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Some of the best memories you can make are packing up the car and setting off on a camping adventure with your family.
Unlike hiking or backpacking, when exploring the great outdoors in your car, the weight of your tent isn’t an issue. You can opt for a tent that offers a few more luxury conveniences for a more comfortable alternative to conventional camping.
To help you find the perfect car camping tent for your outdoor lifestyle, we’ve rounded up the best car camping tents available on the market.
Our Best Choice
Coleman Carlsbad Fast-Pitch Dome Tent
Comfortably fits a family of four with space left over for your gear, and features darkroom technology so you can sleep in after spending all night by the campfire.
The Top Car Camping Tens in the Market Today
7 Best Car Camping Tents: Your Home Away from Home
1. ALPS Mountaineering Taurus - Best 4-Person Car Camping Tent
If you are tired of waking up with soggy gear, the mountaineering-inspired ALPS Taurus can ensure you spend your camping trip cozy and dry.
The free-standing fiberglass pole frame allows you to set up camp on any terrain so you can get off the beaten track. The two-pole intuitive setup means you can construct your tent in minutes and begin exploring the wilderness sooner.
The total tent area is 64-sqft with a center ceiling height of just over 4 feet. Taller campers will need to duck or crawl to move around, but the low profile offers excellent stability even in high winds, making it an excellent choice for the intrepid car camper who wants to explore rougher terrain.
Two entryways allow you to comfortably exit and enter the tent without tripping over your gear or stepping on anyone's toes. The #8 extra-large zippers mean no more struggling to open the doors on cold mornings.
The mesh windows and interior provide excellent ventilation for a better sleeping experience during the hotter months. Interior pockets house your smaller camping items, while a large mesh loft can hold your gear safely out of the way to free up more floor space.
For added storage, the Taurus has two vestibules on either side of the door for larger gear and muddy shoes to keep the interior of the tent sparkling clean.
To keep out the cold and the moisture, the floor and fly seams have been factory sealed, so there won’t be any dew on the inside of your tent or leaks during rainstorms to ruin your camping trip.
2. Marmot Limestone 6-Person Tent - Best 6-Person Car Camping Tent
If you love camping in rain, hail, or shine, the Marmot Limestone tent is a great choice. The Limestone has become a staple in the Marmot tent line and a longtime favorite of car campers due to its rugged durability and enhanced weather protection.
With a geodesic dome shape, 76-inch roof height, and 84-sqft footprint, the Marmot Limestone offers spacious living and sleeping quarters with plenty of spare room for storing gear.
The frame design is reminiscent of a mountaineering tent with a weather-proof fly that extends all the way to the ground for optimal coverage. The guy lines and strategic anchor points secure the tent against gusty winds despite the height of the roof, while solid fabric walls act as excellent insulators against cooler temperatures.
The roof and upper walls are full mesh, giving you the option to ventilate the tent in warmer weather, and offering spectacular views of the night sky if you are camping during the dry season. The D-shaped double doors feature an intriguing quad-zipper, which allows you to create double doors or even string up a room divider.
The Marmot Limestone features two vestibules at the entrance for storing gear, as well as interior pockets for storing camping essentials. This frees up more floor space for moving around and sleeping.
3. Dream House Family Camping Tent - Best Large Car Camping Tent
The Dream House is an Instagram-ready yurt-style tent that is ideal for glamping with a group of friends or living large in the great outdoors with your family.
The largest size of the Dream House tent is 20-ft in diameter with a roof over 8-feet high, which is more than enough space to sleep 10 people comfortably. Despite the massive footprint and towering roof height, the Dream House can withstand winds of up to 30 mph thanks to high-strength guy ropes anchoring it to the ground.
The Dream House is a four-season tent and features an integrated zippered groundsheet made from heavy-duty PVC that allows you to roll up the sides of the tent for excellent ventilation in the summer months. The tent also features a chimney hole on the sidewall which means you can have a small camping stove inside to keep warm during winter months.
Mosquito screens on the doors and windows keep out unwanted guests. All the heavy-duty canvas panels are reinforced with double stitching to give you a durable tent that will provide you years of fun in the outdoors.
4. Wenzel Alpine 3-Person Tent - Best Budget Car Camping Tent
At just over $50, the Wenzel Alpine 3-Person Tent offers budget-friendly camping accommodation with the comfort and space of a high-end car camping tent at an affordable price.
The shock-corded fiberglass triple-rod frame is simple to set up and incorporates two mesh windows and a D-shaped door that offers excellent ventilation.
It doesn’t have a vestibule, but they have included an ingenious mesh mud mat at the entrance to store gear and shoes to keep the interior dirt-free.
The Wenzel Alpine has a 64-sqft footprint, making it a spacious option for sleeping three people with plenty of space left over for storing gear. Due to the unique pentadome shape, campers sleep staggered head-to-toe which actually provides ample personal space. This is an ideal solution for camping with friends.
If you are over 6 feet tall, the 4-ft low profile roof may make it slightly uncomfortable to move around inside.
But, for a budget 3-person tent, the Wenzel Alpine offers the best balance of space and function around.
5. Coleman Carlsbad Fast-Pitch Dome Tent - Best Family Car Camping Tent
After traveling for many hours with the kids, the last thing you want to be doing is spending more hours setting up your accommodation for the night. The Coleman Carlsbad Dome Tent features Fast-Pitch technology that allows you to pitch your tent in less than 10 minutes so you can spend less time wrestling with your tent and more time making family memories.
The Carlsbad comes in both 4- and 6-person sizes. For a family, we recommend the 6-person configuration simply for the added room it offers. The interior is 90-sqft, offering ample space for parents, kids, gear, and even the family dog, and can easily fit two queen-sized air beds. The 5ft. 8-inch center height allows the average person to stand comfortably.
Kids and their parents have different sleeping schedules, and the beauty of the Coleman Carlsbad is the darkroom feature, which effectively uses black-out material so you can put the kids to bed while it is still light out.
The other significant benefit of darkroom technology is that it offers additional insulation to keep the interior of your tent cooler in the summer months.
The entrance of the tent features a screen room to keep out creepy crawlies, provide additional ventilation, and can even sleep an extra person on warmer nights.
Colman’s Weather-tec system keeps your gear and family warm and dry using a wrap-around reinforced bucket floor with patented corner welds and covered seams. The tent comes with a rainfly for added weather protection and Illumiline guy lines, which enhances visibility at night, so you won’t get tripped up taking the kids to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
6. Cedar Ridge Rimrock 4 - Best Car Camping Tent Under $100
Who says you can’t find a quality 4-person tent for under $100? The Cedar Ridge Rimrock proves that quality materials and functionality don’t need to come with a hefty price tag.
Cedar Ridge is a sub-brand of the renowned ALPS brand of outdoor gear and applies the same quality construction to the design of the Rimrock. The company achieves this by paring down the design to offer only the essentials you need from a car camping tent and omitting the luxurious extras.
The tent has a simple X-frame freestanding construction and uses fiberglass poles attached via shock cords to the exterior of the tent.
This makes for a quick and easy setup and allows you to move and rotate the tent as necessary to adjust to the terrain.
The Rimrock is a moderately-tall tent, measuring in at 5 feet at the center, which is ideal for taller campers. The added height can make it a little unstable in high winds, but you can easily fix this with added guy ropes to anchor you down.
The 4-person tent has 64-sqft of space which makes for cozy sleeping quarters, but has a mesh loft for storing your gear, freeing up the whole floor space for sleeping. There is no vestibule space so you will need to be careful about tracking dirt into the tent. Multiple windows and a mesh interior offer excellent ventilation so you can sleep comfortably.
7. Coleman Sundome - Best Car Camping Tent Under $50
Coleman brand tents feature heavily on our list of favorites simply because they are the right combination of function and convenience with an affordable price tag. The Coleman 2-Person Sundome is simply the best tent you can get for under $50.
This spacious 2-person sleeper measures in at 35-sqft with a 4-foot center height so you have plenty of room to move around comfortably. The tent is constructed from high-tensile polyester which features Coleman’s specialized bucket-wrap Weather-Tec system to keep out the elements, keeping your gear dry no matter the conditions.
Large windows and ground vents offer enhanced ventilation for a cool and comfortable night’s sleep. The interior features mesh side pockets for storing your camping essentials.
You can also bring along your extension cord and run it directly from the interior of the tent through the E-port in the corner.
This provides easy access to the campsite power for your lights and electronics inside.
Best of all, it only takes 10 minutes to set up, so you can get the most of your time in the outdoors and spend less time struggling with tent poles.
Final Verdict: Best Car Camping Tent for Your Money
While most car camping tents on our list offer easy setup and plenty of storage, the Coleman Carlsbad Fast-Pitch Dome Tent has the edge over the competition thanks to the affordable price tag, incredible Weather-tec system, and fantastic darkroom technology.
Coleman Carlsbad Fast-Pitch Dome Tent
If you’re looking for a durable tent that will last you for years of car camping trips, this tent is an investment in you and your family’s adventures.
For the price and the convenience, the Coleman Carlsbad Fast-Pitch Dome Tent is the perfect choice to take on your next family car camping trip. Create new and lasting family memories with this versatile and convenient tent in any weather.