The first time you walk right into that camping gear and accessories store, online or offline, don’t rush into buying a car camping tent without doing your due diligence. Camping tent buying decisions are delicate and require lots of sobriety, especially when it is an initial shopping experience. After all, it will be your home away from home.

Not only could one land on an inferior quality brand that ends up getting torn pretty quickly. For a non-outdoors person, the greatest risk of choosing a car camping tent without an experienced guide’s hand is the risk of naively picking the wrong size.

The vast array of differently sized and styled tents makes it even harder for a first-time buyer to decide the best to go with. One could easily pick NTK’s Cherokee GT 5/6 person tent instead of a roomy Cherokee GT 8/9 person tent when looking for a 6 person tent, always go with bigger. Or unknowingly order a poor-quality brand or even get scammed on a model that isn’t even made by a camping company.

NTK Cherokee Car Camping Tent

3 Tips to Choosing the Right Car Camping Tent Size

From the countless buyer hacks, about three only sums up all one needs to buy a car camping tent that’s just right. These tips are:

1. Camping Tent capacity

I’ve seen buyers make the mistake of buying a camping tent that’s smaller than their requirements countless times before. Yet, when checking a tent’s person capacity, the general rule of thumb is pretty clear: always add two persons more.

Large inner tent - NTK Car Camping Tent

Essentially, the rule here is simple – for a 2-person tent, choose a 4-person tent. If you need to buy a 4-person car camping tent, buy a 6-person tent instead, and so forth. The essence of doing this is to remain with extra space for a small gear bag and your mobility inside. Tents are usually rated with people sleeping in sleeping bags.

If you are camping with your partner and are not on a budget, opt for a 5/6 or 8/9 person tent at least.

2. Sleeping area

The tent’s sleeping base dictates how comfortable you will feel napping inside. If it has a built-in floor mat on the sleeping area, and the actual area is large enough, the tent would be worth choosing.

So, check the size of the sleeping area vis-à-vis your sleeping material. A large car camping tent like NTK Laredo GT, for example, is perfect for a high-rise inflatable bed plus a few single-size low inflatable beds.

NTK Laredo 9 person Camping tent

3. Ease of setting it up

The tent’s accessories don’t carry as much weight as the ease of pitching it. Even when you are shopping for a car camping tent, don’t ignore the fact that setting one up ought to be simple, quick, and non-complex in any form.

Remember that you might have to erect it in the dark, on rainy conditions, or under extremely windy conditions. The best alternatives are those that assume a free-standing design, tents with color-coded pole clips (instead of sleeves), and simpler set-up processes. If it comes with a manual, choose it. Always set it up at home before going camping, this will make you familiar with your car camping tent and double-check if any part is missing.

Other considerations

Size and weight can’t be a headache when it’s a car camping tent. Design, brand, and durability score matter a lot. Above all, consider its price at the very minimum when you’ve ticked all the other boxes. Remember the most expensive is your time and all other expenses related to the trip, so if you have a bad tent everything else will be ruined.

NTK Camping Gear