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A Review of Tonneau Covers

Review of Tonneau Covers

Image Source: Mr.choppers, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Disclaimer: Some links on this page are affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase through these links. See our full disclaimer here.

If you were to ask someone why they love their truck so much, you’ll get several different answers. Some people love their trucks for being large and powerful, while others make use of all-terrain tires to go on an adventure. However, one commonly talked about the benefit of owning and driving a truck is the ability to haul equipment in the back. A truck’s transportation abilities are unrivaled by regular cars and cannot be underestimated.

If you want to protect the supplies in the back from the weather, thieves, animals, and more, you need to purchase a truck bed cover, or tonneau cover. Not only do they look good, but they protect your haul as well.

But what if you don’t know how to choose a tonneau cover? You need something affordable, yet functional, protective yet stylish, and designed for your specific needs. That’s why we’re here to review the best tonneau covers available, to help you decide what to get for your truck, and always ensure that, no matter what happens, you’re covered.

What Is A Tonneau Cover

What Is A Tonneau Cover?

If you’re a new truck owner, you might be wondering what a tonneau cover really is. If you intend to store anything in the back of your truck or even just want to make your truck a little more stylish, you’re going to need a truck bed cover, or “tonneau” cover, right away.

Derived from a French word meaning “barrel” or “cask,” a tonneau refers to a type of cover that shields whatever is underneath it in your truck bed. It seems simple enough on the surface. You can use a tonneau cover to protect your haul from being damaged or stolen, and you can remove it when you don’t need it. It also provides the streamlined style that many people like.

What Should You Look For In a Tonneau Cover?

Tonneau covers come in different materials, sizes, and styles, and some have extra parts, such as rack covers for things like boats. They all work differently, too. Each type has different pros and cons depending on what they do, how they attach, and what material they incorporate.

Before you decide what to buy, you need to identify your main concern. Do you simply want to protect your haul from bad weather, mud, or debris? In that case, it’s important to consider that a soft cover might be okay against rain and dirt, but it will sag in heavy snow. However, if you want easy access to the supplies in the back, a soft cover that is easy to remove might be preferable despite its drawbacks.

Some tonneau covers have locks that can protect your belongings from burglars. Others even have a complex water-drainage system similar to roof gutters, if you really want to protect your things from getting wet.

As you can see, it’s important to discover your needs ahead of time, before checking out various tonneau cover reviews. That way, you know exactly what sort of cover you’re looking for.
Otherwise, you may wind up spending your money on something that isn’t the best fit for your needs.

Types of Tonneau Covers

As a general rule, tonneau covers are constructed with either soft or hard materials. “Soft tonneau covers” typically refer to cloth or fabric covers, commonly made with vinyl. “Hard tonneau covers” refer to covers made of metal or fiberglass, with aluminum being a favorite for its defensive qualities.

Soft covers are typically easier to use and remove, especially if you need to open the bed part way or make room for an oddly shaped object. However, when it comes to protection and style, hard covers are preferred for their solid nature and are designed to withstand both the elements and potential thieves, regardless of whether those thieves are humans or animals. While newer soft covers are starting to be designed with greater protection in mind, a material like vinyl still risks getting sliced open by an attacker. Meanwhile, harder covers aren’t always difficult to remove, but can get rusty if not properly cared for.

There are a few types of tonneau covers to discuss. The four we’ll be reviewing here are the most common types: folding, roll-up, hinged, and retractable. While there are other varieties, including electric and snap covers, these four show the most range of use, while also being easy to find and use for your own purposes.

Roll-Up Tonneau Covers

Roll-up tonneau covers are primarily soft covers made of materials such as vinyl or another durable, synthetic fabric. While hard versions constructed of connected strips of lightweight plastics do exist, they’re not as common. These are often harder to install, but may offer better protection.

Pros:

  • Easy to install and use due to having very few parts or mechanisms involved.
  • They offer more bed space than other covers do when fully retracted.

Cons:

  • The standard soft-cover design is less protective from either thieves or the elements.
  • These covers typically have a shorter lifespan than other cover styles.

 Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover

 

Best Roll Up Cover: OEDRO® Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover

Oedro’s soft roll up cover is made of PVC, which has been designed with both protection and style in mind. It’s resistant to UV rays to keep your supplies safe from the elements.

A consumer reviewer said: “Worked great, held up to some really fast speeds of 80 mph and 40 mph cross winds.”

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Foldable Tonneau Covers

Folding tonneau covers come in a few varieties and are most often found in the tri-fold variety. The quad-fold style, with its smaller folding sections, is a close second. These covers employ the use of folding panels to expand and fold up as needed, stacking on top of each other and resting at the edge of the truck bed when not in use. They can be made of either hard or soft materials.

Pros:

  • olding covers are easy to install, not requiring any extra tools or products.
  • Because they can be made of various materials and come in various sub-styles, the market for folding covers is wide open, giving you plenty of options to choose from when compared to other cover varieties.
  • Hard folding covers are fairly durable.
  • Soft folding covers are more affordable.

Cons:

  • While they can retract, they still take up space in the truck bed. This restricts what objects you can put in the back. Large or oddly-shaped loads might not be able to fit at all without removing the tonneau cover entirely.
  • Hard folding covers may come at a higher price than soft ones.
  • Soft folding covers are not as durable as hard folding covers.

Best Soft Foldable Cover: OEDRO® Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover

This cover is a soft tri-fold tonneau cover made of highly-resistant Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC, designed to withstand the elements. This cover includes a weather strip to protect the inside of the truck even further, and clamps on easily to the rails of the bed when installed.

A consumer stated: “Easy to install, my Nissan has the utility track, and the extra hardware supplied worked perfectly. Looks great on the truck and for the price, it cannot be beaten!”

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Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover

 

RedMtnFunding Tonneau Covers Hard Roll Up

Best Hard Fold Cover: OEDRO® Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover

This hard, tri-fold cover is one of the strongest tonneau covers, made with a double-layer aluminum honeycomb panel and designed to carry up to 350 pounds and provide maximum-level security for the supplies in your truck.. There are also built-in headlights for the sake of nighttime visibility.

Our consumer reviewer said: “I like this Nissan bed cover. It looks great and keeps things dry.”

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Retractable Tonneau Covers

Much like folding covers, retractable covers can be made of either hard or soft material. The mechanisms by which they retract can vary depending on the material used. Their flat, retractable surface allows you to choose how much of your bed to expose when needed.

Pros:

  • Many utilize electricity, requiring only the press of a button.
  • You’ll have a number of hard and soft retractable covers to choose from, and it’s easy to find one whose durability and price point matches your needs.
  • More durable than roll up covers.
  • Easier to install than most hard covers.

Cons:

  • Tend to be relatively more expensive, due to the extra technology involved.
  • Restrictive, as even when fully retracted, the canister takes up space in the bed.

Best Retractable Cover: Roll N Lock M-Series Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

This cover is a soft tri-fold tonneau cover made of highly-resistant Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC, designed to withstand the elements. This cover includes a weather strip to protect the inside of the truck even further, and clamps on easily to the rails of the bed when installed.

A consumer stated: “Easy to install, my Nissan has the utility track, and the extra hardware supplied worked perfectly. Looks great on the truck and for the price, it cannot be beaten!”

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Roll N Lock M Series Retractable

Hinged Tonneau Covers

Hinged tonneau covers are made of a solid, hard material such as aluminum. They’re a single, flat piece that covers the entire bed and opens using a single hinge, similar to a car’s trunk.

Pros:

  • Hinged covers are aesthetically pleasing. Some truck owners even paint them to better match their trucks.
  • YThese covers are excellent at protecting supplies inside the truck bed. They’re designed to be kept in place and to withstand the elements.

Cons:

  • Hinged covers are harder to install, due to the special hinge mechanism. This also means they’re harder to remove.
  • There have been reports of hinged covers trapping excess heat, which can be bad for both the haul in the truck and the truck’s paint job.
  • These covers restrict the use of your truck bed to anything that can fit underneath the cover, especially since they can’t be partially removed.

UnderCover SE One-Piece

 

Best Hinged Cover: UnderCover SE One-Piece Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

The UnderCover SE is a solid black hinged cover made of a durable, scratch-resistant, thermoplastic polymer known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. It’s designed to be aerodynamic and stylish, especially for owners interested in using paint.

A satisfied reviewer said: “I love the way it looks on my truck. It is weatherproof & locks securely. If I go shopping or on a trip I know my luggage or packages are safe & secure. It is simple to install & light enough to remove & hang on the wall if needed.”

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Choosing a Tonneau Cover

Choosing a tonneau cover offers a number of benefits beyond improving the look and style of your truck. You’re gaining the means of a roomier and safer transport of items, improving gas mileage by eliminating air drag, and increasing the overall value of your vehicle. A small modification can make a huge impact on style and convenience.

Creative Ways to Get More Storage in Your Truck

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Creative Ways to Get More Storage in Your Truck

Disclaimer: Some links on this page are affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase through these links. See our full disclaimer here.

Trucks are the best way to haul your possessions, lend a hand, or take an adventure. Americans love our pickup trucks because they’re the perfect union between freedom and utility. And what’s better is that you can customize your truck to suit your needs with endless possibilities. When you need to bring enough for the entire family, you’re moving, or you just need some extra space, there are many options for expanding the capacity of your truck.

Deciding how to plan and organize your truck’s storage space might seem like a difficult riddle to solve, but with the right solutions, you’ll be well-organized and ready to go in no time. Consider the following creative ways to get more storage space in your truck.

Truck Interior Storage Ideas

The inside of your truck can be improved to help you carry more items. You can accomplish this while keeping them easily accessible while driving and bringing more items with you when you set off for a new adventure.

When you need to store your items in the interior of the truck, here are some ideas:

Cab Organizers

compact organizational units
Many different companies sell cab organizers with multiple pockets for keeping tools and other items from being tossed onto the floor. Most hook in right behind the front seats for easy access. Consider compact organizational units that fit under the seats of your truck to offer some additional storage space. They can hold most small to medium items and are made of a durable and heavy-duty material that can last for many years down the road.

Start Shopping: Cab Organizers

Console Storage

Console Storage
Console storage also helps keep your items in reach and organized. Some lock into the console and give you extra cups and spaces for your keys, wallets, and other belongings. You can also consider console safes made of durable steel to protect your valuables. These safes insert safely and securely into the center console and can keep your items hidden from even the most determined of intruders.
 

Start Shopping: Console Storage

Storage Nets

Storage Nets
Truck storage nets can be attached between the back and front seats for specific items that you know you will need during a drive. Easily accessed from either front seat, you can keep snacks, gear, tools, and more next to you so you can access them at any time. You can also purchase nets for your truck bed.
 
 

Start Shopping: Storage Nets

Truck Bed Storage

Truck beds work wonderfully for moving items of all sizes from place to place, but there is always more you can do to expand your truck’s storage capacity to fit your needs.

Bed Extenders

Bed Extenders

Bed extenders hook into the back of the truck bed to expand your truck bed and lengthen it to better fit your possessions. They come with a secure extension to keep from dropping any of your cargo.

Start Shopping: Bed Extenders

Truck Bed Covers

Truck Bed Covers

Truck bed covers help keep your cargo safe and secured. Don’t go without one! A tonneau cover is an optimal choice because it protects the top of your truck bed. If you decide to go with a soft tonneau cover, you can choose from vinyl materials. Hard tonneau covers are made from aluminum, fiberglass, or hard plastics. Both options of truck bed covers will keep your truck bed protected and also help create a usable space at the wheel well that can hold additional items.

Be sure to purchase a truck bed cover that is specific to your truck make, year, and model to ensure the correct fit. Quality truck bed covers are built with durable, waterproof materials to last for a thousand rides.

Start Shopping: Bed Covers

Cargo Bags

Cargo Bags

Cargo bags and nets attach to the front of the truck bed and can hold smaller items out of the way of the main truck bed. They also hold these items so that they won’t shift during your travels.

Start Shopping: Cargo Bags

Cargo Bars

Cargo Bars

Cargo bars attach anywhere within the truck bed and help organize your things and keep them from falling out or moving around during your drives. Sliding items can damage your truck bed and cargo bars can prevent that from happening.

Start Shopping: Cargo Bars

Overhead Truck Racks

Overhead Truck Racks

Overhead truck racks install easily and can help further organize and secure items in your truck bed. They can be used to ensure that larger and taller items don’t shift or fall out of the truck bed. The rack can also be used to store items over the truck bed and leave the bed itself for other items.

Start Shopping: Overhead Truck Racks

Truck Drawers

Truck Drawers

Truck drawers add an additional layer of both space and organization to your truck bed. Many are customizable for your needs and roll out of the truck bed to extend the length of your cargo hold. Items can be stored within the drawer as well and give you a safe and secure space for your items, keeping them from scratching your truck bed.

Start Shopping: Truck Drawers

Truck Bed Organizer DIY

There are many different hacks and tricks for expanding or organizing a truck bed that you can possibly even build yourself. Installing your own expansion or organizational system for your truck can be both easy and budget friendly.

Sliding Drawers

Sliding Drawers

Image Credit : Your Projects@OBN

Sliding drawers can be installed in the back of a truck bed to expand the length and capacity of your truck. By simply laying the sliding drawer in the back of the truck, you can pull out the drawer whenever you need the extra length or space for additional cargo.

Bed Slides

Bed Slides

Image Credit : Ford Truck Enthusiasts

Bed slides can be constructed out of simple plywood and placed in the bed to extend the truck bed to whatever specifications you may need. This option is also highly customizable; if you need it wider or if you need it to slide in and out of the truck bed, you can easily construct it accordingly.

Wood Planks

Wood Planks

Image Credit : Colorado Fans

Simple wood planks can be cut and added to the truck bed as bed dividers. These can help you organize your cargo and keep it from sliding. You can experiment with different plank configurations to ensure that you have the proper amount of space and the correct system for organization.

Truck Bed Organizer Ideas

Organizing your truck bed is the best way to ensure that you minimize any damage done to the bed of your truck. It also helps you keep track and keep your truck bed clean. Here are some fun and easy ideas for keeping your truck bed organized.

Tie-Down Racks

Tie-Down Racks

Tie-down tracks can be installed on the bottom of your truck to make it much easier to adjust your truck bed. They also help you tie down and secure any size item. Tie-down racks give you a place within the bed to secure your items without risking damage to the body of the truck. A tie-down track makes it simple to tie down any size item without having to hook it to the truck chassis.

Start Shopping: Tie-Down Racks

Truck Bed Ramps

Tie-Down Racks

Truck bed ramps are easily transported and can be used to bring ATVs, motorcycles, and more along with you anywhere you go. Utilizing these ramps can help you avoid potential damage to the truck or to yourself.

Start Shopping: Truck Bed Ramps

Hanging Baskets

Hanging Baskets

If fitting all of your items is essential before you embark on an adventure, consider a hanging basket. You can secure a hanging basket off the back of the truck bed for smaller items that can be held in the back if you need the additional space.

Start Shopping: Hanging Baskets

Truck Storage Boxes or Pockets

Truck Storage Boxes

A truck storage box is one of the best ways to both organize your truck bed and simultaneously increase your carrying capacity, and there are many options available. Choose from many different sizes; there are options with low profiles and those that stick out higher from the truck bed sides.

These are boxes built specifically to fit into your truck bed, and some are designed to hold your tools so that they stay secure during your travels. If you’re looking for the best storage box for truck beds, choose a truck bed toolbox that is made of durable material that will not tear or rip easily.

You can also consider general storage boxes for truck beds, which allow you to store smaller items and separate them from other items. You can also consider storage boxes for the interior in the form of smaller containers that fit underneath the truck seats.

Truck bed storage pockets are another unique storage option that will help you make the most of your truck bed, whether it is large or small. Truck bed storage pockets are small compartments that are attached to the sidewalls of the truck bed itself. These pockets will give you much more space to store tools or gear in compartments that are easily reachable. The pockets are excellent for both organization and to keep items from rolling around in the truck bed.

Start Shopping: Truck Storage Boxes or Pockets

Cool Things to Do With a Truck Bed

As a truck owner, you understand that there is so much more you can do with your truck bed than just hauling furniture. There are infinite ways to make it useful and more personalized for your needs. Here are some great ideas on how you can improve your truck bed or use it for other fun activities.

Enjoy a Movie Night

Movie Night

Most people agree that movie nights are the best—and truck beds are the perfect place to rest and watch a movie with friends or family. You can also use the back of the truck bed to prop up a projector screen and gather around it with whoever you please to watch a great movie. Don’t forget the popcorn!

Start Shopping: Projectors

Lounge in a Hammock

Lounge in a Hammock

The truck bed is also a perfect place to prop up a hammock and chill out wherever you may be. There are net hammocks available that hang perfectly from any typical truck bed posts, or they can be tightened around the front and back of the truck bed. Choose a truck bed hammock and you’ll be sipping a drink and hanging out without a care in the world in your very own truck bed.

Start Shopping: Truck Bed Hammocks

Add a Truck Bed Bench or Seats

Truck Bed Bench

Truck bed benches and seats are a great way to haul your truck passengers around, take slow-paced tours of an area, or simply transport your group easily. If you’re out camping and want to head to a lake or another sight nearby, having safe and legal truck bed seating is the way to go. Nothing beats riding through nature with the wind in your hair.

Start Shopping: Truck Bed Benches or Seats

Make a Mobile Pool

Mobile Pool

A truck bed can be easily sealed to create your own personal, mobile pool. Seal the bed with a simple tarp and fill it with a hose to create a perfect and memorable summer getaway wherever you are.

Start Shopping: Mobile Pool

Choose the Best Truck Storage Options for You

A truck is a fantastic vehicle, and it can be improved in a multitude of ways that include more storage space and better organizational systems to improve your experience. We hope you enjoyed our ideas on the many unique ways you can maximize storage space in the cab or bed to make truck ownership even more enjoyable and functional for many years to come!