Best Truck Tents: Sleep Comfortably a Few Inches off the Ground
Use your truck bed for a safe and comfortable night’s sleep with the best truck tents
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Truck tents are for people who hate to sleep on the uncomfortable ground. They give you a sense of security and make you feel safe in your truck instead of pitching a ground tent out in the open, alone and unprotected. In addition, sleeping off the ground in one of the best truck tents feels almost as comfortable as sleeping in your bed at home. If you love camping and also have a truck, consider using one of these top truck tents.
A full-size truck bed tent that can fit two people. It’s well-ventilated and is compact enough to be a permanent part of your truck.
- Enough space for two. Includes a sky-view design. Water-resistant. Includes a rain-fly.
- It has 5.6 feet of headroom. Includes four windows for increased ventilation and views.
- Easy to set up.
- Made of a fragile material. Expensive.
- Not great for windy weather.
A fully enclosed tent that will keep you dry during rainy weather and clean from a dirty truck bed.
- Features a water-resistant coating.
- Fits well.
- Plenty of room.
- Good for windy and rainy weather.
- Includes a sewn-in floor.
- Poor ventilation.
- Unclear setup instructions.
- Fragile tent pole.
A floorless truck tent that encloses the truck bed and doesn’t collect any debris from the truck floor. It also includes rain fly.
- You can set up and remove the tent without touching the bed.
- Great design.
- Includes color coded poles for an easy setup process.
- Enough space for two adults.
- Excellent ventilation.
- Doesn’t hold up well in strong winds.
- Poor quality zippers, seams, and stitching.
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Benefits of a Truck Tents
- Convenience. Having a truck tent means that you won’t have to wander around looking for the best campsite. You get to sleep in a warm and dry place that’s not bug-infested. Also, you can set up the tent before you leave for your camping trip so that you could spend more time exploring the outdoors.
- Portable. Flood conditions, bug infestation, insufficient space, and other safety issues may force you to take down a ground tent and change locations. However, if you have a truck tent, you won’t have to take down anything but simply drive your truck to a better location.
- Protect your belongings. If your camp location has plenty of wildlife then full size truck tents give you plenty of room to keep your personal property elevated to prevent scratches by small animals and pest infestation. However, a truck tent is not a guarantee against bigger animals like bears.
Napier enterprises were the first to invent tuck tents back in 1990. Roman Napieraj pioneered the invention. It’s currently one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of vehicle camping tents, and its tents are used all over North America, Europe, and Australia. The company markets two brands: Backroadz and it's signature brand, Sportz. Some of its best truck bed tents are the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent and the Sportz Truck Tent.
Loran Evans founded Rightline Gear in 2008 as an automotive aftermarket equipment manufacturing company. It specializes in a wide line of truck tents, car top carriers, cargo nets, jeep wrangler, and truck accessories. The company’s headquarters and product testing facility is located in Asheville, N.C., and its products are sold internationally via a chain of retailers. One of its best truck camper tents is the Rightline Gear Truck Tents.
For over a decade, Kodiak has been supplying the automotive industry with some of the finest and most comfortable canvas tents available. It manufactures flex-bow, cabin, screen house, swag, and truck tents. The company is based in Layton, Utah, and its tents are made from 100 percent cotton. Kodiak also includes designs for sleeping bags, tarps, and floor liners. One of its best pick-up truck tents made from cotton duck canvas is the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent.
Truck Tent Pricing
- Under $150: The truck bed tents available within this price range are typically easy to assemble and offer a fast and comfortable shelter for a maximum of two people. However, most are poorly ventilated, fragile, and aren’t as weather-resistant as high quality tents. These cheap versions are recommended for occasional campers and typically do well in warm weather.
- $150 to $300: This mid-range price level contains some decent truck tents that come with great designs but short service lives. It also includes some of the best weather-resistant tents. It’s the convenience features that sells these products. For instance, a tent with more windows, a bathtub flooring, interior storage space, and a flap on the entrance door will be more expensive than one without all the extra features.
- Over $300: Most truck tents within this price range have a tough construction that gives them unsurpassed durability. The tents either come in fully enclosed or floorless designs, have sufficient headroom, and can fit in most trucks. Most of these tents also come with a weather-resistant package.
Look into the height and width of the tent to determine comfort level. Also, check how many people it can accommodate. If you are a tall person, you will want a lot of headroom so that you won’t have to crouch and strain when entering or leaving the tent. You won’t find truck bed tents with rear access because the back of the tent backs up to the cab of your truck. If you have a partner or children, choose a tent that’s as wide as your truck bed so it can accommodate at least two people.
Ensure that the truck tent has enough mesh windows to promote air circulation. The design needs to promote the flow of cool air into the tent and hot air out. A poorly ventilated truck tent can get very stuffy and make for an uncomfortable camping experience, especially if you have a sleeping partner. A single or two season tent will have more windows to accommodate the warmer temperatures.
The tent capacity is almost never an issue when it’s just one person. The problem comes when you have a partner or children who camp with you. Even the best truck tents only offer as much space as you have in the bed of your truck. Most have enough room for two adults or a single adult and two children.
The tent should be compatible with the size and design of your truck. There are universal fits that can fit most pickup trucks, but there are specific models designed for your vehicle’s make. Measure your truck bed, and choose a tent that comes with similar dimensions.You’ll find truck tents that fit truck beds as small as 5.5 feet and as large as 8 feet.
- Auxiliary Features: Extra tent features like cab access panels, internal storage pockets, exterior vestibules, extra windows, a detachable rain-fly, a door flap, and built-in floors will enhance your camping experience.
- Seasonality: If a tent is described as a three-season tent, it will cover you through summer, spring, and fall. A two-season tent is only good for summer and spring, and a one-season tent will only cover summer.
- Weatherproof: For a tent to be weatherproof and have the ability to hold up against heavy rainfall, you need high quality materials that are water resistant. Most tents include a rainfly, which is a secondary, water-resistant covering for the tent. It’s like an umbrella for your tent. Cotton duck canvas is a durable and water resistant fabric that’s used for making high quality tents. Nylon and polyester are popular too. You can’t go wrong with synthetics, natural 100 cotton, Kodiak canvas, or cotton duck canvas.
Best Truck Tent Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Clean the tent with mild soap and lukewarm water. Never put the tent in a washing machine, use detergents, or put the tent fabric in the dryer as the water protective coating may dissolve or thin out.
- Use a dry cloth to wipe the poles to prevent corrosion, and dip the zippers in water for a quick wash without soap to remove any debris that may be stuck on the teeth.
- Consider using a tent seam sealer to reinforce the seams and prevent water from penetrating the tent. Apply several thin coats of sealer on the floor and fly seams, and leave it to dry for about an hour.
- Ensure that you park your truck in a shaded region to prevent ultraviolet rays from weakening and discoloring the tent fabric. In case there are no trees around the campsite, you could use the rainfly to block out the sun.
- Try to keep your tent clean at all times. Sweep the truck floor before setting up the tent and always sweep away small stones from the tent as they could damage the flooring. Also, avoid wearing shoes inside the tent.
Q: How much weight can truck tents hold?
A: Weight isn't necessarily an issue with truck tents because it uses your truck bed as the base that supports the weight. It's the width of the tent of the truck bed that will determine how many people it can house.
Q: Is it safe to drive with the truck tent up?
A: It depends on the design of the truck tent and the area you will be driving through. A protruding tent may get caught in tree branches, and generally, even the best truck tents aren't designed to withstand the strong winds at highway speeds. However, you can drive around the campsite with the tent on the truck bed if you are circling through a short distance looking for a nice parking spot.
Q: How do I get rid of the musty smell in my truck tent?
A: If you notice a musty smell in your tent then it’s probably covered with mold or mildew. You can wash the tent in a solution of hot water and half a cup of Lysol to get rid of the mold and the stench. Alternatively, you can use a soft brush to get rid of the mold and leave the tent to air dry in the sun for several hours.
Our top pick for the best truck tent is the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent. It’s a full-size truck tent that allows you to sleep on a clean floor surface, has an easy set up, and its large windows provide enough ventilation for a good night’s sleep and make it an ideal summer season tent
However, if you are looking for an affordable and compact truck tent, then consider the Guide Gear Compact Truck Tent.