Which truck bed tents are best?
Part of the fun of camping is roughing it. However, sleeping on the ground where there are bugs, worms and snakes might be a little too much for some individuals. Sleeping in a truck bed tent can be a game-changer for anyone hesitant about camping.
The best truck bed tent will fit your vehicle and be spacious enough so you can feel comfortable. It will also be designed to hold up against the elements, so you don’t wake up drenched. The Napier Backroadz Truck Tent is a top option with its 5-foot-high center, quick-and-easy setup and full rain fly for inclement weather.
What to know before you buy a truck bed tent
What is a truck bed tent?
A truck bed pop-up tent is a tent that’s set up in the bed of your pickup truck rather than the ground. Instead of tent stakes, a truck bed tent has straps that fasten directly to your vehicle and flexible rods that are inserted to raise the roof of the tent. This type of tent is only large enough for two people and installed with the tailgate folded down for additional space so you can easily climb in and out. If you’d like to learn more about tents, check out the BestReviews buying guide for two-person tents.
Benefits of truck bed camping
While there are a few cons to using a truck bed tent camper — you have to take it down if you want to move your vehicle, and the maximum size cannot be any larger than your truck bed — the pros outweigh those cons.
With a truck bed tent, you do not have to sleep on the ground. It also provides better protection against curious critters that roam the ground at night as well as bugs and snakes. Sleeping in a truck bed tent also means you will always be sleeping on a flat surface, meaning additional comfort. If you want to up the luxury factor, you can also add a truck bed air mattress. Because a truck bed tent is elevated, you’ll never have to worry about getting washed away by a heavy downpour while you sleep. And since you will be setting up your tent inside your vehicle, you’ll never have to hunt for a suitable spot.
What to look for in a quality truck bed tent
Truck bed tent fit
Purchasing the right truck bed tent is a little tougher than purchasing a regular tent. Take your time when shopping to make sure the model you’re considering fits your vehicle. This is often just a matter of knowing the measurements of your truck bed, but some manufacturers list compatible trucks for convenience.
Truck bed tent height
Some truck bed tents are only tall enough to let the camper crawl inside and go to sleep. However, models with enough height for standing are available. Be sure to double check height measurements to ensure your truck bed tent meets your needs.
Weatherproof truck bed tents
Perfect weather isn’t going to happen every trip. Be sure your truck bed tent has a rain fly, so you’ll stay nice and dry no matter the forecast.
Full-floor truck bed tents
Some models feature a full floor for your tent. This can keep you clean from any dirt and debris that may be in your truck bed. However, make sure to remove everything in the truck bed first.
Easy to assemble tents
Some truck bed tents can be complicated to assemble. If you are not mechanically inclined, scan the reviews to find a model that gets high marks for being easy to assemble.
How much you can expect to spend on a truck bed tent
The average truck bed tent is usually in the $100-$200 price range, though higher-end models can be more.
Truck bed tent FAQ
Do I need to purchase any additional equipment to set up my truck bed tent?
A. Most truck bed tents have everything you need included in the package. Depending on your height and the type of assembly required, you may need a two-step stool to help you reach some areas. These can also be handy if you have to attach a rain fly to your tent or climb in and out.
What is a rain fly?
A. A rain fly is an additional outer layer that can be added to your truck bed tent to make it waterproof. A full rain fly is best because it covers the entire tent but can heat up your tent because the hot air cannot easily escape. Most truck bed tents come with a full rain fly designed to fit the tent. If the model you’re considering doesn’t have this feature, you can buy a rain fly separately.
What’s the best truck bed tent to buy?
Top truck bed tent
What you need to know: This truck bed tent is great for individuals looking for a spacious camping option that can easily sleep two people.
What you’ll love: The full tent floor helps keep you clean and dry, and at a height of 58-62 inches tall, most can fully stand inside. A rain fly and storm flaps help protect campers from the elements, and the color-coded pole-and-sleeve assembly allows for a 10-minute setup.
What you should consider: This isn’t a cold-weather tent.
Top truck bed tent for the money
What you need to know: This is a low-profile, affordable truck bed tent that is designed for sleeping.
What you’ll love: This full-size tent is designed to fit most truck beds, is made out of polyester and has a water-resistant coating. It also comes with a rain fly for added protection and a heavy-duty, weather-resistant carry bag.
What you should consider: Instructions are difficult to interpret, and the assembly can be time-consuming.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The unique, floorless design of this truck bed tent allows for quick setup with a spacious interior.
What you’ll love: The weather-resistant fabric and tape-sealed seams will keep you dry in all precipitation, and the tent’s nylon buckles are designed so they won’t damage the finish on your truck.
What you should consider: This doesn’t come with a floor, which can be a con based on your needs.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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