Best Tonneau Cover Reviews for Your Pickup Trucks (2018)
Tonneau covers protect your truck beds from various elements. It also protects your cargo from potential theft. With so many options available, choosing the right Tonneau cover can be difficult. Read the guide so that you are aware of the many aspects, features and aesthetics that you need to consider when making the choice.
What is a tonneau cover?
A tonneau cover is a bed cover that helps shield your truck bed from sun, rain, hail, wind and other elements. It protects the cargo from debris and prevents theft. It is one of the most essential accessories that you can have on your pickup truck. It helps secure the cargo and ensures that it remains intact at all times.
There are two types of tonneau covers – hard and soft. The hard cover is made of durable plastic or fiberglass. It is used to firmly enclose the cargo. The soft cover is made from sturdy materials and can be easily opened and closed. The soft tonneau cover is more affordable whereas the hard cover is more durable.
Benefits of Tonneau Cover
The benefits of having your truck bed covered are numerous. The benefits of tonneau cover go way deeper than just its aesthetic appeal.
- Weather Protection: This is the most obvious benefit. Whether it is rain, snow, hail, wind or whatever element that crosses your path, the tonneau cover can help protect and keep the cargo dry and safe.
- Keep Cargo Safe: If you are transporting delicate cargo then the cover can offer the much-needed protection to keep it intact.
- Improve Gas Mileage: The aerodynamic design of the tonneau cover helps reduce air drag. This increases the gas mileage by 5% – 10% when compared to an open bed.
- Keep the Pickup Cool: The truck bed cover can help keep the harmful UV rays of the sun away and this keeps the pickup cool.
What factors to consider?
Tonneau cover is an accessory that every pickup truck owner needs to consider buying. Before you make the choice, there are several factors that you need to consider.
Types of Tonneau Covers
The truck bed covers come in several types, styles and fit for all brands of trucks. You can choose the type you want depending on your specific needs and requirements.
- Roll-Up Tonneau Covers: The roll up truck bed covers roll up from the tailgate to the truck cab. They are usually made using aluminium support frames and heavy-duty vinyl. No drilling is necessary and they can be installed easily. They are available in several types including Velcro, snap less and snap and are reasonably priced. They are an ideal choice for keeping the elements out and the cargo dry at all times. They are available in a wide variety of colors with black being the most preferred.
- Retractable Tonneau Covers: The retractable cover has a series of planks that slide open and close. They act like a garage door for the truck bed. They are made from heavy duty and heavy gauged aluminium panels. Most of them are available with intermediate locking positions. This can enable you to open the bed cover partially or all the way. The retractable covers are available in both manual and electronic designs. The manual model features auto latching positions on the rails and this lets you lock the cover partially open. The electronic covers use a motorised feature that enables you to roll the cover automatically. They can be stopped anywhere along the rails. A remote control is available for some electronic covers and this can give you total freedom to open and close it from a distance.
- Folding Tonneau Covers: The folding covers feature 3 – 5 panels that tend to hold together. This makes it easier to open and close the cover. Most of the models available open up enough to allows space to place any kind of cargo you want. There are some models that can be folded all the way against the cab and this can give you complete access to the truck bed. Even though the folding covers usually come in the standard black color, you can choose to customize them to match the truck color for an added cost. It is an affordable design and is perfect for pickup owners on a tight budget.
- Hinged Tonneau Covers: The hinged tonneau covers are made of hard cover and they are easier to open and close. You will be able to customize the hinged covers as per the specific requirements of your truck. The hinged covers are convenient and this can help accommodate larger cargo loads. Most of these covers have a load capacity of 400 lbs or more. You require minimal effort to open and close the covers.
- Snap Tonneau Covers: Snap covers are available both in hinged and roll up designs. They are the most affordable options for pickup trucks. Installation is simple and you will be able to complete it within minutes. A snap cover is an ideal choice if you don’t plan to open and close the cover frequently.
- Toolbox Tonneau Covers: The toolbox covers are designed shorter than the truck bed so that they can accommodate the truck toolbox. With this cover, you will be able to enjoy the security and protection of a tonneau and easy access to the toolbox.
Top quality materials offer the best protection to your truck bed.
- Vinyl – The vinyl covers provide the best water protection in any type of weather condition. The tough tonneaus are made from marine grade material and have superior stitching. This makes them one of the most popular materials.
- Canvas – The canvas covers are durable and provide lightweight protection. They are mostly used in folding and roll up tonneau types. They are found less frequently than most of the other materials.
- Fiberglass – Fiberglass covers provide superior strength and longevity. They are an ideal choice if you work in tough climatic conditions. Even though they are bulky than most other materials they offer the best protection to your cargo.
- Aluminium – Aluminium is considered one of the best materials for tonneau. They are strong, durable and light and this makes it easy to handle.
- ABS Polymer – The ABS polymer material is strong and easy to use. They are made of super durable quality and are easy to lift up when you want full access to the truck bed. They are resistant to impact and help protect the cargo from debris.
The installation can vary from one cover to the other. The soft cover can be installed within minutes with no tools. Covers that require rails need to be installed separately and you will need basic hand tools to complete the installation.
Covers that use hand tightened clamps or bolts require no drilling. There are some brands that require some drilling on the tailgate during installation.
Strength and Durability
The strength and durability depend on the material of the cover. Fiberglass covers provide maximum strength and durability whereas vinyl, canvas, and aluminium are lightweight materials that are strong.
Price and Warranty
The price and warranty of the tonneau covers vary depending on the different features and materials used.
Top 10 Best Tonneau Cover Reviews
1. Lund 96893 Genesis Elite Roll-Up Tonneau Cover
The Lund Elite roll up cover does more than turn heads. It helps protect your valuable cargo against weather (rain, hail, wind, snow) and theft. The covers feature heavy duty black rails and bows and this ensure easy operation.
The integrated seal on the front and rear rails ensure protection against moisture and debris. The cover includes all necessary hardware for quick and easy installation. No drilling is required. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.5’.
- Protects and conceals the truck bed contents. The tarp rolls up easily and provides quick access to the truck bed.
- The premium twill weave material has been specifically engineered to be resistant to dust and debris, UV, mold and water. The unique texture of the fabric doesn’t trap dirt.
- The cover reduces drag and improves fuel economy.
- The cover is completely maintenance free.
- It is not as durable as the folding tonneau cover. It will not be able to handle much snow weight.
2. TruXedo 953301 Titanium Hard Roll-Up Tonneau Cover
The TruXedo is a hard roll up bed cover that offers complete access to the truck bed. The low-profile design greatly enhances the appearance of your truck. It provides good security and all that you need to do is to close the cover and lock the tailgate to protect and secure the cargo. The vinyl material used to make the cover is UV resistant. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.0’.
- The quick release system enables you to remove the roll up cover within seconds. You will be able to access the truck bed without tools.
- Installation is simple and easy and you don’t require any special tools or drilling.
- The heavy-duty aluminium provides additional durability and strength.
- The slam latches allow you to open the tonneau cover from both sides. All that you need to do is to simply roll the cover to close the cover in a secure manner.
- The cover can get quite hot in the summer even with guards on the side.
3. Roll-N-Lock LG221M M-Series Tonneau Cover
The Roll-N-Lock LG221M enables you to lock the cargo in a convenient and secure manner. The sturdy tonneau cover is built using vinyl and aluminium. The M-series has a sleek appearance and this is greatly enhanced by the low-profile design and aerodynamically styled housing lid. With just the turn of the lock lever you will be able to slide the cover open. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.5’.
- The clamp on track design is patented and greatly simplifies the installation process. It minimizes the need for drilling holes on most trucks.
- It has a unique frictionless construction.
- The tonneau cover opens and closes in seconds with no cross bars or snaps.
- The built-in tailgate lock keeps the cargo secure and protects it against any kind of theft.
- The tonneau cover is expensive.
4. Pace Edwards (SWF2843) Switchblade Tonneau Cover
The Pace Edwards (SWF2843) tonneau cover is simple and easy to install and remove. The continuous tension spring helps the cover retract smoothly within seconds. The canister can be easily removed and this gives complete truck bed access and maximum cargo capacity. It can fit a truck bed size of 5.5’ - 6.0’.
- The handle makes opening and closing of the cover from either side completely easy.
- The cover has a pull strap and this offers a lot of convenience. This means that you don’t need to climb the truck to operate the cover.
- The padded polymer is bonded to rigid aluminium panels and this makes it weather resistant.
- No drilling is needed for installation on most pickup trucks.
- The cover allows full rear-view visibility due to its low-profile design.
- The canister occupies a bit of space on the truck bed and this can restrict your ability to carry more cargo.
5. Tyger Auto Tri-Fold Tonneau Bed Cover (TG-BC3C1006)
The Tyger Auto has tri-fold design and this provides complete access to the truck bed. The clamps are patented and this makes installation easy. The weather tight seal protects the cargo against moisture and dust. The low-profile design prevents resistance and this can enable you to save money on gas. It can fit a truck bed size of 5.8’.
- No drilling is required for installation. No special tools are required and you will be able to complete the entire process within minutes.
- The cover is made of sturdy vinyl and this makes it strong and durable. The heavy-duty vinyl can support a lot of weight including heavy snow.
- LED light is included.
- It is not completely weather proof and water can get under the cover.
6. BAK (26309) BakFlip G2 Truck Bed Cover
The BAK truck bed cover helps protect your precious cargo from the elements. The innovative living hinge system of the cover ensures water resistance. This means that the cargo remains completely dry and safe even in heavy rain and snow. You no longer have to worry about delivering things in any kind of weather. It can fit a truck bed size of 5.5’.
- The panels automatically latch to both sides of the truck and this makes installation quite easy. The hardware that is necessary for the installation is provided.
- The panels can flip open in the same direction. This can help you access the truck bed easily.
- The cover is scratch and UV resistant.
- The cover can be folded all the way forward and up against the pickup trucks rear cab. This gives you complete access to the truck bed
- The metal shavings tend to fall off during installation.
- Even though it is easy to install the instructions can be hard to follow.
7. MaxMate Premium TCD371011 Tri-Fold Tonneau Bed Cover
Enter your text hereThe MaxMate Premium is an easy to install tonneau truck bed cover and features three foldable panels. The vinyl cover is coated with marine grade aluminium powder and this can help withstand extreme weather conditions.
The high grade aluminium frames have an upward arch support and this ensures that the cover is held taut. The tri-fold cover is lightweight and has been specifically designed to protect and secure cargo from weather and theft. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.5’.
- The tri-fold cover is fully assembled and this makes installation easy. The cargo rack or side rails need to be removed to complete the installation.
- The weather tight seal protects the cargo from moisture and dirt.
- The aerodynamic sleek design helps save 10% - 12% of gas.
- It comes with a ten-year warranty.
- It is not very hard and strong.
8. Lund 98001 Genesis Hinged Tonneau Cover
The Lund hinged tonneau cover fits perfectly to the edges of the pickup truck. This helps block moisture and protects the cargo from any kind of damage. The hinged design enables you to access the truck bed easily.
The cover is made of high-quality vinyl and this makes it durable and tear resistant. The double-sided fabric custom fits the trucks and adds to its elegant appearance. The cover comes pre-assembled and this enables you to install it within minutes. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.6’.
- The sleek design improves aerodynamics and this reduces drag. This significantly improves fuel efficiency.
- It includes a hassle-free closure that keeps the tonneau cover tight and protects the cargo from weather.
- The latching system enables you to open and close the cover with one hand.
- There can be fitting issues with some trucks.
9. R&L Racing Hidden Snap Vinyl Tonneau Cover 94-03
The R&L Racing tonneau cover is made of heavy duty commercial grade vinyl fabric. It is coated on both sides and this makes it an ideal choice for weather proofing. It is thicker than most of the covers that are available in the market and this can help it withstand heavy rain and snow.
The aluminium frame is lightweight but strong and the gently arched design prevents accumulation of rain and snow on the cover. The all-weather sealing system protects the cargo in all types of weather. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.0’.
- The unique design of the cover reduces aerodynamic drag and this increases fuel mileage.
- No drilling is required for the installation and it can be easily completed within minutes. The tonneau cover comes complete with all hardware that you will require for installation.
- It does not fit all types of pickup trucks.
10. Truxedo 1117416 TonneauMate Toolbox
The Truxedo toolbox works with almost any type of tonneau cover. You don’t require a tonneau cover for its installation. The toolbox can help organize all the cargo in a systematic manner. Apart from being organized it also adds to the security with a built in keyed lock.
- The versatile design enables it to support heavy loads.
- It is constructed using a high-quality and heavy-duty material. It features an adjustable mounting design. This facilitates flexible positioning of the toolbox.
- As the toolbox is elevated off the floor, you can use the entire truck bed to store and transport cargo.
- The toolbox can be opened only from one side.
Other Additional Accessories
- Bed lighting kit – The lighting kit is a perfect choice for truck beds as it provides immediate illumination. You can always switch it on whenever you need extra light in bad weather.
- Lock – The lock provides extra security and enables you to keep the cargo completely safe and secure.
- Cargo Bar – The cargo bar enables you to keep the cargo from banging, sliding and rolling around in the truck bed. This can help prevent damage to the truck and the cargo. You can also use it to customize the cargo space.
- Bed Extender – If you have items that extend beyond the truck bed then you can make use of the bed extender to carry the cargo in a safe manner. It helps create additional space for the cargo.
Installation and Using
Depending on the type of truck you have you need to choose the appropriate tonneau cover. One of the important things that you need to remember about installation is that each type of cover has its own way of installation. The base part needs to be set first and then you need to install the cover.
It is advisable to check and test the cover after installation. The tailgate needs to be checked for closing after you have put things in the cargo bed.
It is best to check and test the tonneau covers at frequent intervals. This can help you know whether all parts work and are secure. The covers can be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before washing the cover. You need to remember that different surfaces react differently to soap and other cleaning agents.
Avoid placing heavy things on the cover for a long time. Even though the covers are made of durable and sturdy materials, they can get damaged if you place very heavy loads on top of them for a prolonged period of time.
It is advisable to choose a tonneau cover that fits your needs. Review the different brands and learn about the pros and cons so that you are able to make an informed choice. Weigh in factors such as type, material, installation, strength and durability and price and warranty before making the choice. When you make a good choice, you will be able to protect the cargo in all types of weather conditions. It can also help protect against debris and theft.