Truck Bed Tents: Are They Worth Buying

truck bed tents for camping

One of the hottest trends among pickup truck owners in the United States are truck bed tents. The idea is to put up a tent at your truck bed when you are out in the great outdoors. A lot of people have a tough time pitching up a tent on the ground. If you have ever gone camping in the Grand Canyon or Yosemite or even in Wyoming, you would know quickly that Mother Nature can be quite harsh. 

When I just talking about the rain, the sleet, the snow and the possible hail, when I just talking about the strong winds that may shake your tent’s walls, instead you might want to look closer to the ground, in fact, you should look directly at the ground. It’s not always warm and welcoming, in fact, in many cases, it’s actually quite cold and damp.

Why You Want a Truck Bed Tent

Now, regardless of the kind of camping gear you pack, a cold ground or soggy floor is kind of a hard situation to overcome. You feel like most campers should probably hit the trails because you want to experience the very best of Mother Nature has to offer. You probably are looking at camping or sleeping under the stars, you want to enjoy the warm comfort of your sleeping bag. 

The problem is, if you have a very soggy floor, your plans can easily unravel, in fact, all the romantic motions you may have of camping out by a river or at the far side of a hill, may go up in smoke, seriously, because pretty soon the moisture of the wet or soggy ground will make its way up your sleeping bag and into your clothes, not exactly the kind of experience that you originally planned, right? So, this is where a lot of people decide to camp on the bed of their pickup truck.

Truck bed tents have been around for a while because when you put it up on your truck’s bed, you will have a lot more control. You can wipe down the truck bed to ensure that it’s dry enough that you can pitch up a tent so as to ensure that the rain doesn’t deposit more moisture on its surface. The name of the game is control. It’s all about trying to get the kind of experience that you hit the trail or you went camping for seems pretty straightforward.

how to pick a truck tentNow, with that said, please understand that the best truck bed tents come in a wide variety. All these variations really boil down to the dimensions you have to work with and your preferred materials. Generally speaking, a truck bed tents are made of the same material as the tents you would normally pitch up but the big difference is in the heaviness of the material. Side note – you’ll want a bed liner before pitching a tent to avoid damage to your truck. Check out the best truck bed liners that you can do yourself. A lot of truck bed campers prefer lighter material because they do not want to weigh down their bed.

Also, the lighter tents are easier to assemble and disassemble. Keep this in mind because it is very tempting to just want maximum durability and sturdiness when it comes to tent materials. The problem with that is that they tend to be quite heavy so keep this in mind because you are going to have to put it up, assemble it and then you are going to take it down, roll it up and store it away. 

If you are dealing with nylon or some flyweight material, this should not be a problem, in fact, you could do this all day every day. The issue is, if you have your mind set on something heavier because maybe you want something that would keep you warm against the snow or the harsh winter, then you probably would have a heavier load to handle because you are going to have to disassemble everything, roll it up and then pack it away. The good news is, since your tent is already sitting on your truck bed, you don’t have to go far to store away the tent that you have disassembled and folded.

Things to Look For

Another key selection criteria is the dimension of the truck bed tent. Truck bed’s dimensions really flow within a fairly narrow range. There is really not much variation among pickup truck’s beds. The variation is fairly predictable, however, every single inch count. If you are looking to replicate the comfort that you get from your bed at home, you can have your work cut out for you because when you are sleeping on a sleeping pad inside a tent pitched up on your truck bed, it is going to be very different from the creature comforts that you have grown accustomed to at home.

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The good news is that there is quite a bit of variation in sleeping pads as well as sleeping bags so you can be comfy, just don’t expect camping out and sleeping in a truck bed tent to deliver the exact same experience you would get from your home mattress. It is not going to happen. Don’t get your hopes up. Why? Your mattress at home has insulated coils that is specifically designed box that is supposed to hold your weight. Though fear not! A car air mattress will make your experience that much more comfortable.

Also, there are many layers of foam that make up your mattress which is specifically designed to give you maximum comfort regard it doesn’t really matter whether you are a big fan of firm, wide mattresses or mattresses that you can sink into. There is really no point in comparing. Still, if you get the right dimension of sleeping bag as well as truck bed tents that have the right width and length you are good to go. Of course, you get your money’s worth. With everything else being equal, you should look for truck bed tents that are made of a hardy material, breathable material and are designed to last several years.