Best Truck Bed Tents for Camping (2021): Buyer’s Guide and Unbiased Reviews

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If you are a truck owner, a smart thing to invest in is a tent for your truck bed. If you enjoy the great outdoors by camping or just communing with nature, you can easily transform your truck into a cozy place of refuge in just a few minutes by attaching a truck tent to it.

You do not have to find an absolutely flat area or spend time and energy scrubbing a groundsheet caked with dirt. You don’t have to worry about little insects crawling into your clothes. When you have a tent for your truck bed, you sleep cozily on your truck, high and dry above the ground. The truck tent is very easy to set up. You don’t have to spend time prepping the ground for anything. And you will have more time enjoying the nature around you.

Best Truck Bed Tents for Camping

  • Napier Backroadz Truck Tent (Editor’s Choice & Best Seller)
  • Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent (Professional’s Choice)
  • Guide Gear Truck Tent (Best Value)
  • Rightline Gear 110730 Truck Bed Tent
  • Sportz Avalanche Truck Tent III

1. Napier Backroadz Truck Tent | Editor’s Choice & Best Seller

Sale
Napier Backroadz Truck Tent, Grey/Green, Full Size Short Bed (5.5'-5.8')#ad
  • 2 large windows offer optimal ventilation
  • Large interior area with ample headroom
  • Full rainfly provides ultimate weather protection, along...
  • With every Backroads Tent purchased, a tree will be planted...
  • Gear loft, gear pocket, and lantern holder to keep personal...

This tent is constructed from a durable polyester material that is water-resistant. The poles are made from fiberglass. The tent holds up very well during bad weather. The solid construction will give you many years of enjoyment.

The set-up is very simple. The parts are color-coded, so you won’t need to worry about figuring out which parts go together. The instructions are clear and easy to read. It is so easy that you can even put up the tent all by yourself in less than 10 minutes once you understand the procedure. After the tent is set up, you can enjoy ample space that can accommodate two adults comfortably. You have more than five feet of headroom.

There are two big windows made from mesh so the interior will get plenty of airflows. There are handy pockets where you can keep your small belongings. A big loft can hold your camping gear. There is even a holder for your lantern. The tent has a big front door that is against your open tailgate so you can get in and out of your tent very conveniently.

There are five sizes from which you can choose the one that fits your truck the best. As an added bonus, when you buy a tent, the company will plant a tree as part of their effort in improving the environment.

Specification:

  • Size: Compact Short Bed (5′-5.2′)
  • Material: Taffeta
  • Special Feature: Rainfly
  • Item Weight: 13.35 Pounds
  • Shape: Round
  • Closure Type: Zipper
Pros
  • Setup is so easy that you can do it by yourself
  • The tent can withstand even the harshest of weather
  • Large windows allow for plenty of ventilation
  • Handy storage areas inside the tent
  • There are five sizes that will fit most truck models
Cons
  • If you set up the tent poles incorrectly, they can break

2. Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent | Professional’s Choice

Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent#ad
  • Made with Hydra-Shield, 100% cotton duck canvas that is...
  • Tunnel shaped design maximizes interior space tall 5 ft....
  • Large D-shaped door with top of the line YKK zippers.Covered...
  • Sturdy, 3/4-inch, steel tube frame connect to the clamp-on...
  • Five windows provide excellent ventilation and openness,...

The Kodiak tent is another truck tent that is designed to be used all year-round. The tent material is 100% duck canvas. It is tough, durable, breathable, and watertight. It fits many models of trucks.

The tent fabric is heavy, so the poles need to be hefty. They are made from three-quarter-inch steel tubing. The tent has five big windows that will keep the tent well ventilated especially during the hot summer months.

The design takes advantage of the open tailgate to give you lots of inside space. The tent is shaped like a dome which allows you more room to move about inside. A window allows access to the cab of your truck from the inside so you will not have to leave your cozy tent to access the cab area.

Due to its heavier construction, the weight of the tent is about 41 pounds. It packs into a very compact size of 47″ x 10″ x 10″.

Specification:

  • Size: 5.5 ft. up to 6.5 ft.
  • Item Weight: 30 Pounds
  • Pole Material Type: Steel
Pros
  • Tough enough to endure all four seasons
  • Access to the cab from the inside
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • More expensive than other comparable styles
  • Quite heavy

3. Guide Gear Truck Tent | Best Value

Guide Gear Full Size Truck Tent for Camping, Car Bed Camp Tents for Pickup Trucks, Fits Mattresses 79-81", Waterproof...#ad
  • TURN YOUR TRUCK INTO A CAMPER – Turn your truck into a...
  • COMPACT AND LIGHTWEIGHT – Our compact truck tent is...
  • FITS MOST FULL-SIZED BEDS – The full-size truck tent for...
  • WATER-RESISTANT COATING – Made of 190T polyester with...
  • SUPER EASY TO SET UP – Easy to set up with 4 total poles...

The Guide Gear tent is a fairly basic model. The design is simple, without a lot of extra amenities that are featured in more expensive premium brands.

But basic does not mean lower quality. The material is a durable polyester that is treated for waterproofing. It comes with a floor so you can have a clean surface to rest on. This is great if your truck bed tends to get dirty from daily usage.

The tent is not intended for use during all four seasons. The tent poles are overlapped and assembled into a simple D formation that will not hold up in severe weather like snow and heavy rain. It is more suitable for camping during normal weather in the spring or summer seasons.

The tent weighs about 11 pounds, so it is about average in weight. Set-up is not complicated because the design is simple. One thing you should be aware of is that the tent does not come with instructions. Therefore, before you go camping with it, it is a good idea to set it up at home to get some practice.

Specification:

  • Special Feature: Water-Resistant, Waterproof, Lightweight, Rainfly
  • Shape: Round
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Pole Material Type: Fiberglass
  • Maximum Height: 63 Inches
Pros
  • Basic, uncomplicated design
  • Solid construction that’s waterproof
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • Instructions are missing!

4. Rightline Gear 110730 Truck Bed Tent

Rightline Gear 110730 Full-Size Standard Truck Bed Tent 6.5', Gray and orange#ad
  • UNIQUE FLOORLESS DESIGN: Cut down on set up time; the Truck...
  • 1 YEAR MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY: Shop confidently; our...
  • QUALITY WEATHERPROOF CONSTRUCTION: Water resistant fabric...
  • SLEEP UNDER THE STARS: Sky view vent allows for more light,...
  • ROOM FOR TWO: All truck tents comfortably sleep (2) adults;...

This tent does not have a floor, so you don’t have to clear out your truck bed before you install it. The floorless design also makes it less likely for any dirt on the truck bed to get stuck on the tent. The tent provides lots of room for two adults.

The setup can be done in less than 20 minutes. The more practice you get, the faster you can set it up. The poles are color-coded with the pole pockets, so installation is practically fool-proof. There is no guesswork, so you won’t need to worry about setting it up incorrectly.

It comes with an optional rainfly that you can put on if you prefer. The rainfly provides more protection if it rains suddenly. During bad weather, the tent material will resist water. The seams are sealed with tape to prevent water from getting in.

Specification:

  • Special Feature: Floor-less design
  • Item Weight: 8.7 Pounds
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Pole Material Type: Fiberglass
Pros
  • Stable construction during high winds
  • Large windows provide good ventilation
  • Water-resistant
Cons
  • Tent straps can scratch the paint of your truck

5. Sportz Avalanche Truck Tent III

Sale
Sportz Avalanche Truck Tent III#ad
  • Roomy tent sleeps 2 people with over 5.5 feet of headroom...
  • Color-coded, shock-corded fiber glass poles for a fast and...
  • 1 large entrance door and 1 rear access door lets you enter...
  • 6- by 6-foot awning extends off the tailgate creating plenty...
  • Includes 2 interior pockets and gear loft; carry bag for...

This tent can fit up to two adults with about 5.5 feet of headroom. It features two doors: one large door facing the outside, and another door against the cab of the truck for access. There are handy pockets inside the tent and a loft area that is an ideal storage space for your camping gear.The tent has a floor that will keep you clean from the bed truck.

The rainfly has taped seams. Storm flaps on the windows protect you from bad weather and allow you more privacy. The fiberglass poles can withstand strong winds. The mesh windows and the vent at the top of the tent allow air to flow freely through the tent for better ventilation.

Tent poles and pockets are color-coded to simplify assembly. Setup usually takes about 15 minutes. It can be challenging for one person to set this up by himself, so getting another person to help you will make the setup quicker. A carrying bag is included for convenience.

Specification:

  • Size 72″ L x 72″ W
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Pole Material Type: Fiberglass
Pros
  • Lots of space for two adults
  • Strong, sturdy fiberglass poles
  • Lots of storage space
  • Waterproof material
Cons
  • Hard for one person to set it up alone

Buying Guide

Types of Truck Bed Tent

When you start searching for truck bed tents, you will soon realize there are many different models and types available. This is why you should first know about the 3 main truck tent types along with some of their advantages and disadvantages.

A-Frame Truck Bed Tent

A-frame truck tents are similar in shape to conventional A-frame cabin tents. This is a common design that is easy to assemble and it also folds down to a compact size, allowing you to retain ample space in your truck for any other gear. One of the drawbacks about this type is that doesn’t provide as much headroom when compared to other types of tents.

Umbrella Pickup Bed Tent

The umbrella-style truck tent models have a floorless design. These tents are well-known for their spacious entryways and abundant headroom. This style is also relatively easy to assemble since there is no floor. They easily attach to each side of the truck bed before assuming their shape.

Once assembled, this tent type typically features large windows that come with durable, mesh screens, offering excellent views and ample protection from bugs and insects. These tents also leave some space in the truck bed if you have other gear and accessories once they are packed up.

Dome-Shaped Tent for Truck Camping

These truck bed tent styles have increased in popularity due to their versatility. There are models available that fit most truck beds. They are also mostly durable for both 2 or 3-season use. Most models include flexible poles which provide support to the inside of the tent.

Similar to the traditional ground tents, most come with a rainfly that is easy to assemble if you are expecting rainy weather or you can remove it if you enjoy watching the stars while safely lying in your truck.

Capacity and Size

Unlike the standard camping tent, the truck bed tents match up to the available space of the truck bed. The majority of truck beds measure between 5 to 8 feet in length. The longer length refers to long bed trucks. There is also usually a bit of space (around 4 feet) between the bed rails on the step side or between the wheels on fleetside pickups. It is important to check on the dimensions of the product to ensure the tent will fit the width and length of the truck bed.

Due to these constraints, the largest size difference when it comes to the truck bed tents will be their height. The inexpensive models usually provide enough space to comfortably sit up, which means you will need to crouch down and crawl into the tent. The more expensive and larger models provide enough space to stand up, which is important when you want to get changed or you suffer from a mobility issue.

If you plan to spend most of your time fishing, hunting, or hiking, which means you will only be using the tent to sleep in, headroom is probably not that important to you. However, if you plan to spend some leisure time inside your tent, find a tent that allows you to move around in comfort, especially when you are planning to share the tent with your partner.

Materials

Many of the truck bed tent models are made from a special polyester fabric or more durable and robust cotton canvas tents.

Before you buy a truck tent, we suggest checking on the denier of the fabric. Denier is the yarn weight of the fabric which is worked on a 9,000-meter length. The higher the denier number, the more rugged and durable the fabric, while a lower number usually results in a less durable and lightweight material. When comparing deniers, make sure the fabrics are identical.

For the roof and walls of the tent, polyester is usually a common choice since it is usually durable and often treated with a coating. Cotton canvas fabric is a better option if you are looking for more breathability and durability. This fabric also offers more constant temperature regulation, especially for 4-season use.

If you choose a truck bed tent that features a floor, they are usually made from a strong polyester Oxford blend. Durable, with better insulation and ample elasticity, polyester Oxford is far better than standard polyester floors.

In summary, look for high-denier fabrics that provide a rugged canopy, floors, and rain flys to guarantee fewer chances of tearing and leakage, along with greater durability.

Poles

Many of the truck bed tent models use fiberglass tent poles that provide flexibility and strength. There are also metal framework models if you need more durability and greater resistance to high winds.

While the fiberglass poles are usually easier to set up, it is important to note that they can break and more care will be required to make sure you get these poles into the right position to avoid snapping them.

Floor

Before you decide on a truck bed tent, you should think about whether you want a tent with a floor or not.

If you are thinking about an alternative to a conventional tent, you might be more interested in a version that comes with an enclosed floor. This often makes the tent feel a lot more contained while keeping bugs and dirt out of the truck bed. If you are planning on using a mattress in your tent, a floor with a tent will provide an extra layer of protection to the air mattress to lower the chances of a potential puncture.

However, if you plan to carry a lot more gear, or you are mainly planning on fishing or hunting, a floorless tent for your truck bed may be a better option. This will also allow you to avoid having to unload your truck fully to set up your tent for a night. At the same time, when packing up a floorless tent, it is much easier to lift off the truck bed without removing or reloading your gear.

Setup

Similar to any other tent, you won’t want to spend hours trying to assemble your tent. When you arrive at a campsite you will most likely want to set it up so you can start relaxing or head out for your next adventure.

This is why it is important to find the tent type that will allow you to set up with ease. Many of the tents for trucks offer basic setup systems to make these processes easy and more manageable.

You will notice that setting your truck tent up is very different when compared to the ground tents. The ground camping tents use stakes and guy-line to secure the tent, while truck tents typically use a series of straps that are designed to attach to your truck. Here are my 2 tips on how to use these straps:

Avoid Over-Torquing the Straps

You may feel inclined to over-pull your straps to make sure your tent is rigid. But if you pull too hard, you may end up damaging your tent. Be careful, and make sure you are mindful of this when you strap down the tent.

Watch the Paint Work on Your Truck

The ratchet or straps on the tent may chip the paintwork on the exterior of the truck. This is easy to avoid by not making the straps too tight. You can also use a towel, pad, or tarp under each strap or ratchet to make sure your paintwork remains clean.

Ventilation and Windows

Similar to any other tent, the windows and ventilation are important features to avoid condensation.

While a truck tent is designed to keep the occupants dry, if the temperature starts dropping outside, the moist and warm air inside the tent will start to condense on the roof and walls of the tent, creating annoying water droplets. Opening one of the windows will improve ventilation along with the airflow inside the tent.

To ensure protection from the weather and insects, look for a tent that comes with windows that has mesh panels and storm flaps. The more windows the tent has the more you will be able to adjust the breathability of the tent, without worrying about wide-open gaps.

If ventilation is very important to you, look for a model that features built-in air vents. The sky vents are another option, allowing you to open the vent if you enjoy stargazing.

Choosing a Tent According to the Weather

Not every truck tent is made or designed the same when it comes to the type of weather that they perform well in. Some tents offer excellent ventilation systems that are suited to hot weather, while others offer excellent insulation and ventilation to make sure it stays warm inside during colder weather.

Season

The tents that provide ample ventilation are typically 3-season tents, which means they work well during early fall, summer, and spring. If you plan to use your tent during the winter months, look for a year-round, all-season tent. You can decide what type of tent you need when you check the weather conditions of where you plan to camp in advance.

Waterproof

Waterproof capabilities are also an important feature to look for. Similar to the wind, you never know when it might rain (or when it may snow in colder weather). The fabric of the tent should include a water-repellant feature like heat-sealed seams. You should also invest in a tent with a high-quality rainfly to provide a defense against rainfall.

You may notice that the tents you are looking at feature a “hydrostatic head measurement” usually displayed in mm, or millimeters. The tents with higher numbers mean that the product is more waterproof. This measurement has to do with the depth of water that collects on the tent (along the top) before it will start to seep into the tent. Not every tent has these measurements displayed. However, it is still worthwhile to look for a model that has at least 2,000mm.

Wind Protection

Another important aspect to take into consideration includes wind protection. It doesn’t really matter what season you plan to camp in, heavy to moderate winds may still strike. You will want a tent that will hold firmly against all types of winds so that it won’t fly off the truck or collapse. The tents with a reinforced design will make sure your tent remains in place.

Additional Features

The last step when shopping for a truck bed tent is to look for any other features such as door flaps, wire ports, a built-in floor, storage pockets, a gear loft, and cab access.

These may appear to be minor features but can make a significant difference if you want to remain organized and comfortable on your next camping trip.

If you choose a floored tent, it is important to know that you won’t have any space for other gear once the tent is assembled.

Driving with Your Tent Up

If you plan to move between campsites on a campground, you can leave your truck tent up. However, take caution if there are overhanging branches, as they can snag on or tear your tent.

It is not advisable to drive on a highway when your tent is set up. This will destroy the tent, and the poles could end up scratching anything in its path. Tent pieces flying off your truck could also be hazardous to drivers behind you.

Richard

Last update on 2021-08-03 / Rating by Author / Affiliate links, Images, Descriptions & Price from Amazon Product Advertising API

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