The first time I went camping with my husband, I told him I had a big tent that would comfortably fit us and his 6-year-old son. He laughed and still laughs at the memory of us squeezing into a tent that barely covered our two-and-a-half bodies without an inch to spare. Apparently, it was large enough for one person only. After my sons were born, we switched to RV camping but I still longed to give my kids that outdoor, fresh night air experience.
My 9 year-old-son Kaleb and I tested out the Napier Backroadz SUV Tent 13100 at a beach campground in Ventura County to see if we could make that happen. It was just us. I pictured a tent that attached to my SUV’s open trunk measuring about the space of the thin hatchback. We followed the instructions, which were cleverly attached to the tent’s bag, and had our tent up in just under 30 minutes. This was work punctuated by reading instructions and admiring the breaking waves set into the crisp blue sky.
Once up, the tent was much larger than I expected. I could see four bodies sleeping comfortably. With the added space of the car trunk, another two could join the party or it could be the perfect place to keep the gear out of the way. The mesh windows were very large, perfect for gazing at the busy seagulls or enjoying the breeze without the sun’s rays beating down on us. Although I thought my tent camping days were over, staring at the spacious polyester retreat sparked fantasies of our family, cozy and warm, huddled in our sleeping bags, trading ghost stories under the bright moon.
Clean-up was a snap from takedown to zipping the storage bag in under 10 minutes. If the 9-year-old and the 40-something could do it alone with no previous experience, anyone should be able to set it up. Next time, I can be sure that when my husband sees the roomy tent, he will agree with my assessment and the ridicule of our first experience may finally be put to rest.