Some of you may already be familiar with our guide to building the perfect truck camping setup. Although we made a name for ourselves with our truck tents, 2021 marks our 20th year since unveiling our first SUV tent! Since then, we’ve updated and expanded our lineup to include 8 different options for any budget or vehicle. From canopies to rooftop tents and anything in-between, Napier’s got you covered. However, it takes more than a tent to perfect your campsite. With a variety of camping accessories on the market, it can be tough to narrow down the essentials. Here’s our list of what we think the best SUV/Van camping accessories of 2020 to keep you from over-spending or under-preparing.
Unless you plan on eating off your lap for days, a proper table/prep surface is going to be essential. We’re loving the Tail Table by Space Innovation Labs. It floats above the Napier SUV tent so that there’s no pesky feet digging in or worries about things shifting around. Its patented mechanical functionality allows it to lock to any car or SUV’s rear tailgate or trunk metal U-latch. Then it braces itself (with soft feet) onto the bumper allowing it to float in midair 45 inches off of the rear of the vehicle, turning tent camping into a serious luxury experience. The Tail Table has a modern design which holds features such as a built-in cutting board. Its modularity allows it to morph into 4 sizes (personal, chunky, intimate, and family sizes). The Tail Table likes to have fun too, so it has 6 stem wine glass holders for those who enjoy wine tasting in the sun.
Although you may be tempted to go “full nomad” and leave the shower gear at home, having a proper shower head with pressure and heat can be a game changer. Whether you want to enjoy the simple creature comfort of a hot shower, clean dishes and cutting boards, or rinse off your gear after a day of trekking, a portable shower can be your best friend. The Extreme Shower by Zodi is our choice due to its affordable price tag, durable design, and hand pump which eliminates the need for batteries or an outlet. If you’re going on an extended trip and have the space, I recommend bundling it with the Zodi Shower Pole! This attachment offers hands free showering for better comfort and ease of use if you’re travelling alone.
In order to cook meals, heat water for showers, or disinfect drinking water, a reliable stove should be high on your camping accessories list. The Selkirk 540 Camp Stove by GSI is our top pick for 2020. This award-winning stove packs a lot of punch for its moderate size. It’s definitely no backpacking stove, but it’s no clunker either. The 540 packs dual 10,000 BTU burners so you can quickly and evenly heat a variety of pots and pans. Its durable steel frame combined with built in wind screens, removable pot supports, and carrying handle gives this stove really premium feeling build. If you’re looking for something a little bit more compact with similar features, you can also check out the Selkirk 460 by GSI (which retails for about $40 cheaper).
Storing food in the wilderness can be a struggle at the best of times. Depending on your preferences, you may want to look into fridge options, but I think many campers can get away with a simple cooler. The one which stood out to us the most this year was the Trailmate 70Qt Cooler by Igloo. While it might not boast some of the extreme ice retention or durability that you might find in a YETI, the Trailmate is still a very well-built cooler. On top of keeping ice frozen for 4 days, the Trailmate is an ergonomic “all terrain” cooler. It’s built-in handle, compartment divider, fishing pole holders, gear pocket and compartment, side tray, and bottle opener make it extremely handy to have around a campsite. The fact that you can get 70 qt of storage plus all the above-mentioned features for $279.99 is just the icing on the cake!
The beauty of choosing Napier SUV Tents over a traditional tent is the ease of unpacking. By connecting your trunk to your tent, you can leave all your gear in your vehicle and still have access to it. Keeping everything organized sounds simple enough, but if you’re an avid camper, you might want to think about committing to an organizer. I like Fortem’s organizer due to its affordability, cover options, sturdiness, and included securing straps. These securing straps are going to really come in handy if you’re someone who likes to take the road less traveled. With a couple of these camping accessories secured to your trunk, you can remain camp ready at a moment’s notice!