My, how time flies. It seems just like yesterday when FCA introduced the Jeep Gladiator in 2018. With a maximum payload rating of only 1,700 pounds, the off-road pickup lacks the requisite payload to haul a large, slide-in truck camper, but that’s okay. The Gladiator was made to play in the dirt and mud, which is why this mid-size truck so popular. Aside from it’s iconic good looks, the Gladiator features a number of things that endear it to off-road enthusiasts, including removable body panels, Dana 44 wide axles, Trac-lok front and rear lockers, skid plates, an electronic disconnecting rear sway-bar, 30 inches of water fording, and a standard 3.6L V6 that produces 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque coupled with either a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic. So without further adieu, let’s look at the 6 best truck topper camper shells for the 2023 Jeep Gladiator.
1. OVRLND Campers
The best of the best. 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. OVRLND Camper pricing starts at $6,900 for small/mid-size trucks and $7,600 for full-size trucks.
2. AT Overland Atlas
Another top seller, 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. 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.
3. 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. The Soaring Eagle OV-X 5.5 is sold through select dealers nationwide for a list price of $18,000.
4. AT Overland Summit
One of the best selling truck topper camper shells from our friends at Arizona-based AT Overland. 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 best truck topper camper shells. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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. One of the 6 best truck topper camper shells for the 2023 Jeep Gladiator. The Switchback X1 sells for $12,995 for the mid-size model and $13,495 pounds for the full-size model.
Last Words on Payload
Choose your Jeep Gladiator options wisely. Off-road capability means less payload, which is why the feature-packed Rubicon trim offers only 1,200 pounds of payload (seven skid plates pack a lot of weight). This is also why we recommend truck toppers like the ones featured in this article, yet still have enough payload remaining for other necessities needed for your off-road adventures. Still, a maximum payload of 1,700 pounds is a decent amount of payload for this off-road beast, which makes it an irresistible mule for carrying one of these toppers.