Pop up campers are a great alternative to full-size campers and motor homes, and still provide an excellent RV adventure. This is especially true if you are not ready to buy a bigger camper just yet. Here is my list of the Top 13 Best Pop Up Campers so you can hit the open road.
I have done well over 50 hours of research to come up with this list. The research included reviewing forums, and RV review sites and reaching out to owners and to the manufacturers in situations where we have questions that were not answered on their websites.
Pop up campers are small and don’t have slides but can easily be towed by a small SUV or car. They’re great for beginner RVers too!
1. Sylvan Sport GO
The SylvanSport Go camper is one of the nicest and most versatile we have come across.
There is a lot to like about this camper besides the great looks. It is extremely versatile and is considered the “Swiss Army Knife” of folding tent campers.
The SylvanSport GO can be used in 3 modes. “Camper Mode” allows you to deploy the tent and awning which gives you ample sleeping space, lots of headroom, and a great awning that is super easy to set up.
In “Gear Hauler Mode” you have room on top for kayaks, boards, bikes, or any other combination of gear you want to take with you. This is a great mode if you are just going down to the lake or beach for a day.
If you need to haul appliances or pick up a load of supplies from your local home store the “Utility Mode” lets you do just that.
This GO has the weight capacity to haul quite a bit of stuff. The living space is small but very useable. Excellent tent camping model than can easily be stored in your garage.
The low profile combined with the lightweight makes it a cinch to tow with just about any car or truck. The SylvanSport GO is practically zero maintenance, and it’s built to last right here in America. Unfortunately, no bathroom as with many pop up campers.
|Dry Weight (lbs): 840||Sleeping Capacity: 4|
|Length: 11’11”||Average Price (New): $8,995|
|Width: 6’3″||View Full Specs: Sylvan GO|
2. Forest RV River Flagstaff Tent Campers
Flagstaff, a division of Forest River RV has a line of tent camping trailers that are great looking and affordable. We like the interior color palette of these tent campers.
They offer the MAC and the High Wall hard-sided campers. The MAC series is more of your typical folding camper whereas the High Wall series has the amenities you find in a typical camper, including a shower and cassette toilet, and a very well-done interior decor all wrapped up in a lightweight camper. Also includes a sink and dinette.
As an option, you can get a hot water heater package that includes an outside shower, and if you want to install a solar panel this lightweight pop up is solar prepped.
The sides extend like a slide-out to give you a very good sleeping space.
Since it employs a canvas tent you should check out what it takes to clean and maintain a pop up canvas tent.
|Dry Weight (lbs): 1,465 – 3,721||Sleeping Capacity: 4|
|Length: 17’2″ – 27’9″||Average Price (New): $9,900 – $25,500|
|Width: 84″||View Full Specs: Tent Camper|
3. Forest River RV Flagstaff Hard sides
There’s more to this RV brand than just tent campers. They also manufacture hard-sided trailers. Don’t let the size fool you into thinking this is a cramped little trailer.
You’ll find floor plans that are over 20 feet in length when fully opened.
These hard-side campers give you a vacuum bonded fiberglass exterior that is easy to set up. What’s great is you still get the towing and storage advantages of a tent camper.
|Dry Weight (lbs): 2,1014 – 2,526||Sleeping Capacity: 2-4|
|Length: 17′ – 20’10”||Average Price (New): $11,000|
|Width: 84″||View Full Specs: Hard Side Campers|
4. Coachmen Clipper Express
The Express is a cool-looking camper with a rear tent that expands to add more space.
According to Coachmen, the Express has been designed to be easy to set up and store. In other words easy to enjoy.
Towing the Express is easy due to its aerodynamic styling, and its super-lightweight.
The patent-pending Glide-N-Lock bed system makes for a quick and easy setup.
|Dry Weight (lbs): 1,277 – 3,750||Sleeping Capacity: 2|
|Length: 8’2″ – 13’11”||Average Price (New): $8,000|
|Width: 79″ – 86″||View Full Specs: Coachmen Clipper|
5. Aliner Hard-Side
The company Aliner has 3 model types in its lineup. The Aliner is a hard-side camper and the Somerset is a tent camper.
The Ascape is a teardrop unit and one of the nicest folding campers that we’ll cover in another article. Here we’ll discuss the Aliner. The Aliner hard side comes in 3 sizes and 3 equipment levels.
You’ll find a Small (10.5-foot box on a 14-foot frame), a Medium (12-foot box on a 15-foot frame), and a Large (14.5-foot box on an 18-foot frame). The equipment levels are Standard, Upgraded, and Deluxe. Standard equipment is essentially electricity with water hookups.
The Upgraded equipment level gives you a propane system and more complex plumbing that includes holding tanks.
Finally, the Deluxe equipment package includes everything in the Upgraded plus it adds, a stove, large fridge, outside electrical receptacle, and stabilizer jacks on all 4 corners. However, no bathroom.
Can easily be towed by a minivan, small car, or SUV and can fit into just about any campsite.
|Dry Weight (lbs): 1,180 – 2,000||Sleeping Capacity: 2-4|
|Length: 13′ – 18′||Average Price (New): $15,000|
|Width: 78″ – 84″||View Full Specs: Aliner|
If you are interested I wrote a review of the Aliner Expedition.
6. Aliner Somerset
The Somerset is a very well-equipped camper and one of the best in the industry and one of the nicest pop-up campers I’ve seen. Dozens of standard amenities make this dual-tent a perfect choice for a family.
There are 4 models in the Somerset line-up including the high-end Utah model which we particularly like. Definitely one of the best pop up campers and built for comfort. Has good storage space and a small kitchenette
|Dry Weight (lbs): 2,650 – 2,908||Sleeping Capacity: 5|
|Length: 18’9″ – 23’7″||Average Sale Price (New): $18,000|
|Width: 7’5″||View Full Specs: Aliner Somerset Utah|
7. Air Opus Camper OP-Lite Off-Road
If you are looking for a compact trailer that is incredibly durable and has a beefed-up suspension that lets you take it just about anywhere then you need to take a look at the OP-Lite.
It uses AIR Tent inflation technology to quickly set up the tent portion of the trailer. It’s great for camping.
This trailer is versatile and rugged. This little camper is off-road-ready via its heavy-duty independent suspension which has been engineered to go anywhere you 4WD can go.
It also is equipped with all-terrain tires, a front rock guard, and underbody armor with diamond plating. No bathroom is available with the Opus floor plan.
It is pretty light coming in at just around 2,380 pounds. Here is a list of 15 pop ups and their weight.
|Dry Weight (lbs): 2,380||Sleeping Capacity: 2|
|Length: 17’2″||Average Sale Price (New): $20,000|
|Width: 5′ 6″||View Full Specs: Opus Lite|
8. Taxa Outdoors Cricket
The Taxa Cricket is a unique-looking camper that is both lightweight and rugged. It can be towed by many 4-cylinder engines. It’s big enough to sleep, two adults and two kids.
The roof on the Cricket allows cross-ventilation but if you need it a little more cooler you can add an optional 5,000 BTU air conditioner. It has excellent features and specifications.
|Dry Weight (lbs): 1,753||Sleeping Capacity: 3-4|
|Length: 15′||Average Sale Price (New): $38,000|
|Width: 6’7″||View Full Specs: Taxa Cricket|
9. Forest River RV Rockwood ESP
The ESP (Extreme Sports Package) by Forest River is a folding tent trailer designed for active couples and families. If you are your family are into mountain biking, kayaking, or surfing the ESP allows you to carry your gear with little hassle, so you can make the most of your outdoor experience.
|Dry Weight (lbs): 2,180 – 3,377||Sleeping Capacity: 4-5|
|Length: 17’6″ – 26’5″||Average Sale Price (New): $14,000|
|Width: 84″||View Full Specs: Forest River Rockwood ESP|
10. Chalet XL
The Chalet is an A-frame trailer available in 3 models that offer some unique amenities typically not found in this type of camper. The Chalet XL has a permanent queen bed which is very nice for this type of camper.
It is one of the lighter models in our Top 10 lineup.
Once extended you will find 8-feet of headroom which is quite high. The kitchen area boasts a large galley, residential height countertops, and plenty of windows and skylights to provide ample light in all directions.
Overall, the Chalet XL is an excellent camper that is easy to tow, easy to store, and has very low maintenance.
Their Patented Electronic Roof Lift System makes for a quick set-up. Optionally available on this camper are a wet bath and a dormer, which are excellent features to add. Easy for a camping setup.
|Dry Weight (lbs): 1995 – 2,165||Sleeping Capacity: 3-4|
|Length: 18’7″||Average Sale Price (New): $18,000|
|Width: 87″||View Full Specs: Chalet XL|
11. Trail Manor 2518
If you are looking for a small pop up camper the Trail Manor 2518 is not it. As a matter of fact, you are not going to find thin walls or canvas walls. What Trail Manor offers is expandable trailers with a hard roof and enough room so you can expect great comfort.
The 2518 series is a solid camper with a very unique design. It comes with many standard features such as rubber torsion axles with independent suspension, a hard top, a 20-gallon fresh water tank, a dry bath, and a cargo carrying capacity of 720 lbs. Air conditioning is available as an option with a low-profile air conditioner.
The Trail Manor is one of those pop up that is good for almost year-round camping as it is well-designed for inclement weather and the alls help prevent loud outside noises.
|Dry Weight (lbs): 2580-2600||Sleeping Capacity: 4-6|
|Length: 18′||Average Sale Price (New): $35,000|
|Width: 7’11”||View Full Specs: Trail Manor 2518|
12. Jayco Jay Sport
The 2019 Jayco Sport as a camper trailer is one of my favorites. It has a lot going for it including that you can tow it with many models of small cars, and it has less weight than many of the campers on this list.
The 10SD for example only weighs 1,720 lbs. If you want the best price for the Jayco Sport there are many used pop ups of this model in availability. At the time of this article, RVTrader had 15 in inventory available all at affordable prices. To find the nearest ones to you just search by zip code.
|Dry Weight (lbs): 1,550 – 2,385||Sleeping Capacity: 4-6|
|Length: 11’7″ – 21’6″||Average Sale Price (Used): $10,000 – $18,000|
|Width: 7’11”||View Full Specs: Jayco Sport|
13. Turtleback Expedition Trailer
What’s not to like about the Turtleback Expedition trailer. When it comes to recreational vehicles the Turtleback is like no other. This pop up tent camper is designed for rugged outdoor use.
The Turtleback Expedition comes with features designed to give you optimum comfort and performance in the mist out of way places. You would think they were building a 5th wheel.
You’ll find standard features such as a birch kitchen, 42-gallon fresh water tank, Timbren Axl, welded 2 x 3 galvanized tube steel chassis, running lights, signal light, and much more.
If you want to upgrade well you can do that as well with three upgrade packages. You can tow the expedition with a 4 door jeep, Toyota FJ, or a larger SUV or truck. You can learn more about the Expedition on their website.
They do have financing available if you are interested. Just know the cost will go up dues to finance charges and fees.
Top FAQs About Pop Up Campers
Below you’ll find some questions people ask about tent campers.
Can You Pull a Pop Up Camper With a Car?
There is a handful of pop up campers that can be pulled by a car. Keep in mind cars are not the most suitable vehicle to tow a camper, however, some of the ultralightweight popups are easy to tow with a car. Always check the towing capacity of the car and make sure it is higher than the GVWR of the camper.
Are Pop Up Campers a Good Investment?
If your intent is to buy a pop-up camper so you can sell it for more money at a later date then no a popup camper is not a good investment. A camper is just like any other vehicle or RV it will depreciate in value as soon as you drive it off the lot.
However, if you are buying a camping trailer to create memories with your loved ones and friends then yes a pop-up is a great investment. RVing is an activity that is affordable, and fun to do. It will surely create memorable times that will last your entire lifetime.
Pop Up Campers Conclusion
As with any purchase, do your research before plunking money down on a camper. The prices shown above are average. Several of the pop up campers have newer features like Bluetooth speakers and USB ports, and several offer different floor plans, as well as a water tank that can hold a gallon or more water.
If a pop-up is not something you are interested in how about a regular size camper from one of these top travel trailer brands?
If you’re still not convinced, check out this article I wrote on the pros and cons of owning a pop up camper.