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Best Roll-Up Tonneau Covers: Add Extra Protection to Your Truck Bed

Roll-up tonneau covers that can keep your truck bed safe and accessible anytime you want

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BYAustin Fracchia, Linsay Thomas/ LAST UPDATED ON August 10, 2022

Don't pay attention to all of the specs and jargon automakers toss out about their pickup trucks. It's all nonsense. The only thing that matters is the bed. Well, for the most part. Payload capacity is also essential. Either way, the bed is what makes a truck so versatile. Unfortunately, one of the best things about it is also the worst. It's a big, wide-open cavity that's perfect for storing tools, gear, furniture, and even other vehicles in. Unfortunately, anything that's back there is exposed to everything the truck is. If you want to add protection but want to keep the bed completely accessible, a roll-up tonneau cover is the way to go.

Best Overall

TruXedo Truxport Soft Cover

Summary

Perfect cover for truck owners looking to spend little, but still get a lot. This cover offers exceptional protection and is covered by a great warranty. 

Pros
  • Affordable price point 
  • Excellent protection against elements
  • Easy installation
Cons
  • Fit can be exceptionally tight 
  • Alignment has to be perfect for proper sealing
Best Value

Gator ETX Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover

Summary

Save money, don't get ripped off. The Gator ETX does a lot better than most in its price range, including a limited lifetime warranty. 

Pros
  • Affordable price point 
  • Leaves stake pockets uncovered 
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Quality isn't the best
  • Single latch allows the cover to come loose in harsh conditions
Honorable Mention

BAK Revolver X4 Hard Rolling Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Summary

Maximum security. That's what the aluminum panels under the premium vinyl have to offer. What more is there to say?

Pros
  • Unmatched security
  • Does not cover stake pockets
  • Backed by a 5-year guarantee
Cons
  • Premium price point 
  • Rubber seals tend to fail 
Best Roll-Up Tonneau Covers: Add Extra Protection to Your Truck Bed

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Best Roll-Up Tonneau Covers Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Truxedo 
  • Part Number: 297701
  • Type: Soft Roll Up 


Pros

  • Affordable price point 
  • Excellent protection against elements
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Fit can be exceptionally tight 
  • Alignment has to be perfect for proper sealing

The TruXedo TruXport takes the pick for Best Overall for several reasons. This line of covers is one of the most affordable on the market, which is something the average truck owner is definitely going to appreciate. It's not just some cheap piece of vinyl, though. It offers excellent protection from the elements, installs with ease, and the fit and finish certainly won't drag your prized truck down in style points. It's also backed by a solid 5-year warranty to offer peace of mind to the owner.


It's certainly not the most refined piece of equipment. Issues with alignment during installation can drive owners of some models nuts. As could the exceptionally tight fit in some cases, making it worth reading the reviews to ensure it's a good choice for your exact truck.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Gator 
  • Part Number: 53110
  • Type: Soft roll-up cover 


Pros

  • Affordable price point 
  • Leaves stake pockets uncovered 
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Quality isn't the best
  • Single latch allows the cover to come loose in harsh conditions

The aesthetic appeal of Gator's ETX alone makes it worthy of your consideration. It's no one-trick pony, though. The low-profile design offers the practical advantage of leaving the stake pockets exposed, allowing you to make use of them for tie-downs and bedside rails as necessary. It also sits at an economical price point that's sure to win over many truck owners. Despite that, it still has exceptional protection against the elements and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty, making it a clear choice for the Best Value award.


Unfortunately, there are some concerns that do hold this model back. One, it's not uncommon for the rails to warp with time and for the fabric to start to pull. Also, the fact that it latches from only one side can result in it popping loose under harsh conditions.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: BAK
  • Part Number: 39506
  • Type: Hard roll-up cover


Pros

  • Unmatched security
  • Does not cover stake pockets
  • Backed by 5-year guarantee

Cons

  • Premium price point 
  • Rubber seals tend to fail 

The BAK Revolver MX4 is the clear choice if you want max security from a roll-up tonneau cover. Underneath the tasteful vinyl layering lies a sheet of aluminum panels. While aluminum isn't the hardest metal, it's certainly not something thieves can slash through with any old knife in seconds. Pairing it with a locking tailgate means anything in the bed is going to take serious effort to access. It also leaves the stake pocket holes wide open, rolls neatly to the cabin, and is backed by a solid 5-year guarantee.


The obvious drawback is the price, as this cover costs nearly five times as much as the average rolling tonneau. Also, it seems that the rubber seals are something of a problem area, and the cover will leak once the adhesive separates.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Lund 
  • Part Number: 96851
  • Type: Soft roll-up cover 


Pros

  • Low-maintenance materials used
  • High durability
  • Lifetime guarantee 

Cons

  • Relatively high price
  • Fitment issues are common

Lund's Genesis Elite is the way to go if you're looking for something low-maintenance. Unlike most covers, this does not feature the same vinyl material that requires special care to maintain. Instead, it uses a premium matte canvas that's a lot more resilient and simple to care for. That said, it is still a Lund cover, which means you're getting the best in terms of quality, and the cover is weatherproof. Throw in the lifetime guarantee, and this cover is hard to ignore.


This is on the expensive side of soft covers, which will inspire truck owners to look elsewhere. Also, there are enough complaints about fitment issues to make it worth reading reviews to ensure it's going to fit the exact make and model you're working with.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Velocity Concepts 
  • Part Number: VC-TC-120
  • Type: Soft roll-up cover 


Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Industrial strength Velcro 
  • Solid warranty coverage

Cons

  • Poor installation instructions
  • Poor sealing

The Velocity Concepts tonneau is another solid choice for those on a budget. The fact that this affordable cover does not cover the stake pocket holes really helps it stand out. Also, it uses industrial strength velcro that's far better than what most are used to in this price range. Also, nobody will not enjoy the fact that it's a simple, no-drill installation. On top of all of that, the lifetime warranty on the frame and 3-year warranty on the cover takes your buck just a little further.


As for the installation, the fact there's no drilling is about as good as it gets. The instructions are notoriously bad, and, even with experience, it can be a frustrating experience. Also, the seal isn't exactly the best, which is why it's not higher on the list.

Our Verdict 

For the money, the TruXedo Truxport Soft Cover is hard to beat. It's simple, built well, protected with a warranty, and affordable. However, the Gator ETX Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover is not a bad way to go if you need something more economical. What's your pick? be sure to reach out and tell us what you think the best roll-up cover is!  

What to Consider When Buying Roll-Up Tonneau Covers 

What if you're not ready to jump on a tonneau cover just because a few have been recommended to you? That's a good thing. You should want to know more about these types of covers ad what your options are. That's exactly what the following sections are here for. They highlight key features as well as some things you certainly need to know before you spend the time and money that goes into popping one of these bad boys in place. Don't worry. It's a lot less complicated than I'm making it sound.

Types of Roll-Up Tonneau Covers

Soft

Soft covers are the most common and most basic version out there. However, there's a little more going on than simply stretching a piece of vinyl over the bed of your truck. These are set in place with the use of a metal frame that bolts to the bed. The frame extends down the bedsides and is paired with either a hook-and-loop system or snaps to anchor the vinyl in place. Underneath the vinyl are metal bows to provide structural support that keeps the cover from distorting and coming undone when forces are encountered. These are a go-to option due to their cost-effective nature and ease of use, but they don't offer the best security as they are primarily a simple piece of fabric that's not going to stop much other than the weather.

Hard

Hard rolling tonneau covers are the clear choice when security and support are necessary. Rather than the primary material being a simple layer of vinyl and fabric, a layer of metal or plastic plates rest underneath. These sheets are narrow and able to fold over each other so that the cover can roll out of the way just like their vinyl counterparts. Using these harder materials is great for keeping snow and other threats from collapsing the cover, but they can also keep thieves out. These can be very expensive, though, and you will need a locking tailgate to get the most out of them.

Key Features

Compatibility 

The first detail you need to sort out is whether or not the tonneau cover actually fits the truck. This seems like a relatively easy detail to sort out, but it can be more complicated than you originally imagined. That's because truck manufacturers don't necessarily stick to a standard with sizing. Cabin sizes don't always determine bed size, and measurements can be taken in several ways. Your best bet is to read into the exact make and model of your truck to find out how to measure your bed and go from there. A year-make-model search can simplify the ordeal, but even then, you may need to take measurements to be sure.

Quality Materials 

It always helps to stick with top brands, especially in the case of tonneau covers when prices are pretty level across all manufacturers. That said, you still want to do a little bit of homework on any you're considering. Make sure to sort out who's using quality vinyl, how well-made the latches are, and which frames hold up the best. Keep in mind that the elements you're regularly exposed to will play a big role in which models are best suited to your truck.

Securing Method 

In most cases, roll-up tonneau covers feature hook-and-loop systems down the rails to keep the vinyl in place. There are, however, many that still use snap buttons to get the job done. Which is better will ultimately come down to personal preference. Hook-and-loop is generally easier to install, and they do a fine job of securing the cover. However, some prefer the positive engagement of the snaps, and you should hash out this detail if you're partial to one over the other.

Top Brands of Roll-Up Tonneau Covers

Tyger

Founded in 2013, Tyger Auto Inc is a nationwide corporation focused on aftermarket auto parts geared for daily drivers and dedicated enthusiasts alike. The company's line of tonneau covers is primarily centered on soft designs like roll-ups, tri-folds, and more. The T1 Roll-Up Cover is a good example of the quality the company infused into its designs.

Gator

If there is a bed that needs to be covered and protected, chances are Gator has something in its product lineup for it. Gator Covers are well-known in the automotive industry as a producer of high-quality tonneau covers that span the range of soft and hard designs. The ETX Soft Cover is a perfect example of what Gator is capable of.

Lund

Lund International is a company that caters to larger vehicles like trucks, SUVs, CUVs, vans, and more. Founded in 1965, the company has a number of different brand names, like Rampage Products and Roll-N-Lock, that represent the vast range of products it makes. The Genesis Elite is but a taste of what it has to offer.

Roll-Up Tonneau Cover Pricing

For the most part, roll-up tonneau covers rarely deviate from the $200 to $300 price range. Obviously, the more affordable options generally lack in terms of quality and features, but you don't necessarily need to spend a bunch of money to get a decent unit. If, however, you prefer something a little more secure, you can easily spend close to $1000 on hard rolling tonneaus. That is a considerable expense, but the security is well worth the investment.

Tips

  • All tonneau covers offer security by covering up whatever is in your bed. If thieves can't see it, they're less likely to take the risk. 
  • To get the most weatherproofing out of a hardcover, invest in one with a dedicated drainage system or take some time to add some extra proofing. Even simple weatherstripping goes a long way to prevent moisture or more from getting into the truck bed.
  • Learn to care for your cover. Use the products the manufacturer recommends and clean it accordingly. This will help you get the most out of your investment. 

FAQ

Q. How long does it take to install a truck cover?

A. You can expect anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour for installation, depending on the design. Hardcovers take the longest because of their complex design and a greater number of parts that must be installed. This will also depend on the make and model vehicle you're working with since different trucks like the new Chevy Silverado and old Dodge Rams have unique bed profiles.  

Q. Do roll-up truck covers really save a lot of space in the bed?

A. Most of the time, yes. They usually only take up a few inches at most when rolled up. Because harder roll-up covers use metal segments that can't bend like fabric, this design tends to take up more room (usually 8-12 inches). But even then there's still plenty of access to the bed.

Q. Can I drive with my cover open?

A. As long as you can secure the cover when it's rolled up, which is the case in most situations, you can drive with it in that position. It's just important to double-check before you take off, as letting it fly freely in the wind is bound to cause trouble.

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