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Camping at an established campsite is great fun, and it’s definitely something everyone should experience at least once. However, some campers want the option to explore the open terrain and stake their own claim on it. 

Camping in the bed of your trunk gives you the freedom to set up camp wherever you choose. Of course, the experience is much more comfortable when you come equipped with a good truck tent.

What Are Truck Tents?

Truck tents are made to be installed specifically on your trunk’s bed. Generally, the installation process is more straightforward than in standard tents, so you’ll be able to set up camp quite quickly.

Once you do, you’ll be enjoying the great outdoors with the option to retreat to some comfort in a tent that’s attached right to the bed of your trunk. How convenient is that? 

After you’re done, disassembling the tent will be a breeze, and you’ll be able to hop right into your truck and head home or to your new destination. Gone are the days of trekking your supplies back to your vehicle from the campsite. 

Keep in mind that it might get hot back there, in which case a tent air conditioner will come in handy. On the other hand, if you’re camping in cold weather, it may be wise to pack a tent heater for good measure. 

All you need to enjoy the great outdoors on your own terms is a reliable truck and a full kit of camping gear — including a good truck tent. To help you choose among the various options available, check out our top picks below.

pros
  • Multiple buying options
  • Reliable straps
  • Easy installation
cons
  • May rip under excessive pressure

The Rightline Gear Truck Tent is a well-rounded option for adventurers looking to turn any path they cross into a potential campsite. 

Don’t let a rainy day take the fun away — thanks to its waterproof construction, this truck tent provides its campers adequate shelter from the rain.

With the addition of a sky view vent, you can stare off into the infinite space above as you get ready for a comfortable night’s sleep. This inclusion also adds to the tent’s impressive ventilation. 

Rightline offers campers three different tent size configurations: compact truck, mid size truck and full size truck. Bed sizes range from five to eight feet. Each option is quite spacious — even the smallest can comfortably fit two adults. 

The floorless design allows for an easy set up. With the convenient pole pockets, color coded poles and set up guide that come included in the kit, even amateur campers won’t run into any issues during installation. 

This is quite invaluable — as many campers know, problems during tent setup is a surefire way to start the trip on a bad note. 

All in all, the Rightline Gear Truck Tent is a reliable option suitable for seasoned campers and beginners alike.

pros
  • Spacious interior
  • Sewn in floor
  • Large entrance door
cons
  • Installation requires two sets of hands

It’s hard to find a truck tent with a sewn-in floor. Thankfully, this one includes just that, giving it a considerable edge over many competitors. 

The handy rear access panel allows you to enter your truck’s cab without much hassle. This provides easy access to the additional storage the cab provides.

With its large door, 2 mesh windows and side vents, there will be plenty of ventilation to go around. The size of the entrance door also makes it easy to enter and exit the tent without pulling any muscles. 

There are a whopping six configurations to choose from here, with lengths ranging from 5.5 to 8 feet. Given the number of options, there’s surely a fitted size for every camper’s truck. 

Like our prior entry, the Sportz Truck Tent also comes with a color coded pole and sleeve system. However, in this case, it’s best installed in two. Otherwise, you’ll risk damaging one of the essential components. 

The setup also comes with a 4’ x 4’ shade awning which is fastened to the truck’s tailgate. This allows you the freedom to set up camp virtually anywhere you’d like.

pros
  • Deploys in minutes
  • Spacious interior
  • Bonus carrying bags included
cons
  • Shape may vary depending on truck

Coming in a fitting green color that blends neatly into the great outdoors, this next truck tent is a great choice for outdoor venturers. 

The Guide Gear Full Size Truck Tent promises a smooth installation process, using only 4 poles. In a matter of minutes, you’ll be all set up for a good night’s sleep. 

While the ultimate shape of the tent may vary slightly from truck to truck, the kit is made for a number of popular models like Ford, GMC, Nissan and more. The alternation is only a slight one. When used with most trucks, you can expect to enjoy a spacious interior. 

Tension anchor straps are included to ensure that the tent will remain secured to your truck in windy weather. You can rest easy in the rain, too, since the fabric is made from 190T polyester with 1500mm water-resistant coating. 

The large D-shaped door makes for an easy entrance and exit. The kit includes 2 storage pockets for you to keep your essentials in. There are 2 weather-resistant polyester carrying bags included as an added bonus.

pros
  • Extremely high quality
  • Tons of added features
  • Easy installation
cons
  • Expensive

Campers looking for a more luxurious truck tent experience will definitely like what they see with the Smittybilt Overlander Tent. 

As you can tell, this model is quite different from the others in that it’s built to be mounted over the truck’s roof. However, that’s not the only thing that sets it apart. 

There’s an expansive list of bells and whistles to go over here, including a sunroof, waterproof top and rain fly, windows with mosquito netting, interior LED strips, telescopic ladder, and more. 

The kit even comes with a foam mattress able to support a max load of 661 pounds. 

One would think that this kind of set up would require an arduous installation process, but it’s quite easy to erect and disassemble. Be sure to follow the instructions closely, since important for the tent to be properly supported over the roof of your truck.

Ultimately, Smittybilt offers campers the Ferrari of truck tents with the Overlander Tent. 

So, what’s the downside? You guessed it — Ferrari quality comes with Ferrari pricing. This truck tent is by far the priciest option on this list. 

It’s meant for campers willing to make the big investment. However, those that take the plunge will be extremely happy with what they get out of it. This is luxury truck camping at its finest.

pros
  • Multiple size options
  • Lots of windows
  • Storm flap
cons
  • None

The Napier Backroadz Truck Tent is a fan favorite in the outdoor community, and for good reason. 

The standard truck tent offers campers the convenience of sleeping off the ground, but the overall experience might feel somewhat claustrophobic. 

Thankfully, the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent solves that problem with the inclusion of four large windows. You’ll have a constant view of your environment while enjoying the fresh air and natural light being carried in. 

Depending on how big you’re looking to go, there are a variety of size options on offer here. These range from 5’5 feet to 8’2 feet. 

Its four fiberglass poles offer a sturdy build, and the entry door’s storm flap is a great utility in inclement weather. The design is quite classic, too. All in all, there’s a lot to love about this truck tent. 

Napier offers customers a 1 year warranty on the product, which only further cements its high status among competing truck tents.

READY TO HIT THE OPEN ROAD?

Outdoor adventurers equipped with a truck tent are free to choose their own camping spots in nature. Wherever the wind blows, there’s a potential place for you to stay the night. 

Remember to check whether the truck tent you’re considering is applicable to your truck. If it is, then it’s all a matter of personal preference. Figure out your budget and the features you can’t go without. There are also similar tents available for SUVs if you don’t have a truck.

Once you finally pick the right truck tent, you’re sure to enjoy it for many camping trips to come.

Rocco Bambace