Camping Gear: Best Tents For Trucks — Full Buying Guide
Not everyone who loves camping is thrilled with the idea of having to pitch a tent and technically sleep on the ground. That is where a truck tent and bed come into play because they convert your vehicle into a mini motorhome. There are varieties of truck bed tents that can set you up to camp anywhere at any time.
The best thing about truck tents is the fact that they create an elevated space to sleep off of the ground. They do not feel as cold and do not require staking or guy lines. In fact, some models fit at the back of the truck and set up in a matter of minutes.
With all that said, you must be looking around for a suitable portable outdoor shelter for your truck and this review can help you out.
Best Truck Tents For Camping Comparison
The below links will bring you to Amazon:
- Guide Gear Compact Truck Tent
- Series III Sand Rooftop Tent
- DAC Full – Size Truck Tent
- Hasika Awning Camper
- Diamond Supertop for Truck Bed Cover
- Privacy Pop Bed Tent
- 3 Person Dome Tent for Camping
Truck Tent & Bed Reviews
With a better understanding of the elements that make up a great truck tent, let us go right into the reviews of the best products we rounded up for you.
A Few Key Features:
- It features a 190T polyester construction.
- The truck tent uses an easy-to-set-up four-pole design.
- Anchors to the vehicle using tension straps and shock-corded fiberglass.
- It is 1500mm water-resistant and comes with a full rainfly.
- A 72 to 74″ bed can comfortably fit inside the two-man tent.
- Its dimensions are 63 (W) by 74 (L) by 57 (H) inches.
Our Favorite Guide Gear Compact Truck Tent
The Guide Gear Compact features top-notch construction with a water-resistant coating and a sewn-in ply floor. At 10lbs, it is lightweight and uses a four-pole design that sets up in a matter of minutes. It fits comfortably in just about any full-size pickup, but the amount of space it takes up differs depending on the specific truck dimensions.
Coupled with its 1500mm waterproof coating, 190T polyester construction, and fully enclosed rainfly, you can count on the outdoor shelter to keep you dry in rainy conditions. Its anchoring using tension straps and shock-corded fiberglass poles make it stable enough.
Two storage pockets allow you to keep your items organized and within reach. It comes packaged in a weather-resistant polyester carrying bag.
Who Should Buy This Bad Boy?
Anyone with a truck looking for a truck tent will find the Guide Gear Compact a suitable option. It offers plenty of room and protection against windy and rainy weather. However, its set up may prove complicated initially, and its poles are not built to last.
Some Notable Features:
- The portable shelter sets up on the roof of your truck.
- It comes with a poly/cotton fabric construction.
- An in-built rainfly offers weather protection.
- Screened doors and windows keep insects away.
- The package includes a high-density chip foam mattress.
- A retractable ladder provides access to the rooftop tent.
The Most Suitable Rooftop Tent For Trucks
If you have a four-wheel drive with a rooftop rack, then you should consider the ARB Series II Sand Rooftop Tent. It provides an elevated sleeping area off the ground by using a rooftop placement model. A sturdy aluminum-made ladder allows access to the tent which comes with a high-density chip foam mattress.
It can set up on either side of your truck or the rear of the vehicle. An in-built rainfly combined with the outdoor shelter’s poly/cotton construction offer protection from the elements. Screened doors and windows keep pesky insects from entering the tent.
Who Should Buy This Rooftop Tent?
The Series III suits anyone with a truck that has a rooftop rack and wants a convenient outdoor shelter that they can set up at virtually any location. Its rooftop placement does not limit its use to truck beds, and it can work with most four-wheel drive vehicles.
Some Highlighted Features:
- The truck tent fits in SUVs with tailgates or full-size vehicles.
- It fits over carrier rack or airfoil.
- The tent comes with two no-see-um mesh windows.
- A fold-up door panel with 2-way zippers creates an entry/exit way.
- Its roof and walls are polyester-coated, and the shelter is fire retardant.
- The package comes with a carry bag.
Our Favorite Full-size Option
If you are searching for a full-size truck camper, then look no further than the DAC tent. It fits in SUVs with tailgates and full-size vehicles with a width greater than 58 inches. The shelter installs over an airfoil or a carrier rack, but it does not fit appropriately in cars with an externally mounted spare tire.
The outer door panel of the tent folds up to provide maximum ventilation. Its dor also zips up and ties at the corner bottoms for maximum privacy. The roof and walls are polyester-coated, and the tent is fire retardant overall.
Who Should Grab One Of These Trunk Tents?
The DAC works best for anyone with a vehicle that has a rear window which opens by being raised up and out. Also, it cannot set up in a car that has an externally mounted spare tire which may be a deal breaker for some people.
A Few Noteworthy Features
- It creates a 60 to 76 square feet shade area.
- The tent comes with a 210T ripstop polyester construction.
- It functions as a vehicle shelter, or it can be used as a gazebo.
- The height is flexibly adjustable to suit diverse needs.
Top Family Tent for Beach Camping SUV
The Hasika Awning Camper is what you need for those weekend beach camping trips. It sets up to 138 (W) by 95 (H) and 118 (highest point) inches which creates an adequately sheltered room to use as you please. The sheltered area can function as your beach sleeping space, or you can use it as a portable gazebo.
It features a 210 ripstop polyester fabric construction with air vents at the peak. Side mesh windows contribute to the overall airflow. With an adjustable height, changing the edges of the awning to ground level and used along with steel poles to transform it into a six-man beach tent.
Should You Buy The Hasika Awning Camper?
While the Hasika Camper supports multipurpose setups for different functions, it might suit weekend campers best. However, with different configurations, it can still work for truckers, hatchbacks, SUVs, sedans, and MPVs.
Some Key Features:
- It uses Bestop’s BeltRail attachment system for mounting.
- The Supertop protects cargo in truck beds.
- It easily converts to a collapsible top.
- Installs using four clamp clips.
- Quick bow releases offer fast removal.
- It comes with removable rear and side windows.
- A limited two-year warranty backs the truck bed cover.
The Best Cover Tent
Bestop’s Supertop covers a 5.5-inch truck bed and comes in a premium fabric similar to the brand’s Jeep Wrangler covers. It comes with removable rear and side windows. There are optional tinted window kits that can create more privacy. The improved hardware and frame make installation easier using Bestop’s BeltRail mounting system.
The truck cover serves the purpose of protecting cargo on the truck bed, and its convertible top can also collapse for other functions.It installs quickly and easily using four clamps with quick bow releases for equally fast removal. A limited two-year warranty backs the product’s hardware and corrosion-resistant frames.
Who Should Buy The Truck Cover?
The best thing about the Bestop truck bed cover is the ability to choose one based on your vehicle make, model, and year. It guarantees the right fit and allows for mid-size or full-size applications.
A Few Noteworthy Features:
- It comes designed for a fast set up.
- The pop bed can accommodate twin beds.
- Innovative mesh sides and zippered openings offer ventilation.
- The mesh windows feature zippered closures.
- Its dimensions are 78 by 39 by 47 inches.
- It is available in twin, twin bunk bed, twin XL, full, full bunk bed, and queen options.
- There are also five color choices available.
A Favorite Pop Bed Tent
This is the portable pop up shelter you need with you to wind down from a long day spent on the road. It sets up in a snap and accommodates your existing bed frame and mattress. The private oasis created offers seclusion and comfort at virtually any location.
The almost cocooned design cuts out the bright light of room light or the sun’s bright light allowing you to sleep better. Its doors and windows feature double-sided zippered closures for added privacy. It can fit over standard beds or the back of most trucks.
Who Should Buy The Pop Bed?
Whether on the road or at home, this pop-up bed can prove highly useful to anyone who needs a private oasis.
Our Highlighted Features:
- Its 100% polyester-made with a PU coating.
- A ground vent and three zippered windows provide superior ventilation.
- It features inverted seams and a 0.8″ higher top cover.
- The tent features a gear loft and storage pockets.
- Its dimensions are 8 (L) by 7 (W) by 50 (H) inches.
- The 3-man tent comes with a 2-year guarantee.
The Best Dome Bed
The Alpha dome tent comes designed for memorable camping adventures. It is waterproof, well-ventilated, and lightweight with a quick set up. It offers an eight by seven feet base with a 50-inch center rise which is enough room for three people. Its gear loft and storage pockets allow you to keep your items organized and within reach.
The tent features a 190T polyester taffeta fabric construction with PU coating protects against the rain and UV rays. Mesh windows keep insects and mosquitos away, and they also come with zippered closures for added privacy. A shock-corded fiberglass frame accompanied with ring & pin and clips system offers a quick set up and dismantling.
Who Should Buy The Alpha Dome?
The dome bed works with just about any truck that has enough space to accommodate it or for anyone who wants a tent they can pitch beside their vehicle.
What Makes A Great Truck Bed Tent?
The whole point of going for a truck bed tent is to be able to use your vehicle’s rear space. A great truck shelter fits well within your truck bed without the need for complicated installations or modifications. Models that come with clamp clips provide the quickest installation and dismantling.
Worth paying attention to is the fabric used to construct the truck bed because it determines if the unit can provide appropriate weather protection. With placement on the rear end or rooftop of your truck, the tent will suffer through considerable wear from UV rays and let rain into the shelter if it does not come weather-proofed.
You also want to buy a product that is built to last but not break the bank in the process.
Which Is The Best Truck Tent Camper?
Without going further, based on our research the Guide Gear Compact Truck Tent proved to stand out as the best. It perfectly does what a trunk bed should do and creates an elevated sleeping space from the ground. The truck shelter provides ample space to accommodate a 72 to 74-inch bed.
It fits well in most full-sized pickups and comes with a fully-enclosed rainfly for weather protection. Weighing 10lbs, it is also amongst the most lightweight options available.
Buyers Guide: Tips & Tricks
Before getting right into the truck tent reviews, here are some of the essential elements that should guide your decision.
Type & Size
Much like regular tents, the truck bed varieties come in selections of sizes and different styles. There are the mid-size and full-size options, truck bed covers, pop up beds, awnings, and rooftop models. It comes down to just how elevated you prefer to be from the ground as well as the amount of coverage you need.
Naturally, the number of people served by the outdoor shelter is equally essential when making your decision. The hatchback designs fit well into the cargo area of trucks while there are larger options for SUVs and minivans. The bottom line is to consider the nature of your vehicle to determine the type of truck tent that will best suit you.
Much like regular tents, truck beds come in three and four season options. The fabric used for their construction, weatherproofing aspects, and ventilation level determine their suitability for use during different seasons. Figure out the time of the year when you intend to use the truck tent most to get a season-appropriate one. The unwritten rule is that the more versatile an outdoor shelter is regarding seasonality, the more you will have to dig into your pockets.
Height and Length
The common misconception is that a truck tent would not rise that high or offer enough room to stretch out your legs. It does depend on the size of your truck and the amount of room it has for an outdoor shelter. Naturally, if you want a more spacious tent, you should consider a rooftop design. However, the selection of truck beds come with enough sleeping room, but you might have to stay content with crouching to get inside.
Your vehicle model, make, and year also factor into the decision process. Naturally, some vehicles have more room than others, and it determines the best truck bed for your specific car. The model might also affect aspects such as installation, and the wrong truck shelter might require making some modifications to your truck.
When it comes to a truck bed, the fewer the poles, the better. Most come with a four-pole design which allows the outdoor shelter to set up in a matter of minutes. However, you want to pay more attention to the anchoring elements included because these portable shelters do not require staking to stabilize them.
The construction of the poles also determines the weight of the truck tent. At the same time, you want the poles made using quality materials like aluminum to withstand strong winds.
To Wrap Things Up
When choosing a truck bed that doubles up as a sleeping area you want to buy the best possible product. Approach the truck shelter buying process the same way you would when looking a regular ground tent but pay more attention to the functionality and ease of use. It never hurts that a truck tent allows you to sleep off of the ground and virtually turn in at any location. For the purchase of a highly functional item like a truck tent and bed, take the time to make sure that you invest in a quality and lasting product.