10 Best Truck Topper Camper Shells for Today’s Overland Adventures

The truck topper is the hottest trend in the overland truck market due to it’s exceptionally low weight and comparatively low price. Another reason, of course, is the popularity of mid-size and full-size pickup trucks like the Ford F150, Jeep Gladiator, and Toyota Tacoma. After all, you need a truck to carry a topper. When talking about trucks and campers, of course, payload is king. The trouble is mid-size and half-ton trucks lack it, which greatly limits what these trucks can carry. Payload ratings between 1,100 and 1,600 pounds is the norm. This limitation has inspired many manufacturers to build what is now popularly called the truck topper—a camper shell without a floor that sits on the bed rails of the pickup truck. At the 2022 Overland Expo West, we counted over a dozen companies producing such a “camper,” which makes choosing the right one difficult. In this article, we taken the guess work out of buying a truck topper by presenting what we think are the 10 best. So without further adieu, here are the 10 best truck topper camper shells for today’s overland adventures.

1. AT Overland Aterra Topper

The best of the best and a fairly new release by our friends at AT Overland. The Aterra Topper is unique in that it’s the only topper shell that features a standing room, hard-top rather than a traditional canvas pop-top. The topper, of course, is based upon AT Overland’s popular Aterra XL flatbed camper. “Basically what we did was took our Aterra XL, sliced the bottom off, altered it up a bit, and turned it into a topper using our composite technology, and came out with a cool, sort of toyhauler with a garage scenario,” said Mario Donovan, AT Overland co-founder and CEO. “The idea was that if you’re a motorcyclist, like me, you can actually get your motorcycle into this space, but it’s also wide enough for an ATV.” The Aterra topper weighs only 510 pounds and will fit any full-size truck with a 6.5-foot bed like the Ford F150, Ram 1500, and Toyota Tundra. Like the Aterra XL, the Aterra topper features a durable honeycomb composite shell with the classic Aterra shape. The topper’s large rear opening liftgate provides enough clearance to load a motorcycle or ATV into the truck bed. The lockable liftgate opens to 90 degrees and provides shading over the truck tailgate when open. The Aterra Topper also features a king-size bed with a 3-inch thick upholstery foam mattress, four Tern Overland double-pane windows each equipped with roller blinds and solar screens, LED strip lighting, USB and 12 volt power points, and a single 185 watt solar panel compatible with portable power stations like those made by National Luna and Jackery. The base price for the Aterra Topper starts at $20,500. For more information, visit the AT Overland website at www.atoverland.com.

2. Four Wheel Camper Project M

Another favorite, the Four Wheel Camper Project M truck topper was designed for those who want a camper that is ultra-light, yet retains use of the bed for hauling gear, bikes, firewood, and material for home construction projects. This versatility allows the topper to be used both at home and on your truck camper adventures. Like all Four Wheel Campers, the Project M features an all-aluminum welded frame, aluminum siding, and a one-piece aluminum roof. The 425-pound topper features a fully insulated roof and sides, four large windows with screens and window covers, and an impressive 6 feet 6 inches of interior standing room. The best options include solar power and and a portable battery to power things like power portable refrigerators, computers, phones, and lights. Other options include top, side, and hitch racks for things like water or gas containers, shovels, Maxtrax, surf boards, kayaks, bikes, snow skis, etc. In the future, Four Wheel Campers will offer retrofittable, modular interior options like drawers and cabinets for organization, and racks for easy and safe transport of equipment and gear. Available in numerous colors in smooth, ribbed, or diamond-plate aluminum. Fits both mid-size and full-size trucks including the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Raptor, Jeep Gladiator, and Ram Power Wagon. Without a doubt, one of the 10 best truck topper camper shells for today’s overland adventures. Pricing starts at a affordable $10,995.

3. OVRLND Campers Truck Topper

Without a doubt, one of the 10 best truck topper camper shells for 2023. This Flagstaff, Arizona-based company revealed its first pop-up truck topper at the 2018 Overland Expo and hasn’t looked back since. Unlike the traditional slide-in truck camper, which easily weighs over 1,000 pounds, the base model of the OVRLND Camper weighs only 300 pounds, making it light enough to be safely hauled on any mid-size or full-size, half-ton truck, including the Ram Power Wagon. The camper features a vertical pop-top with a canvas height of just under 28 inches and comes standard with a pull-out, north-south 60×80-inch queen bed. The vertical walls of the camper maximize usable space and feature an aluminum “T track” on either side that can be used to secure and mount kitchen counters, stoves, and equipment to provide additional functionality, features, and comfort. Moreover, the topper’s internals can be easily be removed should the owner need the truck to haul plywood, firewood, or any other gear. This can’t be done with a regular slide-in camper. OVRLND Campers are custom-built, so owners can pick from a number of options available such as roof rack tracks, solar power, windows, awnings, extra bedding height, cabinets, counters, rear barn doors, lift jacks, etc. The frame is constructed using welded aluminum tubing, making it easy for interior or exterior hard point mounting of Jerry cans, propane cans, or other recreational equipment. The tubing construction also makes it easy to add 1-inch insulation for thermal protection against the elements. Easily, one of the 10 best truck topper camper shells for today’s overland adventures. OVRLND Campers pricing starts at $8,400 for small/mid-size trucks and $9,400 for full-size trucks.

4. AT Overland Atlas

The AT Overland Atlas delivers on features and adventure in a major way, yet weighs only 360 pounds. Unlike the traditional slide-in camper, the Atlas truck topper sits on top of the bed rails of the truck and has no floor. This new and innovative approach makes the camper lighter than a standard truck camper, yet still retains a comfortable sleeping platform for owners. The Atlas is built from CNC-cut and formed aluminum with a bonded honeycomb composite and features a distinctive wedge-style pop-top that provides up to 6 feet 10 inches of headroom and a 48×80-inch sleep platform with a 2.5-inch mattress that can support up to a whopping 500 pounds. Each topper is made with a durable FMVSS compliant canvas tent. Options include a light-blocking Thinsulate liner providing a 1.4 R-value, a cab slider window, a roof rack, side slider windows, Seitz “Euro-style” side windows (17×43 inches), side hatch doors (17×43 inches), rear lift gate insert window, a 12 volt power system, interior lighting, awnings, interior cabinetry with pull-out refrigerators and cooktops, forced air heating, and a color match to vehicle. Designed by AT Overland co-founder and truck camper designer extraordinaire Mario Donovan. Without a doubt, one of the 10 best truck topper camper shells for today’s overland adventures. Sold factory direct at the company’s headquarters in Prescott, Arizona or from select dealers nationwide. Pricing for the Atlas starts at a very affordable $14,300.

5. Hiatus Campers Truck Topper

Easily, one of the 10 best mid-size and full-size truck topper camper shells for 2023. The Hiatus Camper Truck Topper is truly innovative and deserves a top three ranking. The Hiatus camper’s unique, lightweight design offers all of the benefits of today’s truck topper without the use of canvas for a better four-season experience. “A lot of the pop-up truck campers currently on the market have canvas sides,” explained Erin Sofinowski, co-owner of Washington-based Hiatus Campers. “Our folding, hard-wall design insulates you from the cold, stands up to wet and snowy weather better, and provides a barrier from wind and external noise. Another thing that sets our camper apart is the double-back door, which makes it easier to get in and out of the camper and does a better job keeping dust and water out of the camper compared to the lift-up window and tailgate entry seen in other toppers.” The Hiatus Camper is fully insulated, mounts to the bed rails of the truck, and provides a comfortable four-season camping experience. The heaviest camper weighs only 500 pounds. The camper can be adapted to fit any make, model, and size of pickup truck, including the popular mid-size Toyota Tacoma and full-size Ford F-150. The innovative, patent pending design features a large bed that can comfortably sleep two, which slides-out, and can be assembled in seconds. For a mid-size truck, the sleeping platform is 50×74 inches and for a full-size truck 56×74 inches. Standard features include locking double doors, lift assist gas struts, a Fan-Tastic Vent Fan, overhead LED lighting, an integrated third brake light, and Yakima tracks. Pricing for the mid-size variant starts at $15,500.

6. Soaring Eagle OV-X 5.5

A quality topper from a brand-new company, Soaring Eagle Campers. Available in four bed sizes—5 feet, 5.5 feet, 6.5 feet and 8 feet—the Soaring Eagle OV-X tips the scales at only 600 pounds. Constructed of all tubular aluminum and composites, the OV-X is made to stand the test of time while still being robust and rugged enough to tackle extreme off-road trails. The topper features a pull-out king bed with mattress with built-in storage underneath. The open space in the bed provides enough storage for just about anything the owner would ever want to take with them on their adventures. Gas struts making raising and lower the pop-top a breeze. The OV-X’s soft top is both waterproof and durable, providing years of carefree usage. Standard features include two roof top 12 volt vent fans with LED lights to provide illumination throughout the camper. Popular options include roof mounted solar panels, a portable Blackstone griddle, Dometic powered cooler (AC/DC), exterior MOLLE boards for attaching gear, and a roof rack for kayaks. Designed specifically for mid-size trucks with 5-foot and 5.5-foot beds, including the popular Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma. Without a doubt, one the 10 best truck topper camper shells for today’s overland adventures. The Soaring Eagle OV-X 5.5 is sold through select dealers nationwide for a list price of $18,000.

7. Go Fast Camper Platform Camper

A top name in the truck topper industry and worthy to be included in this survey, the Go Fast Camper Platform Camper comes in three sizes depending on the size of your truck. The “standard” size is made for mid-sized trucks like the Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator, and Toyota Tacoma, while the “XL” version is made for full-sized short-beds like the Ford F150, Ram 1500, and Toyota Tundra. Full-size long-bed trucks with 8-foot beds get the appropriately named “8-Footer Camper.” All Go Fast Platform Campers offer a whopping 7.5 feet of head room, and come with an upholstered 2-inch mattress that works with what the company calls its “Transform-A-Floor” modular floor system. The sleeping dimensions are surprisingly large with 50×90 inches for the standard model, 56×90 inches for the XL, and 56×90 inches for the 8-Footer. The weights are surprisingly light too, with only 270 pounds for the Standard, 300 pounds for the XL, and 320 pounds for the 8-Footer. The Go Fast Camper Platform Camper top is activated by pulling two levers and pushing the roof of the tent up a few inches. From there, the gas struts take over, fully releasing the tent the rest of the way. It only takes a few seconds. Collapsing the tent is just as easy, just pull down on the tent fabric, hit it inside the extruded aluminum hinges, close the latches, and you’re on the road. Closed, the tent measures just six inches in height, making it perfect for your off-road truck camper adventures. Pricing for the Go Fast Camper Platform Camper starts at $7,700.

8. AT Overland Summit

The Summit is yet another top entry from our friends at AT Overland. Unlike the Atlas, which offers a traditional, horizontal pop-top, the Summit features a wedge-style tent for great interior head room. Like the Atlas, however, the Summit is built from CNC-cut and formed aluminum with a bonded honeycomb composite and features a distinctive wedge-style pop-top that provides up to 8 feet of headroom and a 48×80-inch sleep platform with a 2.5-inch mattress that can support up to 500 pounds. Each topper is custom made to order. The Summit features a durable, fire-retardant canvas tent that is breathable and waterproof. For cold weather, an optional fire-retardant, light-blocking, Thinsulate™ liner is available with matching window openings and a R value of 1.4 (34-36-degree heat retention). This combination of materials makes the Summit comfortable, whatever the weather. Other options include a cab slider window, a roof rack, side slider windows, Seitz “Euro-style” side windows (17×43 inches), side hatch doors (17×43 inches), a rear lift-gate insert window, a 12 volt power system, interior lighting, awnings, interior cabinetry with pull-out refrigerators and cooktops, forced air heating, and a color match to vehicle. Easily, one of the top 10 mid-size and full-size truck topper camper shells for 2023. Designed by AT Overland co-founder and truck camper designer extraordinaire Mario Donovan and sold factory direct at the company’s headquarters in Prescott, Arizona or at select dealerships nationwide. Pricing starts at a very affordable $13,200.

9. Topo Toppers Mesa

Topo Toppers is better known for its flagship model called the Badlander, but the Ventura, California-based company is equally proud of its brand-new model called the Mesa. The Mesa is built on the same high-quality foundation as the Badlander, but removes the non-essentials to offer a bomb-proof, customizable, lightweight camper shell at a highly competitive price. The Mesa is made of 1/8-inch formed aluminum sheet metal, making it extremely strong and lightweight—the base model weighs in at only 250 pounds. The roof is made of a single sheet of formed aluminum, with an aluminum substructure, which adds even more rigidity. The camper side’s are tapered with the truck bed, with custom dies to form sleek radius bends that compliment the truck and ensure a perfect fit. Topo Topper never cuts corners. Each camper is designed, programmed and laser cut specifically for each truck model ordered. The company also sources the highest quality, American-made and patented, marine-grade performance fabric that is abrasion resistant, breathable, and comes with a 10-year fade warranty. The Mesa features two zippered side wall tent windows and a 2-inch, high density foam mattress with a wider sleeping area—51 inches wide x 80 inches long—compared to the competition, with enough space to get up and down from bed without needing to remove a bed panel or disturb your partner. It also features keyed tailgate door locks and two tent stash pockets for snacks and for your phone. The Mesa can be purchased at an introductory price of only $6,950 for mid-size trucks and $7,450 for full-size trucks.

10. Super Pacific Switchback X1

The Switchback XI is Super Pacific’s flagship model and one of our favorites. Like most of the truck toppers featured in this survey, the Switchback X1 is a lightweight, wedge-style camper for mid-size and full-size pickup trucks. It offers a four-season roof-top tent, a commercial-grade, riveted aluminum canopy plus a gear mounting system that’s designed to integrate with any camping setup. The company claims that the camper has been designed with the experience of the end user in mind and we believe them. It offers a four-season tent using a 450 denier polyester textile that is treated with an acrylic coating for resilience against the elements. The tent also features a unique adjustable venting system that makes it easy to control the interior air flow. The owner can completely open the vents to keep things cool and reduce condensation, or can be sealed to trap heat in cold weather. The tent also features three, large screened doors that allow access from the exterior via a ladder if desired. Alternatively, you can remove one or both of the small modular floor panels so you can easily climb from inside the truck bed to the tent without disrupting your sleep set up. The interior of the canopy is lined with M6 threaded bosses that are evenly spaced throughout the interior of the frame for attaching accessories such as molle plates, tools, racks, storage nets, whatever you want. The possibilities are endless. Built like an airplane and made in the USA, the Super Pacific Switchback weighs between 325 and 390 pounds, depending on the truck it’s mounted on. The Switchback X1 sells for $12,995 for the mid-size model and $13,495 pounds for the full-size model.

About Mello Mike 889 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator (KK7TCA), he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, holds a BS degree, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top.

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