February 22, 2024 3 min read

Introducing HEST Quest! This year, we want to take a deeper dive into what IS the ultimate BEST set up for sleeping outdoors? Is it a van? A rooftop tent? The back of your truck? A truckbed camper? A tow behind trailer camper? A ground tent? With so many options for a base camp, we're on a mission to find the BEST. 

This year HEST has set out to answer the big question: What is the BEST car camping set up? 

Whether you are new to camping or a veteran overlander; everyone wants to know what is the BEST setup. What’s the most efficient, cost effective, easy, comfortable set up for sleeping outdoors?  HEST Quest will explore all the different setups; sharing the benefits and setbacks of each plus “how to’s” tips when it comes to building or shopping for your next mobile base camp.


What Type of Setup is do you have?
2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport with an ARE Camper Shell and DECKED Drawers. I use the Decked drawers to organize and store all my camping gear and then  I put a Dually Long on top of my Decked Platform, added some cozy led lights and I have myself a cozy back of the truck camping set up ready for adventure at any given moment! 

How Many Does it Comfortably Sleep? 
Two Adults and a dog

Is it Family Friendly?
It’s just my husband, dog and I- I think it’s a hard set up for a family. We’d need extra sleeping space.

Tell me more about the 4wd/ Off Road Capability of your Set up?
It can go wherever my 4WD Toyota Tacoma will take it any time of year in any conditions. I like that I don’t have to tow anything!

What’s the kitchen/cooking set up like? Is it inside or outside?
I have a section in one of my DECKED Drawers, inside a DECKED organizer bag, that I dedicate towards camp kitchen supplies like a Jetboil, cookware, plates, utensils, cups, coffee, spices, etc. so that I can quickly set up a camp kitchen whenever we set up camp. Needless to say, this is 100% an outdoor kitchen. No warm, cup of joe in the morning inside a camper….that’s what campfires are for!

How easy is it to set up, move around, leave the vehicle/go to town?
Super easy, just close the DECKED Drawers, fold the Dually - or keep it open, close the camper shell and head to town. I love that I can lock the camper shell.

Benefits/Pros: What you LOVE about this set up?

I do love that my truck is literally packed and ready to go on any adventure at any given time. I love the simplicity of the set up- takes all of 5 minutes to set up. The HEST Dually and string lights really give it a cozy home feel. I splurged on the camper shell and got the slightly taller one to give us more head space and the windows that pop out on both sides, which is nice for hot summer nights or waking up to beautiful views.

Challenges/Cons: What has been a hurdle/setback of the set up? 
Installing the DECKED drawers were fairly easy, but took some marital patience :) We camp with a lot of friends who have young children and they have all upgraded to campers with heaters and such, so whenever we camp in inclement weather or shoulder seasons- I DO envy the warm, controlled environment of an enclosed camper. But, 9 times out of 10 for the budget and ease of the set up - it has everything I ever wanted.

What are the budget considerations for investing in your set up?
A.) You need a long bed Truck bed on a 4WD truck- so that is an investment, but can be your everyday truck  

B.) DECKED drawers start at $1,600  

C.) Then all the camping gear you want and need

What’s the swag level of your set up? While function is definitely the most important consideration when looking for a rig, we can’t deny that some set ups just LOOK GOOD! How does this set up rank in terms of coolness?

It’s a bit on an internal only swag factor- not a lot going on from the outside of my truck. But I like the unassuming nature of the setup. It’s my everyday car and my getaway adventure mobil that turns into a comfy bed wherever we decide to camp. 

Which HEST mattress works best in this setup?
HEST Dually with the works- fitted sheets, Double Comforter, Double Top Sheet, Pillows and Pillowcases…..as comfortable as our home bed!

Follow along @hestoutdoors as we meet the people behind these different setups and build outs.