How To Choose A Tonneau Cover
Choosing a tonneau cover can be a difficult process – there are several manufacturers, styles and types of tonneau covers that results in dozens of options. A few key decision points will significantly help your buying decision:
- What’s important to you? Do you need frequent access to your cargo area or are you looking for a showroom look?
- What’s your favorite style? Multiple styles are available including folding, retractable and rolling.
- What’s your budget? Tonneau covers range in price between $250-1500.
Read on to learn more.
Decide What’s Important
The first decision to make is to determine exactly what your needs are, as this will tell you what’s important to look for. If you are simply looking for a show-room look without a need for frequent access to your cargo area, we recommend a hard-cover, paintable lid as this will provide a sleek look.
However, most customers are looking for functionality. This can come in the form of a hard-folding tonneau cover, a soft-folding cover or any number of options in between including retractable and rolling varieties.
Take a look at our guide “Hard vs. Soft Tonneau Covers” for a more in-depth look that will help you make this decision.
What to Look Out For
Bed Rail Caps – some, not all tonnau covers are compatible with bed and tailgate caps. If you have bed caps installed, you’ll want to make sure your future tonneau cover is compatible. Otherwise, you might be in for a surprise. Note: All BAK tonneau covers are compatible with the BAK ProCaps bed caps.
Toolboxes – if you have a toolbox, or plan on purchasing one in the future, you’ll also want to make sure your tonneau cover is compatible with your new tonneau cover. If the toolbox is above the bed rails or prevents access to a mount location, you will have a compatibility issue. Note: All BAK tonneau covers are compatible with the BAKBox 2 toolbox.
Track System – if your truck has a track system, you’ll want to make sure your tonneau cover is designed for your truck. When viewing options for your truck on our website, our products will display a fitment note if it is compatible with a track system, so be sure to pay attention to this.
Any other accessory that is above the bed rails or that may get in the way of a mount access point could potentially have issues with compatibility. If you have any questions regarding compatibility, please contact us and we’ll be happy to let you know if it’s compatible.
Choose your Style
The most popular style of tonneau cover is the folding tonneau. Although it is typically a tri-fold, folding tonneaus can come with any number of folding panels. By having multiple panels, you are able to access portions of your cargo open while still keeping the other portion closed. This helps accommodate oversized or awkwardly shaped cargo.
Alternatives to the folding tonneau cover are the rolling and retractable varieties. These give more variances in the amount of space that can be opened, as it isn’t predetermined by the fold points in a folding tonneau cover.
Take a look at our guide “Types of Tonneau Covers” for a more in-depth look that will help you make this decision.
Determine your Budget
As our most economical option, it is no wonder that the ProEFX Tri-Fold Tonneau Covers are also some of our most popular and highest rated, with prices starting around $250. These tonneau covers are made with aluminum framing with a sleek vinyl top, and can easily be taken on or off the vehicle in minutes using an extremely simply clamping system.
Perhaps the flagship of the tonneau cover world, BAK Liners also command higher prices for a variety of reasons – quality, workmanship and overall specifications. BAK holds several patents and are the makers of the rolling, retractable, contractor-series and ever-popular BAKFlip series. BAK tonneau covers start at $678.
Our website will help guide you to the perfect tonneau cover – just click here and let us know the year/make/model of your truck. You can then filter the results down by telling us the type and style you’re looking for.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.