Truck bed covers are a popular accessory for pickup truck owners who want to protect their cargo from the elements and keep it secure. With so many types of covers available on the market, choosing the right one for your needs can be challenging. This article will outline the different types of truck bed cover available and their advantages and disadvantages.
Different Types of Truck Bed Covers
Plenty of truck bed covers in the market breakdown by price, durability, warranty, and level of security. Bed covers come in 6 different types, but they are categorized into two sections which are:
Before we jump into the different types of Truck Bed Covers, let me demonstrate the difference between soft and hard. Soft bed covers are made up of soft vinyl. It keeps the cargo protected and secure but not as safe as hard bed covers. In addition, they give trucks a sleek and soft appearance by allowing them a low-profile look.
In contrast, Hard bed covers are made of hard plastic, fiberglass, and aluminum, making them rugged. It provides the truck with a high-profile look and cannot quickly wear and tear.
1. Roll-up Truck Bed Covers
Roll-up covers are made of vinyl or canvas and roll up at the front of the bed for easy access. They are lightweight and easy to install but may not be as secure as hardcovers. These covers are a great option for those who want an affordable and easy-to-use cover.
We Recommend: TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Our extensive guide on best tonneau cover reviews will help you decide the one.
2- Folding Tonneau Cover
When we discuss Types of Truck Bed Covers, folding bed covers have their own impact. Folding bed covers have 3 or 4 panels that fold up. Both are durable and stable. The panels fold towards the cab and are exposed to as much of the truck bed as desired. This cover is easy to operate and can be locked in multiple open positions.
Hard Folding Covers
Hard folding covers are made of rigid materials such as aluminum or fiberglass and fold up in sections for easy access to the truck bed. They offer excellent protection from the elements and can be locked for added security. These covers are a great option for those who want a durable and secure cover.
- Provides excellent protection from the elements
- It can be locked for added security.
- Durable and long-lasting
- Easy to install
- It may be heavier and more difficult to remove than other types of covers.
- More expensive than other types of covers
It is best for both worlds regarding protection from outer elements and got weatherstripping all around the edges and is also a very effective tonneau cover for theft protection. It is manufactured with a mixture of fiberglass and aluminum, making its texture hard and providing a Low profile look, and it can hold up to 300-600 pounds.
Soft Folding Truck Bed Cover
The soft folding tonneau cover is perfect for family use, such as protecting their sports and fishing cargo, groceries, etc. It features heavy-duty aluminum and leather vinyl.
Soft folding covers are made of vinyl or canvas and fold up in sections like hard folding covers. They are lightweight and easy to install, but may not provide as much protection as hard covers. These covers are a great option for those who want a lightweight and affordable cover.
- Lightweight and easy to install
- Easy to remove
- It may not provide as much protection from the elements as hardcovers
- Less durable than hard covers
- It may not be as secure as hardcovers.
A hard folding tonneau cover performs the same function but adds extra protection and shielding. It has a rugged surface and provides a layer of security from theft and heavy rain. But soft are more affordable and less heavy. You can read these pros and cons to know further:
3- Snap-on Tonneau Cover
The snap bed cover is the most common one from the different types of tonneau covers. It is manufactured with an aluminum frame that attaches to the truck bed rails. However, truck owners do not prefer it because the snap tonneau cover is not very waterproof, and the vinyl tends to shrink in wintertime.
You can operate this bed cover by doing a latch or unlatch to access your bed cover. The loading capacity of the snap tonneau cover is 24 pounds.
We Recommend: BAK BAKFlip G2 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
4- Retractable Tonneau Cover
Regarding Types of Truck Bed Covers, best retractable bed covers are a considerable option for trucks. It is the upgraded version of a rolling-on bed cover. But rather than roll onto the top of the truck, it rolls into a canister inside the bed. This type of tonneau cover withdraws itself and the rearward of the truck when you hit the button.
It has aluminum slats underneath a leather-grained texture of matte black vinyl, which is exceptionally high quality. The aluminum slats protect it from thieves. One can not cut it with a knife and access the cargo.
It has a unique style of weatherstripping all around the bed rails, protecting the cargo from external components. Also, it has weatherstrips up by the locking mechanism. It protects it from all the weather systems all year round.
When your tailgate is shut, and your cover is locked, no one can access your cargo. It has a sealed ball bearing system that provides smooth operation and prevents the cover from binding while opening and closing. You can load more than 500 pounds and look good.
We Recommend: Roll N Lock M-Series Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
5- One-piece Truck bed cover
The hinged tonneau cover is the most stylish and luxurious type. This style gives your truck a classy, sleek look that complements your vehicle. It protects your cargo from the outer element and reduces aerodynamic drag.
It is made up of fiberglass, hard plastic, and aluminum. There are twin weatherstrip beds seals around the bed rails and the tailgate to ensure that the moisture does not go. This hinged-style tonneau cover is best to shield your cargo.
You can design this cover by matching it with your vehicle color; the cover appears to be an integral part of your vehicle. With this tonneau cover, your truck will become a trunk, and you can load around 1600 lb. It does not require opening or folding, lift, and you are ready to go.
We Recommend: TruXedo Deuce Hybrid Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
6- Hinged Covers
Hinged covers are made of hard materials and hinge at the back of the bed for easy access. They offer good security and protection from the elements but may not be as easy to remove as other types of covers. These covers are a great option for those who want a secure cover that provides excellent protection.
Caps are also called canopy and camper shells and it is always discussed Caps vs Tonneau Cover. It is best for camping and outdoor activities. If your truck is covered with the cap, you won’t need to worry about the gear and other tools. It provides complete security to prevent your cargo from getting dry. Moreover, it keeps equipment protected from outer elements and the eyes of the prey.
In a nutshell, the cap is an innovative version of the bed covers. You can easily sleep inside it while camping because of its great height. The cargo can be loaded from the back of the truck. The best part of installing a cap is you can paint it the same as your vehicle’s color. It gives your truck a more attractive and captivating look.
What is the most secure type of tonneau cover?
The most secure type of tonneau cover from various types of truck bed covers is generally a hardcover with a locking mechanism. Hardcovers are typically made of durable materials, such as fiberglass or aluminum, which are difficult to cut through or pry open.
Some hardcovers also come with a locking mechanism that prevents unauthorized access to the truck bed, making them a good choice for anyone who wants to protect their cargo from theft.
One of the most secure types of hardcovers is the retractable cover, which can be locked in any position along the bed rail, providing flexibility for hauling larger items while still protecting smaller items stored beneath the cover.
Retractable covers also typically have a locking mechanism that is difficult to pick or tamper with, making them a very secure option.
While soft covers can also provide some degree of security, they are generally less secure than hardcovers because they can be cut or punctured more easily. However, some soft covers do come with locking mechanisms or can be used in conjunction with a tailgate lock to provide a higher level of security.
Things to Consider When Buying a Tonneau cover
As a truck expert, there are several things that you should consider when buying a tonneau cover from different types of truck bed covers for your truck. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:
The first and foremost thing to consider when buying a tonneau cover is the compatibility with your truck. You need to make sure that the cover is designed to fit your truck’s make and model.
Tonneau covers are available in a variety of materials, including vinyl, canvas, fiberglass, and aluminum. Each material has its own pros and cons, so you need to choose the one that suits your needs and budget.
Another important factor to consider is security. If you frequently transport valuable items in your truck bed, you may want to invest in a tonneau cover that offers a high level of security. Some covers come with locking mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access.
You should also consider the ease of installation. Some tonneau covers require professional installation, while others can be easily installed by the owner.
Tonneau covers are available in a variety of styles, including hard and soft covers. You need to choose the one that matches your personal style and complements the overall look of your truck.
Finally, you need to consider the price. Tonneau covers are available at different price points, so you need to choose the one that fits your budget. Keep in mind that the cheapest option may not always be the best choice in the long run, as it may not offer the durability and functionality you need.
If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, you need to consider a tonneau cover that is weather-resistant. Some covers are designed to protect your truck from rain, snow, and extreme temperatures.
Truck bed covers have weather strips that help to keep the water and moisture away from the cargo. I got a folding bed cover for my truck that has weather stripping all around the edges and is excellent for shielding against water.
You can read about: 7 Best Waterproof Tonneau Covers – Ultimate Reviews
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you break into a Tonneau cover?
It is possible to break into a tonneau cover, but the level of difficulty and effort required to do so will depend on the type of cover and its security features. Some tonneau covers, such as hard covers with locking mechanisms, are designed to provide a high level of security and are much more difficult to break into than soft covers or covers without locking mechanisms.
Are Tonneau covers noisy?
The noise level of a tonneau cover will depend on the type of cover, the material it is made of, and how it is installed. Some tonneau covers, such as hard covers, are generally quieter than soft covers because they fit more tightly and are less prone to flapping in the wind.
However, even hard covers can sometimes make noise if they are not installed properly or if there is air trapped underneath. Soft covers, on the other hand, may be more prone to flapping and can make noise at higher speeds, especially if they are not tensioned properly or if they are worn or damaged.
Are Hard rolling Tonneau covers secure?
Hard rolling tonneau covers are more secure than soft ones. They are made of hard aluminum and fiberglass, making the top rugged. In such a way, it provides protection and security against thefts and outer elements.
Does Tonneau cover improve Gas mileage?
Yes, a tonneau cover can improve gas mileage by reducing aerodynamic drag and improving the overall airflow over the truck bed. Studies have shown that a tonneau cover can improve gas mileage by up to 10%, depending on driving conditions and other factors. However, the actual amount of improvement may vary depending on the type of cover and the specific vehicle.
There are several types of truck bed covers available on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Soft covers, such as roll-up and tri-fold covers, are typically less expensive and more lightweight than hardcovers, but may be less durable and secure. Hardcovers, such as hinged, retractable, and folding covers, are generally more secure and durable, but may be heavier and more expensive. When choosing a tonneau cover, it’s important to consider factors such as compatibility, material, weather resistance, security, installation, style, and price to find the cover that best meets your needs and preferences.
Joshea Mark is a trucker with a wealth of experience and a keen eye for quality. He has spent countless hours on the road and knows firsthand the importance of having a reliable tonneau cover to protect his cargo. That’s why Joshea is so passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.
At Best in Tonneau Covers, he reviews the latest and greatest covers on the market, compares different brands, and writes buyer guides to help truckers like himself make informed decisions. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the world of trucking, Joshea’s insights and advice are sure to be valuable. His writing is authentic and personal, reflecting his years of experience and his genuine desire to help others.