12 Best Tonneau Cover Reviews and Buying Guide 2018!
To all pickup truck owners;
One of the most valuable investments you can make for your truck is a tonneau cover.
Available in different sizes, styles, and designs, the truck bed cover will help keep your cargo safe and secure while protecting your truck bed from damages caused by harsh elements.
What’s more, the cover enhances the overall appearance of your truck and dramatically cuts down your fuel costs.
Sadly, picking the right cover for your truck can be quite daunting since there are thousands of products on the market today.
The purpose of coming up with this post is to take you through the 12 best tonneau cover reviews that we’ve selected for you.
Now, we’ll share with you our exclusive tips and tricks for choosing the perfect cover for your specific vehicle.
Let’s do this:
What Is a Tonneau Cover?
A tonneau cover is basically a cover for your truck bed. It goes by other names like pickup cover, truck bed cover, tonno cover, truck tarp, among others.
The cover inherited its name from the first cars made in the history of humankind. These cars didn’t have a roof, meaning their cabs were wide open to the harsh weather elements, including rain and snow.
Since these cars were quite expensive and nobody could stand them being ruined by the harsh weather conditions, the manufacturers started designing covers for the open area. And these covers were known as “Tonneau covers.”
That said, the best tonneau cover has a whole lot of benefits to offer you as a pickup owner. Below we’ve summarized the key benefits that comes with this cover:
It’s worth noting that the tonneau covers come in an array of styles and options to help you get the perfect type for your truck.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at the 12 top-rated covers currently available on the market.
Our Best Tonneau Cover Reviews:
1. Tyger Auto TG-BC3D1011 TRI-FOLD Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Our tonneau cover reviews begin with the Tyger Auto TG-BC3D1011 TRI-FOLD Tonneau Cover. For those who don’t know, TYGER Auto is a multi-national manufacturer of quality and reliable aftermarket auto parts that meet/exceed OE standards.
This particular tri-fold cover is designed for anyone looking for a great folding type truck bed cover. It’s designed using dual coated marine-grade vinyl plus a heavy-duty aluminum frame for exceptional durability.
It’s designed to enhance maximum safety and security of your goods. The patented clamping system provides a weather-tight seal that ensures no harsh weather elements reaches your cargo and the truck bed itself. Besides, the cover has been tested and proven to help you save gas by up to 12% mileage.
Accessing your truck bed contents is even easier, thanks to patented quick-release rear latches which enable you to get into the truck bed with one simple step.
When it comes to installing this cover, you’ll not need to hire an expert for the task. This is because the cover comes pre-assembled to enhance easy installation. What’s more, all the crucial installation hardware (including the instructions) comes included in the box for even easier storage.
Remember that Tyger Auto stands behind all their products and guarantee 100% user satisfaction. They offer you a Limited Lifetime warranty for this product to ensure you buy it without risking your money.
2. MaxMate Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Like the previous model, this soft MaxMate cover also comes with a tri-fold design. This allows you to quickly remove it in seconds when hauling oversized loads or fold it forward and secure it in place when transporting smaller loads.
When correctly installed, the cover will make the truck bed weather tight so that no moisture, dust, grime, etc., can get its way into your precious cargo. And thanks to its low profile design, this will also reduce your truck air resistance which translates to reduced fuel consumption by up to 13%. When you want to get into the truck bed, the pre-assembled horizontal crossbars will easily fold up with the cover to grant you full bed access.
For maximum durability and longevity, this cover is made using quality materials. These include a dual coated marine grade vinyl, stainless steel clamps, and aluminum powder coated frame.
This covers also comes wholly pre-assembled to make it easy for you to install. NO drilling is needed during the installation, plus it comes with easy-to-follow instructions for quick setup.
The tri-fold cover is suitable for use with pickup trucks with a bed length of 6.5 feet; it’s compatible with all 2002-2018 Dodge Ram 1500 and 2003-2018 Dodge Ram 2500 3500 vehicle models.
By investing in this truck bed cover, you’ll not be risking your money as it also comes with a NO-hassle 10-year manufacturer warranty!
3. Tyger Auto TG-BC3T1530 TRI-FOLD Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
We have another Tyger product in our 3rd spot, which goes by the name Tyger Auto TG-BC3T1530 TRI-FOLD Tonneau Cover. This cover also ranks as one of the best tri-fold tonneau cover models you can get on the market today.
Like its cousin, this tri-fold cover also comes completely assembled to give you an easy time when installing it. All the installation hardware and full instructions are included in the package for hassle-free setup.
When put in place, this cover will carry out its duties to your satisfaction. It’ll offer you a weather-tight truck bed space where you can safely store all your cargo. And when you want to access your cargo, the soft cover will easily fold up to offer you easy and quick access.
Similar to all the other top-rated covers, this cover will also reduce air drag when driving your vehicle, which significantly contributes to fuel economy (saves gas by up to 12%).
For the construction part, this cover is also made of the same high-quality materials as the previous Tyger cover—including a heavy-duty vinyl material and aluminum coated frame.
The cover is 100% compatible with2016-2018 Toyota Tacoma models. It will also work with other trucks with a bed length of 5 feet, whether or not they have a deck rail system.
The TYGER Limited Lifetime warranty will give you peace of mind when using this cover.
4. Gator Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Truck Bed Cover
Gator Soft Tri-Fold is another top-rated bed truck cover that offers you maximum protection to your cargo from the unwanted spying eyes as well as harsh weather elements.
Featuring a tri-fold design, this tonneau cover is designed to sit on the top section of your bed rail. And once installed, it provides a weather-tight seal that will keep your cargo and truck bed safe from even the harshest weather elements. Unlike most of the models out there, this cover also comes with a tailgate seal which takes your cargo protection against elements to an even higher level.
Regarding durability, Gator gives you the best. The cover is made using incredibly durable, 100% tear-resistant vinyl. Additionally, the cover comes reinforced by aluminum powder-coated frame to ensure you’ll enjoy your investment for a more extended period of time.
The included buckles grant you convenient fastening of your cover all the way up to the third panel—allowing you to access and offload your cargo easily.
In less than 10 minutes, you’ll be able to fully install this truck bed cover on your own. You don’t need any tools for the job as you just need to use the integrated quick-latch; you can also manually adjust the latch for the perfect fit.
Above all, this cover has a textured finish which provides an appealing look to your truck, making your truck stand apart from the other models.
5. TAC TRUCK ACCESSORIES COMPANY TAC Tonneau Cover
If still looking for the best folding tonneau cover, you might also want to consider TAC Tonneau Cover as one of your top options. TAC is a reputable the North America based brand that boasts of 20plus years of manufacturing top-notch aftermarket auto parts.
What really makes this TAC cover a favorite for many truck owners is how it’s able to stand up to the harshest weather conditions and keep your cargo protected from any potential damage or the peeping toms. Even when riding in heavy downpours, the cover will ensure your cargo remains dry.
Similar to all the other top-rated covers we’ve featured in this list, this cover is also pretty easy to install. It comes pre-assembled, so you don’t need to do any drilling or cutting, plus all the installation hardware and instructions are included in the box.
As you’d expect, this cover is made using durable materials for long-lasting service. Most notably, it features a heavy-duty aluminum finish that not only enhances its durability but also improves your vehicle gas mileage by up to 10%.
When you’re hauling oversized cargo, you can easily remove this tri-fold cover in a matter of seconds. And for smaller loads, you just fold it forward and lock it in place.
Above all, the cover comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty that covers all the manufacturer defects. This is to mean that you can reach out to the manufacturer if you notice any issues with your cover.
6. Tyger Auto TG-BC3D1015 TRI-FOLD Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
It’s Tyger Auto again! This time, they’re also offering you a tri-fold tonneau cover, ideal for trucks with a bed length of 5.8 feet. This cover will fit the 2009-2018 Dodge Ram 1500 and other similar vehicles.
Looking into more details, you’ll notice that this cover isn’t much different from the previous Tygers. For instance, you’ll easily see that it also features a durable, long-lasting construction of marine grade vinyl material and aluminum coated frame.
The soft tri-fold cover will not disappoint when it comes to doing its job. It’ll form a tight seal that blocks all the weather elements from reaching your cargo during transportation. Like its cousins, it also does a commendable job of improving your gas mileage by as high as 12%.
Installing the cover is also a breeze as it comes pre-assembled to eliminate the drilling part. Also, all the necessary hardware and instructions are included in the box to ease the installation process.
As it’s the case with all the other products from Tyger Auto, this truck bed cover comes with Tyger limited lifetime warranty to assure you that you’re making a risk-free investment.
7. Gator Tri-Fold Tonneau Truck Bed Cover
We have Gator Tri-Fold Tonneau Truck Bed Cover as another great cover for truck beds. Like the other Gator we discussed earlier, this model is made of durable tear-resistant vinyl for increased longevity.
It also does a great job of keeping your cargo safe and safe secure. When correctly installed, it’ll form a weather tight space where you’ll carry your cargo with an assurance that no water, moisture grime, dust, etc., will get into them. Even better, it comes with a tailgate seal which further eliminates the possibility of any elements getting to your cargo.
The tri-fold cover also boasts of tool-free, hassle-free installation. No cutting. No drilling. You just need to attach the quick latches into place and then adjust them by hand to obtain the perfect fit.
Another important thing to note about this Gator is that it has a 6.5 feet truck bed length, so it’ll fit all trucks with such a length. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty to ensure you have a peace of mind when using it.
8. Tyger Auto TG-BC2D2064 RoLock Low Profile Roll-Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
For the truck owners looking for the best roll up tonneau cover, this Tyger Auto TG-BC2D2064 RoLock cover will be a great option. It fits a truck bed of length 5.8 feet—making it ideal for 2009-2018 Dodge Ram 1500 and other similar trucks.
Featuring a pretty affordable price tag, this cover is designed using dual coated, marine-grade vinyl material to enhance its durability and longevity. Just like the other Tygers, its frame is also coated with heavy-duty aluminum powder for even greater durability.
The cover seals with Velcro strips on its sides to form a weather-tight, safe and secure environment where you can store even the most delicate cargo for convenient transportation to any place. A latch lock system will then secure the cover to the tailgate to ensure maximum cargo protection.
Installation here is as easy as it is with all the other tonneau covers made by Tyger. The cover comes fully assembled such that you only need to secure it onto the bed rails, with no cutting and drilling involved. Everything you need for the job (installation hardware, mounting instructions) is included in the box.
We also can’t fail to acknowledge the fact that Tyger stands behind this product. They offer you a limited lifetime warranty which will cover all the manufacturer defects you might encounter throughout the lifespan of the cover.
9. Gator Covers Retractable Tonneau Truck Bed Cover
One of best retractable tonneau cover models you can ever get on the market comes at our 9th position. And that’s Gator Covers Retractable Tonneau Truck Bed Cover. 100% made in the USA, this cover is also designed using Gator’s highest quality standards to ensure it addresses the needs of all truck owners.
To start with, the cover is designed to last forever. In other words, it’s designed using LEXAN, the type of material used to make the cockpit of a fighter jet! For those who don’t know, LEXAN polycarbonate has an excellent reputation for lightweight, durability, resistance to UV rays, moisture proof, and ability withstand temperatures running from -50 to +200 ℉.
The top section of the cover features a one-piece construction which helps keep off water penetration, keeping your cargo safe and protected.
As it’s the case with any top-notch retractable cover, this Gator will lock up your cargo to make it secure from the unwanted eyes and harsh weather elements.
Installing this cover is the easiest part. Unlike most of the retractable models which lock every 12”, this Gator Retractable Tonneau Truck Bed Cover will lock in any position, making the setup task much easier for you. No maintenance is needed for this cover as al its ball bearings come fully sealed and will never freeze.
While most covers are all about securing your cargo, this specific cover goes the extra step to enhance the look of your truck as well. Once installed, you’ll find it hard to keep your eyes off its high gloss finish which offers an eye-grabbing mirror look. As if that’s not enough, it features a flat matte finish that makes your truck stand from the rest!
10. Tyger Auto TG-BC3C1040 TRI-FOLD Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
This is the last Tyger Auto cover we’re featuring on our list of the finest covers for truck owners. The Tyger Auto TG-BC3C1040 has a tri-fold design, just like the Tyger models we reviewed earlier at the beginning of this list.
Like all its cousins, this Tyger enjoy massive popularity across the whole of US. This is mainly due to its long-lasting design which features dual coated marine grade vinyl construction, plus heavy-duty aluminum powder coated frame. This is doubtlessly one of the strongest combinations that will make the cover last a lifetime.
It also comes with its horizontal crossbars pre-assembled, to help offer support to the vinyl material by exerting a horizontal tension. Note that the crossbars will conveniently fold up with the cover to grant you full access to your truck bed.
When you fold the cover, the integrated safety buckles will secure it in place as the patented quick release rear latches enable you to access the truck bed in one simple step.
The installation process is quite easy and doesn’t require any drilling. The full procedure comes clearly outlined in the included manual. For trucks with over-the-bed liners, however, you might need to do some cutting for proper installation.
11. MaxMate Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
MaxMate Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover is made using marine grade vinyl plus aluminum powder coated frame to make the cover one of the strongest, long-lasting models you can ever get.
Featuring a tri-fold design, this cover also comes with pre-assembled horizontal crossbars which offer support to the cover when its set into place. The bars conveniently fold up with the cover to allow you full access to your truck bed.
Installation is quite simple and straightforward here as there are no drilling jobs. You’ll find all the mounting hardware and instruction on the box. It works well with under the bedrail liners with no need for any modifications. For trucks with over the bed liner, however, you’ll need to do some cutting to secure the clamps correctly.
The affordable cover comes with a hassle-free 10-year warranty which makes it a risk-free investment.
12. MaxMate Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Bringing us to the end of our tonneau cover reviews is the MaxMate Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover. Because it comes with a pocket-friendly price tag, we highly recommend this top-quality cover to all truck owners with a limited budget.
As we’ve seen in our previous MaxMate product, this cover is also designed with high-quality materials to increase its strength and durability. That is, it’s made of dual coated marine grade vinyl and aluminum powder frame coating to ensure it’ll hold up to all weather elements and serve you for an extended period of time.
Installing the tonneau cover is a piece of cake, with the included mounting hardware and set of instructions. No drilling is necessary. For trucks with over the bed liner, however, some cutting needs to be done for proper cover installation.
Thanks to the Velcro straps that secure the cover to the side and the latch lock system at the tailgate, this cover will form a completely weather-tight, secure space for holding all your goods for safe transportation. The adjustable tension system will help you straighten the cover to make it look tight and more secure.
This MaxMate also comes with a hefty, no-hassle warranty of 10 years! So, if things go wrong with your cover, you can reach out to the manufacturer for a quick solution.
How To Buy a Tonneau Cover?
As we promised at the beginning of this post, we’ll share with you some exclusive tips and tricks below on how to ensure you get the perfect tonneau cover for your specific truck.
Before you spend on that tonneau cover, ask yourself the following questions:
What materials have been used to design it?
One of the key steps to finding the perfect tonneau cover for your truck involves checking its durability.
Remember that your cover will be exposed to all types of weather elements, including the harshest weather elements. Plus, you’ll want it to serve you for a longer period since you don’t need to buy a new cover after every few months.
With that in mind, you’d want to ensure the cover you buy, whether hard or soft cover, is made of the sturdiest materials available.
What type of tonneau cover do you really need?
Tonneau covers can be divided into two main groups—the soft and hard covers.
The hard covers are usually higher priced than soft models and offer you better security. The soft covers are cheaper but more versatile.
Scroll below to find out more about various types of covers that fall under the two categories, to get a clear picture of the specific cover that will suit your needs.
Have you checked the type of bed liner on your truck cover?
As you already, there are two main types of bed liners—over the rail and under the rail bed liners.
Pickups equipped with under the rail bed liners do not present you with any issues when installing a tonneau covers. Vehicles with over the rail bed liner are, however, a bit difficult to install.
If your truck has an over the bed liner, it’s important to check if the tonneau cover you want to buy can be installed on it to avoid getting disappointed later on.
How easy is it to install?
How easy to install a cover is varying from cover to cover.
We guess that everybody wants a cover that they can easily put into place in the shortest possible period of time.
As you might have noted from our top products reviews above, all the featured products are extremely easy to install. This is mainly because they come pre-installed so that you only need to attach them into place to complete the setup.
They come with all the mounting hardware and instructions included for hassle-free installation.
If you can get a cover that doesn’t require you to do any modifications to your truck bed, like cutting or drilling holes, the better.
Does the cover require any maintenance?
You should also know how much you’re willing to do regarding the maintenance of your vehicle.
Every cover will come with some maintenance instructions. Some models are less demanding as they only require you to wash them with soap and water.
However, the more mechanical covers will require more maintenance to keep them effective and extend their life. For instance, a retractable truck bed will need occasional lubrication to ensure ease of movement.
Just ensure you pick a cover that you’ll be able to maintain as indicated by the manufacturer.
How much does it cost?
Lastly, you should decide the amount of cash you’re willing to invest in a tonneau cover for your pickup.
The soft covers are usually cheaper than the hard covers and cost around $150 to $550, while the hard covers range from $550 to $2000 or more.
Depending on your financial situation, you should be able to come up with a budget that will let you get a cover that matches your specific needs.
Do Tonneau Covers Help With Gas Mileage?
So, you’ve heard it many times that a tonneau cover contributes to fuel economy. But how exactly does it do that?
Well, the way the cover helps save gas has something to do with aerodynamics and the wind that pushes its way into your pickup tailgate.
If you don’t have a cover on your truck bed, air will get trapped in the bed. The air will then form a cushion around which the surrounding air will bounce off. The problem with this situation is that your vehicle engine will need to use more power to overcome the force of drag your vehicle will experience when driving.Remember that the more power an engine needs, the more fuel it’ll consume.
What if you put on that tonneau cover in your truck bed?
It’s simple—air will not get easily trapped in your vehicle’s truck bed. As such, you’ll reduce the force of drag for your vehicle, and the engine will need less power to overcome less drag force. The result is improved gas mileage.
It’s worth noting that different trucks come with different shapes, which make their aerodynamics (and hence the gas mileage) significantly differ from model to model. Besides, different drivers have different driving habits which can also make the mileage differ.
Is all this a MYTH?
For a long time, most scientists have gone against the claims of the truck covers saving you fuel. Myth busters too have come out to dismiss these claims as myths.
BUT…SEMA (Special Equipment Market Association) conducted a study in January 2007 in an attempt to settle this dispute between manufacturers and users/scientists.
They tested 6 different tonneau covers on up to 4 trucks and concluded that:
“the tonneau covers reduce aerodynamic drag 4.2-7.8%, depending upon speed.”
According to the study, the highest aerodynamic drag (7.8%) was recorded at 85mph. If we could say that most of the engine power is used to overcome the force of drag at this speed, then reducing the drag by 6% would mean a reduction in engine workload—resulting in improved fuel economy by 1.08mpg.
Let’s say you’re driving at a realistic high speed of 65mph. In such a case, the drag would be reduced by up to 5.5%. If we’d use the same maths/calculations as above, we’ll find that that fuel economy is improved by around 0.5mpg.
If you drive at a speed of 55mph or below, the tonneau cover fuel economy benefit will basically disappear since the aerodynamic isn’t significant at such speeds (it becomes significant when you reach 55-60mph). Technically speaking, there’ll be small fuel savings, but the amount would be extremely small—less than a 10th of an mpg.
Bottom-line: a tonneau cover will help save gas, but not a significant amount. It reduces around 4-8% aerodynamic drag which directly results in fuel economy (though it doesn’t help you save much). The shape of your truck and your driving habits will also affect the amount of gas saved.
Types Of Tonneau Covers
As we did mention above, there is a variety of tonneau covers out there—with different colors, materials, designs, etc.—to ensure you’ve unlimited choices when looking for the best tonneau cover for your truck.
In this section, we’ll outline the most common types of covers available.
First, we can put the covers into two broad categories namely:
1. Soft Tonneau Covers
The soft tonneau covers are usually made using vinyl or any other fabric materials with rubberized coating. These covers have a reputation for versatility, durability, and availability in a wide range of options.
They’re also extremely easy to install (some come as Snap-On or snap-less covers) and remove. Storing them when not in use is also extremely easy.
As you’d expect, the soft covers are usually cheaper compared to the hard covers.
2. Hard Tonneau Covers
The hard covers come with a pretty rigid design which looks like a trunk or hood. They’re usually made of materials such as metal, fiberglass, and plastic.
Like the soft covers, these covers also come in a wide range of options; some are foldable, solid, hinged, and so on.
Installing them might take you time and require more than one person. Likewise, uninstalling them will also require some work.
Needless to mention, the hard tonneaus come at a higher cost than soft covers.
If we dig deeper, we’ll realize that both soft and hard covers come in several options to ensure you get a model that fits your specific preferences.
These options include:
Roll up Tonneau Covers
This type of tonneau cover is usually designed using soft materials such as vinyl and backed vinyl. They’re intended for attaching to your truck bed with the help of Velcro, snaps or even the ‘tongue and groove’ seals.
Roll up covers are the most popular covers you can get on the market today. They’re also affordably priced, making them ideal for folks on a budget.
Retractable Tonneau Covers
Retractable covers are among the latest covers designed released into the market and are as a result of the latest innovations in the tonneau cover industry.
The covers are designed to be 100% weather tight and are sure to offer optimal security to any cargo you’re transporting. Besides, they’re designed to provide you with easy access to your truck bed.
Keep in mind that you can also get remote control retractable covers which are even easier to use (however, you’ll need to spend a good amount of cash to get these models).
When not in use, you can easily roll a retractable cover for easy storage in the storage canister at the front of your truck bed.
Hinged Tonneau Covers
Hinged covers come designed to act as truck lids. They’re hinged at the front area of your truck bed, hence their name.
These covers come in both hard and soft material designs, meaning you can easily choose the type of material you prefer in a truck cover.
The good thing about hinged covers is that they’re shipped to you in pre-assembled form to facilitate hassle-free and quick storage.
For a lightweight and durable cover, you can never go wrong with the hinged models.
Folding Tonneau Covers
Folding covers are crafted using 2 or more panels set in such a way that they fold upon each other to offer you easy and convenient access to your truck bed.
You’ll also find some folding cover designs that are completely detachable to offer you total access to the truck bed when the need arises.
Toolbox Tonneau Covers
Yes, you can also find some covers that come with an integrated toolbox that you can mount clear of your truck bed rails. You can easily retract out of the way beneath the toolkit if you wish to.
You may Read more for Truck tool box
Locking Tonneau Covers
These are types of tonneau covers that come with a built-in locking mechanism to offer you maximum protection to your cargo. They’re made of solid materials such as ABS plastic, aluminum, or fiberglass, to make them sturdy and durable.
Low profile Tonneau Covers
Lastly, we have the low profile covers which sit right above the truck bed. They’re ideal for people who don’t like the added height a cover introduces at the back of their pickup trucks.
These types of covers will not add any weight to your vehicle and might even remain invisible to the eye if you were to view them from the sides of your truck.
For this reason, they tend to add a streamlined, aesthetically pleasing appearance to your truck.
Note that they’re also available in both soft and hard material designs.
As long as you own a pickup truck, buying a tonneau cover is essential. It’ll help keep your truck bed protected from harmful elements that can damage it while helping you keep your cargo safe and secure during transportation.
As you can easily tell from our tonneau covers exhaustive guide above, there are more covers on the market that you can ever imagine. They come in different types, shapes, designs, so you’ll always be spoilt for choices when looking for your preferred model.
However, the journey of analyzing thousands of covers until you find the right one might be confusing and daunting at the same time.
That’s why we crafted this post to make your buying process easier. Our list of the top-rated tonneau cover reviews will take you through the 12 most popular, highest-quality tonneau covers that you can get for your truck today.
Additionally, our buying guide will show you the top tricks of sorting out various tonneau covers and picking the perfect one for your vehicle.