The Napier Sportz Dome-To-Go Tent, designed to sleep four people, has a great feature: a removable sleeve that fits all around the open cargo section of your vehicle, giving you access to the space within for storage or for an extra sleeping area.
Napier Enterprises, founded in 1990, is the leader in the manufacture and distribution of vehicle camping tents. These tents combine the comfort of sleeping above the ground, with the additional space and protection provided by your vehicle. Napier’s signature Sportz brand of tents lets outdoor campers pitch a tent wherever a vehicle can go. The Sportz line of tents includes tents for pickup trucks, SUVs, station wagons, or minivans.
The Sportz Dome-To-Go tent has two large zippered entrance doors, and three large windows made of no-see-um mesh. You can set the tent up as a stand-alone by removing the vehicle sleeve, or keep the sleeve and fit it around the open back end of your SUV. Inside the tent, you’ll find two hanging gear pockets, a lantern holder, and a gear loft on the inside ceiling — storm flaps can be raised to cover the windows. Poles are shock-corded for easy set-up. The rain-fly over one of the entrance doors includes an awning that can be propped up to provide shade or protection from rain. Everything fits in to a large carrying bag for movement and storage.
Now, the specifications:
– Base: 8 1/2 feet by 8 1/2 feet
– Height at center: 80″
– Sleeping capacity: Four people
– Poles: Three shock-corded fiberglass poles with steel ends
– Tent fabric: 1200 mm polyester, fire-retardant
– Tent floor: CPAI-84 rip-stop polyethylene, with welded seams
– Weight (in bag): 24 pounds
– Color: Blue and gray (orange trim)
– Warranty: One year against defects
Set-up is easy — one person can do it in fifteen minutes, but, with two people, it’ll take an hour. That’s a joke! Two people can put the tent up in less than ten minutes.
Sportz tents are water resistant, but the coating may diminish over time. So, every few years, after you take the tent out in the spring to air it out, set it up, and spray the tent and the rain-fly with a water-repellent coating, For the tent’s floor, bring along a square piece of plastic that’s slightly smaller then the tent floor, to lay down first under the tent. The reason for this “footprint’ is to avoid trapping water underneath the tent floor.
Even though the rain-fly seams are sealed, the needle holes within the sewn seams of the tent walls and ceiling are not sealed, which, I must admit, is common, occurring with just about all types of tents everywhere in the world. Use a seam sealer while you’re airing out your tent — I recommend the one from McNett.
Now, the unique aspect of these Sportz tents — the sleeve that fits around the back end of your vehicle. It uses adjustable straps to ensure a snug fit, and two fabric flaps inside seal off any gaps due to the curve or shape of your vehicle. If you want to be extra-sure of the fit, you can use magnets (not included) to secure the edges of the tent sleeve to your vehicle. The Dome-To-Go tent will fit around the rear end of any vehicle, even a pickup truck with a camper shell, provided the circumference to be fitted is no more than twenty-four feet. Vehicles with rear doors that swing out and across may require special setup.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $259. On a scale of 1-5, I’ll rate this tent a 5.