So, you want to hit the open road and enjoy some time camping next summer. Maybe visit some of America's beautiful National Parks?
If you don’t want to go for something huge and hard to tow behind your car, at least not yet, well then you need a pop up camper.
Pop up campers are a great way to camp outdoors without having to learn new driving skills. Although, a small tear-drop camper is typically not difficult to manage for first-timers.
We’ve tested a bunch of the best pop up campers so that you don’t have to!
They're often much more convenient than camping trailers, tent trailers, tent campers, etc.
Of course, they won’t all be the perfect pop up camper for everyone but they’re all the right choice for someone.
How Did We Pick Our Fave Pop Ups?
We decided that we want to use some consistent criteria for grading these pop ups and we elected for:
- Sleeping room. Room for one is not enough, most people don’t camp by themselves, so we chose pop up campers that could accommodate at least a couple. If there's only one of you, a clasic tent camper might be the better bet anyway.
- Upgradability. You don’t want to buy a product like this and then find that as your family grows, it won’t grow with you and thus we made sure to look for pop up campers that could grow with you. You don't want to be buying new tent trailers every year.
- Bathrooms. Well, technically we looked at whether they had a bathroom or whether there was the choice of adding a bathroom to each pop up camper. We can’t imagine being comfortable anywhere without a little privacy at times even when using pop up campers.
- Weather resistance. There’s nothing worse than getting a pop up camper out for a trip into nature and finding that it’s covered in mold and you’re going to have to spend a day or more cleaning it before it can be used. The better insulated your pop up camper is, the less likely that this will happen.
- Overall feature set. The more features, the better. Why wouldn’t you want as much of a home like feeling as possible from your pop up camper?
Sylvansport Go Pop Up Camper
If you’re on a tight budget or just want to test your toe in the waters of pop up campers then pop up tent camping with the SylvanSport GO might be right up your alley. It's also a lightweight pop up camper.
This pop up trailer needs an exterior shower, mind you, but there's enough interior space to be comfortable and if you're out mountain biking, this should be a great home base.
It’s very small and has a dry weight of just 840 lbs, making it very easy to tow which you can't say for all pop up campers. but somehow still manages to accommodate four people in comfort!
The bed platforms are specially insulated to keep you from getting cold at night, which can be a huge selling point for a pop up camper.
You can find the Sylvansport Go Pop Up Camper on their website.
Jayco Jay Sport
You won’t believe how much they pack away into this very small pop up camper unit. It's like the swiss army knife travel trailer because of the slide out sections that really extend its usability.
It’s super durable too and won’t start falling to pieces on long road trips, it's a great little travel trailer and pop up camper.
We like that they offer a 5-year warranty for peace of mind as this is a big purchase.
It’s fully water-repellent and you won’t end up sleeping in a puddle of water or inhaling spores due to mold infestations.
It’s easy to run a TV inside and they are fully geared for using propane to cook with but you will need to buy your own gas cylinder for the gas heater, it’s not included.
Options also allow you to add an air conditioner to the package, which is sweet!
You can find the Jayco Jay Sport Pop Up Camper on their website.
Forest River Flagstaff
If you want a hard-sided pop up, the Forest River Flagstaff might be the one for you. Hard sided campers really do make for a better experience, we've found.
RV owners looking to downsize a little are probably going to want a model like this.
It only has a single floor plan, so either the design makes sense to you or it doesn’t, but this small shell holds a lot of facilities and storage space. We were impressed with the full bathroom and shower as well!
Hard-sided walls can be a real boon when there’s a howling gale or major storm outside.
We also really like the fact that it’s got a built in Wi-Fi ranger because in this day and age we all need to get online sometime.
You can find the Forest River Flagstaff on their website.
Aliner Family Expedition
If you want a family camping experience and you have a fairly substantial budget to make it happen with then the Aliner is a top of the line hard sided pop up camper and it really shows. The RV industry is jealous of this kind of product.
You get an indoor toilet, 11 gallon water tank, water pump, outdoor kitchen and dining area as standard. It is also a high wall camper which gives you lots of internal clearance.
We like the fact you can even stow an additional bed on the camping trailer.
It also has a built-in solar panel power outlet which means you won’t have to go far to charge your smartphone.
It has a pretty heavy dry weight though at nearly 2,000 lbs!
You can find the Aliner Family Expedition on their website.
Air Opus 4-Sleeper Camper
Even if you don’t end up buying an Air Opus camper, we really recommend that you see one in action.
You see while all the other pop up campers require some hard work to set up, this one utilizes a special air system that requires about a minute of labor and you’re all set up!
There's loads of sleeping space inside and this tent trailer incorporates the best aspects of folding tent campers.
We also found this to be one of the best pop up campers for going a long way off road with – it is very heavy though at a dry weight of nearly 3,000 lbs. unloaded!
You can find the Air Opus 4-Sleeper Camper on their website.
Turtleback Adventure Trail
Small, simple and elegant but tough as nails.
That’s the Turtleback pop up camper and we wouldn’t hesitate to take this on a trip when we knew that the weather was going to be very rough.
You can customize the interior to meet all your needs and it offers a surprising amount of living space when compared to the fairly small exterior.
If you love adventures, this is the right pop up camper for you.
You can find the Turtleback Adventure Trail on their Facebook page.
Forest River Rockwood
Yes, our second pick from Forest River and while the first reveled in simplicity, this one revels in the choice it brings. This is the RV lifestyle pick when you don't want a tent camper. You can often rent these from RV rental facilities too.
You can choose from 15 different plans and the biggest one easily holds up to six people with a little room to spare. You can even get a power lift system or heated mattresses on the insulating bed platforms inside.
If you want to take a lot of people on your camping trips, the Forest River Rockwood might be the best option for you. We can also recommend opting for a U shaped dinette if you want stimulating conversation.
We like the option for built in air con because while many camping trips hit cold weather, there are plenty that hit hot weather too.
The electric water pump is a nice touch too. It will give you a wet bath or a pleasant shower (and yes, there are hard shower walls in this pop up camper).
You can find the Forest River Rockwood on their website. There may also be older models online at RV Trader.
Coachmen Clipper Sport
We can only assume that there’ s a Clipper Sport for almost everyone as they have an incredible 15 different designs to choose from! There are a quality pop up camper with a long, rich pedigree.
Surprisingly, no matter which model you choose – they are really easy to put away (beginners are going to love this).
You can pretty much have any facility you want included in these Coachmen Clipper pop up campers (such as heated mattresses or an electric water pump) and the size and scalability are all based on your budget and needs. This is an excellent product.
You can find the Coachmen Clipper Sport on their website. You may also be able to find them secondhand at RV Trader or rent one from your nearest RV rental place.
One Final Hint For Buying A Pop Up Camper
We don’t recommend that you buy a pop-up camper based on anyone’s recommendation but your own. We'd also recommend that if you can find one on an RV rental site that you give it a try there first.
While we’re absolutely positive that there’s a great camper for you in our list, we want you to be certain too.
The easiest way for you to be sure is to try before you buy. That doesn’t mean a quick test drive from the showroom but rather an actual camping experience.
We always recommend that you rent a pop up camper from Outdoorsy (an excellent RV rental site) and give it a real world trial before you part with a lot of money and find yourself stuck with something that’s “not quite right”.
Trust us, this is a big investment – you don’t need to rush into things, there will always be pop up campers for sale when you find the one that works with Outdoorsy.
We hope that we’ve given you some inspiration for the kind of pop-up camper you'd like to purchase for you and your family. for a pop up camper
If you’re not positive it’s exactly what you need, however, we’d recommend you check out our article on the best camper vans too.
You might also want to check out our guide to solar generators which can help ensure that you always have enough power while you’re on the move in your new camper-van..