Reviews

Best Hard Folding Tri-Fold Tonneau Covers: Increase the Protection in Your Truck Bed

Here are the best choices for covering up your truck bed.

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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON September 30, 2021

Pickup trucks offer an amazing capacity to get work done. For towing and hauling a truck is the default option, and they can make for exceptional off-road rigs and family cruisers when properly optioned, too.

Of course, the truck's most unique and useful feature – its open bed – also represents its biggest design compromise. An open bed is at the mercy of the elements, and, unless modified, doesn't offer much security for any of the gear it's so adept at carrying.

Thankfully the truck aftermarket has a long-standing solution to help shore up the compromise of an open bed: a hard folding tonneau cover. Made from durable materials and affixed directly to a truck's bed, one of these covers can lock in your valuables and lock out the weather and would-be thieves. Take a look at our list for some great hard-folding tonneau covers options, right here.

Honorable Mention
BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
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Summary
Summary

A simple solution for adding some extra protection to almost any truck bed (with the right MX4 version).

Pros
Pros
  • Installation is fairly straightforward and quick
  • There are few parts to install onto the truck bed rails.
Cons
Cons
  • Weatherproofing is less than desirable. Water can leak in between the edges and folds of the cover and get into the bed.
Honorable Mention
BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Best Overall
Rugged Liner Premium Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
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Summary
Summary

A great budget option for adding a hard folding tonneau cover, especially for those concerned with weather protection.

Pros
Pros
  • Good weatherproofing for a folding tonneau cover
  • Tends to keep everything dry inside the truck bed, even during heavy rain.
Cons
Cons
  • Doesn't offer the same amount of convenience or protection as some solid or retracting tonneau cover designs.
Best Overall
Rugged Liner Premium Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Best Value
BAKFlip G2 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
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Summary
Summary

A budget-friendly tonneau covers for anyone wanting to add a degree of protection to their truck's bed.

Pros
Pros
  • The fit of the cover tends to be spot on for most compatible truck models
  • Installation requires few tools or modifications to the truck bed
Cons
Cons
  • Although the cover does keep some rain and moisture out, water can get through the corners and edges of the cover into the truck bed during heavy rainfall.
Best Value
BAKFlip G2 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Benefits of Hard Folding Tonneau Covers

  • Increased security. A hard cover can provide you with increased security by locking. This will prevent someone from reaching in and taking your belongings. Even a soft cover can’t prevent people from getting into your truck bed.
  • Protection from the elements. When you leave your truck bed open, anything back there is exposed to the elements. The sun’s UV rays will beat down and if it rains, everything will get wet. A hard cover on your bed will offer a lot more weather protection.  
  • Stylish looks. Choosing the right hard folding cover can improve the look of your truck. Most of the covers you’ll see are matte black, but there are some that have a gloss finish. 
  • Simple installation. Although hard tonneau covers are bigger, heavier, and tougher than their soft counterparts, they’re still designed to be easy to install. You can have a professional tackle the job for you, or you can handle it yourself, right in your garage.

Top Brands

LEER

LEER is known as being the number one manufacturer of fiberglass and aluminum truck caps and tonneaus in North America. The company was founded in the 1960s; the company has grown from a small business in Elkhart, Ind., to a worldwide powerhouse. All of its covers are made in the United States. Check out its Easy On/Off Low Profile Tonneau Covers

Rugged Liner

Founded in 1995 in Owosso, Mich., Rugged Liner is one of the leading manufacturers of tonneau covers and truck bed liners. The company currently operates two facilities that total 450,000 square feet and is home to 140 employees. Its liners and covers are shipped worldwide to more than 70 countries. Check out the Premium Hard Folding Tonneau Cover for the Ford F150.

BAK Industries

BAK develops tonneau covers to help you use your truck better. There’s the BAKFlip, Vortrak, Revolver, and Rack Contractor Series. Each one is designed for a particular use to fit how you use your truck. One of its popular covers is the BAK BAKFlip G2 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover.

Tonneau Covers Pricing

  • Under $100: These are basic covers that are typically soft covers, such as a roll-up style. They tend to be light on innovative features, and are typically be made of vinyl with Velcro as the sealing function.
  • $100 to $500: In this range you can find good-quality soft covers or middle-range hard covers. They’ll be of decent construction, but lack some of the additional features that more expensive covers have. 
  • $500 and up: Here's where you'll get into high-quality hard covers. They’ll use the most durable and sturdy materials to prevent damage. They’ll also include additional features to make working them easier. You’ll find additional straps, remote controls, hydraulic support posts, and even LED lights. 

Key Features

Vehicle Compatibility 

All truck bed covers are constructed with a particular vehicle in mind. There is no universally compatible bed cover. Even when trucks have the same bed length, their body styling can cause them to require different covers. When buying your cover, you need to look for a cover that is compatible with your truck’s make, model, and year. 

Ease of Use

Some hard tonneau covers are easier to open, latch, and fold than others — and you want one that allows you the highest level of convenience. A cover that’s easy to lift and maneuver will make you more likely to use all of its benefits and folding configurations. It’s also a good idea to find a cover that’s simple to adjust if needed to carry different types of items. The best hard folding tonneau covers are those that make getting to your gear happen in just seconds, with little difficulty.

Security

Some truck bed covers provide you with better security than others. Hard bed covers provide you with more security than a soft cover. Higher-quality covers will come with locks. This lets you secure the panels to your truck for even greater security of your belongings in the bed. It’s also important to look for a tonneau cover that can stay secure while it’s open and folded. For example, being able to “lock” or secure the cover into a folded position will make it easier to haul items, keep the cover in place, and open just as much as you need.

Purpose 

When choosing between covers, you need to think about the purpose of buying your cover. Is your main purpose for improved looks? Or is it for increased security? Maybe you want a cover that gives you the greatest amount of security. Hard cover folding covers give you the best of all worlds. Their low-profile styling will keep your truck looking sleek. Their folding panels give you versatility in the use of your truck bed. 

Other Considerations

  • Installation. Some covers come completely assembled, which can make installation easy and fast. Others come completely disassembled, which requires you to put everything together. Then there are some covers that require professional installation.
  • Ease of Use. Pay attention to how the bed cover works. Some have panels that are easy to maneuver, while others are more complicated. A nice feature is being able to work the panel release and locks from either side of the truck bed. 
  • Warranty. Look for a cover that comes with a decent warranty. Most warranties are between three and five years. You’ll find some of the higher-quality covers have lifetime guarantees. 

Best Hard Folding Tonneau Covers Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best for Chevy Silverado
BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

The BAKFlip MX4 tri-fold truck bed cover has a beautiful flat black finish. It has rubber seals to give you a secure fit. This cover will fit 2014-2018 Chevy Silverados and the 2019 Legacy/Limited that have a 6-foot bed.


This bed cover is durable and has protection against marks, UV damage, and scratches. You can also fold the cover completely out of the way to have 100 percent bed access. No matter what position you put it into, you can drive with it like that. This includes closed, flipped up, or folded.


Unfortunately, the construction of this cover isn’t the highest quality. Users report occasional leaks, as well as some manufacturing errors where the holes are drilled in the wrong location. Some also experience vibration issues while driving, because of insecure secure sealing. 

Best for Ford F-150
Rugged Liner Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

The Rugged Liner Premium Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover is a folding truck bed cover that comes in a variety of sizes to fit a wide range of vehicles. You’ll need to choose the year range that your truck falls into — 2004-2008, 2009-2014, or 2015-2019. Then you’ll need to choose your bed length: 5.5, 6.5, or 8 feet. Once installed, you can secure the cover in the open position with the built-in straps.


This truck bed cover stands out because it comes completely assembled, so there are no loose parts in the box. This makes installation easy and fast. It also includes two handy LED bed lights.


Unfortunately, the aluminum used to construct the panels is very thin. This means you’ll need to be careful around this cover so that you don’t dent it. The hinges aren’t very rugged, as they’re made of plastic. 

Best for GMC Colorado
BAKFlip G2 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

This truck bed has a beautiful glossy finish to give your truck bed a bit of a sheen. It fits flush with the top of your truck and folds into four panels.


The nice thing about this cover is that it has double security. It has durable aluminum panels and an automatic latching system. You can operate the cover from either side of your truck bed with the quick-release cables, which makes working with your truck easier. It also has a dual-action tailgate seal that lets you close your tailgate with the cover open or closed.


Unfortunately, users report that the quick-release cables can wear out, which will make that function harder to operate. This cover can also leak, and the lock can rust and become unusable. 

Best for Dodge Ram
Mopar Hard Folding Tonneau Cover

Have a Dodge RAM? The Mopar Hard Folding Tonneau Cover will fit most RAM trucks, specifically those with 6.3-foot beds. It’s compatible with 2009 through 2016 Dodge RAM 1500, 2500, and 3500. It’s made from a lightweight aluminum frame. Structural foam panels are what make up the body of the cover’s panels. This cover features a four-panel design.


The entire cover is rust- and corrosion-resistant. This makes it durable enough for years of use. Opening and closing the cover takes just minutes. It’s a two-step process with the cover’s hinged design. You can open it from the rear (cab side) or from the back (tailgate side), for easy access to your entire truck bed. Both ends also have locks to keep your belongings safe.


Unfortunately, this cover has limited compatibility, and you’ll need to look at Mopar’s other truck bed covers if this one doesn’t fit your truck. The lock is also on the top and in the middle of the panel, which detracts from the clean flush-mounted look of the cover. 

Best for Short Beds
DNA Motoring Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover

If you’re searching for a cover that fits a 5.5-foot truck bed, you’ll want to take a closer look at the DNA Motoring Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover. Designed for this specific size, it makes for a perfect fit for those with less popular bed lengths. There are rubberized edges to seal the cover to the truck bed. Then to secure the cover, there are clamps that come with it. It’s made out of aluminum plating that is powder-coated black. Once installed, you can adjust the tension on the clamps for a perfect fit. There are also straps with clips on the end to secure the cover to your truck.


Once you cover your open truck bed with this hardcover, you’ll experience an improvement in your truck’s aerodynamics. This can help with both handling and fuel economy. This folding cover gives you functional versatility because you can fold it up and away one third at a time.


Unfortunately, this cover has limited compatibility, as it only fits 5.5-foot truck beds. Even then, it may not fit all truck beds in this size. You’ll need to check that there isn’t anything interfering with the clamp system. 

Honorable Mention
Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover

If you’re looking for a hard folding cover that’ll deliver impressive durability, the Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover could make for the perfect fit. Designed to fit a variety of Ford F-150 pickups made through 2017, this cover stretches over 67.1-inch pickup beds easily. Made out of highly tough materials that comprise Extang’s EnduraShield, you’ll be surprised when you see that this cover is just 1-inch thick. Lightweight and thin, you’ll get a high level of reliability — and the cover is even protected against dents, scratches, and UV fading thanks to its unique polymer.


The cover is also surprisingly easy to snap on. Made with an exclusive and patented jaw grip and EZ-lock clamps, the panels will lock out weather, potential thieves, and other lurking dangers securely. The professionally engineered frame is made out of aluminum, with powder-coated hinges meant to match your truck easily.

Honorable Mention
Access Lomax Hard Folding Tonneau Cover

The Access Lomax Hard Tonneau Cover is just the right choice if you have a more compact truck bed. It’s a tri-fold hardtop truck bed cover that can fit your 2015-2017 Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon truck that has a 5-foot bed. The cover has a low-profile design and is finished with a matte black finish. The panels automatically latch when putting them into place. The entire cover is made in the USA and comes with a five-year warranty.


The panels have a coating of LINE-X on the outside to increase their durability and strength. This prevents dents and scuffs from working in more extreme locations. Another standout feature is the dual-action tailgate seal. This lets you close your tailgate with the last panel either up or down. That way, you have more freedom in how you carry items in the bed of your truck.


Unfortunately, there is no locking feature on the cover, so you can’t fully secure your belongings in the bed. It’s also three large panels instead of four, like some of the other covers, which can make them bulky to move. The cable system on the underside can stretch and wear out, which causes it to become loose and not function properly.

Tips

  • All tonneau covers are designed to fit a specific truck bed model and size. Look at the compatibility list of each cover you consider before buying one. 
  • It helps to know the exact dimensions of your truck bed. This way, you can get an idea of how much room a cover will take up while folded.
  • Double-check a cover's installation once you are finished setting it up for the first time. Make sure everything is tight and secure. 

FAQ

Q. Why should I buy a folding cover?

Folding tonneau covers are more convenient than solid, one-piece designs. They can be easily accessed and don't take up too much space.

Q. Is a hardcover better than a soft one?

A hardcover is better for keeping people and the weather out.

Q. What do I need to install a folding hard tonneau cover?

Some tonneau covers have all the hardware attached to the cover itself. Others will come with the necessary hardware you can attach to the side.

Q. What is the best hard folding tonneau cover?

When it comes to choosing a folding cover, we like the BAKFlip MX4. This sole tonneau cover combines durability with solid, secure protection — and you can even secure it in place while it’s folded back.

Q. Can I go through a car wash with a tonneau cover?

If you have a hard top tonneau installed on your truck, you’re all good to drive through a car wash. While soft covers can’t withstand the water or pressurized sprays, hard covers — even folding models — can, thanks to their tougher composition. Just keep in mind that hand washing is always best, as a car wash could wind up scratching or scraping the painted finish. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for the best of the best, our top choice is the BAKFlip MX4. However, you can still get a great cover — like the Rugged Liner Premium Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover — if you’d like a more budget-friendly option.