In this article, we’ll look at some of the different types of tonneau covers and how they work. I’ll also discuss some of the pros and cons of each type of cover, and which type might be best for you.
Tonneau covers are made of aluminum or other materials (depending on the type) and are attached to the back of a pickup truck to conceal the unoccupied rear compartment. The name comes from a French word meaning truck bed cover.
We all know Tonneau covers provide protection for your equipment during transport. The covers can improve fuel efficiency, increase storage space, and prevent theft. That is why it is important to know the types before buying a tonneau covers.
Different types of tonneau covers You Should Know
In this section, you will discover 8 different Tonneau covers, their features, and how you can choose one that is right for you. Let’s get started.
- Retractable Tonneau Cover
- Folding Tonneau Cover
- Roll-Up/Rolling Tonneau Cover
- Hinged Tonneau Cover
- Snap Tonneau Cover
- Snap Tonneau Cover
- Electric Tonneau Cover
#1 Retractable Tonneau Cover
There are two types of Tonneau covers: soft and hard. Retractable truck covers retract back onto themselves and toward the rear of the truck, which is why they are called retractable.
However, retractable tonneau covers can be hard or soft. Depending on your preferences, you can choose either. Your needs will dictate which you choose.
Go for a hardcover if you are concerned more about security, otherwise stick with a softcover. Hardcovers provide greater security protection than softcovers.
Advantages of Retractable Tonneau Cover
- These covers provide better coverage than flimsy cloth covers, as they're typically made from a semi-hard material.
- A retractable cover for your truck bed provides easy access to your cargo, so you don't have to unsnap the tonneau to get to the items you need.
- A more appealing truck appearance.
- Holds multiple open positions.
- Provides better security
- Locking Tonneau Covers
#2 Folding Tonneau Cover
A folding Tonneau cover usually comes in a tri-fold or bi-fold design with a hard or a soft option. Trifolds have three folds as opposed to bifolds, which have two folds.
It is possible to fold more than three places in some variants.
Tonneau covers that are hard folding are made from hard materials and are folded more than once. Oh and the folding Tonneau cover is the most popular lid truck cover in the auto parts market.
Folding design has the main disadvantage that you are limited by its folds and panels.
Advantages Of Folding Tonneau Cover
- Folding a Tonneau cover has probably the biggest advantage of allowing bending and folding.
- The folding feature of this bag allows you to carry any size or shape of goods or items without exposing them to the environment.
#3 Roll-Up/Rolling Tonneau Cover
Roll up tonneau covers for trucks, SUVs, and campers (such as roll-ups) are less expensive than other types. Additionally, it is easier to install, provides better access to the bed, and offers multiple customization options.
When you roll up the cover, it wraps around itself, similar to how a mat would be wrapped up.
There are two types of roll-up tonneau covers: soft or hard. Hard roll-up tonneau covers tend to be more expensive than soft roll-up tonneau covers. Truck bed nets are better protected by hard roll-up covers, however.
Advantages Of Roll-up/Rolling Tonneau Cover
- You have more options for truck and bed with the roll-up design.
- Suitable for a variety of uses.
- Improved access to the bed.
- The open end of the truck's bulkhead can be exposed as much as you like depending on your preference.
#4 Hinged Tonneau Cover
Hinged Tonneau covers have historically been built with fiberglass, but are now constructed with a variety of materials. As a result, the covers are becoming lighter.
Hinge covers are simply lids. The hinged tonneau cover is a solid one-piece design, and cannot be folded or retracted. Instead, you have to push it up to open it. You can have hard or soft ones.
Advantages Of Hinged Tonneau Cover
- One-handed access.
- Weather and lock protection.
- Made from high-quality materials.
#5 Snap Tonneau Cover
A snap tonneau cover is clamped to the vehicle or truck bed, unlike other tonneau covers. Like other types of bed covers, you can get a snap tonneau cover from a hard or soft material.
Advantages Of Snap Tonneau Cover
- A snap cover gives you the ability to access any part of your truck bed by unclamping it. Therefore, you can transport whatever you want.
- Since Snap Tonneau cover is not as easy as folding covers to open thus ensures better security of your cargo and goods.
- Low priced yet comes with lots of decent features.
#6 Tool Box Tonneau Cover
This type includes a toolbox. They are popular among pickup truck owners. Tonneau covers are not compatible with all toolboxes. So, you can easily access the toolbox.
Advantages Of Tool Box Tonneau Cover
- In addition to a truck bed cover, you can also enjoy the convenience of a handy toolbox. The combination of a truck bed cover and a toolbox is ideal.
#7 Electric Tonneau Cover
Electricity powers motorized tonneau covers. The key fob is equipped with a mechanism that opens and closes the cover. This can be controlled remotely.
You can retract the cover to a distance of your choice by using a brake. Some remote modules can even make the truck bed light up at night when they are controlled by the remote module.
Advantages Of Electric Tonneau Cover
- Prevent UV rays and scratches with its high-quality powder coating.
- Easy access to cargo.
- The price is reasonable.
- In addition to providing more space, the cover is fantastic.
- The device is theft-proof.
#8 Locking Tonneau Covers
Truck owners can drive with confidence thanks to the Roll-N-Lock. As you turn the lever, the lock opens, leaving the cover stored, secure, and out of the way. You don't need to concern yourself with loose panels, restricted bed space, or limited rear visibility.
Advantages Of Locking Tonneau Covers
- High quality.
- Provides high security.
- Versatile usage.
Best Material For Tonneau Cover
Here are some of the popular materials used to build Tonneau cover. Each material has its own use cases and limitations. For example one material is expensive yet featureful while other is the opposite and you are the one to decide which to go for.
That’s why below I’ve discussed each of them so you can determine which is best for you.
Vinyl is an excellent material for soft covers. It's versatile and durable in nature, and offers waterproof protection which is quite essential.
Vinyl covers are light in weight and easy to install.
The best choice for a tonneau is aluminum. Considering its strength and durability, this material makes for an ideal storage solution. In addition, it is resistant to a variety of weather conditions.
The hard fiberglass material is another excellent material which can be used to make tonneau covers. Compared to vinyl or any other soft cover, this material provides better security.
If you are looking for something on a budget canvas is a way to go. The material is lightweight and durable.
However, I recommend picking a material that is comfortable and provides a secure fit.
What Truck Bed Cover Is The Best?
Depending on your needs, the answer may vary. But only you can answer the question.
But in my opinion Locking Tonneau Covers is standard and I’d recommend it if you ask for.
Alternatively, Roll-N-Lock allows truck owners to tackle any situation with confidence. The cover is stowed, safe, and out of the way after rotating the lock. You won't need to worry about loose panels, a small bed, or a limited rearview.
Tonneau Cover Retractable Vs Hard Folding
The Tonneau Cover Retractable will fold up when you want it to, and then just pull out when you need it. It will also not get stuck when you pull it out.
The Hard Folding will fold up, but you have to pull it out. This can be a bit more difficult and may get stuck.
Both types can be used, but they're not interchangeable. A hard folding cover requires you to push it down manually every time you need to open the top of your truck. A retractable cover, on the other hand, is self-retracting. It only needs to be pushed down to open it, so you don't have to do it manually.
- Best hard folding tonneau cover
- Best Soft tonneau cover
If you need to store your truck or SUV temporarily, tonneau covers provide convenient storage. You won’t need to haul out the cover when you need to store the vehicle, since it’s already attached to the roof. Tonneau covers are also good for storing larger items, such as a lawnmower or a snowblower.
Throughout this post, I discussed different types of tonneau truck bed covers, their features, advantages, and disadvantages. I also answered some of the common questions like what truck bed covers are best for you and compared some of the popular tonneau covers.
Yet if I missed something important you are always welcomed to let me know in the comment box!