Pop-Up Car Tents: These 15 Rooftop Campers Are Like Portable Tree Houses

Popping up from the rooftops of everything from rugged Jeeps to adorable BMW MINIs or extending from the sides of motorcycles and bicycles, these vehicle-based tents make shelter on the go as easy as it can be. Some cantilever dramatically over the ground so you feel like you’re hovering in midair, and others stretch surprisingly high into the sky, like your own personal portable ‘treehouse’ built right onto your car.

Overland Tacoma Habitat Levitating Tent

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This pop-up tent by Nemo Equipment is custom-designed to fit the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, using a hardtop as a base for a lightweight aluminum structural shell that opens and closes with the help of gas springs. When standing in the truck bed, users have an impressive 7 feet of headroom.

iKamper Skycamp & Hardtop One Rooftop Tents

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The SkyCamp by iKamper is envisioned as a mobile treehouse experience that’s secured to the roof of a vehicle rather than a tree, complete with ladder access to the sleeping quarters. Nearly flat when not in use, the SkyCamp expands to impressive proportions, and add-ons can make the setup extend all the way to the ground for a lofted suite. The Hardtop One is a similar design, but expands vertically rather than diagonally.

Motorcycle Bivouac Exposed Camping

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The ‘Bivouac’ by Exposed is designed to extend from a motorcycle to fit a single sleeper and their luggage, and pack up so tiny it can be mounted to the handlebars for transport. It may not be luxurious inside, but it’ll keep you and your motorcycle seat dry in the rain, and it’s perfect for the one-person explorer.

Prius Plus Hard Top Camper

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There’s something hilarious about the proportions of this hard-shell ‘Prius Plus’ camper, which is made to clamp right onto a Toyota Prius hybrid as a camper converter. It’s been described as a ‘saggy diaper,’ ‘tumorous growth’ and a ‘giant marshmallow from outer space,’ and it’s not hard to see why. But Japan-based manufacturer Camp Inn did pull off quite a feat in creating a full-height entry to the back of a compact vehicle, leading to enough space for for or five people to sleep. It’s not clear how it latches on, it probably causes a significant plunge in your fuel economy and it costs twice as much as the Prius itself.

Bike Tire Tent

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Cyclists can get in on the portable tent action, too, with ‘The Travel Tent’ by Chung-Jung Wu, Pei-Chun Chen & Li-Fu Chen. The design clips onto a bike wheel for easy portability while freeing up cargo space for other items, and extends into a pretty decently-sized one-person shelter.