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Best Truck Bed Tonneau Covers

The right truck bed cover will protect your cargo and improve gas mileage.
Written and Tested By:
Will Moore
Written and Tested 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).

Last Updated 12/08/2023

Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • The GatorTrax, RealTruck PowertraxPRO, BAK BAKFlip G2, Gator Recoil, Gator SFX Trifold, and Tyger Auto T1 tonneau covers are some of the best based on build quality, ease of installation, and ease of use.
  • Truck bed tonneau covers range in cost from $300 to $3,000. Expect to pay at least $1,000 for a high-quality hard-top cover that can protect against theft.
  • Retractable tonneau covers are among the easiest to use and offer full bed access without sacrificing safety.
Best Truck Bed Cover
GatorTrax Tonneau Cover

A mid-priced tonneau cover that is reliable, effective, and locks in any position.

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Best Automatic Truck Bed Cover
RealTruck Retrax PowertraxPRO XR

An automatic, aluminum truck bed cover backed by a lifetime warranty.

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Best Hard Roll-Up Tonneau Cover
TruXedo Sentry CT

Resembles a soft rollup cover but with the durability of a hard cover.

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Best Value Tonneau Cover
Tyger Auto Tonneau Cover

A sturdy but soft roll-up cover suitable for any budget.

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Best Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Cover
TruXedo TruXport

A sleek and stylish soft cover for basic protection.

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Tonneau covers, also known as truck bed covers, are a must-have accessory for some truck owners because of the added protection, security, and utility they provide. But with such a high price tag and often difficult installation requirements, choosing the right tonneau cover can be a difficult task.

In this guide, we explain the different types of truck bed covers and suggest our top picks for each based on our in-person testing.


Tonneau Cover Reviews

A retractable tonneau cover.

When testing truck bed tonneau covers, we looked out for products that were well-made and easy to use once installed. For our recommendations, we’ve tried to select a variety of styles and price points to fit every need and budget.

What Is The Best Tonneau Cover?

After performing hands-on product testing, our review team determined that the best tonneau covers are the GatorTrax, RealTruck Retrax PowertraxPRO, BAK BAKFlip G2, Gator Recoil, Gator SFX Trifold, RealTruck Retrax EQ, TruXedo Sentry CT, Tyger Auto T1, TruXedo TruXport, and Undercover SE One-Piece Tonneau Cover.

Brand/ModelCostOverall RatingAward

GatorTrax

$1,549 – $1,649.99

4.3

Best Truck Bed Cover

RealTruck Retrax PowertraxPRO

$2,949.99 – $3,099.99

4.2

Best Automatic Truck Bed Cover

BAK BAKFlip G2

$1,099.99 – $1,149.99

4.0

Best Hard-Folding Truck Bed Cover

Gator Recoil

$999

4.0

Best Retractable Tonneau Cover

Gator SFX TriFold

$299.99 – $319.99

4.0

Best Soft-Folding Tonneau Cover

RealTruck Retrax EQ

$3,199.99

4.0

Best Convenience Features

TruXedo Sentry CT

$1,149.99 – $1,199.99

3.8

Best Hard Roll-Up Tonneau Cover

Tyger Auto T1

$207

3.6

Best Value Tonneau Cover

TruXedo TruXport

$299 – $379.99

3.3

Best Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Cover

Undercover SE One-Piece

$1,099.99 – $1,249.99

3.3

Best One-Piece Truck Bed Cover

*Because cost data fluctuates, the prices in the table above are approximate values that our team regularly updates. Tonneau covers can vary in cost based on the size of your truck bed.

Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Ratings: Our Testing Process

The tonneau covers in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching retailers like Amazon and RealTruck for top products, looking at factors such as:

  • Warranties
  • Customer service support
  • Build quality
  • Materials
  • Ease of use
  • Ease of installation

We ordered covers in a variety of styles that seemed most promising as well as any that seemed the most popular based on online reviews. Learn more about how we tested tonneau covers here.

Best Retractable Tonneau Covers

Gator tonneau cover

Typically quite stylish and user-friendly, retractable tonneau covers quickly roll up into a storage container to offer you full bed access. Below, our team takes a look at some of the best retractable tonneau covers on the market.

1. GatorTrax Tonneau Cover: Best Truck Bed Cover

  • Cost: $1,549.00 – $1,649.99
  • RealTruck review score: 4.5 out of 5.0 (over 800 reviews)
  • Cover type: Retractable
  • Material: Composite
  • Warranty length: One year

GatorTrax Tonneau Cover Review

The GatorTrax Tonneau Cover features maintenance-free, sealed ball bearings to ensure your tonneau cover will never freeze shut. Unlike other truck bed covers that can only lock every 12.0 inches, the GatorTrax can lock in virtually any position. Additionally, the canister that houses the cover itself maximizes truck bed capacity.

While not the easiest to install truck bed cover, we like the GatorTrax as the best overall option because of its high durability and ease of use. You can see how the GatorTrax performed in our testing categories below:

Once installed, the GatorTrax works seamlessly. The cover sits flush with the truck bed. The ball bearings function smoothly, and we feel confident about the rugged polycarbonate slats. You can see how the GatorTrax performed in our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)

Ease of Installation

3.5

Ease of Use

4.5

Durability

5.0

Overall Rating

4.3

GatorTrax: Pros And Cons

Below are more of the pros and cons of the GatorTrax from our testing experience:

Pros Lockable in any position Impact-resistant slats Excellent waterproofing
Cons Only latches on one side

GatorTrax: Our Experience

Being the very first tonneau cover our team got their hands on, the GatorTrax tested us as much as we tested it. We found the written instructions difficult to follow. That said, the installation process is not too complicated overall. The primary difficulty comes with making sure the parts are properly positioned and aligned. The GatorTrax installs without the need for power tools.

The other thing that makes the GatorTrax difficult to install is that it is heavy. Installation could be completed with a single person, but an assistant makes the process a lot easier.

GatorTrax: What Customers Are Saying

Customers online love the GatorTrax Tonneau Cover. People praise its easy installation, however, customers’ definition of “easy” varies. A few reviewers mentioned having positive interactions with Gator’s customer service department. One individual notes they’ve had this cover for over a year and it’s shown little sign of wear and tear.

2. RealTruck Retrax PowertraxPRO XR: Best Automatic Truck Bed Cover

  • Cost: $2,949.99 – $3,099.99
  • RealTruck review score: N/A (not enough reviews)
  • Cover type: Retractable
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Warranty length: Lifetime

Retrax PowertraxPRO XR Review

RealTruck offers a number of tonneau covers under the Retrax line. Each Retrax cover features heavy-duty construction, a flush appearance, and smooth tonneau operation. The PowertraxPRO XR is the most expensive in this line but is also among the most functional and well-built. See how we rate the PowertraxPRO XR in the table below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)

Ease of Installation

3.0

Ease of Use

5.0

Durability

4.5

Overall Rating

4.2

Retrax PowertraxPRO XR: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the RealTruck Retrax PowertraxPRO:

Pros Automatic operation Strong aluminum construction with a 500.0-pound weight tolerance T-slot system that allows for additional accessory installation Excellent RealTruck customer support
Cons Expensive Lengthy installation process

Retrax PowertraxPRO XR: Our Experience

The RealTruck Retrax PowertraxPRO is easy to assemble, as it includes a few parts: a canister and two side rails. Despite the intuitive design, the included written instructions were somewhat confusing, referring to parts of the tonneau cover that do not exist. Fortunately, RealTruck customer support is quick and reliable. Upon calling support, we were immediately connected with a service agent who was familiar with the cover and could walk us through our questions.

It’s hard to stress enough how much RealTruck customer support stands out compared to other companies. We’ve contacted RealTruck customer support on many occasions while testing some of their products and have never been on hold for more than a minute.

After the PowertraxPRO is attached to the truck bed, you need to route wires underneath the truck bed and into the engine bay, attaching them to your car battery. This powers the automatic operation of the PowertraxPRO. Though this step is not technically complicated, it can be physically difficult, as it will require you to get underneath your vehicle. I was able to work under the vehicle in a parking lot, however, many people may need to lift their vehicle on jack stands to complete this step. 

Do not work under a vehicle supported only by a car jack, jack stands are a necessary safety tool.

Once installed, PowertraxPRO operation is smooth and quick. However, using the remote did not fully extend this tonneau cover, leaving about ¼-inch space. We were able to fully close the cover manually with a light tug.

The aluminum slats are strong and thick. They have a high weight tolerance (up to 500.0 pounds), and are guaranteed by a RealTruck lifetime warranty.

While the PowertraxPRO operates smoothly, we noticed that this operation can be hindered by placing too much weight on the side rails. We were able to install a truck rack and trunk tent above this tonneau cover, but if the truck rack clamps were tightened too much, it prevented the PowertraxPRO from operating.

Retrax PowertraxPRO XR: What Customers Are Saying

Customers aren’t saying much yet about the PowertraxPRO because it is a relatively new offering. Once we feel that a significant number of customer reviews have been published, we will update this section.

3. Gator Recoil: Best Retractable Tonneau Cover

  • Cost: $999
  • RealTruck review score: 3.8 out of 5.0 (over 700 reviews)
  • Cover type: Retractable
  • Material: UV- and scratch-resistant aluminum
  • Warranty length: Two years

Gator Recoil Retractable Tonneau Cover Review

The Gator Recoil’s black coat over aluminum panels makes it suitable for weather and theft protection, and this tonneau cover has five interlocking positions, which allows users to leave part of their truck bed open for tall items that won’t fit under the cover. It should be noted that the Gator is more expensive than most manual tonneau covers.

While we don’t think this retractable cover is quite as durable as the GatorTrax, it is nonetheless UV- and scratch-resistant, and is significantly less expensive than the GatorTrax, making it our top pick for a retractable tonneau cover.

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)

Ease of Installation

3.5

Ease of Use

4.0

Durability

4.5

Overall Rating

4.0

Gator Recoil: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the Gator Recoil:

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

Gator Recoil: Our Experience

The Gator Recoil has the most involved installation process of any tonneau cover that we tested. It has more pieces and took us quite a bit longer to attach than the other tonneau covers. However, once installed, the Gator Recoil is exceptionally stable and secure.

The Recoil includes three locking points, which you can set wherever you choose. The slam latches work perfectly with padded cords for disengagement – a nice luxury touch we didn’t notice with other covers.

The overall fit of the Gator Recoil was perfect for our test vehicle. Though some of the rubber stripping came bent out of the packaging, the Gator Recoil sat flush once installed.

The Gator Recoil tonneau cover.

Gator Recoil: What Customers Are Saying

Owners of the Gator tonneau cover like it for its easy installation and excellent protection. However, some note that it doesn’t hold up as well to harsh sun, which can melt the glue on the outer rubber sealant.

4. RealTruck Retrax EQ: Best Automatic Hard Tonneau Cover

RealTruck Retrax EQ
  • Cost: $3,199.99
  • RealTruck review score: N/A (not enough reviews)
  • Cover type: Retractable
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Warranty length: 5 years

Retrax EQ Review

The Retrax EQ is a top-of-the-line retractable tonneau cover for those with a large budget. At over $3,000, it is one of the more expensive tonneau covers you can buy. Consider this tonneau cover if you have trouble opening and closing your tonneau cover or are simply looking for a very sleek, easy-to-operate cover.

While this tonneau cover is more difficult to install than non-automatic covers, you don’t need to be a trained electrician to do so. If you are uncomfortable getting underneath your vehicle, then you may want to hire someone to install the Retrax EQ for you. Otherwise, layperson installation is possible.

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)

Ease of Installation

2.5

Ease of Use

5.0

Durability

4.5

Overall Rating

4.0

Retrax EQ: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons for the RealTruck Retrax EQ:

Pros Smooth, automatic operation Includes truck bed lights Pairs with OEM key fob
Cons Expensive Complex installation

Retrax EQ: Our Experience

It took us a little while to install the Retrax EQ. There are two phases to the setup: attaching the cover and then connecting the electronic components. Attaching the cover is similar to most other retractable tonneau covers where side rails attach to the truck bed with clamps. This part of the installation was not difficult.

Connecting the electronic components presents more of a challenge. Fortunately, no electrician knowledge is required. You won’t need to strip wires or fiddle with potentially vehicle-disabling systems. You will have to get underneath your truck to route wires from the truck to the battery in the engine bay.

You also need to connect a control module to some circuits located underneath the driver-side kick panel. Depending on your particular vehicle, you may also need to pop off some plastic covers, so a plastic crowbar (not included) can be helpful.

Once the physical installation is complete, you’ll need to program the control module, which is straightforward and done using a RealTruck app. You can then control the Retrax EQ with your OEM keyfob.

The automatic operation is slow, but very smooth. The build quality of this cover is excellent, featuring an ultra low-profile design and interior bed lights. While we felt the automatic operation is not a necessary feature, those who are looking for ultimate ease of use and convenience may appreciate the electronic design.

RealTruck Retrax EQ

Retrax EQ: What Customers Are Saying

Customers aren’t saying much yet about the Retrax EQ because it is a recently released product. The high price point also means that reviews may be slower to trickle in. Once we feel that a significant number of customer reviews have been published, we will update this section.

Best Roll-Up Tonneau Covers

Easy to install and remove, roll-up tonneau covers are typically cheaper than retractable or hard-folding alternatives. Below, our team looks at some of the best roll-up tonneau covers on the market.

1. TruXedo Sentry CT: Best Hard Roll-Up Tonneau Cover

  • Cost: $1,149.99 – $1,199.99
  • RealTruck review score: 4.7 out of 5.0 (over 100 reviews)
  • Cover type: Roll-up
  • Material: Aluminum and canvas
  • Warranty length: Five years

TruXedo Sentry CT Review

The TruXedo Sentry CT is a premium roll-up tonneau cover. This one even straddles the line between soft and hard tonneau covers, as the aluminum slats are covered with a canvas material, providing a soft tonneau look with the durability of a hard tonneau cover. Unlike soft tonneau covers, the Sentry CT isn’t easily penetrated with a knife.

The TruXedo Sentry CT is an ultra-low-profile roll-up tonneau cover. Because the underside of this cover is reinforced with aluminum slats, the Sentry CT is a bit more durable than soft roll-up tonneau covers.

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)

Ease of Installation

4.0

Ease of Use

3.5

Durability

4.0

Overall Rating

3.8

TruXedo Sentry CT: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the TruXedo Sentry CT:

Pros Low profile Canvas material reinforced with aluminum Very simple installation
Cons Takes time to unroll (longer setup compared to folding and retractable models) Expensive

TruXedo Sentry CT: Our Experience

We had no issues installing the Sentry CT. The process is straightforward, especially after watching the installation video. Clamps secure the side rails and the Sentry is attached on the cab end using two screws.

What stands out most to us about the Sentry CT is the low-profile design. Once installed, it rests nearly flush to the truck bed, resulting in a sleek appearance and improved aerodynamics.

As a roll-up cover, the TruXedo can’t be opened as quickly or easily as a tri-fold or retractable cover. You need to be mindful when closing the cover to be sure it is properly aligned. A benefit of this design is that it allows for more truck bed access compared to a tri-fold.

TruXedo Sentry CT

TruXedo Sentry CT: What Customers Are Saying

The Sentry CT is praised by customers for its sleek appearance and durable, long-lasting design. Most have no problem installing this cover in under an hour. Those who have had difficulties with parts or installation report excellent customer service.

The printed instructions included with this cover are unclear, according to reviewers (we also thought this was the case). However, installation videos on RealTruck’s website demystify the process.

A few reviewers have noted that this cover offers excellent waterproofing, keeping truck beds dry even in heavy rain.

2. Tyger Auto Tonneau Cover: Best Value Tonneau Cover

  • Cost: $207
  • Amazon review score: 4.7 out of 5.0 (over 16,000 reviews)
  • Cover type: Roll-up
  • Material: Dual-coated marine-grade vinyl
  • Warranty length: Limited lifetime

Tyger Auto Tonneau Cover Review

If you’re looking for something less expensive, you might consider the Tyger Auto T1 tonneau cover for around $200. The Tyger Auto T1 features a marine-grade vinyl top and heavy-duty aluminum powder coated side rails and clamps protecting your truck bed from rain, snow, and hail.

Compared to folding covers, a roll-up cover takes a little more time to store away. However, there is significantly less risk of damaging your cab compared to a hard-folding cover. The T1 includes straps at the top to secure this cover when it is rolled in the open position.

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)

Ease of Installation

4.0

Ease of Use

3.5

Durability

3.5

Overall Rating

3.6

Tyger Auto T1: Pros And Cons

Below are our thoughts on the Tyger Auto T1:

Pros Inexpensive Strong, lightweight materials Suitable for most truck models Easy installation
Cons Potential to stretch over time

Tyger Auto T1: Our Experience

As a lightweight, soft tonneau cover, the Tyger Auto T1 was very easy to install. Even the instructions were straightforward. The clamps used to secure this tonneau cover feature a secure interlocking design that seemed more stable compared to the clamps typically included with a self-install tonneau cover. Once attached, the T1 cover fit our test vehicle perfectly.

Once locked into place, the canvas material doesn’t dip, thanks to a metal bow at the center. This prevents water pooling while also meaning the vinyl material isn’t stretched taught, which would cause the cover to degrade more quickly.

Tyger Auto T1: What Customers Are Saying

The Tyger Auto T1 for Ford F-150s is the top-selling soft top tonneau cover on Amazon, with truck owners praising its ease of use and lasting durability.

Amazon reviews of the T1 for Ram, Chevy, GMC, and Toyota covers are similar to the Ford with an average of 4.7 stars. Some negative reviewers mention their covers do not fit properly to their truck beds and allow light leakage in wet weather conditions.

3. TruXedo TruXport: Best Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Cover

  • Cost: $299 – $379.99
  • RealTruck review score: 4.8 out of 5.0 (over 4,000 reviews)
  • Cover type: Roll-up
  • Material: Soft vinyl
  • Warranty length: Five years

TruXedo TruXport Review

The TruXedo TruXport tonneau cover is easy to install as no tools are required. It’s a good choice for a low-cost option to keep most rain out of your truck bed (it is not completely water-sealed). The TruXedo TruXport also helps to reduce wind noise and improve fuel economy.

Soft tonneau covers like the TruXport aren’t quite as durable as hard covers and take a little more time to open. The TruXport is among the best of this type of tonneau cover because of its easy installation and excellent fit.

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)

Ease of Installation

4.0

Ease of Use

3.0

Durability

3.0

Overall Rating

3.3

TruXedo TruXport: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the TruXedo TruXport:

Pros Easy hands-free installation Lightweight Sleek design with great look
Cons More prone to leakage

TruXedo TruXport: Our Experience

Installing the TruXport is simple. The side rails slot into the top of the cover, which helps to keep this cover aligned when clamping it down.

This roll-up cover is made with a thick vinyl material designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. We could tell it is not a material easily punctured, though a hard-top cover would offer better protection against thieves.

A downside of this tonneau cover is that it doesn’t open as easily as some other covers that we’ve tested. Once locked in place, the TruXport is released by pressing a lever on either side of the cover. These require some force to depress, especially when the TruXport is tightly tensioned. We had to be careful rolling out this tonneau cover because it can easily bunch. Folding tonneau covers don’t have this issue.

TruXedo TruXport: What Customers Are Saying

Many feel that the TruXport is worth the cost, eclipsing cheaper options in quality. Each TruXport cover is vehicle-specific, and customer reviews confirm that it fits most trucks perfectly. There are a few reviewers who say the fit is slightly off, so it may not be a perfect match for every truck.

Some complain about the difficulty of unrolling the TruXport without the material binding up. The cover can also drum (pool water) if not fully tightened.

Best Folding Tonneau Covers

Consisting of multiple panels, folding tonneau covers can be considered either hard or soft tonneau covers depending on the build material. Below, our team of experts takes a look at some of the best folding tonneau covers on the market.

1. BAK BAKFlip G2: Best Hard-Folding Truck Bed Cover

  • Cost: $1,099.99 – $1,149.99
  • RealTruck review score: 4.5 out of 5.0 (over 1,700 reviews)
  • Cover type: Tri-fold
  • Material: Aluminum panels with vinyl covers
  • Warranty length: Three years

BAKFlip G2 Hard-Folding Tonneau Cover Review

The BAK BAKFlip G2 is a hard tri-fold tonneau cover that offers superior protection for a truck bed. Its durable aluminum panels and automatic latching system can handle up to 300.0 lbs. of external cargo weight, making it perfect for carrying extra luggage or small vehicles.

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)

Ease of Installation

4.0

Ease of Use

4.0

Durability

4.0

Overall Rating

4.0

BAKFlip G2: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the BAKFlip G2:

Pros Easy installation Allows for full bed access Surface weight tolerance up to 300.0 pounds
Cons Not fully waterproof

BAK BAKFlip G2: Our Experience

The installation process for the BAKFlip G2 varies depending on the shape of your truck’s bed rails. Trucks with square rails (like our test truck) make for a very easy installation process. Otherwise, the BAKFlip comes with rubber shims to get a perfectly level installation.

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: What Customers Are Saying

Amazon reviews of the BAKFlip G2 are largely positive. It is one of the most consistently reviewed tonneau covers across different truck brands like Toyota, Ram, Chevy, and GMC

Customers who left negative reviews complain about the rubber feet intended to protect this cover when it is folded up. These can fall off, resulting in small scratches when the BAKFlip is stored.

2. Gator SFX Tri-Fold: Best Soft-Folding Tonneau Cover

  • Cost: $299.99 – $319.99
  • RealTruck review score: 4.7 out of 5.0 (over 14,000 reviews)
  • Cover type: Tri-fold
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Warranty length: Limited lifetime (structural) and 10 years (tarp)

Gator SFX Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover Review

The Gator SFX Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover is a simple folding tonneau cover that offers excellent protection from the rain. While it is not water-tight, the marine-grade vinyl cover is protected under the company’s “Gator Guarantee.”

The Gator Guarantee ensures that if you’re not happy with the SFX Tri-Fold cover for any reason, you can swap it out for another Gator-branded tonneau cover within 30 days of ordering.

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)

Ease of Installation

5.0

Ease of Use

3.5

Durability

3.5

Overall Rating

4.0

Gator SFX Tri-Fold: Pros And Cons

Below, you can see the pros and cons of the Gator SFX Tri-Fold:

Pros Rigid, lightweight frame Weather-resistant No tools needed for installation
Cons May be prone to leaking

Gator SFX Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover: Our Experience

The Gator SFX is among the easiest-to-install truck bed covers that we tested. The clamps can be tightened by hand, and so no tools are required. Just be careful not to pinch your fingers as the tension on the back clamps (which must be pulled down and under the side of the truck) is quite strong. The upside is that once attached, the Tri-Fold doesn’t move or slide at all.

Many tonneau covers click into place when closed, and are released with a drawstring. The SFX Tri-Fold doesn’t have an easy release mechanism. The clamps at the bottom of the cover must be disengaged and the cover folds up.

Gator SFX Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover: What Customers Are Saying

A majority of reviewers speak to the Gator SFX Tri-Fold tonneau cover’s great pricing, as few covers are this cheap and well-made. Several customers also comment on how easy the installation process was. One comments that they’ve had this cover for a number of months and it’s survived 2.0 inches of snow and several torrential downpours.

Best One-Piece Tonneau Cover

Offering the most complete coverage of your truck bed, one-piece tonneau covers may be more difficult to open but are often the most secure. Below, we take a look at one of the best one-piece tonneau covers on the market in 2024.

UnderCover SE: Best One-Piece Truck Bed Cover

  • Cost: $1,099.99 – $1,249.99
  • RealTruck review score: 4.7 out of 5.0 (over 240 reviews)
  • Cover type: One-piece
  • Material: Scratch-resistant and UV-protected ABS
  • Warranty length: Three years

UnderCover SE Review

The UnderCover SE tonneau cover offers a stylish low-profile design with an inner LED lighting system. As a single-piece truck bed cover it is more difficult to open and close compared to folding designs, but better at keeping out water.

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)

Ease of Installation

3.0

Ease of Use

3.0

Durability

4.0

Overall Rating

3.3

As a single-piece tonneau cover, the UnderCover SE is especially durable and resistant to water incursion. The downside of the one-piece cover is that it must be removed to allow for full truck bed access. Removing the cover is not complicated, but requires two sets of hands.

UnderCover SE: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the UnderCover SE tonneau cover:

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

UnderCover SE: Our Experience

Despite only being a single piece, the UnderCover SE isn’t particularly easy to install. Depending on your specific truck, the SE will come with different components and the cover we ordered did not include instructions.

However, after contacting RealTruck customer support, we were quickly supplied with the proper installation manual. With the manual, installation was straightforward though required a few more steps and tools than many of our other recommendations.

UnderCover SE

UnderCover SE: What Customers Are Saying

Many F-150 owners like the SE cover because of the straightforward installation. Many also comment that the cover holds up well even after extended use. Ram, Chevy, and Toyota SE covers were also reviewed well on Amazon, with similar comments about the ease of installation and durability.

One common complaint among the few negative reviews references difficulty opening the SE’s lock feature.


Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Buying Guide

Cover type, material, and warranty length are all worth checking before you choose a truck bed cover. These details give you an idea of how the cover works as well as how long it is guaranteed to last.

Compare Truck Bed Tonneau Covers

Brand/ModelCover TypeMaterialWarranty Length

GatorTrax

Retractable

Composite

One year

RealTruck Retrax PowertraxPRO

Retractable

Aluminum

Limited Lifetime

BAK BAKFlip G2

Tri-fold

Vinyl

Three years

Gator Recoil

One-piece

ABS Composite

Two years

Gator SFX TriFold

Tri-fold

Vinyl

Limited lifetime (structural) and 10 years (tarp)

RealTruck Retrax EQ

Retractable

Aluminum

Five years

TruXedo Sentry CT

Roll-up

Aluminum and Canvas

Five years

Tyger Auto T1

Roll-up

Vinyl

Limited Lifetime

TruXedo TruXport

Folding

Aluminum

Five years

Undercover SE One-Piece

Retractable

Aluminum

Three years

Cover type, material, and warranty length aren’t the only things to consider when selecting a truck bed tonneau cover. The sections below provide further detail on the difference between the different tonneau cover styles and materials.

How To Choose A Tonneau Cover

The truck bed cover that’s best for you ultimately depends on your needs. Are you simply looking for the cheapest way to protect your truck bed’s contents? Or are you looking for complete weather protection? Simple questions like these will help you determine the tonneau cover that is best for you.

We spoke with Chris King, Director of Marketing at RealTruck, and an auto industry veteran of eight years, and he told us, “There’s not a magic single question to ask somebody if they’re interested in a tonneau cover. There’s usually three: price, security, and use case.”

  1. Consider the price: Price is always an important consideration. Determine your budget before setting your heart on a premium tonneau cover. If your budget is below $600, you’re probably looking at a soft tonneau cover, whereas a retractable cover is likely to cost around $1,000.
  2. Security: Soft tonneau covers do not protect against theft. If keeping your truck bed secure is important, you’ll need to use a hard tonneau cover that cannot be opened when the tailgate is locked (the case with virtually all hard tonneau covers).
  3. Consider use case: Whether you have a truck tool box mounted or need to regularly open your truck bed, it’s worth considering your truck bed cover’s functionality. Keep in mind how often you will need to remove your cover (to accommodate a trailer or other accessory). Some covers don’t allow full bed access, and certain covers are easier to remove than others.
  4. Figure out which type of tonneau cover is best for you: Figuring out the way you’d like your truck bed cover to open is one of the best ways to figure out which style of tonneau cover is best for you.
  5. Make sure the tonneau cover you select fits your truck: Take careful measurements of your truck bed’s dimensions to ensure the tonneau cover you purchase fits your truck.

We asked Hunter Gill, owner of aftermarket truck accessory retailer TEQ Customs about his thoughts on tonneau covers. Here’s what he had to say:

“Tonneau covers are really popular, especially for people that like to carry a lot of things around [in] their [pick-up truck’s] bed. A lot of people use their trucks for work, so [tonneau covers] are great at protecting your tools and equipment in the bed from getting wet when it rains, or if you’re in a snowy climate. [Tonneau covers] can also be used for security. It’s a lot harder [for thieves] to get something in your bed when you have that cover on there.”

What Is The Best Type Of Tonneau Cover?

Soft top or hard-folding? Rolling or tri-fold? There are a number of common truck bed tonneau cover designs and materials, each with different advantages and drawbacks. Which is best can depend on your needs and particular truck, but regardless of which one you choose, tonneau covers have many benefits. 

Before we dig into the differences between tonneau covers, we want to highlight two characteristics that overlap between all types of tonneau covers: durability and accessibility.

Accessibility

The best tonneau covers offer security without sacrificing the functionality of a truck bed. The perfect cover opens easily, without making it too difficult to reach into other areas of the truck bed, but is also secure enough to deter theft.

Durability

Chances are that any tonneau cover you buy will take a bit of a beating from the elements, so you’ll want it to last. Common treatments for the best tonneau covers are weatherproofing to help avoid water stains and damage during storms and utilizing scratch-resistant materials. 

The type of finish on your tonneau cover also affects how long it will last. If you’re going to leave your truck parked outside and in view of the sun often, make sure your cover is protected against UV rays.

Truck Bed Cover Types

Truck bed covers, otherwise known as tonneau covers, can typically be separated into two general classifications: hard and soft.

  • Hard tonneau covers: Made with materials like aluminum, fiberglass, and polypropylene, the best hard tonneau covers are nearly impervious to break-ins when secured with a locked tailgate.
  • Soft tonneau covers: Usually made of vinyl or cloth and are supported by a lightweight metal frame. These covers are suited for general weather protection but offer very little security.

Types Of Soft Tonneau Covers

Soft tonneau covers can also be classified into two different categories: roll-up and snap-on.

  • Roll-up tonneau covers: Also called soft-folding covers, roll-up covers are made from materials such as vinyl and are secured to the bed of a truck using velcro straps or button fasteners. They are lightweight and have a low-profile design, making them ideal for basic weather protection. Some rolling covers can also be automated, in which a motor stores the cover in a canister similar to how a motorized window shade operates.
  • Snap-on tonneau covers: Typically the least expensive and least durable option, snap-on covers are also usually the lightest tonneau covers available. While they’re typically easy to open and use, the contents inside your truck bed are more prone to theft with this tonneau cover installed compared to other options.

Types Of Hard Tonneau Covers

Hard tonneau covers can be distinguished from each other by how they open and close, branching out into three separate categories: retractable, one-piece, and hard-folding.

  • Retractable tonneau covers: These come in a variety of materials and can be folded or rolled up for easy storage. Both styles share the same goal of creating a weatherproof truck bed that also protects against theft.
  • One-piece tonneau covers: Typically plastic, sometimes fiberglass, covers that open and close like a truck lid using hydraulic struts.
  • Hard-folding tonneau covers: Typically made with an aluminum frame, these covers are often more durable than soft roll-ups and offer better security. Most are quad-fold or tri-fold tonneau covers.

Read More: Best Hard Tonneau Covers

What Size Tonneau Cover Do I Need?

To figure out what size tonneau cover you’ll need for your truck, first, grab some measuring tape. Ensure your measuring tape is 8.0 to 10.0 ft. in length, as well as bring along a pen and paper to jot down measurements. 

How To Measure A Tonneau Cover

To measure a tonneau cover, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Lower the tailgate on your truck and stand at the back end of your vehicle.
  2. Measure the length of your truck bed from the bulkhead wall to the gap between the truck bed and tailgate. The bulkhead wall is the wall closest to the cab.
  3. Divide your measurements by 12 to convert inches to feet, as that’s how tonneau covers are typically framed in size.

How Much Does A Truck Bed Cover Cost?

Most covers are sold in different sizes for different makes and models and so can vary in price ranging from $300 to over $2,000. Mitigating factors for the cost of a tonneau cover include materials, build quality, and even the style of tonneau cover you choose.

Typically, hard tonneau covers are more expensive than soft tonneau covers. Additionally, you can expect to pay more if you own a larger truck with a bigger truck bed.

Does A Tonneau Cover Increase Gas Mileage?

In short, yes, tonneau covers increase gas mileage. The way a tonneau cover increases gas mileage is by sealing off the truck bed, not permitting airflow into the truck bed. A tonneau cover optimizes a truck’s overall aerodynamics, thereby creating less drag and improving gas mileage.

If the cost of a tonneau cover worries you, consider factoring in the amount of gas you’ll save each year. However, savings will likely be minimal. Said savings also depend on the type of truck you drive, the type of tonneau cover you purchased, and overall driving habits.

RealTruck Retrax Series

In our review, we recommended a couple of tonneau covers in the RealTruck Retrax series. If you’re in the market for a tonneau cover in the $2,000 and up price range, we think this series offers some of the best options. However, the number of Retrax options and their similar names can make distinguishing between these covers exceptionally confusing.

Listed in order from least to most expensive the Retrax line includes:

  • RetraxONE MX
  • RetraxONE XR
  • RetraxPRO MX
  • RetraxPRO XR
  • PowertraxONE MX
  • PowertraxONE XR
  • PowertraxPRO MX
  • PowertraxPRO XR
  • Retrax EQ

There is one difference between MX and XR models: XR models include a T-slot on the side rails. This allows you to attach additional components like truck racks to the tonneau cover. XR models are generally about $150 more expensive than MX models. Price ranges listed below are for MX models.

Tonneau CoverCostOperationSlat MaterialWeight Tolerance

RetraxONE

$1,549.99 – $1,649.99

Manual

Polycarbonate

200.0 lbs.

RetraxPRO

$2,149.99 – $2,299.99

Manual

Aluminum

500.0 lbs.

PowertraxONE

$2,249.99 – $2,399.99

Automatic

Polycarbonate

200.0 lbs.

PowertraxPRO

$2,799.99 – $2,949.99

Automatic

Aluminum

500.0 lbs.

Retrax EQ

$3,199.99

Automatic

Aluminum

500.0 lbs.

What differentiates the Retrax EQ from the PowertraxPRO is that the EQ includes interior bed lights and can be operated using your OEM keyfob (the Powertrax line is operated with a separate keyfob that is included with the tonneau cover).


Best Truck Bed Tonneau Covers: Bottom Line

After researching the top tonneau covers in the market, our team determined that the GatorTrax Tonneau Cover is the best truck bed cover in 2024. However, the best truck bed cover for you depends on your needs and how you plan to use it.

  1. GatorTrax: Best Truck Bed Cover
  2. RealTruck Retrax PowertraxPRO XR: Best Automatic Truck Bed Cover
  3. BAK BAKFlip G2: Best Hard-Folding Truck Bed Cover
  4. Gator RecoilBest Retractable Tonneau Cover
  5. Gator SFX TriFold: Best Soft-Folding Tonneau Cover
  6. RealTruck Retrax EQBest Automatic Retracting Tonneau Cover
  7. TruXedo Sentry CTBest Hard Roll-Up Tonneau Cover
  8. Tyger Auto T1Best Value Tonneau Cover
  9. TruXedo TruXport: Best Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Cover
  10. UnderCover SE One-Piece: Best One-Piece Truck Bed Cover

Truck Bed Tonneau Covers: FAQ

Below are some common frequently asked questions about truck bed tonneau covers:

What Is A Tonneau Cover?

A tonneau cover is a cover that protects the unoccupied rear seating compartment of a convertible or roadster, according to Merriam-Webster. More specifically, it protects your truck bed from the elements as well as the contents inside of your truck bed from theft.

What is the best tonneau cover?

After researching various types of truck bed covers, we determined that Gator offers the best tonneau cover in 2024. The GatorTrax is incredibly well-made, as well as easy to install and operate. This durable, easy-to-use tonneau cover offers a weather-tight fit that will keep your tools dry.

Can you drive with an open tonneau cover?

You should close your tonneau cover before driving, as an open cover can negatively affect rear visibility.

Do I need a tonneau cover for my truck?

A tonneau cover is a common truck accessory because it is extremely useful. Not all truck owners need a tonneau cover, but if you want to prevent theft or protect truck bed contents from the elements, you should buy one. This is why, along with running boards, a tonneau cover is one of the more common truck upgrades.

Do tonneau covers improve gas mileage?

Tonneau covers can improve the aerodynamics of your truck, which in turn increases fuel economy. Truck bed covers with a low, sleek profile often work better for improving gas mileage while also providing weather protection.

However, the extra weight of a heavier tonneau cover may reduce the benefit of any added aerodynamics.

What is the purpose of a tonneau cover?

The purpose of a tonneau cover is to both add privacy for items stored in your truck bed and help better protect it from the environment. It can also help a truck be more aerodynamic.

Why is it called “tonneau?”

The word is derived from the French word for barrel: “tun.”

What is the most secure type of tonneau cover?

One-piece tonneau covers with locks are the most secure since they require an extra level of access. Hard-top tonneau covers made from high-quality plastics or fiberglass will also be more secure than ones made from vinyl. 

For added security, purchase a tonneau cover that is completely removable only when the tailgate is lowered.

Which is better: a soft or hard tonneau cover?

While soft, or roll-up, covers are typically easier and sometimes easier to install, hard covers are considered more secure. A hard tonneau cover may be a greater theft deterrent and may increase the functionality of a truck.


Full Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Testing Methodology

We tested truck bed covers by installing them on a number of different test vehicles, including:

  • 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

While assembling and using these tonneau covers, we took note of how easy each cover was to install, overall build quality, and ease of use. Each truck bed tonneau cover was given a rating out of 5.0 stars based on these criteria.

Ease of Installation

Quite straightforward to understand, our team unboxed each tonneau cover as any customer would – and then began installing each tonneau cover on one of our test vehicles. We noted how long it took us to install each truck bed cover as well as our thoughts and feelings during the installation process.

Build Quality

One of the most important factors to consider is the material used in a tonneau cover’s construction and the way said material is used. We took note of the materials used in the construction of each tonneau cover and paid close attention to overall durability.

Ease of Use

Simple and straightforward to understand, we judged how each hard tonneau cover worked and how easy it was to use. Tonneau or truck bed covers open and close in many ways. We judged each for how easy it was to unload and load a whole lot of gear.

How We Score Tonneau Covers

Every truck bed tonneau cover that 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 can be installed without tools in less than 20 minutes, is virtually dent-proof, or is easily opened to allow for full bed access.
  • 4.0 Stars: A 4.0-star rating means a tonneau cover performs better-than-average in a category. It can be installed with a few tools in less than 30 minutes, is theft-proof, or can be easily opened to allow for ¾ bed access.
  • 3.0 Stars: A 3.0-star rating indicates what is average or typical for a tonneau cover, based on our testing experience. It is durable enough to protect against the elements, may require two people to install, or takes a few minutes to open or close.
  • 2.0 Stars: A 2.0-star rating indicates the tonneau cover performs adequately in a category but is poorer than average. Covers may not fit perfectly or feel fully secured once installed.
  • 1.0 Star: A 1.0-star rating indicates that the tonneau cover performs well below expectations in a category. It must be installed by a professional, is easily broken, or is excessively complicated to use.

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.