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Folding Tonneau Covers
Hard Tonneau Covers
Soft Tonneau Covers
Hinged Tonneau Covers
Rolling Tonneau Covers
Retractable Tonneau Covers
Electric Tonneau Covers
Snap Tonneau Covers
The low cost is perhaps the greatest advantage of a soft tonneau cover, which start at $250, compared to the $700 or more you’ll pay for a hard tonneau cover.
Also, soft tonneau covers are much lighter than hard tonneau covers. Some tonneau covers, primarily hinged and folding tonneau covers, have to be removed completely in order to fit large cargo in your bed, and obviously this is much easier to do with a lighter soft tonneau cover than a heavy hard tonneau cover.
Security is the biggest issue. A soft tonneau cover does protect your cargo better than no cover at all, but it isn’t as safe as a hard tonneau cover. This is because the determined thief can cut through the material used in a soft tonneau cover. If security is a major concern, you may be better off buying a hard tonneau cover.
Weather is another issue, particularly snow. A hard tonneau cover can support a load of snowfall up to 300 pounds, while a soft tonneau cover could be damaged by anything more than 200 lb. If you live in an area with constant heavy snowfalls, a hard tonneau cover is probably a better choice.
Snap, hinged, roll-up, and folding tonneau covers can be made of a soft material. Snap covers are always soft, but hinged, roll-up, and folding covers can also be made of a hard material like fiberglass or aluminum.
Snap tonneau covers are among the cheapest tonneau covers available. They are also the most difficult to open, as you have to circle your bed and undo all the snaps, and once you have it open, collecting up the cover and strapping it to the bulkhead of your truck isn’t near as smooth a mechanism as the operation featured in a hinged, roll-up, or folding tonneau cover.
Hinged tonneau covers feature easy access. They open like a hood with one quick motion. But they don’t allow for complete access to your bed, so they will have to be removed entirely to accommodate large cargo.
Roll-up tonneau covers do allow complete access to your bed and they are easy to open and close. The opening mechanism is all in the name: you undo the lock, roll up the cover, and strap it to the bulkhead of your truck.
Folding tonneau covers are made up of 3 or 4 panels that can be quickly flipped open, but, like hinged tonneau covers, they don’t allow for complete access and will have to be removed to fit some tall or oddly-shaped items.
It depends on the brand and model of the tonneau cover, but generally they are made of cloth or vinyl and supported by a lightweight aluminum frame.
As previously stated, they are cheap compared to hard tonneau covers. You can pick up a ProEFX Tri-Fold folding tonneau cover for as low as $249.99, or an ExTang Classic Platinum snap tonneau cover starting at $271.70.