Best Truck Bed Storage Ideas
Getting your truck bed storage organized takes planning. If your idea of organization is storage bins on the back seat and that works for you, great. But most people need 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.
If you’ve ever been bouncing around off-road, hearing your truck bed cargo slide around in the back, you know what we mean. We have all kinds of storage ideas. Naturally, we’ll start with our favorite option.
DECKED Storage Drawers and Cargo Management Solutions
DECKED has a range of storage solutions designed to be weatherproof and provide easy access while keeping all your things secure and safe from sliding around and getting damaged.
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 working like a bed slide, bringing your stuff out to you for easy access. The deck sits above the wheel wells to give you the entire truck bed footprint as a flat surface and supports up to a 2000lb payload. Each drawer can hold up to 200 lbs of cargo and lock for 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 makes a great low profile sleeping platform. Toss a mattress on top, and you’ve got a bed camper where 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.
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 which 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 fit inside the midsize wide drawers. Unfortunately, the D-Box doesn’t fit a midsize system narrow drawer - 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 all DECKED storage drawers: crosswise in all full-size drawers and midsize wide drawers. Lengthwise in midsize narrow drawers. This handy box measures 17.5" x 10.75" x 7.75" and safely carries up to 40 lb. Designed as a more portable toolbox with a removable small parts tool tray, it is ideal for use as a first aid kit. With an EPDM lid gasket the Cross Box 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 Cross Box 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.
Truck Bed Toolbox
Truck bed toolboxes take up space in your truck bed and have limited storage capacity, but are popular options for tool storage organization. Check out our post about the best truck toolboxes on the market.
Truck Bed Tonneau Covers
Speaking of security, adding a cover to your truck bed keeps all your belongings out of sight. 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 type of cover that would work best for you obviously depends on what you normally carry. Few are particularly waterproof, but they do still offer protection from the elements and help ensure your cargo isn’t going to fly off if you hit a pothole.
Because there’s no division or compartmentalizing, your cargo slides around underneath the cover, and depending on what you’re carrying, that could be a disaster. That said, 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. So it’s understandable they’re popular in all their forms. Who doesn’t love to save gas money?!
Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Covers
If your load doesn’t extend above the sides of your truck, (usually around 24”, or 10” if you have the DECKED drawer system installed) you can get a simple flat cover. If your main purpose for the tonneau cover is simply to keep your groceries dry, a soft waterproof cover may be all you need.
These are among the cheapest tonneau cover options, usually coming in at around $200. They’re very popular for this reason. The downside of these covers is that they aren’t exactly secure. They don’t lock and most of them rely on heavy duty velcro fasteners, which means they’re easy for just about anyone to open. Despite being tough and tearproof, they’re also susceptible to being sliced open by shady types who can’t figure out how to use velcro. If you decide to go with this entry-level system, try to find one with a great warranty.
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 aluminium slats, they’re not generally waterproof but still give decent weather protection.
Most can be loaded with up to 400lb on top, but it’s not easy to secure your load because they cover the tie-down points. Even though they can take a load, the impracticality of using that function makes it a lot more difficult. There’s also the risk of damaging the tonneau if carrying a heavy load; They’re prone to tearing and fraying.
Another downside to this cover style is that you can’t reach the back without either opening it fully or climbing up and crawling into the space. When not in use it takes up space in the front of your truck bed, potentially blocking access to anything behind it.
They’re a great investment if you’re in an area that gets inundated with heavy snow on the plus side. You know you’re good for up to 400 lb of whatever the weather throws at it, which can’t be said for the softer covers which sometimes collapse under heavy snow or rain. They’re also simple to install which is an obvious plus.
For more detailed information about Tonneau covers and a comparison of our favorites, check out our Best Tonneau Cover blog post.
Cargo Management Accessories
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 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/longer loads. It’s more sturdy than a cargo net and most can be easily disassembled when not in use, and 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 which doubles up is ideal.
Truck Bed Bags and Nets
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.
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.
Rooftop Travel Luggage Rack
For extra storage on your van or truck, you can add a luggage rack on the roof and invest in a cargo bag or pod.
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.
Using rope to secure your load is an affordable option for the 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. They’re also harder to secure properly and allow items to slip and slide as the rope loosens.
Most ratchet straps come with a hook on both ends to attach to the internal walls of the pickup truck. They’re strong, secure, durable and very versatile.
Works 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.