If you are in the market for a truck tent but you don’t have enough time to compare models, read reviews and other buying advice, we have you covered. We have done this research for you by looking at user feedback, expert reviews and product popularity to get you the best truck tent. We have concluded that the Napier Backroadz 13890 is the product you should consider if you want nothing but the best. Comfortable and spacious enough for two people, this model presents the perfect opportunity for a romantic getaway with your loved one. With 5.5 feet of headroom, you will find it really easy to move around inside without any restrictions. The truck tent comes with its own floor made of canvas, so you do not have to waste time trying to scrap clean the bed of your truck before setting off for your trip. Designed with mesh panels that ensure proper air circulation inside, this model is ideal for warmer nights, as it provides extra comfort. If can’t get your hands on the Napier Backroadz 13890, you should definitely check out the Kodiak Canvas 7206 as it the best alternative.
Tent models we recommend
If you love camping outdoors, but aren’t thrilled with the idea of sleeping on the hard ground a truck tent might be just what you need.
What is a truck tent and why should you get one?
Invented by the founder of Napier Enterprises, Roman Napieraj in 1990, truck tents let you enjoy camping outdoors without having to sleep unprotected on the uncomfortable ground. Similar to models designed for use with SUVs and roofs, a truck tent lets you turn the bed of your pickup truck into a comfortable and protected sleeping space.
The use of truck tents has been growing in popularity in recent years, especially with families. These protective coverings let you experience all of the fun of sleeping outdoors, without having to lie on the hard, bug infested ground. Truck tents are also better equipped to keep you warm and dry when it is raining outside. These tents are generally incredibly easy to set up so you can spend more time exploring your surroundings, and since it is in the back of your truck you don’t need to wander around looking for a large campsite.
Most truck tents are designed to comfortably sleep two to three people, but the size will also depend on the make and model of your truck. The tent is designed to attach to the bed of the truck, and certain models are made for specific vehicles. There are a few features that your truck should have in order for you to attach the tent which include drop or lift gates. Tents can be used with short or long bed trucks, and vehicles that are designed to hold a camper top.
The tent will hook or strap onto to several points on the truck, and once you are familiar with the setup process it generally only takes a couple of minutes. For added comfort many campers use a mattress, and there are some that are specifically designed for sleeping in truck beds. Some tents even come with a zippered window that gives you convenient access to your truck’s rear window.
While people have been camping in the beds of their trucks for years, tents designed specifically for this are relatively new. This means that there are a limited number of manufacturers to choose from, but this can make it easier for you to find the best truck tent. The two most popular manufacturers are Napier and The Adventure Truck Tent, but Rightline Gear is quickly making a name for itself. The other manufacturer of truck tents is Kodiak, which is becoming famous for its roomy design.
Installing a truck tent
Before you get ready to install a truck tent it is important to make sure that it will fit your vehicle. Some models are designed specifically for SUVs and others for pickups, and not every tent can be used with all vehicles. You also want to check if you need to make any modifications to the truck, and if some are needed whether it is cost efficient. The truck tent reviews also recommend checking if any additional tools are needed for installation, and if they are included with your purchase. Taking a few minutes to answer these questions can save you time, money and frustration when you are installing your truck tent.
One of the most common types of tents is designed to be installed in the bed of the truck, and it is also one of the easiest to setup. Once you have found a level parking spot and set the parking brake, it is time to setup the tent. Since this is a smaller tent it can be installed by one person but it never hurts to have a second pair of hands, especially if this is your first time. Once you have lowered the tailgate and removed all of the pieces from the box, you are ready to start installing the tent.
When the tent is laying flat on the ground you want the front door to be at the tailgate, and the other end facing the back of the cab. This ensures that you will be able to get inside the truck tent once it is installed.
A truck bed tent generally has three straps that attach to the side, along with 3 additional ones designed for the tailgate. If the truck also comes with a box, one of these straps can be attached to it. The male clips simply connect to the corresponding female ones to ensure the tent is securely attached.
The next step is to assemble the poles and insert each one into the matching colored sleeves. Individual manufacturers can use different colors, but this does make it extremely easy to see where each supporting pole goes. Once all of the poles are in the correct sleeves it is time to slide each one into the matching pockets. If the pole becomes stuck in the sleeve, don’t force it through the material simply guide it slowly through.
Once the truck tent is assembled it is time to attach the clips to the poles. You also want to ensure that the straps are not too loose or tight and make any necessary adjustments.
Some of the best truck tents come with a gear loft, rain fly, and even an awning. Gear lofts can be easily mounted with the included hooks that attach to a loop on the tent’s ceiling, while the rain fly simply connects via straps. Awnings are slightly more difficult, and most come with concise instructions that will walk you through the simple steps. In most cases the awning comes with poles that are mounted into the tailgate and then attached to the material. Straps secure the awning in place, and can be adjusted as needed.
While these directions are for truck tents that fit in the bed, the instructions are basically the same for the other models. If you do choose a roof top tent it is important that your truck has a rack or rails that are capable of supporting at least 400 pounds.
Features to consider when looking for a new truck tent in 2018
Before you buy a truck tent there are a few factors to consider, and the following tips can help you make a smart purchasing decision.
Type and Size
There are several types of tents to choose from, and the right one for you will depend on your vehicle. Hatchback style tents are ideal for smaller SUVs or any other vehicle with extra cargo space. These tents let you turn the cargo area into a protected and relatively comfortable sleeping space. There are also tents designed specifically for large SUVs and minivans, along with ones made just for pickups. Both types of tents attach to the vehicles, but models designed for trucks are generally considered the easiest to install.
There are also universal camping tents which can be used with almost any vehicle. These tents let you turn your truck, car or SUV into a comfortable campsite, and are a great choice for frequent travelers. It should be noted that even though universal tents are convenient and easy to assemble, the slightly higher price might not fit all budgets. Whichever tent you choose it is important to first make sure that it is compatible with your vehicle.
The size of the tent will be limited by your vehicle, but you do want to choose one that is large enough for you to sleep comfortably. Most SUV and truck tents can comfortably accommodate 2 to 3 people, but there are some higher priced models that can sleep more. A good rule to remember is that you should always choose a tent that can sleep one more than needed.
Truck tent reviews also recommend deciding on when you will most often be camping. Tents classified as 3 season are the most common, and these lightweight models are ideal for camping in the spring, summer and early fall. Most of these tents come with ventilation panels which provide you with plenty of cooling air flow, while also keeping out insects. The addition of a rain fly can also keep you dry during spring and summer rains.
Tents that are designed for 3-4 seasons are usually slightly heavier, and come with extra poles for added support and stability. These truck tents also have fewer panels for ventilation, but this does help to keep warm air in during colder weather. 3-4 season tents can withstand some snow, but are not recommended for use during the winter.
4 season tents are not as common as other models, and can also be priced higher. These truck tents are designed to be durable and sturdy, and capable of withstanding hard winds and heavy snows. Featuring a domed designed that helps prevent snow from accumulating on the roof, these truck tents can keep you warm and comfortable when it is freezing outside. It should be noted that since there are only a couple of panels for ventilation and the rain fly is designed to be closer to the ground, these tents can be too “stuffy” for some campers in the summertime.
There are several features that should be considered to ensure that you are getting the best pickup truck tent. While your budget and the size of your vehicle will help you determine which features are included, there are some that you will want to consider.
Height and Length
If you are taller in height or simply like to stretch all the way out when you are sleeping, you might want to consider a truck tent with a floor that measures 90 inches. Domed tents often offer higher ceilings, but the curved walls can limit floor space. Cabin style tents are ideal for families, and often include awnings or vestibules. While the ceilings might not be as high, these tents do offer plenty of floor space.
The poles provide the support and stability you need to erect the tent, and keep it standing. Most tent poles are constructed from lightweight and durable aluminum, but there are some made from fiberglass. If you plan on camping in the truck during windy weather you probably want the added stability of aluminum poles. Color coded poles and sleeves make it easy to quickly setup up the tent, along with clips that provide additional security. The number of poles will also vary according to the size of the truck tent.
Rain Flies and Awnings
Almost all truck and SUV tents come with one or two rain flies, which are designed to keep water out of the tent. Ones designed for the roof will still allow plenty of light to come through, while still providing plenty of protection from the rain. Rain flies that offer full coverage are great for camping in heavy rainstorms, and can keep you warm and dry.
Some rain flies are also part of an awning that has the advantage of providing you with extra storage space. It is the perfect place for storing gear, along with wet and muddy clothes and boots. Some tents will also let you add an awning at a later date, but it should be noted that this is not true for all models.
One of the most important features to consider, especially if you are camping in hot weather is ventilation. Even the best truck top tents generally have one or two mesh panels, but if you plan on camping during warmer weather you will probably want to choose one that has three or more. The mesh panels allow for cooling air to flow and circulate around the tent. This will help you stay comfortably cool, even when you are sleeping in the heat.
Other features to consider include additional loops inside the tent for hanging battery powered lanterns or flashlights. If you are camping in your vehicle during windy weather, you might want to choose a tent that will allow you to attach guy lines for added security.
Our top choices
The following brief reviews are designed to help you narrow down your choices, along with letting you see which models other consumers are using.
If you need a truck tent for Tacoma or similar models, this might be exactly what you are looking for. Measuring 5.5 feet high you have plenty of headroom, along with a spacious interior that is large enough to comfortably sleep two people. The lightweight material is resistant to rips and tears, and also makes the tent incredibly easy to setup. Simply assemble it in the back of your open truck bed for a comfortable camping experience.
You will appreciate the included floor which means you don’t have to spend time scrubbing the bed of your truck before laying your sleeping bags down. The tent will also accommodate an inflatable mattress for added comfort. The floor is attached with sturdy seams that prevent dirt and water from leaking in. For added protection from morning dew and showers, the tent also comes with a rain fly that provides full coverage.
With your tailgate flat down you can take advantage of the small awning which provides you with additional storage space. The mesh panel on the door allows for plenty of cooling air on hot nights, and there is also a storm flap that can be securely closed to prevent rain from getting in. The solid flap can also be closed for privacy, which is always a welcome bonus when you are camping. The four included poles are constructed from durable fiberglass, and color coded to make setup a breeze. It should be noted that this truck tent is not designed for use in extremely rough weather or for camping in the winter.
The item features four large windows and one door for comfortable camping without leaving your car.
The full rain-fly will keep you protected from rain and wind, while still providing the best ventilation in order for you to smell the fresh air.
The 5 feet 5 inches interior is roomy enough to accommodate two adults.
The reinforced polyethylene floor is rough enough to provide you a comfortable night sleep and support your weight evenly. Thanks to this truck tent you won’t have to sleep on the ground ever again.
The item is only suitable for three out of four seasons, meaning we don’t suggest you take this on your North Pole excursion. If you plan on camping in winter, make sure to purchase a suitable tent with thicker fabric and insulated floors, as well as enough warm clothes, and an extra blanket.
According to some of the customers, the poles are not very reliable in the long term.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($177.74)
One of the main advantages of this truck tent is its universal design. This allows you to use it with different vehicle makes and models. It also features a “tunnel” design which helps to maximize the interior space, and you will appreciate the 5 foot tall ceiling that makes it easier to move around. You can also extend the length of the tent, simply by laying your tailgate down flat.
This truck tent is constructed from a durable cotton canvas material. You have the advantage of the Hydra Shield which ensures the tent is 100 percent waterproof, while still being breathable. This will keep you dry during rainstorms without restricting air flow. For added ventilation the tent comes with five mesh windows that are designed to provide plenty of cooling air. While the mesh panels allow air and light in, it also makes it difficult for others to see in so you can still enjoy some privacy when you are sleeping.
Rated for use during all four seasons, this truck tent might be the only one that you will need. Manufactured by Kodiak, it comes with several convenient features that the company is known for. An small window in the back of the tent makes it easy for you to access the interior of your cab, and you will appreciate the covered entryway which also provides you with additional storage space. The large door makes it easy to enter the tent and can be tightly closed against the elements. There are also two convenient pockets for storing smaller items you might want to keep close by. With an included case for storing the tent when it is not in use, you can easily keep it behind a seat or in a truck box until you are ready to set it up.
Depending on your preferences, as well as on your height and the number of persons you plan on taking with you on camping, you can choose between two different bed size options – 5,5 feet up to 6.5 feet or the 8 feet options.
According to most of the customers, the tent is easy to set up and comes with high-quality poles that will resist against harsh weather conditions.
It fits a wide variety of trucks.
According to some of the customers who purchased the tent, the stitching is not very reliable or durable, meaning you can end up with the tent falling apart after just a couple of uses. You have to be extremely careful when setting up this item.
In addition, we suggest carefully measuring your car’s trunk and compare it with the dimensions of this item to make sure the tent will fit your car model.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($349.99)
This truck tent will comfortably sleep two people and is designed to fit most full size beds, though it is always recommended that you check the measurements before making a hasty purchase. Everything you need to turn almost any parking spot into a comfortable campsite is included with this truck tent from Rightline Gear.
The 6.5 foot tent is designed for quick and easy assembly, and can be setup in only a couple of minutes. The poles and corresponding pockets are color coded for convenience, and since the tent does not include a floor you don’t have to spend time clearing out the bed of your truck. You only need to move enough stuff to fit your mattress or sleeping bags, which is always an advantage when you are tired and simply want to sleep. To ensure that you stay dry during rainstorms and to prevent morning moisture from leaking in the durable fabric is resistant to water, and comes with seams that are taped and sealed.
This three season tent features a mesh panel in the ceiling which promotes cooling air flow, while also providing you with a view of the sky. With the tailgate down you have the advantage of the closed entryway, which makes a great place to store wet and muddy gear out of the way. A rain fly keeps you dry during spring and summer storms, and you will appreciate the “glow in the dark” zippers when you are trying to close the door in the dark. It also comes with a convenient hook for a battery powered lantern, along with two extra pockets for storing small items.
The item is sold in a variety of bed sizes to make sure it perfectly fits in the back of your truck or pick-up vehicle.
The floorless design allows for easy setup without having to remove the gear from the bed.
Thanks to the protective heavy-duty straps, as well as to the nylon buckles featured, there won’t be any scratches or damages on your truck, even after multiple uses and setups.
All poles and pole pockets are color coded to help you quickly set up the tent and enjoy more time in nature.
The product is sizeable enough to comfortably accommodate two grown-ups.
Although the vast majority of the clients were pleased with this tent, some of them claimed the zippers are of inferior quality, and they will easily block, causing discomfort to people trapped inside the tent.
The tent is made from a thinner fabric, which doesn’t make it suitable for lower temperatures.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($179.95)
Like all truck tents manufactured by Kodiak this one is also constructed from a durable, waterproof material. The cotton canvas is treated with Hydra Shield, which prevents rain and moisture from leaking in. The durable material is also breathable so you can stay cool and dry even during summer thunderstorms. Designed for full size truck beds, this tent also boasts plenty of headroom and interior space. The tunnel shape provides plenty of room, along with maximizing the 5 foot ceiling.
When you have the tailgate laid down you have the advantage of the included awning. This enclosed space is perfect for storing extra gear, along with wet clothes and muddy boots. The large door makes entry a breeze, and it can be tightly closed for privacy. You will appreciate having 5 mesh windows, especially on hot, muggy nights. The windows ensure that there is plenty of cooling air flow, while keeping annoying insects outside of the tent. As an added advantage one of the windows is also designed to give you easy access to the truck cab.
The steel tube frame is designed for durability, and to be easy to assemble. The ¾ inch tubes connect to the rails that are designed to mount easily onto the truck bed. You will appreciate the secure fit that provides plenty of support and stability in windy conditions, along with knowing the rails are designed to not scratch your paint. The tent comes with two pockets for storing your gear, along with a convenient carrying bag for easy storage. This allows you to easily keep the tent in your truck so you are always ready to go camping. Rated for use in all seasons, this tent will keep you comfortable in hot and cold weather.
The clamp-on rails make the set up extremely convenient and easy so that you can enjoy more time admiring the nature and the surroundings.
The canvas used for manufacturing this tent is made of 100% reinforced cotton with high-density to provide a natural and stable shelter during your trips. It is very breathable and extremely reliable, meaning you can use it during three out of the four annual seasons.
The Hydra-Shield fabric makes the product lightweight and fully waterproof so that you can enjoy plenty of days and nights carefree, regardless of the weather outside.
Since the canvas fabric is quite thick, it will take plenty of time to fully dry, meaning you may have problems with depositing the item inside your car if you rush back home after a stormy and rainy night. However, if you don’t mind this aspect, you should take this item into consideration next time you plan a vacation into the woods.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($349.99)
Often considered the best SUV tent in 2018, there is very little not to like about this model. You can turn your car or SUV into a comfortable campsite with plenty of room to sleep up to five adults. The 9′ X 9′ tent also has a ceiling height of 7 feet in the center, and 6 feet along the sides. With plenty of room for friends and family, you will love camping with this tent.
This is also one of the best car tents, as long as your vehicle has plenty of cargo space. It comes with a removable sleeve that easily turns the cargo space into a comfortable sleeping area, and it can also be adjusted to fit the width of your vehicle. When you are ready to sleep on the ground the sleeve can be removed, and it can be used as a traditional style tent. The fiberglass and steel poles are lightweight and durable, and are designed to be setup by one person. This ensures that you can still enjoy a comfortable night camping, even if you are by yourself.
You will appreciate its waterproof design that includes the “bathtub” style floor, which prevents moisture from leaking in or pooling around your gear. An included rain fly provides extra protection from moisture and water, and the 6′ x 6′ awning gives you plenty of shade. You will appreciate the mesh panels that ensures you have a continual air flow, along with the two skylights. Enjoy sleeping under the stars and staying cool on hot summer nights. Designed for use in the spring, summer and fall, this three season tent might be just what you need for your hatchback or SUV. It should be mentioned that this SUV tent does weight thirty pounds, which might make it to awkward for one person to easily handle.
This is a very roomy tent, allowing for 4-5 people to comfortably fit in and sleep inside it, making it more than suitable for family campings on a low budget.
You can fully transform this vehicle tent into a ground tent by simply removing the vehicle sleeves, which makes it convenient to carry around on all your trips. In fact, you can set it up as a regular family tent during the summer days and put it inside your truck’s trunk if it starts raining or doesn’t want to sleep on the ground.
Given its steel and fiberglass pole structure, the tent can be easily set up by just one person.
The doors and windows are all fully customizable, meaning you can open them and close them as you please.
The tent is not fully reliable or stable during windy or rainy days, so we suggest using it only for summer trips.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($339.99)
Traveling with a truck tent
When you are camping in the bed of your truck you can sleep safely off the ground, while still enjoying the experience of sleeping outside. Truck tents are generally designed to be easy to setup, and there are several models to choose from so you can find one that fits your vehicle. Traveling with a truck tent is also convenient, and most are easy to disassemble and fit into a protective storage bag.
Some of the advantages associated with traveling with a truck tent include being able to set your campsite in almost any parking spot. Unlike RVs which have to be parked in specific locations, a truck tent is setup in the vehicle’s bed. This means you don’t have to find a clearing or an RV friendly campground. You also have the added advantage of not having to pay costly hookup fees or any other costs associated with RV parks.
You do want to take care of the best truck bed tent you own, especially if it is always traveling with you. This will help extend its life, and ensure that you are never left without a comfortable and protected place to sleep at night. Applying an extra of sealant to the seams will give you added waterproof protection, and help the tent to last longer. Keeping a vinyl cloth or tarp in the bed of your truck will protect the bottom of the tent from rips and tears. The liner can be left down or rolled up when it is not being used, it is only important to ensure that it is free from dirt and debris before setting the tent in the bed.
If it is possible running guy lines can prevent rain flies and flaps from tearing during strong winds, and it is extremely important to remember to never store a wet tent. This will prevent mold and mildew from forming, which can easily ruin the tent. Experts also recommend not folding the tent for storage. The constant creases can weaken the fabric, and shorten the life of the tent.
Many experienced campers also recommend practicing setting up the truck tent before traveling. This will ensure that there aren’t any problems. You also want to have the instructions with you, even if you are familiar with the tent. Choose a parking spot away from overhanging branches, especially if there is a storm approaching. Other tips for successfully traveling with a truck tent include using guy lines and even stakes for added stability and support.
While there are some disadvantages to traveling with a truck tent instead of in the comfort of a RV, it is still becoming a popular and affordable way to camp without sleeping on the hard ground. You can still enjoy the experience of being outsides, without having to worry about bugs and other critters that might be crawling on the ground. Truck tents are also more cost effective, and most are designed to be setup by one person. Easy to assemble and available for use with most trucks, SUVS and hatchbacks, one of these tents might be exactly what you are looking for.
The most popular truck tent manufacturers
Buying a truck tent nowadays is a rather daunting task. It doesn’t have to be, provided you choose a product manufactured by one of the following brands. We’ve taken the time to describe why these companies are among the highly trusted ones in the industry.
Napier is one of the most popular brands that has been releasing vehicle camping tents ever since the beginning of the 1990s. The company is focused on creating products that offer enough convenience and flexibility to users and makes a big deal out of improving and upgrading the models it has already created. What’s more, Napier is well-known for offering excellent customer support and responding to the buyers’ feedbacks in a timely fashion. The values that guide Napier along its journey towards developing the perfect products are integrity, accountability, teamwork, and commitment.
Rightline Gear is a 100% American company that has been on the market for more than twenty years now. Over the years, the brand has built many critically acclaimed products, ranging from car top carriers to truck tents. What’s more, this is one of the very few manufacturers that have created a particular type of SUV tent for users who enjoy sleeping in their cars. Additionally, in 2015, Rightline Gear has developed a set of weatherproof bags destined for Jeeps. As is the case with the Napier brand we were mentioning above, Rightline Gear is committed to manufacturing products that are high-quality and durable so much so that buyers are able to remember the name of the brand for the rest of their lives.
Compared to the names we’ve showcased earlier on, Kodiak Canvas seems a rather new company on the market. The brand has been building truck tents for a little over ten years. Kodiak Canvas is yet another American company that respects its customers in that it is focused on creating reliable and comfortable products that can withstand the elements. The main advantage of purchasing a tent from this brand is that it will impress you with its sturdiness. In fact, all of the materials and components used in the construction of Kodiak Canvas tents are high-quality. Unlike other manufacturers we have researched, this one offers a broad variety of parts and accessories that are compatible with their tents.
ARB USA is another company that has built a withstanding reputation over the years. The main difference between this one and the ones we have formerly described is that the roots of this brand are in Australia, in 1975. These days, ARB has production facilities all throughout the United States, so if you choose a product manufactured by this brand you won’t have to worry about making any long-distance calls to another country just to contact customer support. Since ARB makes all sorts of 4×4 accessories, you might feel tempted to browse through the manufacturer’s broad array of covers, lights, roof racks, suspension systems, awnings, sport camping chairs, as well as roof top tents.