High Altitude’s Ultralite TB50: An innovative take on pickup camping toppers

High Altitude Ultralite TB50 Pickup Camping Topper
High Altitude's ultralight foam-core camper transforms Toyota Tacoma and other midsize trucks into durable hard-roof huts. Images © High Altitude Trailer Co

For many camping enthusiasts, the eternal quest is for equipment that combines durability, weight efficiency, and affordability. Enter High Altitude Trailer Co, a Colorado-based startup that has presented a refreshing alternative for those looking to transform their midsize pickup trucks into cozy campers.

A few years back, High Altitude made waves with its arched-nose foam-core-composite XT50 teardrop trailer. Fast forward to the present, and they’re now augmenting that design, creating a unique camping topper, the Ultralite TB50. Unlike the standard practice where a teardrop body is placed inside a pickup bed, High Altitude has integrated its foam-infused fiberglass design into an alcove pickup camper.

Standing out in the topper market

The topper market mainly consists of light, floor-less camping shells that attach to a pickup bed’s rails. The truck bed then becomes an integral part of the interior space. The majority of these toppers come as pop-top models, some with foldable hard walls. What sets the Ultralite TB50 apart is its fixed-roof feature. This design allows for hard-wall insulation, which some users may prefer over the tent fabric. Yet, it keeps the weight considerably lower than the average full-floored pickup camper.

For perspective, the TB50 boasts a weight as low as 448 lb (203 kg), making it significantly lighter than many pickup campers that weigh between 600 lb (272 kg) and 900 lb (408 kg). However, due to its high-roof structure and a tall rear wall, the TB50 is heavier than the lightest pop-up toppers, which are around 250 to 300 lb (113 to 136 kg).

High Altitude Ultralite TB50 Entry Door
High Altitude offers a full-height entry door over traditional swing or lift-up hatches.

Keeping it simple, yet customizable

One of the strategies High Altitude employs to minimize weight is by offering a straightforward base configuration. This primarily includes an empty shell equipped with a foldable alcove double-sleeper platform, interior LED lighting, a 12-V roof fan, and rear drive lights. From there, owners can customize with optional windows, bed mattresses, several Overland Vehicle Systems (OVS) awning options, a drop-down OVS shower tent, and custom removable side jacks.

High Altitude Ultralite TB50 Fixed Roof
The high fixed roof offers superior protection from the elements without any flapping in the wind.

Notably, the TB50 differs from many toppers in terms of rear access. Instead of a rear hatch above the truck tailgate, the TB50’s rear wall extends right down to bed level. To gain entry, owners need to remove the truck tailgate and then use a hitch step leading up to the rear bumper. Given that the roof rises 54 inches (137 cm) over the bed rails, it offers ample standing height. As an example, considering the 2023 Toyota Tacoma’s 19-inch-high (48-cm) bed rails, the roof would stand at 73 inches (185 cm), translating to roughly 6 feet (182 cm) of interior headroom.

Pricing and availability

The Ultralite TB50 made its debut this summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) with a starting price tag of $14,500. Potential buyers can choose from a range of colors and it’s compatible with midsize trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, Jeep Gladiator, Ford Ranger, and Chevy Colorado. The topper comes with seven straps for attachment to the truck bed. Although it might seem pricier than many other toppers, it’s considerably more affordable than the typical hard-roof slide-in camper, making it an attractive proposition for those seeking a balanced blend of durability, lightness, and cost-effectiveness.

High Altitude Ultralite TB50 On the Road
The Ultralite TB50 camping topper starts at $14,500.

Source: High Altitude