Truck Tents are a great choice for expert and beginner campers alike. With the convenience of setting up anywhere regardless of terrain, combined with the benefits of sleeping off-ground (warmth, simple cleanup, no need to get down and dirty during setup), there’s a great number of reasons to be in the market for a Truck Bed Tent. But with a variety of options on the market, how do you choose? As the experts, we will break down everything you need to look at before settling on a Napier model.
Find Out Your Truck Style/Size
Step 1 in your hunt for your perfect truck tent should begin by looking at your vehicle. The most common cause of buyer’s remorse in truck tents is accidentally purchasing the wrong size for your truck model. There’s a two-step approach to making sure you purchase the right size.
Look at our sizing guide here. We have compiled the most popular truck models and bed sizes in North America to tell you exactly which model is suited for each vehicle.
If your vehicle is not on the above list – it’s time to bust out the tape measurer. With your tailgate UP, start from the back of your truck cab and measure in a straight line to get your bed length. After you have the length, measure the width from wall-to-wall. Full Size trucks will land in the width of 68-77″, while compact will range from 56-63″. Once you have both of those measurements, you should be able to determine whether your truck is Compact or Full Size, and whether it is Short Bed, Regular Bed, or Long Bed. From there – just choose the best suited tent model based on the sizing guide above!
Look at Your Needs
Once you know your truck style, you can begin browsing the available options for your model. At this point you can start evaluating what’s most important to you in a tent setup. To boil it down to three areas, it’s important to look at size, features/function, and price.
Obviously, the length and width of your tent is going to be mainly determined by the size of your vehicle, but height/interior space can be a make or break when looking at tent models. If you’re on the tall side, plan to camp with another person, or just prefer more breathing room while you sleep, it’s very important to look at the ‘peak height’ in your tent specs. At Napier – both our Backroadz and Sportz models offer a comfortable amount of space, with 58-62″ and 66-70″ peaks respectively. While both models offer comfortable heights, if you’re significantly taller than 5’8″ – it might be a good idea to opt for the Sportz.
Features vs. Function
Now that you’ve gotten through the foundations, it’s time to look at the fun stuff. Take a look at what you really want in a truck tent and decide whether it’s worth the extra bulk. Some questions that are important to ask yourself include: What kind of climate will you be camping in? Do you want outdoor seating or just a place to sleep? How often do you camp, and for how long do you stay at each location? Do you plan on camping alone or with another person?
These questions are important to ask because it might seem like more features = better tent is a no brainer, but there’s more to it than that. If you like to camp alone or set up in new spots every day, a lighter, easier to set up tent could be more beneficial than a feature-packed model. Our Backroadz Truck Tent may not include an awning, but it also weighs 27% less, and sets up with four fewer poles. Or if you’re camping in a hotter climate, the additional window and vent in the Sportz model will come in handy to stay cool. If you’re curious about comparing the models side-by-side, check out our direct comparison here.
This is likely going to be the clearest cut thing to evaluate. Chances are, you have budget in mind that you would like to stick to, but the main thing to look at here, is to compare Price vs. Value. If you went over the features above and decided that you are positive you need a certain feature to truly enjoy your tent, then you’ll get more value even at a higher price – since you wouldn’t be able to truly enjoy a lower-feature model.
If you’re a new camper looking to just dip your toes in the water of truck camping, or just someone who likes to save some money, then you’re in luck! At the time of this article, Napier is offering a limited-edition tent model at a discounted price! The Titan Truck Tent mimics the Sportz series in features, but comes in $70 cheaper, and it even comes with a set of strap protectors included!
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