The tonneau cover has a long history with vehicles, and it has changed a lot over the years.
Tonneaus were originally an uncovered passenger space in the rear of early automobiles.
They were rounded or ‘barrel shaped’ which is how they got their name. Tonneau covers became popular with the invention of the modern convertible car.
Tonneau covers were leather or vinyl covers that protected the backseats and top of the convertible when the top was down.
However, many early automobiles used tonneau covers to protect the open passenger compartment, when it was not in use.
Today, the tonneau cover is still a feature of convertible sports cars. They provide protection from the elements, particularly the sun, when the top is down and the vehicle is in operation.
However, tonneau covers are no longer just for your convertible sports car. Tonneau covers have become popular, aftermarket additions for truck beds.
Tonneau bed covers come in a variety of styles and options.
They can be soft or hard, plain colored or colored to match your vehicle. Tonneau covers provide extra security and organization for your truck’s bed.
It is a handy, and relatively inexpensive way to add a bit of customization to your truck. They are both attractive and functional.
So, a tonneau cover.
What in the world is a tonneau cover and why does your truck need one?
This is a great question that lots of truck owners ask, and we’re here to help answer that question.
We’ve done our research, we’ve tested them, and we’ve collected the data on the best tonneau covers on the market.
In this review, we’ve compiled all of this information and are providing you with the best tonneau covers for your pick-up.
And, since you’ve probably got questions, we’ve also compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about tonneau covers and why your truck needs one.
Best Tonneau Cover Reviews & Recommendations For 2023
1. BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
The BAKFlip MX4 features heavy-duty aluminum matte finish panels that offer superior UV and scratch resistance, and an enhanced premium density foam core.
The MX4 is the upgrade to the G2 aluminum series, equipped with upgraded latch housing components, a consistent matte finish on panels, seal and hardware, and finished end caps for an overall seamless appearance.
This heavy-duty, all-season truck bed cover is designed to perform in the most extreme conditions.
The MX4’s resilient infrastructure is designed for everyday use, with upgraded components that provide enhanced resistance to the elements without compromising its sleek, low-profile look and feel.
69 x 23 x 8.5 in, 71 pounds.
Easy install, sturdy, easy to use, good customer service.
Heavy, poor packaging, not watertight.
Has matte finish panels. Seals and hardware provide superior UV and scratch resistance. Includes extra-strong clips that secure prop rods in place and finished end caps for a seamless overall appearance.
Make sure you order the correct size. Check the package upon arrival for any damages.
- Type: Hard
- Size: 5′ 8″ bed
- Fits: 2014-19 GM Silverado, Sierra
- Warranty: Extended 3-year Warranty
- Installation Time: About an hour
2. TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Cover
Truxedo’s TruXport is an attractive roll-up truck bed cover that includes top quality features with a price that won’t break the bank.
Truxport is easy to install, and operation is simple. The TruXport mounts on top of the truck bed rails providing distinctive good looks that will truly complement your truck.
It is an essential truck bed security accessory that can also improve your gas mileage by as much as 10%.
Once installed, the pre-set tension control will help maintain the TruXport’s great looks all year round.
81.5 x 8.1 x 6.4 inches, 27.1 pounds.
Easy install,improves MPG up to 10%, single person usability.
Fit is variable, poor customer service.
Industrial strength Velcro. Simple clamp-on rails and headers requiring no drilling or cutting.
Check package for missing parts before installing.
- Type: Soft
- Size: 6.5′ Bed
- Fits: 2009-2018, 2019 Classic Dodge Ram 1500/2500/3500
- Warranty: 5-year Warranty
- Installation Time: About 20 minutes
3. Tyger Auto Soft Top T3 Tri-Fold Truck Tonneau Cover
The Tyger Auto tonneau cover focuses on premium aftermarket auto parts that meet or exceed OE quality standards.
TYGER soft tri-fold truck bed cover comes completely assembled for easy installation.
The cover folds easily for speedy access to the truck bed and also provides added protection to your cargo with a customized look.
Brand new soft tri-fold tonneau cover mounts on top of the truck bed rails; sleek design offers 13% gas savings on average.
69.1 x 28.4 x 2.1 inches, 33 pounds.
Easy no drilling installation, conveniently folds up, great durability.
They accept returns; however customer will assume the return shipping cost if ordered wrong.
Cover is dual-coated and made out of heavy duty 24oz marine-grade vinyl, with aircraft-grade aluminum frames, and comes with stainless steel clamps.
Several sizes available, does not fit with a Utility Track.
- Type: Soft
- Size: 6.5’ Bed
- Fits: Works with 2014-2019 Chevy GMC 1500 2015-2018 Silverado Sierra 2500 3500 HD | Fleet side
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Installation Time: 30 minutes
4. Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
The Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold provides convenient protection for your truck bed and its cargo.
Drive with the cover in the open position by folding it towards the cab and securing tightly with the fastening buckles.
Extra strength stitching and durable tear resistant vinyl provide a sleek look and feel that is built to last in any weather condition.
Installation can usually be completed in 10 minutes without the use of tools or need for drilling. The Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold is proudly MADE IN THE USA.
68 x 20 x 6 inches, 24.2 pounds.
Easy and fast no-tool install, tear resistant vinyl, great value.
Cover flaps, clamps need to be better quality.
Extra strength stitching, you can drive with the cover in the open position by folding it towards the cab and securing tightly with the fastening buckles.
Supported by their US-based customer service team which is excellent.
- Type: Soft
- Size: 5 1/2 ft bed
- Fits: Ford F-150 2015-19
- Warranty: Backed by a lifetime warranty on the frame and a 10-year warranty on the tarp
- Installation Time: About 10 minutes
5. Tyger Auto T1 Roll Up Truck Tonneau Cover
TYGER Auto T1 tonneau cover offers a customized sleek and stylish design with easy no-drill installation.
This is a soft rolling and lockable tonneau cover that mounts on top of the truck bed rails, its sleek design offers up to 13% of gas savings.
73.2 x 7.5 x 2.9 inches, 24.9 pounds.
Made out of heavy duty 24oz marine-grade vinyl, weathertight sealing, local customer support team.
Has issues staying latched, tends to flip up and bubble out.
Easy no drilling installation with instruction and mounting hardware provided, aircraft-grade aluminum side rails, and stainless steel clamp.
For Models without Utility Track System.
- Type: Soft
- Size: Style side 5.5′ Bed
- Fits: 2009-2014 Ford F-150 (Excl. Raptor Series)
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Installation Time: 30 minutes
Tonneau Covers FAQ
Now that we’ve given you our picks for the best tonneau covers on the market, we’re going to answer your burning questions about tonneau covers, and why your truck needs one.
We’ve searched the internet for the most commonly asked questions about tonneau covers, and we’ve compiled these questions here, along with the answers you’re looking for.
Do tonneau covers help with gas mileage?
There is some question about this, and it really is the one question about tonneau covers that still doesn’t have a definitive answer.
In general, however, the easy answer to this question is yes, at higher speeds, a tonneau cover will help with your gas mileage.
Tonneau covers provide a smooth surface for air to pass over when you are driving at higher highway speeds.
When your truck bed is not covered, wind passing over the roof of your truck will drop into the bed and create a vortex.
This vortex can create drag on your truck, causing it to work harder at higher speeds, and reducing your fuel efficiency.
This is why pick-ups aren’t always the first choice for long distance road trips. However, when you add a tonneau cover to the bed, you eliminate the creation of the vortex in the bed.
When air can move smoothly over the bed, your truck is more efficient and you save gas.
Some estimates of fuel savings, when a tonneau cover is added to the bed of a truck, are as much as 10 percent.
It is important to note that at lower driving speeds, or if you are just driving your truck around town, your tonneau cover won’t make much of a difference with your gas mileage.
The tonneau cover may keep things from blowing out of your truck bed or keep debris out, but around town, don’t look for this feature to save you money on fuel.
How long do tonneau covers last?
The expected life of your tonneau cover really depends on a few variables. First is material.
Tonneau covers come in a variety of materials, ranging from soft vinyl to aluminum and fiberglass.
Each material has its pros and cons, but they also have varying expected lifespans.
In general, if you are considering a soft, vinyl cover, you should expect to replace it before you replace your truck.
Soft covers aren’t made to last a long time. They have other great qualities, but longevity isn’t at the top of the list.
If you want a cover that lasts a long time, you should consider one that is made of a more sturdy material like aluminum and fiberglass. Of these two, aluminum will last the longest.
The second variable to longevity that you need to consider when buying a tonneau cover is price.
Generally, you can expect to pay more for a better product.
Yes, there are some good, reasonably priced products on the market, but cheap is very rarely an indicator to quality or longevity.
You didn’t skimp on your truck, so don’t skimp on your bed cover. You’ll be happy you spent a little more for a better quality product.
The third variable to get the longest life from your tonneau cover is installation. Many covers can be self installed.
If you feel confident that you can install your cover well, or if you’ve installed one before, you should get a number of years from your cover.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable, or if the instructions are too much to handle, you may want to have your local body shop or mechanic do the installation for you.
If not installed correctly, your cover may not fit right, or function correctly. This can reduce the life of your tonneau cover.
If you’ve done everything right, you should expect your tonneau cover, in most cases to last the life of your truck.
Many manufacturers provide lifetime warranties for their covers. The exception to this is soft covers.
Soft tonneau covers likely won’t last the life of your truck, but do look for products that have five year warranties.
Do tonneau covers keep the water out?
In general, tonneau covers do a good job of keeping your stuff dry.
Like with longevity, there are the same three factors that influence how well your tonneau cover will keep water out of your truck bed.
Soft covers may not perform as well as hard covers at keeping your stuff dry. However, that also depends on how your hard cover is constructed.
Some hard covers that are not solid may have gaps that can leak water.
If keeping water out of your truck bed is an important feature for your needs, you should make sure that you do good research on the covers that you are considering.
With so many options on the market, there are numerous covers that will keep your stuff dry. Also, remember, price and installation do matter.
If you want to ensure that your stuff stays dry, the cheapest option is probably not the best option, when it comes to the price of your cover or the installation.
Not all covers are created equal, when it comes to sealing up your truck bed from the elements.
Make sure that you do plenty of research, especially if you are buying on a budget, that the cover that you want will actually keep your stuff dry.
When it comes to keeping your stuff dry, another factor to keep in mind is the snow factor. Not all covers do well in the snow.
If you live in a part of the country where snow falls regularly in the winter, you need to make sure that your tonneau cover will hold the weight of snow.
Most soft tonneau covers don’t perform well in the snow.
If you want to keep your stuff dry in the winter, a hard tonneau cover will do better at protecting your truck bed under snowy conditions, than a soft cover.
How tight should a tonneau cover be?
This is a factor that relates to soft covers. If you are shopping for a hard cover, you will not have to worry about how tightly stretched your bed cover is.
Hard covers are meant to fit snugly over the bed and shouldn’t sag or bend.
Soft covers however, need to be stretched tightly in order to be functional and to have the best longevity possible.
Installers will tell you that your soft cover should fit “drum tight”. This means that there should be little flex in your cover.
Your cover should easily support a small amount of weight without sagging.
Soft covers will have support rods that will help keep the cover tight across the bed, these rods are not meant to support weight, but rather to provide structure.
Keeping the cover tight will increase the life of your soft cover. When not installed tightly, your soft cover will flap or vibrate in the wind when you are driving.
This action can cause tears and fraying of the cover. A cover that is not tight will also cause water to pool on the top of the cover.
Pooling can cause the cover to stretch and fit poorly, further reducing the lifespan of your truck’s tonneau cover.
Tonneau truck covers are a great, affordable way to cover your truck bed, and still maintain functionality.
Tonneau covers keep your stuff safe, dry and away from prying eyes but still allow you to use your truck for hauling gear, and large loads.
In this review we’ve given you our suggestions for the best tonneau covers on the market and answered the burning questions you have about tonneau covers.
We hope that now, with plenty of great information, you are ready to buy the best cover for your truck.