heavy duty tonneau cover

5 Best Tonneau Cover For Trucks 2018

Tonneau covers serve two many purpose, which are to provide added security against thieves and protect your cargo from bad weather. Installing one of these to your truck bed can completely transform your truck in terms of looks and functionality.

The best tonneau cover is the Retrax PRO MX Retractable Truck Bed Cover, which features a low profile design and made of an aluminum construction for maximum strength. However, if you are on a budget and looking for excellent value for money, the Tyger Auto TG-BC3D1011 is the most popular choice of tonneau cover.

They are also referred to as a truck bed cover and they are very popular in the US due to the large quantity of pickup trucks on the roads. There is a wide range of types of tonneau covers including hard or soft materials to retractable and folding styles.

Best Truck Bed Coversr

Tonneau CoverTypeWeight Capacity
Retrax 80467 PRO MXRetractable500 LBS
BAK BAKFlip MX4Folding400 LBS
Tyger AutoFolding500 LBS
Truxedo TruXportRoll-up200 LBS
Extang 83425Folding500 LBS

Using a tonneau cover on your truck adds a number of extra functionality. Not only is the cargo secure and protected under the truck bed cover but you can also store things on top of the cover such as bikes, rooftop cargo carriers, quad bikes and more.

In terms of the different types of tonneau covers, they include hard folding, rolling, retractable and rack integrated, which all can be constructed in a range of materials.

Truck bed covers are extremely popular and as you can imagine, there is a wide range of styles to choose from. Below is a list of the best tonneau covers that will keep your cargo protected and secure as well as providing additional functionality.

Retrax PRO MX Retractable Truck Bed Cover


The Retractable tonneau cover by Retrax is definitely on the expensive side but it is built at the highest of quality with the best materials for the job. In terms of compatibility, Retrax offer the 80467 PRO MX to fit truck beds of 5.8, 6.5 and 8 feet.

There is also accessories that can be included such as stake pocket cutouts and wide rail options, which are highly desirable for many. In terms of the construction of this tonneau cover, it features heavy duty aluminum slats, which are powder coated and are able to withstand distributed loads of more than 500 LBS. Retrax also provide a limited lifetime warranty with this truck bed cover for peace of mind.

With this retractable tonneau cover, you are able to lock it in any position, which is great for awkward shaped cargo that sticks out. It also has an unlimited hauling flexibility, which for those that use a 5th wheel trailer for towing is ideal.

Unlike many of the cheap alternatives, this truck bed cover is completely UV protected and will not require any maintenance in order to reduce fading.

It is an expensive truck bed cover and there is no denying that but in the world of tonneau covers, you get what you pay for. It is the best tonneau cover you can buy with the unique features such as sealed ball-bearing rollers to a low profile design will completely transform your truck.

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BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover


BAK Tonneau Covers are another premium alternative but a more popular brand compared to the Retrax manufacturer. Their truck bed covers are the standard sizes (5.8, 6.6 and 8 feet) but instead of being retractable, it uses a folding mechanism.

For those that are worried about the installation, the BAKFLIP MX4 is a simple “clamp-on” fit with no drilling required and it will take less than a hour by yourself.

Many tonneau covers may use up some of the truck bed space when fully retracted or folded up. However, the BAKFLIP MX4 maintains 100% of the truck bed access, with the cover folding towards the cab but still leaving the third brake light visible.

Other features of the BAKFLIP MX4 include:

  • Can be used whilst the tailgate is open or closed
  • Can be opened from either side
  • No obstruction to the third brake light
  • Flush mount and low profile design
  • UV and scratch resistant
  • 3 year limited warranty

Overall, the BAK BAKFlip MX4 is the best folding tonneau cover with an excellent design that is highly practical and simple to install on your truck.

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Tyger Auto TRI-FOLD Truck Bed Tonneau Cover


By far the most popular and rated tonneau cover is the Tyger Auto, which comes at a bargain price and a limited lifetime warranty. The US designed truck bed cover is constructed of 24 oz marine grade vinyl, heavy duty aluminum powder coated frame and stainless steel clamp for excellent durability.

As with the BAK BAKFlip MX4, the Tyger Auto tonneau cover requires no drilling but simple clamping together of components. It is also fairly lightweight, which further adds to the ease of the installation that can be done by yourself.

The Tyger Auto truck bed cover is available in the standard sizes of 5.8, 6.5 and 8 feet and ensures a watertight fit even within the worst of conditions.

Overall, the Tyger Auto TRI-FOLD is the best tonneau cover for the money and is highly rated throughout the US for its superior quality and affordability.

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Truxedo TruXport Roll-up Truck Bed Cover


The TruXport Roll-up model by Truxedo is an economical soft roll-up tonneau cover that comes with a 5 year warranty against every components (unlike many of the “limited” warranties). Installation of a roll-up truck bed cover is the easiest and Truxedo claim that the TruXport can be installed in as little as 20 minutes.

The top mount design of the TruXport means that it sits 1.5 inches above the truck bed, which provides a sleek and stylish design with thanks to the leather grained fabric. Available in the standard sizes, it is another very popular tonneau cover.

Many truck owners avoid the roll-up mechanism due to the fact that many truck beds will lose their shape. However, the TruXport makes use of pre-set tension controls to maintain the design but still rollback easily enough.

The roll-up style is very desirable by many truck owners and the Truxedo TruXport is the best roll-up tonneau cover and offers excellent value for money.

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Extang Solid Fold Tonneau Cover


The main competitor to the BAK BAKFlip MX4 is this Extang tonneau cover, which also uses a hard folding mechanism. It is available in truck bed sizes of 5.7, 6.4 and 8 foot bed and unlike the others, it comes fully assembled, which means it can be installed in minutes and without the worry of missing parts.

It is an improvement of an older model with a new design that uses hard polymer rubber corners and hinge caps as well as an automotive grade thermoplastic skin.

The Extang 83425 has a range of features that include:

  • High strength frame and lightweight panels
  • Jaw grip clamps and EZ lock clamps
  • 100% access to truck bed when folded
  • Can be used with the majority of accessories
  • Extra secure as clamps can only be accessed via an open tailgate

Overall, it is a heavy duty tonneau cover that works out cheaper than the BAKFLIP MX4 alternative, which has a very similar design. The Extang 83425 is also the easiest truck bed cover to install too as it comes already assembled.

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Tonneau Cover Buying Guide

Tonneau covers (often called truck bed covers) are used to improve the protection, security, utility and aesthetics of your truck. There are a range of materials and designs available to suit all trucks and satisfy even the most savvy truck owners.

If the protection and security benefit is not enough to persuade you to purchase a tonneau cover, what about saving money?

Using a truck bed cover will improve your miles per gallon by at least 5 to 10% as the air/drag does not get trapped in the bed of the truck.

Before you chuck yourself in the deep end and purchase the first truck bed cover you see, below are some factors that you should consider in order to get the best possible example that fits your requirements.

Types of Truck Bed Covers

You will notice in the table above that each tonneau cover has a specific types. The main types are folding, retractable and roll-up truck bed covers where each have their own benefits. Below are brief descriptions of each type.

Folding Tonneau Covers

Folding tonneau covers are the most popular type and actually become split again into soft and hard folding types. The hard folding covers provide more security compared to the soft alternative but they are more expensive.

Folding truck bed covers are usually a “tri-fold” setup where there is 3 folding points. However, there are many that include more folding points and some are lockable at a certain fold, which is great for hauling around awkward loads.

Retractable Tonneau Covers

Retractable covers are very similar to a roll-up style but the mechanism is different as it moves in and out of a canister that is mounted to the trucks bulkhead. It will only expose the cargo area that you require and they are often a low profile design.

Roll Up Tonneau Covers

As you would expect, this type of cover simply rolls its way to the bulkhead of the truck in a similar fashion to rolling up a mat. It is then secured in place with a heavy duty strap and they are often the easiest to install.

folding toneau cover

Installation and Maintenance of a Tonneau Cover

Rewind a decade or so ago and many of the tonneau covers were notoriously difficult to install on your truck. However, nowadays they are much easier to install by yourself and this is thanks to clamps and limited drilling. Some installation even require no drilling whatsoever but those that do will only require drilling on the tailgate.

The difficulty on the installation really depends on the type of cover you are having fitted, with a tri-fold being one of the easiest to install.

In terms of maintaining your tonneau cover, there is not that much to do that is essential. All of the recommendations above are UV treated and all you will really need to do is clean it with soapy water from time to time. Of course, keeping the joints and other moving parts lubricated would be ideal but this is not require on a daily basis.

Compatibility with Truck Bed Accessories

If you have already broke the bank and purchased a load of truck bed accessories prior to getting a tonneau cover, not to worry as they should be compatible. From an aftermarket roof rack, tie down rings, utility track systems, bed extenders, truck racks, head racks and more.

Of course some, truck bed accessories will need a certain design i.e. truck racks may require a low profile cover. Taking your time to take basic measurements will give you the best answer to whether they are compatible or not.

truck bed cover

Truck Bed Length

The majority of tonneau cover manufacturers design their covers to work for most of the standard sizes, which are 5.8, 6.5 and 8 feet. As a truck owner, you should know the length of your trucks bed and its vital to get the correct sized truck bed cover.

Conclusion

Tonneau covers or truck bed covers (which ever you prefer to call them) are extremely popular in the US and more and more are selling each year. The reason is because they offer so many benefits with the stand out advantages being security and protection.

Adding a cover to your truck bed really does improve it aesthetically and increases the practicality. We highly recommend that you invest into a higher quality example rather than the cheapest you can find as you will be looking at it and using it every time you get into your truck. Trucks that look best with a tonneau cover include:

  • Dodge RAM 1500
  • Chevy Silverado
  • Tundra Crewmax
  • F150 Supercrew
  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Nissan Titan
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Chevy Colorado
  • Nissan Frontier
  • … and much more

It is fairly rare to see the above trucks without one because they look so good and transform the look of the truck. To conclude, truck bed covers are a worthwhile investment that provides extra security and protection as well as increase the resale value of your truck.

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