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Best Tonneau Covers (We Compare 18 Types)

By John CappaTonneau Cover Review

A Tonneau Information 

If you’re in the market for a pickup truck tonneau bed cover, then you are likely looking to safely secure your bed cargo away from the prying eyes and hands of potential thieves and protect your stuff from the weather. Today’s aftermarket offers more tonneau bed cover options than ever. These include soft rolling, hard rolling, retractable, soft folding, hard folding, full hard covers and the DECKED storage system, which is basically a tonneau in reverse.  Of course, which tonneau type will work best for you depends on how you plan to use it and what features are important to you, not to mention your budget. It is also noteworthy that DECKED works with nearly all of the tonneau covers covered in this article. A helpful addition in many instances for allowing retrieval of items which are otherwise inaccessible.  We’ve compiled some of the most popular bed cover types and brands currently available to help you find the best option for your pickup truck and budget. Read on and check out the chart to see how each of the top tonneau cover options rank. 

 

Common Pickup Truck Fitments:

Full Size Trucks  Midsize Trucks
Ford F150 Ford Ranger
Chevy Silverado Chevrolet Colorado
GMC Sierra GMC Canyon
Toyota Tundra Toyota Tacoma
Nissan Titan Nissan Frontier
RAM 1500/2500/3500

Soft Rolling Tonneau Covers

Soft rolling tonneau on the new Jeep Gladiator Pickup

PRO's

The soft rolling tonneau cover is where it all began. These tonneau covers are simple, inexpensive and effective at hiding the contents of your truck bed. As with all tonneau covers, the idea is that if your bed contents are out of sight, they will remain out of the minds and hands of thieves. They also provide a moderate level of protection from the elements especially direct UV exposure. For the budget shopper, this is the entry level price point and these are affordable and easily acquired and installed.

CON's

Unfortunately, there is no way to get around the fact that the soft rolling covers do not provide much security or protection. A curious thief could easily peel open or slice the vinyl topper, peek inside and then decide if you have anything worth liberating from the pickup bed. The vinyl material could be temper-mental and extreme seasonal weather changes plus flapping in the wind may degrade the material. It is also worth noting that the time needed to rollup the soft rolling cover and requirement to crawl into your bed to do so, may cause you to use it functionally less than with other styles. Items stored in the bed need to be secured, if not they will slide forward during transport, making it difficult to remove them from the bed, even when peeling open the soft tonneau on some taller trucks. If you do decide to go this route, it’s a good idea to find a product with a great warranty. DECKED systems work with all soft rolling tonneaus and make accessing items in the bed possible without opening the cover.

American Tonneau 

 American Tonneau Soft Rolling Pickup Truck Bed Cover on Toyota Tacoma

The American Tonneau soft rolling cover is considered an entry-level bed cover. It will keep your gear out of the sun, but it is not completely waterproof. It’s an affordable option for those simply looking to hide the contents of the pickup bed, with little regard for security. 

Access Lorado

003- Access Lorado Roll-Up Soft Rolling Pickup Truck Bed Cover On Toyota Tacoma

The Access Lorado Roll-Up is one of the highest quality soft rolling tonneau covers available. Even though the cover is secured with a hook and loop fastener and made of a vinyl material, it features impressive installation mechanics, latches and overall quality. Nonetheless, it's important to note that the latching and mechanics do little to stop a thief from accessing your pickup bed with a quick knife slice. Again, this tonneau can keep your gear out of sight, but not fully secure. 

Hard Rolling Tonneau Covers

PRO's

Easy to install, hard rolling pickup bed tonneau covers provide more function and flexibility than their soft cover counterparts. While more expensive than soft rolling, they do tend to still be more affordable than other solutions. Hard rolling covers usually feature an aluminum frame wrapped in a vinyl cover to give it flexibility and provide protection. Hard rolling tonneau covers are more secure than any of the soft covers available and far more robust. They offer a decent amount of protection from theft and the environment as well, especially UV exposure. The main advantage of the hard rolling tonneau is ease of deployment and retraction. Unlike soft rolling tonneaus, these can easily be operated from the ground (depending on the lift of the truck and the user height of course). Most of the hard rolling cover companies advertise a 400-pound payload capacity on top of the cover which is handy in the event it's in a big snow storm.

CON's

Hard rolling are a nice upgrade from soft rolling, but do have a few drawbacks (like anything). They do typically offer a payload capacity, however, with the cover fully closed, the tie down availability will be extremely limited. Some have a vinyl cover which could also be damaged if one were to decide to load cargo on top. Anything smaller stored in the bed and not secured will slide forward during transport, making it difficult to remove from the bed later on requiring either a hook device to pull it towards you, crawling in under the cover, or retracting the cover to fetch the items needed. Fully open hard rolling covers may look a little uncivilized and take up some forward bed space. 

 BAK Revolver X2

003- BAK Revolver X2 Tonneau Hard Rolling Pickup Truck Bed Cover on Chevy Silverado

The BAK Revolver X2 Tonneau is a hard rolling cover. The framed rolling tonneau offers the user options when it comes to how far back they want to roll the cover up. It's very easy to operate and has a slick locking mechanism at the tailgate end available from either side. It provides stability and structure with an option to load up to 400 pounds on top. Unfortunately, the soft vinyl material on the cover would likely rip or become damaged under anything more than a flat smooth surface, such as a cardboard box. But in the event that a couple feet of snow fell, it should maintain its shape. The aluminum framing means less flap noise while driving. It’s generally not going to be as water resistant as the hard folding tonneau covers but a good middle of the road option and UV protection. 

Rugged Ridge Armis 

004- Rugged Ridge Armis Tonneau Hard Rolling Pickup Truck Bed Cover

Rugged Ridge Armis Tonneau Hard Rolling Pickup Truck Bed Cover

The Rugged Ridge Armis is very similar to the BAK Revolver X2. The overall function is a step above the soft rolling tonneau covers and it gives more variability than a soft folding tonneau. The company claims a 400-pound payload capacity on top, which could be useful, but there is no access to tie down points and of course you'd need to unload it to open. Ultimately, it’s not a great platform for loading additional gear on top. But these models do offer a greater level of security of bed items if the tailgate is closed and locked. And the high quality locking mechanism is a plus if your tailgate locks.

Retractable Tonneau Covers

PRO's 

Gadget geeks will drool with envy when they see the automatically retracting tonneau bed cover on your pickup. Most of the electrically retractable bed covers are comparable, and some are available in manually opening and closing versions as well. The automation adds convenience, and are very slick to operate. These offer good security, but that will depend on if your tailgate locks or not. Typically these are robust, but it also adds cost and complexity. They offer the best protection from the environment of the rolling style tonneau's.

CON's

Retractable tonneau covers eat up valuable bed real estate when retracted, but they look less clunky than rolled up tonneau covers with a canister that lies below the bed rail for a more sleek presentation. If full bed space is unimportant and gadgets are king, then the retractable tonneau covers might be for you. As with all tonneau covers, if your smaller stowed gear slides forward during transport, it will require that you open the cover to reach over the bedrail and access it or get on your knees and crawl inside to get it.

If you love your electronic gadgets or stuff that's just cool to operate and looks slick, you’ll welcome any excuse to hit the magic remote button.

Roll N Lock

005- Roll N Lock Retractable Tonneau Pickup Truck Bed Cover

Roll N Lock offers three high-quality retractable tonneau covers. They are available in both manual and electric versions. The two panel variations are powder coated aluminum and a vinyl aluminum laminate. The design allows for the rolled up cover to remain mostly below the bedrail, which looks less clunky than roll up covers, but sucks up some forward bed space no matter if the unit is opened or closed. The weatherproof nature of this cover is best in class and comes with drain tubes which must be installed to funnel water away from the bed of your truck. Some Roll N Lock tonneaus are compatible with DECKED, but you will need to check the canister depth first. 

Pace Edwards

Pace Edwards Switchblade Retractable Tonneau Pickup Truck Bed Cover

Pace Edwards offers both automatic and manual retracting tonneau covers. There are several heavy-duty powdercoated metal and aluminum vinyl laminate versions to choose from. All Pace Edwards tonneau panel options are more secure than the basic roll up vinyl covers and are a high quality solution. Bed space is decreased regardless of if the unit is extended or retracted due to the canister. Although, it remains sleek and nearly level with the bedrail even when retracted. The canister of the Switchblade does allow a DECKED system to slide underneath.

Soft Folding Tonneau Covers

Soft Folding Tonneau Cover for Ford F150 Raptor

PRO's

Much like their soft rolling second cousins, the soft folding tonneau is the most affordable style in its category. They are easy to operate and also save weight over hard folding bed covers. Being able to open and close from one side of the truck without actually having to crawl into the bed is a big plus as well and makes it superior to soft rolling styles.

CON's

Soft folding tonneau covers generally feature all the poor security issues of the soft roll-up tonneau covers combined with all of the clunky awkwardness of the hard folding tonneau covers. But again, it's a get what you pay for scenario. Although the vinyl-wrapped aluminum frames do provide a bit more security and structure to the cover, while the tri-folding feature allows for additional security when the tailgate is up and locked.  Fitting larger items such as refrigerators, motorcycles or ATV's in the bed will usually require the entire soft folding tonneau cover to be removed. Accessing your bed cargo under the forward most panel can be quite a task and there is almost no chance of being able to carry cargo on top of the cover. The vinyl would likely tear under anything other than pillows or sofa cushions. 

TonnoPro TriFold 

Like all soft folding tonneau covers, the TonnoPro TriFold is a good middle ground for those looking to get the bed covered and protected, but not so concerned about the elements getting in. It’s lightweight and easy to use but does not provide the same security as a hard folding cover. A major advantage is the quick install.

Tyger Auto T3 Tri-Fold

Tyger Auto T3 Tri-Fold Soft Folding Tonneau Pickup Truck Bed Cover

The Tyger Auto T3 Tri-Fold is an entry-level soft folding tonneau cover. The construction indicates that you get what you pay for. There are a few reviews that show the product flapping in the wind while driving. The installation is quick, however the hardware appears to be made of mostly plastic. It’s not likely to last or keep your gear protected. But again this depends on your budget and this is an entry level product.

 

Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold 

Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold

The Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold is very similar to the other soft folding tonneau cover options available. It’s a good option for someone who is not looking to get full protection or weatherproofing, but still wants to hide the gear out of sight in the bed of their pickup. For what it is, it's a quality product that has been on the market for quite some time. 

Hard Folding Tonneau Covers

009- Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Soft Folding Tonneau Pickup Truck Bed Cover on Toyota Tacoma

PRO's

Rugged more durable and still easy to install and remove, hard folding covers are good option if you have the scratch handy to purchase one. If you don’t want water entering your truck bed and damaging your cargo, it’s difficult to put your trust in any cover with a vinyl coating and hook and loop fasteners. Hard folding tonneau covers are going to be one step closer to being weatherproof than some of the lesser tonneau covers. The biggest benefits of jumping up from the soft folding category to the hard folding category is the added security and durability that you now you have the ability to put additional cargo on top of the cover and don't have to worry if it snows three feet in Florida that your cover will collapse.

CON's

Hard folding covers do come with a payload rating. But keep in mind, that you still need tie-down points, which may be hidden in the bed under the cover. Much like with soft folding covers, fitting larger items in the pickup bed may require the entire hard folding tonneau cover to be removed. Frequently, hard folding covers when opened for transport of large items, will nearly fully obstruct the view out of the back window of your truck, which is not ideal. Those that fold open to a down position, need bed depth to fold and will take up some bed space when retracted. Also, accessing any bed cargo that may have slid to the middle of the bed or under the forward-most panel during transport will be a regular annoyance. The design and function of these tonneau covers makes it difficult to access in-bed cargo with a load on top.

Diamond Back 

010- Diamond Back Hard Folding Tonneau Pickup Truck Bed Cover on Toyota Tundra

Diamond Back is by far the most robust of the hard folding tonneau covers made from heavy-duty diamond plate aluminum. These things are built to go to war. And they look cool. It offers hard shell bed cover security and comes fully gasketed for weatherproof storage. The Diamond Back features flatbed style storage on top with up to 400 pounds of carrying capacity on its standard version or a 1,600lb payload on the HD model, which can be secured using the built-in tie down cleats. If you are serious about using your truck like a truck with a tonneau, this is the way to go. Bed access is made easier thanks to multiple entry points, but it may be difficult to access in-bed cargo with a load on top. Removal of the tonneau cover would be required to fit larger in-bed items or items that exceed 400 or 1,600 pounds depending on which model is chosen. And removal does not appear that straight forward or quick.

 

BAKFlip

011- BAKFlip Hard Folding Tonneau Pickup Truck Bed Cover on Chevy Silverado

The BAKFlip G2, F1, MX4, Fiber Max, and VP hard folding tonneau covers all show similar quality and serve the same purpose. They offer a sleek profile and the security of a solid material. They are available in fiberglass or aluminum and include a 1- to 5-year warranty based on the model. They rely solely on the tailgate lock of the pickup, none of the models offer a lockable solution. Unique gasket and water drainage features are utilized to keep your gear dry. Near full bed access can be achieved with the folding design. When closed, the BAKFlip tonneau covers can support 300-400 pounds depending on the model, but there are no tie down points included. 

 

Trident ToughFold

The Trident ToughFold hard folding tonneau cover features textured aluminum construction and is delivered pre-assembled for a quick and easy installation. It has weathertight seals on all three folding panels. As with most hard folding tonneau covers, full bed use will require removal of the cover and accessing gear under the forward most panel will be a cumbersome endeavor. The thick panels will help with insulation and security, but they add significant weight and bulk. The panels lock into place both open and closed, but full security is dependent on the pickup having a locking tailgate. The Trident ToughFold is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Full Shell Tonneau Covers

UnderCover Elite LX Hard Shell Tonneau Pickup Truck Bed Cover

PRO's

A full shell tonneau cover conceals the entire bed of your pickup. If the goal is to close off and fully secure your truck bed from pesky thieves with wandering eyes and grabby hands, then a full shell tonneau performs flawlessly. Most are very weathertight too. Most hard shell tonneau covers come painted to match your pickup, so you likely won’t want to store cargo on top, marring the finish. If you want a cool looking match to your truck and something that is more aesthetic than full-function, these are the way to go. 

CON's

Generally, the hard shell category is just a cover that wedges open to allow access but not an open bed for hauling things. However, some full shell tonneau covers allow for the mounting of racks and other accessories for additional cargo capacity. They do come with some drawbacks. You fully commit to the cover on your bed until you want to remove the system, which typically is not a one man job. Cargo accessibility to the entire bed is limited and you absolutely have to remove the shell tonneau for larger items like motorcycles, ATVs and refrigerators. 

UnderCover Elite LX

UnderCover Elite LX comes painted and color matched to the factory paint on your pickup truck. The one-piece fiberglass construction is durable and safely secures cargo better than many other tonneau cover options. It’s also likely the most weather resistant tonneau available since there are no folding seams or material that could rip or tear. It features a removable LED lighting system and an integrated locking mechanism, but you’ll need a locking tailgate for your gear to be fully secure. As with all full shell tonneau covers, access to the forward most part of the bed is limited, even with the cover open.

LEER 700, 550, 750 Sport

Another paint-matched, full shell option, Leer makes a good, high quality cover. It shares the same PRO's/CON's of the category, but it's for a specific customer. On the 750 Sport you get some cool options like Bluetooth locking gas prop activation and a 12-volt LED lighting kit. The 700 and 750 have some fancy styling adding lines to your truck while the 550 keeps it clean and smooth. 

DECKED

If you’re simply looking for a tonneau cover for your pickup bed because you love the sleek covered bed styling, then any of these tonneau covers will do the job, but the reality is that for those of us who use the beds of our trucks regularly, none of these tonneau cover products augment the functionality of a pickup bed. In most cases they actually hinder the function of the bed, making it even more difficult to carry and access your cargo and gear. This is where the DECKED storage system is different than every other tonneau cover available. It not only increases the security of the stored items in the bed of your pickup, it helps organize your cargo and gives you more ergonomic access to it than any other tonneau cover product on the market. Ultimately, a DECKED storage system is not the right product for everyone, but that’s only because everyone doesn’t drive a pickup truck. 

DECKED

014- DECKED Storage System Tonneau Pickup Truck Bed Cover

 

The DECKED storage system features two full bed-length weatherproof roll-out drawers rated for 200 pounds each. They provide full access to all of the gear in your bed, including the center and forward most portion of the bed, where all other tonneau covers don’t. Each drawer is independently locked and a locking tailgate provides double the storage security of any other tonneau cover available. The durable high density polyethylene deck is capable of holding 2,000 pounds of evenly disbursed on-top cargo and the platform sits below the bedrails to help contain any loose gear. Multiple tie-down points can be added to the top of your DECKED storage system for securing a motorcycle, ATV, refrigerator, or anything else. Rack systems can also be mounted to the top of your DECKED storage system. DECKED is fully customizable for your gear and the unit is easy to remove or install in 15-20 minutes. Every DECKED storage system is made in the USA from 100-percent recycled HDPE and comes with a 3-year warranty.

 

DECKED With a Tonneau

DECKED with a Tonneau cover installed

Tonneau Cover Comparison Chart

Product

Price

Function

Weight

Locking

Weather

proof

Durability

Notes

Average

Rating

ACCESS® LORADO® ROLL-UP COVER

$$

Soft Rolling

20lbs

No

Yes

3 - Hard to put too much faith in the vinyl covers for durability.

Velcro latching on the side may ultimately stretch, rip and fail.

4.3

American Tonneau Soft Rolling 

$

Soft Rolling

20lbs

No

No

2 – Material can rip. 

Built for someone not looking for a good sun shade for their truck bed.

3

Trident FastFold

$

Soft Folding

 

Only locks with locking tailgate.

Yes

3 - Looks like low cost material.

Made in USA. No assembly required. Most affordable soft folding option

 

TonnoPro Tri-fold

$

Soft Folding

 

Yes

Mostly

6 - Soft folding may have potential to rip and wear in the elements.

20 minute install

4.5

Tyger Auto T3 Tri-Fold

$

Soft Folding

 

No 

No

4 - Material

may rip. Flapping in the wind will surely cause wear at the seams.

Claims 12-percent increase in fuel mileage. 

 

Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold

$

Soft Folding

 

No

No

Similar to other soft folding tonneau options.

Doesn’t appear to be built to last. May last a year or two and then need to be replaced. 

 

DECKED

$$$$

Sliding Drawers

200 lbs

Yes

Yes

10

Adds versatility and allows you to securely store your gear while still being able to carry 2000 pounds of whatever on top.

4.9

TruXedo Truxport

$$

Roll Up

 

 

Yes

5 - Lifetime

 warranty

Simple install and solid warranty. Inexpensive option for anyone looking at soft roll-up tonneau cover options

4.5

Pace Edwards Switchblade

$$$$-$$$$$

Retractable

 

Yes

Yes

8 – It’s complex and has lots of moving parts.

Reviews say it freezes up and doesn’t work well in cold weather. 

4.5

Roll n Lock 

$$$$

Retractable

 

Yes

Yes

8 - Structurally sound. Some potential for certain parts to break.

Must remove front tie downs to install. No flapping when driving fast. Good quality overall

4

Diamond Back For ATV

$$$$$

Hard Folding

115lbs

Yes

Yes

10

1,600-pound payload. Two-hour installation.

4.8

BAK Revolver X2 Tonneau Cover

$$$

Hard Rolling

40lbs

No

No

6 – Structural support is good, but the soft vinyl skin is likely to rip and leak.

Does not appear to have a lockable option to drive while the cover is rolled up.

4.6

Rugged Ridge Armis

$$$$

Hard Rolling

40lbs

No

No

6 - Same as BAK

 Revolver

Claims 400-pound payload on top of system, but there is no place to tie things down.

Zero reviews so far.

Diamond Back Covers

$$$$-$$$$$

Hard Folding

115lbs

Yes / Most

 Secure

Yes

10 - Full diamond plate rugged exterior. 

Has a 400 or 1,600-pound (HD model) payload. 45 minute Install. Great durability. Tough to access internal gear with anything loaded on top.

4.9

Trident ToughFold

$$$

Hard Folding

 

Yes

Yes

8

Fast/easy install. Shipped fully assembled. Limited lifetime warranty.

4.5

BakFlip G2

$$$-$$$$

Hard Folding

35lbs

No

Yes

8 - Built to last.

Great reviews through autoanything.com. Durable aluminum top.

4.8

BakFlip Mx4

$$$$

Hard Folding

 

Only when tailgate is locked.

Mostly - Company

Claims no tonneau cover is waterproof.

7 – Overall it looks to be quality built. Cable system may fail after prolonged use.

400 pound payload on top. Thicker than other hard folding options. Five year warranty

4.5

UnderCover Elite LX

$$$$

Full Shell Cover

70lbs

Yes

Yes

10 - Nothing should get in unless the lock is broken.

Comes with a wall mount for storage. Paint matched for added aesthetic appeal.

4


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