- 1 Best Tonneau Covers Comparison Chart
- 2 Best Tonneau Cover Reviews – Top-Picks
- 3 What is a Tonneau Cover?
- 4 Tonneau Cover Buying Guide
- 5 Types of Tonneau Covers
- 6 Comparison Between Hard & Soft Tonneau Covers and Canopies
- 7 4 Benefits of a Tonneau Cover for Your Truck
- 8 Extra Tips on Tonneau Cover Installation and Maintenance
- 9 FAQs & Answers
- 10 Wrap Up
Are you a proud owner of a truck that often transports cargo? If the answer is yes, you could benefit from finding the best tonneau cover out there. These accessories keep the items you are transporting safe from environmental elements and protected from curious glances and thieves.
We spent hours researching the topic and finding the most reliable covers on the market. You can find our selection of the top six products in our tonneau cover reviews section. We focused on the most important features and crucial benefits and drawbacks of each unit.
Our buying guide will tell you more about the available types of tonneau covers, as well as factors to consider during the purchasing process. We left no stone unturned to provide the most detailed information about these items. From selecting to installing tonneau covers, you will find all the info necessary in this article!
Best Tonneau Covers Comparison Chart
Gator ETX Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
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Tyger Auto Black Top T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Tonneau Cover
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TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll-Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
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BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
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Deebior Clamp-On Waterproof Soft Lock & Roll-up Top Mount Tonneau Cover
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JJ Chevy Colorado GMC Canyon Vinyl Roll-up Lock Tonneau Cover
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Best Tonneau Cover Reviews – Top-Picks
1. Gator ETX Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
If you don’t have previous experience with tonneau covers, this product is simple and fast to install. You don’t need a drill since you get all the equipment required in the assembly. The cover will secure a complete truck bed access. All you need to do is roll up the cover and use the storage strap to secure it.
The manufacturer used a double-coated vinyl and seamless Velcro as sealing. The 5’6” size ensures that you can fit a medium bed and still have additional space in big trucks. The tonneau cover seems durable and long-lasting. It also looks great because of the leather-grain vinyl used.
The clips that secure the product to the bed rail are not the most reliable. Fortunately, replacement clips are affordable. The manufacturer provides a generous warranty on the product. It includes ten years on the tarp and a lifetime guarantee on the frame.
2. Tyger Auto Black Top T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Tonneau Cover
Tyger used a dual-coated marine-grade vinyl of impressive quality when designing this tonneau cover. The manufacturer also implemented aluminum frames and clams made of stainless steel. All these should contribute to the excellent durability of the product. That is supported by a generous warranty offered by the company.
The cover is easy to install, even for newbies. You will get the hardware needed, and you can choose between under-the-rail and over-the-rail setups. However, the disconnect lever requires putting an extra effort, but that is a minor inconvenience. Tyger made this cover to secure a 6’4” bed and provide complete access to that space.
The tonneau cover will perform above expectations. It is resistant to tears and severe weather conditions. The construction is heavy-duty, and it will protect valuables inside the bed from rain, snow, and sun rays. The locking system is secure, and you don’t have to worry about the truck bed opening while on the road.
3. TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll-Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
If you are looking for a tonneau cover suitable for an 8’ bed, this product might be a smart choice. The manufacturer used a high-quality leather-grain vinyl to ensure an attractive appearance. The soft roll-up technique makes it easy to install, as well as detach when necessary. The paddle latches open at both sides of the tailgate for improved functionality.
TruXedo used a top-mount system, which means that the cover will sit 1.5” above the truck bed. The straight cross tubes contribute to the appearance by providing a flat and smooth look.
The weatherproof performance could be better, but keep in mind that this is a soft cover. It will keep the bed dry, but you might face small leaks in the corners during heavy rain. However, this tonneau cover still provides a great value for the money, especially since it is a large-sized unit.
4. BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
The manufacturer used sandwich panels made from aircraft-grade aluminum when making tonneau cover. That makes the product very strong and capable of protecting the valuables inside it. It was designed to secure complete bed access, and its 5’6” size makes it suitable for short beds.
If you consider its sturdiness, you find that the cover is rather light. It is capable of protecting against sun rays, snow, and rain, but also theft. The product features dual-action tailgate seals, as well as perimeter seals.
You can choose between a premium matte and glossy finish to ensure it fits your preference. The product can contribute to the overall appearance of your truck.
The installation process isn’t the easiest one out there. However, since this is a top-quality tonneau cover, it will be worth the effort. The cover is made in the USA, and it comes with a 5-year warranty.
5. Deebior Clamp-On Waterproof Soft Lock & Roll-up Top Mount Tonneau Cover
You can choose between the standard 6’5” size, as well as the smaller 5’8” size of this cover. The installation process is effortless since it uses a clamp-on approach. Thanks to the aerodynamics, you can save up to 10% on gas with this product.
The manufacturer used black vinyl that is resistant to both cold and UV rays to secure adequate durability and protection. They also added treated nylon components to resist the cold weather. The rear flap is a nice touch since it helps to prevent water leakage. You can adjust the tension of the tarp as you see fit.
The product might be a bit stiff during the locking process at first. However, that should become better over time as the components loosen up a bit. That won’t affect the protection level the tonneau cover offers, but only the convenience of using it.
6. JJ Chevy Colorado GMC Canyon Vinyl Roll-up Lock Tonneau Cover
The box includes everything you will need for the installation, including the hex keys, clams, and detailed instructions. The cover features an integrated crossbar design. It will be easy to clamp it on, and the crossbars are attached to the tarp. These will roll up when you move the cover to secure complete access to the truck bed.
Double-sided vinyl tarp seems to be fairly durable and decent quality for the price. The materials are resistant to tears, and the aluminum frames improve durability. They help the cover stay in place while on the road.
The product fits the truck beds that are 5-feet long, which might not be suitable for all trucks. Fortunately, there is also a bigger size of this model available, and it fits 6-feet long beds. Either way, you will receive a three-year warranty from the manufacturer.
What is a Tonneau Cover?
The area on your truck with a top open is called a tonneau. While this space can be suitable for both passengers and cargo, most people use it to transport the latter.
The purpose of tonneau covers is to provide a way to protect valuables that you are transporting. That includes protection from falling out, as well as environmental factors like rain and dust.
As for the passengers, they will feel far more comfortable inside the truck cab. While we are talking about comfort, make sure to take a look at our car seat cushion buying guide, and improve the interior of your vehicle.
Tonneau Cover Buying Guide
It is time to learn everything you ever wanted to know about tonneau covers. Our buying guide is there to shed light on all the basic features of these units. We included factors to consider during the purchasing process and tips on picking between different types and designs of tonneau covers.
Our guide will also talk about the benefits and safety of using tonneau covers, as well as how to install these accessories.
4 Considerations When Purchasing a Tonneau Cover
Here is the list of factors to consider when buying a tonneau cover for your truck.
The first thing you want to ensure is that the tonneau cover is compatible with your truck. For that, you need to read the manufacturer’s description carefully and pay attention to the specifics.
Some manufacturers will tell you the exact models of trucks that their tonneau cover fits. For others, you will need to rely on the cover size and other details provided.
Ease of Installation
The first thing to clarify is that the installation of a tonneau cover will take some time. The good news is that it is often less than an hour. In most cases, you can do everything yourself. However, large covers might require a set of helping hands for their sheer size.
The tools required will usually come in the assembly. That makes the installation easier, as well as a manual with a detailed step-by-step guide to follow. Additionally, manufacturers often publish videos to explain the installation better.
Make sure that the installation is as simple as possible to make setting up the cover effortless.
It is only natural that you also want to consider the budget for the tonneau covers you are purchasing. Now, it is not recommendable to purchase second-hand covers because they come with a limited lifespan. Most new covers are backed up with a warranty, and they should last for years.
The good news is that you can find soft tonneau covers that are available at affordable prices. You don’t have to splash the cash on a decent and durable cover. However, if you want a product with the highest level of protection, it might be wise to increase your budget.
Finally, it is important that you like how your tonneau cover looks. If it fits well with your vehicle, the chances are it could boost its appearance.
Consider your preference when it comes to colors, and make sure to fit everything with the truck. The right decisions when it comes to aesthetics can also increase the overall value of the vehicle.
3 Most Important Tonneau Cover Features and Specifications
While you are browsing product reviews and descriptions, make sure to check out these features. They will assist in ensuring the tonneau cover meets your expectations.
The size of the tonneau size cover is the crucial feature of these products. These covers come as small as five feet, but they can also be eight feet or larger.
Due to these variations, it is best to measure your truck bed first. You can check out the product manual to find the dimensions or measure them yourself. Once you are familiar with the size you need, it will be far easier to pick a fitting unit for your vehicle.
All tonneau covers need to secure bed access so that you can load and unload cargo into your truck. However, this is about the ease of accessing the truck bed. The best way to go is to pick covers that allow 100% access.
That could be done in various ways – either by rolling up the cover or by retracting it, or even by using snaps. It is all about finding the most convenient way for your needs. Make sure to consider how you prefer loading and unloading cargo. That could play a major role in selecting the type of tonneau cover that you need.
Tonneau covers offer different rates of weather protection. If covered, most of them are capable of protecting the valuable assets in your truck bed from light rain, dust, and wind. The same applies to cold and below-zero temperature levels. Soft covers will provide a decent level of weather protection.
However, if you are looking for the ultimate weather protection against severe conditions, you need a cover with the strongest materials possible. That is why it could benefit from going with hard tonneau covers.
Types of Tonneau Covers
The search for tonneau covers starts with choosing the right type of product for your truck. You have a wide range of types to choose from, and we selected some of the most common ones.
Folding tonneau covers are most frequently present among truck owners. The reason lies in a fine combination of price and value. You will find tri-fold covers, as well as those with more than three points for folding.
Either way, these products are fairly easy to install and use. They also allow you to access the entire truck bed or leave particular areas exposed. That is an important benefit if you have luggage that goes above the top of the cover. The design of folding covers makes it far more versatile for transferring items of various sizes.
Here is another popular option for tonneau covers. You probably rolled a mat at least once in your life. If the answer is yes, you know how these products work.
A tonneau cover is an excellent choice to get access to the truck bed when necessary. You choose how much space you want to leave exposed. There is no limit that is present in folding covers because of the folding points. Packing the cover will require rolling it up completely to the bulkhead. That is a simple process that won’t require a lot of effort since maneuvering the product is quite easy.
As the name suggests, these covers retract into the truck’s bulkhead. It is a convenient mechanism that is very functional and useful. It is convenient if you need to transfer large cargo or tall items that go through the top of the cover. These covers offer the same functionality as roll-up units, except they have a different working process.
Think of these covers as a lid for your truck bed. That might be the best explanation. You hinge the lid at the truck’s bulkhead and lift it as necessary. Hinged tonneau covers look great, and they can assist in transferring large cargo. However, it might be inconvenient to access the entire truck bed with them.
These covers use a snap mechanism that includes a frame that is usually made of aluminum. Clamps attach that frame to the bed of the truck. You also put the cover into the aluminum frame. These can be a convenient way to open a portion of your trunk bed. Snaps are a simple way of returning it to a closed position, which makes them easy to use.
Comparison Between Hard & Soft Tonneau Covers and Canopies
Hard VS Soft Tonneau Covers
Another big decision you will have to make is whether you need a hard or soft tonneau cover. Both categories come with specific advantages, but also a couple of drawbacks. Here is an overview of both classes to assist in finding a more suitable option for your requirements.
Hard Tonneau Covers
You will usually have a hinged structure. The materials used to make them include aluminum panels, fiberglass, or polypropylene.
It is not easy to cut them open or break them without investing a lot of effort. Many consider hard tonneau covers to be an expensive and high-quality variant of this product.
Excellent security – whether it is severe weather or a person trying to steal the valuables, it will be hard to get through this tonneau cover. A reliable locking system keeps the items in the truck bed protected at all times.
Durable materials – these covers are heavy-duty, and they feature excellent protection against thieves.
Pick your finish – you can choose from a variety of patterns, styles, and colors to ensure the cover meets your truck’s appearance.
Price – the cost of these covers might not be that tempting.
Flexibility – if you find yourself loading or opening and closing the cover frequently, that won’t be convenient to do with this cover.
Soft Tonneau Covers
If you are looking for an affordable variant, the chances are you will find it among soft tonneau covers. The roll-up technique is the most common one in using these accessories.
Soft covers are usually made of vinyl and cloth, and they come with aluminum frames to keep them secure.
Affordable – the price of these covers should fit any budget.
Ease of use – the tonneau cover is fairly light, which makes it easy to unroll and fold as necessary.
Simple to fit – their design allows them some wiggle room when fitting on your truck.
The weatherproof rating could be better – although it offers weather protection, it will hardly protect against heavy rain.
Vulnerable – while it protects from curious glances, it is possible to cut through these covers.
Tonneau Covers VS Canopies
Are you having dilemmas on whether a tonneau cover or canopy is a better choice for your truck? Apart from sharing the purpose, these products have many differences.
Here is a comparison of tonneau covers and canopies so that you can make an easier decision:
- Installation – that largely depends on the model. However, tonneau covers are a bit easier to install because they are not as cumbersome. The chances are you can install them without anyone’s help.
- Appearance – if you go with a canopy, your vehicle might start reminding you of an SUV. Some people like that, while others prefer the classic truck appearance. Either way, you will have a wide range of colors and styles available.
- Functionality – tonneau covers are usually not high above the bottom of the truck bed. You will get a couple of feet of space at best, while canopies offer more space.
- Moving and storing – it is much easier to move a cover around since it is not as bulky as a canopy.
Ultimately, it all depends on your preference. Both tonneau covers and canopies can protect the valuables in your truck from severe weather conditions and curious glances of other people. Check out these hitch cargo carrier reviews for additional transport options.
4 Benefits of a Tonneau Cover for Your Truck
Why do you even need a tonneau cover? That is a question that many truck newbies ask. Veterans are already aware of the advantages that this accessory secures.
Here is the list of benefits you can expect a tonneau guard to provide.
- Keep Your Luggage and Equipment Protected
The crucial advantage of tonneau covers is that they will keep your luggage and equipment protected from environmental factors and curious glances. Rain, snow, and other factors cannot harm the goods that you are transporting if they are protected.
Other environmental elements on the road include dust and other particles that could damage your valuables. The cover will protect them from these compounds, too.Additionally, there will be no curious glances from people walking by. That way, your truck will attract less attention. You will also have protection against thieves, although the protection level depends on the product you choose.
- Gas Savings
Did you know that a tonneau cover can improve the aerodynamics of your truck? That way, it can contribute to decreasing air drag. That means the gas mileage will be enhanced by approximately 5-10%.The exact improvement will depend on your truck and the specifics of the cover. However, that doesn’t change the fact that a tonneau cover will be a worthwhile investment in the long run. If you save enough gas, it will be like you bought it for free!
- It Assists in Organizing Things
The problem with putting items on your truck bed is that they can often move around or fall from the truck while it’s moving.
If you use a tonneau cover, you will prevent any wind from moving the items under the cover. As long as you employ common sense while arranging the valuable and keep them tight, no wind or sharp turns can affect the items. They will look the same as you packed them once you reach the destination.
- Appearance and Value
A tonneau cover can improve the look of your truck. It is a nice way to add a twist to your vehicle’s appearance. Additionally, a cover can increase the selling value of the vehicle.
If you want to improve appearance and truck value, even more, consider choosing the best spray in bedliner to refresh the look of your vehicle.
Extra Tips on Tonneau Cover Installation and Maintenance
How to Install a Tonneau Cover?
As we already established, you can choose between a variety of different tonneau cover types and models. That is why it is hard to come up with a universal instruction set. Make sure to read the particular directions for your cover and follow the steps provided there.
The temporary clamping method might not require any tools because you get everything included in the box. Here are the general guidelines to follow:
- Put the tonneau over the bed bulkhead of your vehicle. It should be placed close to the cab to prevent any gaps from appearing.
- Find the latches on the farthest front area of the tonneau. Move them so that they are clamped below the rail’s lip. Make sure the fit is tight.
- Spread the cover to the back of the vehicle. Make sure the tailgate is open and connect the latches on the rear.
- Lift the tailgate and ensure it works properly. There shouldn’t be any overlap or closing issues.
If the cover requires semi-permanent clamping, make sure to secure any additional shims and other tools if needed. You might need to apply the shims first as they could help in securing an optimal placement for the cover. This installation method will also utilize connectors and bolts, and it is imperative to seal them tightly. After connecting the rails, place the cover and ensure it fits.
As we mentioned, the installation process varies on the model. That is why it is wise to follow the instructions for your particular device. If necessary, don’t hesitate to ask someone to help you with the installation. You can search the internet for videos to get a better idea of each step of the process. Many brands offer video installation guides for their tonneau covers.
How Secure Are Tonneau Covers?
Tonneau covers generally improve the protection of the valuables you plan to transport with your truck. The purpose of a tonneau cover is to store the items out of sight. That way, you attract less attention from potential thieves and other people passing by your truck.
Additionally, covering the valuables protects them from the environmental elements. The exact level of protection will depend on many factors. All tonneau covers will provide a layer over the assets you place on the truck bed.
That layer should keep the assets safe from environmental elements, such as dust and wind. Additionally, bystanders won’t be able to see what you are transporting in your vehicle.
Tonneau covers offer different levels of safety against theft. Although most of them come with a locking mechanism, vinyl and cloth covers can still be cut without too much effort. However, aluminum or fiberglass hard tonneau covers offer extra protection against thieves. That is why those who often transport valuable goods or park their truck in risky areas go with this option.
How Long Do Tonneau Covers Last?
The durability of tonneau covers will depend on multiple factors. It all starts by choosing a high-quality product. The stronger the materials are the bigger chance for increased longevity of the unit.
Most manufacturers provide a warranty to give you an estimated timeframe on the cover or its particular components. It will also depend on how you use the product and how much stress it endures over time. Based on all that, a cover might last from less than 12 months to years or even decades.
Here are some tips on how to extend the longevity of your tonneau cover:
- Make sure it is always sealed tightly.
- Take the necessary steps to clean the cover, and make sure to follow the manufacturer’s tips for optimal maintenance.
- Don’t bump your truck and employ the rules of defensive driving.
- Try not to expose the cover to too much direct sunlight.
FAQs & Answers
- Q: Is it possible to lock tonneau covers?
A: Many tonneau covers come with a locking mechanism. That way, they take the overall protection of the assets in the truck bed to the next level.
- Q: Do tonneau covers save fuel and improve gas mileage?
A: Yes, most of these units reduce air drag, which is how they can improve gas mileage. The estimation is they can increase gas mileage from 5-10%, and that leads to significant fuel savings.
- Q: Can I go to the car wash with a closed tonneau cover?
A: If you have a vinyl cover, wax and similar solutions could damage it. That is why you should steer clear of passing through an automatic car wash with your cover on the truck.
That rounds up our guide on tonneau covers. We hope that you gathered comprehensive information about these products and you understand the benefits they can bring. If you want to maximize the advantages of these accessories, make sure to pick the best tonneau cover out there.
These products are available in budget-friendly and premium options. If you are looking for the highest protection level, spending a bit more will be a worthwhile investment. That is especially true because these items can help to improve gas mileage.
Make sure to browse through our tonneau cover reviews carefully. Think about the features you are looking for and the most suitable type for your truck. If you have the expectations straightened out, it shouldn’t be a problem to pick a suitable cover. As long as you pick carefully, these items can serve you well for years, even if you are transferring cargo frequently.