From foul weather to fast hands, the gear in your truck bed can quickly become ruined or disappear when left unprotected. Cargo nets are great for hauling, but they do little in the way of concealing your cargo. And, they’re worthless for keeping your tools and other stuff from getting soaked by the rain or clogged by dust and other airborne particles.
The surest way of protecting your valuables is with tonneau covers. But, the one you choose has a lot to do with what you’re hauling and the level of overall convenience you’re looking for. Available in two main varieties, hard-top and soft-top, tonneau covers provide varying degrees of durability and convenience, with advanced models incorporating the best of both to create folding and roll-up tonneaus.
The Benefits of Hard-Top Tonneau Covers
Not sure which one is best for your rig? Here’s a quick rundown on the main benefits of each. Hard tonneau covers are the sturdiest and most reliable. Period. Constructed from fiberglass, metal or hard plastic, they convert your truck bed into a lockable safe on wheels. Fiberglass hard-top tonneau covers – like vehicle specific Ford F-150 truck bed covers and other Ford tonneau covers – can be ordered pre-painted or paint-ready, seamlessly matching your existing finish, no matter how custom.
Hard tonneau covers are heavier than the soft-top or folding tonneau variety and often require gas struts to assist in opening and closing. Plus, if you routinely haul larger items that exceed the truck bed, hard tonneaus must be completely removed to accommodate these oversize items. But if you’re building a show truck or just looking for a way to add the finishing touch to your custom exterior, hard tonneau covers are second to none!
The Benefits of Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Covers
Similar to the hard-top in many ways, soft roll-up tonneau covers provide reliable protection against rain, snow, UV rays and dust. They even come with optional locking devices that deter theft. Many also feature technology that allows them to open and close with just the push of a button, making them much simpler to use than the hard-top variety. Typically constructed of durable materials that provide a sleek appearance, soft tonneaus easily match most truck bed liners.
Among the most popular soft tonneaus are the Extang Revolution tonneau and the Truxedo soft tonneau. Designed specifically for your truck’s unique make, model and year, these soft tonneau covers employ easy to use tension adjusters to achieve a drum-tight fit that provides a sleek barrier against the forces of nature. Plus, their slim side rails and hardware provide maximum bed space for large loads.
Finding the Right Tonneau Cover for Your Truck
Not to be outdone, folding tonneau covers – like the BakFlip G2 tonneau cover, Extang solid fold cover and similar BAK tonneau covers – incorporate the best of both worlds. Merging the durability of a hard-top with the convenience and accessibility of a soft-top, folding tonneau covers feature panels that are crafted from an EPS core and bonded on both sides to a tough aluminum exterior, producing a structure strong enough to support up to 200 pounds of evenly distributed weight. Certain models also feature a seamless rubber seal that’ll outlast your truck and never leak or rust. Best of all, each is highly weather-resistant, won’t fade, warp or crack and won't shrink or expand with a change in temperature.
Tonneau covers streamline your truck bed by making it aerodynamically efficient. In doing so they allow air to slide off the cover rather than collect in the bed where it creates drag. In doing so, they deliver a noticeable boost in fuel economy! We also have plenty of tonneau covers reviews on our site, be sure to check them out.