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The recently introduced GMC Sierra AT4X is an impressive combination of off-road driving and luxury. But can you sleep in it?
Pickups are great for towing RVs or as a platform for building out overland rigs, but from the factory they’re usually not as useful as SUVs for sleeping in, given that half the length of the vehicle is taken up by the bed. Let’s see how AT4X fares.
The most important thing to consider when it comes to camping in your car is whether there is enough room in it for you and possibly a partner to lie down comfortably. This is tough on pickup trucks, which are hampered by the fact that half (or more) of the vehicle’s length is taken up by the truck bed. Some trucks have added features like flat seats that make sleeping in them a little easier, although it’s still not a perfect solution. Unfortunately, the AT4X is not one of those trucks. Although the seats reclined quite well, I couldn’t get comfortable enough to rely on them for a good night’s sleep. To the back we go.
If you’re vertically challenged, you might be in luck, especially if you don’t sleep stretched out. The Sierra 1500 is a wide truck, almost 7 feet wide in fact. The rear bench measures 56 inches in width, which isn’t a good option for most adults unless you like to sleep in the fetal position. It will do in a pinch but I wouldn’t expect to get a good night’s sleep over and over again.
Below the bench, which folds up and out of the way, is a relatively flat floor that can offer a bit more length. At 63”, it’s still not enough for me to sleep with the doors closed, but it’s a lot less cramped than sleeping on the bench. The subtle bump in the middle of the floor, which is much less severe than the ridges in the bed, can easily be fixed with an inflatable sleeping pad like the Sea to Summit Ether Light XT, or better yet, a cheap air mattress from Walmart.
The bed on the AT4X seems like the most logical place to sleep. After all, that bed is called that for a reason, right? If you have an inflatable mattress, sure, but because of the ridges on the floor, a simple sleeping pad and sleeping bag won’t do here. In addition, the length of the bed leaves something to be desired. While it’s longer than the beds in the comparably priced F-150 Raptor and Ram TRX, it’s not quite 6 feet long, just 70 inches. It’s simply too short for many to lie flat and stretch out, but that can be solved by lying diagonally (the diagonal limit with the tailgate closed is 90 inches) or by simply lying with the tailgate open, which extends the bed to about 8 feet .
At its widest point, the bed is 71 inches, so it’s only six feet, so sleeping perpendicular may be an option, depending on your height. At its narrowest, the bed is 50 inches, about 4 inches shy of the full-size mattress width.
The biggest pitfall when it comes to sleeping in the open bed of a truck is that you are not protected from any of the elements, be it weather, animals or other people.
The AT4X comes with GMC’s MultiPro Tailgate, which, of all the tailgates on the market, is my favorite. It can be used as a step or a seat, and even comes with built-in speakers, which can be an entertaining addition to a campsite. For more on the MultiPro Tailgate, check out the video above.
In terms of interior storage, the AT4X ranks about average for a full-size pickup truck, with a good amount of cup holders and a fairly large center console. Although a refrigerator is not an option from the factory, a safe is if security is important to you. If you’re a Nalgene user, you’re out of luck when it comes to cup holders that are big enough, although you can find an extender online to make it work. I especially like that the rear seat cup holders are also easily accessible from the front seats, in case you’re like me and like to have spare drinks readily available.
The bed itself, while not a true 6-foot bed, is still big enough to carry weeks worth of camping and climbing gear, but since this truck didn’t come with any kind of cover, said gear will be open to weather and wind. as well as potential thieves (furry or otherwise). I’ve made it work in the past by putting my gear together with cable bike locks and always having my coolers nearby overnight. If you’re sleeping in the middle of nowhere, this will be much less of a concern.
With large windows all around, the interior of the AT4X feels light and airy, plus the height of the truck gives you some privacy, especially if you choose to sleep on the floor. It would take someone climbing onto the truck itself to see you. The windows also allow a good amount of circulation, which, combined with window shades, always increases the quality of my sleep.
As I mentioned above, pickup trucks are a much better starting point for building an overlanding rig than for sleeping as is, especially if you’re talking about the interior. The AT4X, despite its factory off-road chops, isn’t what I’d consider in terms of landing, especially with a price tag of nearly $80,000. While the interior is an incredibly nice place to spend a few hours driving, it doesn’t have the reclining seats or the cold storage that you can find in other vehicles like the F-150 or Defender, and the bed, while not as short as the bed in the F-150 Raptor or Ram TRX, still doesn’t quite reach the 6′ mark, which is why that I have rated it 2.4 out of 5 Zs.