxation. The mesh windows and doors allowed for excellent airflow while keeping insects at bay, and the spacious awning was a blessing, offering shelter for our outdoor cooking area.

Napier Sportz SUV Tent set up on Ford Excursion
The Napier tent fit on our Ford Excursion seamlessly when set up. Bethany Beathard

But what really sets this tent apart is its durability and weather-resistant construction, ensuring a reliable and long-lasting shelter. This SUV tent is constructed from high-quality and weather-resistant polyester taffeta and polyethylene. Despite its generous size, it remains relatively lightweight at under 40 pounds, so it’s easy to transport. Undoubtedly, the Napier Sportz will transform my family’s future camping trips, and it was an easy choice as the best overall SUV tent.

Best for Camping: Kelty Caboose 4

Best For Camping

Kelty Caboose 4 on gray and white background

Specs

  • Materials: Mesh, 68D polyester taffeta
  • Capacity: 4 people
  • Dimensions: 84″ x 119.5″ x 78”
  • Weight: 21 lbs

Pros

  • Spacious interior and multiple storage pockets provide ample room to move around and store gear
  • Durable and weather-resistant fabric
  • Effortless setup with color-coded features and shock-corded poles
  • Removable rainfly enhances ventilation

Cons

  • More expensive than others we reviewed

When testing the Kelty Caboose 4 SUV Tent, it proved to be the ultimate camping companion. I really like the design of this tent. The Caboose name is fitting as the tent connects to the rear of your vehicle, thus adding another “room” to your SUV. Kelty further extended the space by placing an awning between the tent and vehicle. We loved that area for eating meals or just hanging out after a day of exploring.

The spacious interior comfortably accommodates four people. Our family had more than enough room to move around, sleep, and stash all our gear. It helps that you can use the car cargo space, too. I appreciated the removable rainfly, which allowed us to customize the ventilation, making it ideal for various weather conditions.

Kelty Caboose 4 SUV Tent set up on back of Ford Excursion
The Kelty SUV tent was easy to set up on our vehicle thanks to the color-coded poles. Bethany Beathard

The tent is constructed of breathable mesh for the tent body and canopy, providing excellent ventilation and insect protection during camping. The tent floor and fly are made from 68D polyester taffeta with a 1500mm coating, ensuring waterproof reliability even in rainy weather.

Interior of Kelty Caboose 4 SUV Tent
The interior of the Kelty SUV tent was roomy yet cozy. Bethany Beathard

The multiple storage pockets inside the tent were a big hit with everyone in our family, helping us to keep our camping essentials organized and within easy reach. While it’s not the most inexpensive option, the Kelty Caboose 4 is easily the best choice for family camping adventures and well worth the higher price tag.

Best for Trucks: Rightline Gear 6-Person SUV Tent

Best for Trucks

Rightline Gear 6-Person SUV Tent on gray and white background

Specs

  • Materials: ‎Polyethylene
  • Capacity: 6 people
  • Dimensions: ‎8’ x 8’ x 7.2’
  • Weight: 21 lbs

Pros

  • Designed to fit a wide range of truck and SUV models
  • Color-coded setup and shock-corded poles for easy assembly
  • Water-resistant fabric with tape-sealed seams
  • Multiple storage pockets

Cons

  • Limited capacity compared to larger tents

Designed to fit a variety of vehicles—including trucks—this Rightline SUV tent has a lot of highlights, including versatility, ease of setup, and protection from the elements. It can pop up in minutes with uncomplicated directions and helpful color coding. The exterior is comprised of water-resistant fabric with tape-sealed seams that will keep you dry and comfortable on even the rainiest and stormiest of nights. In terms of the interior, we love the multiple storage pockets for keeping gear out of the way yet easy to access when needed.

While it accommodates six people, the design seems tailored for smaller groups unless you use the vehicle cargo space as a sleeping area. Nonetheless, the convenience and adaptability make it a great pick for anyone looking for an easy-to-use tent that also works on trucks.

Best Rooftop: ARB Series III Simpson Rooftop Tent

Best Rooftop

ARB Series III Simpson Rooftop Tent on gray and white background

Specs

  • Materials: Cotton/Poly ripstop
  • Capacity: 4 people
  • Dimensions: 24″ x 7″ x 7″
  • Weight: 13 lbs

Pros

  • Quick and efficient setup
  • Sturdy materials and construction
  • Mesh panels and windows enhance airflow and reduce condensation
  • Adjustable setup height ensures compatibility with a variety of vehicle models

Cons

  • Not easily accessible (have to climb into)

Designed for rooftop camping, this SUV tent offers a unique and elevated camping experience that’s perfect for couples or small groups. The quick and efficient setup allowed us to start enjoying our rooftop shelter ASAP. Constructed from robust cotton/polyester ripstop material, the durable tent is purpose-built to withstand the demands of overlanding and off-road adventures.

The spacious interior, combined with the annex, can accommodate up to four people and it provided ample room for a comfortable camping experience. The mesh panels and windows enhanced airflow and reduced condensation, ensuring a cozy night’s sleep. While the rooftop setup may not be suitable for those uncomfortable with heights or individuals who prefer ground-level camping, we’re big fans of the ARB Simpson III rooftop tent for its portability and convenience.

Best Awning: KampKeeper

Best Awning

KampKeeper SUV Tent Awning on gray and white background

Specs

  • Materials: 185T polyester
  • Capacity: 2-3 people (using car cargo space)
  • Dimensions: 28″ x 11″ x 8.2″
  • Weight: 20 lbs

Pros

  • 110+ square ft shade area
  • Waterproof Rate: 3000mm
  • Compatible with a wide range of vehicles

Cons

The KampKeeper awning is truly exceptional. Versatile and user-friendly, it’s a valuable addition to our camping gear. (It’s also perfect for tailgating.) With an expansive shade area of over 110 square feet, it provides ample entertaining space or a spot to hang out away from the hot sun or during an unexpected rain shower. It’ll keep you dry, thanks to the robust waterproof rating of 3000mm. The SUV tent awning is compatible with a wide range of vehicles, and it’s quick and easy to set up.

I was particularly impressed with its durable and weather-resistant materials. Not only will it withstand almost any weather conditions, it should last for many camping trips and years to come. While it’s bulkier than other SUV tents—especially when compared to smaller awnings—the KampKeeper is a game-changer for quick pop-up shelter on the go.

Best Budget: Ozark Trail 5-Person Dome Tent

Best Budget

Ozark Trail 5-Person SUV Tent on gray and white background

Specs

  • Materials: 185T polyester
  • Capacity: 5 people
  • Dimensions: 14′ x 9′ x 7′
  • Weight: 22.5 lbs

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Durable and water-resistant materials
  • Ample interior space for comfortable movement
  • Lightweight and portable design

Cons

  • Not suitable for extreme weather conditions

The Ozark Trail 5-Person Dome Tent is our favorite budget choice. You can set it up in just minutes, making it a stress-free experience for beginners and seasoned campers alike. This SUV tent has a spacious interior and can comfortably accommodate up to five people. One standout feature is its versatility. It can easily attach to an SUV or minivan, providing a convenient versatile shelter extension, but it also works as a free-standing dome tent. If you choose not to attach it to your vehicle, you still benefit from two separate entries, offering easy access for everyone.

Ventilation is a priority with the Ozark Trail SUV tent. The removable rainfly allows for better airflow, and the vestibule adds extra protection from the elements, such as wind and rain. Inside, you’ll find thoughtful amenities, including a media pocket and multiple storage pockets to keep your essentials organized. Plus, the attached mud mat helps keep the interior clean.

It’s constructed from durable 185T polyester with sturdy fiberglass poles for lasting quality. Even with its roomy dimensions, it remains impressively lightweight at 22.5 pounds, so it’s easy to transport and compact to store.

What to Consider When Choosing an SUV Tent

Compatibility

Ensure that the tent is designed to fit your specific SUV model. Check for compatibility with your vehicle’s dimensions, including height, length, and width. Look for features that enhance your camping experience, such as storage pockets, gear lofts, and integrated awnings. These extras can help keep your campsite organized and/or provide shade or shelter.

Durability and Ease of Setup

Choose a tent made from high-quality, weather-resistant materials. Look for features like waterproof rainflies, sturdy zippers, and durable seams to keep you dry and comfortable during adverse weather conditions. Opt for a tent that offers a straightforward and hassle-free setup process. Look for color-coded poles and clear instructions to simplify the installation.

Kelty Caboose 4 SUV Tent attached to back of Ford Excursion
The Kelty SUV tent got high marks for its easy and beginner-friendly setup. Bethany Beathard

Ventilation and Interior Space

Adequate ventilation is crucial for a comfortable camping experience. Seek tents with mesh windows, doors, and vents to promote airflow while keeping insects out. Consider the interior space and layout of the tent. Ensure it provides enough room for sleeping, storage, and other camping activities. Some models offer multiple rooms or partitions for added versatility.

FAQs

Q: How do SUV tents work?

SUV tents are innovative camping accessories designed to work in conjunction with your sport utility vehicle. These tents attach to the rear, side, or rooftop of your SUV via a universal sleeve or strap system that ensures a snug and stable fit.

Once in place, SUV tents provide an enclosed and weatherproof space that shields you from the elements, complete with a rainfly, zippers, and often a sewn-in floor to keep you dry and comfortable. They effectively extend the living space of your SUV, offering options to use the vehicle’s interior for sleeping or storage.

Q: How do you set up an SUV tent?

Choose a level parking spot at your campsite and ensure the surface of your SUV is clean. Unpack the tent and assemble any components as needed. Secure the tent’s sleeve or straps over your vehicle’s top so they’re snug but not overly tight. Stake down the tent for stability and make any necessary adjustments for alignment.

Assemble the tent’s interior, including poles and frames, and extend it fully. Attach a rainfly for weather protection if required. Test the setup for stability before fully settling in. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consider practicing the setup at home first for a smoother experience during your camping trip.

Q: Can you use a truck tent on an SUV?

Yes, you can often use a truck tent on an SUV. Many truck tents are designed to be versatile and compatible with different vehicle types, including SUVs. The key is to ensure that the tent’s size and shape match your SUV’s dimensions and that it can securely attach to your vehicle. Some SUV tents may have specific requirements or adapters to fit SUVs, so it’s essential to check the product specifications and instructions to confirm compatibility.

Best SUV Tents: Final Thoughts

SUV tents are revolutionizing camping gear. Whether you’re embarking on a road trip, camping for the weekend, or tailgating at your favorite sports event, the best SUV tents offer a unique way to enjoy the outdoors that’s a seamless blend of convenience and adventure. Of all the ones we’ve tested, we like the Napier Sportz SUV tent the best thanks to its easy setup, durability, and roomy interior.

Why Trust Us

For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.



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