Toyota Tacoma Sled Deck (Buyer’s Guide)

Sled decks offer convenient, secure hauling of recreational equipment as an alternative to trailers.

Key Points:

  • A sled deck mounts directly to the truck bet for easy and secure equipment hauling.
  • Pros and cons should be considered before choosing a sled deck over a trailer.
  • A sled deck can cost between $1,500 to $5,000.
  • Build your own sled deck to reduce the cost.

The Toyota Tacoma is revered for its ruggedness and versatility, particularly among outdoor enthusiasts. We believe adding a sled deck to a Tacoma transforms it into an even more capable vehicle for adventurers. Here’s an in-depth look at sled decks and how to integrate one with your Tacoma.

Photo credit: @alphathetaco

What Is a Sled Deck?

Sled decks are aftermarket platforms or ramps affixed to a truck’s bed, designed to transport recreational equipment.

Ideal for snowmobiles, ATVs, and dirt bikes, sled decks offer a more convenient and secure alternative to trailers. Their design protects your gear from road grime and enhances vehicle maneuverability in tricky driving conditions.

The benefits of sled decks are clear: they offer freedom from the encumbrances of traditional towing.

Since they mount directly to the truck bed, there’s no trailer to maneuver or store. This convenience and protection from the elements and road debris make them a favorite among snowmobilers and off-road enthusiasts.

However, potential downsides include difficulty in loading due to the deck’s height and the inability to use a tonneau cover.

toyota tacoma with sled deck loaded
Photo credit: @alphathetaco

Factors to Consider

Pros and Cons


  • No towing system to manage.
  • Superior maneuverability and less hassle when driving.
  • Protects equipment from the dirt and potential impact of road debris.

Member Lukehugo19 wrote on the TacomaWorld board why he favors a sled deck over a trailer: “Takes me 5 minutes to load a sled in my truck, I can park it and take it anywhere a truck a trailer can’t. It’s just inconvenient having a trailer to worry about when you’re just doing day or weekend trips.” 


  •  Loading/unloading can be tricky without additional equipment like ramps.
  •  Snow and ice on equipment can be a problem in cold climates.
  •  Incompatibility with tonneau covers, limiting bed usage when not transporting equipment.

On TacomaWorld, member RX1cobra said this about Tacoma sled decks: “I’m not sure a sled deck is practical for a Tacoma. You’ll be pretty much maxed on payload just between the deck and 1 sled.”


A sled deck is an investment with prices spanning from $1,500 to $5,000.

We suggest Tacoma owners consider how often they’ll use the deck to justify the expense. Will it be a seasonal tool for winter sports, or can it serve year-round for different adventures?


Owners of Tacoma models from 2005-2023 can fit specially designed sled decks from specialist manufacturers that cater to the truck’s dimensions and weight limitations. Confirm your Tacoma’s specifications to ensure proper fit and safety.

We’ll talk more about where to buy one later in this article.

Materials, Construction, and Durability 

Companies manufacture Tacoma sled decks from steel or aluminum, each material presenting its advantages. While steel offers durability, its weight might lower the fuel efficiency of the Tacoma and decrease the overall cargo capacity. 

When questioned about his choice of a steel sled deck, DooTalk member doo56 gave the following reasons: “A few reasons, 1) price, its about twice as expensive and I will not be using it enough to justify that amount. 2) at the end of the day, the weight savings will not be that much because of how much more material you need to use to achieve the same strength.”

On the other hand, aluminum is lighter and more corrosion-resistant but could be prone to metal fatigue over extended use. 

On the SnoWest Forum, member boondocker97 wrote in defense of aluminum decks: “I don’t think a sled chassis can be made with mid-grade steel to be as ridged as the current aluminum ones we ride and still be relatively the same weight.”

Where to Buy

Several reputable sources exist when purchasing a sled deck for your Toyota Tacoma.

We researched more than 15 available solutions and reviewed each for construction, ease of installation, and customer reviews. These are the sources that we believe offer the best price-to-value ratio. Here’s a closer look at where you can find these quality sled decks tailored for your Tacoma:

Standing Sled Decks: We like that this company caters to Tacoma models from 2005-2020, Standing Sled Decks offer decks designed to fit the specifications of your Taco, ensuring safety and convenience. Each deck comes with features that cater to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts, offering durability and ease of use.

TruckBoss Decks: This brand is known for its versatile and expandable sled decks, which can be an excellent fit for various truck models, including the Tacoma. We appreciate that TruckBoss Decks often feature innovative designs like expandable sides to accommodate different load sizes.

Marlon Products: We like that this company manufactures high-quality truck decks designed and manufactured by fellow snowmobile enthusiasts. With a focus on durability, functionality, and ease of use, Marlon’s truck decks are engineered to enhance the utility of a wide range of pickup trucks, including the Toyota Tacoma.

Northern Cascade Sled Decks: This retailer offers a range of options that prioritize safety and convenience, focusing on providing durable and reliable solutions for transporting your snowmobiles and other equipment. We like that every Northern Cascade deck is personally crafted by the company’s master welder in the Pacific Northwest.

When purchasing a sled deck, whether online or in-store, it is essential to consider the following:

Compatibility: Ensure that the sled deck fits the bed of your Tacoma. Cross-reference your truck’s model year and bed size with the specifications provided by the manufacturer.

Material and Construction: Choose a sled deck made from durable materials that can withstand the weight of your equipment and the rigors of winter road travel.

Features: Look for sled decks offering additional features, such as extendable sides or built-in ramps, for easy loading and unloading.

Customer Reviews and Feedback: Reading customer reviews on these websites or forums can provide insight into the durability and functionality of the sled decks.

Warranty and Support: Consider the warranty and the manufacturer’s customer support service should you have any issues with your sled deck.

By researching these sources and considering the points above, you’ll be well-equipped to decide on the best sled deck for your outdoor adventures with your Toyota Tacoma.

How to Build One Yourself

Tacoma owners who prefer a hands-on approach might opt to build their sled deck.

Detailed plans and discussions are available on DooTalk, where the community shares builds, modifications, and tips. YouTube tutorials can also be an excellent resource for step-by-step instructions. Of course, when you create your sled deck, there’s no manufacturer’s warranty to rely upon. 

Building your sled deck requires a basic understanding of metalwork and having the right tools on hand. You’ll need to measure accurately, choose materials, design a load-bearing structure, and ensure the finished product is secure and safe.

This project is not for the inexperienced but can be satisfying for those with the skills and patience.

Alternatives to Consider

A trailer is a viable alternative if a sled deck doesn’t meet your needs or fit your budget.

Trailers are more straightforward to load and unload, can offer more capacity, and, with enclosed options, provide excellent protection for equipment.

However, they can be less convenient for storage and maintenance, may require additional fees and registrations, and potentially decrease your fuel mileage.

You’ll also want to consider your Tacoma’s towing capacity before opting for a trailer.

Final Thoughts

Sled decks can significantly enhance the utility of a Toyota Tacoma, particularly for those who regularly transport recreational vehicles.

We think a sled deck like those offered by any of the builders listed above or a DIY version is an accessory and a transformative addition that turns your truck into an adventure-ready machine.

It’s important to weigh a sled deck’s convenience, cost, and functionality against the potential drawbacks and alternatives.

Ultimately, whether you buy or build, the right sled deck can make all the difference in your outdoor pursuits, enabling you to carry your passion into the wilderness easily.

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