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Even if you love the outdoors, you may not be a huge fan of lugging all your sleeping supplies on your back and trekking to your camping spot. With car camping, you can still sleep in the wilderness, but your tent can be much more spacious and comfortable since you don’t have to carry it too far. Car camping tents are also usually made of heavier, more durable materials compared to lightweight backpacking tents, so they’re more reliable and safe in unfavorable weather conditions.
Although you don’t have to be too picky about your tent’s weight, you’ll still want to choose wisely when selecting a car camping tent. Look for one that will provide good protection from camping nuisances such as bugs, rain and extreme temperatures. Easy set-up is always a plus, as is a place to organize and store your small items, such as a gear loft or interior pockets.
We’ve sorted through the options and come up with the best car camping tents for all different needs and preferences. Whether you’re setting up camp with one person or a crowd, there’s a tent for all types of weather and situations.
Best Overall: Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent
The Coleman Outdoor Instant Tent has all the bells and whistles you might expect from a quality tent, but what really sets it apart from the competition is its reasonable price tag and its quick and easy set-up and break-down. Thanks to the tent’s no-fuss, pre-attached poles, you’ll have it set-up in a minute, so you can get right to your outdoor fun. Collapsing and packing it away is just as simple and painless. This tent also features rugged Polyguard 2 fabric, exclusive WeatherTec floor system and an integrated, vented rainfly to keep you safe and protected from the unfavorable weather. The very spacious cabin can easily accommodate two queen-sized air mattresses. The two inner pockets are perfect for stashing tools, devices and snacks. Campers also love the Illumiline reflective tie lines, which give the tent increased visibility.
Best for Large Families or Groups: Wenzel 8-Person Klondike Tent
If you camp with large groups or you just love to have tons of space in your tent, you’ll love the expansive Wenzel 8-Person Klondike Tent. There’s plenty of room to comfortably sleep eight adults and stash all their gear. In addition, the large screened-in porch is perfect for extra hangout space, but can also accommodate more people to sleep when the windows are closed. It comes with all the features you might expect with a quality tent of this size, including a front awning for dry tent entry, a rain fly, mesh roof vents, zippered windows, gear loft and a carry bag. Extremely durable and sturdy, this tent has a “power corner” design, which means that it can withstand harsh, billowy winds. It’s also equipped with an ePort for easy charging of your devices.
Best 6-person Tent: Eureka Copper Canyon 6-Person Tent
With a seven-foot center height, even the tallest campers can stand comfortably in this roomy and sturdy Eureka Copper Canyon 6-Person Tent. The vertical walls increase the interior space and, with 10x10 feet of floor area, it can easily accommodate six people to sleep and provide plenty of room to hang out. Despite its large size, the set-up is quick and fuss-free, thanks to a simple ring and pin assembly. The tent’s full mesh roof increases air circulation and reduces condensation while offering a cool view of the night sky. The windows on the sides also help with ventilation, making sure your camping crew doesn’t overheat. Lastly, one of this tent’s coolest features is the E! Power Port that provides power to your laptop, phone or speaker, so you don’t have to worry about running out of juice.
Best 4-person Tent: Coleman Evanston Screened Tent
The Coleman Evanston tent helps you avoid some camping annoyances such as a complicated tent set-up, bugs and rain. It’s designed to make carrying and set-up a cinch, so you’ll have your tent up and ready to go in less than 15 minutes. The interior is big enough to fit two queen-size air mattresses, so it can fit up to six people but is better suited for four adults. There’s also a screened porch, where you can sleep on hot summer nights and still be protected from the bugs. The mesh roof allows for improved air circulation, as well as some stargazing opportunities. Bad weather isn’t a concern with this tent. An angled rainfly gives protection from the rain, but still lets in light. The Insta-Clip attachments stand up to strong winds and the WeatherTec Systems welded floors and inverted seams will keep you dry and safe, even in downpours.
Best Car Top Tent: Smittybilt Overlander Tent
More and more campers are embracing the convenience and perks of car top tents, which securely attach to a rack on the roof of your car or truck. They’re easy to set up and they keep you off the ground, making you safe and more protected from the elements, bugs and other critters. But these innovative tents usually come with a hefty price tag, compared to traditional car camping tents. This Smittybilt Overlander is a great value for the money and a fantastic option for a rooftop, especially for those who’ve never used one before. Mounting on your car’s crossbars is simple, and the set-up only takes a couple of minutes. It can sleep two adults and one child and comes equipped with a high-density foam full mattress, for a comfy night’s rest. Also included are a heavy-duty waterproof top and rain fly, two skylights, a mosquito screen and a telescopic ladder for easy access. Other useful features are the interior LED strip light and four inner pockets for storing gear and snacks.
Best Four-Season Tent: MoKo Waterproof Family Camping Tent
If you love year-round camping, the MoKo Waterproof tent is a quality, good value tent that will protect you from rain, snow and extremely low temperatures. It’s quick and simple to assemble and take down and fits easily in the included carrying bag for convenient transport. Sturdy and durable, this tent features a 2500mm+ water-resistant flysheet and a 5000mm water-resistant base, keeping everyone warm and dry inside. It also includes a three-foot vestibule in the front of the tent to keep shoes and outdoor gear protected from the elements.