Review: Napier Backroadz Truck Tent
With the growing overland off-road segment, the options for the off-road camper have become widely abundant. While there are a number of off-the-ground sleeping products out there – such as high-end camper shells, on-vehicle foldout tents, and trailer tents/campers – many of the products come with a hefty price tag.
Vehicle camping tent maker Napier provides another solution for campers hoping to get of the ground with its Backroadz and Sportz Truck Tents. The company has been producing vehicle camping tents for trucks and SUVs since 1990, and the company lays claim to offering the best-selling trucks and SUV tents in the world. Its products are available in North America, Europe and Australia.
We recently got our hands on a Backroadz Truck Tent #13 Series for our half-ton truck. This new “value priced” line from Napier compliments the company’s #57 Series tents, and it is designed for easy setup in the open bed of a pickup truck. Napier offers a few different models to accommodate short-bed, regular-bed and long-bed trucks, and the tents will fit on most trucks on the market. The Backroadz #13 unit we tested fits our full-size regular bed truck and is designed to fit two adults.
The Backroadz tent features Napier’s patented sewn-in floor for protection from the elements and water resistance should the weather get rough. Inside, the tent offers up to 5 feet, 5 inches of headroom. It features four windows on the top of the tent, as well as a rear access panel to access items inside the truck cab or for charging electronics. A rain fly provides protection for wet or rainy conditions, and an interior pocket makes for easy storage of important items you’d want with you inside the tent.
The setup of the Backroadz tent is fairly straightforward. The tent itself is the largest piece of the entire kit, and although it can be set up by one person it certainly will go quicker with an added set of hands. The tent is secured to the truck via well-placed straps and hooks, which safely hook to the undercarriage of your truck or wrap around corner sections. Napier also thoughtfully places fabric pieces wherever any of the plastic buckles might make contact with the truck body to avoid scuffing or scraping of the paint.
When it comes time to insert the tent poles, fortunately Napier color-coded the shock-corded fiberglass poles for simple installation (there’s only four, but it does help make the install easier). The pole mounts that are sewn into the tent itself are sturdy and built for durability. With all the poles in place we lifted the tent to height and installed the rain fly, which was relatively install after locating all of the hooks and mounting locations. The directions outline the installation accurately and concisely, and we quickly learned that should one of the parts be installed wrong the hooks and straps won’t line up properly so you’ll quickly notice.
We’re impressed with the Napier Sportz Truck Tent. It’s well constructed, fairly easy to set up and take down, and it’s a simple solution for two-person off-the-ground camping. If there’s any doubt about its durability, Napier backs the tent with a one-year warranty as well. If you’d like to get off the ground or simply need a simple solution for vehicle tent camping, the Backroadz Napier Truck Tent is a good option at $189.99, especially when considering the price of some of the high-end overland setups on the market. For SUV, minivan and hatchback owners, Napier also offers other tent options as well.