Owning a pickup truck comes with many advantages. It gives you access to larger storage space, bigger payloads, and you also have the opportunity to create even more space to carry larger cargo. Bikes, snowmobiles, kayaks, canoes, and other large items will be less of a hassle to transport. In this article, we take a look at the best truck bed extender to unlock that kind of value for your truck.
Choosing the right truck bed extender will help make the job of moving heavy objects a lot easier and safer for you. In addition to that, making use of this handy piece of equipment makes loading things like timber, ladders, pipes, and so on much less stressful and time-consuming.
If you’re someone who constantly goes camping, shopping, or conveys large amounts of cargo, such as when moving house, then this article is for you. We will help you choose the right extender for your truck bed from the many different models available on the market.
Best Truck Bed Extenders: Editor’s Top Picks
Types of Truck Bed Extender
There are three main types of truck bed extenders: standard/conventional U-shaped design, bedside extender/bed loader, and cargo slide bed extenders. We are going to take a look at each of them in a bit more detail below.
Standard/Conventional U-Shaped Designs
If you need to haul cargo that is neither larger nor lengthier than your truck bed and the tailgate, then the standard type of extender is an ideal option to use. The conventional U-shaped truck bed extender is typically made of either metal or plastic. You connect it to the tailgate and it provides extra space when the tailgate is lowered.
This type of bed extender is convenient to use if you frequently carry heavy weight loads that aren’t much larger or longer than your truck’s tailgate when it is lowered. However, it’s important to note that this type of extender will not be ideal if your cargo items are a lot longer than your truck bed length.
Bed Loader or Bedside Extender
This type of bed extender comes with hitch mounts to connect the rear receiver of the extender to your truck. It provides a much greater capacity to store your items, particularly the ones that extend way beyond the tailgate.
Support arms provide much-needed versatility whenever you are placing the load. This type of truck bed extender is great when carrying large arrays of items at once and will help you safely transport your cargo to its location.
Cargo-Slide Bed Extender
This truck bed extender gives you easy access to any items you’ve loaded in your truck. In a way, it transforms your truck bed into a sort of drawer that can slide in and out. Meanwhile, it also doubles as an extender for the truck. Just keep in mind that in order to have enhanced supports for your cargo materials whenever the extender is locked into place, you need a right-mount hitch.
Things to Consider When Buying a Truck Bed Extender
There are a few important factors to consider when buying the best truck bed extender. We’ve listed some of them below for you to take a look at before making a choice.
Compatibility With Your Pickup Truck
The first thing you need to consider is the compatibility of the truck bed extender with your vehicle. Bed extenders come in different sizes and have various load specifications designed for specific truck brands. That’s why it’s vital to ensure that the extender you choose will fit your particular truck.
You can do this by looking at the truck specifications and details as well as those of the bed extender. This is very important because the last thing you want is to go through the hassle of returning the product.
Choose the Right Type for Your Needs
As previously stated, truck bed extenders come in lots of different types. It’s important for you to understand their functions and specifications of each type to ensure that you pick the right one.
Depending on the brand, extenders have different height and weight capacities. You may find that some are more suited to accommodating longer, larger items, while others are specifically designed for items within the tailgate’s range.
For anyone who’s tech-challenged, it’s important to consider the ease with which you’ll be able to install, remove, and store your bed extender. The easiest types to set up are the rack style truck bed extenders. They typically come with all the hardware materials included, but it’s very important to always ensure that the installation instructions are clear and well written.
If the manual contains insufficient information, you may have trouble even with the extenders that claim to be easy to install.
There are lots of different materials that are used in making bed extenders. You will find some that are made entirely from plastic or metal, and others that feature a combination of the two types of materials.
The toughest and most durable option is aluminum, which is even better if it’s powder-coated to enhance the durability of the product as well as to give it a better finish. Aluminum extenders are also extremely lightweight while actively withstanding corrosion, rust, and chipping.
Operation and Storage
Try not to opt for a model that is complex and hard to operate. Depending on your needs, you may choose between one that fixes permanently to the bed of your truck or you could opt for one that flips into the truck bed. Alternatively, you can choose one that folds up against the tailgate to make it easy and quick to use it whenever you have the need.
The style you choose to go with ultimately comes down to your needs and personal preference. For instance, if you are going to be using your truck for other purposes than carrying heavy cargo, then the latter model might be the best option for you.
In order to get better control of your cargo, you might want to choose a model that locks every few feet. In order to properly install it, you’ll need additional components that make the extenders firm, such as adapters for hitch-mount types. You also need to consider the extender’s weight capacity, as these tend to vary greatly.
Top 10 Best Truck Bed Extenders Reviews:
1. Amp Research Truck Bed Extender
This classic U-shaped design gives you maximum cargo capacity. Flipping it out with the tailgate open provides you with up to 2 extra feet of enclosed cargo space. When you flip it back inside with the tailgate closed, it helps you keep your smaller cargo and tools contained inside your truck bed.
According to a lot of online reviews from truck owners, this handy little contraption makes it easier to carry groceries and other small items in the back of your truck. Also, for anyone who has installed a toolbox in their truck, this can be an essential item to have when transporting large items of cargo.
Made from tough, durable, high-quality materials, you can be sure this pickup bed extender will be an asset to you for a very long time to come. The kit includes all the hardware and accessories you need to complete the installation. Also, it’s extremely simple and easy to install. All these features and more are what earns it the top spot on our list.
If you are looking for an affordable truck bed extender made from high-quality materials with easy assembly instructions, this could very well be what you’re searching for. Made in the USA, this product comes with an impressive three-year limited warranty for your peace of mind.
- Classic U-shaped design offers maximum cargo capacity
- When flipped out, it offers a 2-ft enclosed cargo area
- Torque-resistant clamshell design
- Made from high-quality aluminum alloy
- Powder coat finish prevents rust, corrosion, and abrasions
2. Ready Ramp Truck Bed Extender
This patented product is the only one on the market that transforms from a truck bed extender into a motorcycle ramp. It offers you additional bed space to store all your gear, gas cans, and other items while keeping all the parts from falling out of your truck bed.
Available in two different sizes, this product is designed to fit almost every truck with ease. Each of these ramps was extensively tested with the toughest critics in the industry as well as professional motorcycle racers to prove its quality, durability, and functionality.
According to both experts and ordinary users, this ramp is in a class of its own. You’ll be hard-pressed to find one that is better in terms of price, design, and functionality. Available in silver or black, this product will enhance the look of your truck and instantly bring up its value in every way.
All models from this brand are made using tough, lightweight aluminum and come with a manufacturer’s warranty for your peace of mind. Installation is a breeze as no drilling is required. This means you will have your ramp/truck bed extender installed and ready to go in a flash. If you are searching for the best bed extender that also functions as a motorcycle ramp, this product is your best bet.
- Patented extender opens into a motorcycle ramp
- Folds flat when it’s not being used
- Fits a wide variety of full-sized trucks
- 15% lighter in weight than the original design
- Available in sleek and stylish silver or black colors
3. Dodge Ram Tailgate Extender
This bed extender can be attached easily to the rear of your truck bed. It pivots in and out giving you additional storage and convenience. It’s available for a variety of Dodge Ram vehicles and provides the perfect fit.
For anyone searching for a high-quality, durable and affordable pickup bed extender, this is a great option to consider. You will need a rivet tool in order to install it as described in the installation instructions from the manufacturer.
It’s necessary to drill the holes on each side of the bed, but since they are already pre-dimpled or marked, this makes the task easy. You’ll be able to line it up through the truck bed liner with no issues.
You can easily remove the extender completely when your tailgate is open. This means that it secure whenever your tailgate is closed and locked. Compared to a lot of other truck extenders on the market today, this one is extremely easy to install, remove, and it swivels nicely.
- Great quality metal bars with durable clips
- Comes with straps to engage to tailgate latches for security
- Designed to fit a wide range of vehicles
- The mounting kit comes with everything you need for installation
- Extremely easy installation and removal
4. Genuine Ford Bed Extender
For anyone searching for a well-rounded truck bed extender, this genuine Ford apparatus is a sure bet. The bed extender performs double duty as a protector which helps to keep larger loads from falling out. When resting on the tailgate, it provides you with an additional 18 inches of carrying space.
The phenomenal classic design is one that will instantly transform the aesthetics of your pickup truck. The simple U-shape makes it easy to install and conveniently allows you to haul heavy loads with your truck.
The cage is made from brushed fiberglass which means it’s not only lightweight, but it’s also extremely strong and durable too. The classy, attractive design will easily blend into the overall look no matter what color or style your vehicle is. If you want a sturdy, durable product that will provide you with extreme value for years to come, this is one you certainly need to consider.
- Compliant with DOT regulations
- Offers you additional 18 inches of carrying space
- Made from fiberglass-reinforced polypropylene
- Offers extremely simple and quick installation
- Genuine OEM fits 2009-2014 Ford F-150
5. AMP Research Truck Bed Extender
This product from amp research is yet another classically designed truck bed extender. It’s U-shaped and provides extra space, giving you optimum cargo capacity. The tailgate needs to be open then flipped out to allow the bed extender to seat suitably on it. This will provide you with up to two extra feet of enclosed, protected cargo area.
It’s different from all the other truck bed extenders in the same category thanks to its lightweight design which is extremely easy to operate. You’ll be able to keep all your items safely secured in your trunk as well as to increase space when you need to transport larger items – all at the flip of the extender.
Yet another great feature of this truck bed extender is its clamshell design which boasts round-rectangular aluminum alloy tubes finished with powder coating to give them extra durability. The tubes are torque resistant and also help to ensure that smaller items don’t slip out. If you’re searching for an easy to install bed extender that requires no drilling, this could be it.
- Strong protective torque-resistant tubes
- Extremely easy installation with no training required
- High-quality, durable clips to attach to the truck’s interior
- Extremely attractive and aesthetically pleasing design
- Three-year limited warranty from the manufacturer
6. Darby Industries Truck Extender
This extender is designed to help you move long loads safely and securely from one place to another. Whether your items extent over your truck height or way beyond the length of the truck bed and tailgate, this is the ideal truck bed extender for your needs.
It features wide support that is 4 inches in width as well as adjustable height to allow for rooftop hauling and bed extension. When not in use, this extend-a-truck is easy to store flat behind your vehicle seat, and it also comes with a convenient red flag to enhance your safety during transport.
According to a lot of online reviews from satisfied users, this bed extender is versatile and ingenious. It’s a great product that is not only well-designed and sturdy but also affordable and multifunctional. It certainly solves a lot of problems for anyone who has to transport oversized cargo such as kayaks, lumber, pipes, etc..
- Designed to help you safely and securely haul long loads
- Features 4-foot wide support
- Stores flat behind the seat when not being used
- Includes a red flag for safety during transport
- Best hitch extender that comes with a receiver
7. Goplus Truck Bed Hitch Extender
This truck bed extender is universally acknowledged as being an exceptional helper when loading. You can use it to load various kinds of cargo, including lumber, pipes, ladders, canoes, kayaks, and many other items that are longer than your truck bed and tailgate.
This extender has a steady body constructed using heavy-duty steel tubes. It can stand the test of time and will repel rust, corrosion, scratches, and damage from the elements. The arms are adjustable vertically and horizontally, which gives you maximum loading space and fulfills your purpose for carrying the longer payloads.
The reflective tapes on the front and sides of this extender ensure safety at all times by offering greater visibility. This is something that helps to avoid a lot of preventable accidents that typically happen when flags fly off or get lost in transit. If you’re searching for the best hitch extender, this is one you should take a look at.
- Heavy-duty construction for long-lasting use
- Ideal for long-distance load hauling
- Has a 750-pound load capacity
- Reflective tape on the front and sides
- Simple design with a stainless appearance
8. MaxxHaul Truck Bed Extender
This is yet another hitch mount truck bed extender that effectively lengthens your truck bed to allow you to carry longer payloads. The length and width are adjustable to allow for a lot of different applications, such as carrying ladders, racks, kayaks, long pipes, canoes, lumber, and much, much more.
Made from high-quality, heavy-duty steel, this extender has reflective tape on both the front and the sides to help increase visibility and enhance safety on the roads. The side arms fold down, creating supports for a portable workspace.
The four quick-release clevis pins offer extremely fast and easy assembly and disassembly. Designed to fit 2-inch receivers, this product has a load capacity of 350 pounds.
- Effectively extends truck bed allowing you to carry longer payloads
- Includes four quick-release clevis pins
- Reflective tape on the front and sides
- Foldable sidearms for portable work area
- Adjustable width and length for versatility
9. Lund Truck Bed Extender
If you’re someone who constantly has to carry a cargo of extended length, this truck bed extender from the Lund brand is the ideal option for you. It offers an additional seven inches of ground clearance, and it comes equipped with side wings that can be transformed from 27 inches to 49 inches in a flash.
Compared with other similar racks in the same category, this is an excellent one that comes at an extremely affordable price. If you’re looking for something heavy-duty and durable that will save you money and time in the long run, this is a great extender to install on your truck.
Installation is quick and easy and you’ll be up and ready to go in just 10 minutes by following the simple and easy manufacturers instructions. Any truck owner who frequently transports canoes and kayaks definitely needs a product such as this one. You’ll undoubtedly be impressed by its solid construction and its adjustable functionality.
The bed extender features a 750lb distributed load capacity, and it has side supports that fold down when needed. The DOT-approved product fits the standard 2-inch receiver hitch. If you’re in the market for a high-quality affordable and reliable hitch-mounted truck bed extender, you can’t go wrong with this product which performs great for transporting kayaks and various other long items.
- Perfect for carrying extended length cargo
- Provides additional 7-inch ground clearance
- Equipped with fully adjustable side wings
- 750lb distributed load capacity
- DOT-approved and fits 2-inch receiver hitch
10. AA Products Truck Bed Extender
If you are searching for a truck bed extender that fits a wide variety of Ford, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra, Chevrolet Silverado / Sierra, Dodge Ram vehicles, this could be your best bet.
The torque resistant clamshell designed composite uprights and tapered V-shaped design make this truck bed extender an absolute must-have if you want a versatile super strong and affordable way of extending the space in your truck bed.
When you flip out the extender with your tailgate open, you gain up to 2 feet of enclosed cargo space. When you flip it inside then close the tailgate, you can keep all your tools as well as smaller cargo safely and securely contained within the truck bed.
Made from high-quality aluminum alloy, this product is not only lightweight and sturdy, but it’s also extremely durable and long-lasting too. You can be sure that as long as your truck is around, you will have this bed extender performing at its best.
The black powder coat finish makes it an extremely attractive addition to any vehicle and thanks to its simple design, assembly, and installation are extremely easy. The company offers excellent support via email in case you get in trouble during the installation process – although this is highly unlikely. If you want a high-quality folding bed extender, this is one for you to consider.
- Extends pickup bed by 26 inches
- Made from tough aluminum alloy material
- Rustproof, scratch and weather-resistant
- Can be installed on different pickups
- Torque-resistant clamshell design
Benefits of Truck Bed Extender
- Extra Space
The benefits of having a truck bed extender are many and varied, but one of the main ones is that it adds to your truck bed space. If you have to haul heavy goods and large loads, a truck bed extender is a piece of equipment that will come in very handy if you often find yourself short of space. It will allow you to increase your truck bed’s length and volume instantly so you can place even more items than usual.
- Fewer Number of Trips
Obviously, additional bed space on your truck will mean that you can carry more things, which translates to fewer numbers of trips. If you’re short of space, it gives you no choice except to leave some things behind and come back for them on a separate trip. This wastes time, energy, and money. And choosing the best truck bed extender can help save all of those resources during all your future trips.
- Good Storage
Truck bed extenders also serve as good storage for your smaller items. You can turn the tailgate extender in then hold smaller loads in it to help keep them secure and in place while your vehicle is moving. This helps to prevent items from slipping out and moving around the truck bed.
Your truck bed extender also serves as a sort of fence to support your goods as you are transporting them which helps to ensure that none of them drop, get damaged, or go missing in transit.
- Easy to Install
Installing a bed extender on your truck is a very easy process. All that’s required is to hook them to the bed edges then screw them in. Attach the rods and close the brackets, and you’re done! In addition to being easy to install, they are also foldable, which means they are not fixed at one point.
You can flip them upward and fold them back into the truck bed area when you’re not using them. In a similar way, you can fold the truck bed extender back outward when loading your goods. This piece of equipment is extremely convenient to use and will help save you a lot of hassle and time.
How to Install A Truck Bed Extender
The installation of your truck bed extender is a simple process depending on the type of extender you got. You may need a hitch mount for connecting the truck extender to your vehicle. For conventional U-shaped bed extenders, you can use the clips and straps to hook them onto the truck tail bed interior edge. This is what keeps the apparatus locked in.
The good news is that these cage-like accessories are extremely easy to use and once they’ve been installed at the edge of your truck bed and hooked in place, all that’s left to do is to lower your tailgate, then flip the bed extender outward in order to get the additional storage space.
Depending on the type of extender you get, as well as the specific brand, the installation instructions may differ slightly from one model to the next. Luckily, all you need are simple hand tools and about half an hour to put everything together. Even someone with very little experience will be able to do this in a relatively quick and painless way.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about Truck Bed Extender
Q-1: Which Type of Truck Bed Extender Is the Best One?
- As previously mentioned, there are three different types of truck bed extenders that you can choose from. The one that you choose depends on your needs and preferences. For instance, the standard/conventional U-shaped truck bed extenders ideal for you if you don’t hold items larger or longer than your truck bed and tailgate length.
- On the other hand, cargo slide bed extenders are great if you need easy access to the items your transporting. Another option at your disposal is the bedside extender or the bed loader which allows you to carry items that are longer than your tailgate. So as you can see, there isn’t one type that is necessarily better than the other, it just depends on your needs.
Q-2: What’s the Longest Truck Bed Extender I Can Get?
- Different brands have different lengths of truck bed extenders. It’s possible to find some that allow you to carry materials that up to 16 feet in length inside your regular truck, such as The Long Haul.
- In today’s market, you can find affordable, lightweight, attractive alternatives to a trailer. you simply need to look for the ideal length for your requirements. check out our list of the 10 best truck bed extender options on the market right now and you’ll be able to find something to suit your needs.
Q-3: What’s the Best Bed Extender for Kayak Rigging?
- If your main consideration for buying a truck bed extender is to transport your kayak from home or storage to the water, then you need to look at the truck bed extenders that are made to accommodate that. A long kayak is going to fit even in a short bed truck as long as you add on a tailgate. Many of the options on our review list are great for transporting kayaks quickly, easily, and safely.
Q-4: Can I Make My Own Truck Bed Extender?
- The answer to this question depends very much on your level of skill and expertise when it comes to making such types of equipment. They are some people who have successfully managed to create their own DIY bed extenders that are compatible with their pickup trucks.
- However, oftentimes, this turns out to be extremely expensive compared to simply buying a ready-made one. If you are considering creating your own truck bed extender from scratch, consider all the costs but you’ll come across as well as the fact that your finished product may not meet safety specifications and so on, which may result in you having to buy one after all that effort and cost.
Q-5: What Is the Universal Bed Extender?
- A universal truck bed extender is one that can be used on a wide variety of different types of trucks. However, it’s important to note that the vast majority of bed extenders are specifically designed for certain trucks. While it’s possible to find extenders that fit many different trucks, you may not find one that fits all trucks.
- Only a few that you’ll find on the market can be used with various trucks and vehicles. This is why it’s extremely important to check your vehicle specifications carefully before making your purchase so that you are sure your new truck bed extender will match your truck precisely.
As you’ve seen, truck bed extenders come in many types and sizes. This can make it extremely hard and confusing to choose the right one for yourself if you’re a first-time buyer. This article is designed to be your resource in helping you determine exactly the right kind of truck bed extender you need so that you make the right choice the first time around.
Even if you’ve owned one before and are looking to replace it or upgrade, use this article to help you choose the best truck bed extender that will add value to your vehicle and help you save lots of time, money, and energy when transporting large cargo.