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Best Tonneau & Truck Bed Covers: Add Some Protection to Your Truck Bed

The best tonneau covers to protect your truck bed from the outside world.

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BYHeather Fishel/ LAST UPDATED ON August 11, 2022

Your truck’s bed is likely one of the top reasons you bought your pickup. The expansive bed — even if it’s on the shorter size — allows you to haul just about anything and everything. But there’s one pretty significant problem with a truck’s bed. Whatever’s inside the bed is always exposed to the world. Whether you’re carrying a few tools or more important items, your truck bed is always vulnerable to problems like theft, unpredictable weather, and even the wear and tear that comes from driving along roads with no cover or protection. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution: Just add a tonneau cover to your truck.


A tonneau cover will offer more protection for your truck’s bed and whatever you’re carrying inside it. These covers come in an array of different styles, from soft and flexible fabrics to hard metal that perfectly matches your truck’s paint job. With increased security and protection from the outdoor elements, a tonneau cover can offer a ton of value. Find the perfect fit for your truck on our list of the best tonneau covers right here.

Best Overall

Lund Genesis Elite Roll Up Tonneau Cover

Summary

One of the best, low-profile, roll-up tonneau covers that offers more security and functionality than other options. Comes with everything needed to get set up quickly.

Pros
  • Convenient soft roll-up cover with a low-profile design
  • Twill weave cover, much like marine-grade vinyl folding covers, does a good job of repelling water
  • Side rails are easy to position and mount to the side of the truck bed
Cons
  • Getting a proper seal can be tricky 
  • High price for roll-up cover
Best Value

Tyger Auto T3 Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover

Summary

Saving money without sacrificing weather protection is no issue with this cover. The tri-fold tonneau cover makes it easy to quickly access the bed without undoing everything.

Pros
  • Simple installation
  • Affordable price point 
  • Easily folds up out of the way
  • Limited lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Blocks stake pocket holes
  • Does not uncover entire bed
Honorable Mention

Pace Edwards Switchblade Tonneau Cover

Summary

A heavy-duty, sturdy, retractable cover that's a fraction of the cost of most high-end retractable tonneau covers, this cover is the best to consider when you want the extra security of a hard barrier.

Pros
  • Convienient operation
  • High durability
  • High security value 
Cons
  • Difficult installation process
  • High price point
Best Tonneau & Truck Bed Covers: Add Some Protection to Your Truck Bed
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Best Tonneau Covers Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

Manufacturer: Lund

Part Number: 96872

Type: Soft roll-up

Pros

  • Convenient soft roll-up cover with a low-profile design
  • Twill weave cover, much like marine-grade vinyl folding covers, does a good job of repelling water
  • Side rails are easy to position and mount to the side of the truck bed

Cons

  • Getting a proper seal can be tricky 
  • High price for roll-up cover

The Lund Genesis Elite is hard to beat when it comes to bed covers. Granted, it is a soft cover, which might not match everyone's criteria, but the lower price and convenience of these covers are what we feel most people are after. That said, the Genesis gets a lot right. It's made from high-quality twill weave, it's easy to set up, will not interfere with stake pockets. While twill isn't exactly commonplace, it does an excellent job of repelling water while creating a unique aesthetic.


As for the drawbacks, this does run for a higher price than most soft rolling covers. It's also worth noting that to get a proper seal, the velcro strips need to be just right, which can be viewed as an inconvenience.

Specs

Manufacturer: Tyger Auto

Part Number: TG-BC3C1007

Type: Soft folding cover

Pros

  • Simple installation
  • Affordable price point 
  • Easily folds up out of the way
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Blocks stake pocket holes
  • Does not uncover entire bed

The Tyger Auto T3 tri-fold just might be what you need if a roll-up cover doesn't fit the bill. Unlike a roll-up, this cover has three panels, two of which fold up and out of the way, allowing a single person to use it with ease. Speaking of ease, it's simple to install and takes little more than a few minutes to plant on your truck. Toss a relatively low price point and limited lifetime warranty into the mix, and you can see why it's wearing the crown of Best Value.


What's not to like is the fact that only two of the three panels fold up out of the way. That means at least one-third of your bed will be blocked whenever this is in place. It also blocks stake pocket holes, which does impede the use of some accessories

Specs

Manufacturer: Pace Edwards

Part Number: SWDA24A55

Type: Hard retractable cover

Pros

  • Convienient operation
  • High durability
  • High security value 

Cons

  • Difficult installation process
  • High price point

The Switchblade is the model most are going to reach for when opting for a hard retracting tonneau cover. Why? Because it's one of the most affordable options in this segment. That said, it's made with durable aluminum plates that are coated in a black finish to create the look your truck deserves. Don't worry. Everything about this cover is highly durable, so you don't need to freak out over scratches and dings. Of course, it's also very easy to use, and pairing it with a locking tailgate offers maximum security.


While this may be an affordable hard cover, it's not budget-friendly by any means. Also, installation is much more complicated than traditional covers, which is worth knowing before buying.

Specs

Manufacturer: Gator

Part Number: 1386954

Type: Soft roll-up cover

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Does not impede stake pockets
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Hardware isn't made well
  • Vinyl tends to degrade rapidly

The Gator roll-up takes the pick for most user-friendly due to the simple installation process. There's no drilling required, nor do you need much to get the job done. Ease of installation does not mean sacrifices in aesthetics or practicality, though. The cover does rank among some of the best in terms of appearances, and it also leaves the stake pockets wide open for use. The relatively low price point isn't hurting anything either.


Unfortunately, hardware does take something of a hit. It does seem that what's supplied might not be up to the task and is worth replacing. Also, it's noted that the vinyl does start to degrade fairly rapidly with time, and pulls begin to appear within a few years of use.

Specs

Manufacturer: BAK

Part Number: 448130

Type: Hard folding cover

Pros

  • High structural rigidity
  • Great appearances
  • Backed by 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Premium price point
  • Quality control issues are common

There's a whole lot to like about the BAK MX4 hard folding cover. For one, this folding aluminum cover has the ability to support up to 400 pounds of distributed weight. There's no way snow or other build-up is causing it to collapse, and the rugged construction does add a bit of security to your belongings. It also looks great, installs with ease, leaves the stake pockets unimpeded, and it's backed with a lifetime warranty. Simply put, this is the hard folding cover to consider.


That is unless you're unwilling to spend a considerable amount of money on a tonneau cover. There's no question that this is priced out of range for many truck owners. Even so, the quality control division still seems to have some kinks to work through, as there are several reports of factory defects from customers.

Specs

Manufacturer: TruXedo

Part Number: 272001

Type: Soft roll-up cover

Pros

  • Distinct looks
  • Relativley cost-effective
  • Backed by 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Covers stake pocket holes
  • Tends to collect excessive water and debris on top

Some folks prefer a tonneau cover that pronounces itself, and the TruXport is hard to beat in that territory. It's designed to sit 1.5 inches above the bed, creating a distinctive look that many crave. It also utilizes signature leather-grain fabric to promote that iconic aesthetic of exterior decor. Of course, this is a roll-up cover, so it sits at a relatively affordable price point. TruXedo also backs it with a 5-year warranty, and it does a decent job of keeping the weather out.


It's not ideal in most situations, unfortunately. The design inherently covers the stake pocket holes, which ultimately makes it an impractical choice for many. There's also the issue of its tendency to pool water on the cover, which hints at issues with snow and ice.

Specs

Manufacturer: MaxMate

Part Number: TCC169052

Type: Soft roll-up cover

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Easy to install
  • Backed by 10-year warranty

Cons

  • Quality control issues are common
  • Low durability

The MaxMate soft roll-up cover is yet another solid choice for budget-minded truck owners to consider. Obviously, the price is a major concern, and this does sit at one of the lowest retail values you'll find on the web. That said, it does come covered with a 10-year hassle-free warranty, which is better than some of the most expensive offerings. It's also easy to install, with no drilling required, and can be done without a helping hand at any skill level.


While this is a great way to cover your bed in a hurry, it's not ideal. It seems that quality control is a big issue as covers often arrive with missing hardware or are labeled incorrectly. It's also not going to withstand harsh conditions as well as higher-ranking options will, which is why it doesn't quite win the title of Best Value. 

Specs

Manufacturer: Access

Part Number: 91399

Type: Soft roll-up cover

Pros

  • Excellent resistance to elements
  • Superior durability
  • Backed by 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Relatively high price point
  • Low security value

Going with a soft cover doesn't need to mean getting minimal protection, and the Access Vanish is proof of that. This cover is built to endure the worst conditions. It's UV-resistant and can endure high temperatures without sagging. Low temps are no issue either, as it will remain flexible in conditions as low as 40 degrees below zero. As if that's not enough, its Extra Element Seal is designed to keep debris, water, and anything else out of your bed and Access backs it with a 3-year warranty.


As for the downsides, the Vanish does sit at an exceptionally high price for a soft cover. Even if it's better-built than most, it's also still a soft cover with little security value.

Specs

Manufacturer: Retraxone

Part Number: 60484

Type: Hard retractable cover

Pros

  • Maximum security and durability
  • Easy to install
  • Backed by lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Premium price point
  • Partially covers stake pockets

If you frequently carry valuable or large cargo, the Retraxone XR tonneau cover has your name on it. This hard retractable tonneau cover offers full access to the bed when rolled back but maximum security when deployed. When paired with a locking tailgate, accessing the bed can be near impossible for the average thief. Despite being an evolved variant of covers, installation is also very straightforward, and it is backed by a lifetime warranty to provide ultimate peace of mind.


Security doesn't come cheap, unfortunately, and this is one of the most expensive covers on the market. It also does partially block the stake pocket holes, which can present some issues and even render it an impractical choice for some truck owners

Specs

Manufacturer: Stampede

Part Number: Multiple listings

Type: Soft folding cover

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Easy installation
  • Backed by 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Quality can see improvements
  • Covers stake pocket holes when deployed

We're wrapping up our list with Stampede's tri-fold, which is the way to go if you want a budget-friendly cover without settling for the typical roll-up. Tri-fold covers are notoriously easy for the average truck owner to install and handle, and this is no exception. This particular cover does offer a fantastic fit and finish for something in its price range. It's backed by a 3-year warranty and is notably lighter than most of the competition, meaning you get more than a few dollars off the asking price when opting for the Stampede.


It does have its share of issues. Some note that the stitching is kind of wonky in some cases, and the latches can be built better. Also, it does cover the stake pocket holes when deployed, eliminating the possibility of using bed side rails with this cover

Our Verdict

Our top pick for the best tonneau cover is the Lund 96893 Genesis Elite Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover. With a roll-up design, it's hard to beat the convenience this cover offers. For something slightly more affordable, check out the Tyger Auto T3 Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover. It offers a convenient tri-fold design that does a decent job at protecting the truck bed.

What to Consider When Buying Tonneau Covers

Tonneau covers are some of the simplest upgrades to understand. They bolt on, instantly providing your truck's bed with protection from the elements and thieves. The bed is essentially a big box, so there's not a whole lot that goes into development. Still, plenty of things separates the chaff from the wheat. The following sections are here to lay the details down, so you know what to look for while you shop.

Types of Tonneau Covers

Soft 

Offering a lot in terms of flexibility and weather protection, soft tonneau covers also have the advantage of being budget-friendly in most cases. Because they are made of vinyl and other tough fabrics, most of these covers roll or fold. The fabric does cover cracks and small openings better than the alternative, and this helps to create a weather-proof seal. The drawback is that they don't offer much in terms of security. This can easily cut through the exterior layers to access your bed.

Hard

When it comes to the ultimate protection a cover can offer, hard tonneau options are hard to beat. These rely on metallic or composite aluminum that take some effort to break through. Hard covers also come in the widest variety. Folding, retracting, rolling, and lift-off are all available. Unfortunately, the extra security comes with a higher price tag, more weight, and more challenging installation in most cases.

Rolling

Rolling covers are often the simplest, most cost-effective solution. As the name implies, the cover rolls up out of the way to allow access to the bed. These are typically made of a soft vinyl or fabric material that's stretched over a metal frame to cover the bed. However, some are made with a series of interlocking panels made from aluminum or composite that are designed to roll like a traditional cover. Obviously, the latter does draw in a higher price.

Folding

As opposed to rolling covers, folding covers rely on multiple large panels that fold over each other to expose the bed. These are generally easier to operate and are a favorite for those who prefer as little hassle as possible. The main drawback is that these covers often don't expose the entire bed. However, there are plenty of models that flip against the back of the cabin to provide access to the entire bed.

Retractable

Retractable tonneau covers are different from folding covers. Typically made out of thin, flexible, and soft materials, retractable tonneau covers feature an automated (or electric) mechanism that pulls the cover open and rolls it out of your way as needed. These covers are incredibly convenient, as they make getting your cover off your truck’s bed simple and quick, and they allow you to have versatility in how much or how little of the cover you’d like to use.

Key Features 

Material Treatment

Beyond the choice of a soft or hardcover, the specific type of material the cover uses is important when determining its overall durability and longevity. hardcovers typically use materials like aluminum and fiberglass for their rigidity. Soft materials like vinyl are more common when a high level of flexibility is required. Regardless of the material type, the exterior side should also be treated to resist the elements like UV rays, rain, snow, and small impacts/scratches.

Retracting Mechanism

Unless the cover has a single-piece design that lifts up on one end, it is likely to have some kind of way to retract the cover, opening up access to the truck bed. Budget-friendly covers, soft and hard, often have a folding frame with separate panels. More expensive options typically use some kind of rolling mechanism, with a soft fabric or metal segments, or individual panels that simply slide into some guiding rails.

Easy Bed Access

You don’t have to give up the free, constant access to your truck bed if you choose one of the best tonneau covers. However, in order to achieve this, you’ll want to make sure you choose a cover that offers you easy bed access. Folding or retractable covers are the most accessible, as you can get inside some or all of the bed in just a few seconds. Hard covers can be a bit trickier, as these often have to be lifted in order to get inside. Look for a tonneau cover that you can easily move or open at just a moment’s notice.

Security Lock

A tonneau cover needs to remain in place in order to offer the most protection possible. If someone can simply come up and remove it, it isn't much of a protective barrier. For enhanced security, some covers either have a dedicated lock or a design that keeps it in place when the tailgate is up. Both options offer a basic amount of protection, but dedicated locks often allow you to open the cover without messing with the tailgate. On the other hand, tailgates are more difficult to break open and tend to tie into the truck's security system.

Weather Sealing

One area that some covers excel in is weather protection. This means keeping the outside elements like water out of the truck bed. Beyond the cover itself, the cover should seal the corners and sides where water can get into the small cracks and spaces. Some covers do this by sitting above the bed rails, while others use weather stripping to seal in the cracks. A few high-end covers even have drainage systems that attempt to direct water away from the bed.

Tonneau Cover Pricing

If you're looking for a budget-friendly tonneau cover, there are plenty of soft covers, both folding and roll-up, that list for anywhere from $180-$300. Moving up to the $300-$500 range will usually bring in hard folding and premium soft covers. That said, plenty of premium offerings can list for well over the $1,000 mark, meaning there really isn't a cap on how much you can expect to pay when going all-out.

FAQ

Q: Will a tonneau cover keeps people from stealing stuff in the bed?

Hard covers offer a good amount of protection if they come with some kind of lock. No cover, however, is completely theft proof.

Q: How does a tonneau cover stay on the truck?

Most covers use clamps that latch onto the side of the bed rails. Some clamps are attached to the cover, while others are separate.

Q: Can I carry things on top of the cover?

In most cases, no. Some hardcovers are designed to carry a good amount of weight on top, but most can't support heavy items without compromising the structural integrity.

Q: Is a soft or hard tonneau cover better?

This depends on your preferences and needs. For some truck owners, a soft cover is the best choice, especially if you want an easy-to-remove cover that doesn’t need permanent installation on your vehicle. However, a hard cover offers more durability and increased security, which makes a hard tonneau a better choice for others.

Q: Do tonneau covers keep water out?

Many tonneau covers are able to block out water — but you’ll want to make sure you search for covers that are waterproof, not water-resistant, in order to keep your truck bed dry. Hard covers tend to offer the best waterproofing, as these covers are custom-fitted and completely close up your pickup’s bed off from the outdoor elements.

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