Best SUV Tent for 2023

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Written by: Ashley Vitiello

Updated May 13, 2023

Are you aching to transform your next outdoor adventure into a truly memorable experience? Do you dream of escaping the hustle and bustle of daily life to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, without sacrificing comfort? What if we told you there’s an exciting solution that could transform your ordinary SUV into a home away from home?

Most SUV tents (aka hatchback tents) offer a unique blend of convenience, comfort, and flexibility that a traditional tent camping can’t match. This article will guide you through the very best SUV tents on the market, all of which could redefine your car camping game.

We’ve selected tents that are all highly rated by users and vary significantly in features, brand name, and price. We’ve done in-depth research and unbiased product testing on many tents, and only seven have made this final list. This is to give you the most comprehensive list of the best SUV tents currently on the market, so you can pick what’s best for your needs.

Our Editor’s Pick for all around best SUV tent is the Napier Outdoors Sportz, which perfectly balances quality, cool features, and affordability. There are several other top picks for affordability, luxury, and more.

The open road is calling, will you answer?

Best SUV Tents

These are our picks for the best SUV Tent:

  • Napier Outdoors Sportz SUV Tent – Editor’s Choice
  • Timber Ridge 5 SUV Tent – Runner Up
  • North East Harbor (NEH) Universal Tent – Best Budget-Friendly
  • Napier Backroadz SUV Tent – For Ideal Weather
  • Thule x Tepui Explorer Autana 3 +Annex – Best Luxury
  • Kelty Backroads Shelter – Best Floorless Awning

Our #1 Recommendation: Napier Outdoors Sportz SUV Tent

napier suv tent review




This Napier Outdoors tent has a spacious interior, oversized screen room, and useful awning, plus some quality materials that make it the best all around SUV tent.

Full Review

Our #2 Recommendation: Timber Ridge 5 SUV Tent




The 5-person Timber Ridge SUV Tent is a great option for couples and families who want a weekend away. The included movie screen is a really cool feature that makes it even more family-friendly.

Full Review

Best Budget-Friendly: North East Harbor Universal Tent




This Universal Tent by North Esat Harbor is the most affordable tent on this list and it has a simple and effective design that gets the job done.

Full Review

Editor’s Choice – Napier Outdoors Sportz SUV Tent

napier suv tent review

Napier Outdoors is one of the best manufacturers when it comes to SUV tents and we’ve selected their Sportz SUV Tent for several reasons. The first thing that really stood out to us was the spacious interior, which has more than enough room to sleep upwards of six people. With a max height of 7.25 feet, even the tallest campers can stand upright inside.

Our next favorite feature is the oversized screen room, which adds another 42 square feet to the already roomy interior. This extra room is an incredible additional living space that would be great for bug-free hanging out, cooking, or gear storage outside the tent walls.

We also love how they’ve included an awning, which measures 6×6 feet. This extra feature gives you more shade-protected space for hanging out during the daylight hours.

When tent shopping we always look at the quality of the materials used. We love how not only are there several great add-ons that take this outdoor tent to the next level, but it’s also made with materials and fabrics that make it weather resistant and long-lasting. The 1200mm waterhead rating is considered waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about rain water seeping in through the tent walls.

As for the tent poles, Napier used a mixture of fiberglass and steel. The support poles are steel, but the roof ones are fiberglass so you can save money where you don’t necessarily need the extra strength of a metal pole.

There’s also two doors for easy access, three windows and two skylights for an airy and open feel, and a lantern holder, gear pocket, and gear loft for storing small items. In addition, it can be used as a stand alone tent.

All these features, add-ons, and quality upgrades make for a great family SUV tent that’s ready for all kinds of adventure and fun.


  • Capacity: 6 person
  • Weight: 52 lbs.
  • Interior Max Height: 7.25 feet
  • Dimensions: 10×10 feet
  • Square Feet: 100 sq ft
  • Screen Room Dimensions: 6×7 feet
  • Awning Dimensions: 6×6 feet
  • # of Doors: 2
  • #of Windows: 3 (plus 2 skylights)
  • Pole Material: steel and fiberglass
  • Waterhead Rating: 1200mm


  • 1 year warranty
  • Large screen room
  • Big awning
  • 1200mm waterhead rating
  • Tall max height
  • Fits all SUV hatchbacks
  • Can be used as stand-alone tent


  • A little pricey but the quality and features makes it worth it

Timber Ridge 5 SUV Tent

This Timber Ridge Tent is a newer product but so far it has great reviews from users. It’s a 5-person SUV tent that measures 8×10 feet with a max height of 7 feet 8 inches tall. These dimensions make it one of the tallest and most spacious tents on this list, so it’s the perfect size for going car camping with several people.

This tent fits all hatchback SUV’s seamlessly, meaning you don’t have to worry about it fitting the specific model of your vehicle. It can even stand on its own if you need to use it as a regular camping tent.

One of the coolest features that we love on this tent is the included movie screen, which hangs down on one of the tent walls. You can use a small projector to watch a movie at night – how fun!

Although this tent does use fiberglass poles (which isn’t ideal for longevity and durability), it does have a 2,000mm waterhead rating. So with the additional support of the vehicle and the ample water resistance, this tent is ready for any weather conditions you could encounter on a weekend away.

Plus, the price is relatively affordable, so it’s a great option for couples or small families who want a simple and effective SUV tent for fun weekends away at the campground.


  • Capacity: 5 person
  • Weight: 28 lbs.
  • Interior Max Height: 92″ (7ft.8in.)
  • Dimensions: 8×10 feet
  • Square Feet: 80 sq ft
  • # of Doors: 1
  • #of Windows: 3
  • Pole Material: fiberglass
  • Waterhead Rating: 2000mm


  • 2000mm waterhead rating
  • Movie screen included
  • Tall max height
  • Can be used as a stand alone tent
  • Fits all SUV hatchbacks


  • Fiberglass poles

North East Harbor (NEH) Universal SUV Camping Tent – Best Budget-Friendly

If you’re looking for a simple, easy to use, budget-friendly SUV tent then this North East Harbor Universal Tent is the answer. It’s an affordable SUV Tent that measures 8×8 feet, which is enough space to comfortably sleep two adults or up to four people in close quarters.

It’s called a universal tent because it fits all kinds of vehicle shapes and sizes, so you don’t have to worry about it being compatible or not. It can also be used on its own as a freestanding tent if you don’t want to connect it to your SUV.

The tall center height of 72 inches (6ft.) is tall enough for the average person to stand upright in the center, and the 64 square foot interior could even fit a king or queen size air mattress. This gives you plenty of space to be comfortable, plus it gives you access to the back of your vehicle for extra storage or more sleeping space.

Because this is a budget tent, the waterhead rating isn’t ideal for exposure to wet conditions. If you only go camping during ideal weather, then this isn’t an issue. But if you’re anticipating being exposed to rain, you may want to take some steps to waterproof your tent further.


  • Capacity: 4 person
  • Weight: 19 lbs.
  • Interior Max Height: 72″ (6ft.)
  • Dimensions: 8×8 feet
  • Square Feet: 64 sq ft
  • # of Doors: 1
  • #of Windows: 3
  • Pole Material: fiberglass
  • Waterhead Rating: 2000mm


  • Most affordable option on this list
  • Fits most vehicles
  • Can fit queen or king air mattress
  • Lightweight


  • Not waterproof out of the box

Napier Backroadz SUV Tent

This Backroadz SUV Tent by Napier is a more simple and affordable version of their Sportz SUV Tent that made our Editor’s Choice above. It’s shaped a little different, but the lower price point and simpler design could be more up your alley depending on your typical use.

The Backroadz measures 10×10 feet, which is plenty of space to sleep four to five people in close quarters or two people comfortably. The max height is over seven feet tall, so even tall campers can stand upright in the tent’s center.

On the other hand, it’s a dome-shaped tent, so the walls are more sloped than the other ones on this list (the others are cabin-shaped). That will lead to a less spacious interior, but having less room inside can have its advantages. For one, it’s easier to setup. Second, it will be easier to keep warm if you regularly camp in cooler weather.

Perhaps our favorite features of this tent is that for every Backroadz purchased, Napier Outdoors plants a tree in partnership with Trees for the Future. We love a sustainable company so this is just a cool bonus.

The main downside of this tent is the fiberglass poles (not great for longevity) and the low waterhead rating. If you regularly experience rain when camping, you will need to add more waterproofing to this tent or use a tarp over it. If you only camp during clear and sunny weather, then that’s not as much of a concern for you.

Note: this tent only fits hatchbacks where the distance between the open hatchback tip and the ground doesn’t exceed 80 inches.


  • Capacity: 5 person
  • Interior Max Height: 84″ (7ft.)
  • Dimensions: 10×10 feet
  • Square Feet: 100 sq ft
  • # of Doors: 2
  • #of Windows: 3
  • Pole Material: fiberglass
  • Waterhead Rating: 800mm


  • 1 year warranty
  • Napier plants a tree with each purchase of this model
  • Fits all vehicles
  • Easier setup
  • Awning over the entrance keeps rain out


  • Fiberglass poles
  • Not truly waterproof

Thule x Tepui Explorer Autana 3 + Annex – Best Luxury

Now if you want to seriously take SUV camping to the next level, then this Thule x Tepui tent is the way to go. It’s a three person rooftop tent that includes a lower annex that hangs next to your vehicle like an SUV tent would. This gives you lots of space for both sleeping and standing upright, but then it all packs down into a compact unit that stays on your roof rack.

The first thing we noticed about this tent is the true quality of the Thule brand. It really makes it stand out from the rest of the options on this list and can even be used in all four seasons during all kinds of temperatures and adverse conditions.

One of our favorite things about any rooftop tent is that it’s ready to go at all times and it’s super easy to set up. It simply unfolds from its storage place, which means you don’t have to worry about carrying around heavy equipment to set up a traditional tent.

Plus, you don’t even have to worry about sleeping on something comfortable because the rooftop tent comes with a high-density foam mattress. Simply add sheets and a couple blankets and you’ll be comfortable and cozy all night long.

Note: this arrangements also comes in a 4-person if you want more space.


  • Capacity: 3 person
  • Weight: 152 lbs.
  • Interior Max Height: 52 inches (4ft.4in.)
  • Dimensions: 96 x 56 inches (8ft.x4.6ft.)
  • Square Feet: 37 sq ft
  • Vestibule Dimensions: 6×7 feet
  • Vestibule Square Feet: 56 sq.ft.
  • Packed Size: 56 x 48 x 12 inches
  • # of Doors: 1
  • #of Windows: 6 + 3
  • Pole Material: aluminum
  • Waterhead Rating: 1200mm


  • 2 year warranty
  • Exceptional weather and water resistance
  • Lots of windows for ventilation
  • Easy to setup and ready to go whenever you are


  • Most expensive option on this list

Kelty Backroads Shelter – Best Floorless Awning

Kelty is one of our favorite outdoor gear brands when it comes to quality gear for an affordable price, and their tents and awnings consistently make our lists for product suggestions. We love their Backroads Shelter, which is an awning that’s compatible with any kind of vehicle whether it’s a hatchback, car, or van.

Our favorite feature is the flexibility of the structure, which sets up like a tent but then can attach to any kind of vehicle. It doesn’t have a floor, so it’s not meant for camping, but it’s a great option for a shaded space for hanging out. You can roll down the sides to close it off for privacy (pictured above) or roll the sides up for a cross breeze and shade.

Because it works with pretty much any vehicle and can attach to either the side of back, the space inside depends on the height of your vehicle. Shorter cars and compact SUVs will allow for more space, while something like a Sprinter van will have less space inside because of the added height.

This awning would be perfect for anyone looking for a spacious awning for sun protection that also offers the option for privacy as well.


  • Capacity: n/a
  • Weight: 11 lbs. 9 oz.
  • Max Height: 108 in. (Sprinter Van); 80 inches (Subaru Forester)
  • Dimensions: 96 x 56 inches (8ft.x4.6ft.)
  • Square Feet: 55 sq.ft. (Sprinter Van); 75 sq.ft. (Subaru Forester)
  • Packed Size: 23.6 x 9.8 x 7.1 inches
  • # of Doors: 1
  • # of Windows: 1
  • Pole Material: fiberglass
  • Waterhead Rating: 1200mm


  • Quite affordable
  • Very versatile and flexible
  • Fits most if not all vehicles
  • Can be private or open
  • Good waterhead rating


  • Floorless; not for camping

ROAM Adventure Co. Rooftop Awning Room

This awning room from Adventure Co is a product that thinks outside the box when it comes to SUV Tents. It uses their awning (which comes in either 6.5ft. or 8ft. – dimensions below are for 8ft.) and attaches a tent to it. This means it functions like a SUV tent, but offers more durability and quality than a standard one.

The first thing that stood out to us with this awning room was the quality of the fabrics, which are ripstop material that’s waterproof and weather proof. The PVC floor is heavy duty and keeps the user dry and the storm flaps over the doors add another element of weather protection.

When it’s nice outside, you can open the three doors to their mesh layers for ample breeze. But because of the durability of the tent and its materials, it’s also ready for adverse weather and strong winds.

Users frequently comment that the tent can withstand anything (“Did get stuck in a sudden heavy wind / rain storm in SD.. wind blowing up to 40+ mph… No damage.) and that the quality is “far beyond our expectations“.

Note: this product requires that you purchase the awning separately from the tent. This makes it a bit more expensive and means you cannot use it as a stand-alone tent since it requires the awning to be setup.


  • Capacity: sleeps 2 comfortably
  • Max Height: 6ft. 6in.
  • Dimensions: 7ft.9in. x 8ft
  • # of Doors: 3
  • # of Windows: 3


  • 5 year warranty
  • PVC floor for weather protection
  • Ripstop material is waterproof


  • Can’t be used as a standalone tent

SUV Tent Buyer’s Guide

Thing to Consider When Choosing a SUV Tent

There are a few things to take into consideration when you’re shopping for an SUV tent. You’ll want to look at qualities like comfort, ventilation, weather proofing, seasonality, durability, ease of setup, and price. All these will help you pick the best SUV tent for your typical camp setup.

Types of SUV Tents

When we think of SUV tents, we think of the shape we see in our Editor’s Choice Napier Sportz, as well as the Timber Ridge, North East Harbor, and Napier Backroadz. These are all tents that can stand on their own, but have a different design on one side so that it can attach to your vehicle’s open trunk or hatchback.

Just to give you some options, we’ve also included the Thule rooftop tent and Kelty Backroadz shelter. The rooftop tent comes with an annex that stays on the ground so it’s a similar, but higher quality type of tent. The Kelty shelter is an extremely highly rated awning that doesn’t have a floor, but it still offers privacy if you were looking for something affordable.

So which type of SUV tent should you buy? The answer is simple: whatever works best for your intended use. Each tent has their own pros and cons, which are listed above with each product. Use those and the tent’s specification to decide which one best fits your typical camping trip and budget.


As with any camping tent, comfort is key for a successful trip. We’ve learned this several times over the years: always prioritize comfort on your nights away. Pick something that you will be the most comfortable in, whether that’s related to the headspace, square footage, or general layout.

If you prioritize the ability to stand up straight inside your tent, look for products that have a max height that’s at least two inches taller than your tallest camping partner. You should also look for tents that have nearly vertical walls, as ones with rounded, dome shapes won’t have as much head room throughout the whole tent.

The Timer Ridge has the tallest max height on this list at 7ft.8in., but it’s closely followed by the Napier Outdoors Sportz (7.25ft.), North East Harbor (6ft.), and the Napier Outdoors Backroadz (7ft.). We used to not care about headspace, but now that we have a tent we can stand upright in, I don’t think we could ever go back to something smaller.

For each tent above, we’ve included the square footage in the specification because this can help you calculate how many people can sleep comfortably. Even though they have a designated capacity rating (e.g., the 5 person Timber Ridge), this is the number of campers it will sleep in extremely close quarters. Read this article on how much space you need in a tent in order to figure out how many square feet you should need per person.


Ventilation is a must-have feature if you typically camp in warmer weather, especially on those hot summer days. We feel like all the SUV tents on this list have ample ventilation since they have a large window on each side of the tent besides the side that faces your vehicle.

Weather & Waterproofing

Waterproofing refers to the tent fabric and whether or not it’s water resistant enough to prevent rain and moisture from seeping through. Most tents come with a high enough waterproof rating (aka waterhead rating) to be considered waterproof, but not all of them. Look for tents that have a 1200mm waterhead rating or higher. Anything less, and you may need to waterproof it yourself.

As for weather proof, look for tents that have thick fabrics and metal poles. Fiberglass poles are more common and help keep the price down, but fiberglass isn’t the best for the longevity of the tent because they’re more prone to splitting and breaking. Metal poles like aluminum and steel will resist strong winds better and support the tent for the long run.

So which tents on this list have the best weather and waterproofing? The Editor’s Choice Napier Outdoors Sports has a 1200mm waterhead rating, so it’s ready to handle most weather conditions. The luxurious Thule rooftop tent is probably the most weatherproof tent on this list because of its thick fabrics that are waterproof. Plus, because it’s attached to the roof of your vehicle, it’s extremely wind resistant.

This is an interior view of our Editor’s Choice Napier Sportz. You can see that it looks quite spacious and comfortable.


Most camping tents on the market are meant for three seasons: spring, summer and fall. Some budget-friendly tents with lighter materials may even only be ideal for summer weather and clear days without rain or wind.

In order for a tent to be considered four season, it must have really high quality materials that are super durable and ready to withstand all kinds of adverse weather. Few tents fall into this category, and most of them will be quite expensive.

The tents on this list above are all meant for 3 seasons, but there is one 4 season on this list: the Thule Autana rooftop tent. It can withstand snow, rain, wind, and pretty much anything Mother Nature can throw at it.

Materials and Their Durability

Any of these tents have decent enough quality and durability to last several camping seasons if they’re properly used and taken care of. That being said, the higher the quality, the higher the price, and the higher the quality and durability. Know that if you’re willing to spend a little more, the tent will probably last longer than the more budget-friendly options that cut a few corners to keep the price down.

The Thule Autana will definitely hold up the longest, but it’s also the most expensive option on this list. We feel like the Editor’s Choice Napier Sportz is the right balance of quality and price so you can get the most bang for your buck.

Know that the more affordable options like the North East Harbor Universal Tent will be great for casual camping trips in ideal conditions, but the lower quality materials will prevent it from lasting longer over the course of the next couple years.

Ease of Set Up

Generally speaking, SUV tents are relatively easy to setup and can be assembled with one person, although having an extra hand is always helpful. Keep in mind that the larger the tent, the more complicated the setup.

In our opinion, the Editor’s Choice is one of the harder ones to setup, but only because of its extra features like the awning and screen room. We feel like the extra setup time is a fair trade off for these accessories.

A simple SUV tent like the Timber Ridge, North East Harbor, or Napier Backroadz would be the easiest models to assembled, mostly because of their simplified design.

Even though the Thule Autana looks like it’s the most complicated, it’s actually quite easy to assemble, especially once you get the hang of it. We love that it’s ready to go whenever and wherever you want, and it simply unfolds from its rooftop storage.

A bird’s eye view of the Napier Sportz (Editor’s Choice) and you can see how the additional screen room adds more moving parts to this tent, therefore increasing setup time.


The tents on this list vary greatly when it comes to price. There’s everything from a super affordable and basic SUV tent to a luxurious and high-quality rooftop tent that’s ready for everything you could throw at it.

If you’re looking for the most budget option, the North East Harbor (NEH) Universal tent is the most affordable SUV tent on this list. It’s a simple design with all the basic necessities you could need.

If you’re flexible with your budget, our Editor’s Choice is the best value for the money, and offers quality materials as well as cool features like a screen room and an awning.

If money doesn’t matter and you simply want the best of the best, the Thule Autana rooftop tent is the best pick for you. It’s hard to argue with the high quality materials and superior weather resistance.

How We Tested, Reviewed, And Rated These SUV Tents

We love outdoor gear, and we love recommending gear that adds value to our outdoor adventure. We know and understand the importance of having gear that’s worth every penny, so we thoroughly research and test every product we recommend. No matter how we procure an item, our goal is to remain as unbiased as possible, and we put it to the test against its competitors to find the best and worst features.

We also understand that each adventurer is different, and our favorite SUV tent may not be yours. That’s why we rate and review a wide variety of products currently available, so you can see a breakdown of all the features and pick what’s best for you and your situation. We don’t recommend anything we wouldn’t personally use, so whether you’re looking for highest quality, an affordable price, superior weather resistance, a certain brand, or any other desirable feature, there’s sure to be a tent on our list that’s perfect for you.

FAQs About SUV Tents

How does a SUV tent work?

An SUV tent is just like a regular camping tent, but it has one side that is open so it can attach to the back of your vehicle. These are ideal for hatchbacks and they let the user sleep in their car and store gear in the tent or vice versa.

Why buy a SUV tent?

SUV tents are great for people who value having the security of their vehicle accessible from inside their tent. These tents also make it easy to access the gear in your trunk, or you could opt to store the gear in your tent and sleep in the back of your vehicle. Either way, it’s all about convenience and comfort.

Are SUV tents any good?

There are some great SUV tents currently on the market, but not all are good. Some budget-friendly options may require additional waterproofing and are only good for ideal weather conditions. On the other hand, there’s some on the market that are made of quality materials that are built to last a few years of use.

Do SUV tents leak?

SUV tents shouldn’t leak water when it’s raining, but they do run that risk depending on how well it fits the back of your vehicle. Some people suggest to lay a tarp over the connecting point and that will make it more waterproof.

Are SUV tents good for keeping bugs out?

SUV tents are great for keeping bugs out if they’re connected to the vehicle properly. You always run the risk of having gaps here or there, but generally they’re pretty good at making a tight seal around the back of the hatchback.


After taking into consideration the factors above like price, comfort, quality, and ease of setup, we’ve chosen the Napier Outdoors Sportz SUV tent as our Editor’s Choice. It’s the best balance of quality for the price, so you can be sure you’re getting the best value possible.

Of course we understand that our favorite may not be yours, which is why we’ve included other great options on this list. We hope that you find the perfect tent for your next adventure whether it’s the Napier Sportz or Backroadz, the Timber Ridge, North East Harbor, Thule Autana or the Kelty Backroads Shelter.

Our #1 Recommendation: Napier Outdoors Sportz SUV Tent

napier suv tent review

With an oversized screen room, a large awning, a spacious interior, and quality materials, the Napier Outdoors Sportz SUV Tent is the best SUV tent currently on the market.

Ashley is an adventurous soul who loves all things nature, especially warm sunshine, wildflowers, scenic snacking, and mushrooms. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent years enjoying time outside doing things like hiking, camping, and rock climbing.
Her goal with Know Nothing Nomads is to make these hobbies easily accessible through knowledgeable content and how-to’s based on all the stuff she’s learned on her journey. If she isn’t writing an article, she’s probably in a forest looking at big mountain views and tiny pieces of moss on the side of the trail.

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