If you own a truck, you surely must have given a thought about getting a bed cover for it. Truck Bed covers are made from hard or soft material and can be of many types. Covers are popular for maintaining the originality of vehicle style lines and maintaining the visibility of the driver.
There are many different types of covers to consider when looking to buy one for your truck. As there are many types of truck bed covers with different benefits, it’s better to look into the options to properly assess each type according to your priorities, needs, type of truck and budget.
So if you want to know more about 6 different types of truck tonneau covers and their benefits, read on!
Table of Contents
- 1 6 Types Of Truck Bed Covers With Their Pros and Cons
- 2 1. Rolling Truck Bed Cover
- 3 2. Folding Truck Bed Cover
- 4 3. Retractable Truck Bed Cover
- 5 4. Single-Piece Solid Truck Bed Covers
- 6 5. Snap-On Truck Bed Covers
- 7 6. Expandable Truck Bed Covers
- 8 What Are The Benefits Of A Truck Bed Cover?
- 9 What To Consider When Looking For A Truck Bed Cover?
- 10 Conclusion
6 Types Of Truck Bed Covers With Their Pros and Cons
Truck bed covers can basically be categorized firstly into two major types, soft and hard. Soft truck bed covers are made with industrial-strength vinyl making them light in weight and seamless. Whereas hard covers are made by using rigid materials like aluminum and offer extra levels of security for your cargo and more valuable items.
On the basis of usage, operation, and opening they can further be categorized into more groups. The groups along with their costs are discussed below.
1. Rolling Truck Bed Cover
Soft Rolling covers are made for family use such as holding the groceries keeping them dry and protecting basic cargo. It protects your truck from natural debris, keeps your stuff out of sight, and gives easy access to hold taller and bulkier items.
Their frame clamps to the bed of the truck and doesn’t require drilling. The cover can be fully open when driving and the installation procedure is easy requiring only basic tools and not taking more than 20-30 minutes.
These are famously made with soft materials such as soft vinyl and use velcro on each side to secure the cover in place. Common materials are hard plastic or light metals such as aluminum.
A hard rolling cover basically provides you with the smooth usage of a soft cover but with an additional layer of security due to a hard top. Their operation is the same as soft covers but the top part is redesigned with aluminum slats under the matte vinyl part that can is good for heavy-duty.
It also has a cable release on each side allowing you to open the cover from either side of your truck. Installation doesn’t typically take more than twenty minutes.
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- Even though they come in varying materials, covers made of aluminum slats and covered in vinyl come to be resistant to tear, can provide locking, and also supports lightweights on top of it.
- It can be rolled all the way to the bulkhead and then you can tie it down if you’re carrying items that are tall and large.
- Installation is basic, quick and easy which is especially good for people who are new to these accessories.
- Obstruction of view is a common problem as the rearview from your mirror may be blocked if and when the cover is rolled up given that they may bulky.
2. Folding Truck Bed Cover
Soft folding covers are perfectly made for family use such as holding and protecting sports gear etc. These covers are generally heavy-duty, made with leather-grained vinyl which is turned into a framework that allows the cover to be folded in sections. They can be 3-4 panels although mostly tri-fold.
Installation is a breeze and can be done by using clamps that can directly attach the cover to the bed rails without tools and doesn’t take more than 5 minutes and may require 2 people.
The trifold design and lightweight build make it easy to be removed when full bed access is required.
The hard folding covers mechanism is just as same as soft folding covers except for an extra level of protection given by the rigid surface that helps secure cargo and also makes the cover very strong.
- You are benefitted from many options to choose from since this style is common and comes in many materials. You can choose a budget-friendly soft folding cover or a pricey aluminum cover according to your needs.
- It is very easy to use especially the tri-fold covers. It just needs to be folded up and the panels tied down when you need complete unobstructed access to your bed.
- Hard covers are usually very strong and good for hard use. Some can actually hold up to 600 pounds of weight if they are evenly distributed across the bed.
- These folding covers are less water-resistant because of their folding points and a part that are moving which leaves gaps for water to enter the bed of your truck. As covers get older the more the chances for this increase.
3. Retractable Truck Bed Cover
The retractable cover is a variant of the rolling cover where instead of rolling on top of the bed of your truck it goes into a canister inside the bed. The cover top is usually made of either vinyl, sturdy aluminum stats that can glide on ball bearing for easy operation, or polycarbonate surface.
Depending on how much access to the bed is needed it can be locked when needed. This is an ideal cover for anyone who needs to open and close their truck bed regularly. It is the easiest to maintain and it preserves the clean lines.
Some covers can be secured even when kept partially open a characteristic not present in other typical truck covers.
- The opening and closing are smooth and effortless and can be done at the push of a button. It is a sleek and low-effort option for those who require them.
- The cover can be kept partially open if a large item is kept as cargo and you can’t fully close it.
- Some are electrically powered making operations easier and quicker.
- It can also have a track system that is basically built-in slots inside the top of the rails where you can install racks and other accessories for carrying cargo.
4. Single-Piece Solid Truck Bed Covers
These bed covers are made of a single piece that can be attached alongside the cab of the truck. These are the most heavy-duty and durable bed covers given how they are usually made of hard and long-lasting materials.
They are also appealing such as Fiberglass covers can be painted to match the body of your truck giving it a streamlined look.
- They give the truck a sleek outlook when painted to match the body and basically look like an extension of your truck.
- It is highly secure with built-in lock systems that provide an extra level of security.
- This type of cover is very good for holding compact cargos.
- These are heavy covers and require many people to assist with the installing as well as many tools and other requirements.
5. Snap-On Truck Bed Covers
These covers are original and a style for beginners. It is made up of an aluminum frame that is attachable to the rails of the truck bed and has a vinyl cover that can be attached to the frame using metal snaps.
Designs with hinges can be rolled to the back or raised like a singular unit on top of an aluminum frame. Most covers features detachable bows that allows access to full bed when needed.
Basic covers provide reasonable protection at a good price for your cargo by hiding your items from prying eyes and defending them from natural elements.
But most pickup truck owners aren’t fond of these soft covers but they are a good trial for short-term use.
- These covers are very affordable and the most budget-friendly among the covers available in the market.
- It is very easy to use if you’re a beginner, you basically just need to snap or unsnap the cover required to access the bed.
- Installation is very easy and basic not requiring much tools which makes it a suitable cover to own as a beginner.
- In the winter seasons, the vinyl may shrink. So if you remove the cover to place a large cargo, it will be very hard to get it back on.
6. Expandable Truck Bed Covers
This is a fairly new type of cover and is only licensed under a single manufacturer Sawtooth. Expandable covers help tackle cargos that sit over the rails of the bed but require protection.
The expandable pickup truck tonneau cover may be the easiest-to-use tonneau you ever own. Not only can you cover and uncover your truck bed in seconds, but this expandable bed cover is also very easy to install. One person can install in under 6 minutes with no tools, cutting, or drilling required for installation.
- It is basically the only variety of cover that is equipped to protect a wide range of cargo from large to tall. When carrying big items the cover can be stretched over the item without worrying about its security. Since it is secured in one place and protected from other elements it makes it a very good cover.
- It is built with a patented textile and can be 7 times thicker than other soft covers approximately. It can protect your gear and also has a lifetime warranty. It is sturdy and durable and enhances your truck’s appearance making it look clean and streamlined.
- Installation is easy and can be done by a single person in under 6 minutes. Just install the rails and attach the cover with secure J-hooks without needing any drilling or other special tools.
- It is the most versatile cover giving you the best flexibility and better utilization for your vehicle.
- Given that only Sawtooth is its manufacture there are limited options in the market and its popularity also affects its supply and because it is also fairly new it makes it hard to find one perfect for your truck.
What Are The Benefits Of A Truck Bed Cover?
A truck bed cover is a usual no-brainer accessory used by most truck owners. This provides a lot of benefits so that you can utilize your truck to the fullest. And because there are many types of truck bed covers you can easily choose one depending on your specific truck type and needs, budget.
You might wonder why you should get a bed cover for your truck, it’s because they come with many benefits such as:
- It protects your cargo: Many weather extremities can affect your cargo such as rain, heat, and snow. So when you can get a truck bed cover that can properly shield and save your items why let your cargo wear out in front of natural events.
- Keeps your truck clean: Having a vehicle full of dirt, dust, mud or fallen leaves is an annoying piece of work. A truck bed cover saves you the hassle by protecting your truck and items from the natural debris around it.
- Better Security: Your truck bed cover not only protects your cargo from natural calamities and debris but also from prying eyes and thieves. By investing in a truck bed cover you can let go of your worry about anyone taking your items out of your truck and running away with it.
- Keeps it organized: Covers also help you to organize your items well and categorize them. You can maintain all your stuff in please and you don’t have to move around in a messy truck.
What To Consider When Looking For A Truck Bed Cover?
Truck bed covers nowadays are made from several different kinds of material, hard, soft, long-lasting, etc. and their processes of opening and latching are also different. As mentioned covers provide you an extra layer of security from natural debris and potential thieves and keep your truck and cargo protected. This is why investing in a worthwhile truck bed cover suitable for your truck and needs is an essential investment.
Given the many different types of Truck, bed covers choosing one and the one right for you is pretty hard. You must realize the primary reasons behind getting a cover which are security, cleanliness, organization, and potential improvement of gas mileage and thus you must look for covers that fulfill all these criteria.
So a couple of things to consider when buying for truck bed cover are:
- For better security, the best choice is to get a cover that is hard and has many latch points that efficiently revokes unwanted access from unknown visitors.
- If your cargo is big it’s better to invest in a cover that can give you access to the entire truck bed so it’s better to keep your specific need in mind when evaluating this point.
- Your truck bed cover should be easy to open and close and be smooth when in use especially if your use of the truck involves loading and unloading items on a periodic basis.
- It is wise to look out for durable truck bed covers because depending on how you use your truck you’d want your truck bed cover to be long lasting for more efficient use. Look for tough materials and qualities such as water resistance and wear and tear withstanding ability.
- It is good to look for versatility when buying a truck bed cover because depending on your use you can carry a lot of items on your truck and the cover shouldn’t limit you. For example, if you’re constantly removing or adding items to your truck bed it is better to get covers that can be smoothly and easily moved out when needed.
- Truck bed cover is a hefty investment where a high-quality cover can cost you up to thousands of dollars so you should be sure to buy the cover that not only meets your requirements but also fits into your budget.
- You should also look out for what kind of warranty is in place for the cover you’re buying because depending on the brand many offer lifetime warranties whereas some don’t.
- You can also look out for how the truck bed cover looks on your vehicle. You can choose to buy one that gives a fine matte look to your vehicle that is appealing to look at.
- To expand capabilities you can also try to add a rack to the track system of your cover that will let you use it more efficiently.
These are some of the things to look out for when shopping for a truck bed cover. And remember that every truck is different not only in size and configuration but also in its overall shape. So always remember to keep every aspect in mind when investing in a truck cover and make sure it meets at least most of your criteria.
Now to look into the type of truck bed covers there are and their specific benefits and cost analysis you can make an educated choice on what type of cover you should be getting for your truck that suits it and your needs. So to know more read our next section.
Choosing the right truck bed cover especially if you’re new to owning a truck may be challenging and it doesn’t make it easier that there are several kinds of it.
To choose a proper truck bed cover knowing your options, your needs, your truck’s needs and a proper idea of your budget is immensely necessary. Because at the end of the day the best bed cover for you is the one that ticks all your boxes
As explained in detail about the 6 different types of truck bed covers and their benefits with specific pros and cons, it is now easy for you to properly assess your needs to choose a good truck bed cover for your vehicle.
So, if you’ve been having doubts about which truck bed cover to buy and having confusion due to the many different types of truck bed covers and their individual benefits and drawbacks, it is now hopefully clear that having a clear cut idea about what you exactly require from your cover, your budget and truck type will help you choose the right one.
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