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Accessories for trucks are becoming a standard, growing in variety and popularity for truck owners as the advantages and myriad of features they offer become more well-known. One such accessory that is translating into a necessity is the tonneau cover or the truck bed cover. With a variety of tonneau covers, different materials, and ways to attach to the truck offered it can seem difficult to choose what’s best for your truck bed.

Below you’ll find tips and a how-to for choosing a tonneau cover that works best for your truck and driving needs.

Types of Tonneau Covers

Tonneaus covers to protect your truck bed from the elements, helping keep the bed dry and safe from the UV rays, protecting your storage, and can help to organize any cargo you have stored in the truck bed. There are different types that emphasize some advantages over others, but all do provide weather protection and added security to one extent or the other.

Roll-N-Lock LG495M Locking Retractable M-Series Truck Bed Tonneau Cover for 2020-2022 Jeep Gladiator with Trail Rail System; Fits 5 Ft. Bed

Retractable Tonneau Covers

A retractable tonneau cover is sleek, easy to use, and can be manual or electric in terms of how it’s unrolled and retracted. They are generally made from soft fabric and most have locking mechanisms to further protect the contents of the truck bed. One of the top advantages of the retractable bed cover is that any unused portion of the cover rolls up into itself toward the cab of the truck. Many retractable covers can be stopped in multiple or infinite locking points.

Offerings include side mounting rails that are slotted to accept racks to carry bikes, skis, kayaks etc.


Folding Tonneau Covers

The folding type covers are usually made of three or four panels that fold back toward the cab, giving access to as much of the truck bed as needed. Folding tonneau covers can be more expensive than soft tonneau covers, but are still relatively affordable. Folding covers should always be securely locked when the vehicle is moving. When using a folding cover in the partially open position, it should be secured in place by the included straps with snaps. When the cover is fully folded flat or in the vertical position against the back of the cab, the cover should be secured using prop-rods with BAK, UNDERCOVER, or EXTANG, or connected by bracket and adhesive post stanchion on the top of the cab as with ACCESS STANCE.

RetraxONE Tonneau Cover 10852

Soft & Hard Roll-Up Tonneau Cover

Like folding tonneau covers, the roll-up covers can expose as little or as much of the truck bed as needed and are great for hauling odd-shaped items ( for the soft ). Roll-up covers can come as soft fabric or hard shells and need to be secured before hitting the road. The roll-up cover is akin to the folding cover, except instead of a solid material it is usually vinyl or a stylized semi-truck tarp material connected to a tough sewn in aluminum bows that give the cover a flat appearance.

Lund 969369 Hard Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover for 2021-2022 Ford F-150; Fits 6.5 Ft. Bed

One-Piece Hard Lid Cover

One-piece hard covers or lids are usually sold by local shell or canopy dealers. One-piece covers come in colors that match the truck for a seamless and uniform look. The one-piece hard lid tonneau cover opens and closes via a knob which allows the struts to raise the lid. They are constructed of fiberglass, and it does restrict full access to the truck bed due to it being hinged at the front of the truck bed. Lids should never be open while driving

Choose the Right Tonneau Cover For You

There are a variety of tonneau covers for a truck owner to choose from and it comes down to what is best for how you use your truck bed, and what features apply most to you.

Ultimate Truck has you covered on all you need to know to protect your truck and how to select the best equipment to get the job done. Explore our selection of truck accessories and more guides to help you choose what’s right for your truck.