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Best Truck Tents: Sleep Comfortably off the Ground

Say goodbye to sticks and rocks in your back, bugs in your tent, and sleeping on the cold, hard ground.

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BYAndra DelMonico/ LAST UPDATED ON July 15, 2022

Anywhere can be a campsite if you try hard enough, especially if you have a truck tent. Choose a spot, park your truck, set up, and voila! You are truck camping. In all seriousness, a truck bed camping setup gives you more comfort without pushing you into glamping territory. Think of it as the sophisticated man's take on roughing it. It is like using the best truck GPS instead of a paper map or a Bluetooth speaker instead of a crank radio. So, isn't it time you elevate your camping experience and broaden your adventure horizons by converting to a truck bed tent? These truck tents are worth the investment to turn your pickup into the ultimate adventure vehicle.

Best Overall

Rightline Full Size Truck Tent

Summary
Enjoy camping in this large canopy with strategically placed mesh panels.
Pros
  • Single wall design 
  • Fully sealed seams
Cons
  • No floor
  • Vent design could be better
Best Budget

ProZ Premium Truck Tent

Summary
This budget-friendly tent has plenty of headroom and a color-coded setup system.
Pros
  • Fully sealed floor
  • Large mesh windows
Cons
  • Long setup process
  • Fiberglass poles
Honorable Mention

Ford Genuine OEM Sportz Camping Tent

Summary
Have a truck tent that perfectly fits into the bed of your Ford short bed truck.
Pros
  • Sewn-in floor
  • 4x4 shade awning over the tailgate
Cons
  • Limited truck compatibility
Best Truck Tents: Sleep Comfortably off the Ground

Summary List 

Best Sustainable: Thule Basin Wedge Tent

Best Waterproof: Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Our Methodology

When gathering your car camping essentials, the tent is one of the most important pieces of equipment. Unfortunately, you can't throw your ground tent in the truck bed and hope for the best. The team at The Drive is dedicated to helping you find the best tent and truck camping accessories. I started with well-known brands with an established reputation in the camping world. I then looked for tents that would work for various truck beds and in different camping conditions. That way, the final list would be inclusive with a solution for everyone. For example, an open-floor tunnel tent could be best for one person, while a compact hardshell tent may be ideal for someone else. When it came to features, I considered overall design, mesh panel placement, internal storage, awnings, and setup difficulty.     

Best Truck Tent Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Truck Bed Compatibility: Six-foot bed
  • Capacity: Two-person
  • Season: Three-season

Pros

  • Single wall design
  • Fully sealed seams
  • Gear loft
  • Two doors

Cons

  • No floor
  • Vent design could be better

This simple to set up tent gives you plenty of internal space. The setup is simple and fast, enabling a single person to get the tent up in about five minutes. To create airflow, there is an oversized mesh door on the tent front and two panels on the backside. The panels are placed to catch the air that is directed around the truck cab, funneling it into the tent. Inside there are storage pouches and a gear loft to help you stay organized. The fully sealed seams and single-piece design that extends over the tailgate and bed walls prevent leaks. There is no floor for this tent, so you'll need to clean your truck bed if you want a clean sleeping experience. There could be more mesh panels throughout the tent. I also wish there were a larger awning to protect the huge mesh door.

Specs

  • Truck Bed Compatibility: Short and standard beds
  • Capacity: Two-person
  • Season: Three-season

Pros

  • Fully sealed floor
  • Five feet, six inches of headroom
  • Large mesh windows
  • Color-coded poles

Cons

  • Long setup process
  • Fiberglass poles

This affordable tent does not disappoint with its fully sealed floor and five feet, six inches of headroom. What I like about this tent is that it is integrated into the truck bed, so you don't want to worry about the truck bed filling up with water when it rains. It also has nice shaping to extend the tent out over the tailgate, giving you more space. The oversized mesh panels will provide you with plenty of air flow when you do not use the rainfly. The setup process for this short bed tent could be better as it takes longer than other tents on this list. It also uses fiberglass poles, which aren't recyclable. While it has gear pockets, they are a disappointment. They are so small that all you will fit in them is a cell phone.

Specs

  • Truck Bed Compatibility: 5.5-foot bed
  • Capacity: Two-person
  • Season: Three-season

Pros

  • Sewn-in floor
  • Five feet, six inches of headroom
  • Compact design
  • 4x4 shade awning over the tailgate

Cons

  • Limited truck compatibility

If everything matching and seamless compatibility are important to you, you will want to consider buying an OEM tent. This one from Ford is literally made to fit your short bed truck like a glove. The tent is essentially a ground tent with dimensions to fit in your truck. There is a sewn-in floor, an impressive ceiling height of five feet, six inches, and a large shade awning over the tailgate. This gives you extra coverage for your campsite outside of the tent. On the backside, there's a small window for cab access. My only problem with this tent is that it has limited compatibility like all OEM equipment. For this tent to work, you need to drive a Ford truck with a 5.5-foot bed. In addition, that tall height and dome shape with low mesh panels make it vulnerable to strong winds.

Specs

  • Truck Bed Compatibility: short, mid-size, and full
  • Capacity: Two-person
  • Season: Three-season

Pros

  • Three-inch sleeping pad
  • No-see-em mesh
  • Burly aluminum hard shell
  • Waterproof cotton polyester blend

Cons

  • Limited internal space
  • Expensive

If you're looking for a sustainable tent, look no further than this hardshell option from Thule. The company has committed to eco-friendly sourcing and manufacturing practices. What is nice about this tent is that it follows these sustainability efforts. The tent has an aluminum hardshell, giving it a slimline and streamlined shape when packed, which helps reduce wind resistance and retain fuel economy. When open, you will appreciate the no-see-um mesh that stops bugs while allowing airflow. In addition, the aluminum shell is lighter than steel and eventually recyclable. Thankfully, you do not have to sacrifice comfort to care about the environment. It has storage pockets, a gear loft to stay organized, and a three-inch sleeping pad. Unfortunately, you will pay for the sustainability, as this tent is expensive. The hardshell design also limits the space inside of the tent, making it one of the most cramped on this list. The internal height is only 37 inches, which is just over three feet.

Specs

  • Truck Bed Compatibility: Truck beds ranging from five feet, six inches to six feet, six inches long
  • Capacity: Two-person
  • Season: Four-season

Pros

  • Hydra-Shield™ treatments
  • Sturdy 0.75-inch steel tubing frame
  • Five-foot ceiling height
  • Five windows throughout

Cons

  • No bed liner
  • Small C-clamps

The durable canvas construction of this tent gives it an old-school cool look but is outfitted with modern technology. I love the front and back awnings that protect the rear door and front window. That front window lines up perfectly with your truck window, giving you cab access. Unlike traditional canvas tents, this one has a Hydra-Shield treatment, making it completely waterproof. There are an impressive five windows throughout the tent, giving you plenty of air flow, no matter the wind direction. Another standout feature of this tent is the tunnel shape, giving you maximum height throughout the length of the tent — not just the center. One problem with this canvas truck tent is that it uses C-clamps for installation in the truck bed. This would not necessarily be an issue, except the C-clamps are small. This can make them too small for your truck bed rails. This means you'll have to buy bigger clamps. It also doesn't have a floor liner, leaving the truck bed exposed inside the tent.

Specs

  • Truck Bed Compatibility: Short, mid-size, and full
  • Capacity: Four-person
  • Season: Four-season

Pros

  • Marine-grade stainless steel hardware
  • Double insulated one-piece diamond plate base
  • 350-pound weight ladder weight capacity
  • Three-inch hypoallergenic memory foam mattress

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Low headroom

The construction and material of this truck are truly impressive. If you're a hardcore camper or plan to camp in remote places, this tent won't disappoint you. The hardware is marine-grade stainless steel, making it corrosion and rust-resistant. The double insulated diamond plate base gives the tent strength and stability. The canopy and rainfly are made from 600D heavy-duty cotton ripstop canvas and 420D heavy-duty oxford waterproof fabric. This tent is like a home away from home, with large adjustable awnings, multi-compartment gear pouches, large storage lofts, and an included removable LED light strip. That diamond plate base would be uncomfortable to lay on, so Overland included a three-inch hypoallergenic memory foam mattress. It even comes with a washable cotton cover to make caring for your tent easier. What I don't like about this tent is the lack of headroom. It can feel cramped when you're inside. In addition, this tent is really heavy. This will have a seriously negative impact on your fuel economy.

Specs

  • Truck Bed Compatibility: Five-foot bed
  • Capacity: Two-person
  • Season: Three-season

Pros

  • Large mesh windows
  • Gear loft, gear pocket, and lantern holder
  • Peak height of 62 inches
  • Full tent floor

Cons

  • Lacks durability
  • Would be better with an awning

Enjoy warm weather camping with this short bed truck tent. What's nice about this tent is the generous headroom, making it easier to move around. You and another person can comfortably sleep in this two-person tent. This tent features a full tent floor, giving it a homey feel and protecting you from a dirty truck bed while keeping you dry. The oversized door at the tailgate makes it easier to get in and out. Once in the tent, you'll appreciate the small details, like the storage pockets, gear loft, and lantern holder. One complaint I have about this tent is that it isn't as durable as some of the other tents on this list. As a result, it's better suited for someone who is an occasional camper. It would also be nicer if it had awnings to give you better coverage over the mesh panels.

Best Eco Pick, Most Sustainable

If you're going to spend time out in nature, the equipment you're using should be environmentally friendly. That way, you make as little of a negative impact as possible on the nature you are enjoying. While there have been some impressive advancements, camping tents seem to have lagged behind. There are some truck tent manufacturers that have made an effort, though. Thule's sustainability efforts are worthy of recognition, with improved manufacturing processes, longer-lasting products, and lower impact during customer use. Napier has tried to make an effort, but unfortunately, it's more focused on education than actually improving its products. When looking for a sustainable or eco-friendly tent, opt for aluminum poles over fiberglass. The canopy and rainfly fabric should be cotton or natural fabric without chemical treatment. The construction should be durable, helping the tent to last as long as possible and reduce replacement needs.  

Our Verdict

My top pick for the best truck tent is the Rightline Full Size Truck Tent with its single wall design and fully sealed seams. There are enough vents to give you plenty of breathability. Inside, you'll find gear pockets and hooks for hanging items. 

For a more affordable option, the ProZ Premium Truck Tent features simplicity that doesn't sacrifice quality. It has a fully seamed floor and plenty of headroom. 

Consider Secondhand

When we start shopping for tools and products, we never overlook the secondhand market. In fact, it’s usually the first place I look. Whether you’re scrolling through Amazon’s Renewed section, eBay for car parts or tools, or flipping through the pages of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you have hundreds of thousands of used tools, parts, and gear ready to be shipped to your doorstep. Refurbished to like-new status, they’ll be willing to give you many more years of faithful service all while saving you money. 

If those options don’t have what you need, your local salvage yard is great for car parts, while swap meets are a great resource you should tap. Just Google either and head on down.  

Secondhand Tips

To make your secondhand search easier, here are two tips to finding the best deals and making sure your new-to-you stuff wasn’t destroyed by the previous owner. 

  • Consider the level of use and maintenance care the previous owner gave the tent. 
  • Confirm that the manufacturer still produces the tent so that you can order replacement parts for anything that is worn out. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Truck Tent

Tent Design 

The design needs to match your intended camping style. For example, some truck bed tents don't have a floor, so your truck bed needs to be clean, or getting in the tent will be gross. Your tent should also have cab access. This allows you to access the cab through the rear window without getting out of the tent. Now you can access more storage space and charge your electronics. Awnings are nice to have because they provide you with better rain protection so you can open windows and not give up ventilation in inclement weather. Look for zippers to secure the door and mesh coverings to prevent bugs, rain, and dirt from getting in. Finally, having storage pockets and hanging hooks inside the tent make it easier to keep your tent clean and organized. 

Climate

Just like any other type of camping, your tent needs to work with the climate you're camping in. You're already at a disadvantage because you are lying in the truck bed with walls on three sides of you. This means there needs to be plenty of mesh panels in the upper half to give you cross ventilation. Having an adaptive rainfly is also nice. Some have windows that you can open and awnings for extra coverage. A thicker rainfly is nice when camping in cold climates because it will provide a layer of insulation to keep heat in. 

Truck Compatibility 

Measure your truck bed and know its exact dimensions. For example, a five-foot bed may not be exactly 60 inches in length. Then beds come in a wide range of widths, depending on the manufacturer and model. The camping gear for trucks that you buy needs to fit both the width and length, or you will end up with a tent that doesn't fit quite right. In addition to size, look at the attachment method. Some tents use a rail system while others use straps. The attachment system needs to work with your truck bed design. 

Truck Tent Pricing 

You can buy a basic truck tent for $500 or less. These tents resemble a standard ground tent with a fabric canopy and rainfly that are supported by poles. More affordable options are made from treated nylon or polyester. More expensive options are made from sturdy cotton or duck fabric. Another option is a rooftop-style tent. These tend to hover above the truck bed and are supported by a metal frame with a ladder leading up to the tent. These tents typically start at over $1,000 and can easily be a couple thousand. There are more parts and materials to these tents. Because the supportive frame needs to be strong enough to hold a couple of hundred pounds, they tend to be more expensive. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Are truck bed tents easy to set up? How long does it usually take?

A: Most modern truck bed tents come with detailed directions and color-coded poles, making for a simple setup process. Depending on the type of tent and your experience level, tent setup can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes.

Q: How can I make my truck bed tent more comfortable?

A: To make your tent more comfortable, start by investing in a high-quality air mattress or foam sleeping pad. This gives you more cushion and support while sleeping. Next, purchase a sleeping bag with the right amount of insulation to keep you warm or cool. Other items to consider are a portable inverter, lighting, heater, and shower.

Q: Can a truck bed tent be used on the ground?

A: Technically, you can set up some truck bed tents on the ground. However, they don't have a way of securing the tent to the ground, which makes them vulnerable to wind. In addition, some truck bed tents don't have a floor, so they would be open to the ground when inside.

Q: How do you measure a truck bed tent?

A: Most tents have broad compatibility, so all you need to know is the truck bed length. Your vehicle information should be able to tell you this. If you want a precise fit, measure from the edge of the bed at the tailgate towards the cab. Measure the floor of the bed, not at the top near the rails. Then measure the width. Account for any irregularities, such as wheel wells or storage boxes.

Q: Where can I recycle my truck tent?

A: You can donate usable tents to a charity. If the tent is no longer usable, recycle aluminum poles. Repurpose the tent material by turning it into stuff sacks or patches for your next tent. Some services specialize in eco-friendly recycling, such as LoadUp and TerraCycle.

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