Truck Storage Space: Cab Space Or Bed Space?

Posted on: 13 September 2016


If you're looking at new pickup trucks and are trying to decide on a basic type to get, you'll face an interesting choice. As pickups have gotten larger, they've become available in different configurations ranging from a regular one-seat-row cab and fairly long bed to crew cabs with short beds. Choosing one isn't that easy—it's certainly straightforward, but you have to give consideration to the main purpose you have in mind for the truck.


Extended cabs offer additional space inside the locked passenger cab area, allowing you to store items that don't need the entire bed but that do need some more security. While you could always buy a locking tonneau cover for a regular-cab/longer-bed truck, you again have that issue of using an entire bed to store a few items. You'd need additional nets or boxes to secure the items and stop them from sliding around the bed. If you prefer the additional interior storage, extended cab (or even crew cab, with its full backseat row) works best.

Family Car Substitute

Traditional cabs have room for only two or three people, depending on whether the seat is a bench or bucket style. If you have a family, then, you would have to have another car to transport everyone unless you got a bigger cab. Extended cabs have a small row in back, good if you've got kids or are driving with adults who don't mind the small space, and crew cabs have a full row, allowing you to transport two to three additional people.

If you want to save the expense of having a second car for people transport, an extended or crew cab will be better than a regular cab. Despite your teenage memories of riding in the bed of a friend's pickup, not everyone wants to do that or can do that.

Better for Business

An advantage to having that regular (and thus longer) bed is that you have more room to haul bigger items, be it for yourself, a business, or a side business helping your friends move. If you got a crew cab or extended cab, the bed of the truck could be too short to carry many items unless you got extra equipment like a bed extender. However, an extended/crew cab plus a bed extender can make for a very long truck, one that throws off your sense of where the edges and corners are when trying to change lanes or park. Plus, that long, long crew cab plus long bed would be hard to turn and likely have bad gas mileage. So if you really need the hauling space, a regular-cab truck would be easier to use.

Of course, the availability of accessories like tonneau covers and bed extenders does give you more leeway when deciding between the cab and bed styles. If you find that you have some conflicting uses in mind for the truck (e.g., you want to haul lots of furniture in a long bed but also have a growing family who you want to transport in an extended/crew cab), talk to truck equipment suppliers and see what they can suggest.