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In Depth Review: RetraxONE MX

The RextraxONE MX is a hard, retractable tonneau cover that is made from one solid piece of polycarbonate that retracts into a canister mounted at the front of the truck bed. It is available for most models of trucks dating back as far as 1988. It is priced a little higher than other covers with the same function, but at the same time, its hard to find the right level of quality and functionality needed to get the job done every time. Does the RextraxONE MX measure up to these standards? We look a good look, and here’s what we found.

Main Features

  • Cover is one single piece of polycarbonate
  • Powdercoated finish
  • Sealed ball-bearing rollers

Competitive Products

  • Syneticusa Aluminum Hard Tonneau Cover
  • Pace Edwards SWC3250 Switchblade
  • Roll-N-Lock LG221M Locking Retractable M-Series 

What We Like

  • Single polycarbonate sheet
  • Lockable in any open position
  • Allows for bed T-slots for mounting accessories

What We Didn’t Like

  • Takes up too much bed space
  • Not easily removable
  • Movement when driving at high speeds

Overall Design and Construction

The RetraxONE MX is a retractable tonneau cover that is crafted out of one complete sheet of polycarbonate with a scratch-resistance matte black finish. The cover retracts back along a pair of aluminum support rails into a canister mounted at the front of the bed. The polycarbonate cover itself is designed to withstand a wide range of temperature, from -50 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it operable in just about any weather condition.

The cover is engineered to retract without any moving parts, including joints or hinges, other than the sealed ball-bearing that are mounted into the aluminum supports. This system makes for a smooth retraction into the canister, which measures out to approximately a foot square.

The RetraxONE MX has an integrated locking system that allows you to lock the cover in any position, from fully closed, to fully open, and anywhere between. This locking system also functions as a grip for cover operation.

Features

The one real stand-out of the RetraxONE MX from the crowded tonneau cover market is the versatility of use. The ability to lock anywhere along the bed makes perfect for towing a fifth wheel, carrying bikes, or other equipment without having to worry about the cover sliding around or having to remove it before use.

Furthermore, the way that the rails are mounted to the bed allows for unrestricted use of T-slots along either side of the bed. This allows you to equip your truck with just about any accessory that requires use of the T-slots, including ladder racks, tie downs, and much more.

The RetraxONE MX is backed by a full 1-year warranty, and then a limited lifetime warranty from then on.

If you are looking for a cover with a few more bells and whistles, Retrax offers two upgraded versions of the RetraxONE MX, the RetraxONE XR and the PowertraxONE MX.

The RextraxONE XR combines everything that is the RetraxONE MX with an integrated Trax Rail System. This rail system works well with most major brands of rack accessories including Rhino Rack, Yakima, Thule, and many more.

The PowertraxONE MX adds a bit more convenience to the RetraxONE MX by integrating electric operation. All it takes is a touch of a button on a wireless key fob for complete control of the cover’s operation.

Use

Retrax touts their best-selling tonneau cover as one that will give you the most use out of your truck bed. We found that this is only half true.

Sure, having the ability to lock the RextraxONE MX in any position without ever having to open or close the tailgate is something you don’t find with most tonneau covers of any type. And full access to your truck’s T-slots allows for maximum use of cargo accessories without hindering the cover’s movement. But there is one major drawback. The canister.

This drawback is quite common among retractable tonneau covers. The canister takes up bed space at the front of the bed, nearly a square foot to be exact. Furthermore, the cover itself sticks out another six inches from the canister. This means that you never truly get the full use of your truck bed unless you uninstall the canister. And we’ve come to learn that it’s no small feat to remove it.

Setting the canister issue aside, the RetraxONE MX performs well for daily use. The one-piece design holds up well against the elements and the rail system does a great job in keeping water from seeping into the bed. There have been reports about the cover wavering in the rails while driving at high speeds, but this is a problem that comes down to installation issues.

Installation

Rextrax states that it should take two to three hours for installation, with the clock starting with unpacking. We found that you should expect to spend at least three hours assembling all the parts and fitting it to your truck. Oh yeah, you are also going to require some help.

In order to get the tonneau cover onto the truck you must first attach the rails to the cover canister. Once that is done, you and a partner must lift the cover and then put it in place. This is an unwieldy process that may seem overwhelming for the less mechanically inclined truck owners. Help from Retrax’s customer service may be required.

The same is also a concern for the RextraxONE XR and the PowertraxONE MX. Each of these models require even more installation time, and much more effort to get it on right so that it seals properly and rolls smoothly.

Conclusion

The RetraxONE MR is definitely a cover to consider when it comes to both form and function. It’s a great looking tonneau cover with a low profile and it rolls smoothly no matter how wet and cold it gets. It will keep your gear safe and dry and you can access your gear effortlessly.

The bed space taken up by the canister and the installation issues are the two of our greatest concerns with this retractable tonneau cover. The former is something that you will have to contend with throughout your ownership of the cover, but the latter can be overcome with time and patience.

Weighing ease of use, bed space, and installation issues, we consider the RetraxONE MR, the RetraxONE XR and the Powertraxs MR all worthy purchases.

About the author

tonneaucovershub@gmail.com

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