Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • Based on factors like convenience and durability, we think the best hard tonneau covers are the GatorTrax, UnderCover SE, Gator Recoil, BAK BAKFlip G2, and the Gator EFX.
  • Hard tonneau covers typically cost between $700 and $2,000 depending on the brand and cover type. One-piece and retractable covers tend to be more expensive than folding hard tonneau covers.
  • A hard tonneau cover is useful for protecting your truck bed items from thieves and inclement weather. You may also find that a tonneau cover reduces wind noise on the highway and improves fuel efficiency.

Best Hard Tonneau Cover
GatorTrax Tonneau Cover

An easy-to-use tonneau cover that can lock in any position.

Check Price
Best One-Piece Hard Tonneau Cover
UnderCover SE

A secure and waterproof locking hard tonneau cover.

Check Price
Best Retractable Tonneau Cover
Gator Recoil

A retracting tonneau cover with a ball-bearing design.

Check Price
Best Hard-Folding Tonneau Cover
BAK BAKFlip G2

A folding cover with hydraulic stands for full truck bed access.

Check Price
Best Budget Hard Tonneau Cover
Gator EFX

A low-cost yet reliable folding hard tonneau cover.

Check Price

The best hard tonneau cover is one that is secure, easy to use, and won’t let too much rain into your truck bed. Expect to spend about $700 or more on such a cover, and possibly more if you have an especially large truck bed. With that much money on the line, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best cover possible.

That’s why we’ve tested the best hard tonneau covers on the market and consulted with truck experts to ensure our recommendations are top-notch. In this review, we suggest a variety of top-rated hard tonneau covers. We’ll help you find the right truck accessories for your needs, budget, and style.

 


 

Hard Tonneau Cover Reviews

A hard tonneau cover.

The best hard tonneau covers share a few important qualities: weatherproofing, durability, and ease of use. You may find yourself regularly removing and attaching your tonneau cover, so ease of installation is also important.

We looked for hard tonneau covers in a range of price points and styles. We also chose to recommend several brands, as not every tonneau cover may be best for every make of truck.

What Is The Best Hard Tonneau Cover?

After performing hands-on product testing, our review team determined that the best tonneau covers on the market in 2024 are the GatorTrax tonneau cover, UnderCover SE, Gator Recoil, BAK BAKFlip G2, and Gator EFX Hard Fold.

Brand/ModelCostOverall RatingAward
GatorTrax Tonneau Cover$1,549.004.3Best Hard Tonneau Cover
UnderCover SE$1,099.994.0Best One-Piece Hard Tonneau Cover
Gator Recoil$999.004.0Best Retractable Tonneau Cover
BAK BAKFlip G2$1,099.994.0Best Hard-Folding Tonneau Cover
Gator EFX$699.003.8Best Budget Hard Tonneau Cover

*Because cost data fluctuates, the prices in the table above are approximate values that our team regularly updates.

Hard Tonneau Cover Ratings: Our Testing Process

The tonneau covers in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching retailers like RealTruck, Amazon, and Advance Auto Parts for top products, looking at materials, price, customer reviews, and style of tonneau cover. We tried to select a variety of covers for testing.

To test these tonneau covers, we installed each one according to the included instructions. We attached covers to a range of truck makes, including Toyota, Ford, and Nissan vehicles. After installation, we tried each cover’s features and then left it on the test vehicle to learn how it would hold up over time.

Learn more about how we tested hard tonneau covers here.

1. GatorTrax Tonneau Cover: Best Hard Tonneau Cover

  • RealTruck review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 (around 200 reviews)
  • Style: Retractable
  • Material: Composite
  • Warranty length: One year

GatorTrax Tonneau Cover Review

The GatorTrax Tonneau Cover separates itself from other retractable tonneau covers, as it can lock in any position. Most standard retractable tonneau covers only permit locking every 12.0 inches. Sealed ball bearings ensure your tonneau cover will never freeze shut and require no maintenance. You can see how the GatorTrax Tonneau Cover performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Installation3.5
Ease of Use4.5
Durability5.0
Overall Rating4.3

Once installed, the GatorTrax works perfectly and sits flush to the truck bed. This is one of the smoothest-operating retractile covers that we’ve tested. Below are the pros and cons of GatorTrax:

Pros Lockable with a key in any position Comes with a sleek matte finish No drill needed for installation
Cons Relatively unclear instructions

GatorTrax Tonneau Cover: Our Experience

The GatorTrax is the first tonneau cover that we tested. We found the written instructions frustrating to decipher, while the overall installation process was not too difficult once we figured out which parts went where. There aren’t a lot of components, so the main issue is making sure that parts are properly positioned and aligned. We found this to be the case with every tonneau cover that we tested.

The unique thing that makes the GatorTrax difficult to install is that it is heavy. Installation is possible with a single person, but we’d recommend seeking assistance. Once installed, the GatorTrax works perfectly, and sits flush to the truck bed. This is one of the smoothest-operating retractile covers that we’ve tested.

GatorTrax Tonneau Cover: What Customers Are Saying

Customers love the GatorTrax Tonneau Cover, and reviews online reflect this. A commonly noted feature by reviewers is the easy installation, with some saying it took them as little as 30 minutes to get this tonneau cover installed, though this didn’t quite line up with our experience.

One reviewer chose this tonneau cover for its waterproof design. This claim was put to the test using a water hose sprayed along the seams of the cover. The reviewer claims their truck bed was bone dry afterward.

2. UnderCover SE One-Piece Tonneau Cover: Best One-Piece Hard Tonneau Cover

  • RealTruck review score: 4.7 out of 5.0 (over 100 reviews)
  • Style: One-piece
  • Material: ABS composite
  • Warranty length: Three years structural, one year parts, and one year hardware

UnderCover SE One-Piece Tonneau Cover Review

The UnderCover SE is a good pick for those who want a way to keep items in their truck bed dry and secure. According to most user reviews, this one-piece cover has a single-point lock and is effectively waterproof.

The one-piece truck cover has raised rib styling for improved aerodynamic performance and is highly durable thanks to its X-frame and ABS composite structure. With its distinct black-matte finish, the SE plays well with most truck colors and models and is available in a smooth finish for custom painting. As an added bonus, the UnderCover SE also comes with an LED lighting system. You can see how the UnderCover SE One-Piece Tonneau Cover performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Installation3.0
Ease of Use4.0
Durability5.0
Overall Rating4.0

The one-piece design makes the UnderCover SE tonneau cover ideal for keeping rain out of your truck bed. The composite material is flexible yet durable, sealing nicely around the truck bed. This tonneau cover locks with a key and the rigid design makes for good protection against thieves. Below are the pros and cons of the UnderCover SE One-Piece Tonneau Cover:

Pros Easy installation and operation Lightweight, durable materials Built-in LED light system
Cons Expensive May scratch easily

UnderCover SE One-Piece Tonneau Cover: Our Experience

The one-piece design makes the UnderCover SE tonneau cover ideal for keeping rain out of your truck bed. The composite material is flexible yet durable, sealing nicely around the truck bed. This tonneau cover locks with a key and the rigid design makes for good protection against thieves.

Because of the pneumatic struts, the UnderCover SE is easy to raise for truck bed access. However, due to this design, you can’t access the truck bed near the cab from the side. If you want to remove the UnderCover SE entirely, this can be done with some effort, but does not require tools. The brackets that keep this cover in place are left attached when the top is removed, so reattaching this tonneau cover is simple. The UnderCover SE even comes with hanging hooks for convenient storage when not in use.

One drawback of this cover is that there are a few more installation steps than many of the other covers we’ve tested. Instead of using two mounting brackets (one on each side of the truck bed), the UnderCover SE has four pieces that need to be attached to the side rail. For some truck makes and models, there are six pieces. Additionally, there are struts that must be fitted into place.

Installing the UnderCover SE is still fairly simple and can be done with only a few tools. You will need the help of a second person to lift the cover into place, though most tonneau covers should be installed with assistance.

UnderCover SE One-Piece Tonneau Cover: What Customers Are Saying

Reviewers praise the UnderCover SE for its relatively low cost and solid build quality. Many say this truck bed cover is easy to install and very good at keeping out water. A few reviewers have complained about leaks, but others suggest this may be a result of improper installation. It must be perfectly aligned along the bed rails to form an effective seal.

There are a few who dislike the locking mechanism, saying that a two-lock system is a more secure alternative. Another issue some have with this hard tonneau cover is that it is not weight-bearing.

3. Gator Recoil: Best Retractable Tonneau Cover

  • RealTruck review score: 4.2 out of 5.0 (around 100 reviews)
  • Style: Retractable
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Warranty length: Two years

Gator Recoil Review

Retractable hard tonneau covers are some of the easiest to use, and the Gator Recoil is no exception. It features a quick-release hatch and a springless, ball-bearing retraction design that reduces the likelihood of parts failure.

The matte black powder-coated aluminum slats retract into a small canister allowing for full bed access. This versatile truck bed tonneau cover can be partially retracted to the latch stops, which can be positioned anywhere along the truck bed. Finally, this cover increases security, as it cannot be retracted if the tailgate is locked. You can see how the Gator Recoil performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Installation3.5
Ease of Use4.0
Durability4.5
Overall Rating4.0

Besides a difficult installation, we have little negative to say about the Gator Recoil. The slam latches work perfectly, and the components are well-made. We did notice that some of the rubber stripping was bent out of the box, but this ultimately flattened out once we secured all the necessary bolts. Below are the pros and cons of the Gator Recoil:

Pros Additional security with added locks Compacts on its own Sturdy materials
Cons Expensive Installation can be difficult

Gator Recoil: Our Experience

The Gator Recoil took us longer to install than the average tonneau cover. On the one hand, it offers customizable locking points, but this also means extra installation steps. The clamps that secure the side rails to the truck bed are better integrated into the overall design of the tonneau cover. The result is a harder-to-install cover that is a little more secure and stable once finally set up.

Gator Recoil: What Customers Are Saying

Reviewers like this hard rolling cover because it looks good and is inexpensive for a retractable cover. For most, it works well and is worth the cost.

Some complain about a challenging installation process and question how weather-resistant this hard tonneau cover really is.

4. BAK BAKFlip G2 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover: Best Hard-Folding Tonneau Cover

  • RealTruck review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 (over 700 reviews)
  • Style: Folding
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Warranty length: Three years

BAK BAKFlip G2 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover Review

The BAKFlip G2 is a folding tonneau cover that can be flipped up against the cab to allow for full bed access. It is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum panels with a powder-coated black finish for increased UV resilience.

The edges of the G2 are lined with EPDM rubber seals to keep out the rain. Built-in drainage channels along the sides of the cover also help to keep your truck bed dry. Overall, the BAKFlip is a good option for those in need of an easy-to-use hard tonneau cover that can provide full bed access without being removed. You can see how the BAK BAKFlip G2 performed in each of our testing categories below: 

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Installation4.0
Ease of Use4.0
Durability4.0
Overall Rating4.0

If you’re looking for something a little more durable, but don’t mind spending more, the BAKFlip MX4 hard-folding truck bed tonneau cover is a similar alternative. This cover has four folding sections instead of three, has a higher surface weight tolerance (up to 400.0 lbs.), and is compatible with the BakBox storage box.  Below are the pros and cons of the BAK BAKFlip G2:

Pros Strong materials with weight tolerance up to 300 pounds Easy installation Prop-up capabilities for large
Cons Expensive

BAK BAKFlip G2 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover: Our Experience

The BAKFlip G2 installed very easily into our test truck. However, certain trucks without square bed rails will require additional steps to make sure this tonneau cover rests evenly. Once installed, the BAKFlip sits flush with the truck bed. This cover latches in several positions and the locking mechanism is fluid and responsive. Once installed, this cover doesn’t wiggle or move much and every locking mechanism snaps perfectly into place.

BAK BAKFlip G2 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover: What Customers Are Saying

Many people love that this cover is easy to install, easy to use, and allows for full truck bed access. A recurring comment is that this tonneau cover fits perfectly.

While most reviewers mention that the G2 is exceptionally easy to install, there are some negative reviews that claim the opposite. There are also some (relatively few) who complain about quality control, so difficult installation may be a result of faulty parts.

Reviews about the G2s waterproofing are mixed, with most claiming that it is effectively water-tight, while others say that their G2 tonneau cover leaks, especially at the tailgate as it ages.

5. Gator EFX: Best Budget Hard Tonneau Cover

  • RealTruck review score: 4.7 out of 5.0 (over 400 reviews)
  • Style: Folding
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Warranty length: Limited lifetime

Gator EFX Review

The Gator EFX is a hard tri-fold tonneau cover that comes at a relatively low price and is easy to install without any tools. It’s made with aircraft-grade aluminum that can hold up to 300.0 lbs. of evenly distributed weight and is coated with a dent-, scratch-, and UV-resistant polymer.

The EFX’s unique rearmost panel design allows for total truck bed access by folding upright against the rear cab window, and you can carry payloads with two-thirds of the panels open, making it more flexible than other covers when it comes to carrying large loads in your truck bed. EPDM rubber hinges and drain tubes help keep your truck bed dry. This hard tri-fold cover locks when fully closed, adding a layer of security.

It should be noted that the Gator EFX fits Ford F-150s from 2015 to 2021, but not the two most recent models of the truck. Additionally, this tri-fold truck cover does not fit a Dodge Ram 1500, GMC Sierra, or any Toyota trucks. You can see how the Gator EFX performed in each of our testing categories below: 

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Installation4.0
Ease of Use3.5
Durability4.0
Overall Rating3.8

The Gator EFX is built with aircraft-grade aluminum slats topped with a powder coat finish and includes thick EPDM rubber seals. The rubber is so thick, that we found it did not sit completely flush with the truck bed in some places. Below are the pros and cons of the Gator EFX:

Pros Relatively inexpensive Durable construction Simple installation
Cons Can leak at tailgate

Gator EFX: Our Experience

The EFX Hard Fold tonneau cover is a relatively simple installation not much different from any other tonneau cover. Like other tonneau covers, the written instructions are not especially helpful. Once assembled, the Gator EFX Hard Fold latches securely into place.

We found that the slam latches on the EFX don’t align perfectly. The cover can wiggle some to the left and right, which can prevent the latch on one side from engaging. For this reason, we deduct some points for ease of use, as you’ll need to wiggle this cover to make sure the latches are correctly engaged each time.

Gator EFX: What Customers Are Saying

Most reviewers are pleased that this low-cost truck cover works so well. It is easy to install and allows for minimal water intrusion when properly fitted. Owners of the EFX like the appearance and the light-yet-durable design.

Reviewers mention that this hard tonneau cover is not completely waterproof. Some have pointed out that if you have a truck bed liner installed, the Gator EFX may not seal perfectly unless you first trim back the liner.

 


 

Hard Tonneau Truck Bed Covers: Buying Guide

The first thing to know about hard tonneau covers is that they are model-specific. Tonneau covers form a seal over your truck bed and so are individually sized to ensure proper fitment. Before purchasing any tonneau cover, make sure you are selecting the right size for your particular truck bed.

The best hard tonneau covers share a few important qualities: weatherproofing, durability, and ease of use. You may find yourself regularly removing and attaching your tonneau cover, so ease of installation is also important.

Compare Hard Tonneau Covers

Brand/ModelCover TypeMaterialWarranty
GatorTrax Tonneau CoverRetractableCompositeOne year
UnderCover SEOne-pieceABS CompositeThree years structural, one year parts, and one year hardware
Gator RecoilRetractableAluminumTwo years
BAK BAKFlip G2FoldingAluminumThree years
Gator EFXFoldingAluminumLimited lifetime

What Is A Hard Tonneau Cover?

Hard Tonneau covers are a type of truck bed cover usually made of aluminum or composite material. Due to the sturdy materials and rigid design, hard truck bed covers offer more security from theft or unwanted access than soft or vinyl covers. 

While hard tonneau covers may look intimidating to install, most are straightforward and do not require any tools or modifications to your truck.

How Much Does A Hard Tonneau Cover Cost?

Hard tonneau cover prices vary depending on your truck bed size, the quality of materials, and the type of cover you choose. Hard tonneau covers in the $300 – $500 range exist, but we couldn’t find any worth recommending due to poor material quality and reputation.

Our “budget” cover being around $700 may seem like an oxymoron, but, in reality, this is a low cost for a good-quality hard tonneau cover. Typically, folding covers are less expensive than retractable and one-piece covers. Below are the lowest, highest, and average costs of hard tonneau covers we recommend:

Lowest Price

Average Price

Highest Price

$699.00

$1,089.40

$1,549.00

Is A Hard Tonneau Cover Worth It?

When deciding if a hard tonneau cover is worth it, keep in mind they provide excellent protection against theft and keep the valuables stored in your truck bed secure. Imagine traveling down the road with all your cargo exposed to rain, snow, dust, and road debris, or even worse, you return to your parked truck to find your cargo stolen. Hard tonneau covers can prevent you from having to deal with these sorts of headaches.

We spoke to Hunter Gill, owner of TEQ Customs, a North Carolina-based retailer focused on aftermarket truck accessories. Here’s what he had to say about tonneau covers:

“Tonneau covers are more beneficial for protecting the things in your [truck] bed rather than the bed itself. The truck bed itself is pretty durable from the factory… but if you do carry around things you don’t want exposed to the elements, or anything valuable back there, a tonneau cover is a great option to keep that stuff safe.”

Types Of Hard Truck Bed Covers

Broadly speaking, there are three common designs for hard tonneau covers: one-piece, folding, and retractable.

Hard One-Piece Tonneau Cover

A one-piece hard tonneau cover consists of a single slab of plastic or fiberglass. These typically have hydraulic struts that allow you to lift and close the cover like a trunk. One-piece covers are typically well-sealed, offering excellent weather protection. They are also the most secure type of tonneau cover.

One-piece covers are generally the least expensive types of hard tonneau covers. A drawback of this type of cover is that it does not allow full access to the truck bed.

Hard Folding Tonneau Cover

Folding tonneau covers can fold up (usually in a tri-fold or a quad-fold fashion). This allows for full trunk access. Depending on the specifics of the design, this type of cover may block your rear view when rolled up. The cover offers better trunk access than one-piece covers, but typically (though not always) prevents full trunk bed access.

Retractable Tonneau Cover

Retractable tonneau covers roll up or fold into a small storage compartment behind the cab. These are often the most expensive type of tonneau cover but also allow for the most access to your truck bed when fully retracted.

Is A Soft Or Hard Tonneau Cover Better?

Oftentimes, the biggest differentiating factor between hard and soft truck bed covers is the fact that soft tonneau covers are usually significantly cheaper than their counterpart. Below, we delve into the pros and cons of each style of tonneau cover.

Hard Tonneau Covers

The primary advantage of a hard tonneau cover over a soft cover is that hard covers are much more durable. They are likely to last longer and so can be less expensive in the long run. Another advantage of a hard cover is that you can set things on top of the cover, providing an additional workspace that some truck owners appreciate.

“The hard tonneau covers are going to protect better against impacts,” Gill said, adding they have a greater chance of withstanding something like an impact from a tree or hail and are generally harder to damage than soft tonneau covers.

Soft Tonneau Covers

Soft tonneau covers are often less expensive alternatives to hard tonneau covers. However, these are less secure as they can easily be ripped open. That said, many hard tonneau covers can also be opened by a dedicated thief, though it takes a little more effort.

Does A Hard Tonneau Cover Improve Gas Mileage?

This is still a hotly debated topic. Some claim that hard tonneau covers can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent because they reduce wind drag and improve a vehicle’s aerodynamic profile. However, modern trucks are designed to allow airflow over the cab and past the truck bed to the top of the tailgate, which does not cause significant air drag that would affect mileage.

How To Install A Hard Tonneau Cover

Although there are several different styles of hard tonneau covers, generally, the installation process for folding, retractable, and tri-fold truck bed covers is standard. Since hard retractable covers are slightly heavier than folding or hard rolling ones, it’s a good idea to have a friend help install a hard truck bed cover.

Below are the steps needed to install a hard tonneau cover on your truck:

1. Check compatibility

First, lay out all of the parts that came with your truck bed cover and make sure the clamps and other parts are compatible with your bed liner and rails. You may need to make a small hole in your bed liner to accommodate clamps or other parts but this sort of modification is usually unnecessary.

2. Install and clamp cover side rails

With your tailgate open, place one of the two side rails included with your hard cover flush against the truck bed rail with the cab. Secure the side rail in place by using one of the clamps you received with your cover by hooking the underside of the clamp to your bed rail and the top to the cover’s side rail.

Add shims to any gaps between the truck and the bed rail to close the space if necessary.

If you have a short bed, you will have three clamps per bed rail and four for all other bed lengths. Take the remaining clamps and attach them the same way you did the first clamp and be sure to space out the clamps along the bed rail evenly.

Next, install the second cover side rail the same way.

3. Adjust rails and tighten

Your rails should be parallel to each other and as close to the cap as possible; this may require some measuring to ensure a proper fit. If your rails are not level, you can loosen a clamp, apply pressure to the rail, and tighten the clamp. Once you are sure the rails are level and parallel, tighten all of the remaining clamps.

If your kit includes any additional components, such as storage straps or a rod to prop the cover open, install these components before attempting to place the cover on your bed.

4. Install rubber seals

If your tonneau cover is weatherproof, it should include rubber seals to seal the gap between the cover and the cab. To ensure a tight seal, you should clean this area before applying the seals. Remove the tape covering the adhesive on the underside of the seal and place it between your truck’s bed rails, discarding any excess. Repeat this process on your tailgate and bed rails if your kit includes additional seals.

5. Install cover on the truck

Lastly, place the tonneau cover at the front of your tailgate nearest the cab. Use the clamps to attach the cover to the cover rails. For some tonneau covers, this may require drilling. Once the tonneau cover is secured in place, close the cover and check the alignment. For retractable covers, it’s a good idea to close and open the cover to make sure the alignment is correct, and the cover retracts smoothly. For folding covers, make sure all of the latches align, and the cover is properly supported by the bed rails. Adjust the rails if necessary for proper alignment.

 


 

Best Hard Cover For Truck Bed: Bottom Line

Our team of experts has spent countless hours researching the best hard tonneau covers – not to be confused with the best truck covers. Our research found that the best hard tonneau cover available in 2024 is the GatorTrax, but other truck bed covers earned their spots on our list of best-rated truck bed covers. We also recommend the Undercover SE, Gator Recoil, and the BAK BAKFlip G2.

  1. Best Hard Tonneau Cover: GatorTrax
  2. Best One-Piece Hard Tonneau Cover: UnderCover SE
  3. Best Retractable Tonneau Cover: Gator Recoil
  4. Best Hard-Folding Tonneau Cover: BAK BAKFlip G2
  5. Best Budget Tonneau Cover: Gator EFX.

 


 

Best Hard Tonneau Covers: FAQ

 


 

Full Hard Tonneau Cover Testing Methodology

When testing tonneau covers, we tried to assess ease of installation, ease of use, and durability. We think these are some of the most important factors when choosing a tonneau cover.

Our product testing team then ordered the hard tonneau covers that best met these standards. A team member then tested each product on one of the following testing vehicles:

  • 2013 Toyota Tacoma (Standard Cab) with a 6.0-ft., 2.0-in. bed
  • 2016 Toyota Tundra XS1 with a 5.0-ft., 7.0-in. bed
  • 2016 Chevrolet Colorado with a 5.0-ft. bed
  • 2017 Toyota Tundra with a 5.0-ft., 7.0-in. bed
  •  2022 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab with a 5.0-ft. bed
  • 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trailblazer with a 5.0-ft., 8.0-in. bed
  • 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 with a 6.0-ft., 9.0-in. bed

We took note of how easy the tonneau cover was to install, overall build quality, and ease of use. Each hard tonneau cover was given a rating out of 5.0 stars based on these criteria.

Ease of Installation

Ease of installation is a measure of how easy or difficult it is for a layperson to install this tonneau cover at home. Requiring few tools, installing quickly, and using only a few components help tonneau covers score best in this category. We give lower ratings to tonneau covers that take a long time to install or seem especially complicated.

Among the tonneau covers we have tested, it seemed universal that the included instructions were mediocre at best. In general, we recommend looking up installation videos on Google or YouTube for your specific truck cover. These videos generally include easier-to-follow instructions than the written manual, which often includes ambiguous diagrams.

Ease of Use

Our ease of use score is a measure of how simple it is to open, close, and generally operate the tonneau cover once installed. For this rating we look for things like functioning latches, smooth gliding along rails, or built-in straps for securing the tonneau cover in the open position.

To score best in this category, a tonneau cover will have smoothly functioning latches, and won’t jam on the tracks if it is retractable. Lightweight tonneau covers also score better in this category.

Durability

Our durability rating represents the strength and longevity we expect from a tonneau cover. We base this score on the feel of the materials, our own experience using the cover, and customer reviews. A good tonneau cover should last for many years, so to get a sense of how these covers hold up four or five years down the road, we turn to customer reviews.

How We Score Products

Every tonneau cover we test is given a score between 1.0 and 5.0 stars in each category. Here’s what those star ratings mean in concrete terms:

  • 5.0 Stars: A 5.0-star rating means a tonneau cover  is among the best in a category. It may attach in minutes using no tools. To score five stars for durability, it should be made with the strongest materials.
  • 4.0 Stars: A 4.0-star rating means a tonneau performs better-than-average in a category. Installation may require a wrench, but the tonneau cover may still be set up in under 10 minutes. For ease of use, a tonneau cover will have slam latches and pull strings for easy opening.
  • 3.0 Stars: A 3.0-star rating indicates what is average or typical for a tonneau cover, based on our testing experience. This means a tonneau cover that takes 20 to 30 minutes to install, and may lack slam latches or retractable features.
  • 2.0 Stars: A 2.0-star rating indicates the tonneau cover performs adequately in a category, but poorer than the average tonneau cover. Covers may not fit perfectly or feel fully secured once installed.
  • 1.0 Star: A 1.0-star rating indicates that the tonneau performs well below expectations in a category. A 1.0-star cover may not fit at all or break easily during testing.

Why Trust Motor1.com

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

*Data accurate at time of publication. Products subject to availability.