The UnderCover Elite is a hard one-piece tonneau cover that comes in two distinct versions: the Elite and Elite LX, which are designed to fit most late model trucks as well as different sizes of bed lengths. Each of these covers are priced a bit higher than other covers in their class, but with higher prices comes higher quality. At least, that’s the idea. We took a careful look at both versions of the Elite, and this is what we found.
UV protected ABS composite construction
Integrated locking mechanism
LED lighting system
Double seal system
Patriot Eagle Tonneau Cover
Ranch Sportwrap Tonneau Cover
A.R.E. LSII SERIES
What We Like
Integrated handle and locking mechanisms
Cargo retriever included in both models
What We Didn’t Like
May need to carry an extra key
Paint doesn’t always perfectly match on the Elite LX
Overall Design and Construction
The UnderCover Elite is designed to turn the bed of your truck into an elongated trunk. All four sides of the tonneau cover form a lip around the edge of the bed to create a virtually watertight seal. No part of the bed rails are exposed. A pair of pneumatic struts at the front of the cover function much like that of a SUV’s hatch, which offer smooth opening and closing operation.
The Elite is constructed of rugged ABS material, which enables it to withstand, weather, fading and cracking from UV waves, and just about anything you can put it through. In fact, UnderCover’s patented X-Effect design makes it capable of withstanding up to 500 pounds of evenly distributed weight.
An integrated handle and locking mechanism turns your truck bed into a virtual safe. The lock and handle are designed with seamless movement and functionality as not to disturb the look and feel of your truck.
The UnderCover Elite LX comes with all the design and functionality of the Elite along with a number of additions. The most apparent is the painted surface. UnderCover paints the Elite LX with Axalta waterborne paint to match the factory paint job of your truck. In addition to the paint, the Elite LX sports a carpeted headliner that offers both protection and a finished look.
One of the most impressive things we discovered about the UnderCover Elite is that it comes with a variety of features not found in most aftermarket tonneau covers. This, of course, is where price comes into play.
The Undercover Elite is equipped with a cargo retriever tool that is designed to help owners extend their reach into the bed when the cover is closed. This feature eliminates the need to raise the cover to get to gear that has slid to the front of the bed. This may seem like a minor detail, but if you’ve ever had to fish an item out of your bed with a cover in place, you know that this is a valuable addition.
The Elite also comes with a versatile LED light system. These lights brighten up your bed so you can always find what you are looking for, no matter if it’s day or night. And they are also removable, so you can point the light right where you need it. The Elite LX takes this one step further, adding hooks, stands and even magnets to the removable lights, so their functionality extends far beyond the truck bed itself.
The UnderCover Elite and Elite LX are made in the USA and are both backed by a minimum of a 3-year warranty on structure (lifetime for the Elite LX) and 1 year on parts and labor.
One of the main questions that come with tonneau covers is: How much bed space am I going to lose? With the UnderCover Elite and Elite LX, the answer is very little. The only bed space occupied is a few inches on either side for the hinges and the pneumatic struts.
There is no question about the UnderCover Elite’s ability to keep the bed dry. The overlapping lips and weather stripping protect the bed from the elements like no tri-fold or roll-up tonneau cover can. No leaks, no drips.
A drawback of any flat tonneau cover is that if you never need to carry something that extends over the bed. As far as the Elite and Elite LX is concerned, removal of the cover is intended to be an easy task, as long as you have a place to store the cover when not in use. This isn’t exactly true. The cover unlatches easy enough, but it does weigh 70 pounds. Because of its size, moving it around may not be as easy as it sounds.
The locking mechanism is supposed to be programable to fit ignition keys, but with a little research we found that certain truck models may not be compatible (i.e., Toyota Tacoma and Tundra). This may require you to carry an extra key that works just for the tonneau cover.
The UnderCover Elite LX paint does a great job of matching your factory paint job; however, if your truck is a few yeas old, you may notice a different in luster and sheen, especially in the sun. This is something that you really can’t do anything about.
The UnderCover Elite and Elite LX arrives ready to install as ordered but does require a little preparation to install on your truck, along with a couple tools. Installing the brackets and hydraulic struts take a few minutes but placing the cover itself will require some help in setting properly especially due to its size and weight. You can expect to spend an hour or so installing the tonneau cover.
The weight of the UnderCover Elite and Elite LX are essentially the only the drawbacks of installation and removal of the tonneau cover. Removal and re-installation are straightforward. Ball struts on either side of the mounting brackets both release and accept the struts with a slight turn. But setting it in place or pulling it away from the truck may require some help.
The UnderCover Elite and Elite LX are the types of tonneau covers to consider if aesthetics is any part of the equation, and UnderCover meets them on every level. You get weather protection, security, and functionality in a complete package. You really can’t go wrong with the UnderCover Elite and Elite LX, no matter what version you chose.