Best Car Camping Tents

Best Car Camping Tents

Learn about our top picks for car camping tents for your next road trip or national park camping adventure!

Car camping is one of the most affordable, fun and meaningful ways to explore the USA and the world. There are many, many tents to choose from for your car camping adventures – literally hundreds of options. We’ve done the research, tested many of them, and made our recommendations for the best car camping tents. We have covered tents with a variety of features, sizes, and designs to provide you with the most diverse set of options possible.

Bottom line is that you want to choose the right tent. Read on to learn more about this year’s top camping tents and which ones are the winners of our different categories!

ALL-INCLUSIVE CAMPING ADVENTURES

QUICK LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS

Best All Around Car Camping TentNemo Wagontop 6

Best Budget Car Camping Tent for 4 PeopleREI Co-op Grand Hut 4

Best Family Car Camping TentREI Co-op Kingdom 6

Best VestibuleMarmot Orbit 6p

Best Budget Car Camping Tent for 1 PersonREI Co-op Groundbreaker 2

KEY CONSIDERATIONS

SPACIOUSNESS

Spaciousness refers to the amount of space in your tent when it is fully set up. It also includes the amount of space in your vestibule, which with a car camping tent should be significant. The tent must have plenty of space to comfortably fit you and your family or other other group members. You’ll also want space for duffel bags or luggage so everyone can easily access their clothing and personal items. A car camping tent should be tall enough for everyone to easily stand up, change clothes, enter/leave the tent…etc. The vestibule should also be big enough and tall enough for everyone to stand, easily put on their shoes, and have enough extra storage space for camp chairs, coolers or other items you would like to store outside but not in the elements.

Packed Size

The packed size of a car camping tent is often a much less important factor for most people than with backpacking tents, but it can still matter significantly. Your vehicle may have limited space, or maybe you’re traveling on a bicycle or a motorcycle, and need to be efficient with your space. We’ve included this attribute of the car camping tents listed below for these situations and others that make it a deciding factor.

COST

Cost is always a factor that should be considered when making an outdoor gear purchase. Car camping tents have a range of prices, which we reflect in our recommendations below. Less expensive tents  may have less space, smaller vestibules, or less durability. We have balanced these potential downsides by providing plenty of options that cover the gamut of options.

Windows, DOORS AND VESTIBULES

Car camping tents should have large, easy-to-use doors, as well as good sized vestibules. Windows are nice to have – who doesn’t want to lay in bed and enjoy the views or watch the stars and the weather unfold outside? – but not essential. When you get back from a long day of hiking, a large vestibule gives you the room to take off your muddy boots and store them outside before stepping into the tent.

NEMO Wagontop 6 Tent

#1 ALL AROUND CAR CAMPING TENT for 6 People

MSRP: $649.95

CAPACITY: 6 people (also comes in 4p, 8p)

FLOOR AREA: 97.3 square feet (140 x 100 inches)

HEIGHT: 80 inches

VESTIBULE AREA: 26.9 square feet

DOORS: 1 door

PACKED SIZE: 12 x 27 inches

PROS: Durable, spacious interior, very high ceiling, spacious vestibule, large/useful pockets, freestanding, large doorway, heavy duty materials

CONS: Expensive, single entrance, difficult to pitch the first time

STRAIGHT TALK: The Nemo Wagontop 6 (also available in 4-person and 8-person sizes) is one of the most well-built and well-designed car camping tents ever. It is spacious, has a very high ceiling (which is great for people well over 6′ tall), stands up like a hero to severe weather, has plenty of handy pockets and hanging loops, and has a very usable and large vestibule (porch) area. The only downsides are the price, the fact that it only has one entrance (which is quite large and easy to use, so not much of a downside), and the difficulty of pitching it the first time.

VIEW AT REI.COM

REI Co-op Grand Hut 4 Tent

#1 BUDGET car camping tent for 4 people

MSRP: $299.00

CAPACITY: 4 people (also comes in 6p)

FLOOR AREA: 59.7 square feet (100 x 86 inches)

HEIGHT: 75 inches

VESTIBULE AREA: 35 square feet

DOORS: 2 doors

PACKED SIZE: 24 x 10 x 10 inches

PROS: Economical, durable, spacious interior, high ceiling, spacious vestibule, large/useful pockets, freestanding, heavy duty materials, double entrance

CONS: Difficult/unintuitive setup, lack of windows

STRAIGHT TALK: REI’s Grand Hut 4 is a spacious, well-designed car camping tent with a reasonable price tag. The double-entrance and large vestibule make for a comfortable camping experience. The ceiling is high enough for anyone 6’2 and shorter – if you’re taller than that you will have to crouch a bit. This tent may be a little unintuitive to set up the first time or two, but after you get the hang of it you shouldn’t have any problems.

VIEW AT REI.COM

REI Co-op Kingdom 6 Tent

BEST FAMILY CAR CAMPING TENT

MSRP: $499.00

CAPACITY: 6 people (also comes in 4p, 8p)

FLOOR AREA: 83.3 square feet (120 x 100 inches)

HEIGHT: 75 inches

VESTIBULE AREA: 29 square feet

DOORS: 2 doors

PACKED SIZE: 25.2 x 15.75 x 8.6 inches

PROS: Easy to pitch, durable, spacious interior, high ceiling, spacious vestibule, large/useful pockets, freestanding, heavy duty materials, double entrance

CONS: Expensive, lack of windows, footprint not included

STRAIGHT TALK: We named this our favorite family car camping tent because of its wonderfully high ceiling and vertical walls which create more usable space than the more typical angled walls on other tents; its easy to pitch design; and its ability to separate the tent into two rooms. It has two entrances and a large vestibule, which is perfect for families with kids. It is also well built and stands up to severe weather, although you may need to guy out the tent in multiple places if you’re camping in persistent rain.

VIEW AT REI.COM

Marmot Orbit 6P Tent

#1 FOR CAR CAMPING TENT WITH THE BEST VESTIBULE

MSRP: $738.00

CAPACITY: 6 people (also comes in 4p)

FLOOR AREA: 77.5 square feet (115 x 97 inches)

HEIGHT: 76 inches

VESTIBULE AREA: 105 square feet

DOORS: 1 door

PACKED SIZE: 10 x 30 inches

PROS: Spacious interior, high ceiling, spacious vestibule, large/useful pockets, freestanding

CONS: Expensive, single entrance, reduced durability

STRAIGHT TALK: We felt it was imperative to showcase a tent with a truly impressive vestibule, and Marmot’s Orbit 6 won the day. When it’s rainy out, having a dry, protected place to cook, relax, play games or just sit around and talk is crucial. This tent provides that ability in spades. With a vestibule area of an amazing 105 square feet (35% larger than the sleeping area), you will not be short on space in inclement weather. Downsides to this tent are its high cost, single entrance and less-than-ideal durability.

VIEW AT REI.COM

REI Co-op Groundbreaker 2 Tent

BEST Budget 1-person Car Camping Tent

MSRP: $79.95

CAPACITY: 1 person (room for dog)

FLOOR AREA: 31.8 square feet (88 x 52 inches)

HEIGHT: 40 inches

VESTIBULE AREA: N/A

DOORS: 1 door

PACKED SIZE: 22 x 7.5 inches

PROS: Economical, durable, freestanding, easy to set up

CONS: Lack of space, no vestibule, low ceiling, lack of pockets, single entrance

STRAIGHT TALK: We wanted to feature a 1-person car camping tent for all those adventurous souls out there who embark on road trips by themselves or with their dog. That is the definition of freedom by the way! REI’s Groundbreaker 2 is a sturdy, easy to set up tent that’s perfect for 1 person or 1 person and a dog. This tent is very affordable and will keep you warm and dry. It doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but for the solo road tripper, road cyclist, or motorcyclist it can be a perfect fit.

VIEW AT REI.COM

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WHY TRUST US?

Choosing the right outdoor gear and apparel can be difficult. At Wildland Trekking, we live and work with gear on a day to day basis. It’s an integral part of what we do, and we understand better than anyone how important it is to have the right equipment. Some of the reasons to trust us include:

  • Independence – our recommendations are not influenced by partnerships or sponsorships with outdoor gear and apparel manufacturers.
  • Experience – as one of America’s top guide companies, we take 8,000-10,000 people on hiking and backpacking tours annually. Since our inception in 2005, we have guided more than 75,000 people into the wilderness.
  • Cutting Edge Knowledge – we regularly attend trade shows and are always paying close attention to the leading edge of new developments.
  • Up To Date Recommendations – we update our recommendations regularly as new products are developed and released.
  • Dedication to our Readers – we know that the gear we select as our top picks will end up in the field with our readers, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We view our readers as guests on our guided trips, just without the guides. We are committed to helping you be as well-outfitted and prepared as possible for your adventures.

*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. At no cost to you, we earn a commission on any products purchased through these links. Any proceeds go to supporting our blog and operations. These affiliate links do not influence the products that we include in our gear round-ups. We only recommend products that we 100% support and that we have used in the field. 

MORE GEAR RECOMMENDATIONS

Check out our Wildland Gear Guide for more recommendations about hiking, trekking, camping and outdoor gear. We are always adding new products to help our guests and readers make the best choices to outfit their adventures.