Looking for the best car camping tents? You are at the right article and we will go through with you the ones that we highly recommend you to bring on your next car camping trip.
Car camping tents provide the best way to in the outdoors while using your car to get around. Currently one of the more current trends of camping, it offers a more flexible way to experience the wilderness around us in the leisure of a bigger tent with more space for the family. Below, we will discuss further on why car camping is so exciting, what kind of tent there are and reviewing the top 5 that are rising in popularity on the market.
What is Car Camping?
Car camping is not quite as literal as the name would suggest. No, you are not just driving to a campsite and sleeping in your car. You could do this, but it would be considerably less fun.
Car camping simply means that all of your gear is packed into your car and you are able to drive right up to your campsite. You do not have to hike or do any backpacking before you can take out your tent and set up camp. This is also sometimes called base camping. The only real difference is that you are near your car when setting your campsite.
Because of the close proximity, the weight of what you pack and how much you pack is not as big of a concern. Since you do not have to carry it, your tent can be as big and luxurious as you desire.
As long as it fits in your car, you can bring it. This means you can pack your big tent, air mattress, and anything else to make your trip to the wilderness as relaxing and fun as possible.
What is the Difference Between Car Camping Tents and Backpacking Tents?
Though they both have similar purposes, a tent created for backpacking is different from a tent made for car camping. Backpacking tents are much more lightweight and designed to make traveling long distances easy.
These tents reside at the intersection of comfort and portability. These tents are also a lot smaller and not made for large groups of people. They are also not the best choice during a rainstorm.
Car camping tents are bulkier, larger, and heavier than backpacking tents. They are called car camping tents because you will need to use your car to transport them. This means that weight is not an issue. Since there are no weight limitations, these tents are usually much more luxurious than others.
Some have multiple rooms and walls to separate them. Camping tents are created for comfort and versatility. They are also great for stormy weather and keeping the bugs away. Your perfect tent all depends on what you intend to do with it.
Best Car Camping Tents Buying Guide
There are a few factors you should consider before you put down any money on one of the best car camping tents.
Most car camping tents range in capacity from three to eight people. You will need to determine how many people you are bringing camping with you before you decide on anything else.
There is some variety in the amount of available floor space, even between tents with the same occupant capacity. Figure out how much space you need before looking at any tents. You will also want to consider the packing size if there is not a ton of space in your car.
This is a big factor to think about. The point of your camping trip is to relax and have fun, so you will want to ensure your tent is as comfortable and livable as possible.
A footprint is basically a tarp you place underneath your tent in order to protect the bottom from tears from rocks and twigs. It will also provide a bit more comfort for you. See if your preferred tent comes with a footprint or if one is available in the correct size.
Material and Weather Protection
Weather is unpredictable, so you want a tent that will be able to withstand anything mother nature throws at it. The material the tent is made from has a lot to do with this. You may also want to find a tent that provides some kind of UV protection. The material will also contribute to the durability.
Ease of Use
Look for a tent that is easy to set up and take down. This is especially important if you will be the only one setting it up or think you may need to set up in the dark.
You want your tent to be perfect when you use it, but you also want it to be just as perfect every time you use it. If you are putting down money, you want a tent that will last you for many years to come without tearing or ripping. Some tents even come with repair kits.
The price of these car camping tents varies depending on the size and the features. A larger tent with more bells and whistles will cost more. However, there are some very good, lower priced tents for those on a budget.
If you’re looking for an incredibly durable four season tent, the Big Agnes Flying Diamond-6 person tent is the one to invest in. Built from a strong nylon material to help protect you and your group from harsher outdoor elements, you’re also treated to an interior mesh design with pockets to help store your gear in an organized fashion.
In addition to the tent’s strong support system made of lightweight aluminum rods, it comes with a set of stakes to increase stability with a portable tent bag.
- Constructed of a strong nylon material
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Mesh interior along with storage pockets for gear
- Includes stakes and carrying bag
- Lacks poles to transform entrance into canopy
- Weak zippers – some users report zippers breaking easily
The Coleman 8 Person Tenaya Lake Fast Pitch Cabin Tent brings in all the luxuries of your home in a strong secure tent. With a built in closet with hanger bar and plenty of room for shoe store age, you can easily store your gear without needing it to stay in a hefty bag your entire trip.
The “fast Pitch system” makes it the easiest tent to setup within minutes, compared to most other car camping tents. Also, the built in Weathertec system offers a drier floor with more durable seams in inclement weather.
With reflective guy lines and a more water-resistant exterior. you will be all set for your next camping excursion, no matter the weather conditions.
In addition, there are many other luxuries to this tent such as a room divider making plenty of room for air mattresses for the whole group. Plus, the exterior entrance provides a hinged door for easier access entering and exiting. Not to mention, a wheeling travel bag for easier portability.
- Easy setup
- Built in WeatherTec system
- Includes closet with hanger bar
- Interior room divider for added privacy
- Seams that interacted with frame are prone to tearing
- Poor zipper quality
If you’re looking for a great all-season tent, the Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe tent may just be the one you’re looking for. It is made from a strong canvas fabric that is both breathable and waterproof, along with a silicone canvas to help protect from outside climate temperatures.
Also, with a durable floor to help expel seeping water, it is heavy duty and water-resistant. Not to mention, this tent supports a tall 6’6” ceiling, specifically made for taller families, the interior sports a room divider for more privacy and protection.
In addition, the windows feature a strong mesh material which is perfect for more humid camping trips. The exterior also combines an awning for lounge chairs or dying off your favorite boots.
Complete with strong stakes for added stability and a carrying bag, this tent can support any need you have!
- Tall 6’6” ceiling
- Double doors for easier entering and exiting
- 4 large mesh windows
- Funnel air vent system
- Narrower ceiling than most car tents
- Canvas needs to be dry before storing to ensure longer lifespan
The Ozark might be the best tent to use on the trail. Built to accompany 3 people in an extra large setting, it can easily fit 10 with up to 3 queen air mattresses. Not to mention, separate dividers for privacy with separate entrances.
In addition, there are six different windows for added breathability and ventilation. Plus, with taped fly seams to keep out moisture and an external waterproof tent layer, it’s a perfect fit no matter the weather conditions.
Also, you’ll be glad to know the tent comes in a zippered carrying bag with sturdy stakes for added stability in windier weather conditions.
- 3 doors for easier access
- Waterproof rain fly
- Can fit 3 queen mattresses
- Durable fly seams prevent leakage
- Poor quality poles – some users report poles snapping after strong wind
- Rain fly doesn’t cover entire tent
The CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent combines both modern looks and personality. With an easy setup and breakdown, camp can easily be ready in little as one minute. With pre-attached poles and water repellent technology, this tent easily flaunts as one of the most stress-free and reliable systems.
On the interior, you’ll notice handy air vents to provide added ventilation for more humid climates which make it great for all season camping.
Also, you’ll notice zippered room dividers with their own separate doors for added privacy. In addition, there are storage pockets along the walls to help organize excess storage on your trip making you feel more at home.
- Air vents to prevent condensation
- Two doors
- Easy to set up
- Door zippers can be annoying to zip close
Among the many tents we reviewed above, the best one you can try on your next trip is the CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent. It offers the most room out of the variety we talked about, including room dividers with separate entrances for added privacy.
Also, how can someone say no to a tent setup designed to be performed under 60 seconds? With a higher overall performance in design and popularity, it is without a doubt, the best all season tent money can buy.