LAST UPDATED: October 1, 2019
Best Truck Accessories: Add Some Unique Functionality to Your Truck
Take a look at the best assortment of truck accessories for every occasion
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON October 1, 2019
Trucks are one of the most efficient types of vehicles when it comes to getting people and cargo around. To make them even better performers, truck owners tend to personalize their rides with a variety of accessories. From the interior to the truck bed, these accessories add more use and value to the whole setup. Since there are so many out there, here are a few accessories we like the best.
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Benefits of Truck Accessories
- Expand the usefulness of your truck. Accessories make it easy to expand the capabilities of your truck. From small items to large pieces of equipment, there are plenty of accessories to tailor your truck to your needs.
- Protect your truck. Some accessories can increase the safety of the truck, especially during off-road use. Front grille bumpers, skid plates, lift kits, and other exterior modifications can increase ground clearance and place protection on vulnerable areas of the vehicle.
Types of Truck Accessories
Many manufacturers make accessories for trucks that are similar, if not the same, as interior accessories found in other cars. This can range from simple devices like steering knobs and extra cup holders to advanced technology like GPS navigators and Bluetooth devices.
The power and design of the common truck offer a lot of potential for exterior truck accessories. There many different types and designs meant for different uses. Many, for example, are geared for use around the truck bed. Others can fit on the roof or above the bed (like a ladder rack) as well.
With roots as far back as 1951, Smittybilt has become a well-known name in the truck accessories space. The company makes a number of truck and SUV accessories, with several models geared for professional or off-road use. One of its most notable inventions is the original Nerf Bar side step. A modern choice product is the X20 Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch.
Gator makes several useful, but expensive, truck accessories that are designed to protect the open contents you may have in your truck bed. The maker of several popular soft and hard tonneau covers, Gator has a reputation for making quality products that can stand up to the abuse of many bad-weather conditions without letting water or debris get into the bed to damage the items inside. For an affordable tonneau cover, check out the ETX Soft Roll-Up Cover.
Founded in 1999, UnderCover started as a tonneau cover manufacturer. Shortly after its first one-piece truck cover units, however, the company rolled out its unique SwingCase design. Taking a different approach to the common truck toolbox design, the SwingCase is representative of the company’s unique approach to accessory design and manufacturing.
Truck Accessory Pricing
- Under $25: Common accessories in this price range tend to be small and basic in terms of the design. In other words, you won’t find too many advanced electronics or large items. Instead, most fit inside the truck and can enhance the overall driving experience.
- $25 to $50: Larger items tend to be in this price range, but the designs also tend to be fairly basic. The good news is there’s a larger assortment of accessory options here. In fact, if you’re looking for an affordable accessory that meets a certain need, this is the range to check out first even if it’s not as budget-friendly as options costing $25 and below.
- $50 and up: Anything above the $50 mark tends to be either large (meant for use outside the truck or in the truck bed) or advanced in use. Electronics like navigation units and audio devices fit into this category. Larger exterior accessories like ladder and cargo racks can easily land in the $500 to $1,000 range.
The most important part of any truck accessory is the overall design. The design influences the function of the accessory and whether it will work with your particular truck’s make and model. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to things like design compatibility, installation or mounting, and the overall size, to make sure it will work with your ride.
- Installation: All accessories have a different installation or mounting process. Some don’t even require any installation at all. If some installation is required, however, it’s important to read the directions. The installation process can also influence the compatibility of the accessory with your truck since some are universal in design, while others are made for specific truck makes and models.
- Size: The size of the truck accessory will largely determine if it’s meant for interior or exterior use. Many truck accessories on the smaller side will work perfectly inside. Larger accessories are commonly used in the truck bed or around the exterior of the vehicle.
- Power: More advanced electronic truck accessories will require some source of power. This can come from the truck itself (via a 12-volt outlet, USB outlet, or a direct connection) or a battery. More basic accessories that don’t use electronics, however, won’t require any power supply at all.
Best Truck Accessories Reviews & Recommendations 2019
UnderCover is a unique truck accessories manufacturer that offers an equally unique solution to the traditional storage and organization problems truck beds can present. Unlike most toolbox solutions that other companies offer (which often take up more space in the main bed), the SwingCase is a small organizational box that fits right near the wheel well on each side of the bed.
This design frees up the main bulk of the truck bed while adding a little bit of extra storage and organization in an area that normally goes unused. More importantly, the case swings out toward the gate, so you can easily access the contents inside without having to crawl into the truck bed or remove a tonneau cover if you have the bed protected on the top.
The main downside of the SwingCase design is its incompatibility with other truck accessories, especially tailgate extenders. On most trucks, the SwingCase blocks the area where a traditional extender folds or rotates into when the tailgate is up. This space can also be used for some ladder racks and other truck accessories, so you may find that the SwingCase is one of the only accessories you can fit near the end of the truck bed.
The one issue most truck beds have in common is the lack of organization. While a typical bed is good for hauling large items that won’t fit inside the truck cabin, smaller things like tools and accessories tend to just slide around in the large void. Zento’s Truck Cargo Organizer net, however, offers a simple solution to this problem.
The net features three built-in storage pockets that hang above the truck bed. The net fastens down to the sides of the bed with basic tie-downs and anchor points. Within the net, you can store small items without taking up too much space on the bed’s floor.
Unfortunately, the tie-down design of the net makes it difficult to use the storage in different areas of a truck bed. Since anchor points or predrilled holes are required to tension the net, you can’t position the net anywhere along the length of the truck bed like some other storage net options out there.
Most trucks come with some basic lighting to illuminate the truck bed at night. Unfortunately, this may not be enough depending on the design, size, or placement of the individual lights. Excoup’s LED light kit, on the other hand, comes with 48 individual LED light pods you can position virtually anywhere you want around the truck bed for the best illumination at night.
The individual pods are easy to secure to the side of the truck bed, especially under the bed rails. The design casts a good amount of light in the small surrounding area and is waterproof for unprotected truck beds in bad weather. Each one comes with an extension of wire to connect to the truck’s power grid.
The wiring requirements can make installation more difficult for some DIY truck owners who may lack proper electrical skills and equipment. The truck may also need to be modified in order to get the wires routed properly and safely to the main grid, so following the included instructions is essential. Otherwise, professional installation may be more effective and safer if you don’t have the skills or tools necessary for the process.
Designed for convenience, the Fortem trunk organizer is a great addition to your trunk. It folds easily and has a detachable lid that increases trunk space. We love the heavy-duty design, which makes it long-lasting. Strong carrying handles, sturdy side walls, and three reinforced base plates add to its durability. Its straps have metal hooks that can be adjusted. The product comes with a one-year warranty, so you can be confident about your purchase.
A non-slip, waterproof bottom ensures the organizer stays in place and doesn't slide in rainy weather. It has three compartments, but you can use the three removable dividers to create six compartments, making more room. You can store things in it like groceries, emergency equipment, tools, or supplies.
The trunk organizer is very easy to put together: Simply unfold it, put in the base plates and dividers, then start using it. You’ll get a free microfiber towel when you buy it. However, it has some drawbacks. It’s not ideal for people who are sensitive to smells. It has a strong chemical smell that can infiltrate the entire vehicle. Additionally, it's not as sturdy as you’d expect and may rip easily.
Tactilian takes pride in producing stylish, high-quality products, and these American flag valve stem caps are no exception. They effectively hinder moisture, dirt, and debris from getting into tires. They’ll show off your patriotism and protect your truck’s valves. Tactilian donates a portion of the sale proceeds to wounded U.S. veterans.
The valve stem caps are ideal for trucks, bikes, cars, bicycles, ATVs, and motorcycles. They’re sold in a pack of four and built using matte black aluminum. They feature an American flag grayscale design at the top. The valve stem caps are designed to be shorter than valve stem threads to prevent corrosion of the stems. If you buy them and are not pleased with them, Tactilian will buy them back.
However, these valve stem caps may be too short to cover the entire brass thread on the valve stems. This is very noticeable on a black truck or black rims. They’re also a bit crooked and can fall off easily. When installed on valve stems, they’re not very tight and may cause tires to lose air.
Avoid overstretching every time you want to reach truck boxes, engine bays, and roof racks. This tire step makes everything easily accessible—you’ll even wax and wash your truck with ease. Built from tough steel, the unit is strong enough to hold up to 300 pounds. It fits vehicles whose tires have a tread cross width of 13 inches and a diameter of 12 inches deep. It’s ideal for trucks, cars, semi-trucks, and RVs. Its height can also be adjusted.
The tire step is designed to fold and open quickly for use. It folds flat so you can store it behind your seat, in your truck’s storage box, or in the garage. It’s easy to use and fits well on a vehicle, providing a secure surface to step on. The step has anti-slip tape strips and a metal cheese grater surface, which offers excellent grip and prevents slipping in wet weather. Its porous surface allows debris, mud, and slush to pass through easily.
You can adjust the tire step to four different positions. It has rubber bumpers to protect your tires from damage. However, it is bulky, even when folded. It also doesn’t latch shut when folded and tends to open. In addition, it’s more suitable for shorter people. Taller users may have to bend.
Have more fun driving and stand out on the road with these LED rock lights. They have high-quality LED chips that shine brightly but consume little energy. They’re easy to install, feature die-cast aluminum housings, and have a lifespan of more than 50,000 hours. You can choose from different brightness levels, color intensities, and flickering frequencies to create your own lighting scenario.
The multicolored neon lights are designed to generate 16 million colors and produce an underglow that transforms your truck. You can control them remotely via Bluetooth using your phone. Simply download the RGB app, which is compatible with iOS 7 and Android 4.3 (and newer versions). Once you install the app, you can control one to four sets of rock lights with your phone.
The lights have a rust-proof, dust-proof exterior and can be used in all weather conditions. The IP68 rating makes them resistant to water, snow, and moisture. However, there have been complaints that the app is faulty and only works on older phones. Also, there are some connectivity issues between the app and the lights. The cable for installing the lights is also short and may not cover the entire truck.
Going on a trip to the beach or camping in the great outdoors? Get this truck bag. It’s heavy-duty and waterproof and is designed to fit both mid-size and full-size truck beds. It’s 40 inches wide, 50 inches long, and 22 inches tall and can hold 26 cubic feet. All four corners have strong metal rings, so you can easily fasten it to the truck bed using bungee cords. The manufacturer ships the truck bag together with four adjustable bungee cords.
The truck bag is made from non-breathable PVC. Its seams are sealed with heat fusion to create a watertight seal, protecting your cargo. It has a large commercial-grade zipper that’s covered by a waterproof, triple-fold, PVC flap. The bag is collapsible and folds down easily to increase your truck bed storage. When you’re not using it, keep it in your garage or truck box. A tote bag is provided for extra storage.
However, you may need eight straps to secure the bag firmly in place, but the manufacturer only provides four. And during cold weather, you may have difficulty opening and closing the zipper because it gets stuck.
When you get the Husky Liners bed mat, you’ll no longer have to worry about scratching your truck’s bed. It’s tough and is designed to fit the contours of your vehicle’s floorboard, safeguarding your entire truck bed. The mat is custom-made for the Ford F-150 (2015-2019 models). It’s easy to install and remove—you’ll be done in seconds. It’s also easy to clean and maintain.
The anti-skid surface grips your cargo, preventing it from moving around. The mat is made from rubberized DuraGrip HD material and is odorless and oil-resistant. The material also reduces fading by deflecting UV rays. Air dry nibs located on the mat’s underside raise it up slightly, allowing air to pass through and dry any moisture. If you buy this truck mat and have a problem with it, you can return it and it will be replaced.
However, the mat is quite thin and may not lie flat on the truck bed. It also has ripples that can cause your cargo to slide. Additionally, it may not fit all Ford F-150 models as perfectly as it should.
MICTUNING is well-known for producing superior products, and these white truck bed lights continue with that tradition. They’re manufactured using the best LED chipsets. Their IP67 waterproof housings ensure they withstand dirt, rain, strong wind, sand, and snow. The light strips are extra long and illuminate an entire truck bed. They come with extra ties and a two-way splitter cable. The ties help keep your wires organized.
The multipurpose light strips can be installed in any application with a 12-volt power source. You can use them as RV awning lights, side door lights, step bar lights, or party decorations. They’re very easy to install: Simply peel off the adhesive and stick them on any even surface.
The light strips are built to last and will illuminate your truck for 30,000 hours. To keep you safe, they have a blade fuse and an on/off switch to control the strips. But some users have complained that the lights are not long-lasting and stop working in less than a year. Also, they might not withstand the harsh winter weather.
- The best truck accessory is one that adds value to your driving or hauling setup. Don't buy anything that doesn't make your life easier in some way.
- Choose accessories that don't require a lot (if any) truck modifications like drilling or sawing, if possible, since these modifications can decrease the value of the vehicle.
- Some interior truck accessories can actually be used on any vehicle, like rearview mirrors, GPS navigators, and seat covers.
Q. What is a truck accessory?
A. There is no one particular definition, so basically anything you can add to your truck can be considered an accessory.
Q. What's the best truck bed accessory?
A. This depends on the specific truck and its bed you have and how you intend to use the bed. In general, anything that adds organization or extra storage is a good consideration.
Q. Do I need to install a truck accessory?
A. This depends on the accessory itself, but most can be used with minimal installation. Some, however, do require basic installation or truck modifications to work.
Add some extra storage without losing your truck bed space with our top pick, the UnderCover SwingCase Truck Bed Storage Box.
Or just add some basic organization with the Zento Deals Black Mesh Three Pocket Trunk Cargo Organizer Storage Net.