Friday, June 26, 2020 | By Rick Stella
As camping continues to grow in popularity, the methods by which people enjoy the activity has steadily evolved. Gone are the days where the only option for sleeping is a ground tent that takes 30 minutes of fumbling with poles to set up. Campers today have many options for how they sleep including travel trailers, roof-mounted tents, or, the latest craze, truck-bed tents.
As the name suggests, truck-bed tents sit in the empty bed of a truck to create a similar structure to that of a ground tent. Like the size of the truck beds themselves, these tents vary in size, shape, and ease-of-use. The best models feature a sewn-in floor to offer added protection from the actual truck bed, while others have large awnings to provide added shade or an area to keep dry while it rains.
It’s easy to see the benefit of a truck-bed tent, too. Like rooftop tents, they allow campers to sleep off the ground, protecting them from animals, insects, and an uneven sleeping surface. Most are designed to have plenty of interior space as well, creating a roomy sleeping area that affords campers enough room to store additional gear.
As the industry of truck-bed tents continues to grow, so too does the number of companies that offer their own models and designs. Leading the charge is Napier Outdoors, a company that specializes in vehicle-based camping tents…
The Napier Outdoors Backroadz fits a wide range of truck bed sizes, has a full floor, can fit around truck-bed toolboxes, and features an easy-to-pitch design that can be set up in roughly five minutes.
Though the market for truck-bed tents continues to grow, no brand does it better than Napier Outdoors. With the Backroadz, Napier delivers a tent with quality materials, thoughtful design, and a fully-covered floor that’s easy to assemble. Not only is it our favorite tent we’ve tested, but it’s one of the least expensive.
The tent features 5.5 feet of headroom which may not allow most people to comfortably stand up but does give the interior a roomy, spacious feel. Its fully-covered floor means that it’s able to sit on top of even the dirtiest truck beds without bringing any of that dirt or grime inside. It also helps keep rain from dripping down the sides and into the tent.
Its color-coded tent poles make it incredibly easy to pitch, and it can even be done with just one person, though we recommend getting a second person to help. The tent is also versatile enough to be pitched on the ground and moved into the truck bed, or constructed in the bed itself.
The Backroadz comes with an included rain fly to protect against rain or snow, and its entryway extends to the end of a bed’s lowered tailgate, providing extra space to store luggage, gear, or pairs of shoes. One downside, however, is that it doesn’t come with an extended awning, which would offer even more protection in inclement weather.
With a price tag under $200, a roomy interior, and an easy-pitch design, the Napier Outdoors Backroadz is not just our favorite truck tent but one of the best on the market.
Pros: Inexpensive, color-coded poles make pitching easy, 5.5 feet of headroom, and fits many truck bed lengths
Cons: Doesn’t feature an extended awning