Don't pay attention to all of the specs and jargon automakers toss out about their pickup trucks. It's all nonsense. The only thing that matters is the bed. Well, for the most part. Payload capacity is also essential. Either way, the bed is what makes a truck so versatile.
Unfortunately, one of the best things about it is also the worst. It's a big, wide-open cavity that's perfect for storing tools, gear, furniture, and even other vehicles in. Unfortunately, anything that's back there is exposed to everything the truck is. If you want to add protection but want to keep the bed completely accessible, a roll-up tonneau cover is the way to go.
Best Overall: TruXedo Truxport Soft Cover
Best Value: Gator ETX Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover
Honorable Mention: BAK Revolver X2 Hard Rolling Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Best Premium: Lund Genesis Elite Roll Up Soft Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Best Hook-and-Loop On a Budget: Velocity Concepts Roll-Up Soft Tonneau Cover
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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. Knowledge is horsepower!
Best Roll-Up Tonneau Covers Reviews & Recommendations
For the money, the TruXedo Truxport Soft Cover is hard to beat. It's simple, built well, protected with a warranty, and affordable. However, the Gator ETX Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover is not a bad way to go if you need something more economical. What's your pick? be sure to reach out and tell us what you think the best roll-up cover is!
What to Consider When Buying Roll-Up Tonneau Covers
What if you're not ready to jump on a tonneau cover just because a few have been recommended to you? That's a good thing. You should want to know more about these types of covers ad what your options are. That's exactly what the following sections are here for. They highlight key features as well as some things you certainly need to know before you spend the time and money that goes into popping one of these bad boys in place. Don't worry. It's a lot less complicated than I'm making it sound.
Types of Roll-Up Tonneau Covers
Soft covers are the most common and most basic version out there. However, there's a little more going on than simply stretching a piece of vinyl over the bed of your truck. These are set in place with the use of a metal frame that bolts to the bed. The frame extends down the bedsides and is paired with either a hook-and-loop system or snaps to anchor the vinyl in place. Underneath the vinyl are metal bows to provide structural support that keeps the cover from distorting and coming undone when forces are encountered. These are a go-to option due to their cost-effective nature and ease of use, but they don't offer the best security as they are primarily a simple piece of fabric that's not going to stop much other than the weather.
Hard rolling tonneau covers are the clear choice when security and support are necessary. Rather than the primary material being a simple layer of vinyl and fabric, a layer of metal or plastic plates rest underneath. These sheets are narrow and able to fold over each other so that the cover can roll out of the way just like their vinyl counterparts. Using these harder materials is great for keeping snow and other threats from collapsing the cover, but they can also keep thieves out. These can be very expensive, though, and you will need a locking tailgate to get the most out of them.
The first detail you need to sort out is whether or not the tonneau cover actually fits the truck. This seems like a relatively easy detail to sort out, but it can be more complicated than you originally imagined. That's because truck manufacturers don't necessarily stick to a standard with sizing. Cabin sizes don't always determine bed size, and measurements can be taken in several ways. Your best bet is to read into the exact make and model of your truck to find out how to measure your bed and go from there. A year-make-model search can simplify the ordeal, but even then, you may need to take measurements to be sure.
It always helps to stick with top brands, especially in the case of tonneau covers when prices are pretty level across all manufacturers. That said, you still want to do a little bit of homework on any you're considering. Make sure to sort out who's using quality vinyl, how well-made the latches are, and which frames hold up the best. Keep in mind that the elements you're regularly exposed to will play a big role in which models are best suited to your truck.
In most cases, roll-up tonneau covers feature hook-and-loop systems down the rails to keep the vinyl in place. There are, however, many that still use snap buttons to get the job done. Which is better will ultimately come down to personal preference. Hook-and-loop is generally easier to install, and they do a fine job of securing the cover. However, some prefer the positive engagement of the snaps, and you should hash out this detail if you're partial to one over the other.
- All tonneau covers offer security by covering up whatever is in your bed. If thieves can't see it, they're less likely to take the risk.
- To get the most weatherproofing out of a hardcover, invest in one with a dedicated drainage system or take some time to add some extra proofing. Even simple weatherstripping goes a long way to prevent moisture or more from getting into the truck bed.
- Learn to care for your cover. Use the products the manufacturer recommends and clean it accordingly. This will help you get the most out of your investment.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q. How long does it take to install a truck cover?
A. You can expect anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour for installation, depending on the design. Hardcovers take the longest because of their complex design and a greater number of parts that must be installed. This will also depend on the make and model vehicle you're working with since different trucks like the new Chevy Silverado and old Dodge Rams have unique bed profiles.
Q. Do roll-up truck covers really save a lot of space in the bed?
A. Most of the time, yes. They usually only take up a few inches at most when rolled up. Because harder roll-up covers use metal segments that can't bend like fabric, this design tends to take up more room (usually 8-12 inches). But even then there's still plenty of access to the bed.
Q. Can I drive with my cover open?
A. As long as you can secure the cover when it's rolled up, which is the case in most situations, you can drive with it in that position. It's just important to double-check before you take off, as letting it fly freely in the wind is bound to cause trouble.