Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Car Products

The 10 Best Tonneau Covers

Best Tonneau Cover On Truck Bed

Let’s help you find the best tonneau cover for your truck bed.

One of the benefits of owning a pickup truck is the ability to haul items that are too large or cumbersome for conventional cars. Unfortunately, the open nature of their bed leaves these items exposed to the elements, prying eyes, and potential thieves.

An important car accessory every pickup truck owner should own is a quality truck bed cover, or tonneau cover, as they are commonly called.

In this article, we review and rank some of the best truck bed covers on the market and provide a detailed buying guide to help you find the right one for your pickup. Here is a quick rundown of our top picks:

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Best Hard Tonneau Cover Reviews

Hard truck bed covers are made from solid materials such as fiberglass, aluminum, and polypropylene plastic and generally offer the best protection and security. The criteria we used to select each cover are explained in the buying guide section.

1. BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

This was the first matte-finished, hard folding tonneau cover to hit the market, so it has style on its side. More than that, serious attention to detail was put into making sure it delivers the functionality one would expect from a quality cover.

The BAKFlip MX4 does an effective job of protecting truck beds from the elements and thieving eyes, and you can drive confidently with the cover partially or fully opened thanks to a durable buckle system and an automatic latching mechanism.

For added durability, it also features corner caps and a rail-end cap, as well as shock-absorbing bumpers on the sides of the panel that prevent the folded panels from hitting the cover when driving on rough and bumpy roads. 

Should it rain or snow, full perimeter seals and dual drain tubes help keep the bed dry by both preventing water intrusion and diverting the water away.

Finally, the BAKFlip MX4 can support up to 400 pounds (181 kg) of evenly distributed weight and comes with a very respectable 5-year warranty. 

Unfortunately, there have been complaints about some units having shoddy construction such as mounting holes that are drilled in the wrong location. The cover also doesn’t provide a very tight seal, so vibration can be an issue.

Product Specs

  • Type: Hard tonneau cover
  • Operation: Tri-Folding
  • Material: Aluminum panels
  • Weight: 71 pounds (32 kg)

Things We Like

  • Good all-around protection
  • Versatile design
  • Attractive matte finish
  • 5-year, hassle-free warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • Some units have shoddy construction
  • Doesn’t provide a full seal

Bottom Line

Whether you’re talking about its slick textured matte-finish or solid protective capabilities, the BAKFlip MX4 has everything you expect from a top-shelf truck bed cover. It is the best hard folding tonneau cover on our list. CHECK LATEST PRICE

2. Rugged Liner Premium Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Possibly Rugged Liner’s best tonneau cover, this tri-folding example places functionality above all else. 

Engineers used a high-density foam to seal together the top and underside of its rigid aluminum panels, enhancing their durability and capacity to keep dirt, debris, water, and other unwanted substances out of the truck bed.

The cover is very easy to install and remove, at least for a hard folding tonneau cover. Unlike most of the covers on this list, it comes pre-assembled with no loose parts. The clamps and other mounting hardware are built into it, meaning no tools are required for installation or removal.

Easy-to-use straps allow you to drive with the cover closed or opened, either partially or fully, while a pair of built-in cargo LED lights help you see the contents of the truck bed at night.

Unfortunately, the aluminum used to make it is a bit thin, and being that they are made out of plastic, the hinges are not particularly durable. Also, the 3-year warranty is shorter than what you get with other covers, though you probably won’t need it.

Product Specs

  • Type: Hard tonneau cover
  • Operation: Tri-Folding
  • Material: Aluminum panels
  • Weight: 58 pounds (26 kg)

Things We Like

  • Provides solid sealing against the elements
  • Comes pre-assembled, easy to install and remove
  • Built-in LED lights improve nighttime visibility

What We Don’t Like

  • Thin aluminum panels
  • Hinges are made of plastic

Bottom Line

An easy-to-install design and tight sealing are major selling points of the Rugged Liner Premium Hard Folding Tonneau Cover. CHECK LATEST PRICE

3. Undercover Flex Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

The Undercover Flex Hard Folding Tonneau Cover seems to do it all. Not only does it provide solid protection, flexible access to the bed, and a stylish design, but it’s also very easy to use. 

The panels are made from aluminum, making them lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and durable. They fold in three-part sections to grant you partial or full access to the truck bed, with automatic latches and pull cables on either side of the bed facilitating the folding process.

Thanks to dual prop rods, all three panels rest in an upright position when folded rather than against the back of the cab. And, of course, driving with the cover opened is entirely possible.

The Flex also features a dual-action tailgate seal that allows the tailgate to be closed without having to first lift the cover. It lies flush with the truck bed and has a nice gloss black finish that will surely enhance the appearance of your truck.

A potential issue with the Undercover Flex is that some of the clips may not work on all applicable beds, even if the beds are the same size. The instructions are also a bit outdated and can be frustrating to read.

Product Specs

  • Type: Hard tonneau cover
  • Operation: Tri-Folding
  • Material: Aluminum panels
  • Weight: 70 pounds (31 kg)

Things We Like

  • Panels are very solid and secure
  • Easy to operate
  • Attractive gloss black finish with tough line-x coating
  • Tailgate can be closed without lifting the cover

What We Don’t Like

  • Clips may be incompatible with some beds
  • Outdated, difficult-to-read instructions

Bottom Line

The Undercover Flex Hard Folding Tonneau Cover looks good and delivers solid all-around performance. CHECK LATEST PRICE

4. Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

This is an ultra-tough, heavy-duty hard tri-folding tonneau cover that ticks all the right boxes. It features lightweight, automotive-grade polymer panels that are dent, scratch, and UV resistant, as well as watertight seals that keep water out of the bed.

The lightweight construction of the Extang Solid Fold makes opening and closing it effortless, with protective hinge caps and rubber corners helping ensure they close softly. Sturdy clamps provide a tight and secure hold.

You’ll be happy to also know that the whole cover comes completely assembled, allowing for quick and easy installation and removal. All you need to do is tighten two cab clamps to the bed railings, unfold the cover, and pull down several tailgate clamps to lock everything in place.

The Extang Solid Fold is available for many different makes and models of trucks and is backed by a standard 3-year warranty. Unfortunately, it can leak and may not provide a good fit for some of the trucks it was designed for.

Product Specs

  • Type: Hard tonneau cover
  • Operation: Tri-Folding
  • Material: Polymer panels, aluminum frame
  • Weight: 35 pounds (15 kg)

Things We Like

  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • Comes pre-assembled, very easy-to-install and remove
  • Easy and safe operation
  • Available in many different sizes

What We Don’t Like

  • Seals can leak
  • May not provide a good fit for some compatible trucks

Bottom Line

Possibly Extang’s best tonneau cover, the Solid Fold is a tough but lightweight tri-fold tonneau cover that gets the job done without serious issues. CHECK LATEST PRICE

5. Roll-N-Lock E-Series Retractable Tonneau Cover

A list of best truck bed covers won’t be complete without including at least one hard retractable cover. The Roll-N-Lock E-Series is a good recommendation.

This is a very premium tonneau cover with premium looks and features, including a powder-coated, all-aluminum construction that resists scratches, the sun’s tyrannical UV rays, and other damage.

The cover can be set at four different positions to give you the versatility to use all or sections of the truck bed as needed, with a contoured hinge design allowing for smooth, effortless, and secure operation. It can be locked with the tailgate for added security and more peace of mind when hauling precious cargo.

The canister housing that the cover retracts into doesn’t take up much space and is said to be more compact than the canisters of every other retractable cover. 

Finally, being that it’s motorized, the E-Series can be operated with a remote key fob, and the motor is so intuitive that it automatically stops the cover if it detects an object is in the way.

Is this the best retractable tonneau cover? Perhaps the best from Roll-N-Lock. It’s very expensive and requires some elbow grease to install, but consider it if you’ve got the money to spend.

Product Specs

  • Type: Hard tonneau cover
  • Operation: Retracting
  • Material: All-aluminum
  • Weight: 124 pounds (56 kg)

Things We Like

  • Looks great
  • Very functional
  • Can be controlled with remote
  • Versatile, easy operation
  • 5-year warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavy, requires quite a bit of physical exertion to install
  • Very expensive

Bottom Line

The Roll-N-Lock M-Series Retractable Tonneau Cover is a great, albeit expensive, alternative to tri-fold tonneau covers. CHECK LATEST PRICE

Best Soft Tonneau Cover Reviews

Soft tonneau covers are less sturdy and durable and provide less security than hard tonneau covers, but they are lighter, more affordable, and easier to install, remove, and store. Learn more about them and how to find a good one in the buying guide section.

1. Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

The Tyger Auto T3 tops this list for several reasons. It’s durable for a soft cover, easy to install and operate, sleek-looking, and fairly affordable.

Made from dual-coated, heavy-duty marine-grade vinyl and supported by an aircraft-grade aluminum frame and stainless steel clamps, this tri-folding soft tonneau cover can withstand more abuse than the average soft tonneau cover and provides a weather-tight seal to protect your cargo from the elements.

Each cover comes with pre-assembled horizontal crossbars that make installation and removal easy. All the hardware you need for mounting is provided, and there is no need for drilling. 

Finally, the low-profile design of the Tyger Auto T3 will retain, if not enhance, your truck’s factory good looks, while a limited lifetime warranty provides protection against defects.

One issue some users have reported is that the cover can become loose after some time and may flap a little when driving at speeds.

Product Specs

  • Type: Soft tonneau cover
  • Operation: Tri-Folding
  • Material: Vinyl tarp, aluminum frame
  • Weight: 30.2 pounds (14 kg)

Things We Like

  • Good quality for the price
  • Easy installation and operation
  • Affordable
  • Limited lifetime warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • Can become loose after some time
  • A little flimsy

Bottom Line

For a mid-range cover, the Tyger Auto T3 delivers solid all-around performance for relatively little money. CHECK LATEST PRICE

2. TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll Up Truck Tonneau Cover

The TruXedo TruXport is, in our opinion, the best roll-up tonneau cover and also one of the most popular.

Engineered with a heavy-duty frame and high-quality leather-embossed vinyl, the TruXport is very durable for a soft cover and does a good job protecting truck beds from rain, the sun, and other elemental factors, as well as prying eyes. 

Built-in crossbar bows allow it to withstand heavy snow loads during the winter, and dual paddle latches on either side of the tailgate provide extra security for added peace of mind.

It takes up little space and has a simple roll-up operation that allows the cover to be rolled up completely, availing the entire bed for hauling oversized objects. Thanks to its slim, low-profile design, it won’t ruin your truck’s appearance.

The TruXport is also designed to be exceptionally easy-to-install and remove, requiring no drilling and taking no more than 30 minutes to get the job done. 

One downside is that it doesn’t provide optimal sealing on some truck beds, letting water in as a result. Also, for the tailgate section to be properly sealed, you have to open the cover, close the tailgate, and close the cover again every time you use the tailgate, which can be a hassle.

Product Specs

  • Type: Soft tonneau cover
  • Operation: Roll-up
  • Material: vinyl 
  • Weight: 24 pounds (11 kg)

Things We Like

  • Sleek, seamless low-profile design
  • Easy installation, operation, and removal
  • Very affordable
  • 5-year warranty.

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t provide a tight seal on some truck beds
  • Repetitive and inconvenient tailgate sealing process

Bottom Line

The TruXedo TruXport is an easy contender for the best tonneau cover. If you need an affordable and capable roll-up cover, put it on your list. CHECK LATEST PRICE

3. Tonno Pro Lo Roll Soft Roll-up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

This is another budget-friendly soft roll-up tonneau cover that will do a good job protecting your cargo from mother nature’s fury. 

For one thing, the Tonno Pro Lo Roll boasts a tear-resistant black tarp made from durable double-sided vinyl with marine-grade stitching. It also has a compact design that mounts inside the bed rails for a sleek, very low profile look and retains its compact size when rolled up so as not to block the back window. 

You should be able to install the cover with no trouble and in no time (takes about 25 minutes) with nothing more than the heavy-duty clamps it comes with and a 17 mm socket and ratchet. It rolls and unrolls easily and quickly for total bed access.

As a sweeter, the LoRoll’s frame is backed by a limited lifetime warranty, while the tarp is backed for 10 years. 

Some users have reported that it fits too tight on their truck bed and that the weatherstripping doesn’t completely flush with some sections of the bed. Also, sealing the tailgate requires multiple steps every time you open it, which is inconvenient.

Product Specs

  • Type: Soft tonneau cover
  • Operation: Roll-up
  • Material: Vinyl 
  • Weight: 34 pounds (15 kg)

Things We Like

  • Sleek, seamless low-profile design
  • Fairly easy installation, operation, and removal
  • Good price
  • Lifetime warranty for the frame; 10-year warrant for tarp

What We Don’t Like

  • May overstretch when installed
  • Tailgate sealing process is repetitive and inconvenient 

Bottom Line

With its good looks and simple but durable design, the Tonno Pro Lo Roll is a very capable soft cover that will serve you well for years if properly maintained. CHECK LATEST PRICE 

4. American Tonneau Company Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover

This soft tri-fold truck bed cover from the American Tonneau Company is a little pricey compared to the other soft covers on our list, but it has the quality to back up its higher price and comes with a free tailgate seal.

The tarp is a high-quality vinyl, while the frame is constructed from strong aluminum. You get a snug fit that provides airtight, weatherproof sealing to shield your belongings from mother nature.

The entire system is very simple to use and can be installed in mere minutes with no drilling, thanks to the fact that it comes completely assembled. Its sleek and stylish design is nothing to sneeze at either.

Finally, it’s made in the “Good Ol’ U.S.A. if that means anything to you and is sold with a limited lifetime warranty.

Of course, as we mentioned earlier, it’s pricier than other soft tri-fold tonneau covers, but it’s made well and works well. 

Product Specs

  • Type: Soft tonneau cover
  • Operation: Tri-Folding
  • Material: Vinyl tarp, aluminum frame
  • Weight: 27.6 pounds (12.5 kg)

Things We Like

  • High-quality materials, solid construction
  • Very easy to install and operate
  • Comes with a tailgate sealer
  • Limited lifetime warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit pricey

Bottom Line

American Tonneau Company’s soft tri-folding tonneau cover is a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for. CHECK LATEST PRICE

5. Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Truck Bed Cover

The Gator Tri-Fold Tonneau Truck Bed Cover is a relatively affordable soft cover that punches above its weight.

For starters, the tarp is made out of heavy-duty, tear-resistant vinyl and supported by anodized aluminum crossbows, so you can expect impressive strength and durability.

The cover forms a seal that does a good job of protecting truck beds from common hazards such as dust, rain, snow, and UV rays. But it’s water-resistant, not waterproof.

Like some of its competitors, the whole cover comes pre-assembled out of the box, meaning no loose parts or drilling. And it’s as easy to use as any tri-fold tonneau cover on the market.

Issues? Some components such as the weatherstrips and rail clips feel cheap and may not work as well as advertised.

Product Specs

  • Type: Soft tonneau cover
  • Operation: Tri-Folding
  • Material: Vinyl tarp, aluminum frames
  • Weight: 24 pounds (11 kg)

Things We Like

  • Quality materials
  • Comes pre-assembled, easy to install
  • Very affordable
  • Limited lifetime warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • Some components are of poor quality

Bottom Line

Gator is known for making affordable, well-made truck bed covers, and the ETX Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover is no exception. CHECK LATEST PRICE

Tonneau Cover Buying Guide

Finding the best tonneau cover for your truck requires knowing what exactly tonneau covers are, their function, the different types available, their price ranges, and the key features you should look for when choosing one. This buying guide covers all of these plus more.

What Is A Tonneau Cover

A truck bed cover, or “tonneau cover” in automotive terminology, is a cover that encloses the bed of a pickup truck. Using one has several benefits, not the least of which is to protect the contents of the bed from the elements and keep them out of sight of would-be thieves.

Tonneau covers can be hard or soft. The former is typically made of fabric, particularly vinyl, while the latter is constructed from hard plastic, fiberglass, or aluminum.

Unlike other car accessories such as car seat covers or steering wheel covers, which are available in universal, one-size-fits-all designs, these covers are exclusively custom. That’s to say they are made for specific makes, models, and years of trucks.

Fun Fact: “Tonneau” is a French term for any part of a vehicle that’s open at the top and exposed to the elements, be it a passenger area as in the case of convertibles or a cargo area as with trucks.

How Do Tonneau Covers Work?

A tonneau cover is typically affixed to the truck’s bed rails using a series of clips, sparing you the trouble of having to drill secure points, which may affect the resale value of your truck.

Soft tonneau covers come in two variations: Roll-up and tri-folding. Soft roll-up tonneau covers roll up like a yoga mat when not deployed across the truck bed, leaving the bed open, while soft tri-folding covers fold up in sections.

There are also two different types of hard tonneau covers: Single-piece (hinged) and tri-fold. 

While tri-folding hard tonneau covers work similarly to tri-folding soft covers, single piece hard tonneau covers are operated by raising or lowering the entire cover, not unlike how you operate the trunk lid of a car.

We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type of cover later on.

Benefits Of Tonneau Covers

There are several compelling reasons for buying a tonneau cover for your truck. We touched on some of the benefits earlier, but this section explores all of them.

Protection. For most truck owners, the primary reason for getting a tonneau cover is to protect their truck bed and its cargo from the elements. Elemental factors such as rain and the sun’s UV rays can cause serious damage, so why not shield against them and extend the life of your pickup bed?

Security. In addition to covering your truck bed and hiding its contents from prying eyes, some tonneau covers can be locked for added security. This helps deter thieves from undoing the cover and stealing your valuables.

Aesthetics. Truck bed covers can be a great way to improve the overall appearance of your truck. While most covers have a matte black aesthetic, some have a gloss finish or even eclectic colors.

Fuel economy. Tonneau covers help reduce aerodynamic drag and can improve gas mileage by 1 to 10 percent. They can save you a pretty penny over a year of fueling your thirsty truck. 

Installation. For something so large, tonneau covers for truck beds can be surprisingly easy to install, and you don’t need the help of a professional to do it. Speaking from experience, they can be less frustrating to set up than putting custom seat covers on a car’s rear bench seats.

Types Of Tonneau Covers

There are two main types of tonneau covers — soft and hard — both of which can have a roll-up, folding, or retracting operation.

Soft Vs Hard Tonneau Covers

Soft tonneau covers are made from soft fabrics such as polyester, canvas, or vinyl and provide a smooth, uniform look. They are lightweight, easy to move around, and typically more affordable than hard tonneau covers.

The problem with these covers is their pliability. It’s easy for them to be cut or pried open, and they generally don’t have a built-in locking feature

Hard tonneau covers are more expensive but provide better protection against determined thieves. They are made from hard materials such as polypropylene, aluminum, and fiberglass, which are much more difficult to cut or pry from the bed’s side rails.

For added security, the best hard tonneau covers often have sophisticated locks that keep the cover in place with or without the tailgate up.

These tough covers tend to have a textured look, but some are covered with vinyl to achieve a more uniform look, while others are available in a matte or glossy finish. They give pickups a tougher appearance.

Roll-Up Tonneau Covers

Roll-up tonneau covers roll back towards the cab and latch to the truck bed. Usually a soft cover, they provide full access to the truck bed when open.

These covers have a lightweight and compact design that makes them easy to stow in an open position. Driving your truck with them open won’t pose a problem.

Installation is easy, requiring you to simply fasten the unit to the bed’s side rails using well-integrated clamps (no drilling required).

A downside of roll-up covers is that they need to be rolled up and strapped manually, which can be a bit time-consuming.

Folding Tonneau Covers

Folding tonneau covers are made of several panels that fold back on top of each other in sections. They can be folded to provide full or partial access to the truck bed.

It’s best to opt for a folding tonneau cover that has fastening straps so that you can drive with the cover open, lest you want one of the panels to flap around.

Retractable Tonneau Covers

Retractable truck bed covers operate in a similar way to roll-up tonneau covers in that they roll up towards the cab. The main difference is that the cover rolls up automatically into a canister so that you don’t have to do it manually. 

Retractable covers also give you the versatility to determine just how much of your truck bed you want open.

Hinged Tonneau Covers

With a hinged or single-piece tonneau cover, you raise and lower the cover like you would a trunk lid. That’s because it is a single solid piece that’s connected to the truck bed at just one point.

These covers provide a sleek look, but they are less practical than the other types. Not only can’t you drive with them open, but they also make accommodating oversized or awkwardly-shaped cargo a challenge, if not impossible.

Top Tonneau Cover Brands

There is no single best tonneau cover brand, but the following have a reputation for making quality covers.

Leer

Founded in the 1960s, LEER is the number one manufacturer of aluminum and fiberglass truck tonneau covers and caps in North America. All of the covers are designed and made in America and sold at hundreds of independent distributors across the U.S. and Canada.

If you’re looking for a well-made hard tri-fold tonneau cover, check out the company’s Low-Profile, Easy On/Off Tonneau Covers.

Bak Industries

BAK Industries is best known for the BAKFlip, Revolver, and BAKFlip Contractor series of tonneau covers. Each line is designed for the different needs of truck drivers but exhibits a high level of quality and durability that the BAK brand is known for.

The BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover is possibly their best hard folding tonneau cover.

Tyger Auto

Founded in 2013 by a group of US and Canadian experts in the aftermarket auto parts industry and based out of California, Tyger makes its tonneau covers using high-quality materials and the best in industrial design. 

One of the most popular Tyger products is the T3 Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover.

Rugged Liner

Rugged Liner is a leading manufacturer and distributor of both aftermarket and OEM truck bed covers, bed liners, and wheel well liners. It employs nearly 150 employees and sells in over 70 countries.

The Rugged Liner Premium Hard Folding Tonneau Cover is one of our top picks.

Tonneau Cover Pricing

Truck bed covers are fairly expensive when compared to the average car accessory, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a quality piece without breaking the bank. It helps to know how they are priced and what you can expect from their price ranges.

Under $200 

These are as basic and barebones as tonneau covers come. Typically soft roll-up covers made of vinyl, they offer bare minimum durability and protection, lacking dedicated locks and other useful features.

We advise saving up and getting a higher quality cover.

$200 to $1000 

From high-end soft tonneaus to mid-range hard covers, you will find some good-quality truck bed covers in this price range.

They will have decent material quality and construction but not quite as many features as more expensive covers. 

Over $1000

This price range contains the highest quality tonneau covers, mostly of the hard variety. You can expect the most durable materials and best build quality.

High-end truck bed covers also feature additional features that you usually won’t get with mid-range covers, features such as remote controls, LED lights, hydraulic lift supporters, and extra straps.

Features Of The Best Tonneau Cover

Tonneau Covers can be quite expensive, so you probably can’t afford to squander your hard-earned money on one that is shoddy or incompatible with your truck. Here are the things you should look for when buying one.

Purpose

While the main purpose of a tonneau cover is to provide a truck bed with added protection, shoppers sometimes prioritize other functions. You have some who buy them primarily to enhance the appearance of their truck and others do so to provide their bed with the best security possible.

Determine your purpose for buying the cover so that you know what features to go after and that you don’t waste your time and energy wading through covers that don’t serve that purpose well, if at all.

Compatibility

This is the most important factor of consideration. Since all tonneau covers are designed for specific makes, models, and years of trucks (there are no universal, one-size-fits-all covers), you need to measure your truck bed and check for compatibility. 

Don’t take any chances. Even if two trucks appear to have the same bed length and width, their unique body design can make it so that they need different covers. 

Security

Some truck bed covers offer better security than others. For instance, due to their tougher composition, hard bed covers are generally harder to cut and break into than soft covers.

Also, a tonneau cover won’t provide much protection against the environment and thieves if it can’t stay in place. The best truck bed covers can be locked securely to the truck bed, often featuring dedicated locks that allow the tailgate to be opened without messing with the cover and vice versa.

Easy Of Use

You want a tonneau cover that’s easy to use. For instance, a roll-up cover should be easy to open, close, and latch, while operating and locking the panels of a tri-fold cover shouldn’t be a hassle.

Basically, getting items in and out of the truck bed should be a breeze. If a tonneau cover frustrates you, it’s probably time to get a new one.

Installation

Some tonneau covers come pre-assembled and only need minor work to set up, while others require you to put everything together. Some sophisticated covers even require professional installation.

Generally speaking, roll-up covers are easier to install, remove, and store than folding covers.

Accessories

Truck beds are generally designed to accommodate other truck accessories such as racks. Unfortunately, many tonneaus block the stake pockets required to mount these accessories.

Check that the cover doesn’t impede the use of any accessories you deem important. 

Warranty

Well-made and maintained truck bed covers can last a very long time, but for extra peace of mind, choose one that comes with a competitive warranty.

Warranties for this kind of product typically range from three and five years, but some higher-end models provide lifetime guarantees. 

How To Install A Tonneau Cover

Installing a tonneau cover is generally an easy, stress-free process; however, there is no one way to go about it. Installation methods will vary depending on the specific cover you buy and brand, make, and model year of truck you own.

Good tonneau covers come with clear, well-detailed instructions that show you how to properly install, operate, and remove the cover. 

If you’ve lost your owner’s manual and no longer have access to the instructions, simply search the internet for a copy or contact the manufacturer. There might even be YouTube tutorials for your specific tonneau cover.

Tonneau Cover Maintenance Tips

Truck bed covers don’t come cheap, so you want to get the most out of your investment. Not only does that mean selecting a high-quality tonneau cover that’s designed to last, but it also means taking proper care of it.

Here are some tips for maintaining a tonneau cover:

  • Regularly check your tonneau cover for damages, debris, looseness, or corrosion and take action to remedy them. You might be able to get any damages repaired or even get a replacement for free if the cover is still under warranty.
  • Make sure all mounting hardware (clamps, bolts, etc.) are secure as any looseness can prove disastrous. The last thing you want is for your tonneau cover to flap around or fly off and hit something while driving.
  • To reduce the risk of damaging your cover’s paint finish, hand wash it using water and a mild car wash soap. Avoid taking it through a car wash even if the cover is designed to handle it.
  • If you have a soft vinyl cover, using a vinyl cleaner to wash and a sponge or soft cotton cloth to dry will get you the best results.
  • If you notice that the cover sticks to the bed rails and isn’t sliding smoothly as a result, adding lubricant may just do the trick. Forcibly opening or closing it can cause damage.
  • Don’t leave heavy items on your tonneau cover for prolonged periods as that can cause bending, sagging, or other damage. If you need to place items on the cover, check your owner’s manual to ensure it has a suitable weight rating, and distribute any load as evenly as possible.

Tonneau Cover FAQs

Tonneau covers are an extremely useful truck accessory that you want to get right. See if the answers to these popular questions provide any additional useful information. 

Are Hard Covers Better Than Soft Covers?

Hard and soft tonneau each have their advantages and disadvantages. Soft covers are cheaper, lighter, and easier to maneuver, install, and store; however, they can’t match the durability, security, and overall protection provided by hard covers.

How Long Does A Tonneau Cover Last?

A tonneau cover can last 5 years or longer depending on its type, build quality, and how well it is maintained. 

High-end soft tonneau covers can last 5 to 7 years if properly maintained, while many hard tonneau covers are designed to last a decade or more.

How Much Does A Tonneau Cover Cost?

Truck bed covers can range in price from under $200 to over $1000. Soft tonneau covers have less durability and provide less security than hard tonneau covers, typically falling in the low (under $200) to mid-range ($200-$1000) price categories.

High-quality hard covers cost the most but come with locks and other useful features such as remote controls, hydraulic lift supporters, and LED lights.

Can I Take A Tonneau Cover Through A Car Wash?

You should be able to take a truck with a hard tonneau cover through an automatic car wash without causing damage. Soft tonneau covers, on the other hand, typically don’t have the composition or durability to withstand the pressurized sprays, brushes, and other equipment used by car washes.

Regardless of the type of cover you have, hand washing is a safer option as it reduces the risk of damaging your truck or tonneau cover’s paint finish.

Final Thoughts

Together with a truck bed mat or liner, a quality tonneau cover is an investment every pickup truck owner should make, not just to protect the contents of the truck but also the truck bed itself.

Finding a good one can be difficult, so we reviewed a collection of the best truck bed covers currently available and put together an in-depth buying guide so that you have all the information to make the right choice.

As for the best tonneau cover, we chose the BAKFlip MX4 as the best hard tonneau cover, while the Tyger Auto T3 is our pick for the best soft tonneau cover. Both truck bed covers provide unprecedented value for their respective type.

You May Also Like

Car News

It’s no secret that Ford drew inspiration from Aston Martin when designing the latest Fusion (Mondeo in Europe and other regions), but how much...

Car News

After a millennia on the this planet, the antiquated Land Rover Defender is finally out to pasture. Its replacement will be revealed sometime in...

Car News

It’s a more stylish GT-R inside and out. Revealed at the 2010 Tokyo Auto Salon, Japan’s equivalent of the SEMA show, was Tommy Kaira’s...

Car News

The Renault Captur is Renault’s answer to the Peugeot 2008, Opel Mokka and Nissan Juke. Set to debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show,...