Product Review: Big Bed auto product reviews
Big-Bed. Click image to enlarge

Manufacturer’s web site
BigBed.ca

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Review and photos by Russell Purcell

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Big-Bed

The province of Ontario may be smarting from the economic downturn in the automotive sector, but there are still a number of small companies in the area that are managing to make a name for themselves through innovation, hard work, and a pride in workmanship. Seg-Ins Incorporated qualifies as such a company. Located in Charing Cross, Ontario, Seg-Ins produces a very unique product marketed as the Big-Bed.

The Big-Bed is basically a device that allows owners of light trucks to extend the carrying capacity of their vehicle’s cargo beds so that they can effectively carry long items like lumber, ladders and canoes. All that is required is that your truck be equipped with a 2-inch receiver.

Product Review: Big Bed auto product reviews
Big-Bed. Click image to enlarge

The Big-Bed is comprised of a simple steel bar which slides into your truck’s receiver where it is secured with a pin just like any other towing accessory. A hinged extension bar swings up until it rests at 90-degrees where it is secured by its own locking pin. Atop this bar sit two narrow support arms which swing out to form a 48.5-inch wide T which acts as a base for your load. These arms feature upright pegs at their outboard position to restrict movement, and both arms are supported by bolted cross braces.

I was impressed with the build quality and finish of the Big-Bed when I removed it from its package. The entire surface is finished in an attractive gloss black, and welds, hardware and machining all appear to be top-notch. The Big-Bed feels beefy, and at 17 kg (38 lb), it is obvious the company did not skimp on material. When mounted the Big-Bed is capable of supporting up to 400 pounds of distributed weight.

My first test of the unit required me to mount the device to a 2009 Honda Ridgeline pickup for a trip to the local home improvement store. The Ridgeline has a very short cargo box, so the Big-Bed was able to shine during my evaluation. The Big-Bed slid easily into the truck’s OEM hitch receiver and after securing it with a lock pin (not part of the Big-Bed package) I came away impressed with how little time it took to set up. Within two minutes I had unboxed and prepped the device for its first load.

Product Review: Big Bed auto product reviews
Product Review: Big Bed auto product reviews
Big-Bed. Click image to enlarge

I was returning some lumber for a neighbour who had rented a truck to make her initial purchase, but now that her project was completed she was faced with the burden of having to return some surplus materials to the store. I returned a dozen 12-foot long 2X4s to the lumber yard with ease. The weight was little burden to the Big-Bed, and I was able to easily secure the boards down using bungee straps as the device features no less than three tie-down points. A reflective strip is affixed to the rear face of the upright bar to act as a flag for other drivers, but common sense (and the law) will require you to place a flag or red marker at the rearmost point of your load.

After returning the lumber I loaded the truck several times with various materials including plywood sheets and a selection of ladders. Weight was never an issue, the loads proven amazingly stable, and the process of loading and unloading was very easy due to the Big-Bed’s simple design.

Pick-ups come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so Seg-Ins has designed the Big-Bed unit to be adjustable for three height settings. Should your truck sport a cap there is cab-over kit available that will allow you to convert the Big-Bed unit from a horizontal support at bed height, to a vertical support adjustable to your roof height. The addition of this kit should make the Big-Bed an attractive cargo device for owners of vans, SUVs and CUVs as well.

The company’s marketing literature suggests alternate uses such as creating a workbench at a worksite, or even for tailgate party duties. I could see it being utilized to build a sleeping platform for camping or hunting as well.

Product Review: Big Bed auto product reviews
Product Review: Big Bed auto product reviews
Big-Bed. Click image to enlarge

The Big-Bed comes fully assembled, unless of course you order the cab-over extension, which will require you to break out some tools to make the necessary conversion (I will report on this process in a future article). Storage is a non-issue should you have limited space, as the entire unit folds up in a very compact package (Length 52.5″X Width 5.5″ X Height 7.0″).

Judging from the interest and positive feedback I have received from passersby and neighbours it looks like Seg-Ins has stumbled upon a winner here.

The Big-Bed retails at CAN $349.95 plus tax and shipping, but occasionally the company runs limited time promotional specials. The cab-over conversion kit is a new addition, and is a very reasonably priced $59.99.

For more information, visit the company’s website.

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