LAST UPDATED: October 9, 2019
Best Hard Folding Tri-Fold Tonneau Covers: Up the Protection in Your Truck Bed
Here are the best choices for covering up your truck bed
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PUBLISHED ON October 9, 2019
Tonneau covers are the perfect solution to the security issues an open truck bed can present. Without the cover, people can come around and take loose things out of the bed. The right cover creates a protective barrier, which is why hard folding covers are such a popular option. If you want to see what this type of tonneau cover can offer you, read on for our guide below.
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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 protect anything you put back there.
- 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.
Types of Hard Folding Tonneau Covers
These truck bed covers are soft and roll back towards the cab. It’s typically a soft cover that will give you full access to your truck bed when open. These covers are typically lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to maneuver. These are typically the most affordable covers, but they also lack security capabilities.
A folding tonneau cover uses several panels that fold back on top of each other. You’ll find some covers that fold completely out of the way to give you complete access to your truck bed. You should also look for one with fastening straps. This will let you secure the folded panels so you can drive with the cover partially or fully open.
A retracting truck bed cover is similar to a roll up in that when it's unrolled; it’s flat out over your truck bed. Then it rolls up on itself up towards the cab. The differences are that there’s a canister that the cover rolls up into, and can be motorized. Retracting covers are also made of several hard panels that “flex” as the cover rolls up into the canister.
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, Indiana, to a worldwide powerhouse. All of its covers are made in the United States. Check out it's Easy On/Off Low Profile Tonneau Covers.
Founded in 1995 in Owosso, Michigan, 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 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.
Hard Folding Tonneau Covers Pricing
- Under $100: These are basic covers that are typically soft covers, such as a roll-up. They’ll lack features and typically be made of vinyl with Velcro as the sealing function.
- $100 to $500: These are good-quality covers that are typically either high-end 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: These are 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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 2020
This 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. This can result in leaks. It’s also common to find some manufacturing errors where the holes are drilled in the wrong location. There are also some vibration issues because you can’t get a secure seal.
This folding truck bed cover from Rugged Liner 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 LED lights to help you see in your truck bed better at night.
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.
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. To buy your cover, you’ll need to choose the year—either 2004-2013 or 2015-2020. Then you’ll need to pick the right length—either a 5- or 6-foot bed.
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, the quick-release cables can wear out, which will make the quick-release function hard to operate. This cover also tends to leak. The lock will also eventually rust and become unusable.
This hard tonneau cover fits a 5.5-foot truck bed. 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.
This hard truck bed cover from Mopar will fit a 6.3-foot truck bed. 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.
This folding truck bed cover from Ikon Motorsports fits an 8-foot bed. This means it’ll work on a 2015- 2017 Ford F-150. If this isn’t your truck, Ikon makes several other covers that may fit. Their tonneau covers are made with aluminum frames and have a rubber strip around the edge. It is a tri-fold style.
This cover is lightweight and durable. It will also provide a secure seal for your truck bed with a rubber sealed edge. Once installed, this cover will provide you with a secure place to store your belongings. Then when you’re ready to take it off, the quick-release buckles will make quick work of the removal process.
Unfortunately, the installation instructions are not included. Good luck figuring it out on your own. It’s probably best if you have a professional install it. The clamps attaching the panels are plastic and can break.
LEER is one of the more well-known names in aftermarket truck bed covers. It should be no surprise that their hard tri-fold bed cover has made it onto this list. This particular model fits the 2016 Nissan Titan, but you’ll have no problem finding the cover that fits your truck. This cover fits a truck bed that’s 5 foot 6 inches long. Installation is drill-free.
One big standout feature of this cover is the anytime latch. You can latch the cover even when the tailgate is down. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another folding hardcover on the market that can do that. It also has an exclusive latching system that lets you easily open your cover with one hand from either side of your truck. You can also stow your panels away in an upright position to make more space for your larger cargo.
Unfortunately, there’s no locking system on this cover. You also can’t access the front of your truck bed without removing the first two panels. This cover is also extremely limited in its compatibility.
If you have a 2017 through 2019 Ford Super Duty F-250 or F-350 truck with a 6.9-foot bed, then this tonneau cover is for you. Gator Covers makes several different truck bed covers, so if you drive a different truck, you’re sure to find the one you need.
This cover stands out because it’s more durable than most of the other covers on this list. It’s reinforced with fiberglass, so the polymer and aluminum panels are strong. It also has slam latches that automatically secure the cover in place when you close the panels. If you need to open the cover, you can use the prop rods to help you hold the cover in a fully-open position. This gives you full access to your truck bed contents.
Unfortunately, while you can fold the cover up, it’s still going to be at the front of the truck with the prop rods holding it up. So you may find yourself limited in how you load your truck bed. The cable pull lock system used to open the cover can wear out, making it almost impossible to use.
This hard folding truck bed cover will fit a 2016 through 2020 Nissan Titan with a 6.5-foot truck bed. If you have a different truck, you can find several other models from Undercover Storage. This cover is low-profile and flush with the top of your truck. The panels are made out of aluminum to make them lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant.
The cover folds into thirds and can be lifted to allow full access to the entire truck bed. There are support posts to hold the cover up and out of the way. The outside has a black matte finish that is treated with a patented LINE-X coating to make it incredibly durable.
Unfortunately, this cover isn’t a secure fit in the truck bed. There’s some slight slack in the system, that if you don’t adjust, it will make the cover feel loose. You’ll also want to double-check the clips, as not all of them will work with all beds, despite the beds being the same size.
This tri-fold hardtop truck bed cover will 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.
- 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.
Q. Why should I buy a folding cover?
A. 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. A hardcover is better for keeping people and the weather out.
Q. What do I need to install a folding hard tonneau cover?
A. 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.
Our top pick for the best hard folding tonneau cover is the BAKFlip MX4.
A great option for saving some money is the Rugged Liner Premium Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover if you don't want to sacrifice on the quality of the cover.