Best 3-Season Car Camping Tents for 2019


Our review process

Figuring out which tent you should get is no easy task. It can quickly escalate into an overwhelming decision. Luckily for you, we've spent many hours gathering and analyzing information on more than 500 different tents and also looked at over 17,500 data entries for each one. Out of these tents, we then inspected 5 3-season car camping tents using our progressive artificial intelligence platform. The following article will break down the advantages and disadvantages and show you some of the more relevant information you should focus on.

We've taken a look at 3-season car camping tents and wanted to let you know about both the pros and cons. 3-season tents perform well from early spring all the way until autumn, so they can be used throughout most of the year. They feature mesh paneling and usually have vents, allowing warm air to escape rapidly to prevent condensation within the tent. Boasting a lightweight design, they are easy to transport during long-distance treks.

Car camping tents are designed to be used when camping near your car, allowing you to bring along extra gear to make your experience more comfortable. These car camping tents are great for road trips if you will be driving, not hiking, to the campsite. They provide a lot of leg room and are typically spacious tents that can sleep campers comfortably and still easily fit all of the essential camping equipment. Built with materials that are more durable than backpacking tents, they are sturdier and more durable than lightweight tents, but are more resilient to harsh weather conditions.

Our Top Ranking Tents:
Product NameBrandTent TypeCapacityDimensionsMaterial
Best Overall Score
1
An image of Burton Waterproof Polyester 2-Person Tropical Print Car Camping Dome 3-Season 59 X 21 X 13 Inch Tent
Burton Waterproof Polyester 2-Person Tropical Print Car Camping Dome 3-Season 59 X 21 X 13 Inch Tent
Burton
dome
2 people
59 x 21 x 13
polyester
Runner Up
2
An image of Wenzel Large Waterproof 9-Person Car Camping Rectangular 3-Season 26.5 X 10.2 X 10 Inch Tent
Wenzel Large Waterproof 9-Person Car Camping Rectangular 3-Season 26.5 X 10.2 X 10 Inch Tent
Wenzel
rectangular
9 people
26.5 x 10.2 x 10
Best Affordable Option
3
An image of Wenzel Pine Ridge Waterproof Polyester 5-Person Green Car Camping Rectangular 3-Season 26 X 7.8 X 7 Inch Tent
Wenzel Pine Ridge Waterproof Polyester 5-Person Green Car Camping Rectangular 3-Season 26 X 7.8 X 7 Inch Tent
Wenzel
rectangular
5 people
26 x 7.8 x 7
polyester
Best for Bad Weather
4
An image of AmazonBasics Polyester 4-Person Orange Car Camping Dome 3-Season 24 X 7 X 7 Inch Tent
AmazonBasics Polyester 4-Person Orange Car Camping Dome 3-Season 24 X 7 X 7 Inch Tent
AmazonBasics
dome
4 people
24 x 7 x 7
polyester
For Family Camping
5
An image of GigaTent Large Waterproof Polyester Taffeta 8-Person Car Camping A-Frame 3-Season 216 X 144 X 85 Inch Tent
GigaTent Large Waterproof Polyester Taffeta 8-Person Car Camping A-Frame 3-Season 216 X 144 X 85 Inch Tent
GigaTent
A-frame
8 people
216 x 144 x 85
polyester taffeta
Our Top Ranking Tents
Customer Rating
Brand
Burton
Tent Type
dome
Capacity
2 people
Dimensions
59 x 21 x 13
Material
polyester
Customer Rating
Brand
Wenzel
Tent Type
rectangular
Capacity
9 people
Dimensions
26.5 x 10.2 x 10
Material
Customer Rating
Brand
Wenzel
Tent Type
rectangular
Capacity
5 people
Dimensions
26 x 7.8 x 7
Material
polyester
Customer Rating
Brand
AmazonBasics
Tent Type
dome
Capacity
4 people
Dimensions
24 x 7 x 7
Material
polyester
Customer Rating
Brand
GigaTent
Tent Type
A-frame
Capacity
8 people
Dimensions
216 x 144 x 85
Material
polyester taffeta
Best Overall Score
An image of Burton Waterproof Polyester 2-Person Tropical Print Car Camping Dome 3-Season 59 X 21 X 13 Inch Tent

With the Burton Polyester Dome 2-Person Tent, you can plan an incredible outdoor adventure. With a dome design, this Burton tent is able to remain sturdy in windy conditions without guy ropes or stakes. It is constructed from polyester, so it can be packed down to a small size, making it convenient to take with you everywhere you go. Perfect for car camping, it is great when you won't be traveling on foot to the campsite, but will be pitching your tent near your vehicle. This Burton tent has aluminum poles, which can support large amounts of weight and are unlikely to break with applied force. It is designed to withstand three seasons, so you can use this tent almost any time of the year and it will be able to endure most climates. This Burton tent features a gear loft, so you will not need to waste time in the morning looking for your glasses or phone. It includes storm flaps and has a waterproof treatment, adding a layer of protection against water seeping into the tent. It is designed to accommodate two people.

    Pros
    • Features polyester construction, making it very simple to move this tent from place to place, due to its virtually weightless quality
    • Built with a lightweight design, making your gear weight feel comfortable enough to hike distances
    • Made with waterproof materials to keep the interior dry during a heavy drizzle
    Cons
    • Polyester fly cover can sag in the rain and cause dripping on the inside
    • Polyester has low breathability and is prone to mildew
    • Polyester floor has a limited lifespan compared to other fabrics
Runner Up
An image of Wenzel Large Waterproof 9-Person Car Camping Rectangular 3-Season 26.5 X 10.2 X 10 Inch Tent

Searching for a reliable large tent for your next adventure? Check out the Wenzel Rectangular 9-Person Tent. Meant for car camping trips, this Wenzel tent is perfect for taking on an epic road trip. It has a rectangular design, providing ample interior room, making it one of the most common purchases. This tent has fiberglass poles, giving campers a lightweight option that is 100% rust and corrosion proof. Designed to withstand three seasons, it can endure downpours and moderate snow, perfect for late fall and early winter camping. This Wenzel tent is built with weather resistant materials, is waterproof, and features Weather Armor fabric, keeping water out and your things inside dry.

Made of polyethylene, the floor is naturally water-resistant and doesn't need an additional layer of protective coating. With a polyurethane coating, this tent stops moisture soaking through the fabric. This 159 sq. ft. tent sleeps nine people, providing plenty of room for multiple campers plus all the gear and equipment. It is built with a gear loft and has hanging pockets, so you can organize your equipment.

    Pros
    • Polyethylene floor does not fall apart with prolonged water exposure
    • Features an easy setup, taking just two minutes to put together
    • Features a lightweight design, giving you coverage and protection without contributing too much weight
    Cons
    • Polyurethane coating is susceptible to peeling off the tent surface after limited use
    • Lightweight tents are usually less spacious than bulkier tents
    • 3-season tents are not designed for areas of very harsh wind
Best Affordable Option
An image of Wenzel Pine Ridge Waterproof Polyester 5-Person Green Car Camping Rectangular 3-Season 26 X 7.8 X 7 Inch Tent

Are you looking for an affordable tent? We recommend the Wenzel Pine Ridge Polyester Rectangular 5-Person Tent. Featuring polyester material, this tent is lightweight which makes it easy to carry in your backpack. It features a rectangular design, providing ample interior space, making it one of the most common purchases. This Wenzel tent has fiberglass poles, giving campers a lightweight option that is 100% rust and corrosion proof. It is meant for car camping trips, so take all your equipment with you without needing to worry about weight. Designed to withstand three seasons, this Wenzel tent keeps you protected when it's rainy or windy, ideal for summer, fall, and spring weather conditions.

This Wenzel tent includes hanging pockets, so you can organize your equipment. It features a polyurethane coating so that you can be sure that the material of the tent will resist moisture. This 80 sq. ft. tent accommodates five campers, so you'll have an enough room for your whole group to sleep comfortably. This Wenzel tent is made to be waterproof, features Weather Armor fabric, and is weather resistant, so your tent won't loose stability in strong storms.

    Pros
    • Made of polyester, making it lightweight, so you can easily take on your next family camping trip
    • Polyethylene floor does not deteriorate with prolonged moisture exposure
    • Features an easy setup, going up quicker than a traditional tent
    Cons
    • Polyurethane coating is susceptible to flaking off the tent surface after limited use
    • Polyester is prone to becoming very hot in direct sunlight
    • Lightweight tents are designed with delicate fabrics that can tear
Best for Bad Weather
An image of AmazonBasics Polyester 4-Person Orange Car Camping Dome 3-Season 24 X 7 X 7 Inch Tent

With the AmazonBasics Polyester Dome 4-Person Tent, you can plan a great outdoor adventure. This AmazonBasics tent is made from polyester, making it lightweight, so you can take on your next trekking experience. Meant for car camping trips, it is great when you won't be walking to the campsite, but will be pitching your tent near your vehicle. It is designed for three-season use, so you can take this tent with you almost any time of the year and it will be able to handle most climates. This AmazonBasics tent has inverted seams and is water resistant, protecting you from strong downpours and stormy weather. With a dome design, it can remain sturdy in windy conditions without guy lines or stakes.

Made of polyethylene, its floor is naturally water-resistant and doesn't require an additional layer of protective coating. This AmazonBasics tent is equipped with a storage pocket, keeping your things out of the way. It is designed to accommodate up to four people. It comes with a rainfly, stakes, and a carry bag.

    Pros
    • Features a polyester design, eliminating shrinkage when it gets wet, meaning you can ideally use this for years
    • Polyethylene floor does not deteriorate with prolonged water exposure
    • Inverted seams keep water from seeping inside the tent if you get caught in a storm
    Cons
    • Polyester is prone to becoming very hot in warm weather
    • Dome design requires more poles so they're generally heavier than tunnel tents
    • 3-season tents won't resist harsh wind
For Family Camping
An image of GigaTent Large Waterproof Polyester Taffeta 8-Person Car Camping A-Frame 3-Season 216 X 144 X 85 Inch Tent

Don't let your equipment weigh you down. With this lightweight GigaTent Polyester Taffeta A-Frame 8-Person Tent your next hiking trip will be a breeze. Designed for car camping, this GigaTent tent is perfect for taking on an epic road trip. With an A-frame design, it is easy to set up. It is made from polyester taffeta, keeping you from getting wet, but also remaining dry from moisture it may have come in contact with. This tent is designed for three seasons of the year and has a waterproof treatment, keeping you dry and your equipment safe from any rain. Made of polyethylene, its floor is naturally water-resistant and doesn't need an additional protective layer. This GigaTent tent has fiberglass poles, giving campers a lightweight option that will not corrode.

    Pros
    • Features a polyester taffeta design, keeping you dry
    • Polyethylene floor does not deteriorate with prolonged water exposure
    • Mesh windows promote fresh airflow
    Cons
    • Polyester taffeta has low breathability and is prone to condensation
    • A-frame design requires multiple guylines for structure
    • 8-person tents are bulky and heavy
3-Season Car Camping Tents: Some Additional Things to Know:
Get to Know the Options for the Material of Your 3-Season Car Camping Tent
Polyester Tents

Creating a waterproof barrier, there are three 3-season car camping tents available that will hold up in the rain. If this is a feature you are looking for, the 3-season car camping tent is an excellent choice to consider. These tents resist water, so you will stay dry from moisture and light rain. They can dry quickly, saving you time when you want to continue on your journey. However, they limit airflow, making them less breathable than other tents. Moreover, they are more likely to lose their color due to extended sun exposure.

Polyester Taffeta Tents

If you go camping often, it is important to get the perfect material for your 3-season car camping tent. Polyester taffeta tents can dry quickly, saving you time when you want to continue on your journey. However, they are more likely to lose their color from prolonged sun exposure. Also, these tents limit airflow, so they might feel a bit stuffy inside. Now that you know all about polyester taffeta, you'll want to consider this great one.

Which Pole Material Best Suits Your 3-Season Car Camping Tents?
Tents with Aluminum Poles

We recommend you check out a 3-season car camping tent with aluminum poles, like this one. The aluminum poles will likely only bend and not break if overloaded, which can be easily fixed. The poles are very strong yet lightweight, so heavy winds and snow won't damage the poles. Something to consider is that they are prone to corrosion, so you should rinse off the poles when you get home with water if you go camping in saline areas.

Tents with Fiberglass Poles

If you are looking for a 3-season car camping tent, there are three options with fiberglass poles to choose from that we think you'll love. Fiberglass poles won't be affected by cold in the winter and heat in the summer, so they can be used in all weather and seasonal conditions. These poles are resistant to rust and corrosion, so they can last for years without degrading if handled properly. At a more affordable price, they are ideal if you don't want to spend a lot of money. Something to consider is that they are difficult to connect, so they might be a nuisance to assemble after a long day of hiking. Also, they are fragile, so they are likely to shatter if broken, which can rip your tent canvas material. Now that you know more about pole material, you might want to consider this wonderful 3-season car camping tent.

Decide on Sleeping Capacity for Your 3-Season Car Camping Tent
5-7 Person Tents

If you need a tent to take on your next adventure with your family, a 5-7 person tent is a great option to consider. These tents are spacious, so you will only need to bring one tent to accommodate all your fellow hikers, lightening your load. They are big enough to accommodate lots of campers, plus all the gear and equipment needed for your trip. However, they are heavy, so they aren't suitable for camping or backpacking trips that involve carrying gear a considerable distance.

3-4 Person Tents

Going on a camping trip with a few friends? Take a look at this awesome 3-season car camping tent that will have just the right amount of room for you. These tents can reasonably sleep small families, so they are perfect for your next family camping adventure. Something to keep in mind is that they are usually designed without room separators, so they offer minimal privacy when camping with family and friends.

8-12 Person Tents

If you need a 3-season car camping tent that provides a lot of room for large groups, consider one of the two options available that can fit up to 12 people. These tents have an incredibly roomy design, so you can use them for parties and events. One downside is that they have a large floor, which makes it more difficult to find an area wide enough to fit the tent. In addition, they are usually designed without room separators, so they offer limited privacy when camping with family and friends.