Best Pickup Truck Tonneau Covers: A Cover Story

Top 8 Best Tonneau Covers

It should be no surprise to anyone reading this post that pickup trucks are popular in this country, to put it mildly. Such is the market for these machines that manufacturers are ladling more and more luxury items on them, searching for the upper limit of opulence and price. By all accounts, they haven’t found the ceiling yet. Silverado, Ram, F-150 … nearly 1 in 5 items to roll off a dealer’s lot with a new-car smell has an open box attached to it.

That open box (whether it’s five-and-a-half, six, or eight feet long) is the indisputable king of cargo. Need to haul a tree home from the arborist? No problem. How about that grandfather clock at the estate sale? Toss it in. The amount of detritus one can handle with a pickup is legendary. Thing is, though, that open bed is – well – open.

Your author may not be an authority in much but he has owned enough pickup trucks over the last twenty years to know a thing or two about their accessories. There are different varieties of tonneau covers, all with their own advantages and disadvantages, which is why we’re revisiting the topic for a second time this year.

We didn’t select a specific make and model of pickup truck this time, choosing instead to cover (pun intended) a broad range of vehicles. Make sure you’re getting the correct fit before buying. Here are a few we recommend.

1. BAKFlip G2 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover

You may drive with the low-profile BAKFlip G2 hard folding cover fully closed or partially open. This isn’t a one-of-a-kind situation. What makes this cover stand out is its ability to flip up against the truck’s back window, enabling full access to the bed, unlike some coverings, which leave the front third of the bed fastened to the bed unless the owner removes it entirely. This, in your author’s opinion, puts it in contention for the best tonneau cover on the market.

Compared to vinyl covers, this hard tonneau cover has sturdy aluminum panels and an automatic locking system for added security. Prop rods keep the cover upright when it’s open and stow away safely when it’s partially or fully closed.

Pros/Well-known brand, ability to access all of the bed
Cons/Don’t sit on the cover while closed
Bottom Line/A great option

2. TruXedo Truxport Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Aside from the irritatingly charming name, the TruXedo line of tonneau covers consistently receives great feedback from real-world customers and is consistently ranked among the top tonneau cover brands. This particular device is a soft cover that can be stretched taut over a truck’s bed and rolled up like a tarp when it’s time to move it out of the way.

Rails connect into your truck’s bed without the need for drilling or additional equipment, thanks to a heavy-duty frame. The tension of the cover can be manually changed depending on what’s in the bed, however we wouldn’t recommend extending it over a mound of pebbles, for example. There are a variety of sizes and styles to choose from.

Pros/Top-tier rating, installs without drilling holes in your new truck
Cons/Soft covers can easily be sliced open by a knife-wielding crook
Bottom Line/Good brand, great reviews

3. Budget Pick: North Mountain Soft Vinyl Roll-up Tonneau Cover

This is a good alternative if you’re looking for the best affordable tonneau cover. While there aren’t many real-world reviews for this product, the pricing is right, and the cover comes in a variety of forms and sizes to fit many popular pickup truck beds.

The item is stated to include all of the mounting clamps needed to secure it to the truck bed, as well as a few bolts and instructions. It’s marketed as a soft roll-up cover, but it’s actually characterized as a “tight fitting tarp.” We like it since it is straightforward and to the point. The vinyl cover is double-sided for weather protection and is composed of 24 oz material.

Pros/Very affordable, many sizes available
Cons/Few ratings so far, vinyl is easily cut
Bottom Line/Good for a quick fix

4. LEER Latitude SC Soft Tri-Fold Cover

This brand bills itself as “America’s #1 Truck Cover” and, given the sheer number of truck accessories one sees bearing the Leer name, they may have a point. This particular option is a soft tri-fold unit, flipping forward in thirds to reveal the truck bed underneath. Drivers can safely travel with the cover open thanks to security straps and buckles located at the front of the bed.

Made of commercial-grade reinforced vinyl, this cover won’t provide the security of a hard cover but is a good option if one doesn’t want to break the bank. A specially designed self-tensioning frame helps keep the truck bed cover in place while a support framework with rounded corners and beveled edges keep water out of the truck bed. The latching system near the tailgate is of a one-handed pinch design, not a bulky handle on which to yank. Leer’s solution is certainly lower profile but may be hard to grab, especially in the dark.

Pros/Well-known brand name, light weight, no-drill installation
Cons/Fiddly opening latches, costly for a soft cover
Bottom Line/America’s #1 Truck Cover!

5. Roll N Lock M-Series Retractable Tonneau Cover

Without mentioning a retractable tonneau cover, this list would be incomplete. This unit, which combines the advantages of a hard cover and a roll-up soft cover, rolls up to reveal the truck’s bed in the same way that a kitchen bread box or a fancy-pants rolltop desk does.

The cover is stored in an ultra-compact canister measuring 7.5 inches deep at the head of the truck’s bed, up near the cab, when it is retracted. This takes up some box room, but it’s small enough to stay out of harm’s way for the most part. A low-gloss vinyl over aluminum type is seen here, although entire metal and motorized retractable models are also available.

Pros/Neat-n-tidy looks, best of several worlds
Cons/Scary prices
Bottom Line/Costly for a reason

6. PowertraxPRO MX Electric Retractable Tonneau Cover

When it comes to electric tonneau coverings, PowertraxPRO offers a power-operated option. This remote-controlled powered retractable cover can be locked in position anywhere along the truck bed, securing loose goods that is too large to fit beneath the cover.

The cover has metal panels that can handle up to 500 pounds of evenly distributed weight (don’t put all your big trophies in one location), as well as a matte coating that protects against UV and scratches. These items are created in North Dakota and come with a customer service team based in the United States.

The cover is stored in an ultra-compact canister measuring 7.5 inches deep at the head of the truck’s bed, up near the cab, when it is retracted. This takes up some box room, but it’s small enough to stay out of harm’s way for the most part. A low-gloss vinyl over aluminum type is seen here, although entire metal and motorized retractable models are also available.

Pros/Looks slick, you can brag to your friends
Cons/Extremely expensive
Bottom Line/Cool but costly

7. Tyger Auto Black (Soft Top) T3 Tri-Fold Truck Tonneau Cover

This truck tonneau cover is dual-coated and made of heavy-duty 24 oz. marine-grade vinyl, which basically means it’s water-resistant. It has an aluminum framework with stainless steel clamps for quick installation and long-term reliability. Yes, the quality of clamps matters a lot if you’re removing these items on a regular basis.

When it comes to installation, it’s a no-drilling type that includes instructions and mounting hardware. Small holes will need to be made in an old-fashioned over-the-rail bedliner to secure the tonneau cover clamps for a firm installation, according to the seller. Because most trucks no longer use these types of bedliners, the cover should work with an under-the-bedrail bedliner without alteration.

Pros/Robust ratings on Amazon, pre-assembled crossbars
Cons/You’re on the hook for shipping if you order the wrong size
Bottom Line/One of the better soft-surface tonneau covers.

7. Tyger Auto Black (Soft Top) T3 Tri-Fold Truck Tonneau Cover

This tonneau cover is more of a huge tarp but we feel its inclusion on this list is appropriate so you can see all the different styles of this product that are available. To be blunt, your author finds the external strapping and bed side overlap to be hideously ugly but there’s no denying the functionality on display here.

Made of a fabric material with waterproof strips at the seams, it is fixed in place with no less than a dozen bungee cords that hook onto various and sundry attachment points on your truck. We’d be terrified of scratches and what might happen should one of those bungees let go but the majority of real-world owners report good experiences. They must not be as vain as us, either.

Pros/Very low price, covers the bed opening and then some
Cons/Catastrophically ugly, risk of scratches if it goes wrong
Bottom Line/Function over form

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