Are you a truck enthusiast that loves to hunt, camp or travel across the country?

Truck bed tents are easy to set up, portable shelters for sleeping in the bed of your pickup truck.

While there have been DIY truck bed camping methods for years. Pop up tents designed for truck beds are a newer invention. Truck bed tents were invented in 1990 by Roman Napieraj, the founder of Napier Enterprises.

If you own a pickup truck and/or love camping a truck bed tent is a no-brainer. 

Many camping enthusiasts prefer truck tents. That’s because they’re more comfortable than traditional pop-up tents.

Camping in a truck bed tent gives you the versatility of your pickup truck, with an easy to assemble place to sleep.

Some fantastic benefits to camping in a truck bed tent are:

  • Mobile & Versatile
  • Easy to Set Up
  • Prevents Animal Attacks
  • Prevents Tent from Getting Wet
  • Accessibility
  • Low Cost
  • Portable

New to pickup truck camping? Check out our complete guide to truck camping

Looking for the best truck bed camper for your next camping trip?

Table of Contents

When looking for the perfect truck bed tent you need to decide on the standard features you need.

To decide which pop up truck tent is the best fit for you. Continue reading for the features you can choose from.

Whether you drive a compact truck, long bed truck or an SUV. There is a pop-up truck tent-shaped for your vehicle.

There are four shapes truck bed tents are available in: 

A-Frame Truck Bed Tents

  • Most Common & Basic Shape
  • Fit 2 to 3 People
  • Low Ceilings
  • Easy to Store

Umbrella-Shaped Pickup Truck Tents

  • Lots of Headroom
  • Lots of Cargo Space
  • No Floor
  • Tall Doorway
  • Large Windows
  • Easy to Install

Hatchback Truck Tents

  • Fit Small SUVs & Hatchbacks
  • Easy to Set Up
  • Great Alternative

Dome-Shaped Popup Truck Bed Tents

  • Flexible & Durable Poles
  • Versatile Shaping
  • Easy to Set Up
  • Includes Rainfly

When choosing a truck tent, the length and width will depend on the size of your truck bed. But, the height of a pop-up tent depends on the design of the tent itself.

Most truck campers suggest tall people who stretch out while sleeping. To get a truck tent with a floor that measures at least 90 inches.

Be sure to measure your truck bed and check how many people the tent can fit before you buy. Also, set it up at home and test it out before you head out camping.

If you’re a bigger group wanting to go camping in a truck bed tent. Checkout Sportz Link truck tent extensions to expand the size of your popup tent.

Ventilation is necessary for a truck tent as it allows oxygen to circulate. It also filters out any bad smells and helps to keep you cool.

Depending on the climate you’re camping in will determine how much ventilation you need. 

In a hotter climate, you will want more ventilation. While in a colder climate, you’ll want insulation and protection from the cold.

Truck bed tents allow ventilation through the walls and mesh windows. Pick a truck tent with the number of windows and ventilation you need.

At one point most campers had a tent that was a challenge in itself to set up. Some truck tents may be harder than others to set up due to a bad or a heavier duty design.

There are pop up truck bed tents that are easier to assemble than others.

They may include some features to help with the construction such as:

  • color-coded poles
  • minimal poles
  • large D-shaped door – easier to enter and exit.

The majority of tents get made from plastic materials such as polyester. It is then treated for extra waterproofing.  

High-end truck bed tents get made from canvas. This is a high-quality material that allows for ventilation while trapping the heat.

Truck bed tents, unlike traditional tents, have 2 flooring options:

  • sewn-in floor
  • no floor

Pop up truck tents with a sewn-in floor are fully enclosed. They offer better protection from the elements and keeping bugs out.

Pickup truck bed tents without floors. Allow for the use of truck bed air mattresses which may not fit inside all tents with a floor.

Truck bed tents are often ranked by how many seasons they are comfortable to camp in.

The seasons are in order from warmest to coldest:

  • One Season Truck Tent – Rated for Summer
  • Two Season Truck Bed Tent – Rated for Summer and Spring
  • Three Season Pickup Truck Tent – Rated for Summer, Spring and Fall
  • Four Season or All Season – Rated for Summer, Spring, Fall and Winter

A majority of popup truck tents available today are three-season tents. These tents are great for the warm-season campers who hibernate during the winter.

If you’re looking for a truck bed tent that’s suitable for the harshest conditions. Then, you need a four-season truck tent. All-season truck tents made from heavier duty material usually canvas.

When buying a truck bed tent look at the placement of the strapping points. Be sure to see if the straps are in a softer material. 

Some truck tents may not secure the right way to your truck or may have straps that can scratch the paint of your truck.

Truck bed tent poles can be color-coded for a faster and easier setup. They are available in three different materials: Fiberglass, Aluminum, Steel.

  • Fiberglass Truck Tent Poles – Weak and Light
  • Aluminum Tent Poles – Mid-Strength and Light
  • Steel Pop Up Tent Poles – Strong and Heavy

If you’re the type of person that gets anxious not having certain items around you. Look for a truck bed tent with built-in pockets on the interior. 

A built-in storage pocket is perfect for keeping your items safe without worry.

If you have a pickup truck with a rear window that opens into the cab. Then, you might like to know that some models of pop up truck bed tents have a rear-mounted window to access the cab.

Almost every truck and SUV tent has at least one rainfly to keep water out. Some rain flies combine with a built-in awning. This offers a nice entryway and spot to store your muddy boots.

Before deciding on a truck tent remember that there are different types of vehicle tents. There are tents for SUVs, hatchbacks, minivans and pickup trucks.

The majority of truck bed tent designs fits most models of pickup trucks on the market. But, to be sure the tent will fit your truck bed. 

Be sure to measure your truck bed, then, look at the dimensions given by the tent manufacturer.

Click for a guide on how to measure the dimensions of your truck bed.

If you’ve been camping before you’ll find setting up a truck bed tent is easier than a traditional tent. 

Even if you’ve never set up a traditional tent you will still be able to install a truck tent without a problem.

To set up a popup pickup truck bed tent:

  • Park your vehicle on a level space
  • If there’s a chance of your vehicle moving, put wheel chocks in place behind the tires
  • Lower the tailgate
  • Lay the truck tent canvas flat in the truck bed – Doorway pointing to tailgate
  • Attach the straps – refer to tent instructions – tailgate and truck sides
  • Assemble the poles – refer to truck tent manufacturers directions

The Kodiak Canvas truck tent is very strong and spacious. It’s capable of handling everything except snow. It’s constructed using a high-quality material called Hydra-Shield. 

Hydra-Shield is a 100% pure cotton canvas material. This tent has a heavy steel tube frame which adds to the weight making set up harder but increases the strength.

With the tunnel-shaped design, this truck tent has an interior space of 8 feet and a height of 5 feet. 

The Kodiak Canvas pop up truck tent has good ventilation with 5 mesh windows and a rear window to access the cab. This truck bed tent can fit 2 adults.

Pros of the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent

  • 2 Extra Gear Pockets
  • Very Spacious
  • High-Quality Material & Construction
  • Great Ventilation
  • Durable

Cons of the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent

  • Harder to Set Up
  • No Floor

RightLine Gear tent made for full-size truck beds with a quick and easy to set up floorless design.

Design features of the RightLine Gear truck tent are:

  • color-coded poles
  • a rainfly
  • water-resistant tape sealed seams
  • heavy-duty straps
  • a rooftop window

Pros of RightLine Gear Truck Tent

  • Easy to Set Up

  • Spacious

  • Water-Resistant

  • Good Design

Cons of RightLine Gear Truck Tent

  • Doesn’t do well in heavy wind

  • No Floor

  • Need A Rainfly to Be Waterproof

The GuideGear pop-up truck tent has a basic D-shape and minimal design. 

It’s manufactured using a polyester construction which is then coated in waterproofing.

While the GuideGear tent doesn’t have all the added features that the higher end truck tents do.  

It’s the lowest priced truck bed tent that includes everything needed for a great camping trip on a budget.

Pros of GuideGear Truck Bed Tent

  • Minimalist Design

  • Low Cost

  • Waterproof

Cons of GuideGear Truck Bed Tent

  • No Instructions

  • Doesn’t Have All the Extra Features

The Napier Backroadz truck tent manufactured from polyester taffeta makes it durable.

This tent will fit most pickup trucks as it’s available in 5 different sizes for trucks and SUVs.

The Backroadz truck tent is spacious with a height up to 5.2 feet (1.6 meters). It is an easy to assemble truck bed tent that sleeps 2 adults.

Features it comes with are:

  • full sewn-in tent floor
  • color-coded tent poles
  • mesh windows
  • gear storage
  • lantern holder
  • rainfly
  • storm flaps

Pros of Napier Backroadz

  • Waterproof

  • Quick & Easy to Assemble

  • Durable

  • Extra Gear Pockets

  • High-Quality Construction

  • 1-Year Warranty

  • 5 Sizes

Cons of Napier Backroadz Truck Bed Tent

  • Fragile Tent Poles

  • Hard to Read Instructions

  • Windows Can’t Be Open or Closed

The Napier Sportz truck bed tent sleeps 2 people with a height of 5’6”. 

It’s perfect for warmer areas because this truck tent has great air circulation. 

That’s because it has a large D-shaped door, a rear window into the cab, two mesh windows and built-in air vents.

Napier Sportz truck tent has color-coded poles for an easy installation. It also features a sewn-in floor and a rear awning.

Pros of Napier Sportz Truck Tent

  • Great Ventilation

  • Easy to Set Up

  • Spacious

  • Sewn-In Floor

Cons of Napier Sportz Truck Tent

  • Low-Quality Tailgate Straps

  • Fragile Awning Clamps

  • Higher Cost

Wipe the poles clean with a dry cloth after use to prevent corrosion

  • Sweep the truck bed clean and try to keep the tent floor clean
  • Try to park in a shaded area to stop the sun from damaging the tent material
  • Use a tent seam sealer for watertight tape sealed seams
  • Wash tent by hand with warm water and soap

Interested in making your own pop-up truck bed tent? Check out this PVC truck tent and this Primitive truck tent

The price of tents for the bed of your pickup trucks ranges from $150 – $550.

Truck bed tents are well worth the money for anybody who enjoys camping and the outdoors. 

They are very easy to set up and super portable meaning you can popup camp for the weekend anywhere.

Truck bed tents are made to be used in the bed of a pickup and have a vehicle clipping system that keeps it upright. 

However, you can use your truck tent on the ground if you have another way of staking the tent and supporting it.

Truck tents can be purchased at almost any outdoors store or online at numerous different websites. Purchase a truck bed tent here

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