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Hard-Folding Tonneau Cover Reviews
Best Hard-Folding Tonneau Cover
The best hard-folding tonneau covers come from BAK, Extang, Gator, A.R.E., and Undercover.
Written By:Will Moore Senior Writer – Motor1 Review Team
Will has written for several major auto sites including Motor1 since 2020, logging hundreds of hours researching and testing products ranging from child car seats to torque wrenches. Will is also Certified by Safe Kids Worldwide as a Child Passenger Safety Technician (#T836339).
The best hard-folding tonneau cover offers protection, security, and is built to last. This type of tonneau cover typically costs around $1,000. Folding hard tonneau covers are typically cheaper than retractable tonneau covers, though more expensive (and long-lasting) than soft tonneau covers.
This review recommends several of our favorite hard-folding tonneau covers based on our expert research.
Hard-Folding Tonneau Cover Reviews
After spending countless hours researching hard-folding tonneau covers and pouring over customer reviews, our team decided that BAK BAKFlip MX4 is a good choice for most because it is easy to use, reliable, and doesn’t allow much water incursion.
Our Review Standards
To select the hard-folding tonneau covers featured in this buyers guide, our team first combed through dozens of resources such as DIY mechanic and auto enthusiast forums, manufacturer websites, instruction manuals from manufacturers, and reviews from online retailers. We pay particularly close attention to quality reviews and recommendations that highlight the quality of warranties, customer service support, build quality, materials, and overall reliability.
While we haven’t tested these tonneau covers ourselves, we have experience installing and testing tonneau covers on our own personal vehicles. We know what to look for in a good cover and have years of aftermarket car product testing experience to draw from.
We also factored in the quantity and quality of online retailer reviews from websites such as RealTruck and Amazon. We looked at factors such as standout customer reviews, prices, meaningful superlatives, and discount shipping eligibility.
Why You Can Trust Us
Since 2020, we have published over 250 auto product reviews in an effort to make shopping for auto products easier. Our team of writers, editors, researchers, and product experts collaborates to thoroughly vet top products. We try to perform in-house testing on real vehicles whenever possible before making our recommendations.
When testing is not feasible, however, our aim is to make your life easier by doing all the online research for you and presenting that research in the form of easy-to-read product comparisons and buyers guides, rather than outright recommendations. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.
What Is The Best Hard-Folding Tonneau Cover?
Cost, material, warranty, and whether or not the design allows for full truck bed access are a few common determining factors for those looking to buy a new hard-folding tonneau cover.
See how these factors compare between our picks for the best hard-folding tonneau covers below:
$1,199.99 – $1,249.99
Solid Fold 2.0
$959 – $1,049
$1,199.99 – $1,249.99
*Because cost data fluctuates, the prices in the table above are approximate values that our team regularly updates.
For those interested in learning more, below are detailed reviews for each of the top five hard-folding tonneau covers:
1. BAK BAKFlip MX4: Best Hard-Folding Tonneau Cover
RealTruck review score: 4.5 out of 5.0 (approx. 3,900 reviews) Material: Aluminum Warranty: Five years Full bed access?: Yes
As with many folding tonneau covers, the BAKFlip MX4 can be installed at home without power tools. It features a matte finish and sits flush with the bed rails for an aerodynamic look. It is moderately priced for this type of tonneau cover but especially heavy-duty and reliable according to thousands of customer reviews.
With a five-year warranty and aluminum composite construction, expect this cover to last through many seasons. The security features will protect your gear from would-be thieves as well as the elements. Below are the pros and cons of the BAK BAKFlip MX4:
ProsThoroughly-reviewedEasy to install and useAllows full bed access
ConsSome reported issues with weatherstripping
BAKFlip MX4: What Customers Are Saying
Truck owners choose the BAKFlip MX4 for its appearance, durability, and ease of use. The most commonly praised aspects of this tonneau cover are that it is easy to install and fits perfectly. Several reviewers also appreciate that this hard-folding tonneau cover allows for full truck bed access.
Some have had issues with the weatherstripping coming off and this cover leaking.
The Extang Solid Fold 2.0 is a composite hard-folding tonneau cover featuring 1.0-inch thick EnduraShield polymer panels with a powder-coated finish. Triple-fin rubber seals around the edges reduce water incursion and each cover is tested for water management, load capacity, and fading.
We think this is a good pick for those who want the look of a composite tonneau cover that’s easy to use. The Solid Fold 2.0 does not allow for full bed access, but it is moderately priced for this type of tonneau cover. Below are the pros and cons of the Extang Solid Fold 2.0:
ProsExceptionally fast installationEasy to open and useThick and sturdy construction
ConsDoesn’t allow full bed accessIncluded mounting hardware (nuts and bolts) not high-quality
Extang Solid Fold 2.0: What Customers Are Saying
Many customers claim that they were able to install the Extang 2.0 in around ten minutes. Once installed, it is easy to open and the composite panels have a nice thick feel. Reviewers claim you can put heavy objects on top of this cover with no noticeable bowing.
Reviews about the waterproofing are mixed. A lot of 5-star reviews describe very little leaking, while 3.0-star reviews (the minority) mention issues with water incursion. One reviewer said their first model leaked and they complained to Extang, which quickly supplied a replacement that didn’t leak.
A few reviewers note that the hardware for mounting the front of this tonneau cover (the nuts and bolts) is not of high quality. One recommends buying your own nuts and bolts (around $15) to use instead.
3. GatorEFX: Best Low-Cost Hard-Folding Tonneau Cover
RealTruck review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 (approx. 2,200 reviews) Material: Aluminum Warranty: Three years Full bed access?: No
If you’re thinking about getting a hard tonneau cover but trying to spend less than $1,000, the GatorEFX may be a good pick. This folding tonneau cover is well-built and customers claim that it can last well beyond the three-year warranty.
While this folding truck bed tonneau cover doesn’t allow for full trunk access, it does provide security against theft and will reduce the amount of water that gets on your cargo. Below are the pros and cons of the Gator EFX:
ConsDoesn’t fully seal for complete waterproofingDoesn’t allow full bed access
GatorEFX: What Customers Are Saying
Many who purchase this tonneau cover feel it offers excellent value. The GatorEFX is simple to install, secure, and light yet durable. Many appreciate the flush look.
Some note that the waterproofing could be better. There are a few reviewers who claim to have driven this through a rainstorm with no leaking. However, most of the reviewers that mention the waterproofing say that there is leaking, though this can be improved by adding more weather strips or filling in exposed areas.
4. A.R.E. Fusion Tonneau Cover: Best Painted Tonneau Cover
RealTruck review score: 4.7 out of 5.0 (approx. 50 reviews) Material: aluminum Warranty: Five years Full bed access?: Yes
The A.R.E. Fusion Tonneau Cover is a good choice if you want a custom-painted tonneau cover. Each unit is shipped with paint to match your OEM factory paint. According to most online reviews, the color matching is excellent.
This tonneau cover uses rail clamps for a no-drill installation. It comes with drainage tubes for improved waterproofing and has struts that allow for full bed access. Slam latches make this cover easy to use, and it can be accessed from both sides. Below are the pros and cons of the A.R.E. Fusion:
ProsPaint-to-match top panelsEasy to installUses slam latches for quick access
ConsPoor waterproofing at tailgate
A.R.E. Fusion Tonneau Cover: What Customers Are Saying
According to online reviews, the Fusion tonneau cover is easy to install and the color matching is very accurate. There are a few people who have claimed the color is slightly off, but the majority of reviews specifically praise the perfect color match.
Those who have had to request replacement parts say that customer service is quick and responsive.
Another thing that shows up in reviews is that this truck bed cover could be better waterproofed. You may want to add your own additional weatherstripping at the tailgate in particular.
5. Undercover Ultra Flex: Also Consider
RealTruck review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 (approx. 270 reviews) Material: Aluminum Warranty: Five years Full bed access?: Yes
The Undercover Ultra Flex is a sleek, low-profile tonneau cover that’s easy to use. It can be opened on either side and allows for tailgate use, even with the cover down. Prop rods allow you to fold this tonneau cover against the cab for full bed access.
One reason to choose the Undercover Ultra Flex is for the look provided by the carpeted underpanels. This look pairs well with trucks that have a carpeted bed liner. As with many of our recommendations, this tonneau cover requires no drilling and relies on side clamps. The tailgate seal is designed to keep out water and it is effective at this, according to online reviews. This cover can also accommodate a fifth-wheel hitch. Below are the pros and cons of the Undercover Ultra Flex:
ProsGood waterproofingAllows full bed accessCarpeted finish on underpanels
ConsClamps could be tighterProp rods can easily break
Undercover Ultra Flex: What Customers Are Saying
Some choose to buy this tonneau cover because they like the look. Most report it is easy to install and use, despite some unclear instructions.
Comments about the Ultra Flex’s ability to keep out water are mixed. On the one hand, this tonneau cover is well-sealed against rain, with one customer describing it as “virtually waterproof.” However, others note that when you open this cover, any water that has accumulated on top will fall into the truck bed.
There are some comments about products arriving with broken parts or missing screws. Such comments are common across all products as these mistakes will occasionally occur. What’s important is that Undercover’s customer service team remediate the issue quickly which – according to online reviews – they do.
Hard-Folding Tonneau Cover Buying Guide
Hard-folding tonneau covers are model-specific. This means that not every cover will fit every truck. Most of those that we recommend will fit most trucks, but be sure that you are selecting a compatible cover before you make your final purchase.
In addition to fit, you may also want to consider cost, material, and bed access.
Expect to spend around $600 to $1,000 for a hard-folding tonneau cover. This type of tonneau cover is often cheaper than a retractable cover, but more expensive than a soft roll-up tonneau cover.
Most hard-folding tonneau covers are made with aluminum panels, though some are built with a polycarbonate composite material (hard plastic).
Polycarbonate hard-folding tonneau covers are more dent- and scratch-resistant than aluminum covers. These materials are often lighter in weight than aluminum covers.
The benefits of aluminum tonneau covers are that they withstand temperature changes more effectively and are also less expensive to produce. Most hard-folding tonneau covers are made using aluminum slats.
Consumers should also consider local climate conditions before making their purchase, according to Hunter Gill, owner of truck accessory retailer TEQ Customs.
“In areas that are prone to rust, stay away from metal. Retractable covers can be poor options in these areas, as the tracks can corrode and make it hard to retract the cover,” Gill said. “Metal covers can be found in more moderate climates. A soft cover also may not hold up to the weight of a large snowfall or ice storm either. A good composite hard plastic tri-fold cover holds up best in general, but especially in areas that receive a lot of snowfall and salt on the roads.”
Folding tonneau covers do not always allow for access to the entire truck bed. Many are designed so that the last fold lies over the top of your truck bed, meaning you can only access 1/4 to 1/3 of your truck, depending on the design.
Some hard-folding tonneau covers are built such that they can be folded against the back of the cab, allowing for full truck bed access. If you need such access, be sure to invest in a cover that allows for it.
Hard-Folding Tonneau Covers: Bottom Line
A good hard-folding tonneau cover should be durable, open quickly, and allow little water incursion. Most tonneau covers can help improve gas mileage and deter theft. We sorted through customer reviews to determine which hard-folding tonneau covers seem to last the longest and provide the best features.
A hard tonneau cover can improve your gas mileage as well as protect your truck bed from theft and extreme weather. If these are concerns for you, then a hard tonneau cover is worth it. Compared to a soft tonneau cover, a hard-folding tonneau cover is more durable and secure against thieves.
The main difference between a quad-fold and a hard tri-fold tonneau cover is the appearance. Both styles can be easy to open and secure from the elements and which is better comes down to personal taste.
A soft-folding tonneau cover is likely to be much less expensive than a hard-folding tonneau cover. Soft tonneau covers are typically made with marine-grade vinyl and so good at stopping rain but are not as secure against theft.
Yes, a hard tonneau cover can save gas. This is because a tonneau cover improves the aerodynamics of your pickup truck and increases fuel economy. Depending on your vehicle, this improvement may be slight, but not insignificant.
A quality hard tonneau cover will keep most water out. Weather protection varies among products and depends largely on the quality of weather stripping.