Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best truck tent 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated November 1, 2019
Best truck tent of 2018
If you get well acquainted with these basics, you shouldn’t have a problem choosing a truck tent that suits your need. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your comfort, style, or accessibility, we have picks to fit a variety of needs and budgets. There’s a product for every kind of user on the list of affordable options below. I review the three best truck tent on the market at the moment.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this truck tent win the first place?
I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days.
Why did this truck tent come in second place?
This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery.
№3 – BACKROADZ SUV TENT
Why did this truck tent take third place?
The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.
truck tent Buyer’s Guide
Common Characteristics of Truck Tents
Manufacturers also make accessories to go with this kind of tent camping. Accessories include air mattresses specifically designed with wheel well cutouts to make your auto camping a comfortable experience. There are awnings that attach to roof racks, creating three walled screened rooms with insect netting, or creating an additional room on the side of the vehicle, or creating windbreaks. Manufacturers are producing LED light kits that connect to your vehicles power system for under awning and interior tent lighting, too. As the industry category continues to expand, so will the accessory options available.
Kodiak Canvas Long Truck Bed Full Size Tent
These air mattresses are meant for truck tents and truck beds of course. They make the experience of sleeping in a truck tent so much more enjoyable. The AirBedz Lite Full Size air mattress includes an air pump so you do not have to strain yourself to pump the air bed yourself! The comfort coil system distributes air evenly to give all around comfort. This also has cutouts on each side which allow the mattress to comfortably fit around the wheel wells in the truck bed, therefore creating a sleeping area that utilizes basically the entire truck bed. The air mattress can also sleep two people easily! So gone are the days of looking for a way to trying to sleep well in a truck tent because this the solution to your issue.
Hit the Road!
As soon as you select that perfect tent and it’s delivered to your door, you are on your way. Load the car, gather your friends or family, and hit the road! Don’t be moved by the RV campers with their ultra-accommodations, or the traditional tent campers with their tent cities. They have nothing on you with your quick set, load-and-go capabilities. The possibilities are endless, if your vehicle can get there; your camping adventure is at hand.
Honda Genuine Factory OEM 08Z0Tent
For secure and comfortable outdoor night out trip this Honda Genuine Factory OEM 08ZOis stunningly amazing. It is heavily constructed that provides utmost protection against serious rain. Therefore, set it up is super simple and it will allow you to access the car while inside it. This top truck tent is constructed with finest ripstop nylon and people can sleep without any hassle. It is one of the best truck tents in the market for the value as well.
Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent
The Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent is one of the best bed truck bed tents at present! It constructed with superior quality that’s why it is long lasting. Even some customer said that it is incomparable because of its strength and durability. It is constructed with finest materials and it is super simple to use as well. For both the price and value it’s worth it buy this product.
Rightline Gear 110750 Full-Size Short Truck Bed Tent
The Rightline Gear 110750 Short Truck Bed Tent is another incredible addition to our list. It is perfectly constructed with water resistant fabric. Therefore, the straps are protective and have nylon buckles included that will not damage trucks finish as well. However, it is easy to setup with color-coded poles and pole pockets. Therefore, the price is not prohibitive as well.
Napier Backroadz Truck Tent
No need to sleep on the ground again just purchase this best truck tent namely Napier Backroadz Truck Tent. It is great and incredible for both quality and durability. However, it is quick and easy to set up and will allow you to sleep comfortably on the sewn-in floor. For proper ventilation, it has large windows indoor and it is fully rain fly as well. it is constructed with Polyethylene nadPoleshock-corded fiberglass poles that enrich the durability of this product.
Consider Setup System
While purchasing a Truck Tent consider the setup system at first. Well, nobody wants to fight with a tent in a camping trip. Most of the latest truck tents at present come with simple set up system. While purchasing a truck tent whether it is truck bed tent or truck roof tent consider the setup system closely.
If the ventilation system in your truck tent is not good enough, then it will provide you a suffocating feel. Therefore, all the products on our list come with the excellent ventilation system. You can pick one from the above list for better comfort.
Moreover, while picking take a close look at the design if the air can’t pass comfortably. Keep looking.
Now consider in which weather you want to go camping. Truck tents materials are constructed with different quality and features. All the tents don’t compatible with all weather. Therefore, some tents are constructed for all seasons. If don’t have any particular season in mind. You can consider one that is compatible with all the weather.
Therefore, in which area you are living that also should be in your consideration. If you live in an area where winter is the major season you have to pick a tent that can fight against cold perfectly.
And it would be the best to always get one size bigger than your party needs. If only two of you are going, then get the tent that has the sleeping capacity of three people.
Why? Because most of them won’t fit all your gear with the number of people written in the tent description. I mean, you could, but you won’t be comfortable at all, so the best solution is to get one size bigger to preserve the comfort with all the gear you will bring along.
The season in which you will be hunting plays an important part while deciding what tent to get. season requires for the tent to have good ventilation, and to help you stay cool.
In the winter you will need something that will keep you warm and isolated from the temperatures in the environment. Also, winter tents have funnel vents so you can install a burning stove and they are much thicker.
All-season tents can be used in all weather conditions and seasons, but they tend to be much more expensive.
Every outdoorsman knows just how the weather is unpredictable and that rain can ruin the experience if the tent does not have some water resistance. A lot of models have a coating that stops the moisture from getting inside. The bad weather is always an option, so the tent you choose should have some kind of water resistance or waterproofing.
Poles are made of many different materials, and some outperform the others in certain aspects. For example, fiberglass poles are the lightest ones, but they can’t resist strong winds. They are great if you plan on moving the tent a lot since they are so light, but if you have some plans on going to certain areas where the weather is harsh, fiberglass poles should not be the option.
Other options include steel, which is the heaviest of the bunch, aluminum which is lighter than steel but heavier than fiberglass, and it’s known for it to be the strongest. Some tents don’t have the poles at all, but instead, they have instructions and measurements so you can make them yourself.
Camping tents come in colors to match the surroundings, but for a hunting tent to be more effective, camouflage is in order. If stealth is one of your major concerns such as in a scouting elk or elk hunting trip, choose a elk hunting tent that has a good concealing ability with the camouflage canvas.
Browning Camping Big Horn
The hub design really makes it easy to set up. The ceiling is pretty tall; you can stand and walk around in it pretty easy. It’s divided into two rooms, and every room has its own big door. The doors feature big zippers. It doesn’t say in the description how many people can fit inside, but I can tell you that it can fit eight people with room to spare.
It has a polyester fly that is UV resistant and weatherproof. Along with two doors, it has six windows that provide great ventilation. It has storage pockets and everything you need to set it up included. The bad side of it is the floor. It’s very thin and doesn’t seem that durable.
The height and the length of a truck tent should also be considered before you get out your wallet. If you are fond of stretching around, then getting a longer tent would do you some justice. The dome truck tents provide sufficient height but eat up on the floor space. If you’re hanging out with your family, you could get something like a cabin-styled tent which 9offers adequate floor space for your whole family.
Size and design of the tent
The reason why you should check the size as one of the primary considerations is due to the need to have enough shading. Of course, the different or the various types of tents that are available here come in different designs and sizes. Therefore, you should pick the right or the perfect size and design that would be the most favorable for your truck needs.
Ease of assembly
The other feature or factor that you have to check with the tent is about assembling of the same. Of course, many of the buyers would go for the product or tent that is easy to assemble, and if you are like that, then you should check to make sure that the type that you choose to come with the easy installation. The ease of assembly is beneficial in the fact that it will help you save time especially when you are on a hurry.
Storage & Organization
A Dee Zee Tool Box, Deflecta-Shield Toolbox, or BAK Truck Toolbox makes a great place to store gear of any kind – even if you aren’t a tool-slinger. You can use our Truck Tool Boxes to haul everything from camping gear to groceries, and keep everything organized and safe.
Don’t let your tools rust out in the open! By storing the tools of your trade in a Truck Toolbox you can keep them protected from rain, snow, and UV rays for an extended service life. Virtually all toolboxes, including the Dee Zee Crossover Truck Toolbox, feature weatherstripping foam on the underside of the lid. This provides a reliable shield against rain and dust, so your tools stay dry and oxidation-free.
Location & Tool Access
Cargo access is also something to think about when shopping for a Truck Toolbox. If your truck bed will be frequently occupied, a standard Crossover Toolbox might not be the best choice. A side-mount box like the Deflecta-Shield Challenger Side Mount Truck Toolbox will give you full and easy access to your gear, even with a full bed. You can also try a Dee Zee Specialty Series Wheel Well Tool Box to minimize the need for stretching and reaching.
The tent is equipped with steel tube frames as well.
The tent might not work efficiently in stormy winds blowing for long hours.
The tent has plenty of functionality associated with it. There is enough room for the two, and some extra vehicle space can be used with the help of tailgate down design. It is a very sturdy tent that provides good headroom. It is very durable due to its breathable canvas, but in long hours of intense winds, the tent might cause a few problems.
It also has an expandable carrying bag.
The only drawback is that its screen room is floorless and this can be a bit issue during heavy rains.
This tent offers full functionality, and it will provide top performance during your trip as well. The best part of this tent is that you can use it with or without your vehicle as per your need and urgency. The tent houses to people, and you can easily convert your vehicle’s storage space into the sleeping area.
So far we have discussed five best car camping tents. We highly recommend SUV Tent with Screen Room by Sportz. This tent provides you with maximum functionality and is designed to cater all your needs on your camping trip. You can use this tent can with the vehicle and separately as well. It also houses to people, which makes it the ideal choice for your trip. You have a screen room, a rainfly a spacious room, and you can attach it to your vehicle as well, what more can you ask for.
The peak height of a tent is measured perpendicularly from the tent floor to the highest point in the tent roof. While this alone will not determine how livable a tent is, it gives you the idea of what activities you can carry out when in your tent. For example, a longer peak will enable you to dress up and carry out some of in-tent activities in an upright position. On the other hand, a very short peak height may only allow sleeping and sitting.
Floor Area and Dimensions
The floor area of most tents is provided in square footage or square inches and is the overall livable space a tent can provide. Depending on your preferences, you need to look at the floor area along with the dimensions. This is due to the fact that two tents may have a similar floor area but varying floor dimensions. If you are over feet tall then you need a tent that has a floor length of at least 90 inches. On the other hand, people who need an extra elbow space or toss and turn at night are advised to consider shelters with wider tent widths.
By and large, season tents are the most common group of tents. This is credited to their lightweight feature and the fact that they are viable for fall, spring and summer. They also have sufficient ventilation to allow incredible airflow while their mesh panels will faultlessly keep out marauding insects. When pitched with a tout rain fly which will usually be part of the package, season tents will withstand downpours. They are however not the best choice of tents for extreme and continuous exposure to very harsh storms, heavy snow or strong winds.
In general, the main purpose of season tents is to keep you warm during light snow or rain, protect you from direct sunlight, provide privacy and keep you safe from inducts and other bugs.
Pole and Fabric Materials
The type and quality of materials used in manufacturing a tent are essential for its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions as well as its ability to last long. Tent poles are mainly made from aluminum materials that guarantee lightweight and strength features. The most durable tents have the best pole materials.
Tent fabrics are mainly made from nylon or polyester materials. Higher denier (D) fabrics are more rugged and suitable for harsher environments while lower denier fabrics are more lightweight. However, it is only advisable that you compare deniers if the fabrics are identical.
Vestibules and Pockets
You certainly need a place to store some of your backpacking gear. It is for this reason that we advise campers to consider the availability and size of tent vestibules before making a decision to buy the tent. Your pick for the best camping tent should have a vestibule that will accommodate all your backpacking gear. Again, consider the number of interior storage pockets as they will not only offer storage space for small items but also essential for keeping the interior of your tent organized by keeping items off the ground.
Ventilation and Airflow
A tent that provides sufficient airflow will prevent condensation buildup in the tent. You therefore should choose a tent that has mesh panels and windows particularly for summer camping. However, these mesh panels and windows should be adjustable and zipped in place when there is cold weather. A tent with an adjustable rain fly will also provide great ventilation and star viewing during warm nights.
Size and Number of Doors
It is no longer just a matter of the shape, size, zippers and other door adjustments! The focus is now on the number of doors. For one person tents, a single spacious door will serve you well. However, tents designed and used by more than one person should have an extra door for ventilation, entry and exit.
A large vestibule, a full rain fly, and a storm-ready pole structure make this the best choice for campers who consider intense weather part of the fun.
Campers who regularly pitch their tent in rainy locales will want a wind-fighting tent with a good-size vestibule for storing wet shoes and gear, as well as a full rain fly for added weather protection. With almost 6feet of vestibule space and six stability-enhancing criss-crossing poles, REI’s Base Camp Tent offers the best combination of space and features among the six tents we tested that fit these criteria.
The best-selling Coleman Sundome has a similar footprint to our top-pick tents but feels significantly smaller because of its dome-style design. It is intuitive to set up, has sufficient windows, includes a rain fly that is easy to put on and stake out, and is cheery-feeling inside and out.
Who this is for
As you can tell from strolling through any busy campground, there are dozens of diverse tent designs ranging from snug, single-body cocoons to multi-room, polyester palaces that sleep or 1If you already own a tent that you love, you don’t need this guide. A shelter bought for backpacking, scouting, or festival-going can also double as a car-camping tent. But if you’re looking to get into family camping for the first time, or if you’re a backpacker who now has kids (it happened to me), embracing your new reality and investing in a bigger shelter can make sense.
Finding the smallest, lightest tent that meets your needs is the logical approach when you’re backpacking. But if you won’t be carrying your tent more than a couple hundred feet, more space means more comfort (as well as more room for your stuff). We concluded that the best option for families with three to five people—or even for a comfort-loving couple whose baby is a big dog—is a tent rated for six people that’s also tall enough for an adult to stand in.
Tent makers measure tent capacity by how many people can fit sardine-style, lying inside mummy bags. You can fit six adults in a six-person tent, but you probably wouldn’t want to, as those adults would be sleeping hip-to-hip, with little spare room for gear. If you have five or fewer people, however, a six-person tent can be very comfortable, especially if a few of those people are children.
The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids, in an interview. Olsson has three kids, a dog, and a 6-foot-husband. Bigger is better when it comes to car camping, she told us: “Look for a base-camp-style tent that is meant for when you pull up in your car and pitch your tent right there.” All of the tents we considered fall into that category.
How we picked
A great family tent is one that gets more kids outside—which means one that’s affordable to most families.
We knew that we wouldn’t be comparing apples to apples. Beyond their general size, the tents in our test group are very different from one another, with a wide array of pole configurations and window, door, and roof designs. And several offer fussy features that are far from essential, such as protruding storage “garages” that keep gear out of sight, gear hammocks that let you hang stuff from the ceiling, reflective roof panels to increase lantern light, hanging iPad sleeves, and built-in doormats. In our evaluations, we focused on basic function and design, looking for big mesh windows to provide a cross breeze in nice weather; an open-mesh roof for stargazing; convenient, built-in pockets for stashing car keys, headlamps, and glasses; zippers that pull smoothly, even when held by tiny fingers; and a fly that’s quick and easy to get on and off as the weather shifts.
Who else likes our pick
You know who else slept in a Eureka? Sir Edmund Hillary. He used the innovative (at the time) Eureka Draw-Tite in a return Everest expedition in 1960. Eureka went on to make the shelters for the first entirely American expedition to Everest, sponsored by National Geographic in 196The company still makes tents for the harshest places on earth, but it also knows that a tent for your summer road trip looks not at all the same.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The boxy shape is not great in high winds, and the tent’s stakes, while fine overall, are far from heavy-duty. We surmised, perhaps accurately, that only the weight of our bodies inside the tent prevented it from ripping out of the ground and blowing away with the biggest gusts of our Pacific Coast windstorm.
Though we’ve stayed dry inside this tent in heavy downpours, the tent has no vestibule, and the rain fly is essentially a cap that perches over the roof. Campers who regularly venture out in rain and heavy winds will be better off with a tent with a full rain fly that creates a vestibule space to store muddy shoes and other wet gear.
A word about condensation: Moisture will inevitably build up inside your tent. Condensation is worse in wet and humid conditions, and when you have a large temperature difference between the inside and outside of the tent. Condensation is not leakage, but it is another argument for a tent with a full rain fly: When you have a breathable inner layer, the condensation gathers on the flysheet instead.
The boxy tent is similar in style to our top pick, the Eureka Copper Canyon 6, but it falls short of that tent in several ways. The Coleman tent is noticeably smaller, with a footprint of 90 square feet as opposed to the Eureka’s 100 square feet. With a 6-foot-center height, its roof is almost inches lower than the Eureka’s. The bathtub-shaped floor—the floor curves up a couple of inches into the walls at the edges—is made of polyethylene. Tent makers use this heavy, crunchy, tarp-like material in cheaper models, and it’s unlikely to be as durable as the softer, stronger polyester in the Copper Canyon and most of the other tents we looked at.
The feature we missed most with the 6-person Instant Cabin, though, is the Copper Canyon 6’s mesh roof. The Coleman doesn’t have a fly at all (though you can buy a “rain fly accessory”), so to protect against rain, it employs a solid, coated-polyester roof—though some reviewers have complained that it doesn’t always protect well.
The Coleman Instant Tent comes in a couple of other sizes, including a two-room, eight-person model that feels almost twice as big as the six-person tent.
While still providing the economy of the classic folding tent trailers, the models here blur the line between cost-conscious and luxury camping. Several of these well-appointed trailers come with three-burner stoves, both bake and microwave ovens, large refrigerators and enclosed bathrooms. A few of the rigs are designed with slide-outs, giving you additional living space.
Options can also include audio systems with indoor/outdoor speakers and electric lifts for unfolding the camper. These pop-up penthouses are the perfect camping trailer for those who want to explore the great outdoors without giving up too many civilized comforts.
Notables – As Starcraft’s upper-end rig, the Centennial comes with an assortment of amenities, such as a three-burner stove, a three-way refrigerator, a double-bowl sink and a 6-gallon water heater.
The rig’s shower curtains ensure privacy. The toilet/shower combination is fully enclosed with hard walls. The 3612’s design utilizes a slide-out dinette expanding floor space and living room.
Several examples in this segment are hearty pop-top trailers ready to carry your gear and your home away from home off the beaten path, while a few others are built for much more. Would-be buyers of these rigs are not just weekend campers, they are outdoorsmen.
Is a 4xtow vehicle and a bowie knife on your hip a prerequisite for owning one of these rigs? Certainly not, but they are not the kind of trailer typically attached to a Toyota Prius.
Notables – Make no mistake, this tent trailer-emphasis on tent-is built for the most adventurous camper. Does it need a 4xvehicle to pull it? No, but this rig is certainly designed for that treacherous overland expedition you’ve been dreaming of.
The stove is an exterior two-burner unit. The fridge is a top-loading unit tucked in the trailer’s main storage box. With its airbag/shock absorber suspension, the luxury of this rig is having a trailer that can follow your 4xvehicle wherever you dare drive it.
Notables – With its extra ground clearance, the Clipper Off-Road trailer allows the sportsman camper to head farther afield than most folding tent trailers. Equipped with a forward storage deck, this trailer has the ability to carry a pair of dirt bikes or an ATV to your favorite outpost.
Standard features include an external utility shelf, three-burner range and a cleverly designed swing galley that easily shifts from a travel- to campsite-ready position. Options include a cassette toilet, rooftop power lift and mattress heaters.
If you’ve done a fair share of tent camping, these rigs are going to feel like the Ritz-Carlton. Still, most are outfitted with only the basic camping equipment: stove, fridge, beds and storage areas. They use the same canvas and screens as most pitch tents, so they have limited privacy in the campground and, when confronted by rain and windy conditions, are less comfortable than their solid-sided counterparts.
Still, the pop-up folding camping trailer is one of the best introductions into the world of trailer camping. The models in this group are inexpensive, easy to use, simple to tow and more than capable of offering a pleasurable outdoors experience for the entire family.
Compact Camping Concepts
For the really adventuresome do-it-yourselfer, the company offers an 85-page, step-by-step manual for those who want to build their own compact camper.
SportZ Truck Tent
SportZ comes with the idea of creating another truck tent that is perfect for people. It is the only tent that has the sewn in floor with over 5.feet of headroom for couple. This tent offers the large rear access panel that can be used for additional storage as well as the large entrance door, windows and side vents that can provide the great ventilation.
It is shipped along with the shade awning that will secure the tailgate and is easily to be set up anywhere you want. Plus, it is available in two colors, blue and grey, so choose your favorite one.
DAC Full Size Truck Tent
If you are finding the truck tent that can fit full size vehicle, consider this. It can fit the cars with a rear window with the high back and flat back camper tops. Additionally, this one can also cover over the carrier rack or air foil as well. The tailgate that features along with this one is equal or even greater than 5inches wide so that you do not need to worry that you have less space to use anymore.
By the way, it is not perfect matching with the vehicles that have an external rear mounted spare tire.
Rightline Truck Bed Tent
Next, we are going to check out some specification and what this Rightline truck bed tent can do. It is built with the heavy duty straps along with the nylon buckets that will make sure that your truck still stay in the same shape. They feature this one with the fabric that resists with water which attaches to the tape.
This tent is ideal for adults, and each purchase will get a pack which contains a tent, rainfly, stuff sack and sewn in set up guide.
DAC Explorer SUV Tent
This one is much easier for you to set up. You can just get the cord with plastic coated hooks to attach with the underframe of the vehicle, it is ready to use. You can fold up the outer door and tie if back in for the maximum ventilation or you can just zip and tie at the bottom corners if you want your own privacy. To add more, there are another way zippers which offers the easy entry to the rear of your vehicle.
Honda Genuine Truck Tent
Now, you are looking at the tent from Honda that can be either used to attach to the truck or used as a standalone tent. You can expand your area by using this tent and it also provides the protection for the entire roof as well. The floor is designed with the high quality rip stop polyethylene that is really perfect for outdoor gathering such as trips or camping in the forest.
Napier Truck Tent
Here is another truck tent that comes along with the sewn in floor inside. The interior are is very large with around 5.feet of headroom while there are another large windows with the middle divider that offer you many options of ventilation.
The rear access door of this tent is capable of letting you access for additional storage as well and with the color coded pole and sleeve system, you will spend less time to set this up.
Napier Outdoor Truck Tent
Let’s take a look at this Napier outdoor truck tent. This tent comes with the dimension of 60L x 68H in inches with the material made from polyester taffeta. Another thing is you can assemble this one much easier with just the help form the guidebook shipped along in a pack.
To clarify, it can fit the feet truck beds that can work with sprayed liner and such. You are ensured to get the super durable tent ever if you decide to buy this one.
General Motors Canyon Bed Tent
This is one of the truck bed tent that come with the very light weight and can resist well with water. It is made from nylon and comes with colors options which are gray, blue and black. With the lightweight design combined with the water resistant nylon, you can change your own vehicle to a sleeping tent for your camping in just a blink of eye.
While the dimensions you require in a sleeping quarter might seem obvious there are a couple of things to take into account when looking at size and manufacturer’s descriptions of a potential purchase.
Generally a tent is given a model number that denotes the amount of people it can house overnight. What most manufacturers will not tell you in their blurbs on their brochures is that it relates to people sleeping on the ground in sleeping bags or similar.
An average camp stretcher will take up the room of around 1.people and a pair of large camp stretchers will turn a five man tent into one that has room for two with a thin aisle between and only storage potential under the stretcher.
A five man tent might well handle five men, provided they are all of an average size and are happy to be squeezed in like sardines in a tin. Throw in one oversize person and the nominated potential of the tent is quickly put out of kilter.
Add the need to have some dry storage space for five bags of clothes and straight away you are another berth down.
So, now the five man tent is back to three and it might still be closer than comfortable for the inhabitants therein.
BEEF UP YOUR AWNINGS
Most tents come with an awning of sorts that’s strutted on a couple of telescopic poles held by guy ropes. As the sun moves from dawn to dusk and the wind changes direction due to seasonal vagaries, it pays to be flexible to take advantage of any shade and rain shelter offered by the straight top awning.
It’s all well and good provided you like shifting yourself and gear around but if you’re not home and a rain squall comes through, vital supplies might be drenched.
Perhaps the addition of some side curtains on the front awning might help to thwart the elements.
That being the case, the time to look into this is at the time of purchase as down the track should the tent model become obsolete, so too will the extra panels that you require.
Many manufacturers have optional side and front panels for awnings and they’re simple to zip into place. Some come with their own set of poles to further extend the original awning roof and the extra shade is often welcome.
The advantages with this system though, is that it allows luggage and perhaps other bodies to be positioned out in the front section, effectively turning a tent into a two room dwelling.
Most tent manufacturers give dimensions of the furthest extremities and in regards height; that is to the apex of the centre of the roof.
You may well wish to lay out your temporary abode in a fashion so that you can walk around the perimeter of the inside of the tent; in which case you’re under the lowest part of the gable and your head will clash with canvas and cross strut poles as you do so. Then, you’ll be walking stooped most of the time when moving about inside.
Ideally, have a look at a prospective purchase in the erect state and physically walk about inside to ensure its profile suits yours.
Sometime or other we all get a little precipitation when out camping and on occasions you might find you are in the watershed path of rain heading to the nearby catchment.
As water travels downhill it carries debris with it and once washed against the uphill side of your tent it will start to build. Too much is an issue and you might need to relieve the beaver dam with a shovel to prevent a complete wash away but in the meantime comfort is everything until the rain stops and the last thing you need inside on the floor of the tent is more of what is falling on the roof outside.
The moral of this part of the story is to look for a tent that has a sealed tub floor that comes up the sides at least 100mm or four inches.
Usually tent floors are constructed of heavy waterproof vinyl and provided it’s stitched, folded then stitched again it will prevent seepage unless water laps over the top.
Ideally the corners of the waterproof tub floor should be vinyl welded but these types of floors are not found as often as those stitched.
SCREEN YOUR SCREEN
They all make your camping life miserable if you let them and the only sanctuary for you when the sun settles over the horizon is often inside your tent behind effective insect screens. Unless of course you daub yourself with suspect DEET.
Just how effective the screens are is up to you and this should be addressed before the time of purchase.
Mosquitoes are the main culprit I prefer to keep at bay. Having endured viral meningitis and Ross River virus, I’m not lining up for denghi fever or the many other encephalitis strains that circulate around this country, mosquito borne.
Other small bities may be warded off with some personal insect repellent and various other smoke generating devices placed at strategic points. Ventilation is all important here so choose carefully on this point.
It’s important that the quality of the screen is such that it will have a good serviceable life span before wear and tear sets in rendering it useless. The adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ definitely applies to many components in a tent and this is definitely one of them.
ZIP ‘EM RIGHT!
The quality of zips on your tent will dictate how much you spend after purchase keeping it in a usable condition, bearing in mind that a canvas repairer could charge a small fortune to strip and re-fit a new zip to your tent.
Big chunky zips such as those seen on diver’s wet suits are my preferred option. They can handle salt and sand from a wind-swept beach with the least wear and tear.
Also those in your group that are a little rough with gear will have a hard time damaging such a zip as they’re made for heavy duty use.
It’s handy to have a spray can of food quality silicone in your camp box to lubricate sticky zips to prevent them wearing out prematurely.
The addition of a fly sheet over the top of your tent will often cool the inside during the heat of the day. The fly takes the brunt of the sun and the breeze flowing between it and the tent top exhausts the hot air.
Taking a nap in the middle of the day is now much easier and more comfortable. Manufacturers often fly sheets as options on their tents.
A fly also adds more waterproofing to canvas that may be strained at the stitching when erected hence letting moisture through during a rain event.
They also protect your canvas roof from bird and bat droppings and stains from native fruits falling from limbs above.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TENT
I ran fishing charters in the Northern Territory for more than a decade and spent eight months of every year living in tents in some of the most inhospitable country imaginable.
Here are a few hints that will make life a little more comfortable and they’re things that can be addressed before you head off into the wilderness.
BIG TENT PEGS
Many tents come supplied with inferior tent pegs. Too short, too flimsy, and not up to the rigours of holding a big canvas tent to the ground during windy periods.
I prefer pegs for general use to be nearly 30cm long and 8mm or more in thickness. If beach camping I use a set of large hard plastic pegs that are around 50cm in length to get deep down into soft sand.
Rather than mess around with a flimsy hammer trying to belt steel pegs into hard ground, pick up a cheap 3lb hammer from your hardware shop as this will serve the purpose better.
As soon as something is lit it has the potential to burn something else such as tent canvas and vinyl floor tubs.
If you can find some old metal camping dinner plates at the disposal store grab a few of them on which you can mount and light your mosquito coils. This will be much more stable than having a red hot coil swinging on a flimsy frame.
Always use a groundsheet under the tent floor. It helps protect the original floor from punctures from sticks and prickles.
I always use a section of heavy shade cloth which is hemmed with eyelets and this allows accumulated moisture to wick away into the ground below and the drying process of the tent much faster when packing away.
The whole outdoor experience is supposed to be enjoyable and on many occasions Mother Nature will try to intervene.Some judicious decisions at the point of sale on the type and features of a tent and what you can do with it at a later stage might well hold you in good stead.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your truck tent wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of truck tent