Testing Super Pacific’s Turnkey Camper in the Soggy Northwest

Roaming the Washington coastline and enduring an overnight downpour inside the X1, an innovative canopy camper from a fledgling fabricator

December 11, 2023 6:23 am
The Super Pacific X1, a truck canopy camper, in the bed of a pickup sitting on the beach
Got a truck and a hankering for the outdoors? Put Super Pacific on your radar.
Courtesy of Super Pacific

As the rain continued to turn our campsite in Seaview, Washington into a swampy mess, I only had a moment’s trepidation about my Super Pacific X1. I had decided the best place to test the modular camper, designed to fit in the bed of a truck, was in a part of the Pacific Northwest where adventure is never more than a few steps away and the weather can turn on a dime. After that moment passed, it was clear the camper could handle the torrential conditions and I could sleep soundly.

The Super Pacific pop-up truck camper came about, as many good ideas do, after the company’s co-founders couldn’t find what they were looking for in their local market. They wanted to make the most of their pickup bed space (allowing for maximum gear hauling and utility), but couldn’t find the right canopy to suit their needs. But they all had backgrounds in design, so naturally, they built it themselves. 

“With all the market research we did, and overlanding on a growth trajectory, this felt like a strong opportunity even before the pandemic,” co-founder Peter Williams tells InsideHook. “That lit the fire for this.” 

The first X1 arrived in July 2020, just as demand for anything overlanding (and basically everything in the outdoor sphere) was heading into overdrive, and Super Pacific enjoyed immediate success. At its peak, from August 2022 to August 2023, it was producing as many as 40 canopy campers a month, according to Williams. He says demand has since receded, but the company is expanding into a dealer network that will make it easier for truck owners outside the their home base of Portland, Oregon to buy and install an X1. 

The Super Pacific X1 truck camper, seen in its folded form on a pickup and in its pop-up form
With the mattress deflated, this camper folds down tight. In the open position, it’s downright roomy.
Courtesy of Super Pacific

Super Pacific’s camper is made in a small facility near Portland International Airport, and in a bit of geographical kismet, it’s built from a raked aluminum, similar to what’s been used on airplanes for more than half a century. The material is durable and holds up well in demanding weather conditions, which I can vouch for during that coastal downpour. Inside, the canopy has a highly customizable setup with all sorts of hooking and latching points to hold whatever it is that you need. There are a few different color options for the aluminum exterior and the tent, however most of the customization will happen to the owner’s liking post-purchase. 

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Since the debut of the X1, several other brands have entered what is already a competitive truck camper space. It’s easy to understand why these additions are so popular: the entire tent folds up and down with ease, and you don’t lose the utility of the truck bed in ways that other pickup-bound campers necessitate. You can transition from camping to driving in seconds, and pop the tent up again with just two latches at the next campsite. While this isn’t exactly comparable to the full #vanlife vehicles you see all over Instagram, the X1 is a more simplistic pop-up that provides a cozy, dry space to sleep and change with space beneath to store the gear you need for wherever your weekend will take you.

Part of the X1’s appeal is that it’s quite comfortable for a truck camper, partly because of Super Pacific’s choice of mattress: Exped’s MegaMat Duo LW+, which inflates and deflates quickly with the brand’s electric pump. The camping mat equates to somewhere between a full and queen in terms of sleeping real estate, and can generally accommodate one person or two people who are comfortable in close sleeping quarters. When deflated, you don’t have to remove the mat from the sleeping loft, so all of your bedding can stay folded down while traveling. Not having to reset each time is a big plus. Also, the loft extends up quite high where you could almost stand on the mattress and not feel cramped. 

The inside of the Super Pacific X1 canopy camper with the inflatable mattress
Super Pacific outfits their X1 with the Exped’s MegaMat Duo LW+, one of the best camping mats on the market.
Courtesy of Super Pacific

My tester was equipped with Super Pacific’s new Therma Puff insulation layer, which wraps the entire interior sleeping area in a burly, woven recycled polyester. I ended up keeping most of the layers rolled up because of the warm atmospheric river plowing into the Northwest that weekend, but it’s clear you would be comfortable plopping down for a weekend at the ski resort with the entire layer in place. For summer camping, the insulation is completely removable. 

Currently, the X1 will fit on a range of mid- and full-size pickup beds. Williams says builds for Toyota Tacomas outsell all other fits two to one, with Ford F-150s being another popular choice. (For EVs, they can fit it to the bed of an F-150 Lightning, but the Rivian body currently has some electronics built into the bed that make the fit challenging. Williams says Super Pacific is working on a solution.)

I tested it on an F-150 with a standard bed, and one of my few complaints is something that plagues many rooftop and other vehicle-bound camping products: somewhat paradoxically, they’re not necessarily built with short people in mind. Typically, a rooftop tent requires pulling a handle over the entire width of the vehicle, which is tough for someone (like me) with a short wingspan. While the X1 sleeping loft can be open and closed by pulling on the tent fabric, the main handle is up high and essentially out of reach when fully open for someone of my stature. 

The other challenge (which is inherent in the product) is that should you need to exit the camper at night, it becomes a bit of a process to get down from the sleeping area safely and out of the truck. I really had to will myself to get up when nature called, and I would highly recommend buying some sort of step ladder to assist in getting in and out of the loft.

The inside of a truck camper from Super Pacific
All the gear space you could want, with all the sleeping space you’ll need.
Courtesy of Super Pacific

With all this in mind, there are a couple of ways to look at the pricing for the X1. The general starting price is $13,495 for the mid-size truck model and $13,995 for the full-size option, so it’s either a very affordable option for year-round campers or a mid-range/leaning expensive option for weekend adventurers. The insulation kit adds another $695, so you’re looking at $14,190 before any other customization. 

Owing to the careful consideration of the details, it appears Super Pacific has built the X1 with the former audience in mind — seeking to offer a turnkey solution for even the most seasoned overlanders. But even for those who don’t get into the great outdoors as much as they would like, the X1 offers flexibility, simplicity, a unique design and a durable build. If you’ve got a truck and a hankering to see all the national parks, it could be just the thing you’re looking for.

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