In-Depth Review: BAKFlip MX4 Bed Cover (2020)
One tonneau cover that balances security and accessibility rather well.
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BY Austin Fracchia / LAST UPDATED ON June 25, 2019
This bed cover isn’t the best in terms of absolute security and protection, but it does offer a lot in terms of quick installation and use. As a result, we recommend this cover as a budget option for anyone who doesn’t have anything covering their truck bed.
- Decent amount of weather protection.
- Simple and easy installation.
- Truly quick bed access.
- Limited theft protection like many soft folding truck tonneau covers.
- Limited compatibility with older Dodge Rams, Ford F150s, Chevy Silverados, etc.
- Weight of the cover can make ease of use and installation a bit difficult at first.
- Lacks noticeable gains in fuel economy.
- Not much of a low-profile design. The overhand may restrict access to bed rails, tie down points, and other accessories. Might be difficult to use with some bed liners.
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Protecting the truck bed is a top priority of many pickup truck owners. Left exposed, it is difficult to keep small, loose items in the bed without fear of someone simply reaching in and walking off with it. This is why many people turn to basic tonneau covers for some level of protection.
Most designs, however, either emphasize protection or convenience. If you can get into it quickly, it's not that safe. If it has a few extra layers of protection, it will probably take a while to access. These are the reasons why so many people have a hard time choosing between different truck bed cover options: low-profile covers, roll-up tonneau covers, folding tonneau covers, retractable tonneau covers. After a while, it's hard enough to decide between a soft roll-up design or a hard folding option, much less knowing which one is the best tonneau cover for your needs. BAKFlip has made the effort to strike the right balance between protection and convenience with the MX4 soft bed cover. Using a tri-fold design and aluminum panel sections, this is one heavy-duty tri-fold tonneau cover that gets as close as possible to the best of both worlds.
Save for one-piece truck covers, the MX4 is about as simple as it gets design-wise. Using a tri-fold design, the cover has three large segments that fold inward towards the cab of the truck. Each segment is made of aluminum paneling that offers more rigidity and sturdy protection than traditional softcovers with tear-resistant, marine-grade vinyl over an aluminum frame. Like hard folding tonneau covers, on the other hand, the folding design is meant to be quick and simple whenever you need access to the truck bed.
In fact, this design has some advantages over other rolling or segmented folding covers. For example, many metal rolling covers are limited in the available positioning: You can either have them open or closed. With the MX4, you can open one or two panels at a time without exposing the rest of the truck bed. This is convenient for when you have to reach into the bed quickly to pick up a tool.
Unlike some softcovers, retractable covers, and a few hard tonneau covers, the MX4 also has a greater degree of security built into the design. Using a high-quality locking mechanism, you can access the latch even if the tailgate is still up. Unfortunately, this creates somewhat of a security weak point since would-be thieves can bypass the tailgate altogether if necessary.
In its closed position, the aluminum panels have a good design for basic weather and damage protection. The matte finish has a basic amount of scratch resistance and is treated to prevent UV rays from fading the color over time.
Getting the MX4 onto a truck bed is fairly straightforward. Unlike more complex rolling setups, the MX4’s design is an advantage when it comes to setting it up onto the bed rails. In fact, you can get the cover positioned and secured on the bed in less than 15 minutes in most cases.
The cover simply sits above the bed rails, leaving some space on the edge for the stake pockets on most trucks. The two supporting rails fasten down using clamps to the sides of the truck bed to prevent the cover from moving around while the vehicle is in motion. Since the clamps don't rely on any guides or holes to work, you can position them virtually anywhere for the best placement and support.
The only major difficulty when it comes to installing the MX4 is the weight. Since you have to lift the majority of the cover’s bulk at once, the installation process is easier and quicker if done with some helping hands. You can do it by yourself, but prepare to get a workout if you take this route.
When everything is set up, the MX4’s design is truly convenient when it comes to accessing the truck bed quickly. Because you can open it without putting the tailgate down, unfolding the cover to quickly access the inside contents is hardly a chore. In fact, this might be one of the quickest ways to protect the bed and access it at the same time. You won't be spending extra time rolling it up like soft tonneau covers or dealing with complicated rolling or lifting mechanisms like more expensive hardcovers.
In its fully open position, the three-panel segments are supported by simple support that keeps the panels lifted vertically. In this position, you have access to nearly the full length of the truck bed. The cover itself takes up much less space than typical rolling covers that require space for the housing unit.
Unfortunately, the simplicity of the cover’s design is also a notable drawback. Since it locks in the vertical position, it is not viable to keep it open while driving. For larger loads that are too tall for the cover, it is safer to remove the cover altogether.
It is hard to find a good balance between simplicity, flexibility, and protection with most truck bed tonneau covers. The MX4 is one of the few covers that gets the closest in design and execution. With a little bit of set-up, this cover provides a convenient way to access the inside bed and keep it protected from the outside as much as possible.
Yes, the protection is minimal when it comes to theft, but the cover does have a basic barrier of protection over simply leaving the bed exposed. Truthfully, if ultimate security is a top priority, you'll need to trade some convenience for a more secure, hardshell option.
Final Verdict: If you're looking for something affordable and easy to install for some more peace of mind, the MX4 is one to check out.