This past weekend I got to take my new truck tent from Napier Outdoors for a shakedown run and boy was it fantastic! For the past few years I have been using the Napier Backroadz series tent for my adventures and it’s a great tent, love it to death but it was time for an upgrade. I contacted Napier and a few days later there was a knock at my door and a man clad in brown delivered my new 57 Series tent!!
Straight off, this one is much heavier than my old one and has twice the poles, more headroom , windows, side vents, rainfly and…ready for this… a 4’x4’ awning that extends out from the back over the door! How cool is that!! After setting it up in the driveway to get a feel for how it went up and the order of the poles I was ready for a full on overnight outing. I called my gal-pal Kim and off we went. Arriving at Algonac State Park around 7pm we only had a short bit of time until sunset to get everything setup…the pressure was on!!
We unloaded the truck bed with all haste and then set to the task of erecting our shelter.
So, first things first. The 57 Series comes with its own expandable duffle bag that is large enough to hold the tent, poles, rainfly and gear loft. It’s a durable nylon bag with strong zippers and padded handles! As a stroke of genius, the instructions to assemble the truck tent are sewn into the carry bag!! How cool is that, absolutely zero chance of loosing the instructions! Its this attention to details like this that sets Napier Outdoors products apart from the crowd.
Opening up the duffle, I set about unrolling the tent into the bed, sorting the poles and consulting the instructions for the proper order of setup. It was a breeze! Figuring out what pole goes where couldn’t be easier because the sleeves the poles go into have color matching trim at the openings that correlates to the color of the correct pole!!! Its idiot proof!…well, almost….
Anyway, after getting the poles in their correct positions it was time to raise this puppy. It went up smooth and secure with no issues. From start to finish, it only took about 20 minuets to put up and then it was ready for use!
One thing I really like about this design are the straps that hold the tent in place in the bed. The left and right side both have three tie downs that hook to the truck body and inside the wheel wells. These straps are nylon webbing connected to a section of elastic to maintain tension. The really cool part is that all six of these tie downs are shrouded in nylon to protect your trucks finish…again, attention to detail.
The real wow factor aside from the taped seams is the 4’x4’ awning off the back! That was the real showstopper. Many campers walking by would stop and asked questions about the tent…where did I get it….was it easy to set up….cool awning!! It really made a difference and offered a bit more covered room, enough for two chairs to enjoy some shade or shelter from the rain!
With the tent up I turned my attention to dinner and started a fire and began organizing the camp kitchen. I have found there are two things that can ruin any trip, bad food and rough nights sleep! With dinner in the works we finished off the inside of the tent.
It was no longer a truck bed but a refuge from the elements, a place to rest after a hard day of adventure and relaxation!
As evening transitioned to night the campground came alive with happy figures illuminated by campfires, twinkle lights were strung and games were being played! I broke out my guitar and played to the stars and the trees…
The fire began to die down and we decided to turn in. Now, this is where the true test of the tent comes in. Some people will say “what test? It just has to sit there.” and yes, in that they are right but there’s more to it. First off there’s enough head room to move around comfortably and I was able to stand upright in the center. Second is breathability. With all the possible venting configurations with the tents windows it did a great job on cutting moisture inside while maintaining a comfortable temperature.
We bedded down for the night as the campground grew quiet. All that could be heard were the crickets chirping and the occasional lake freighter going past. I haven’t slept that good in quite some time!
We woke up with the sun as its light gently filtered trough the tent rousing us from our slumber. Everything was dry inside with no condensation issues and we climbed out, rested and ready to start the day!
I stoked up a fire for breakfast set to work while Kim prepped the fixings. We had bacon, English muffins and some fantastic omelets all cooked over an open fire!
Even if your roughing it, that’s no reason to live like a savage, and trust me, with this tent from Napier you’re far from roughing it!
As always, thanks for reading!