Are Hard Tonneau Covers Worth it?

Are Hard Tonneau Covers Worth it?

Buying the Best Hard Shell Tonneau Covers: A Guide

DECKED serves as a hard tonneau cover

In the world of tonneau covers, there are two major categories: soft tonneau covers and hard tonneau covers. Each has its pros and cons. Whichever you go for will depend on so many factors, such as why you are buying a tonneau cover for your truck. Are you buying the tonneau cover to give your truck a certain stylish look? Are you buying it to keep your cargo safe from the weather? The purpose of a tonneau cover is different for every truck owner.


Let’s say you have already made up your mind. You’ll be going for a hard tonneau cover. But again, there are thousands of hard tonneau covers. They come in all sorts of shapes, makes, color, style, you name it. And as you might have already noticed, truck tonneau hard covers are more expensive compared to soft tonneau covers. This begs the question: are hard tonneau covers worth it? Why should you go for a hard tonneau cover? Which hard tonneau covers are the best? Should you go for the top rated hard tonneau covers or the cheap hard tonneau covers?


In this guide, we try to answer all these questions and help you choose the best hard tonneau covers for your truck. But before that, you deserve to know the pros of investing in a hard tonneau cover for your pickup truck.

Benefits of Hard Tonneau Covers

They Are Durable

Pickup truck tonneau covers (hard ones, that is) are mostly made of hard plastic, aluminum, or fiberglass. As such, they tend to be more durable due to the hard material that makes them. So, if you are looking for a tonneau cover that will serve you for several years, a hard tonneau cover is the way to go. You don’t want to keep on replacing your new cover every few months. Plastic hard tonneau covers are cheaper while aluminum hard tonneau covers tend to be more expensive.

They Can Hold More Weight

DECKED can hold up to 2000lb loads on top and 200lb in each drawer

As we mentioned above, hard tonneau covers are made of tough material. The advantage of tough material is that it can stand more weight. You want a tonneau cover that can withstand snow and even rain without falling apart due to the weight. You can also haul extra cargo on top of hard tonneau covers. A system like the DECKED Drawer System lets you organize cargo in the drawers, and carry extra luggage of up to 2000 lb on the top.

Increased Security

Hard tonneau covers also offer increased security. The tougher the material, the harder it is for thieves to access your cargo. If you’ll be hauling expensive goods in your truck bed, you need a hard tonneau cover. A hard tonneau cover with a locking system like DECKED is so tough for thieves that they’ll give up and leave. Unless they have the whole day. Yet even then we’ll doubt they’ll accomplish much. And we know thieves ain’t got no much time lest they get caught. DECKED is easy on the eyes, tough on thieves.

More protection

DECKED Drawers System - Hard tonneau covers

One of the many reasons why truck owners buy hard tonneau covers is to protect their cargo from rain, snow, sun, dust, and other elements. A hard tonneau cover does a better job at protecting your truck and cargo from damage. In case of an accident, a hard tonneau cover will probably get scratched a little but your cargo will still be intact. A hard tonneau cover is, therefore, more reliable as it can stand tear.

Premium Look

It’s no secret that hard tonneau covers look classier than soft ones. If you are looking into upgrading your truck and achieving a premium look, a hard tonneau cover is your best bet.

Custom Colors

You can get hard tonneau covers of any color or pattern that you desire. You don’t have to go for a black one if you don’t want to. No more boring tonneau covers. Get you a tonneau cover that perfectly accentuates your truck. You’ll love your truck even more.

Hard Tonneau Covers vs Soft Tonneau Covers

Hard Tonneau Covers

Soft Tonneau Covers

They are durable

They have a shorter lifespan

Available in custom colors and shapes

Mostly available in black color

Made of hard plastic, fiberglass, or aluminum

Made of vinyl

They offer increased security

Easy for thieves to steal cargo

Can resist tear

Are easy to tear

Can sustain a good amount of weight

Shouldn’t be subjected to heavyweight

Quite expensive

Easy on your pocket

They are bulky

Super light

They are rigid

Very flexible


Types of hard tonneau covers

DECKED Drawer System

DECKED substitutes tonneau covers

The DECKED Drawer System can either be used as a hard tonneau cover substitute or complement. It’s, therefore, fair enough to say that DECKED is one of the best rated hard tonneau covers. It doesn’t just serve the purpose of a hard tonneau cover but also helps you to organize your cargo.


If your occupation requires you to carry many tools, then you know how messy things can get. Sometimes you waste a lot of time trying to locate a specific tool. With DECKED, you’ll have drawers where you can safely put your tools and organize them as you desire. There’s a lock system so your valuables will always be secure. That’s not all. When you need to access your cargo, it’s as easy as pulling the drawers and getting what you need. No climbing on the truck bed or anything like that.

Hard tonneau covers - DECKED


While hard tonneau covers are great for protecting your cargo, it’s challenging to get a perfect fit for your truck. Some hard tonneau covers leave an allowance, hence exposing your cargo to weather damage. But so long as your truck is compatible with the DECKED Drawer System, you’ll never experience this problem. DECKED protects your cargo from dust, UV rays, and water. With DECKED, you can take your truck to the carwash and your cargo will still be bone dry.

Retractable Hard Tonneau Covers

These tonneau covers drawback into a canister which is usually at the front part of your truck bed. They are great for when you have huge cargo that will occupy all the space (or most of it) on your truck bed.

Hard Folding Tonneau Covers

Folding hard tonneau covers are probably the most popular. As the name suggests, these tonneau covers fold up to the position you need them to. Some have three folds hence their name, hard tri fold tonneau covers. If you only need to use a smaller section of your truck bed, you fold it once or twice. Although tri fold hard tonneau covers are more common, there are also bifold hard tonneau covers and others with more than three folds.

A gentleman cooking on his DECKED truck bed

Hard Rollup Tonneau Covers

Hard roll up tonneau covers are also quite common thanks to their flexibility. You can roll up your tonneau cover up to the end if you need full access to your truck bed. Unlike hard trifold tonneau covers, hard roll-up tonneau covers do not limit you with folds.

Electric Hard Tonneau Covers

These are easy to use as you control them using a remote. If you need to open or close it, a press of a button is enough. They are convenient and demand less work.

Hinged hard tonneau covers

Hinged hard tonneau covers use hinges to open and close. The hinge’s design makes it easy to access the full truck bed. It’s just one solid piece that is supported by hinges. Nothing complex. They have a luxurious look and you can paint them to match your truck’s color.

Common hard tonneau covers for pickups that you can check out

  • Line x retractable hard tonneau covers
  • Leer hard tonneau covers
  • Bakflip folding hard tonneau covers
  • Chevy hard tonneau covers
  • Lund hard tonneau covers
  • Honda ridgeline hard tonneau covers

What do I look for when buying truck hard tonneau covers?


Always check if your truck is compatible with the hard tonneau cover you intend to buy

Hard tonneau covers aren’t as flexible as soft tonneau covers. You want to be careful before placing an order to avoid buying a hard tonneau cover that is not compatible with your truck. If you are not sure, ask the seller if their tonneau cover is compatible with your truck model. Wanna know if your truck is comparable with a DECKED System? Visit our technical specs page. You will also find most of the answers about DECKED on the FAQs page.


Should you go for a cheap or expensive tonneau cover? With quality, you more often than not get what you pay for. Cheaper tonneau covers usually don’t last long so you’d have to keep on replacing them. In the long run, it ends up being more expensive. On the other hand, going for highly-priced tonneau covers may mean buying a brand. First, set a budget aside and all the other features you want in a tonneau cover. Then, start looking for a tonneau cover that is within your budget and meets all your needs.  

Hard Tonneau Covers Reviews

What are people saying about the tonneau covers you intend to buy? Visit the company’s website and look at the pros and cons of the tonneau cover. Online reviews will help you decide if the tonneau cover you are wanting to buy is worth it. Avoid looking for perfection in a tonneau cover. You won’t get that. Instead, look to see if it serves your purpose and if you can deal with its shortcomings.

Bed accessibility

DECKED can be classified as a hard tonneau cover

Some tonneau covers require you to get into the truck bed for full access. Others, like DECKED, have drawers that allow you to access your cargo effortlessly. If you need to access your truck bed from time to time, look for a tonneau cover that gives you easy access.  Also, if you will be hauling large cargo on your truck bed, then you need a tonneau cover that gives you full access to the truck bed.


Three main materials are used to make hard tonneau covers: hard plastic, fiberglass, and aluminum. The latter is more expensive but very durable. On the other hand, plastic tonneau covers are cheaper but won’t last long.

Ease of use

A good tonneau cover makes it easy for you to access and use your truck bed

How easy is it to install, fold, or roll up the tonneau cover? Do you have to get in the truck bed to fold it? Can it be adjusted to carry different types of loads? These are the questions you need to ask yourself when buying a tonneau cover. Some people prefer roll up tonneau covers while others opt for folding tonneau covers. What feels easy for you is what you go for.


If you want a tonneau cover that is effortless to use, think of electric tonneau covers. At the end of the day, you don’t want a tonneau cover that takes you hours to install and uninstall. Reading online reviews will also give you an idea of how easy or complicated it is to use and install a certain tonneau cover.

Purpose of the tonneau cover

You must have a reason for buying a tonneau cover, right? It’s unlikely that you are wanting one simply because you saw a friend with one. Knowing the purpose you want the tonneau cover to serve will guide you into choosing the best tonneau cover. If you want a tonneau cover to protect the expensive goods you haul in your truck bed, security should come first. You’ll need to buy a tonneau cover that has a locking system and is strong enough to secure your cargo.


If you want a tonneau cover to protect your cargo from weather or are simply looking for a stylish cover, a locking mechanism won’t matter.


Look for a tonneau cover that can handle extreme weather conditions

Most brands will always claim that their tonneau covers are weatherproof. But this is not always the case. When reality hits and nature takes charge, the truth hits you. Do your research and find out if the tonneau cover is really weatherproof. Customers who have already bought the tonneau cover will always have something to say about it. So, if you will be driving in the sun or storm for most days, you want a tonneau cover that can resist that.

So, are tonneau covers (hard) worth it?

Hard tonneau covers are worth it unless you end up with a tonneau cover that you hate or doesn’t serve its needs. There’s no disputing that hard tonneau covers have greater benefits than soft tonneau covers. So, while hard tonneau covers are more expensive, they are worth every penny. They do a great job, last long, and you can go on and on counting their benefits.


Even so, take it upon you to research before settling for one. The fact that hard tonneau covers have better quality does not mean that all of them are great. There are still substandard ones in the market. Talk to your friends, colleagues, and family about the tonneau cover you plan on buying. Read online reviews and ask as many questions as possible. It would be such a pity to see your money go down the drain and you end up with a useless tonneau cover.