Planning a camping trip? If so, the first order of business is finding a comfortable, convenient tent for you and your fellow campers.
Truck bed tents and rooftop tents are two of the most popular types of tents for campers these days, and it’s easy to see why. Both options can be budget-friendly ways to avoid having to sleep on the ground. They simply attach to the vehicle, allowing your truck/SUV/car to be used as part of your camping shelter.
Let’s go over the basic things to know about each type of tent, along with some of their pros and cons.
Truck Bed Tents
Truck bed tents are exploding in popularity due to their convenience and versatility. Perhaps the number one benefit of a truck bed tent is the comfort of sleeping in the truck bed rather than on the ground.
These tents fit in both short and long truck beds. They either attach to your bed rails or strap into your fender wells. Truck bed tents generally take the same amount of time, if not less depending on the tent, as a normal tent to set up.
There are plenty of other positives where that came from, including:
- Budget friendly: Truck bed tents typically range from $100 - $200, making them an excellent option for casual or beginner campers.
- Lightweight and compact: Usually, truck bed tents weigh only 8-10 pounds, making them very easy to move.
- Shelter from wind, wildlife, and other elements of nature.
- No ladders, overhangs or other miscellaneous parts to worry about.
- Being off the ground: A big bonus for a lot of campers with a truck tents is being off the ground. You are away from critters and out of the mud if it rains.
As for the downsides of truck bed tents, let’s start with the obvious. If you are using a truck bed tent, you cannot use your truck bed to carry all of your equipment while you are camping. Yes you can store a lot of equipment and gear in the tent while set up, but it’s likely you won’t leave it set up while you travel. Also, a bad storm could cause water to pool in your truck tent similarly to how it would in a ground tent. Truck bed tents usually are not adjustable, so you will have to make sure you are purchasing the most accurate size for the truck you will be camping with.
If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable truck bed tent backed by thousands of testimonials, look no further than the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent. For only $157.67 on Amazon, the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent has everything you need in a truck bed tent with optimal ventilation, weather protection, a full tent floor, and an extremely easy setup.
Car Rooftop Tent
Don’t own a truck or an SUV? No problem. A car rooftop tent is another great option for those looking to step up their camping game (literally!).
You may be wondering, “how am I supposed to sleep comfortably on the roof of my car?” The answer is: easily and comfortably. Rooftop tents come with a built-in mattress on the flat sleeping surface. Besides the fact that you are off the ground, here are a few other benefits:
- Versatility: Rooftop tents are great choices for everyone, whether you are a beginner or a true adventurer. These tents allow you to camp anywhere you desire.
- Durability: The canvas that makes up rooftop tents is more durable than ground tents, offering more protection from weather and other elements you’ll encounter in the wilderness.
- Convenience: Unlike truck bed tents, you can still use your truck bed to carry all of your gear while you camp.
- Safety: Being elevated offers protection from most of the dangers in nature, including bears or other intruders.
- Easy Set Up: No poles like a standard tent means these rooftop tents can be set up in minutes.
The primary disadvantage of rooftop tents is the hefty price tag. Unlike truck bed tents, it is difficult to find a good rooftop tent for under $1000. That being said, they are less expensive than buying at van or RV. Another negative is they tend to weigh roughly 100 pounds. It will require at least two people to set up the tent, and once it is installed you may not want to remove it.
Lastly, rooftop tents require climbing a ladder to get in and out of the tent. This could be problematic for those with pets, children, physical limitations, or folks who may have had a bit too much to drink.
If a car rooftop tent suits your style, the Smittybilt Overlander Tent is a luxurious and reliable choice. This rooftop tent fits 2-3 people at a time and includes a waterproof top, side windows and mosquito netting, and many more features. Campers can find the Smittybilt Overlander Tent listed at $1,190.99 on Amazon.
Before you go
Is your tent ready? Great! But before you leave for a fun camping trip with friends and/or family, don’t forget to bring the essentials, including our Radiate Portable Campfire. Either our Classic 8 inch or Mini 4 inch campfire will give you 3+ hours of burn time. You don’t need to worry about packing wood and other supplies to start a fire, simply bring some matches and light a few of the paper briquettes to ignite the flames.
Here are some other essentials you’ll want to pack:
- Camping chairs
- Camping pillows, sleeping bags, etc.
- Camp table
- Flashlight (and extra batteries!)
- Bug spray & first aid supplies
- Food and drinks (don’t forget to bring marshmallows for s’mores)
With all of these items, you’ll be well on your way to an unforgettable camping trip.