Finding the best tonneau cover can be a challenge, so it’s important to know the drawbacks associated with the various models on the market.
Whether you’re protecting your truck bed from scratches or shielding precious cargo, tonneau covers are essential. Before you buy, though, you need to know the pros and cons to each of the types available.
There are three major types of truck-bed covers to choose from: hard, retractable and soft vinyl. Knowing the issues with each will prepare you for things like installation, durability and efficiency.
Hard truck-bed covers
Hard covers are popular for anyone who wants the most stable and durable product. Commonly made of fibreglass or ABS plastic, these are incredibly strong and sleek.
The material also provides security for anything you’re hauling in the bed of your truck. It would take a huge amount of force to penetrate or remove a hard cover. You can even lock most hard covers with a key.
This type of cover doesn’t have high clearance, so you’ll be removing it any time you’re hauling a fridge or most pieces of furniture. This is where the challenge comes in. Hard covers are not easy to remove.
Retractable covers are the most convenient of the three options. These fold together like garage doors, sliding evenly across a track. As the top is retractable, access to the bed’s contents is as simple as sliding it open. There are even motorized retractable covers for automated access.
Retractable covers can also be configured with extra storage space near the cab, like a tool box, as the cover retracts, rather than hinging or rolling open. This cover can be locked and secured, and are water and weather resistant, just like the hard tonneau cover.
The challenge with a retractable option is in the installation, which can be very tricky. If you’re installing the retractable tonneau by yourself, it can be challenging to line it up with the sliding track.
Soft covers are much lighter and far cheaper than their hard and retractable counterparts. The softer options can be rolled up and stored for easy access. Despite the ease of use, many swear by hard and retractable covers for their durability and security.
Of course, there is another downside to soft covers. Usually made from a soft vinyl, they offer reasonable protection from rain and light wind, but they are no match for inclement weather. Heavy snow or rain could cave in your cover.