Are you looking for a way to protect your cargo on the road? Whether you need something sleek and stylish or some extra durability, a tonneau cover is perfect for keeping any kind of cargo covered in their entirety.
Tonneau covers are one of the most popular aftermarket additions out there due to their versatility, convenience, and protection capabilities. Here we’ll provide an extensive guide about what tonneau covers are available, why they’re important, and how to choose the right one for your vehicle – so keep reading!
What to Know Before Buying Tonneau Covers
Contrary to popular belief, tonneau covers have their roots in open-top roadsters. The term “tonneau” originally described the open section of a car or truck. In the case of pickup trucks, a tonneau cover acts as a protective shield for the truck bed, safeguarding both your belongings and the bed itself from external elements and debris.
Some studies have suggested that these covers can enhance fuel efficiency by reducing the vehicle’s aerodynamic drag. However, the results are still inconclusive, with ample evidence negating this claim.
When it comes to varieties, there’s no shortage of tonneau covers available in the market. The model of your truck largely determines the type, brand, style, and size of the tonneau covers you can choose from. Furthermore, how you intend to use your truck is a critical factor in determining the ideal cover for your needs. Tonneau covers can be used for a wide range of applications, from rugged overlanding to simply showcasing your gleaming vehicle.
When it comes to purchasing a tonneau cover, it’s essential to remember that they are not just aesthetic upgrades; they are meant to serve as an additional layer of protection for your truck bed and cargo, hence their relatively high price. Here are some considerations to keep in mind while shopping for a tonneau cover:
How Will You Be Using Your Truck?
Understand the primary use of your truck. Is it mainly used for work or commuting? Do you use it for family trips or off-roading? Knowledge about your truck’s primary use will guide you in selecting a tonneau cover that best fits your requirements.
Types of Tonneau Covers
Tonneau covers come in a variety of styles, each serving unique needs and preferences. Depending on the design, you can opt for a soft-style vinyl or leather tarp, or a hard-style cover composed of materials like aluminum or plastic. Some of the distinct types include:
- Roll-Up Tonneau Covers: These covers can easily be rolled up, providing full access to your truck’s bed.
- Folding Tonneau Covers: Folding covers provide partial to full bed access and are often available in bi-fold and tri-fold designs.
- Retractable Tonneau Covers: These covers can be retracted into a canister situated at the front of the truck bed.
- Snap-On Tonneau Covers: Snap-on covers are simple and affordable, offering quick access to your truck bed.
- Hinged Tonneau Covers: These act like a large one-piece lid that lifts up, providing full truck bed access.
- Toolbox Tonneau Covers: These come with a built-in toolbox for storing tools or equipment, ideal for handyman trucks.
Price Range of Tonneau Covers
Tonneau cover prices can range from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars. Your specific needs and budget will determine the perfect cover for you, so there’s no need to overspend. To aid you in the buying process, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best tonneau covers available in varying types and price brackets.
Remember, tonneau covers are generally made for specific truck models. Thus, when shopping online, be sure to enter your truck’s year, make, and model to ensure you find a cover specifically designed for your truck.
7 Best Tonneau Covers 2023
Looking to upgrade your vehicle with the best tonneau covers in the market? We’ve got you covered. Whether it’s about increasing the functionality of your vehicle or enhancing its aesthetic appeal, a tonneau cover can make a significant difference. Let’s dive into our top seven picks for the best tonneau covers of 2023.
Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
The Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover steps up the game from its SFX predecessor. This high-quality cover is perfectly engineered to fit the 2021 – 2023 models of Ford F-150 5′ 7″ Bed (67.1″). The EFX provides an added layer of security with its black powder-coated, scratch- and UV- resistant rigid aluminum panels. The arrangement of its panels permits carrying your payload with the cover two-thirds open, making it an ideal choice for awkward loads.
This tonneau cover stands out for its toughness and versatility. The heavy-duty aluminum panels that make up the cover automatically lock when closed, providing an uncompromised level of protection. Not to mention, the panels are coated with a UV-protective, scratch-resistant, black powder coat finish, ensuring long-term durability.
One of its most remarkable features is the easy install and low-profile design. With the EFX, you can have your tonneau cover installed in less than 30 minutes without the need for tools or drilling. Plus, it sits flush with your truck bed, offering a stylish, low-profile look.
But the benefits don’t stop here. The Gator EFX also ensures top-notch weather protection. It has an integrated water management system designed to keep rain, snow, dirt, and dust out of your truck bed. The EFX’s unique seal design channels these elements out of your truck bed, providing superior bed protection.
Lastly, the Gator EFX Hard Folding cover comes with a 3-year warranty and excellent customer service support. If you ever encounter a problem with your cover, their team of tonneau cover experts is ready and eager to help!
TruXedo Lo Pro Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover
The TruXedo Lo Pro Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover is an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable, easy-to-use, and stylish cover. It is made from tear-resistant, leather-grained vinyl, ensuring durable protection for your truck bed. No tools are needed for installation and it can be easily set up within 30 minutes, thanks to the simple clamp-on rails. This LoPro model sits a tad lower than many competitors, offering a more seamless, low profile look.
One of its prominent features is the quick-release system that allows you to access the bed in a matter of seconds. It fits perfectly on the 2015 – 2023 models of Ford F-150 5′ 7″ Bed (67.1″). Notably, the Lo Pro has been America’s #1 choice, being the best-selling roll-up truck bed cover across North America. Its superior weather resistance, combined with aircraft-grade aluminum bows designed to withstand heavy snow load, makes it a favorite among consumers.
The cover sits only 3/4” above the truck bed, sleek, and almost concealed. It mounts inside the rails of the truck bed, offering full access to stake pocket holes for use with additional accessories. The Lo Pro is backed by a lifetime, no-hassle warranty, highlighting TruXedo’s commitment to providing the best service at all times. In case of any necessity for replacement parts, the TruXedo team is always ready to assist.
BAK Revolver X4s Hard Rolling Tonneau Cover
The BAK Revolver X4s is a perfect blend of style and functionality. With its matte-black finishes extending from top to bottom, this hard roll-up truck bed cover is a chic addition to your truck. It’s crafted with industrial-grade vinyl and aluminum black slats for enhanced durability.
One of the striking features of the Revolver X4s is its one-hand operation. No need to struggle; just pull down the tailgate cable to unlock and roll. The underbody’s aluminum component is concealed to protect your hands while operating.
The X4s rolls smoothly, storing tight against the cab, and secures with a robust strap & buckle system. This design offers you complete access to your truck bed without obstructing any visibility. It also works with most 5th-wheel hitches, improving its versatility.
The cover fits snugly on the 2015-2020 models of Ford F-150 5′ 7″ Bed (67.1″), offering a sleek and stylish look. However, while it is weather-resistant, it’s vital to note that it is not entirely weatherproof.
The BAK Revolver X4s is proudly made in the USA, and it comes with a 5-year guarantee. The company offers excellent customer support, ready to assist you whenever needed.
Retrax PowertraxPRO XR Retractable Tonneau Cover
The Retrax PowertraxPRO XR redefines innovation in tonneau covers. This retractable cover features remote-powered operation, allowing it to be locked in place anywhere along the truck bed. Its durable aluminum construction boasts a powder-coated matte finish, providing not only aesthetic appeal but also resilience. Uniquely, the PowertraxPRO XR accommodates a T-slot track system, facilitating the fitting of crossbars for transporting kayaks, bikes, and more.
Designed with legendary versatility, the PowertraxPRO XR offers overlander capabilities with the Trax Rail System. This feature makes it compatible with practically any T-Slot accessory, including those from renowned brands such as Rhino-Rack, Yakima, Thule, and others. It’s perfect for the 2019 – 2022 models of Chevy/GMC Silverado/Sierra, specifically for those with the MultiPro/Flex tailgate (Note: It’s not compatible with the Carbon Pro bed) 5′ 10″ Bed (69.9″).
Most impressively, the aluminum panels of the PowertraxPRO XR can support up to 500 lbs. of evenly distributed weight, highlighting its legendary durability. This retractable tonneau cover is proudly manufactured in North Dakota and comes with a 3-year guarantee. Retrax’s US-based customer support team stands ready to assist whenever needed.
Tyger Auto T1 Soft Roll-up Tonneau Cover
The Tyger Auto T1 Soft Roll-up Tonneau Cover is a US patented design that combines durability with functionality. It is compatible with 2015-2023 Ford F-150 | 6.5′ (79″) Bed. It is dual-coated and made out of heavy-duty 24oz. marine-grade vinyl, with built-in horizontal crossbars which offer support when the cover is laid flat; and roll up with the tarp to provide full bed access when needed. The cover also features aircraft-grade aluminum side rails, and stainless steel clamps for mounting to the truck bed.
One of its key features is its Velcro strip on the sides that seals and secures with a latch lock system at the tailgate. The tension system is adjustable on the end of the side rails to keep the cover tight and vinyl wrinkle-free in any weather conditions. Notably, the Tyger Auto T1 offers easy, no drilling installation with instruction and mounting hardware provided.
Note that small holes will need to be cut in the bedliner for vehicles equipped with over-the-bedrail bedliner to secure the clamps for proper cover installation; the cover will work with under-the-bedrail bedliner without modification. This remarkable tonneau cover comes with a limited lifetime warranty for US customers, demonstrating Tyger Auto’s confidence in its product.
BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover
The BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover is a top-class security feature for your truck, fitting perfectly on the 2015 – 2020 models of Ford F-150 5′ 7″ Bed (67.1″). Built with durable aluminum panels, this cover automatically latches as it is partially or fully closed, and is completely locked once your tailgate is closed. It boasts a stylish matte finish, protecting against damage from scratches, marks, and UV rays. It is also complemented by premium upgrades to the perimeter seals and hardware.
Furthermore, the BAKFlip MX4 offers 100% bed access. You can operate this cover in a closed, folded, or flipped up state, all without obscuring the 3rd brake light. It is also paired with a dual-action tailgate seal for easy operation whether the tailgate is open or closed. With the capacity to support up to 400 lbs of evenly distributed weight, this hard folding cover is straightforward to install. The MX4 comes with a 5-year, hassle-free warranty and is backed by a US-based support team, upholding BAK’s commitment to its customers.
OEDRO Soft Quad Fold Tonneau Cover
The OEDRO Soft Quad Fold Tonneau Cover is expertly designed and compatible with 2002-2023 Dodge Ram 1500; 2003-2023 Dodge Ram 2500 3500 | Fleetside 8 ft/98.3in bed without Rambox and Split Tailgate.
The quad-fold design includes four built-in horizontal crossbars that provide support when the cover is fully unfolded and helps conserve space when folded up. The cover is made of double-layer PVC that has been rigorously tested for UV protection and superior tensile properties. Pre-assembled powder-coated rails and aluminum clamps are included for effortless installation and exceptional stability.
Installation is a breeze with no extra tools required. In most cases, no drilling is needed. Small holes need to be cut for trucks with rail cap or over-the-bedrail bed liner to secure the clamps; no cut needed for pickup with under-the-bedrail bed liner. Following the included instruction manual will ensure a smooth and simple installation process.
This tonneau cover provides comprehensive protection. With the tailgate locked, your truck bed can be instantly converted into a 100% secure, snow-proof, and dust-proof trunk. Waterproof strips are included for added protection. The truck bed tonneau cover offers constant security and all-around protection. Please measure your truck bed size or contact us before purchasing.
Buying Guides – Features to Note When Buying Tonneau Covers
When considering the best tonneau covers for your pickup, there are various factors to bear in mind. These range from the material used, the level of protection offered, the ease of installation, to the compatibility with your specific truck model. This buying guide is your compass to navigate the market and make an informed choice for optimal utility and security.
When shopping for tonneau covers, your main priorities should be quality and security. A good tonneau cover should provide peace of mind when leaving valuables like tools and camping gear unattended in the bed of your truck.
The level of security you need will certainly vary, but check into what type of locking system your potential tonneau cover offers. You should also remember that hard-shell covers will always be more secure than soft covers.
All truck beds are different, so different trucks will require different shapes and sizes of covers. When shopping, it’s important to check the fitment for the specific year, make, model, and even trim level of your truck. Most companies offer tonneau covers for specific models and in varying lengths, so before you click that order button, be sure you’re getting exactly what you need for your vehicle.
Durability is another crucial factor when selecting the best tonneau covers. A tonneau cover is an investment, and you want it to last for many years, resisting harsh weather conditions, UV rays, and everyday wear and tear.
Covers made from high quality, rugged materials such as marine-grade vinyl or aluminium panels are usually more durable and provide excellent protection for your truck bed. Some tonneau covers even come with a protective coating to further shield against damages and extend their lifespan.
Consider weather protection as an additional form of security. Tonneau covers are designed to keep the elements out of the bed of your truck, so selecting one that performs this task effectively is crucial. Depending on the climate you reside in, the type of weather resistance you require may vary.
For those living in hot and sunny climates, a cover with superior UV protection may be necessary to prevent the cover from disintegrating in the sun. If you happen to reside in an area that experiences heavy snowfall, a tonneau cover that can bear the weight of the snow buildup is ideal.
For those in rainy climates, investing in a weatherproof tonneau cover, as opposed to simply weather-resistant, equipped with high-quality seals is the most suitable choice.
Ease of Installation
A user-friendly installation process is an essential factor to consider when buying a tonneau cover. Most tonneau covers come with all the necessary tools and instructions for installation, and many don’t require any drilling. Some brands even offer pre-assembled powder-coated rails and clamps to facilitate the process. However, it’s important to check if the tonneau cover is compatible with your truck’s bedliner and whether any modifications are needed.
Consider how you use your truck bed and what accessibility features you might require from a tonneau cover. Some covers offer 100% bed access, allowing the cover to be operated in a closed, folded, or flipped up state without obscuring the view or access. Trifold and quad-fold designs are particularly convenient for this. Additionally, some tonneau covers are equipped with features such as dual-action tailgate seals, which allow for easy operation whether the tailgate is open or closed.
Apart from functionality, aesthetics can also play a significant role in your tonneau cover choice. Pickup trucks are generally function-first vehicles, but some owners may desire a cover that enhances the look of their truck. In such cases, consider aspects like the height of the cover from the bed.
Low-profile covers maintain a streamlined, OEM-like look, blending seamlessly with the truck’s design without compromising its rugged appeal. Hard-shell covers that can be color-matched to your truck are a particularly attractive option. These allow for a uniform look, elevating the overall aesthetics of your vehicle. Remember, the best tonneau covers not only protect and secure but also enhance the visual appeal of your pickup.
Lastly, take note of the warranty terms. Brands that offer extended warranties demonstrate confidence in their products. The warranties vary from limited lifetime warranties to 5-year, hassle-free warranties. The warranty can serve as an assurance of the product’s quality and can come in handy in case of any issues or manufacturing defects.
By considering these factors, you can be confident in choosing a tonneau cover that meets your needs and ensures the safety and integrity of your truck bed. Whether you prioritize durability, easy installation, accessibility or excellent warranty terms, there is a perfect tonneau cover for every pickup owner.
See more: Best Tonneau Cover For Ford F150
In this section, we’ll tackle some of the frequently asked questions about tonneau covers. These queries range from general concerns about usage and maintenance, to specific inquiries about product features and selection. By addressing these questions, prospective buyers can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the product and make informed decisions.
Can a tonneau cover improve gas mileage?
Yes, a tonneau cover can potentially improve the gas mileage of your truck. When your truck bed is open, it creates air drag while the vehicle is in motion. A tonneau cover can streamline the airflow over your vehicle, reducing air drag and potentially improving fuel efficiency.
This improvement, however, might not be significant enough for you to notice a drastic change in your fuel consumption. Factors like your driving habits, the conditions of the roads you travel on, and the specific design of your truck also contribute to your overall gas mileage.
Can I drive with my tonneau cover open?
Yes, you can drive with your tonneau cover open. However, it’s important to ensure that the cover is properly secured in an open position to prevent any damage or safety issues. Some tonneau covers come with built-in mechanisms that keep them safely secured when they’re fully open.
Keep in mind that driving with the tonneau cover open might reduce its effectiveness in improving fuel efficiency, as it won’t streamline the airflow over your vehicle as effectively.
How do I maintain my tonneau cover?
Maintaining a tonneau cover is relatively simple. Regularly clean the cover with a mild soap and water solution to keep it free of dirt and debris. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as these can damage the cover’s material.
To prolong the life of your cover, you might also want to apply a UV-protectant or a vinyl cleaner, depending on the material of your tonneau cover. Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific care instructions.
Should I get a hard-shell or soft-fabric tonneau cover?
The choice between a hard-shell and a soft-fabric tonneau cover depends on your specific needs and priorities. If you are looking for long-term security, waterproof protection, and a locking mechanism, it might be worth investing in a hard-shell tonneau cover. However, be aware that this choice comes with a few trade-offs.
A hard-shell cover will significantly increase your truck’s weight, which could potentially offset any improved fuel efficiency. Additionally, it is generally more complicated to install and remove compared to a soft cover.
On the other hand, a soft-fabric tonneau cover will be lighter in weight, easier to install, and typically cheaper than a hard-shell cover. However, this type of cover is not as durable and secure as its hard-shell counterpart. If you prefer convenience and cost-effectiveness over durability and security, a soft-fabric tonneau cover could be a suitable choice for you. Always weigh your needs, budget, and the specific features of the tonneau cover before making a decision.
Investing in a tonneau cover for your pickup truck can provide a wealth of benefits, ranging from improved fuel efficiency to increased security for your cargo. The best tonneau covers offer a combination of durability, accessibility, aesthetics, and excellent warranty conditions, catering to a wide variety of needs and preferences.
Whether you opt for a hard-shell or soft-fabric cover will depend largely on your specific requirements and budget. Hard-shell covers are typically more durable and secure, but they are heavier and more complex to install. Soft-fabric covers, while not as robust, are lighter, easier to install, and generally more affordable.
Regardless of the type you choose, regular maintenance is crucial to prolong the lifespan of your cover and keep it in optimal condition. Remember, a well-chosen tonneau cover not only enhances the functionality and aesthetics of your pickup truck, but also serves as a reflection of your considerations as a vehicle owner. Make your choice count by considering all factors thoroughly before making your purchase.