Adding a tonneau cover to your truck protects your gear from weather conditions and from any potential thieves. It lets both you and your gear rest easy regardless of the situation.

Having a nice open truck bed might be exceedingly convenient for hauling just about anything, unless that something can be damaged by a surprise rainstorm, or is something a passerby might take a liking to.

Tonneau covers are low-profile, heavy-duty cases you can put to cover your bed to protect whatever is inside. They lie flush with the top of your bed and seal from the inside, so once your tailgate shuts, people cannot break in.

These covers offer a lot of versatility, since they can be secured open to provide access or locked down as needed. Moreover, most models do not require any permanent modifications to be made to your truck.

Whether you simply need something for the rain, or so you can feel at easy leaving your truck unattended for a few minutes, tonneau covers come at a variety of price points with a multitude of features to fit your exact needs.

Here is our guide to finding the right tonneau cover for you:

7 Best Tonneau Covers

Best Overall Tonneau Cover: Black Series Hard Trifold Solid Tonneau Cover

black series hard trifold solid tonneau cover

  • Weight: ~50 pounds
  • Material: Textured gloss steel
  • Fold Type: trifold
  • High Points: durability, strength, aesthetics
  • Low Points: bulky, poor packaging when shipped
Why it’s a Top Pick

This heavy-duty tonneau cover, made by Top Series, provides excellent security and weather resistance at a reasonable price. The steel top provides strong durability without jeopardizing the accessibility or the aesthetics.

Though many more expensive models exist on the market, this one performs similarly to higher end models at a more reasonable price point.

Additionally, this model comes with an easy install and Black Series’ support replaces damaged parts without too much difficulty.

What the Experts Think

People love the look of this cover, as it provides a nice flat top that can support large amounts of weight (you can walk right on top of it if you want).

Some customers report finding damaged or broken parts after shipping, but Black Series will ship replacement parts, so make sure to inspect the product when you receive it.

The installation is relatively painless and fits the listed measurements quite accurately. If you pick out the right one of their selection it should reliably be a snug fit.

Features and Considerations

This is a tri-fold cover, which is the most common type on the market, which means it gives you access to your bed, but can get in your way a little bit if you are loading larger items, since it only folds so far.

The strong steel top and frame system make this a really secure option, however.  Once you lock up your tailgate it is virtually impossible for anyone to open up the cover.

This option also comes with built-in LED lights to illuminate the interior of your bed while the top is closed. This makes it easier to move smaller items in and out of the bed without needing to open up the cover.

Runner-Up Overall Tonneau Cover: Tyger Auto T5 Alloy Hard Top Tonneau Cover

tyger auto t5 alloy hard top tonneau cover
  • Weight: ~70 pounds
  • Material: alloy, aluminum frame
  • Fold Type: hard top tri-fold
  • High Points: top brand-name, warranty, good weather resistance
  • Low Points: lower durability
Why it’s a Top Pick

As you will see later in this article as well, Tyger is one of the top brand names for a reason. They provide reliable covers with 5-year warranties that inspires a lot of confidence and brand loyalty.

Their hard-top cover excels at keeping bad weather away from your gear in conditions such as heavy snow or rain. It maintained its seal through a car wash as well, showing once again its reliability.

Additionally, the installation for this model is a breeze and it creates a nice secure box within which you can safely leave your gear.

What the Experts Think

Experts absolutely love the strong weather seal that this model provides. If you are really worried about anything you are hauling getting wet, then this might be the perfect option for you.

Moreover, the installation is very easy and foolproof. Ten or fifteen minutes will be all you need to get this piece fitted.

Additionally, this provides the nice sleek look that is characteristic of all the hard-top trifolds, giving your truck a nice look.

Features and Considerations

This model is a hard-top trifold, meaning that it is heavier and more secure than softer, cheaper options, but also a bit bulkier. You can fold it back most of the way, but it will still block a small part of your bed.

Additionally, the aluminum frame is slightly inferior compared to other high-end models. The five-year warrants means you don’t need to worry about any short-term degradation, but long-term users may want to consider something more durable if you intend to use it heavily.

Most users have not found any problems with this model deteriorating, so the average buyer can safely assume its longevity, especially given its warranty.

Tyger’s T-line makes many similar products with slightly different specifications as well (see the next item in this guide) if your needs are slightly different.

Best Middling Option: Tyger Auto T3 Truck Tonneau Cover

tyger auto t3 truck tonneau cover
  • Weight: 36 pounds
  • Material: vinyl top, aluminum frame.
  • Fold Type: multiple types available
  • High Points: easy access to the bed, weatherproof, easy install
  • Low Points: primarily vinyl cover, lower security
Why it’s a Top Pick

As one of the industry leaders, it is not surprising to see Tyger featured twice for their tonneau covers. This Brand industry leader’s main line has models of ranging price ranges and styles.

This model provides the standard Tyger weather resistance on a softer, lighter, and more supple frame. These softer models are easier to work around, without jeopardizing the weather seal.

The Tyger warranty ensures that, if fitted correctly, this cover can last anyone for as long as they need it to, and the installation is a breeze.

What the Experts Think

Experts love the weather resistance on these models, finding the easy fit leads to a consistent seal against any adverse conditions.

The warranty also lets people rest easy and not worry about any defective parts rendering the cover useless after a few years, though the vinyl can sometimes melt a little in the sun which detracts from the aesthetics.

Additionally, the frame fits with the cover well so that it won’t rattle or shake as you drive or in the wind, giving it a nice smooth feel.

Features and Considerations

This is a softer top, which makes it remarkably easy to fold back, remove, or otherwise store when you are loading or working on your truck. However, softer tops are slightly easier to break into for determined thieves.

The warranty ensures that any fully defective parts will be replaced, but the aluminum and vinyl still sometimes begin to show their age with small bits of wear building up over time.

For people with weather resistance as their primary concern, this is a top option to consider, especially at its unbeatable price point.

Runner-Up Middling option: Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover

gator etx soft tri fold tonneau cover
  • Weight: ~25 pounds
  • Material: vinyl
  • Fold Type: soft tri-fold
  • High Points: weather proofing, easy fit,
  • Low Points: weak clamping system
Why it’s a Top Pick:

Gator is a well-known and respected brand that produces tonneau covers in the middle and lower price ranges. Their products are simple, but reliable, and give consumers their money’s worth.

This model has an easy installation process and has the option to custom fit to your specific make and model, alleviating any fear you might have that it won’t fit your vehicle.

Additionally, this provides a nice, reliable weather-proof seal that you can trust to keep your gear dry and clean while in transit.

What the Experts Think

Experts love the easy fit on this model, a feature that drives this to be one of the more weather-resistant models out there. The closer the fit, the less likely a leak is to spring up out of nowhere.

Additionally, the Gator ETX provides a nice, sleek, low profile option that looks really nice on most vehicles.

The main concern people have encountered is with the clamping system this model uses to affix the cover to your bed.  It is a little weak in some places, so you need to be careful when tightening it down. Additionally, this cover can sometimes flap slightly in the wind.

Features and Considerations

This is a soft trifold, which means it sits in a middle ground of covers in terms of trading off between security, weight, and durability. It gets the job down all around, but doesn’t really excel in any one category.

It is more secure than the snap-on covers, but significantly less so than a hard top. A model with a frame and sturdier materials will likely be more resistant to theft.

Overall, this is a good middling cover that is best as weather protection.

Best Budget Option: Gator ETX Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover

gator etx soft roll up tonneau cover
  • Weight: ~25 pounds
  • Material: leather-grain vinyl
  • Fold Type: roll-back
  • High Points: price, low profile, aesthetics
  • Low Points: low security, flimsier frame material
Why it’s a Top Pick

This model is one of the top options for the budget price range. It is smaller and lighter than many other options while still providing a nice-looking cover for your bed.

The fit is fairly reliable, and it is designed to maximize bed and tailgate access. Installation is a breeze with the clamp system.

The model is tension adjustable as well to make it even easier to fit it onto your rig properly. This model does everything it sets out to do. It is simple and without many extra features, but it covers your bed nicely.

What the Experts Think

Users really love the accessibility and aesthetics of this model. It is exceedingly easy to adapt it to your needs depending on the kind of bed access you desire.

Additionally, its smaller size and gentle install mean you can safely remove it when you don’t need it and put it back on whenever you want.

The main concerns people find are with the cheaper materials. Truthfully, you get what you pay for.  They are perfectly sufficient for most work, but are a little bit thin, making security or heavy use a risk.

Features and Considerations

This is a soft rollback cover, meaning you can easily push it back and tie it down for full bed access when you are not using the cover.

The lighter materials do not threaten to fall apart with simple driving, but if you intend on using it for more strenuous work or if security is a large concern for you, you should probable invest in something stronger.

Overall, this is perfect for people in need of something light and portable for moderate or sporadic usage.

Another Solid Budget Option: Lund 90007 Genesis Snap Tonneau Cover

lund 90007 genesis snap tonneau cover
  • Weight: ~20 pounds
  • Material: Soft vinyl top.
  • Fold Type: roll-back/snap-on
  • High Points: price, weather proofing, install, bed access
  • Low Points: low security, low durability, hard to use in cold weather
Why it’s a Top Pick

The Lund snap cover provides a reliable seal for a remarkably low price. As one of the cheapest options on the market, this cover really gives consumers their money’s worth.

It gives a nice smooth look as it snaps into an easy-install frame. It can easily be rolled up or removed as needed so that you can access your full bed while using this cover.

Additionally, it is more secure than many other snap-options, making it more weather resistant and secure in the wind.

What the Experts Think

Experts love the price and the reliable weather resistance of this cover. It does its job of protecting anything in the bed of your truck.

The cover snaps on smoothly, fitting to the edge of your bed, to provide a nice-looking seal.

However, many people have noted that installing it, though simple, requires some strength to stretch it across the bed and get it to snap down properly, especially in cold weather conditions.

Features and Considerations

This top will hide any gear you have in your truck, but it will do less to protect it than a harder cover, or even some of the other soft covers. A determined thief can break into anything anyway, but this will not pose them that much of a challenge.

This kind of cover is extremely light and portable compared to trifolds or hard-tops. People worried about bed-access may prefer this model.

It takes some breaking in, but once the vinyl stretches out (as it will over time) the snaps become easier to snap and installation becomes easier as well.

Weather and Security Powerhouse Option: UnderCover Ultra Flex Hard Folding Tonneau Cover

undercover ultra flex hard folding tonneau cover
  • Weight: ~80 pounds
  • Material: alloy
  • Fold Type: hard-top tri-fold
  • High Points: security, weather proofing, durability
  • Low Points: weight, cost
Why it’s a Top Pick

This model by UnderCover provides a solid, easily installed, heavy-duty cover for your rig. It comes with all the bells and whistles on a nice aesthetic package.

This durable cover features multiple riding positions as well as a nice carpeted interior. When closed entirely, it forms weatherproof and intruder-proof seal.

Additionally, all of these extra features don’t negatively impact the installation or accessibility of the cover – you can still access your full bed.

What the Experts Think

Experts really appreciate the easy install and logical fit of this cover. It lies flush with the truck bed and does can remain in place when you open and close the tailgate – this makes it easier to access all parts of your bed.

Additionally, the materials of this top are simply more durable and sturdy, as well as nice looking, compared to the vinyl sported by many of the other options.

The only complaint people have found is with the weather-proofing tape that comes with it to seal some of the edges. You may want to buy an upgraded option that will stop the small drip-leaks more reliably (you can get it at your hardware store).

Features and Considerations

This model comes with pretty much all the nifty features you could desire, including lights, a nice carpeted interior, and a built-in soft toolbox.

This is another hard-top tri-folding option, which means you get extra sturdiness and security, but it is considerably on the heavy and bulky side. It should still be easily manageable, but that is still something to consider.

Finally, this comes with a five-year warranty so you can safely try it out for a while to make sure it fits your needs.

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The Complete Tonneau Covers Buyer’s Guide

What to Look For: How to Pick the Right Tonneau Cover

Depending on your truck, the distance you haul, and the kind of stuff you bring, your needs are going to be different. First, identify how you want to use your truck, and then figure out which features are most important to you for achieving that goal.

Different factors matter to different people – while this is a straightforward piece of gear, factors like:

  • Durability
  • Price
  • Weight and size
  • Material
  • Bed-access
  • Installation/removal difficulty and portability
  • Security
  • Weather resistance

Some may matter more to you than others, and vice versa for other people. Here’s a quick guide to some ideas to keep in mind while narrowing down your choices:

What are the dimensions of your bed?

This is far and away the most important aspect of the shopping process. Everything in this guide – weather proofing, security, accessibility – is dependent on your cover fitting your truck as well as possible.

There are lots of resources available to help you determine if a cover will fit your truck. Amazon even has a little drop-down menu where you can put in your vehicle’s specifications and it will guide you to covers that will likely fit your bed.

What kind of bed access do you need?

The materials, weight, frame, and, most importantly, fold type will dictate how easily you can access your hitch-mounted trailer while the cover is installed. Almost all covers offer some options to fold them back in some way so you can access all or most of your bed.

Consider how much of your bed you need to access at a time, which sides you want to access it from, and how you would want to fasten a cover. All of these options can help guide you to the perfect cover.

What fold type do you prefer?

There are many different folding mechanisms used to make the covers movable and accessible. In addition to these fold types, the tops can be made out of hard, rigid material or out of soft, flexible material.

Hard tops provide greater security and durability, but also can restrict your bed access a little bit more. Hard tops range in fold types, but the most common is a tri-fold model.

Softer tops are often actually a bit more install-intensive, but once installed give better access to the bed and are often lighter, making them easier to move around. They are also often less secure and can be a bit more flimsy.

How much are you willing to spend?

The cheapest covers start at around $150 and continue up to well over $1,000. In this guide, we aim to find options that hit that sweet spot of providing all the features you need without gouging too big a hole in your wallet.

Most people don’t need to buy the top end models to suit their needs. Even the softer roll-back models do a decent job at protecting your bed.  Nevertheless, think about what material you want, since that is what usually drives the price upwards the fastest.

What material do you want?

The type of material used is one of the greatest dictators of price points.  This also means that it is one of the most important aspects when it comes to durability and aesthetics.

The thicker the material, the less likely it is to shake in the wind or tear or crack over time. Moreover, thicker, stronger materials provide stronger deterrence for any would-be thieves.

How can I be sure the cover won’t leak?

Truthfully, the mostly important determining factor to prevent leaking is the fit of the cover on your bed. The closer the fit, the fewer leaks. Some covers also leak a little bit (a few drips here and there) when you first install them, but get better over time.

You can minimize or completely prevent this leakage by applying weather stripping anywhere you think water is getting through. If the leaks worsen over time, however, then you probably have a bad fit on your cover, or something else is wrong.

Installation

Most covers feature a no-drill install to make it as easy as possible to get the cover onto your vehicle. You usually fit a frame of some kind in and around your bed, to which you can attach the cover.

The installation difficulty varies a little bit with each model – usually, harder-top models are bulkier and heavier, but a bit less complicated to install. Once you have the frame on, however, it is pretty easy to maneuver the cover.

Warranty

Almost all models come with warranties. Check the one you buy, since many stipulate that the cover “fit” well in order to be eligible to be covered.

Warranties for covers tend to range from a couple years to a lifetime. Additionally, most brands stand by their product and will communicate with you to solve problems.

How much security do you need?

One of the main uses of a tonneau cover is to protect your gear from prying eyes and hands. Quite simply, a determined thief can break into anything with enough time, but the stronger the cover, the more likely it is to deter unwanted attention.

If you do not expect to be leaving your vehicle unattended for long periods of time, any cover that looks secure might be sufficient. If you are more concerned, however, look into the sturdier options.

Here’s an outline for the models in our guide:

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How We Ranked Our List

The things you most want to consider when choosing a tonneau cover are the dimensions of the cover, the component materials, the ease/reliability of its installation, the durability, the fold type, and, of course, price.

When ranking our list, we tried to find models that were universally suited to most people’s needs and that provided great value for their price point.

Weight

While the weight only really matters for installation and maintenance purposes, you may want to consider it when thinking about your overall rig.  If you think you will often need to move the cover by yourself, you might want one of the lighter options.

Fold Type

The fold type dictates how you will maneuver the cover and how it will sit on your vehicle.

Material Type(s)

The material is one of the most important features when it comes to longevity of your cover, as well as its security.

Value

Buying an expensive model only is worth it if that price offers you extra quality or reliability.  We tried to only choose models that we believe are worth their increased price point and won’t break down unexpectedly.

Likewise, we hold more expensive options to higher standards when it comes to durability and reliability.

Durability

We believe that having a model that lasts is of utmost importance. As such, we selected covers that have long lives, usually far exceeding their warranties. We especially emphasize ones that stay weather-proof and secure over time.

Weather Proofing

The amount of weather proofing you need may depend on what you are hauling.  Many people may see a few drops as detrimental while others see it as insignificant.

Most importantly, a well-fitting cover will ensure you will get the most out of whatever cover you end up buying.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know if a cover will fit my rig?

The best thing to do is ask the supplier, or look at the FAQs of that specific model.  Most manufactures will list the specific dimensions or models necessary to make sure it will fit perfectly.

Additionally, Amazon has a drop-down menu that lets you input your specifications and it will help you find a fitting cover.  All you need to do is go to the tonneau section of the website.

How do I install a tonneau cover?

It depends on the specific cover.  Most rely on a series of clamps or maybe a small frame to secure it to your truck. It takes on average 30 minutes to an hour. You shouldn’t need any heavy tools or equipment to make it work.

Just make sure to follow the instructions and it should not be exceedingly difficult to install.

Will I need to make modifications to my truck?

These days, most covers don’t require any permanent changes.  Some of the sturdier models use a built-in frame, but that should be securable with clamps as well and not require any drilling.

How long should a tonneau cover last?

Years and years. Most warranties last at least five, with some being lifetime warranties. Nevertheless, many models start to look a little worn after a while, but a complete failure should never really happen.

As long as you don’t abuse the cover, it should last you for a good long time.

Do I really need a tonneau cover?

Generally speaking, tonneau covers are best for people who either haul a lot of weather-sensitive items or people who sometimes walk away from their vehicle, leaving their items unattended.

Realistically, these two categories describe most people. Nevertheless, it is up to you to decide whether a cover is a worthwhile investment for you.

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