Napier Sportz SUV Tent
Current Retail: $349.99-$399.99
Reviewers Paid: $219.95-$303.00
If you've gotta glamp, this is the way to go! The size of a small bedroom, this tent makes the interior of your vehicle into a connected second room, and it provides generous porch areas.
- Makes vehicle into second room of the tent
- Easy to set up
- Clearly built to last
- Good details—pockets, lantern hang, open ceiling
- Takes two people to set up
- Fiddly, non-essential little parts that get lost
I'm a restless insomniac engaged to a festival-going glamper, and after a disastrous attempt to sleep two comfortably in the pop-up e-Camper of his 2003 Honda Element at a Colorado music festival, we spotted one of these Napier SUV tents and knew it was the solution for us.
This thing is the size of a small bedroom and has a waterproof fabric "gasket" that fits over the entire back end of your vehicle, so you can leave open the tail and top gates to access the inside of the vehicle without leaving the tent. This is ridiculously convenient for car camping, festivals, longterm camping, and any other event where you bring along coolers, luggage, valuables, or just a lot of sleepers. It also works fine freestanding, without a vehicle. It's a full 7.5' feet tall and 9' x 9' square, which is big enough to fit a queen-sized 2' thick air mattress, plus plenty of luggage and gear.
The car access makes it easy to leave valuables and food locked inside the car while you're sleeping or away, or to keep drippy items and occasional-use gear within reach without it bugging you in the tent. It also has two doors, one directly across from the back of your vehicle and one on the driver's side of the vehicle, with full-width and length rainfly awnings on each. This makes it great for cooking, socializing, and relaxing around camp when it's too hot to be inside the tent, and you'll still have at least one door if the other is blocked by terrain.
It has some nice details as well. The connection to your car is pretty bomb-proof—the gasket has strong elastic and adjustable straps, plus slim bungees that hook around your rear wheel wells and over the top of your car to the underside of your hood. The ceiling is open mesh under the rain fly (and there are two wall-sized zippable mesh windows), so there's good ventilation. There are a few mesh pockets, including one optional mesh net across the apex of the ceiling where you can place a lantern.
The poles are metal and seem sturdy, and the heavy-duty plastic pieces that the poles connect into are not only well made, but each has a little bag on it that keeps it from damaging the packed tent. It seems pretty durable overall. The bathtub floor is like a heavyweight tarp—we've tracked a lot of sand onto it, and then swept it out carefully, and we're not seeing an problems so far. The zippers and connectors give us no grief and look well made, as do the seems, poles, and rainfly.
The major con is that this puppy is heavy—though not so heavy you can't take it on a plane. All its parts pack nicely into its own bag, and its total weight is just under 50 lbs, so still workable for carry-on. Our first use was on a long beach-camping trip to a Mexican fishing village, and we packed not only this tent, but a deluxe air mattress with electric pump, blankets, sheets, and pillows, plus luggage for two weeks, in three bags total.
We bought ours at AutoAnything, because at the time, it had not only the best price, but they had it in stock and could ship immediately, which we needed for our first trip.
Minor complaints are that you do need two people to set it up, and quite a bit of space, because the 7.5' tall side poles splay out until you raise the tent. It also has some little plastic fiddly things—3/4" domed plastic caps for the tops of poles—that we're already losing. They're not really necessary to the functioning of the tent, though.
Overall, this thing has been a pleasure to use. I'm a longtime ultralight solo backpacker, so it was weird to get something this mondo, but it really makes car camping into a home away from home (and it might keep you from killing your spouse after three days in a tent together, which is, you know, a plus).
I'll add extensive photos to this review the next time we set up.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $303 including shipping
The Napier SUV Tent was the best camping experience that I have ever had. It fits perfectly onto the hatchback of my mini-van and adds an extra room to the tent and the ability to throw a mattress in the van to get off the cold hard ground. It was so easy to put up (I could have managed it on my own) and it kept us dry through two days of rain and wind. The construction was very sturdy and great quality. You can detach it from your car and drive away which really made it versatile. I really love this product.
Design: warm weather freestanding dome that attaches to your vehicle
Ease of Setup: Very easy (two poles)
Weight: around 20 lbs with poles
Price Paid: $219.95