For millions of Americans, camping is a go-to activity to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life. Many people are so eager to immerse themselves with Mother Nature but are not quite ready to do away with modern comforts.

True enough, nothing can put a damper on a camping trip faster than sleeping on a hard, uneven surface during a chilly night. Fortunately, there are ways to circumvent this and that includes having a truck tent.

Many truck tent campers prefer the comfort and space provided by their vehicles. In the rainy season, you won’t have to worry about setting up a tarp on the ground, securing your rain fly, and hoping the water doesn’t seep through your tent. Stay warm, dry, off the ground, and away from all the critters. Plus, you can pitch a tent anywhere that your truck can go.

Is it your first time truck camping? Don’t worry. We are here to help you out. Today, we’ll be reviewing the Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent and see if it’s good for your truck camping needs.

Reviewing the Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent

The Kodiak Canvas comes in two different sizes, the regular that fits 5.5 to 6.8 foot-long beds and the long size for 8 to 8.5 foot-long beds. Is this a good truck tent for your camping needs? Let’s find out.

Compatibility

One of the most important things to consider when you are looking to purchase the Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent is compatibility. Will it work with your vehicle’s make and model? It is compatible with Nissan, Titan, Toyota Tundra, Dodge Ram, GMC Serra, Chevy Silverado, and the F Series of Ford cars. 

Design

Take a look at the design of this product; it’s durable watertight and breathable. While the Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent is made from (as the name suggests) canvas, it is incredibly sturdy. The inside feels more like a large tunnel than a tent and measures five feet in ceiling height from the floor of your truck bed. So if you want to stand and walk around, you’ll have to bend over a little bit but you won’t feel cramped at all. 

In addition to the internal space, you also have the option to expand the tent with by putting your tailgate system down. As far as the door goes, you get a D-shaped style complete with strong YKK zippers. And in case you were worried about ventilation, the Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent comes with plenty of mesh-screen windows too. You get all of the air circulation that you need while keeping the bugs at bay. What could be better? Use the steel tube frame to secure your tent in the truck bed for a tight fit. 

Weather and Extra Elements

There is nothing more fun than taking a road trip with your truck tent in the spring and summer seasons. Sure, you can use your truck tent in all conditions (except for snow) but there’s something to love about a little bit of warmth and sunshine. With this said, if you plan on taking the Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent out among the elements, there are a few things that you need to know. First, bring a rain fly. You don’t want to be caught with a dripping canvas tent in the event of a downpour. Second, use the pockets inside. There are plenty of storage containers built into the tent. You don’t have to be scrambling to find your phone, wallet, and keeps come morning. 

Finally, bring an air mattress, battery-operated pump, and some extra pillows and blankets. Even though you have shelter, it doesn’t mean you won’t want to have a little extra comfort. The bed of your trucks is hard and can get pretty cold at night. Using a sleeping bag alone won’t cut it if you want a good night’s sleep. With these tips, you should get all the winks you need to start your day off right. 

Durability and Construction

One of the most noteworthy features of this pickup tent is the Hydra-Shield 100% cotton duck canvas. Sounds like a buzzword but it does provide the product with impressive durability. The material is made from military grade canvas

Some other pickup truck tent would use oil or paraffin but it’s not nearly as durable and it makes it prone to moisture build-up and humidity. The proprietary Hydra-Shield gives the ability to wick away moisture (in case they find their way inside), and minimize humidity and condensation. Even with strong winds, I have no doubt that this truck tent camper could handle such conditions just fine.

The frame poles are made of sturdy steel but are quite flexible. They’re similar to regular tent poles but they a cinch to put together and make for some extra sturdy framework.

Ease of Setup

When it comes to tents for trucks, ease of setup is a major consideration for me. I can imagine that it’s the same way for other people.

Fortunately, the Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent is a breeze to set up with the included instructions.

If you got the 8-foot version, there are extension rails that need to be screwed in place. This one took me a long time to install but this just a one-time task, unless you need to remove the rails at some point.

The Kodiak truck tent is set up in a way that the tailgate is down which helps in adding more space inside. This also allows the occupants to easily get in and out of the tent. The first time we set it up, it took about an hour including the installation of the extension rails.

Once we got to the campsite, it took a mere 15 minutes to pitch the tent. Taking it down is even faster and the whole thing is easily folded and stuffed into its carrying case.

Overall, setting up is easy but make sure practice first before heading out.

Comfort

So how does this truck tent feels from the inside? Well, it may not look like it but it’s really quite comfortable. The canvas material is breathable, so it keeps the interior well-ventilated but still comfortable during chilly nights.

There are also five windows including a cab access window which further improves the ventilation of the tent.

WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT THE KODIAK CANVAS TRUCK TENT

According to numerous reviews by other users online, the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent is a top-rated product. As of this writing, the tent has 4.5 out of 5 stars with 220+ reviews on Amazon. Several outdoor blogs consistently list this pickup truck tent camper among their top three.

Many reviewers love the fact that the tent is easy to set up, apart from the initial installation. Many reviewers also enjoy the comfort provided by the tent, thanks to the superior materials and ventilation design. Plenty of users also commented on the excellent durability of the product, even during harsher conditions and after numerous trips.

There are also minor complaints about the Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent. Although I said that the tent is easy to set up with the included instructions, other buyers didn’t find it that simple. True enough, there’s a bit of a learning curve when setting up the tent, especially for first-timers. I can imagine that it be a challenge to set up this tent with only one person.

KODIAK AGAINST THE COMPETITION

While the Kodiak truck tent is one of the better-known models available, it isn’t the only truck tent on the market. So, let’s take a look at its closest competitors to see how it measures up. 

RIGHTLINE GEAR TRUCK TENTS

The Rightline Gear’s claim to fame is its floorless design. The benefit to you is that you don’t have to take anything out of your truck bed before you can set it up. That sounds like quite a time-saver to us. It features water-resistant fabric and tape-sealed seams. Another unique feature is the “sky view vent,” which allows you to watch the stars as well as stay cooler when sleeping. You’ll find color-coded poles and pole pockets, along with a rain fly for those damp evenings. 

Professional reviewers rate it well as an also-ran, though most prefer the Kodiak. Consumers rated it well, with Amazon buyers giving it an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars. It stands out as being significantly less expensive than the Kodiak. However, it does have its downsides. Many fear the straps are a risk for damaging your truck’s exterior finish. Some buyers found it a bit flimsy and said that seams ripped and zippers broke easily.

NAPIER BACKROADZ TRUCK TENT

In contrast, Napier Backroadz boasts of its complete coverage of your truck bed. This means you and your gear stay clean and dry, no matter what you were hauling earlier. It also offers color-coded poles and a rain fly. To add to its weatherproofing, it also has a storm fly for extra protection. It’s also pretty room, with over 5.5 feet of headspace. And you can still use it even if your truck has a toolbox or liner.

Camping gear pros love the Napier Backroadz truck tent, and consumers are pretty happy with it, too. Amazon buyers give it an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. It also rings in at a lower price than the Kodiak, but a few buyers have said that it’s an adequate but not overwhelming product. 

GUIDE GEAR FULL-SIZE TRUCK TENT

Guide Gear seems to be aiming at the discount market because its truck tents are some of the cheapest we’ve seen. But what about quality? While this truck tent seems practical, you won’t find any expensive upgrades. The design is simple: It has a floor and a mesh vent. It features plenty of headroom and space to sleep two. 

While gear pros say its great for its price, they say it has its flaws. You won’t find a custom fit at all with this model. Customers rated it an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Several buyers said they were quite impressed with the quality for the price. Complaints tend to focus on the fit and durability of the tent poles.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE PURCHASING THE KODIAK CANVAS TRUCK TENT

How Portable is the Tent?

Before making your final decision, consider portability. How easy is set up and tear down? Can the Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent be easily transported from place to place? From the information we have presented earlier, the answer to both of these questions is yes. If you intend on traveling on a long road trip, this is one of the best investments that you can make. More often than not, truck tents do not offer a lot of room. But this style breaks the mold. With a spacious five-foot-high ceiling, mesh windows, and plenty of storage pockets, you will be good to go for a long time when you are on the road. You’ll find both great portability and functionality in this model. You don’t have to sacrifice ease of transport for a more spacious and sturdy truck tent. 

Where Will You Use the Tent?

Different tents are suited to different environments. With this said, considering the canvas material of this model, it is not suited for cold, winter weather or rain. While it has a degree of water resistance, this model is best suited for mild spring, summer, and fall temperatures. If you are traveling with the chance of rain, bring along a rain fly. In the colder months, bring extra sleeping bags, pillows, and padding for your truck bed to shield yourself from the cold. The good thing is that this tent will keep animals and insects out regardless of the environment you are in and provide plenty of shade in the summer. 

How Many People Will Be Using the Tent?

Consider how many people will be sleeping in the tent. You need to take into consideration how much space you will need. If you are the only one sleeping in your tent, you can get away with having a smaller space. However, if you are going to be sharing the back of your truck bed with your significant other or your friends and family, you may want to think about space. 

What Are You Willing to Pay?

The best car camping tents can range in price from under one hundred dollars to almost two thousand bucks. This obviously means that you need to consider your budget before deciding on a specific product. Luckily for you, the Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent is a mid-priced item. Those who want to purchase a luxury tent will need to spend a bit more to accommodate their needs. Travelers seeking a product that provides a spacious interior and protection from the elements will find everything that they need here. You don’t have to break the bank to get quality car camping gear. 

What Design Features Do You Need to Have?

Some of the best camping tents are packed with useful features. Think mesh netting windows, waterproof exterior, and plenty of storage pockets. Others yet have simpler designs and lack essential features built into their existing structures. Thankfully, the Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent has what you need. Travelers who spend a great deal of time outside will appreciate the vestibule and space for storing important personal items. Other features like ventilation provide a comfortable sleeping experience for campers in hot or humid climates.

Other Things to Consider Before You Buy

Size

As we previously mentioned, the size of your tent should be something to consider before you make a purchase. Are you a solo traveler? The Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent is a great purchase for those who like to adventure alone or with a partner. After all, you are able to travel lightly and won’t have to spend that much money. You will never feel cramped. The best camping tents provide a good amount of space while remaining lightweight. 

Special Features

This is much more than just a place to sleep when you are outdoors. Depending on where you are staying, you will appreciate its many features. If you plan to spend time in a hot environment, you will appreciate the lightweight canvas material and plenty of mesh ventilation. With more airflow in the tent, you will spend your nights sleeping soundly instead of feeling uncomfortable and too warm.

IS THE KODIAK CANVA TRUCK TENT A GOOD BUY?

Listed at a price range between $350 and $400, as far as pickup tent campers go, the Kodiak Canvas Truck Tent is not the most affordable. There are other similar truck tents that you can get for about $100 less.

However, there’s significant quality here, which we think warrants the price. Just make sure that you practice setting up the tent before you head out camping.

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