Best Retractable Tonneau Covers: Secure Your Truck Bed

Secure your truck bed with these top retractable tonneau covers.

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Best Retractable Tonneau Covers: Secure Your Truck Bed © Best Retractable Tonneau Covers: Secure Your Truck Bed

In a perfect world, retractable tonneau covers wouldn't be a necessity. It would never rain or snow when your truck is full of stuff you're transporting, but it does. And a thieves' hands wouldn't ever slip into your truck's bed and take something you care about, but they do. Although we exist in an imperfect world, retractable tonneau covers make it so much easier to live in. Of all the types of tonneau covers, retractables offer the best blend of security and ease of access to your bed. I've made a buying guide to help you understand what features to look out for when choosing a retractable tonneau cover. I've also included a list of all the best retractable tonneau covers, ranked under a variety of categories.

Summary List

Our Methodology

Best Retractable Tonneau Covers Reviews & Recommendations 2022

Our Verdict

I've chosen the Gator Recoil Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover as the best overall retractable tonneau cover. This model takes the award because it offers the best blend of durability, value, and protection. If you're on a tight budget, then check out the value pick, the Pace Edwards Switchblade.

Things to Consider When Buying a Retractable Tonneau Cover

Cover Material

The materials a tonneau cover is made from will largely dictate its price. Look for retractable bed models that have slats made from strong aluminum slats, which are textured and powder-coated. Models that use aluminum slats are much harder to break into than ones that use vinyl, but if you're not worried about theft, then choosing a vinyl cover could help to keep costs down. There should be a waterproof sealant where the cover meets the bed rail to keep your cargo dry. You should also look for a cover that has UV protection and is scratch-resistant.

Locking Mechanism

Some covers have a heavy-duty lock that's built into the top of the retractable cover. These are the most convenient for accessing the bed quickly and keeping it protected when necessary. Other retractable designs have a latch that's connected to the tailgate, so when you lock the tailgate, you also lock the tonneau cover and need to carry fewer keys. 

You should look for a tonneau cover that allows you to lock the cover anywhere along the bed's rails. This enables you to secure cargo that protrudes above the top of the bed. Some covers won't enable you to lock the cover anywhere at any time but will instead feature a certain amount of lockable positions that you can customize.


One area many retractable tonneau covers fall behind in is waterproofing. Most are quite resistant to the elements, but they can have a hard time keeping water out of a truck's bed in poor weather conditions. Look for a model with good weather sealing, which keeps dust and most moisture out. A neoprene sealant where the bed meets the rail is always a good option.


Truck beds come in many shapes and sizes, so it only makes sense that this is the case with tonneau covers too. Most tonneau cover manufacturers will make the same model in several versions and sizes to fit different trucks. So, before buying a cover, make sure you've selected the right one for your make of truck and the correct size for its bed.

Retractable Tonneau Cover Pricing

Most retractable tonneau covers will fall in the $700-1,200 price range. Covers in this price range will use relatively good materials and tend to be reliable. For most people, covers in this price bracket will be fine, and the most notable feature to look out for is a cover that locks in any position along the bed's rail. Models priced between $1,200-2,000 usually have some handy features like torsion springs to help retract the cover. You'll also find covers in this price range that are more waterproof and resistant to dust and snow.


You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q. Are retractable covers better than other tonneau options?

If you value quick access to the bed and a good amount of protection from the elements and thieves, this is the best type of cover for your bed. Single-lid and paneled tonneau covers offer the same, if not more, protection from thieves but make it harder to access your bed quickly. Soft covers are great for weather resistance but don't offer much protection against break-in attempts.

Q. What will I need to install a retractable cover?

This depends on the model and your vehicle. Most use a three-piece setup that includes the housing, cover, and two support rails. To install these, most kits require basic tools like a socket wrench for the fasteners. Few may require pre-drilling holes into the truck bed itself, but most use clamps that attach to the edge of the bed without any modifications.

Q. Are retractable tonneau covers waterproof?

Many retractable tonneau covers claim to be waterproof, but in reality, most will eventually let some water in. However, a retractable tonneau that uses high-quality materials for sealants will do a good job at keeping snow, water, and dust out in the majority of situations. In short, these covers offer great water resistance, but if having a waterproof cover is your main priority, then you should check out one-piece covers.

Q. Are tonneau covers easy to break into?

A skilled thief will be able to break into a retractable tonneau cover. But for someone without the proper skills or tools, a tonneau cover offers enough protection to keep your cargo safe, however, you'll need a retractable cover that has aluminum slats as opposed to vinyl, which can easily be cut.

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