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Best Tonneau Covers 2023

BAK Revolver X4s Review

Tonneau covers come in a variety of styles and price levels. It is often difficult to decide when you’re unsure what you need your tonneau cover to accomplish. Before even looking at our list of the best tonneau covers, let’s look at the different types and their attributes. 


The Variety

There are six categories of tonneau covers. And yes, there is a good deal of overlap within those categories. The most common area of confusion is when you hear folks start talking about tri-fold covers. There are soft folding covers, and there are hard folding covers. Many models within those two categories use a tri-fold design, so often, hard cover and soft cover are called tri-folds. Once you look at the cover and watch it in action, you can easily distinguish between the two. 

This confusion happens in a few categories, but hard-cover and soft-cover tri-folds are the most common. 

Here are the categories, and they’re not necessarily in order of price range. 


Soft roll-up covers

This represents the lower end of the price range. Soft roll-up covers typically anchor at the front of your truck bed and unroll to stretch out over the truckbed and fasten at the tailgate. There is also a fastening mechanism along the side rails of your truck. Often these are designed using industrial hook-and-loop fasteners. When the cover is completely rolled up, there are straps to fasten it and keep it from unrolling while you drive. MORE: check out our review of soft tonneau covers.


Hard roll-up covers

This is a small category dominated by one company we will discuss later. This hardcover roll-up consists of interlocking aluminum slats that are powder-coated black and designed to roll up. It is a sturdy design, offers good security, and supports substantial weight. And if you have a load in your truck that requires that you drive with the cover rolled up, you can fasten the cover in place with straps. MORE: check out our review of roll-up tonneau covers.


Soft folding covers

This is one of the models frequently lumped into the tri-fold category. Soft folding covers are a step up from the soft roll-up covers. These tonneau covers have an integrated aluminum alloy frame based on a tri-fold design. When you want access to your truck bed, unfasten the tailgate latching mechanism, fold the cover and frame onto itself, and then again. These covers lock into the tailgate and fasten along the side rails with industrial hook-and-loop fasteners, clamps, or a side rail design. MORE: check out our review of folding tonneau covers.


Hard folding covers

These are similar to soft-folding covers with a big difference. Rather than the softcover top, the design incorporates three rigid panels (sometimes four panels for longer beds).  Like the soft-folding covers, when you need access to the truck bed, the covers unlock at the tailgate and fold over on one another. When fully extended, panels lock along the side, either with a series of quick-release clamps or a side rail mechanism. When folded up, the panels often rest against the back of the truck cab, or they fold up and rest on the last panel, up against the bulkhead. MORE: check out our review of hard-folding tonneau covers.


Retractable covers

These are closely related to the hard roll-up cover we discussed earlier. These are tonneau covers made from interlocking aluminum slats. The rolled-up tonneau cover rests in a long, narrow box suspended across the truck bed behind the bulkhead in a maintenance-free ball-bearing cassette mechanism. The tonneau cover pulls smoothly out of the box and down the bed, typically riding along a side rail on either side of the truck bed. The cover locks at the tailgate. These tonneau covers are of a sturdier design. They can accommodate some weight if you need to put a load on top, and are reasonably secure. There are even some high-end models in which the cover closes and retracts with the aid of an electric motor and a remote-control key fob.  MORE: check out our review of retractable tonneau covers.


One-piece solid tonneau covers

These designs are what they say they are, a one-piece hard-top tonneau cover, typically made of polycarbonate material or fiberglass. Most of these fasten at or near the bulkhead with a hinge mechanism. Unlock them at the tailgate and raise the cover, usually with the assistance of a gas-filled strut. These models look nice and match the rest of your truck. 

Now that we have an overview of the different types of tonneau covers, let’s look at some specific brands and models we think represent the best in each category.



The Best Tonneau Covers: The Recommendations

Best Soft Roll-up Tonneau Cover – TruXedo TruXport

  • Warranty: Five years
  • Manufacturing: Made in the USA
  • Materials: Black vinyl with a leather grain finish, powder-coated, scratch-resistant side rails, hard-rubber trim, and end caps
  • Price: Check Price

For an entry-level tonneau cover, the TruXedo Truxport roll-up, soft cover tonneau is a great place to start.  It has the features of a good soft cover, roll-up tonneau, specifically the aluminum side rails that ensure the tonneau is taut and supported. Other features include the near-invisible support rails integrated into the vinyl tonneau cover. In heavy rain or a fierce snowstorm, the TruXedo TruXport has the extra support to stand up to the weight. 

Need full-bed access? Quickly roll up the TruXedo TruXport until it rests near the bulkhead, and fasten it with the two straps for that purpose. When it is time to roll down the cover again, the TruXedo TruXport rolls along the ride rails, adhering with a strong connection, thanks to the industrial hook-and-loop fasteners.  At the tailgate, the latches integrated into the tonneau cover click into place at the end of the side rails. The release trigger that locks the tonneau cover into place is only accessible when you unlock and lower your truck’s tailgate. 

The TruXedo TruXport gives you that nice, sleek look that truck owners love, and it all comes at an affordable price for any truck owner. Installation takes about 20 minutes, requires a minimum of tools, and no drilling. 


Best Hard Roll-up Tonneau Cover – BAK Revolver X4s

  • Warranty: Five years
  • Manufacturing: Made in the USA
  • Materials: High-grade interlocking aluminum alloy slats with a black vinyl overlay with a leather grain finish, powder-coated, scratch-resistant side rails, hard-rubber trim, and end caps
  • Price: Check Price

Occasionally, someone comes along with a product so ideal for the application that everyone else looks sideways at it and says to themselves, “Why didn’t I think of that?” This is a common reaction to the BAK Revolver 4Xs.

The BAK Revolver 4Xs uses a design of interlocking aluminum slats that unroll to form a solid tonneau cover that supports 400 pounds of evenly distributed weight. The fully extended tonneau cover appears as a solid, one-piece surface thanks to the black marine-grade vinyl overlay.  The BAKFlip Revolver 4Xs unrolls along a pair of aluminum side rails. When you fully extend the cover, the side rails rotate up and lock in place. This feature and the easy-to-use latch mechanism at the tailgate create a formidable barrier to scare away most would-be thieves. 

When opening the BAK Revolver 4Xs, simply unlatch it at the tailgate, roll it up, and anchor it with the straps. You have almost complete access to the truck bed. The rolled-up tonneau cover creates a low profile. Drivers have no problem seeing out the back window of the cab.

MORE: Read our review of the Bak Revolver X4s >>


Best Soft Folding Tonneau Cover – Gator ETX

  • Warranty: Lifetime on the frame, ten years on the tarp
  • Materials: High-grade aluminum alloy frame, black vinyl cover with a leather-grain finish, rubber trim, and end caps
  • Price: Check Price

If you have difficulty finding the Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Cover, try looking through Amazon. As near as we can tell, Gator makes this soft cover tri-fold exclusively for the mega-online retailer, and in the process, they came up with a great entry-level tonneau cover that does the job. 

This is a bare-bones tonneau with a heavy-duty vinyl cover, but for many the price is right.  It is a heavy-duty vinyl cover stretched over an integrated aluminum alloy frame. The assembled unit anchors at the side rail of your truck at the bulkhead and then folds out down to the end of the bed, where it locks in place, with two more side rail latches on the way down. Like most tonneau covers, the only way to unlatch it is by lowering the tailgate, so this unit provides a modicum of security, chiefly of the out-of-sight, out-of-mind variety.  

Installation takes about 20 minutes. When the Gator ETX folds up, it still prevents total access to about a third of your truck bed up against the bulkhead. If you need this space, remove the entire tonneau cover and reinstall it later. 

The Gator ETX Soft Tri-fold cover keeps its shape and color and only requires minimum care. We’ve encountered numerous truck owners who report no leaks, not even a drop. 


Best Hard Folding Tonneau Cover – BAKFlip MX4

  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Manufacturing: Made in the USA
  • Materials: High-grade aluminum alloy panels, powder-coated leather grain finish, rubber trim, and end caps
  • Price: Check Price

The BAKFlip MX4 gets us back into the realm of hard cover tonneaus. This tri-fold hard-panel tonneau cover uses three aluminum alloy panels with aluminum side rails. The corner pieces and other assemblies are made from high-tech rubber that lasts much longer than you will ever have your truck. These panels stand up, too. They’ll easily withstand someone using a knife to get through your tonneau cover. They also support a load of 400 pounds. 

When opened, the BAKFlip MX4 folds over on itself once and then once again, allowing you unfettered access to two-thirds of your truck bed. Each panel locks in place with a cable-pull release. Should you need more access, you can fold the panels again so that they tilt up against the back of your truck cab. The panels are held in place by prop rods for a secure hold. 

At the tailgate, you will find a triple-finned rubber seal running the width of the panel. This innovative seal lets you open and close the tailgate without lifting the back panel. That rubber seal is also an excellent deterrent to leaks. 

Security, good looks, and protection from the elements. That’s what you get from the BAKFlip MX4.

MORE: Read our review of the Bakflip MX4 >>



Best Retractable Tonneau Cover – RetraxONE

  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty, pro-rated after a year
  • Manufacturing: Made in the USA
  • Materials: Polycarbonate tonneau cover, aluminum alloy side rails with high-tech plastic end-caps
  • Price: Check Price

The RetraxOne is a great choice if you decide a retractable tonneau cover is for you. The cover is black polycarbonate, meaning it’s not powder-coated, so if it gets scratched, you don’t see the underlying aluminum alloy. The RetraxONE is impact-resistant, corrosion-proof, and stands up to the hottest or coldest weather. Even better, this tonneau cover supports 200 pounds of evenly distributed weight.  

The cover rolls on ball bearings, and when retracted, the cover never comes into contact with itself inside the canister, saving wear and tear. The locking mechanism on the end of the tonneau cover offers added security. It also does double duty because it allows you to lock the tonneau cover in place anywhere along the rail. This is not a feature you will find in all tonneau covers. 

While most tonneau covers can open when you lower the tailgate, the RetraxONE gives you a choice. Open it whether the tailgate is opened or shut. The RetraxOne also works with most fifth-wheel hitches. 

Installation of the RetraxONE takes about an hour. Count on two people to do the lifting. The RetraxONE is relatively light, but installation requires that you partially assemble it before installation in the truck bed. 


Best One-piece Solid Tonneau Cover – UnderCover Elite LX

  • Warranty: Three-year warranty
  • Manufacturing: Made in the USA
  • Materials: Polycarbonate tonneau cover with aluminum alloy reinforcement inside
  • Price: Check Price

The Elite Undercover LX is an excellent choice for this category. The cover consists of polycarbonate with aluminum reinforcements. It is impact resistant, corrosion-proof, and stands up to extremes in temperatures. It supports up to 250 pounds of distributed weight. Choose from a matte black finish, or you can have it color-matched to your truck for that one-color look. 

This cover comes with an ergonomically designed handle at the tailgate and includes a lock. Everything about this cover says attractive. Even better, the lights on the cover illuminating the opened bed’s interior are detachable. You can place them on the back of your truck as extra hazard lights in an emergency or use the attached hook to dangle them in the engine compartment or near the wheels if you are unfortunate enough to have on-the-road problems. The Undercover Elite LX also comes with a grabber tool mounted to the underside of the cover so that you can reach in and retrieve items that have slid to the front of your truck bed. 

The ease of installation of the Undercover Elite LX is surprising. It takes two people to lift the cover onto the truck, but the rest is a one-person job. Expect it to take less than an hour. Opening it is easy with the help of two struts that support it in the open position. 

If one-piece solid covers have a drawback, they hinder you from carrying full loads or a fifth-wheel hitch. Undercover Elite XL solves this with a removal process that’s as easy as the original installation. The manufacturer saw this coming, too, because each cover includes a mounting bracket that allows you to store the removed unit easily and safely in on a garage wall or shed. 


How to Choose the Best Tonneau Cover?

With all these designs, how do you decide on the ideal tonneau cover? The best strategy is to evaluate your purchase based on a series of considerations. By the time you get to the end of the list, you should know which type of tonneau cover you need. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the considerations. 

Security. What do you carry in your truck? You want decent security in your truck bed if you carry musical equipment, expensive tools, or pharmaceutical samples. A soft cover roll-up tonneau, or a soft-folding cover, offers little security except for hiding items from prying eyes. It’s called the out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach and works for many people. But a soft cover tonneau can be slit open with a box cutter. Look to hard folding covers, retractable covers, and one-piece hard covers for added security. Remember, though, that no tonneau cover is theftproof, only theft-resistant.  

Most tonneau covers, hard cover or soft cover, incorporate a rear-latch design wherein the tonneau cover can open only if you have access to the truck bed via the tailgate. A locking tailgate means access is only available by unlocking the tailgate, either with a key or a remote control key fob. This provides some security, but if the tonneau is a soft cover, there is still vulnerability. 

So why even consider a soft tonneau cover? Some truck owners are only looking for that sleek, cool look, and soft covers give them this. Also, with some thieves, the out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach works. 

Truck bed access. Every truck owner is different, but most of us carry things in the back of our truck, and we want access to it, sometimes quickly. A roll-up tonneau cover is attractive because of its low price point, but some may find it tedious to have to roll the cover up when you want to get into the truckbed and then have to roll it down again when it’s time to move on. It is time-consuming. For this reason, you might want to consider a hard folding cover or maybe even a retractable model. Both of these designs open quickly and allow quick access into the front portion of the truckbed, but they come with a higher price tag. 

Ease of use. You want a tonneau cover that is simple to use. One person should be able to open and close it easily. Many of the folding models use a side rail assembly. Others use clamps. There are several clamp designs, and everyone has their favorite. Some work well, but others need occasional adjustment. Shop around and ask other truck owners. The retractable tonneau covers are at the upper end of the price range, but owners swear by how easy it is to use them. 

Durability. Whether carrying tools or musical instruments, you can expect to open and close your tonneau cover several times daily. You want a tonneau cover that stands up to repeated use without excessive wear. The hook-and-loop industrial fasteners, side rail mechanisms, rear latches, and weatherstripping should all hold up. Another enemy of your tonneau cover is the elements: road dirt and soot, UV rays from the sun, repeated freezing temperatures, bird droppings, and sap from trees are all enemies of both soft and hard folding tonneau covers. Cleaning them on a regular basis helps, but the material should be able to withstand the weather, especially if you live in the sunbelt states or someplace with brutal winters. 

Budget.  Everyone has a budget. You must weigh how much you want to spend against your desired features. Tonneau covers range from a few hundred dollars for a basic soft cover roll-up model to more than $2,000 for a remote-control activated, retractable model or a one-piece solid cover color-matched to your truck. 


Frequently Asked Questions

A lot of these tonneau covers feature aluminum construction. Isn’t aluminum flimsy?

Aluminum has come a long way in the last few decades, mainly because we are talking about aluminum alloys. Aluminum is combined with other metals to be stronger yet remains lightweight. If you read through some of the promotional materials for these tonneau covers, you come across the term “aerospace-grade aluminum.” NASA and the Department of Defense do not mess around, so this is good stuff, and you can thank the Feds for a stronger, lighter tonneau cover. 

Most tonneau cover ads and promotions mention security. How effective are tonneau covers at protecting my stuff?

First, understand that nothing is theftproof. If thieves want something badly enough, they will get it in most instances. The purpose of any security measure is, first and foremost, to deter theft. Tonneau covers do this by making the contents of your truck invisible. If thieves don’t see stuff they can steal, they’re more likely to move onto a truck where the goods are visible. 

Soft tonneau covers may look nice, but they offer little security. The hard cover tonneaus, offer more of a safeguard, but a knowledgeable thief knows how to get past those, too. You are, however, making the thief’s life more difficult, encouraging him to move on to an uncovered truck. 

Also, check out this article: How to Break into a Snap Tonneau Cover 

How waterproof are tonneau covers?

Just as there are no theftproof tonneau covers, there is also no such thing as a waterproof one. The best you will get is water-resistant, meaning leaks are less likely. We’ve talked to entry-level tonneau cover owners who say they’ve never had so much as a drop or trickle in their truckbed, and we’ve also talked to owners who spent appreciable amounts of money for their tonneau cover and still have leaks. The approach you need to take is, if you don’t want it wet, then don’t rely solely on your tonneau cover to protect it. Often the leak has nothing to do with your tonneau cover and everything to do with your truck bed construction, or it’s the universe punishing you for misdeeds in a previous life. 

The ability of your tonneau cover to withstand leaks also depends a great deal on the quality of the installation. Follow the directions carefully and resist shortcuts. Consider having it professionally installed. Most tonneau covers are designed for do-it-yourself installation. If you opt for a professional installation, though, at least there is someone you can go back to and complain. 

If you have owned your tonneau cover for a few years, accept that things wear out. Exposure to extreme cold or heat is an enemy to rubber weatherstripping and molding. Repeated removal and reinstallation causes excessive wear and subsequent leaks. Inspect the weatherstripping and molding on your tonneau cover and replace it if worn. 

Then, again, your tonneau cover may never leak. Life is funny like that. To learn more about making your tonneau cover more water-resistant, check out Are Tonneau Covers Waterproof?  

I heard that tonneau covers increase your mileage. Is that true? How?

Tonneau covers can increase mileage–a little. It’s about aerodynamics. You cut through the air as you head down the highway at 60 MPH in your truck. The air rushes over your cab, and some of it travels down into the truckbed, where it bounces around before eventually finding its way over the tailgate and out behind your truck. All that air bouncing around causes turbulence and drag, which are the enemies of efficient aerodynamics. Even a soft tonneau cover prevents that air from entering your truck bed. You are more efficient. 

There is proof. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a trade association in the automotive industry, performed a wind tunnel study in 2007. They tested different trucks and different types of tonneau covers. On average, a tonneau cover reduced drag by 5.7%, resulting in a 1.8% increase in fuel efficiency. 

How do I wash my tonneau cover?

Just as with the rest of your car, use soap and water. We’re not talking dish detergent here, either. The car wash solution you use on your truck should suffice for regular washings. Agitate it with a soft-bristle brush to get the road dirt off, and you should be good to go. The three big enemies of your tonneau cover are UV rays from the sun, bird droppings, and tree sap. You cannot do much about the sun except use a good UV ray protectant. Remove tree sap and bird droppings as quickly as possible. Detailing advocates maintain that you should polish and wax your vehicle once a quarter, commensurate with the change of seasons. This also applies to your tonneau cover. See How to Maintain and Clean Your Tonneau Cover for more detailed information. 

What is an industrial hook-and-loop fastener?

Think Velcro, something with which we are all familiar. Velcro is the brand name for products made by The Velcro Companies. When referring to hook-and-loop fasteners, you take in a wider arrange of similar fastening systems that vary in their design and ability to hold things together, such as tonneau covers and side rails. 

I see different prices around for these tonneau covers, and not always the prices you list here. What’s happening here? 

Manufacturers and dealers run specials or discount prices if they have excess inventory. If they are launching an update, they might drop prices on the old models to free up space for inventory. Then there are also Amazon Prime Days. There are deals. Look for them. 


About the author

David Patterson

Our editor, who brings a wealth of experience in tonneau covers and truck accessories sales to our editorial team. With over a decade in the industry, David has a deep understanding of the products and a knack for helping customers find the perfect fit for their trucks.


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  • I use my truck for large items occasionally. Are there tonneau covers that can be easily removed or folded to accommodate large cargo?

    • Many tonneau covers, including folding, rolling, and retractable types, are built for versatility. They can be easily removed or folded away without the need to remove the rails, typically in just a few minutes. This feature allows you to accommodate large cargo when necessary.

      If you’re specifically looking for tonneau covers that can be removed without the use of tools, here are a few examples:
      Truxedo Sentry (hard rolling): It has two clips at the cab side, making it straightforward to remove.
      TruXedo Lo Pro (soft Cover): This cover features a quick-release system that facilitates easy removal.
      Tonnopro Covers (hard folding): They can be entirely removed within minutes too withoun any tool

  • I’ve seen tonneau covers with different locking mechanisms. Can you provide more information on the various locking options available and their pros and cons?

    • Tonneau covers come with various locking mechanisms, including manual latches, key-operated locks, and remote-controlled systems. Each has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of security and convenience. First of all, you need to decide on the type of cover. We’ll provide a detailed breakdown of these locking options in a separate article. Stay tuned for more information!

  • Didn’t tell much about the soft covers. Is it easy for a old lady to use? Do they have them for a GMC 1/2 ton? Do they come in colors? Are they heavy?

    • Soft tonneau covers are generally user-friendly and suitable for individuals of all ages, including older users, due to their lightweight design and ease of use. They are available for GMC 1/2 ton trucks. However, they may not offer a wide range of color choices, often coming in standard colors like black or gray. Soft tonneau covers can be made from various materials such as vinyl or canvas and can have different finishes, allowing you to choose one that matches your preferences and needs. As a recommendation, we can advise TruXedo TruXport

  • I’m interested in purchasing a tonneau cover, but I have a toolbox installed in my truck bed. Can you recommend covers that are compatible with toolboxes or provide solutions

    • There are several tonneau covers available that are compatible with toolboxes, providing a practical solution for your needs. Here are a few options to consider:

      Extang Trifecta Toolbox 2.0 Tonneau Cover – soft tri-fold cover
      Extang Solid Fold Toolbox 2.0 Tonneau Cover: similar to the Trifecta, but it provides hard folding design
      ACCESS® TOOLBOX EDITION – roll-up cover