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Car Camping

Thule Tepui Explorer Autana 4

The best car-top palace of 2021.

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Any parent can relate to the (sometimes fruitless) quest to balance adventure and a good night’s sleep. Hedge your bets with this shelter: The Autana 4 has the largest sleeping footprint of any rooftop tent on the market (slightly larger than a king-size bed), and is rated for four seasons thanks to the waterproof, 600-denier nylon canopy. The spacious, floored vestibule acts as a mudroom for your car-top chalet, and at 81 square feet it even works as a second bedroom. A 2.5-inch-thick, high-density foam mattress offers warmth and a soft floor for kids who might otherwise roll off their pads during the night. “We did a lot of dispersed camping without worrying about finding a perfect tentsite, and sleeping off the ground helps me focus less on stuff like snakes and bears,” one parent says. “On a summer staycation trip to Colorado’s Brainard Lake it rained and snowed all evening. Our family of four had plenty of space to play cards, draw, and read together.” While setting up the Autana 4 is as simple as unzipping the cover and pulling the tent open like an accordion, expect to break a small sweat when stuffing it back into the cover again. Major bummer: price.

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