Tired of moving gear in and out of the cab when you need to make room for the kids or buddies? Ready to pull up to the campsite without everything coated in dust after rolling around in the back? If your idea of organization is storage bins on the back seat and that works for you, great. But most people need more. Hell, you and your equipment deserve more. Considering all the things you use your pickup truck for, you probably want to have an organization system that’s useful, durable, and flexible.
While there are a million different ideas out there, we’re hitting you with some of the best solutions for your truck bed storage. Here’s a quick overview of what we’ll be looking at:
- DECKED storage solutions (startin’ strong)
- The always trusted tonneau cover
- Your basic cargo management accessories
- Straps and rope
If you’ve ever been bouncing around off-road, hearing your truck bed cargo slide around in the back, you know what we mean. And while it may feel like you’re a bad-ass driver and you may even like the added sound effects, it’s probably best to protect what you got. (The real badasses store and organize their stuff, man.) Luckily, we have all kinds of storage ideas. Let’s start with our favorite option, shall we?
DECKED Storage Drawers and Cargo Management Solutions
DECKED has a wide range of storage solutions from truck bed toolboxes to portable boxes designed to be weatherproof and provide easy access. DECKED will also keep all your things secure and safe from sliding around and getting damaged. No scraping or sounds of jumbling? Now that’s music to our ears.
Made with an American steel frame in-molded to a high-density polyethylene skin to increase the functionality of your pickup truck bed, DECKED truck bed drawers are practically indestructible. They make the most of the space by covering the full length of your truck bed and work as a bed slide, bringing your stuff out to you for easy access. A sliding truck bed means no more awkwardly crawling and grunting to get that one damn screw that rolled its way to the back of your truck.
The deck sits above the wheel wells to give you the entire truck bed footprint as a flat surface and supports up to a 2000 lb payload. Each drawer can also hold up to 200 lbs of cargo, and they lock for added security. The wheel well corners are fitted out with storage cubbies for smaller items, so no storage space is wasted!
If your ride doubles as a truck camper, the DECKED system also makes a great low profile sleeping platform. Toss a mattress on top and boom—you’ve got a bed camper. You can sleep comfortably and still have enough headroom, even with a topper. And all your gear is safely locked under you while you sleep—no need to unpack your gear or guns.
DECKED Boxes & Accessories
The D-Box satisfies the need to keep everything in its place, as it nestles within the bed drawer and maximizes drawer storage efficiency. The D-Box fits all full-size drawers and midsize wide drawers. Designed as a sturdy storage unit that can carry loads of up to 50lb (much higher than you’d ever expect to have in your toolbox!), the D-Box measures 20.5″ x 17.5″ x 8″.
A short full-size 5′ 5″ bed length system will accommodate two D-Boxes per drawer, and a standard full-size 6′ 6″ system will accommodate three D-Boxes per drawer for a complete truck bed organizer.
Two D-boxes also fit inside the midsize wide drawers. Unfortunately, the D-Box doesn’t fit a midsize system narrow drawer—but don’t fear, we have other boxes for that.
The Crossbox is a half-sized version of the D-Box, which again nestles snuggly into the drawer system. The Crossbox fits in all DECKED storage drawers: crosswise in all full-size drawers and midsize wide drawers, and lengthwise in midsize narrow drawers. This handy box measures 17.5″ x 10.75″ x 7.75″ and safely carries up to 40 lbs. Designed to be a portable toolbox with a removable small-parts tool tray, the Crossbox is ideal to use as a first-aid kit. With an EPDM lid gasket, the Crossbox provides weatherproof storage and has multiple grip points to make it easy to get out of the system drawers quickly. With an easy-carry handle, the Crossbox is sturdy and durable as well as lockable for extra security, perfect for carrying everything you need around a job site.
The DECKED drawers are fitted using a bed rails system purchased separately and made to fit different size trucks. Locks are also available. If you need security, accessibility, and the ability to use your pickup truck bed even when you’re hauling a ton of gear, the custom truck bed DECKED system is a great option. Oh, and it’s also the best-looking option.
Truck Bed Tonneau Covers
No truck is safe from the looky-loos out there. When you have a whole bunch of good-looking equipment or tools, you have to look out for your gear, but you don’t always have the time just to stand there playing the role of a bouncer. Adding a cover to your truck bed keeps all your belongings out of sight from tool-thieves. You can load up to 2000lb on top of the DECKED platform and then cover it so prying eyes can’t see what you’re transporting.
The gist is this: tonneau covers are functional, easy to use, and vary to suit your needs and budget. They also increase the aerodynamics of your truck, which leads to greater mileage and savings on gas. Who doesn’t love to save gas money?!
Let’s take a quick look at some of the different tonneau covers out there.
- Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Covers – These are among the cheapest tonneau cover options, usually coming in at around $200. The downside of these covers is that they aren’t exactly secure. If you decide to go with this entry-level system, try to find one with a great warranty.
- Soft Folding Tonneau Covers – Constructed out of an aluminum frame and covered with heavy-duty vinyl, they are lightweight and can be opened and closed by one person from the side of the truck. Most have a tri-fold design that allows you to uncover up to two-thirds of your truck bed when open.
- Hard Roll-Up Tonneau Cover – A step up in security, quality, and functionality, a hard roll-up tonneau cover comes priced from around $1000. Typically made from high-grade, tearproof vinyl over aluminum slats, they’re not generally waterproof but still give decent weather protection.
- Hard Folding Tonneau Covers – Much more robust than the softer version, the hard folding tonneau covers are usually constructed out of aluminum or composite panels in a tri-fold design. In a variety of finishes, they’re sturdy and won’t collapse no matter what the weather has in store.
- Retractable Tonneau Covers – These are definitely a more expensive option, but the functionality and the cool-factor make it worth it for those who like to sport the latest tech. Of course, this also makes it more complex to install and prone to part-failure or breakage. But when they work, they’re brilliant.
- Full Shell Tonneau Covers – The full shell tonneau cover overlaps the tailgate and locks, meaning the tailgate can’t be opened until the cover has first been unlocked and opened. They’re the most expensive tonneau cover but also the most secure option available.
For more detailed information about Tonneau covers and a comparison of our favorites, check out our Best Tonneau Cover blog post.
Cargo Management Accessories
Precious cargo, we’ve all got it. That’s why you’re here, looking for ways to keep them protected and organized. In addition to common items like bed liners, you can find all kinds of interesting accessories to help you organize your gear. Whether you drive a Jeep, a Chevy van, or a Dodge Ram pickup, you can find storage containers that fit your vehicle on your overlanding adventures.
A truck bed extender does just what it says. It literally extends the length of your truck bed to add the length of your tailgate, allowing you to carry more or longer loads. It’s sturdier than a cargo net, and most can be easily disassembled when not in use. Some flip inward and provide bars to hold and separate your cargo, stopping things from sliding about all over the truck bed. If you don’t need permanent cargo bars to hold your items in place, the duality of a bed extender that doubles up is ideal.
Cargo Bags and Nets
Cargo bags and nets are a simple and typically effective way to protect and lug your cargo from Point A to Point B. Cargo bags are usually constructed out of a heavy-duty PVC material so that they can withstand most weather conditions. They’re not as secure as a tonneau cover, but it’ll likely get the job done if set up well.
Cargo bars are usually telescopically adjustable, so they’ll fit your truck no matter where you want to section it off. They’re designed to hold larger, bulkier items in place and can either be permanently fixed or ratchet-mounted against the side of the truck for easy installation and removal. And when you don’t need them, they’re small, lightweight, and take up barely any space in your truck.
Straps and Rope
If you’re using a makeshift truck bed storage system cobbled together with storage boxes and bins, consider using tie-downs to secure everything in place. All kinds of random truck bed accessories are easy to find on Amazon. You can use a nylon rope to secure your load is an affordable option for a tighter budget. Depending on your load, you’ll want at least 100ft of 1/4″ nylon rope. Avoid twine and braided ropes because they’re weak and prone to breaking during transit. Nothing about you says weak, all right, so forego the twine. You can also consider getting a ratchet strap. Most ratchet straps come with a hook on both ends to attach to the pickup truck’s internal walls. They’re strong, secure, durable, and very versatile. Last but not least, you can find use from an E-track ratchet. They work in the same way as a regular ratchet strap, except it locks into place using a compatible e-track system attached to your inner truck walls.
There you have it! Some of the most common storage ideas for your truck bed. While you might be tempted to do some more digging, you might as well do yourself a solid and stay here with us. Don’t spend another few hours or even days doing more and more mind-numbing research just to find out what you already know: you can’t go wrong with DECKED for your truck bed storage.
DECKED has a great range of dividers and drawer organizers to fit their drawer system perfectly. They hold all your bits and pieces in place. No more sliding around; everything is left exactly where you put it. And yes, you can use our handy boxes and bags for tool storage without the drawer system to create a DIY truck bed organization system. Take a look around. Kick your feet up. We have fun here.