The best truck bed covers are designed not only for the vehicle’s aesthetic appearance. There are several more practical reasons for getting them. Any of the high-quality tonneaus mentioned below protects your load against damage when driving off-road, as well as from severe weather. It’s becoming possible to haul everything: high-tech equipment, agricultural products, or stuff for a family trip.
The tonneau cover comparison below includes models that are made of different materials and feature various styles. There are both folding and roll-up designs that are resistant to water, UV, and other aggressive impacts.
Soft items are cheaper and lighter, but hard ones are heavier, stronger, and more secure. With regard to the heavy-duty constructions, they come in handy to transport ATVs or any other heavy items. Some of the units are sturdy enough to put some weight on them (speaking of the soft models, it’s possible in case of emergency only).
The following tonneau cover reviews describe items that allow saving up to 10% of gas mileage. All of the products also take care of your privacy when concealing cargo from other people’s idle curiosity. The tonneaus are fitted with tailgates to protect the stuff from thieves.
The next best truck bed covers are relevant to Ford F150, RAM 1500, and Chevrolet Silverado. All the tonneaus are high-quality models that provide easy and fast access to the bed.
Truck Bed Covers Reviews
Best Truck Bed Covers for Ford F150
The tonneau cover F150 is designed for the 6.5-feet bed. It’s easy to remove it within 5 minutes – just loosen two nuts and unhook a hook to utilize the full length of your pickup truck bed. The unit comes with everything that is necessary to install it: it’s ready to unbox, set on top of bed rails, and line it up. A slight adjustment of the attachment levers to set the tension before locking in place is required.
The unit itself doesn’t have a lock. It secures shut with two latches near the tailgate. Once the tailgate is shut and locked, there is no access to open the cover. There are dedicated bars across the middle of the cover to support snow on top. The cover’s clips are strong enough to last for a long period and they’re easy-adjustable for proper tension.
The F150 bed cover can be used with OEM bed extender but it would need clearance of 3–4 inches on the side of the bed for the clamps to be able to attach correctly. It will work with a spray-in bed liner. There are four brackets to mount in the tracks on the sides of the bed. To that end, there are four brackets to mount in the tracks on the sides of the bed. The clamps connect to these brackets. The cover just sits on top of the bed with a gasket to seal it.
- No leaks are noticeable and the unit keeps everything inside the truck box dry.
- The frame has a 5-year warranty.
- It does not make any noise while driving.
- Since the unit is a soft vinyl-based model, one could cut through it. However, it’s tear-resistant and supported by an aluminum frame.
It’s the F150 bed cover for the 5.5-feet bed. The unit’s dismantling isn’t difficult, but it takes up to 20 minutes as it’s the roll-up design that requires loosening screws and clamps for complete removal. There are straps to secure the unit when it’s desired to leave it rolled-up.
The unit’s engineering is great since the crossbars are strong enough to hold up well when it comes to snow. The cover doesn’t leak and it’s possible to go through an automatic car wash and the bed will stay dry. Actually, it’s not waterproof but if aligning the side rails properly and close the velcro on the side rails, no water gets into the bed of the truck. If speaking of the unit’s ability to save its properties at high temperatures, some softening or stretching of vinyl can be expected, but they won’t be permanent.
Without locking and the latch, it can only be released with the tailgate open. Such solution is typical for the vinyl construction but, in this case, it fits tough on all sides and if the tailgate is locked, it’s necessary to cut it to get into it.
The unit has a limited lifetime warranty on the aluminum rails, components, and hardware as well as a 10-year warranty on the vinyl. There’s very little vibration when driving and it should cut down on the drag of the tailgate.
- It comes with a little LED light that velcros to the bed.
- Extra seals are included for a better seal behind the cab.
- It comes with an extra weatherstrip.
- It moves a lot when driving from the wind.
When thinking of the best tonneau cover, the BAKFlip MX4 is worth attention as it’s able to keep the bed dry inside even in the pouring rain.
There is no lock in this cover. The unit is manufactured with four sections to the top. Each of them locks down to the side rails automatically as a driver closes each section. The tailgate lock is onboard. So, how to use it? Just unlock the tailgate, open it, and then open the top via a pull cable on the underside of the top.
Sometimes, it happens that rub against the cab or window fold up against the truck cab and scratch it. This unit comes with three foam pads to prevent any damage or wear on the cab.
It’s easy to take the cover off as it folds effortlessly and it doesn’t matter which side is the user on. It takes up approximately 6 inches in the fully folded position at the top where it is attached to the front of the bed. Below that top lip, there is no bed intrusion that’s why full use of the bed below the rail is possible. So, one can fold it all the way up and use the support rods to keep it open or drive with one open section.
- It’s possible to open and close the tailgate with the cover closed.
- The unit opens and closes smoothly and it’s properly lined up.
- I received a pack with heavily scratched side rails.
Best Truck Bed Covers for RAM 1500
This RAM 1500 tonneau cover is well made and finished. It’s lightweight (near 30 lbs) and easy to install with four screws. The unit comes with foam tape to avoid gaps between the cover and the truck, as well as urethane pads to stick where the screws contact the rail. It keeps stuff clean and dry when hitting rain, wind, and traveling dusty roads.
This model is perfect if looking for cheap truck bed covers made of high-quality vinyl. It looks durable and its edge stitching is straight and flawless. Besides, the unit features solid construction in the frame and tie-down areas. There is a pair of plastic clips that hold it closed when folded and stay on the outside near the cab but no flapping around or damaging anything is noticed. It might be necessary to adjust the clamp location to make the cover fit the width of the bed.
- It comes with straps that hold down the folded-up cover if needing to travel with the cover open.
- The enclosed weather stripping at the front of the bed near the cab makes it a great seal.
- Unlike screw mounting, mounting holes allow for easy re-installation.
- When folding, the attachments flip up that requires walking around the truck several times stowing them before it will fold.
- The disconnect lever isn’t easy to operate (that is not surprising when speaking of budget models) and it’s necessary to reach far back and put a lot of force into the lever to move it.
This pickup truck bed cover is remarkable for its sturdily designed crossbars. Besides, the front clamps are made of durable stainless steel, and the frames are aluminum and powder-coated. The clamps are positioned an angle and have three slots for adjustment.
When driving the cover folded up or open, it’s secured with plastic straps. The locking is a cable in the middle and spring-loaded on both sides. The tension is set automatically. No tape is required between the cover and bed rails since it’s installed directly to the sides of the bed. The unit has a rubber gasket underneath so the bed will remain waterproof. The unit stays dry through typical snow but lets a little water in at the front bulkhead if using a power washer.
The two aft sections fold onto the first section by the cab. Therefore, the unit can be reduced to 1/3 of its size. Loosening the hand-held fastener knobs allows removing it from the vehicle within minutes. Installation through a usual screwdriver and a wrench/socket for the clamps is easy.
- It’s made of tear-resistant marine-grade vinyl with a density of 24 oz. It ensures no tarnishing, rust, and corrosion.
- The manufacturer encloses a 10-year warranty.
- The unit comes with a storage bag in the package.
- The middle crossbar buckles a little when putting it under pressure. It decreases the truck’s aerodynamics that offsets the benefit of fuel consumption.
Best Truck Bed Covers for Chevrolet Silverado
This Silverado tonneau cover makes it possible to use the entire bed of the truck as it folds up to an upright position parallel with the rear cab window and comes with braces on both sides to hold it there. It’s possible to open it at varying levels and it doesn’t block the rearview mirror camera when the cover is folded open.
It’s made of automotive grade thermoplastic material that is scratch-resistant and it features a heavy-duty aluminum frame. The laminated panels add more strength. Such construction protects the cover from puncturing and cutting (certainly, such damages are possible but require huge physical efforts). The material is also protected from UV rays. It lays flat and doesn’t protrude over the rails or anything else.
The unit’s EPDM seals cover the rails good enough to prevent heavy leaking under bad weather conditions. The unit is easy to install, but it needs some adjustments to make it fit over the tailgate. A wrench is desired for proper mounting and drilling is necessary only when installing the drainage tube.
- It comes bundled with the hardware for mounting the cover.
- Also, there is a rubber seal strip that sticks to the lip part of the bed that’s why it fits and seals with a plastic bed liner.
- It would be great to get a small tab attached. The cable needs to be pulled to release each section that might be caught up in the slot. A pair of needle-nose pliers comes in handy to get it out of the slot.
This cover is made of vinyl, fits any standard pickup, and reduces drag. It has neither a leak nor a shrinking/stretching problem. The side rails are metal and have high-quality clamps. It is watertight because the foam seal on the sides protects against rain or car wash.
If having a fifth wheel coupling, one can roll this cover back and leave it on while towing since the unit has straps to hold it in the tied position and the support bars roll up with the caver.
The soft roll-up cover is locked with a tailgate and it’s designed to be pulled very tight to prevent flapping around in the wind. The bows have velcro and roll up on the cover. So, there’s no need to remove and store the bows separately. Note that it might be necessary to readjust the rails to fit the velcro cover properly.
Once you’ve opened the tailgate, there are two latches – one on each side. Reach up underneath and pull down the latch to see a popup that works flawlessly. Once it’s unlatched, go ahead and start rolling up the cover back. To close the unit, just start the reversing process – roll the cover out, get the metal bar that sits on the back into the grooves on each side. There is no gap in the back when locking down the cover.
- The product completely covers the pockets that are on the top of the bedside rails.
- It doesn’t rattle or make any noise on the road.
- Hard spring tension, meaning, when pulling the cover down, a lot of effort is needed to click it down in the place.
What does Tonneau Cover Mean?
When acquiring your first pickup, the related question “what is a tonneau cover?” may arise. To put it simply, it’s a lid and it’s designed to cover the open back of the truck to keep the stuff inside safe. The tonneaus might be designed for a specific model of the vehicle by default but fit for numerous truck brands.
It’s possible to find a waterproof tonneau cover either for mini or a full-sized truck, as well as for a street custom and a grocery hauler.
If speaking of the whole range of models on the market, it’s possible to choose from the soft, hard, liftable, color-matched hinged, and retractable (sliding) models according to the drivers’ needs and budget. Regardless of the type, the most advanced units are the low-profiled covers that don’t add extra-height to a truck.
How to Mount the Tonneau Cover?
When a driver has chosen the appropriate truck tarp, he/she should know how to install a tonneau cover. The nuances of installation depend on the type of the unit that’s why let’s see some basic variants for soft roll-up or tri-fold cover.
Attach the side rails. Use a couple of plastic clamps (they won’t scratch the paint) to hold things in place while getting everything attached.
- Make sure that the rail is setting even with the top of the bed rail cap.
- Since the rails have been installed, double-check the tailgate to make sure that it’s going to close properly up to them.
- Tighten up the rails’ clamps and take off the hold clamps.
- Install a cover.
- Attach adjuster blocks (there is a slot in the rail and some holes in the block). Put the block down the inside. Take a cotton pin into the hole and lock in place.
- Take washers, self-locking nuts, and bolts that are going to slide into the slots in front of the cab of the adjuster blocks.
- Set the cover with the bolts right down inside of the slots.
- Take a washer and put that on underneath. Do the same with the self-locking nut.
- Roll the cover out and make sure that the tension is correct.
- Pull the sides over and make sure that the velcro is glued well.
How to Take the Pickup Cover off?
Sometimes, it’s necessary to haul something huge, clean the truck, or even to replace the truck tarp. In these cases, full access to the bed is required, that’s why one should know how to remove tonneau cover.
If speaking of the soft models, it’s just enough to unfasten the adhesive velcro tape and roll the cover back. To remove a tri-fold unit, open it completely and stack it behind the cap. Use the 7/16 wrench to remove two bolts on the underside of the C-clamp.
When dealing with the shell fiberglass units, it’s necessary to remove the link clamps that joint the cover and the bed. Take away the caps, loosen up the bolts, and remove the lid (at least two people are necessary to cope with this task). It’s not recommended to put the cover on the ground to keep the fiberglass edges safe.
How to Stop Tonneau Cover Leaks?
If the cover isn’t completely waterproof, its owner should be aware of how to stop tonneau cover from leaking. To that end, one can use the rubber water pipe with the adhesive in the edges for easy mounting.
However, the most rational solution is to get the bead seal kit and attach the tailgate seal. First, take the alcohol prep pad and clean up the area to make the double-sided tape stick well. Then, measure the area out to get the distance from one side to the other to get an idea of how long we need it.
Cut the tape off and start attaching it. Take its one red piece backing on and peel a little bit of it. If peeling all this off at once and trying to move this around, it will be stuck to everything. Press the tape down on it as going along to help it stick to the back of the bed. Do the same thing on the sides.
How to Match the Tonneau Cover the Truck Bed?
Each model of the truck tarp needs a correct application that’s why it’s crucial to know how to measure truck bed for tonneau cover. As a rule, the drivers measure from front to back, on the inside of the bed.
So, take a tape measure and just gauge from the inside of the bulkhead to the inside of the tailgate as only the distance between the bulkhead the tailgate is correct. No need to worry that the number of feet and inches doesn’t fit any covers’ lengths. If a unit is, for example, a 6-feet and 4-inch model, it will also fit a 5, 7, and 8-feet bed. So, just pick the product with the nearest length. However, some covers are available only in one size.
Note that the measurements should be done if rails are already installed to measure alongside them but not along the sides of the bed.
Last update on 2020-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API