Photo credit: Kurt Barclay

DECKED Truck-Bed System Review: Drawers Add Versatility for Adventure by Truck

The DECKED truck bed organizer provides secure, dry storage and organization in a pickup truck bed. We have been testing the system in two trucks for more than a year, and we have some opinions!

If you own a pickup truck, you own a versatile vehicle right off the lot. With a large bed, lots of towing capacity, and often four-wheel drive, pickups are among the most popular adventure vehicles in North America for good reason.

But add a few accessories, and your pickup launches to a whole new level. One of those accessories is a truck-bed storage system like DECKED.

Hest Dually mattress in truck bed
The Hest Dually in the back of the author’s 2010 F-150 on a DECKED drawer system

Two years ago, I added a DECKED drawer system to my 2010 Ford F-150 FX4 adventure vehicle. I put a topper over the bed and drawers, and I haven’t looked back.

Recently, another GearJunkie employee added a DECKED system to his 2011 Nissan Frontier SL. We combined our (old and new) knowledge and experience in this review.

Cooking on the tailgate of a Ford F-150

In short: The DECKED drawer system is durable, solid, and reliable. After an extensive but logical assembly process, they result in a great-fitting, perfectly functional drawer bed system that will hold up to serious abuse.

DECKED Drawers Review

I’m going to start out with my impressions after using the system for 2 rough-and-tumble years.

Most importantly, the DECKED system is really tough. I’ve used my truck as both a work truck and a camper — I store lots of emergency equipment and camping gear in the drawers while sleeping on the DECKED system under a camper roof. I’ve hauled all kinds of lumber, appliances, and landscaping materials on the DECKED drawers, sometimes after removing the topper.

It just plain holds up to the abuse. Two years of adventure have left lots of scratches on the hard plastic drawers. But beyond a few surface scratches, it functions as well as the day it was new.

Ford F-150 DECKED Drawers

The drawers function darned near flawlessly. Just grab the heavy handle and pull to unlatch. The drawers roll smoothly open.

This does bring up one minor problem though. Some items, like fishing rods, can catch on ridges in the top of the drawers. This can make them a little tricky to open and could put unwanted pressure on fragile items like fishing rods. This is a minor problem and something that’s pretty easy to avoid if you’re careful when loading drawers. But it’s worth noting.

For me, the drawers are a great size for storing all kinds of camping and outdoor gear. Most items fit easily short of my compound bow, which is a little too wide. But overall, I’ve used it for everything from camp stoves to axes to tents to recovery boards. I love the system and expect to keep it installed as long as I have the truck.

Another Perspective: DECKED Drawers First Impressions

My co-worker Zach Burton installed his drawer system about 3 months ago. With less time since his installation, he has a different perspective, shared below.

The DECKED drawer systems are really solid. They live up to their advertised expectations and bring a ton of organization to a bed that is otherwise a big mess.

I am really impressed with the fit in my truck. It feels like it was custom made specifically for my Frontier. So far it has been watertight, and I love that I can stand on it or load whatever I want on top without worrying I will wreck it or that it will collapse.

Everything feels tight, down to the opening and closing of the drawers. The slow-close-like feature of the drawers really gives it a nice touch. The system has made organizing and reorganizing for camping, climbing, hunting, and fly fishing a breeze while keeping my important gear out of sight and out of mind for passersby.

I recently went through the process of installation, and it wasn’t super difficult. However, it took more than the 2 hours DECKED advertises, and I needed many more tools that weren’t specifically called out in the directions.

That being said, the installation is pretty straightforward, and even someone like me who isn’t super handy can get the job done with a little help and an open afternoon. I’d recommend having a Red Bull or two on standby for when you need a break during installation.

(Note: Some GearJunkie editors would recommend Coors Light instead of Red Bull.)

Pros

  • Super durable, weatherproof, up for nearly any task
  • 200-pound storage capacity in each drawer
  • 2,000-pound payload on top of the drawer system
  • Fits my truck bed like a glove
  • Multiple options to customize the drawers to make them work for you
  • Smooth operation of drawers
  • Solid warranty
  • Easy to lock and keep valuables safe (out of sight, out of mind)
Decked-2
Photo credit: Kurt Barclay

Cons

  • Expensive (but you get what you pay for)
  • You can’t pull the drawers all the way out without lots of disassembly; I really want to be able to pull the drawers all the way out to wipe down or hose out
  • Not a great option for a small or midsize truck unless you have a topper, as it takes up the majority of the height of the bed

Parting Thoughts

There are lots of great ways to customize and make these drawers work for you. The locks, drain plugs, Core Trax, and other interior organization features are icing on the cake.

One downside is the DECKED system takes up most of the standard vertical bed space, leaving things in the bed of the truck exposed unless you have a topper. Similarly, you’ll lose a lot of vertical space in full-size beds (though not as dramatically) and may need to remove your topper to haul larger items. That being said, the 2,000-pound payload on the Decked Drawer System allows for you to haul just about anything you need without worry. You simply have to be aware of the height factor of items that are now sitting on top of the drawers.

Money aside, if you use your truck for multiple hobbies and want to stay organized while keeping your valuable safe, these are hard to beat. With a few added accessories, you can be ready to use your truck for weeks of off-grid camping and climbing, or cruising out to hunt in the backcountry, all while keeping your gear safe and organized.