There are a lot of things that make trucks great, but the bed is always the main attraction. 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. That's where tonneau covers come into play.
Made from durable materials and affixed directly to a truck's bed, a hard-shelled tri-fold tonneau cover is one that'll give you peace of mind that the elements won't damage or destroy your cargo. And one of these covers can even lock in your valuables from would-be thieves. Take a look at our list for some great hard-folding tonneau covers options, right here.
Best Overall: BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover
Best Value: DNA Motoring Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover
Honorable Mention: BAK BAKFlip G2 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover
Best for RAM Trucks: Mopar Hard Folding Tonneau Cover
Most Versatile: Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover
Best Low Profile: Access Lomax Hard Folding Tonneau Cover
We can’t put our own hands on every item available. In these instances, we put our collective experience in journalism, research, and prior product testing to use to make our product picks. Items that are used by our own staff may get earnest endorsements as well, but we’ll never accept fees or bonuses to sell you stuff we’re not actually excited about. Affiliate revenue is always disclosed.
The Drive aggregates reviews and research from all over the internet to figure out which products are worth buying. We also put out shopping guides to help you understand how to assess the value of these things on your own. As our editorial cousins at Car Bibles say, “Knowledge is horsepower!
Best Hard Folding Tonneau Covers Reviews & Recommendations
If you’re looking for the best of the best, our top choice is the BAKFlip MX4. The convenience, warranty, and practicality are just hard to beat. However, the DNA Motoring Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover is clearly the choice for budget-minded truck owners. What do you prefer? Be sure to let us know what you demand of hard folding tonneau covers!
What to Consider When Buying Hard Folding Tonneau Covers
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. It's essential to make sure a cover is an exact match to your application's year, make, and model, as well as the specific bed size. Keep in mind that there is no standard when it comes to measurements of the bed, and you may want to research the method your application uses to verify proper length.
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.
The reasons to consider hard covers over soft covers are improved durability, security, and aesthetics. The use of high-quality metals, powder coating, seals, and latches are all key to a cover's success in these areas. Since all manufacturers will claim to use nothing but the best, it's necessary to read reviews for real-world evaluations of performance before purchasing.
The profile may seem like it's related purely to aesthetics, but that's certainly not the case. High-standing hard tonneau covers often sit on top of the bedsides. This can create the appearance many prefer, but it does block the stake pockets. If you intend to use the stake pockets for tie-downs or bedside rails, you will need to select a cover that uncovers them, which generally means opting for a low-profile tonneau cover.
Hard Folding Tonneau Covers Pricing
If you're buying a hard folding tonneau cover, you can expect to pay at least $500. Very few exist in that price range, though, and you're more likely to spend $800-$900. Going for the best offerings on the market can inflate the price well beyond that point, as some of the premier covers in this segment bring in $1500 or better.
You've got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q. Is a hard folding tonneau cover better than a soft cover?
Yes. Hard tonneau covers offer better security, longevity, and resistance to the elements. Looks are subjective, but many will agree that hard tonneau covers are better there too. However, soft covers are more affordable, which makes them the best choice for many people.
Q. What do I need to install a folding hard tonneau cover?
For the most part, all you will need are some basic hand tools and possibly a helping hand. Some do require drilling and modification of existing bed liners, which is why it's best to read to instructions.
Q. Can I go through a car wash with a tonneau cover?
Yes. You can go through the carwash with a tonneau cover. You should make sure everything is latched securely before doing so to prevent getting excessive water in the bed, though.
Q. Are hard tonneau covers waterproof?
No, hard tonneau covers are not waterproof. They are weatherproof, though. Meaning they'll do a good job of keeping rain and other elements off of your cargo under normal driving conditions. Just don't submerge the bed of your truck in water, and you'll be fine.