This weekend C and I went near Madison, WI to test out our new car tent. We wanted to see if it would be a good tent to use on our road trip to San Antonio, TX later this summer. It didn't rain, so we couldn't check it's waterproofing, but there were some good winds going and it held strong. We passed the night well, although we could definitely use some more padding in the sleeping area.
The tent slips over the open hatch back of our Prius and the sleeping area is created from putting the rear seats down. You have to create a platform in the feet well area, which we did with our cooler and luggage, giving us over 6ft of sleeping space. Unfortunately, the egg crate foam we brought to cover the sleeping area wasn't enough padding against the doo-hickey buttons on the backside of the rear seats. We could feel them as we shifted around. We hope to solve that with some camping sleep pads layered under a double sleeping bag. Other than that, the tent looks like it is going to treat us well for our needs as we head down to Texas.
The major con about this set-up is that if you want to leave your campsite, you have to do so on foot or bike, as your car is the tent itself. Since we will be doing 1 night stays on our road trip, this isn't really an issue for our upcoming use. If we do longer stays in the future, we will most likely bring a more traditional style tent. Other than that, I like how a car tent set-up raises you from the ground making flooding a non-issue. I'll keep you all updated as we get set for our week-long road trip next month!