Types of Tonneau Covers

So now that you’ve learned all about tonneau covers and the benefits of having one, the next step is learning more about all of the tonneau cover options on the market.  Frankly, there’s a lot of information to digest, but it’s important to make sure you get the best tonneau for you and to make sure you’re getting the best bang-for-the-buck.

BAK Tonneau Covers

Folding Tonneau Covers

Possibly the most popular style of tonneau cover on the market, most tonneau covers you see will be folding.  This includes the popular tri-fold tonneau cover which folds as 3 separate sections.  However, some covers may have more than 3 folding points. 

What’s the benefit?  If you need access to only a portion of your truck bed, a folding tonneau cover will allow you to cover part of your bed while exposing the other part.  Simply fold up (and tie down, if necessary) 1 or 2 panels to accommodate your cargo, and you’re good to go.  This is great if you are hauling large or awkwardly shaped cargo that will not fit under a tonneau.  Compare to a hinged cover, which would make this scenario a bit more difficult.

Video Demonstration

Roll-Up Tonneau Covers

A rolling tonneau cover rolls up into itself all the way to the bulkhead, similar to how you would roll a mat. 

What’s the benefit?  A rolling cover touts nearly the same benefits as a folding tonneau cover, in that it provides partial open access to your cargo.  It is simply a different way of achieving the same effect, although a rolling tonneau will provide for more variances in the amount of space you want covered or uncovered.  It is not determined by pre-set folds as it would with a folding tonneau. 

Video Demonstration

Retractable Tonneau Covers

A retractable tonneau cover retracts into itself at the bulkhead of the truck.  Its usage and functionality is most similar to the Roll-Up tonneau cover, with just a different mechanism for achieving the same effect.

What’s the benefit?  With a retractable tonneau cover, you are able to expose only the cargo that you need to.  This allows you to carry oversized or awkwardly shaped cargo while still protecting the rest of your cargo.

Video Demonstration

Hinged Tonneau Covers

A hinged tonneau cover is essentially a bed cover lid that is hinged at the bulkhead of the truck.  Hinged tonneau covers can be locked into the open position; one important detail to note is that hinged tonneau covers do not fold or roll up.  Therefore, it is often difficult to accommodate for oversized cargo, or to remove if you need full access to your truck bed.

What’s the benefit?  While usage is limited with a hinged tonneau cover, many customers simply prefer the look of a hinged tonneau cover.  Some truck owners choose a painted hard lid that matches seamlessly with their truck, giving it a sleek look.  A hinged tonneau works well for customers that do not haul oversized cargo.

Lund Hinged Tonneau Cover

Snap Tonneau Covers

A snap tonneau cover typically consists of an aluminum frame that clamps to the truck bed and a vinyl cover that snaps into the frame.  Snap tonneaus are a unique way to open and close a truck bed.

What’s the benefit?  A snap tonneau cover allows open access to all or part of your truck bed, accommodating for varying sizes of cargo.

Lund Snap Tonneau

Tonneaus with Tool Boxes

While a number of tonneau covers work with your toolbox, there are some tonneaus that may not work.  If your truck is equipped with a toolbox or if you plan on purchasing one in the future, it’s important to find out beforehand if your preferred tonneau will be compatible.  Our product descriptions have information on this, but if you still have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Note:  All BAK Tonneau Covers are designed to work with the BAK Box 2, a versatile and high-quality toolbox available for most trucks on the road. 

Locking Tonneau Covers

If you plan to haul cargo that would benefit from additional security, you will want to look at our locking tonneaus.  Locking methods are not included with all tonneaus, so make sure your future tonneau cover has this capability.  Truck owners benefit as this is an extra deterrent to thieves and sticky hands.

Hard vs. Soft Covers

We have an in-depth guide here on the differences between a hard and soft tonneau cover, and which one is best for you.  In short, soft tonneau covers are more economical and generally speaking, more practical.  Hard tonneau covers are offered as a “lid” version as well as a more practical-folding hard cover.

Get Started


Once you’re ready, take a look at our full inventory of tonneau covers.  After selecting your truck using our handy vehicle fitment tool, you can narrow down your tonneau options based on the style and types available for your truck.  It’s an easy way to find exactly what you want – click here to get started.