Packout camper's T-track frame delivers maximum gear-loading flex

Packout camper's T-track frame delivers maximum gear-loading flex
By: New Atlas Posted On: October 02, 2023 View: 158

The pickup topper market has absolutely exploded over the past five years or so, making it more and more difficult for any given product to stand out. And yet, small startups continue to find ways to do so. Las Vegas' Packout Campers is the latest to shoot across our radar, having jumped into the market in 2021 after finding existing pickup toppers lacking the modular versatility it was looking for – if you're going to lose some of the utility of the truck bed, you might as well replace it with something just as capable. To that end, Packout's topper relies on a T-track frame to quickly and easily mount all kinds of accessories and gear, inside and out. It's like a three-dimensional roof rack and pop-up camper all in one.

The Packout looks from afar to be your standard black, gullwing-doored topper. Take a closer look, though, and its defining feature becomes clear. The entire frame is built from extruded aluminum T-track beams, designed as a universal mounting system for critical gear and accessories of all kinds.

We've been seeing T-track feature more and more prominently in camper van builds, rooftop tent frames and vehicle rack systems, and Packout becomes the first topper manufacturer we've seen to incorporate it to this extent into a pickup-back pop-topper. Using simple T-nuts, owners can quickly mount all kinds of carriers, gear and accessories without any drilling or welding – simply pop the nuts in the track and bolt on what you need.

The Packout table mounts inside or out
The Packout table mounts inside or out

Packout Campers

T-track will work with all kinds of accessories out of the box, and Packout is building out an ecosystem of its own hardware, including the mountain bike carrier, table and MaxTrax mounts shown in some of the photos. It's also working on a swing-out shower arm that will provide more showering space and purpose-fit exterior MOLLE panels.

As far as its role as a camping shelter, the Packout works like other toppers. Access is through the rear, via the truck tailgate and Packout liftgate. The strut-assisted roof pops up wedge-style to deliver standing height in the pickup bed, and the bed platform lowers down at night. The full-length dual-panel sleeper platform offers plenty of sleeping space for two, packing 92 inches (234 cm) of length with between 49 and 55 inches (124 and 140 cm) of width, depending on truck model. Packout tops the sleeper platform with a 3-in thick high-density foam mattress. The tent has windows on all three sides and offers the option of a removable insulation kit for cozy winter camping.

The strut-assisted pop-top area has a two-panel sleeping platform that extends the full length of the Packout camper
The strut-assisted pop-top area has a two-panel sleeping platform that extends the full length of the Packout camper

Packout Campers

The Packout topper also has gullwing hatches on both sides, and buyers can opt for things like a swing-out tailgate and rear and side windows. Other options include a MOLLE panel for the inside of the gullwing hatch and a cubby that can store small bags and accessories. Base weight starts at 350 lb (159 kg) but will vary according to camper/truck size and options selected. The Packout roof can hold up to 400 lb (181 kg) of evenly distributed weight when closed and up to around 100 lb (45 kg) when open, with available strut upgrade.

The Packout is currently available for long- or short-bed Toyota Tacomas (MY2005 to 2023), long- or short-bed Toyota Tundras (2007 to 2021), and Jeep Gladiator models. Prices start at $9,500 for midsize truck (Tacoma/Gladiator) models and $10,500 for full-size (Tundra) models. Packout encourages owners of other truck models to contact it and plans to expand availability based on demand.

Source: Packout Campers

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