Many people love camping and many people have trucks as well. If that’s you then it makes a lot of sense to find the best truck tent so you can combine the two for a quick and easy campsite and take the camping experience to wherever your truck goes.

Finding the best truck tent bed though means taking a lot of things into consideration with the main one being the size, as you have to get a tent which matches your vehicle. You also need to see which design and construction would best fit your needs while taking all the possible features into account too.

That’s where we come in as here we have a buying guide to answer your questions and give you the confidence needed to make the right choice. We have also looked through the truck tent reviews to show you the best products on the market to make your selection process even easier.

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How To Choose The Best Truck Tent – Buying Guide

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Type

There are two basic types of tents when it comes to these models and those are ones which are available to be placed on your truck bed and there is another type which will be able to attach to the back of your SUV.

This obviously depends on the type of vehicle that you have and what type of solution that you’re looking for. The ones that use your cargos space allow you to sleep off the floor while also having a more extendible part of the tent which you can use socially, to get changed in and for the storage of your gear.

There are the other types of tent though which will sit completely in your truck bed and allow for a much more enclosed space. These types of tent allow for more privacy but don’t have the same amount of space. The type of tent that you need is generally dedicated by the type of vehicle that you have.

Size

The first buying decision that you need to make with these products is size as it’s something that you can’t get wrong. If your tent doesn’t fit over the truck bed then everything else is going to be irrelevant. It’s vital then for you to check the size of your truck before you look at the best products on the market.

Thankfully there are many companies out there which have a range of different sizing solutions so it’s relatively easy to find one that matches your truck. Some products are more flexible than others and will be able to fit a few truck sizes and some are only able to fit one specific type.

This is less important when it comes to SUV’s as they simply have a sleeve that fits over your vehicle. With these types of tent the part that extends to the floor can come in a wide range of sizes which will just be based on your personal preference.

Seasonability

When it comes to tent products they are often ranked by how many seasons they cover but it might be a little confusing when you see something seen as a ‘two season’ tent as you might not know which of the seasons that they are going to be covering.

Well in terms of this, the seasons are ranked in order from warmest to coldest so are in the order of summer, spring, fall and winter. If a product was described as one season then it’s just cover summer, a two season would be summer spring and a three season tent would be summer, spring and fall.

Most products out there on the market would describe themselves as a three season tent as they are unable to give you protection in the harshest of environments but would be more than suitable for most of the year. If you’re looking for a tent that can protect you for all seasons then they are available and are generally sold in different materials such as canvas.

Height

The height of any tent is important and probably one of the most underrated specifications as people forget how important it can be. Being too cramped can heavily affect your camping experience as you might not be able to sit up and struggle to get changed along with other activities.

Unless you’re small, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find a tent that you can stand in but you want to ensure that you have more than enough clearance to be able to sit up when you are in the tent, so you need to check the height measurements too.

This is where checking the design of the tent is important as well as if it’s just high in the middle but has dramatically sloped sides then this is going to be inconvenient so you need a tent which is going to have high sides, as well as a high middle.

Length

If you’re six feet tall but you are getting a tent that is five foot long then you are probably going to have a problem. The obvious point to make here is that you want to buy a tent which is at least as long as you are unless you want to get cramped.

There might be some exemptions to this though as if you’re the type of person who sleeps in a more tucked up position then this isn’t going to matter as much. When you are considering length though you also need to consider what is going to be in the tent with you.

If you want your gear in with you or a change of clothes etc. when you have to have a place for this and it could well be at the bottom of the tent. Ideally you’d probably want a tent which is at least a foot longer than you are but this can be down to your own preference but is something that needs to be checked before you buy.

Ease Of Use

If you’ve had much experience with camping then you will be well aware that some tents are a lot more difficult to use than others. This sometimes comes to bad design but sometimes it can just be the fact that a tent is going to be more stable so just requires more set-up time.

If you’re going to be camping for a prolonged period then you shouldn’t be put off by a tent which will take a little bit of time to set-up, as you should allow for a bit more time so you can have a fulfilling camping experience.

That being said, there are tents which are a lot easier to set up than others though and there are a few features that can help with this. Having color coded poles can help with the construction and also having a minimal amount of poles will be useful. In terms of ease of use, having a big door will making it a lot easier to get in and out of the tent.

Design

There are a lot of elements that go into making comfortable tents for pickups as they have to be both lightweight and sturdy, so the design of the tent is going to be crucially important. Some of the design elements make them better than others, while others are a matter of choice.

One of those design aspects to choose from is the floor, as some tents come with a sewn-in floor while others leave it exposed. The advantages of an exposed floor are that you don’t have to move any equipment out of the way and it doesn’t really matter if you’re using something like a camping pad or an air bed.

Another design aspect that varies from tent to tent is ventilation as some will come with a lot more mesh windows than others. If you’re going to be camping in a hot climate then it makes sense to get one with more ventilation and then you want to look out for ones that have storm flaps which will give you more privacy.

There are other aspects to consider as well such as how tall the sides are, how well it connects to your vehicle, the overall size and how many poles that it has. It’s important to look at the design features and see which ones will match your situation and which ones won’t.

Construction

Construction of a pickup bed tent is not only important to make sure that you have a quality tent but also to make sure that you don’t damage your vehicle. If you’re placing a tent on the vehicle then there’s a chance that you could obviously damage parts of it.

This isn’t such an issue with the truck bed as that is designed to take a bit more punishment but your tent obviously has to be attached to your truck in order to keep it securely in place. If your tent straps are going to cause scratches and dents to your truck then this is obviously going to be an issue.

Due to this you need to ensure that any straps on your truck tent have enough padding to protect the straps when they are in tight to your vehicle. The construction of your tent has to be good enough so that you are not having to worry about anything getting damaged.

Number Of People

The number of people that are going to be in your pickup trunk tent camper is a key part of your decision making process. This isn’t just a matter of seeing the capacity of the tent as well, as there is more to it than that as it can come down to your level of comfort.

If you’re going to be having a truck tent that just covers your truck bed then you are going to be limited to the number of people who can sleep there by the size of your truck. Naturally only about two people would be able to fit onto a truck bed so you’d have to look into other options if you wanted more.

Those other options including tents that extends out beyond your truck where you will be able to sleep a lot more people and have a lot more space in which to place your items. If you want a standard truck tent though, then you’ll have to settle with the two person maximum.

Weatherproof

If you didn’t care about weatherproofing then you could just get a couple of bivvy bags and sleep in a truck tent and enjoy your camping experience that way. Not only does a tent give you privacy and protects you from things such as the wind, but it protects you from that rain as well.

In order to have that weatherproofing you first need to have a tent material which is going to be able to be water-resistant so that no water is going to be able to seep through the tent if you get caught out in a storm. You also want your tent to have a rainfly which is a second covering over your tent.

This acts as another layer of rain protection but mainly it will stop any condensation from forming on the inside of your tent so nothing gets wet. Sleeping in a truck tent means that you have the ability to sleep off the floor which gives you extra protection from the rain as nothing can come in from the sides.

If you have a tent which extends out to the ground though then it would be ideal to get one which has a bathtub floor so that you get that extra level of rain protection which is going to be especially useful in heavy rain but this isn’t going to be an issue if you’re sleeping in the truck.

Ventilation

Whether you are in your home, a hotel or a tent it’s important that you have a high level of ventilation wherever you are as it allows for the circulation of oxygen but also takes out any bad smells, keeps you cool and helps to stop any bacteria from forming.

With tents you want to get that ventilation in one of two ways as you want your tent to be breathable so it lets the air pass through which is vital in any tent but you can also add to that ventilation by having mesh windows which will let that air through in a much more significant way.

This can be down to a personal choice but also what type of climate that you’re going to be in. If you’re in a hot climate then you will want a tent with more ventilation and if you’re in a colder climate then you’ll be wanting some more protection from the elements.

Strapping

When it comes to truck tents for camping you need to secure that tent in place. With a normal tent you would do this by using guide ropes that extend out from the tent which are then secured in place with stakes which are then driven into the ground.

With a truck though this doesn’t really work as this makes your tent less portable and the guide ropes would have to go a very long way from them in order to keep it up. The other solution instead is to use strapping to keep the tent securely attached to your vehicle.

Unless these were well designed though then there is a good chance that they will damage your car so you want to ensure that any straps that you use have the appropriate padding so that you don’t suffer from any scratches or dents.

If you have an SUV tent then this is going to be less of an issue as a sleeve will go over the SUV and the tent will be secured in place in the more traditional way and there won’t be any additional strapping involved.

Installation

You want the installation of your tent to be fairly simple so that you are able to get set-up straight away and all of the products that we have listed here have a very high level of usability in that respect so you know that you won’t be waiting for a very long time in order to have your sleeping area.

Some are more complicated than others though and the importance on this can often depend on your itinerary and what you want out of your camping trip. If you’re going to be driving to a different spot every day then you’ll probably want a top of truck tent which is going to be a lot easier to install.

Material

When it comes to tent materials they generally have to strike a delicate balance between being as durable as possible and also being light and easy to use as well. For truck tents then durability is one of the most important factors as you’ll be placing it on a truck which might wear down the material. The consequence of dealing with a tent that rips or has zips breaking can make for a very uncomfortable trip.

Thankfully weight isn’t really going to be a big factor in your decision as you obviously won’t be hiking with your tent which allows the fabric to be a bit more rigid and to have more tent which are problems that lightweight tents can have. Cuben fiber is a common tent material bit probably one which doesn’t suit truck tents as this is extremely light but not very durable.

With truck tents you’re probably looking for them to be made from ripstop nylon as this is a material which is still quite light in weight but is a lot more durable so it’s much less likely that you are going to have problems with it. One aspect to look out for here though is that this material generally has to be sewn together so you want to ensure that the seams are sealed so it can remain water resistant.

Built-In Floor

One of the key feature differences between truck tents is whether or not they have a built-in floor to them. While it may seem strange to buy a tent without a floor, there are added benefits to it as you don’t have to worry about clearing any equipment from your truck bed and it can make installation easier too.

Some people though will want the peace of mind of not having to worry about any gaps that might be in the tent and have that layer of material between you and the truck bed. If you have no equipment or anything blocking the tent on the truck bed then a built-in floor might be ideal for you but this is generally a matter of personal taste.

Storage

Having additional storage pockets can be very useful in a tent as you’re able to have items within easy reach which add to the convenience of the tent. This is a common feature in tents and can help in a space which is usually cramped and knowing where everything is can be difficult.

This though perhaps isn’t as important as with standard tents though as you have your vehicle with you. That means that you’re able to place a lot of your gear within your vehicle so therefore aspects such as pockets aren’t going to be quite as important when it comes to a truck tent.

Access

Tents can be difficult things at times to enter and exit as they can often be cramped spaces what you have to crawl through. That makes having a tent which is easy to access all the more important as you won’t have to struggle to get in and out.

Having a large D shaped door is quite often the best solution for this and having a tent which can support a large door can be crucial in your comfort levels. With a truck tent as well you need a tent which you are going to easily be able to get down from and into the floor.

If you have a tent that extends out from your truck tent and onto the floor then having multiple access points is a great idea, especially if there are quite a few people sleeping in the tent as this will mean that you’re not climbing over each other in order to get out.

FAQs

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Q: What Is A Truck Bed Tent?

A: A full size truck bed tent is very simply any tent which sits on top of your truck bed. It uses the floor and the sides of your truck to be able to create a foundation on which you are able to pitch up a tent so you don’t have to worry about sleeping on the ground.

Unlike a normal tent it will be designed to stay upright through straps and not stakes that are pitched into the ground. This gives you numerous amounts of opportunities and flexibility. There are tents which extend from your vehicle and onto the floor if you wanted to accommodate more people.

Q: What Are The Benefits Of Using A Truck Tent?

A: While it may seem initially as a quirky idea to have a truck tent they do have move major advantages when it comes to more traditional tents. One of those advantages is the portability as you don’t have to worry about taking your tent to a camp and setting it up.

There is also the big advantage of sleeping off the floor as well which not only adds to your level of comfort but also means that you don’t have to worry about a cold floor or even ground. A truck tent also offers you some great protection from the rain and weather. You’ll never have to worry about pitching a tent on muddy or icy ground.

Q: Do Truck Tents Keep Mosquitoes and Bugs Out?

A: Truck tents work in exactly the same way as regular tents as you will have that protection from your tent fabric as well as the closeable door at the front of the tent. In this respect, truck tents can keep mosquitoes and bugs out as effectively as any other tent.

There is also a chance that they would be able to get into your tent but you need to take the same level of precautions as with any tent such as not having an internal light on with the door open.

Q: Do You Put Together The Tent On The Ground Or On The Truck?

A: The truck tent would need to be installed on the actual truck but in order to do this you’d need to be standing on the outside of it in order to connect it to your vehicle. It’s easier to place all of your items on the floor so you can easily plan your build but the tent itself will remain on the truck at all times which you can then strap on to your vehicle.

Q: Will The Tent Work With A Toolbox In The Truck’s Bed?

A: If you have any significant items in your truck bed then it’s probably the best idea to choose a truck tent which doesn’t have a built-in floor. With this, you wouldn’t have to worry about taking anything out of the truck as you would be able to build your tent over it.

This might be a more convenient way or you may choose that it’s better to remove any items so that you’re able to have a built-in floor if that is your preference.

Globo Surf Overview

It may be that you’ve known about truck tenting for a while or you might be just coming around to the idea but either way, it can be a great alternative to the traditional way of camping where you are able to have a highly portable tent which will be out of the way of any ground which might be cold or wet. For many people they are turned off camping due to one reason or another but the truck tent can be a great alternative.

In order to choose the right one though there are a lot of different aspects to consider with one of the main ones being the type of vehicle that you have. If you have a truck then you can use the truck bed and build a tent around that but if you have an SUV then you could use the space inside as a bed and be able to build a tent around it.

Once you know which type of vehicle you need to cater for then you can move on to other vital aspects such as size and materials. One great thing about having a truck tent is that you don’t have any usual worries about weight or portability as you know that you don’t have to carry the tent anywhere other than from where it’s stored to your vehicle.

After that there are a lot of other considerations that you might have with a lot of them coming down to personal choice. You need to work out what type of storage options that you might want whilst also working out how much ventilation that you need and whether you want a built-in floor or not.

Once you have taken everything into consideration then you’ll be able to make the best choice about which truck tent is going to be the best you and your situation. Hopefully after reading this buying guide you’ll be able to head out there with confidence to get the top rated truck tent for you after reading the truck bed tent reviewsbed. Once you have, then you’ll be able to head out to your trip with a new and exciting camping experience.

More Camping Reviews:

Globo Surf Truck Tents Reviews

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5 5 1
Excellent camping experience with the Napier Outdoors Sportz #84000 5 Person SUV Tent which I found thanks to this article.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!