If you’re a camper that loves the great outdoors and has a truck, you should consider using a truck bed tent. There are truck bed tent models designed to fit full-size or compact trucks of nearly any bed configuration. However, it would be best to consider a few things before converting your truck into a camper on wheels.
What is a truck bed tent?
A truck bed tent is similar to many other modern camping tents in use today. Some are constructed of lightweight nylon or polyester, and some use heavier canvas materials. Tent pole materials range from steel to fiberglass and vary in strength depending on the application and overall quality of the design. The key difference between standard tents and truck bed tents is that the latter sets up in and around the truck’s bed instead of on the ground.
What do I need to know about truck bed tents?
When shopping, it is important to know the make, model, and year of your truck in addition to the bed length. Start by narrowing your search to ones that fit your truck size, whether you own a compact or full-size truck. Once you have a particular tent in mind from a store or company, it is a good idea to call customer service with your truck information to make sure it will work on your truck to prevent the hassle of a return.
Some truck bed tents are easy to set up and take down, but their lighter weight may make them less comfortable in harsh conditions. If you plan to move to different locations or drive your truck often, ease of setup is considered a big issue. If you will be stationary for a while in potentially bad weather, a heavier and more durable truck bed tent is probably a better choice.
Top 5 options
On Amazon, the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent is one of the few options on the market to offer a full floor in their tent. Depending on the cleanliness of your truck bed, a tent floor may or may not be desirable. The Backroadz tent is rated for fair weather camping and features fiberglass poles, polyester taffeta fabric, and weighs 3.74 pounds. There are versions of the tent to fit nearly any modern full-size or compact truck bed, and it offers around a headroom area of five feet, six inches for under $160.
At BassPro, the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent is rated for year-round use but is only available for full-size pickups. The 30-pound Kodiak is constructed from cotton canvas material and features YKK zippers, a three-quarter-inch steel tube frame, and five feet of headroom. At $350, it is one of the more expensive options.
Listed at Sportsman’s Guide, the Guide Gear Full-Size Truck Tent is another choice designed for full-size trucks only. The 8.5-pound Guide Gear tent features five feet, three inches of headroom, fiberglass poles, polyester fabric, and a full floor. Reviewers claim three-season performance with at least one account of using a supplemental heat source for comfortable camping in sub-freezing temperatures. The low $100 price and good reviews make this an option to consider.
On Amazon, the Leeworks Truck Bed Tent is constructed of polyester cloth and features fiberglass poles, a five-foot center height, and a full floor. The 15-pound Leeworks tent is available in small, medium, and large sizes, but this is certainly a case where calling their customer service to discuss your particular truck configuration and preferences is recommended. The Leeworks’ good reviews and features make this $150 option is a contender.
Compact truck owners may be interested in another option from Napier Enterprises. On the high end of the price scale at $260 is the Napier Sportz Truck Tent III, listed on Amazon. The Sportz Tent III features a rear access door allowing access to the truck cab through the sliding back glass, if equipped, a self-supporting awning over the tailgate, and a full, sewn-in floor. The Sportz Tent III is constructed using both polyester and nylon fabrics and fiberglass and steel poles.