A successful journalist and news reporter in the past, George is now focused on freelance work to be able to dedicate more time to the most important things in his life: family, friends, his dogs, and fishing.
John is an avid traveler, hiker, and RVer. Moreover, it seems like he knows everything when it comes to fishing and hunting: his father started sharing all the tips and tricks he knew when John was a kid. No wonder we trust his opinion every time a new article is being created.
Last updated: May 29, 2021
Outdoorsly is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Are you planning an overnight trip with your pickup truck? In that case, you should consider your sleeping options. If you want to maximize your comfort, you need the best truck tent out there. It is a far more comfortable alternative to regular tents and a solution that will keep you warm, dry, and off-ground.
We examined more than 20 truck tents on the market and picked our favorites. The top pick is the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent, which provides excellent weather protection all year round. You will also get a sewn-in floor and plenty of inner space for comfort. We also singled out five top-rated alternatives to help you make the right choice for your needs.
Our team spent more than 75 hours searching the web up and down for information regarding truck tents. We analyzed specialized websites and read the impressions of experienced travelers. Our team considered major features of truck tents, such as coating that secures necessary protection, and headroom to ensure maximum comfort. Additionally, it is vital to match the tent to the truck and find a product of optimal weight for easy transportation. You can check out all the products we selected in our comparison table. Make sure to read a detailed review of each tent, and browse through our buying guide to learn more about the crucial features of these products. The article aims to provide you with complete information on how to choose from the top-rated picks currently available on the market.
Napier designed a durable tent that will withstand even the harshest weather conditions. Even without a tent heater, you’ll feel cozy and warm during the cold summer-fall nights. All components are of impressive quality and will keep the inside of the tent dry even during storms. The pole could be of better quality, but you shouldn’t have issues with it as long as you are careful.
The installation process is easy, and one person can set everything up in under 15 minutes. Once you enter the tent, you will notice the fully-encapsulated design. The full-floor keeps your things clean, and the 5.6’ height gives plenty of headroom. If you are not that tall, you may even be able to stand inside the tent.
The main entry comes with a privacy screen, but the side windows lack one. Fortunately, you can resolve that with a rainfly. The ventilation is optimal, and you should feel comfortable inside the tent. Once you pack it, it won’t take a lot of room. It is also fairly light, especially when compared to some other tents for the back of a truck mentioned in our reviews.
What makes it stand out?
Easy to install and pack
Plenty of headroom
Impressive protection against rain
The fully-encapsulated design keeps your things clean
If you are looking for budget picks, this may be one of the best truck tents out there. The unit can accommodate two people, and you will get a lot of headroom. The highest point of the tent is 5.25’ and that allows children to stand up in the tent.
The instructions are a bit confusing, but assembling the instant tent is not rocket science. You should figure everything out quickly and set up the product in no more than 20 minutes. The installation will go faster subsequent times but do not hurry.
The polyester used by the manufacturer does a good job of maintaining stability and providing excellent weather protection. Rainfly will keep water away, and you even get a sewn-in floor, which is nice for people who want to get full isolation from insects. However, the tent material could be more durable, and you should watch not to rip it while setting up the product.
The tent weighs 11 pounds, and it is extremely compact-sized when packed. That means it won’t take a lot of room in your truck or luggage.
This is an incredible pickup truck tent for all those looking for a long-term investment. The durable coating features a combination of nylon taffeta and polyester. It can withstand harsh weather conditions and protect you from rain.
The sewn-in floor contributes to comfort and provides the necessary protection from elements. The interior is spacious and can fit two persons. You get more than 5.6’ of headroom, which means it won’t feel crowded at any point.
The rear access panel is a nice touch because it allows you to enter the vehicle’s interior without leaving the tent. That can be convenient if you need an item, and you forgot it when you got inside the tent.
The entrance door is large and fully-enclosed, and you also get two ceiling vents and three mesh windows. Thanks to that, the ventilation is great even when two persons are inside the tent. The manufacturer included an optional awning for shade and gear protection.
The manufacturer clearly specified the trucks that this product would fit. It is quite versatile, which makes it a wonderful truck tent for camping. However, you should look for an alternative if you have a vehicle with a spare tire mounted externally on the rear side.
The first thing you will notice is the small package this product comes in as it is a compact-sized tent. It only weighs five pounds, and the construction is almost entirely one-piece. That makes the setup process simple, and it shouldn’t take more than several minutes to install the product.
The tent offers no-see-um screens that combine visibility and ventilation. The two-way zippers are durable and easy to use. The color combination used is attractive, as well. The unit can keep big bugs away from the tent, but some people noticed that there are a couple of spots where mosquitos can find their way inside.
The outer door panels offer a specific design for those who want maximum privacy, which is a nice touch. The polyester material seems durable and long-lasting.
What makes it special?
Lightweight and comes in a small package
Easy to install
Durable two-way zippers
No-see-um screens offer visibility and ventilation
What cons did we find?
Does not fit vehicles with an external rear-mounted the spare tire
The best bed camping tents should provide plenty of room to maximize comfort, and Kodiak understands that. The manufacturer ensured that two persons could fit inside the tent without bothering each other.
The material used is very durable and strong. Thanks to that, you can use the product throughout the year. The ventilation is optimal, whether it is hot or cold outside, and this 4-season tent will keep you warm and dry.
The installation process is a bit tricky, especially if you don’t have experience with truck tents. You might want to try setting everything up at home before going on a road so that you won’t have any issues when you need a tent.
The D-shaped door is large, and it is easy to get inside. The zippers are durable, and you will find a cab access window in the rear. There is no doubt that this product will be a long-term investment, but keep in mind the price tag is a bit high. The manufacturer designed it to be a premium-quality tent, and it meets the expectations.
We know for sure that it is one of the most versatile units. You can choose among multiple sizes for compact, mid-size, and full-size trucks.
The manufacturer used PU2000mm as the preferred material. That is a fabric with impressive weather resistance. The addition of tape-sealed seams will ensure that you stay dry even if it is raining.
The installation process is simple thanks to color-coded poles that will clearly show where each part goes. Please note that you might have some gaps on the sides of the poles, which is a minor construction flaw. It means you won’t get an airtight tent, and that might not make this a great choice for cold days.
If you always dreamed of sleeping under the stars, you can watch the sky through the sky view vent. It is a nice touch that also adds light inside the tent. Another nice addition is the zipper pulls that glow in the dark so that you don’t have any issues finding them.
Why did it make our list?
Multiple sizes available
Sky view vent
Simple to install
What is not ideal about it?
No access through the rear
Air can get in through the gaps on the sides
Things to Consider
If you would like to learn more about tents for the back of a truck, you’ve come to the right place. Our guide offers insightful details about the main features of these products, as well as a section that covers frequently asked questions. The goal is helping you to find the most suitable tent for your needs. The best piece of advice we can give you is not to rush your decision. Take your time and consider your expectations because knowing what you look for is the first step to finding the right product.
How to pick the best truck tent
Truck tents, like tent cots, are a great way to sleep cozily without a need to do it on the ground. It is important that the tent you choose is a match for your truck. Apart from that, you should find a product that offers optimal weather protection so that you can use it year-round or in particular seasons. It is also vital that the tent is easy to install, even if you don’t have previous experience with these items. Warmth and comfort are other integral considerations when choosing a truck tent. Here is an overview of the main features you should keep in mind while browsing the market.
The first thing you want to ensure is that the tent fits your truck. You don’t want it to be too large or small because you might not be able to use the unit, and it won’t maximize its potential.
Most manufacturers will specify the sizes and types of trucks that fit their tent. Make sure to read the product description carefully. It may be wise to measure your truck so that you know the exact dimensions to look for.
Some compact-sized trucks will only fit short beds and small tents. But if you have a full-size truck, you can go for a large tent that can accommodate two persons and maintain maximum comfort.
Apart from the size, confirm that the truck type meets the tent. For example, some models that have a rear-mounted spare tire might be unfitting for particular tents.
Do you plan on camping year-round? True outdoor lovers are ready to go on an adventure regardless of the season. That is why they need a truck tent that provides perfect weather protection, such as the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent. These units can keep you warm and protected from severe weather conditions, but also keep you cool when it is hot outside.
Even if you camp during the summer, rain may surprise you. That is why you need a waterproof tent with impressive water resistance. Rainflies can also be helpful to keep the rain out of the tent and stay dry and warm. You should also consider sewn-in floors to keep you warm and your things clean.
The weight of the tent directly affects its portability. It is easier to move around a light item than a heavy one, and it may also be easier to install. On the other hand, a unit can be heavy because it is constructed with more durable materials, which is why you should choose wisely.
Apart from the weight, you should also consider packaging size. A tent packed in a small case won’t take a lot of room in your truck, which leaves plenty of room for other items. The DAC Full – Size Truck Tent weighs only five pounds, and it is impressively small once packed in its case.
Ease of installation
Have you ever set up a truck tent before? If the answer is no, you should look for a unit that is easy to install. Some manufacturers make your job easier by providing color-coded poles so that you know which component goes where.
The best bed tents should come with straightforward instructions. Even if the installation process is tricky, every step of the way must be clear.
It may be wise to try installing your tent while your truck is still in the garage. That way, you will get familiar with the process. That will accelerate setting everything up once you go into nature, and you can rest assured that you know how to install your tent.
Ventilation is an integral part of comfort inside the tent. You don’t want to feel cold during the winter, but you also don’t want to be hot during the summer. Additionally, you need to have enough air, especially if two persons are inside.
The two factors that affect ventilation are windows and vents. The more windows you have, the better the ventilation. You should also consider the vent position. For example, side panels can maintain optimal airflow without affecting you in any way. The Guide Gear Full Size Truck Tent is one of the units that do an impressive job in ventilating the inner space. It will make you feel comfortable inside, and ensure that there is enough air for everyone without opening the front entrance or improvising another way.
The inner space should be comfortable, but also provide the necessary warmth. Start with considering how many people will be in the tent and their height. Even the best short bed truck tents may not be suitable for large persons.
Additionally, you want to consider the headroom. The manufacturers will measure the headroom with the highest point in the tent. For example, the SportZ Truck Tent offers more than 5.6’ at the highest point. That means children and persons who are not that tall can stand inside.
You can also benefit from storage pockets that help you to keep items in a safe place. Additionally, you can easily find what you are looking for, even if it is dark. Some units have a rear access panel to go inside the truck. That way, you will get access without going outside, which can be important if it is raining.
The majority of the tents come with sewn-in floors. The advantages they provide make them the smartest option. For starters, it will lift you off the vehicle’s floor. That will automatically increase warmth.
Additionally, it will keep you clean. The truck’s floor may be dirty from driving it around, and sewn-in tent floors ensure that you and your clothes don’t get dirty. You can lay your clothes and other items on the floor, and rest assured they will remain clean.
If your tent has an integrated floor, make sure it is made of durable materials. You will be sitting or walking on that floor, which means it shouldn’t rip easily.
Two reasons make a tent’s durability important. First, it ensures that the product can withstand severe weather conditions. If it is raining or windy outside, only strong materials can hold the tent in place. That is why you should look for premium coating and pole material.
The coating will probably be polyester, although some units, such as the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent, use cotton duck canvas. The poles should be made of aluminum, steel, or any other durable material. Water-resistance will also ensure to optimize the durability of a tent.
The longevity will vary, and a tent can last anywhere from a single season to several years. You can check out the warranty to see how much the designers trust their product.
Tents for the back of a truck are not cheap because they need to protect you from weather and elements, and shelter you during the night. You can get a decent tent for around $100, but the prices can go to over $350.
If you are looking for a budget pick tent, go for the Guide Gear Full-Size Truck Tent. It provides impressive ventilation and rain protection. You get a lot of bang for the buck with this product, which is especially nice at this affordable price tag.
The average price of a truck tent is from $150 to $200, and you can get products to use year-round at that range. For example, the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent is durable, easy to install, and provides plenty of headroom.
Finally, if you don’t mind splashing your cash for the ultimate camping experience, consider premium units like the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent. The manufacturer did everything to maximize your comfort and ensure that you enjoy every moment spent inside the tent.
The biggest advantage of truck tents is that you won’t sleep on the ground. Instead of wasting time finding the perfect position, you already know where you will place the tent. Most truck tents come with sewn-in floors, which keep you off the ground and provide the necessary warmth and comfort. Additionally, most of these units are easy to install. Once you get the hang of it, you can set up a truck tent in less than 10 minutes. These products are also available in different sizes. That means you shouldn’t have a problem finding the size ideal for your truck.
The manufacturers try to help as much as possible. Some of them will even mention suitable truck models and types. Please note that you should also consider the placement of the spare tire as those mounted externally may affect tent suitability. Apart from that, you should make sure to follow the size charts. Some tents are fitting for short beds, and others allow long-size beds up to 8’. That might depend on your truck, too, which is why you should consider measuring your vehicle. Once you get the measurements, you can compare them with the dimensions of the tent. That way, you can rest assured the tent will fit the truck.
The time required to install a truck tent will depend on the product and your experience. You will spend the most time installing your tent for the first time. Once you get familiar with the process, the installation will be quicker. The manufacturer should provide clear step-by-step instructions on how to set up the tent. If the manual seems unclear, you may consider looking for videos or instructions online. While you can install most tents alone, the setting up process takes less time if you have a friend to help. A pair of helping hands can shorten the time needed for erecting the tent, which can be useful in severe weather conditions. The whole process shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
The majority of tents have impressive protection against insects and bugs. That is understandable because not a lot of things can ruin your camping experience like these creatures. The main line of defense is using mesh windows. Most manufacturers add them to their products to keep the bugs away. Look for units that have so-called no-see-um windows. Vents are also an excellent way of ensuring the insects stay away from your tent. Thanks to them, you will maintain airflow without having to open the main entrance doors or windows. That means bugs and insects won’t have an opportunity to go inside.
Ultimately, we can confirm that the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent is the top of its class. The product is easy to install, especially after you spend a bit of time practicing. It offers a fully-encapsulated design to keep you safe from harsh weather conditions and elements, and a lot of headroom so that you can feel comfortable.
You won’t go wrong with the Guide Gear Full Size Truck Tent, either. The product is lightweight and comes in a small package to make it easy for transport. It provides excellent ventilation and gives a lot of headroom.
Finally, you can also consider the SportZ Truck Tent as the best truck tent candidate out there. It is available in multiple sizes and offers a spacious interior. The sewn-in elements keep you clean, and the rear access panel allows you to get into the truck easily.
We hope that this information was helpful to you. When making the final decision, don’t forget to consider the unit that best fits your needs.