Review by Jacob Black, photos by Jacob Black and courtesy of Subaru

“That is the best idea ever!” said about the eighth bloke that afternoon. “Does that come with the car?”

It does – well, as a dealer-sold accessory. “It” is a Napier Sportz SUV Tent which is compatible with the Subaru Outback, Forester, XV Crosstrek and Tribeca. There’s a smaller edition compatible with the Impreza hatch too. Subaru is not the first to pair their vehicles with a tent. Anyone remember the Pontiac Aztek?

The tent itself is spectacular, it will sleep up to six – with another two in the 1,630 mm–long, flat-folded cargo area of the Crosstrek if you like. The sleeping compartment is 3 x 3 m with a 1.8 x 2 m screen room and a 1.8 x 1.8 m awning. There are two doors, three windows and enough bug and rain protection to keep Robinson Crusoe happy. The vehicle awning can be sealed from the car or left open, and you can open and close the tailgate without removing the awning.

Why would you want to attach your tent to your car though? Well, it means you can leave everything in your car and still access it without having to go in and out of the tent, which makes getting changed easier. It gives you access to power and most of all security, so you can leave all your stuff in the locked-up car when you’re not around. We found it handy for getting our daughter changed into her pajamas! Us not traipsing in and out to get her clothes meant she was less inclined to run out in her slippers/bare feet/pajamas on the wet grass.

So yeah, the tent is a winner. Even if it does take up a quarter of the cargo space.

We should point out that the Sportz SUV tent is adjustable/expandable enough to use with just about any SUV (and is available from places like Bass Pro). But it’s a symbol of Subaru’s keenness for attracting “outdoorsy” people that this has been made available through their dealerships in partnership with Napier.

We’ve seen this before. Solid ground clearance (220 mm) and a 680 kg (1,500 lb) towing-capacity plus standard roof-rack rails are all nods to Subaru’s adventurous intentions. Subaru has a proven demographic of skiers, campers and the like, and this accessory is a good fit for that.

In fact, of the people who came up to ogle our tent that weekend, half of them were already Subaru owners.

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