Is Sleeping in your Car Warmer than a Tent? – The [Truth] May Surprise You

sleeping in car, black and orange backpack on car seat

Is Sleeping in your Car Warmer than a Tent?

There’s a lot of talk about camping these days, but what about sleeping in your car?

According to experienced hikers, car camping is cheaper and quicker but sleeping in your tent can be warmer.


Is it warmer to sleep in a car or tent?

Interestingly it looks like sleeping in a tent is warmer than sleeping in a car. Sleeping in a car is more comfortable because you are off the ground and out of the elements. However, sleeping in a tent is generally warmer because you can insulate yourself from the cold ground and keep your body heat inside the tent.

While tents feature double-layer insulation to keep you warm, cars have an advantage in extreme conditions. In a car, you can use the heater the right way and have an advantage.

Interestingly, cars have more insulation than tents do. This is because cars have some built-in insulation to help keep you warm, but they are not as efficient as tents at trapping heat.

Car Camping

Car camping is ideal for people who love the outdoors but don’t want to sacrifice their time. They’re quicker than sleeping in a tent and cheaper than a camping equipment, making them more affordable for people on a budget.

Please note however that it could be illegal to sleep in your car at some certain places.

What are the benefits of sleeping in your car?

Save money on hotel bills

If you’re looking for a cheaper option than staying in a hotel, car camping is the perfect solution. All you need is an air mattress and some pillows to set up camp. Not only will car camping save you money on hotel bills, it’s also more flexible and saves you time.

Stay warm and dry

Sleeping in your car can be a great way to stay warm and comfortable outdoors in winter. Keep your layers moisture-wicking and resistant to rain or snow, and use wool or fleece blankets to stay extra warm and dry.

Cars have a better start point than tents since they are already warm due to the engine heat – that would make you more comfortable until you fall asleep.

Save time

Sleeping in your car can save time when camping in the winter. That’s because a small, quick-to-warm tent is best for camping in the cold weather. Keep an emergency kit stocked with socks and a tent skirt to keep snow out. Sleeping in your car can also save time when you’re on the move. You can use gloves in an emergency.

Avoid hassles at the campsite

Camping in your car can be a great way to avoid the hassles of camping, like carrying heavy backpacks and getting wet. Car camping lets you enjoy the countryside without all the hassle.

Easier to leave in the morning in a car

Cars are easier to start in the morning and offer great ventilation, but they can be harder to cold in extreme weather conditions.

Quieter sleeping in a car

It is quieter to sleep in a car – compared to sleeping in a tent, it is quieter inside your car.

More flexible

You can sleep in your car while you are on the road. You even can stop and sleep in a truck stop in your car which is convinient.

What are the benefits of sleeping in a tent?

It’s more comfortable and warmer than sleeping in a car

Sleeping outside in a tent can be a great way to escape the city and relax. Not only is it an affordable way to get out into nature, but sleeping in a tent also offers some unique benefits that can make your trip more enjoyable.

For example, down-filled bags are available specifically for car camping, which means they keep you warm even when the temperature drops below freezing.

orange camping tent near green trees

Better Air Quality in a Tent

The benefits of sleeping in a tent include improved air quality and reduced exposure to toxic fumes. Tents offer more ventilation all night and are easier to remove rain flies, making them better for hotter months or areas.

Avoid the cold in a tent

The advantage of sleeping in a tent is that it is warm and you can avoid the cold. Sleeping in a tent is warmer than sleeping in a car. Tents have a smaller volume and double-layer insulation, which makes them warmer.

Tent is cleaner and closer to Nature

The benefits of sleeping in a tent are that you are completely immersed in nature. Sleeping in a tent also avoids the hassle of mosquitoes, bugs, and moisture build-up on windows. All together sleeping is better quality if you choose a tent.

How to stay warm sleeping in a car in winter?

Bring a good sleeping bag

  1. To sleep warm in a car or tent, bring along a hot water bottle to place at the bottom of your sleeping bag.
  2. To fall asleep quickly and easily, make sure to pack along some snacks and drinks.
  3. Fill a water bottle with warm water and place it in your sleeping bag.
  4. Use a portable camping stove to heat up the water bottle.

Use a wool blanket

Wool blankets are great for sleeping in cold weather because they trap heat well. Wool is a natural insulator, so it stays warm even when it’s cold outside. Add a wool blanket to your packing list to avoid itchiness. Use a wool sandwich to warm up even more.

Don’t underestimate your bedding

If you’re looking for a comfortable way to sleep while on the road, consider sleeping in your car. Make sure to drink something warm before bedtime to increase your inner temperature, keep bedding dry by storing it in a dry place, and quick exercise before bed to raise your inner temperature.

Sleep with a buddy!

Finding a comfortable way to sleep in a car or tent can be challenging. However, using items like sleeping bags, campfire heaters, and water bottles can make the experience more comfortable. Huddling together to share body heat is a common way to stay warm in tents or cars. Sleeping bags work well when used in conjunction with campmates.

Resist the temptation to use your car’s heating and lamps

To avoid draining your battery, try to use less light when trying to sleep. Bring a headlamp when sleeping in your car, or string up some twinkle lights for extra cozy camp vibes. Always have a flashlight in your car if you need it to see where you’re going while sleeping. Adding a flashlight to the rear of your car can also help guide you when sleeping.


What is car camping?

Car camping is using a car as your campsite. Some people choose to sleep in their cars while camping, provided they take appropriate precautions, such as choosing a warm car and packing adequate supplies.

Car camping allows campers to get away from it all in the great outdoors, while still having the protection and convenience of their vehicles. Common activities for car campers include hiking, biking, and fishing.

What are the benefits of car camping?

The benefits of car camping include avoiding back pain, enjoying the fresh air, being comfortable and relaxing, and sleeping outside and exploring new surroundings without having to carry heavy gear.

What are the best practices for car camping?

Is car camping better than camping in a tent? Yes, car camping is typically cheaper and can be done in many different locations. However, make sure to research the conditions before going and bring along the appropriate gear. Sleeping in your car may not be warmer than sleeping in a tent!

Safety is also important, I created this list of the best safe places to sleep in your car.

What are the different types of car camping?

Car camping is a quick and easy way to get out into the wilderness. You can use your car as your campsite, and it’s perfect for when you need to stealth camp or take a short trip.

There are three different types of car camping: quick stealth camping, short trips, and long trips.

  1. Quick stealth camping is good for when you don’t want to take down your tent
  2. Short trips are good for when you just want to get out into the wilderness without spending too much time outdoors
  3. Long trips are better for people who want to spend more time on the road

Do I need a sleeping bag specifically designed for car camping in my car?

Yes, you will need a sleeping bag that is designed for car camping in your car. Sleeping pads and memory foam can also be helpful in keeping warm, but are not as comfortable as sleeping on the ground or in an air mattress.


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.