Camping in a minivan can be a lot of fun, but can also feel cramped and crowded. Fortunately, we have the top minivan tents to help. These tents allow you to use your vehicle at the campsite while having plenty of room for you and your family to move around. Best of all, most van tent models allow you to detach your minivan so you can go roaming around without leaving your tent exposed to the elements.
So, with that in mind, let’s dive into the top minivan tent models and why they’re so valuable.
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Best for Large Groups
Best Budget Pick
|Sleeping Capacity||5 or 6 ppl||6||6||6||5||5||N/A|
|Ease of Setup||4.8/5||4.3/5||4.7/5||4.7/5||4.5/5||4.3/5||4/5|
|Value for Money||4.7/5||4.2/5||4.6/5||4.2/5||4.2/5||4/5||3.7/5|
This extra-tall tent is a breeze to set up and has extra accommodations for your trip.
With two built-in awnings, this tent has an impressive footprint. But, it's not ideal for wet weather camping.
A decent and affordable tent that works well for many camping excursions. May not hold up as well in wet and windy conditions.
A fairly well-built tent, but it can wear down at the seams and leak water when it rains.
This tent is more than tall enough to accommodate most campers, and it can withstand most weather events.
A pet-friendly tent that comes with a built-in awning. The weatherproofing isn't as durable for what you're paying, though.
This tent offers shade, but not much else for camping. Ideal only for day trips.
Best Camping Minivan Tents Compared
As you’ll notice, most of the tents on this list are called SUV tents. However, each model fits both SUVs and minivans, so you shouldn’t have any problem attaching the piece to your vehicle.
- Freestanding model zips closed when not attached
- Two gear pockets and a roof gear loft
- Removable screen room and awning
- Hanging lantern hook
- Sets up quickly with most vans
- Tall roof to move around
- Water can get in through the screen room
- Can be tricky to set up with some vehicle models
As we’ll see on this list, Napier is one of the top manufacturers of minivan tents, so the name will come up quite a few times. The Napier Sportz Tent is a quintessential model, complete with all the features you’d want in a tent of this type.
Inside, the tent is spacious and comes with multiple gear pockets and a roof loft. Those elements, along with a lantern hook, make this one of the most accommodating tents we’ve seen. Finally, it comes with a removable screen room so that you have extra space for kids or dogs to relax and play without letting bugs inside.
Although this tent is pricey, it holds up better than most other models on this list. So, unless you’re camping in an intense thunderstorm, this tent should keep you nice and dry.
- Rear door zips up when not connected to the van
- Universal fit works on all vehicle types
- Lantern hook inside for added convenience
- Tall enough to stand up and move around
- We’ve heard reports that the instructions may be missing upon arrival
- Corner seams are not as durable as other tents
When comparing different minivan tents, you’ll notice that some say freestanding and others say “vehicle mounted.” Technically, all of these tents are freestanding as long as you can seal the sleeve shut. However, the official freestanding ones like this model from North East Harbor allow you to seal the tent with built-in zippers and enclosures. So, you have the flexibility of using this as a minivan tent or a standard camping tent.
As with other models, this tent has a universal sleeve that fits on all vehicle types. However, because of the zippered enclosure, you might have to get a little creative when sealing the edges around the cargo area. Some people use foam to fill in the gaps, while others use gaffer’s tape (since it won’t damage the tent material).
The reason we didn’t rank this tent as our number one pick is that the seams can often leak at the corners. So, while this tent holds up well to light rain, it can be a liability during a storm.
- Front screen room
- Two built-in awnings
- Extra-tall walls for added comfort when moving around
- Durable steel poles
- Excellent ventilation
- Complicated to set up
- Water can sometimes get in through the floor
Technically, all of these minivan tents are ideal for big groups because they’re quite spacious inside and taller than you might expect. However, the reason we chose the Melfi Plus as our top pick for groups is because of the two awnings and the built-in screen room. So, if you have kids or other adults camping with you, they have plenty of room to move around, even if it’s relatively wet outside.
We also like the design of this tent because it has taller walls than most others. So, you can stand up and move around from one corner to the other without feeling cramped.
The downside of this tent is that it can be hard to set up. Realistically, you need at least one other person helping. Also, we’ve heard reports that the floor doesn’t seal properly, so water and bugs can get in.
- Freestanding model with resealable rear sleeve
- Two gear pockets to store your stuff
- Lantern hook for added convenience
- Glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls for easier access at night
- Can be tricky to set up by yourself
- Windows can rip relatively easily, leading to leaks and bugs
Here we have another freestanding model, meaning you can camp with or without your van. This option is helpful if you want to take the van out during the day and reattach the tent at night.
Inside, this tent has several amenities, including gear pockets for smaller items, a lantern hook so you can see at night, and glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls. Overall, this is a comfortable and accommodating minivan tent.
The reason we didn’t rank it higher is that this model seems to leak more than the Napier Backroadz tent. The issue seems to be the windows, which can rip relatively easily. Even if you don’t open and close the windows, the stress of setting up and tearing down the tent can cause small tears along the edges.
- Durable construction helps prevent leaks
- Fits all vehicle makes and models
- Built-in storm flaps to keep rain out
- Sets up in 10 minutes
- The extra-tall design fits almost all campers
- Large mesh windows for added ventilation
- In rare cases, the stitching along the floor can leak
- We’ve heard reports that the tent poles can sometimes break after repeated usage
Napier Outdoors continues to show up on this list with the Backroadz Tent. This model is practical for several reasons, including a built-in awning on the rainfly and a zipper enclosure for the sleeve. As a freestanding tent, you have plenty of options to ensure you get the most out of your purchase.
First, the sleeve fits all vehicles, so you shouldn’t have any trouble setting this tent up. Also, the tent itself is pretty easy to unpack and you can be up and running in about 10 minutes. If you want the tent to be freestanding, just seal the sleeve and you’re ready to go.
As far as weatherproofing, this tent is better than most. However, we have heard reports of the seams along the floor leaking, but it seems to happen pretty rarely. Otherwise, the rainfly and reinforced corners do well to keep you warm and dry inside.
This tent can sleep up to five adults, so it’s extra spacious and comfortable. Also, since it stands at seven feet tall, you have plenty of room to stand up and move around.
- Durable alloy steel tent poles
- Rainfly comes with awning
- Sets up in about 10 minutes
- Optional upgrade with screen room
- May leak in some spots
- Larger size can be hard to set up by yourself
This minivan tent is a basic model that doesn’t come with many extras. However, if you like, you can upgrade to the full-size model, which comes with a screen room and one square foot of extra space. So, if you’re traveling with kids, pets, or other adults, you’ll want to get the larger version.
As with other Napier tents, this model sets up relatively easily, although the big size can be kind of tricky. This model is roughly the same as the one listed above, so you get an awning, a rainfly, and gear pockets inside. However, since this model doesn’t have as many features in the basic model, we ranked it slightly lower.
- Lightweight tent at just seven pounds
- Universal fit for all SUVs and vans
- Mesh screen to keep bugs out
- Just an awning, not a full-size tent
- Doesn’t protect in heavy rain
Our final minivan “tent” is actually just an awning and mesh screen cover for the back of your van. This model is ideal if you’re planning day trips and want somewhere to sit in the shade. This product fits all SUVs and minivans, and it offers two feet of awning coverage. If there are bugs out, you can utilize the mesh screen to allow air inside but not the pests.
Otherwise, this isn’t really a tent, so you can’t sleep in it overnight. It’s only designed for daytime use.
The Top Factors That Make a Good Minivan Tent
Since most minivan tents can look pretty similar, it can be challenging to pick the best one for you and your family. Fortunately, we’ve compiled the top features to pay attention to when comparing different models.
Related: Those with SUVs or CUVs should consider reading our review of the best SUV tent for camping.
A tent that is easy to Setup
Winner: Napier Family Sportz
The primary selling point of minivan tents is that you can attach them to the back of your vehicle. So, we like tents with universal (or nearly universal) sleeves that can fit onto any SUV, van, or Jeep. This way, you don’t have to worry about your van being incompatible with the tent, rendering it useless.
We also prefer tents that are easy to set up regardless of your vehicle. When you arrive at a campsite, you don’t want to spend a long time putting tent poles together. Also, the longer it takes to construct, the longer it takes to tear down.
Related: If you’ve got a truck, Napier also produce a number of great truck tents for camping.
Weather Resistance – A waterproof and windproof tent
Regardless of the type of tent you have, you need to make sure it can handle whatever weather you’ll experience during your trip. So, we like minivan tents that have waterproof rainflys, awnings, and reinforced stitching. This way, you can feel confident that you won’t wake up in a pool of water in the morning.
Another point to consider is if the sleeve creates a tight barrier between the tent and your van. If not, rain and critters can get inside pretty easily when you’re gone.
Winner: Napier Family Sportz
Great Ventilation to avoid condensation in your tent
If you’re camping in hot weather, you need to make sure you can stay cool inside your tent. So, we prefer tents that have extra-large mesh windows and skylights to allow air to come in. That said, ventilation can also be a double-edged sword because it allows condensation to collect at night. So, even if it’s not raining, you might get water because of the morning dew.
Winner: King Camp Melfi Tent
Durability – tents that last a lifetime
You want a minivan tent that holds up to repeated use. So, we prefer tents that have strong sidewall materials as well as durable tent poles. This way, you can use the equipment year after year without any issues.
Comfort and space in your van tent
When talking about comfort, we’re looking at these distinct elements:
- Transfer Between Van and Tent – How easy is it to get into your van from inside the tent, and vice versa? Typically, the rear cargo bay is meant for children or equipment, so keep that in mind too.
- Height Clearance – Even if you don’t plan on spending too much time inside your tent, it’s nice to be able to stand up and move around. So, taller tents are more favorable. Fortunately, because vans and SUVs have tall rear doors, most of these tents are at least six feet in the center.
Best budget minivan tent – Value for Money
Overall, you want to make sure your minivan tent has all the right features at a price that won’t break the bank. In this case, we’re looking at tents with a high reusability value. As a rule, we’re fine spending more money on something if it will last a long time. Unfortunately, some tent models are expensive and relatively flimsy.
Conclusion – Best Minivan camping tents
Camping in your minivan can be a lot of fun, especially when you have the best tent attached to your vehicle. As we’ve seen, Napier Outdoors makes many high-quality minivan tents, but the top pick is the Backroadz. This model has everything you need and should hold up during most weather events. Plus, it’s extra spacious and tall to make it easier to move around and get inside your minivan.