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Published: July 30, 2017
By: Carol Muse Evans
More and more families are trying to experience the outdoors these days. Some people love roughing it with tent camping; others love RVs. But not everyone has the money for an RV or believes they would use it frequently enough to justify the expense.
Napier Outdoors has come up with a cool way to camp, with the Minivan Sportz SUV Tent. This tent can be used as a stand-alone tent, but it also attaches to the back of your car or SUV (see website for car models and tents that are compatible), giving you extra space and a cool and clean place to sleep, store your stuff, or even access the electrical outlets in your car and the car DVD player.
Juan Carlos Moreno and 10-year-old son Nico recently tried out the Sportz SUV Tent 82000 at Noccalula Falls near Gadsden. Moreno says it wasn’t hard to put together at all. “In fact, there are good, written instructions that are attached – sewn in – to the storage bag so that you don’t lose them.” Amazingly, Moreno adds, it is easy to take down, “and actually fits well in the bag it came in.”
A simple four clips helped Moreno attach the tent to his Toyota Sienna. He says it was so easy because his van has a luggage rack, and while a luggage rack isn’t required for hook up, it does make it simpler. Just a few more steps help you install the tent to the vehicle minus a luggage rack.
The Morenos didn’t sleep in the van (though you could), but instead used this space for easy access to their coolers of food, duffle bags of clothes, other equipment, etc. “It was much more convenient than a regular tent,” Moreno adds.
The tent could comfortably sleep 4-5 adults, according to Moreno, and is really tall – lots of head room. It has two full-sized doors, two windows, and the sun/moon roof above that provides light. A nice drop-down strap is a great place for a lantern or fan, Moreno adds.
Moreno praises the tent’s versatility, ease, comfort and convenience, but says for him, he likes the security of the tent attached. “If you have heavy rain or any other type of emergency, you can jump into the car quickly,” he says.
Then the million dollar question: would you buy this tent? Moreno says absolutely, that it has great advantages over a regular tent, and along with all the perks, the ease of putting up and taking down, storing in the back of the car in case of need, all those things make it very attractive for families to invest in for future outdoor activities and trips.
For information about tents like this from Napier, visit www.napieroutdoors.com, where you’ll also find a great e-book with tips for camping with kids and more.
Carol Muse Evans is publisher and editor of Birmingham Parent.