Gear Review - DECKED Truck Bed System
Intro: In this review we’re looking at the DECKED truck bed drawer system. I do my best to give honest and as accurate as possible information based on my experience using the products in the field throughout the hunting season, but be aware personal opinion is involved. Hopefully it will help you make the best informed decisions for your hunting needs. With that said let’s get started!
Gear Overview & Specs: As a whitetail hunter of 30 years and one that hunts mostly with a compound bow on public land, and have a lot of gear to haul and secure. I have a 2008 Chevy Sivlerado extended cab, and during the season I traded out for a 2012 Silverado. Both have a 6’6” bed. I also have a topper which allows for storing and locking gear, but with so much gear it can get pretty messy, even with totes I use, to keep things organized. Gear I haul and store in my truck is extensive, including: tree stands, climbing sticks, clothes, bait, feeders, camp stove, tents, trail cameras, and many related items.
I was looking for an organizational solution, and this is where DECKED stepped in. I used it extensively for camping this past summer, scouting for upcoming whitetail deer season, and during the entire deer hunting season (late September through January for me). Keep this in mind when I evaluate and give my take on the performance of this gear. Here are the specs and prices below as listed on the DECKED website. (Keep in mind they have different sizes for truck models and bed sizes)
Made in USA
Ships FREE to your door
Easy install - no drilling
2000 lb payload rating (high density polyethylene & steel subframe)
Full use of truck bed
Testing & In the Field:
Install: As stated the DECKED system showed up at my door in a heavy duty cardboard box. It was very large and heavy, but I somehow managed to shove it in my truck, and get it to my back shed to store and put together. It’s a few hundred pounds. You’ll want to think about this and where they will drop it when they arrive, and maybe have an extra hand to move it if needed.
Upon opening the box it is clearly apparent the high density - tough construction of the system. I had a hand to get it installed, which took about 3 hours. Watching a video on the DECKED website is helpful and should cut down the time. There is a decent amount of wrenching of bolts so a good socket set is needed and maybe a specific size wrench - all specified in video and instructions provided.
The assembly went pretty well, but when it came to the drawer system one of the spring loaded handles was assembled, and one wasn’t. Getting the springs would and positioned correctly took time and was a bit confusing, and I wondered why they couldn’t have done that with both handles for you. Besides this and it being a challenge to secure the front wheels (which keep the drawers from flying out) it was a pretty easy assembly. It just took a bit longer than they suggest. It fit pretty much like a glove, as stated, and is solidly constructed.
There is a little bit of wasted space around the wheel wells, but in the corners are “ammo cans” that can be used as additional storage below the deck. Dividers for the drawers help to separate compartments for gear, and also provided are 2 super heavy duty tackle boxes for smaller items like tools that is designed to perfectly fit and not slide around in the drawers.
Drawers themselves have a heavy duty metal handle and snap shut tightly so there’s no worry they will unlatch.
As I mentioned, after months of heavy used of the system, I got a new used truck. I went from a 2008 to a 2012 Silverado and the DECKED drawer system fit perfectly in both. As long as the model design hasn’t changed this allows for many years of use.
Camping & Fishing: In the spring and summer I did a lot of camping and fishing. I took several fishing trips in the spring and multiple camping trips in the summer. With my topper, I actually found that I had just as much or more useable space since the drawers allowed to store and organize my truck bed so much better. I don’t really miss the height lost to the drawers. I was able to put and store out of sight all my camping gear and fishing gear and then have the entire top space for other items.
See pictures for some of this gear, but the drawers can hold A LOT of gear and keep it secured and from rolling around in the bed. For example, fishing poles can be stored easily and protected and you don’t have to worry about something else breaking an eyelet or rod tip. I also use my truck bed as a camper, and so with most my gear stored underneath, the top portion had more room for sleeping in the cap. It really worked out well and improved my setup. I kept a cookstove in the drawers, and slid out a draw using it as a table for cooking on, which was very functional and a great portable setup for mobile campers like me. I also like the ability to hide gear and give it extra security. You can get locked drawers, which I didn’t, but with ability to lock my tailgate and cap, this is not necessary at all and makes the drawers super secure. Someone would literally have to rip off your tailgate to access them.
Hunting: Being a hardcore whitetail hunter, I begin scouting in the spring, continue this in the summer, and hunt all fall right through the new year. I really put this system to the test with my hunting gear, many out of state and local trips, and can say it was of great benefit. It also held up incredibly and didn’t shift an inch in my bed.
The drawers were great for storing things like boots, trail cameras, clothes, climbing sticks, and all the odds and ends of hunting while the top held the rest of my stands and equipment. Again, I never felt like I lost space and always had plenty of room even on my long trips out of state. The organizational benefit actually made it feel like space was gained.
The only negative, which could easily be fixed with a buddy or some sort of ramp, is the extra height a dead deer has to be lifted to make it in the bed. The drawers are even long enough for storing gun cases, and the protective component as well as out of sight/locking ability make this a great option.
Increased organization of your truck bed
Tough and durable - should last a lifetime
Gained functional space
Price - could be a barrier for many people
Lost height of bed, especially for those without a topper
Only useable as long as you have that model truck
Summary: Overall I think this is a great product that would benefit many outdoorsman, especially those that use a lot of gear and basically live out of their truck for hunting, camping, and fishing. It really adds functionality to your truck bed, and some space lost is made up for by the security it adds as well as organization of your important gear. For that reason, I think it's a good investment for outdoorsman who take their truck and outdoor adventures seriously, and who will have their truck for a good amount of time.
Check them out at:https://decked.com/
About the Author: Adam Lewis is an avid whitetail hunter with 30 years experience. His writing is
found in a wide variety of outdoor magazines including Bowhunter, North American Whitetail, Deer and Deer Hunting, and Woods N Water News. He is a sought after speaker and founder of soundbarrierhunting.com. To contact him about speaking or writing, email him at email@example.com.
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