Pickup truck buyers and owners know the great debate: to bed cover or not to bed cover. A bed cover, depending on the use case, could make or break the practicality of a pickup truck. But for some buyers, having a cover is imperative. Having your cake and eating it too is nearly impossible in this question, but Smartop gets close to answering questions for both camps.
The issue with most bed covers is the tradeoff between payload capacity, storage height, and the loss of some extra practicality. Payload height and extra practicality is solved by a retracting or roll-up bed cover, but then the seal can be imperfect, causing dust and water to enter the bed. One-piece bed covers seal from the elements, but are cumbersome to remove if you want to carry something tall like a motorcycle. Also, they generally don’t have payload capacity.
The Smartop is a single-piece solid bed cover. The difference is that the cover itself has payload capacity, 440 lbs worth of it. This means that the bed can turn into a two-partition trunk. Inside the bed, stored items are protected from the elements. Outside the bed, things like jerry cans and stuff that has weather resistance can be stored safely. With a few ratchet strap points, this transforms that normally useless area into something extremely practical.
Okay, while that's enough to carry certain motorcycles, tall things like bicycles can go outside. It’s an interesting solution for a bed cover that actually expands the usability of a truck. It solves the issue of dry, lockable storage while also keeping some of that open-pickup-bed practicality from before. Smartop also claims a 10-minute removal time, which feels comparable to other offerings but is still worth noting if you want your bed back.
It’s a new product that’s still being rolled out in the U.S, but the prospects for it are exciting. We’ll just have to wait and see until we can get our hands on one.