It doesn’t matter if you’re a long-term fan or a newcomer to the segment; when it comes to pickups there’s one accessory that virtually everyone has an opinion on: Pickup Truck Bed Covers. So how can you best select one for your new or used truck?
It’s a debate for the ages, but one thing’s for sure. There’s no better way to protect your pickup truck’s precious cargo from both the elements and thieves than by installing a proper truck bed cover.
But with so many options available on the market, it can quickly become a truly daunting subject. The task of selecting the best pickup truck bed cover for your usage is hardly an easy one. It’s certainly not helped by there being so many different styles available. These include folding covers, snap-in covers, roller covers, retractable covers, and hinged covers.
Each has its pros and cons, and the style and model that will work best for you will depend on your individual wants and needs. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best pickup truck bed covers for you and your truck. And the best part is that most options listed are available for a wide range of fitments—from Ford pickup truck bed covers to covers that suits Chevys and Toyotas!
PICKUP TRUCK BED COVERS
The Best Options for 2020
Best Products of All Categories Quick Reference Table
|Name||Tyger Auto T5||Truxedo Lo Pro||Gator FX||BAK Revolver X4||Tyger Auto T1|
|Best All-Rounder||Most Stylish||Most Versatile||Best Roll-Up Cover||Best Value For Money|
|Style||Tri-Fold||Soft Roll-Up||Quad Fold||Hard Roll-Up||Roll Up|
|Material||Aluminum Alloy||Leather Grain Vinyl||Aluminum||Vinyl w/ aluminum base||Vinyl|
Pick Up Truck Bed Covers — Our Top-Rated Picks for 2020!
A best seller online, and rated highly everywhere else, the Tyger Auto T5 is a hard-topped tri-fold tonneau cover that comes in as a strong blend of safety, practicality, and value. It’s a variation on their popular T3 model but replaces the soft vinyl cover with a much sturdier hard-alloy pickup bed cover.
A Trusted Name
Tyger is a well-known name in the world of pickup truck bed covers, and their products are designed in the USA and are backed by a strong locally-based support team. The T5 is a popular model, starting from around $500 and is reassured with a 5-year no-hassle guarantee. Tyger has had a long history of providing well-engineered options for a variety of beds and lengths, and the T5 is no different. And with a drill-free design, you can easily install it yourself.
It’s the best blend of quality and value for money we found, although the folding mechanism may not be practical for those who want to drive for extended periods with the bed cover open, as this may cause excess drag.
The Tyger Auto T5’s trifold design is a great way to blend easy cargo access with stability and sturdiness. With its equal-folding sections, the bed cover can be accessed fully or partially all in a matter of seconds.
The T5 is guaranteed to be a tough cookie in the bed cover world. Made of aircraft-grade aluminum your given a bed-cover weight capacity of 500 LB. The alloy is comprised of a honeycomb frame, over which a hard alloy cover forms the basis of the secure bed.
With the combined safety of the non-penetrable alloy cover and Tyger Auto’s propriety locking system, the T5 is one of the most secure products on the market. Not only is your cargo protected from the elements, but it’s also safe from even the most advanced tools of a would-be thief.
Easy to install
The Tyger Auto T5 is also easy to install and can be done “drill-free”. They claim installation can be done within five minutes, but one user on tacomaworld.com claims it took up to thirty minutes. Regardless, fitment is fairly straightforward, with Tyger Auto claiming it can be completed with no tools required.
- Hard shell can take up to 500 LBs weight
- Protected from corrosion
- Easy Installation
- Sturdy Aluminum Frame
- Hassle-free three-piece folding
- No external locking mechanism
- Can cause drag at speed when open
Want a bed cover for your pickup truck but can’t seem to stomach the looks? Then perhaps you should consider Truxedo’s “Lo-profile” offering. Just as the name implies, the big draw for the Lo Pro Soft Roll Up is the discrete nature of this bed cover. It’s a stylish and attractive way of keeping the contents of your pickup truck’s bed clean and dry, whilst also having the added benefit of improving your gas mileage thanks to greater aerodynamics.
The Truxedo Lo Pro Soft Roll up is one of the best roller-style vinyl pickup truck bed coverings in the market and foregoes the traditional snaps for an even easier tensioner bar. But it may not be the best solution for high-value cargo, as it is still vinyl, meaning a sharp knife with some force could see it being ripped apart.
Let’s look at some of its features in detail.
Hook and loop Sealing
The Truxedo Lo Pro Soft Roll-Up stands apart from the crowd by being a soft vinyl bed cover that doesn’t utilize zippers or press snaps. Instead, you’ll find the sophisticated hook and loop system (Velcro-style) that makes covering the bed a cinch. This is especially advantageous for colder climates that would normally see vinyl covers contracting, which makes those last few snaps or zip teeth hard to button up.
The Truxedo Lo Pro Roll-Up has an ingenious way of making closing and sealing-off your truck’s bed from the outside world. Instead of having to struggle pulling the soft cover tight, the Truxedo solution allows you to quickly and easily secure the pickup truck bed cover. It comes with a tensioner bar, which easily latches towards the tailgate before drawing tension across the cover, allowing you to snap the vinyl in place.
Sleek as it is Stylish
The Truxedo Lo Pro is great for those who don’t want to ruin the lines of your pickup truck. That’s because the Lo Pro sits just under ¾ of an inch higher than the bed, making it almost flush. The sleek black finish, coupled with the lack of bulk makes this bed cover one of the best-looking in the market.
Roll-up and Roll Away
Need to transport something a little bulkier? Then the soft vinyl cover can easily and simply be rolled up away from the tailgate, towards the cab. Stowing it in the rolled-up position won’t harm your rear-ward visibility, allowing you to see out of the back no matter if the truck bed is open or closed.
The whole replacement process took us less than 10 minutes. The products showed great performance and durability. We only wish the packaging was better.
- No Zippers or Snaps
- Rolls-up quickly and easily
- Sleek and Discrete
- Improves Gas Mileage
- Tensioner bar makes covering easy
- Not load-bearing
- Vinyl not as protective as a hard shell
Gator FX is another industry name that commands respect. Their wordy “FX Hard Quad Fold” pickup bed solution has already won many a fan thanks to its combination of sturdy build and ingenious features.
The Gator FX bed cover is also a folding cover, but unlike the Tyger Auto T5, it comes in a four-piece configuration as opposed to three. It’s a hard shell and can carry a decent amount of weight. When closed, the Gator FX will remain locked until the tailgate is opened, meaning that cargo is kept safe and secure. And unlike other options in the market, the Gator FX can be driven at highway speeds with the bed open, thanks to securing rods.
Let’s see what makes the Gator FX a favorite among truck owners.
The Gator FX allows you to gain incremental access to the load bay by folding in four places. By doing so have the option of accessing all or some of your load bay as needed, while the rest can stay safe and protected from the elements.
Quick & Easy Access
The Gator FX has a pull-latch system for each segment of the tonneau cover. This not only ensures that the segments each stay securely latched in place, but it also means that you can open them without having to fiddle around with complex and unintuitive systems—simply pull on the rope pull and lift. It’s that easy!
Opening all the way
Some loads require that you open the bed all of the ways to fit bulky and oversized cargo. Fear not, as the Gator FX pickup truck bed cover can be safely and securely kept open in transit. With the Gator FX, simply prop the bed cover against the cab, attach the supporting rods that are included with the bed rails, and lock in place. You soon have a bed cover that can be held open even at highway speeds.
The Gator FX makes its way on to the list of best pickup bed covers not only by being a hard-shell cover but by being strong and sturdy as well. It can carry up to 300 LBs of weight on the cover alone and allows you the maximum protection against thieves and vandalism thanks to the aluminum inserts that make up the cover.
- Four-way fold for great flexibility
- Can carry up to 300 LBs on the cover alone
- Easy locking and unlocking
- The locking system allows for the cover to be fully open at higher speeds
- Hard-shell remains locked with tailgate
- Cover can hinder rear-ward visibility when driving if fully open
- One of the pricier options
If you like the concept of a roll-up cover, but want the protection afforded by some of the aluminum-plated units that we’ve highlighted here, then one of the best forms of pickup truck bed cover has to be (to give it its full name) the BAK Revolver Hard Roll Up Tonneau Cover.
The BAK Revolver is a hybrid of the attributes found in hard-folding covers and softer roll-up covers. It combines a base layer of aluminum with a covering of vinyl, allowing for flexible and easy rolling, without the worry of risking your cargo. What else does the BAK Revolver have to include it in this list?
Just like a conventional soft rolling cover the BAK Industries Hard Roll Up Tonneau truck bed cover allow for quick and simple access to your truck’s load bay via an intuitive roller system. The roller-style bed cover rolls upwards, away from the tailgate, so as to prevent any intrusion into the cargo bay space.
Rails for guidance
Unlike other options, the BAK Industries solution allows you to simply and easily access your cargo without having to lift anything bulky or heavy, nor watch how you roll the bed cover up. As the BAK Industries Hard Roll Up is on rails, it allows you to quickly cover and uncover your cargo within seconds.
The Bak Industries Hard Roll Up Tonneau is load-bearing. This is thanks to its extensive use of aluminum under the vinyl, and makes for a deceptively sturdy load-bearing structure. In fact, the truck bed cover can support up to 400 LBs!
The Bak Industries Hard Roll Up manages to do a double act of being functional, yet stylish. The unique roll-up concept allows for the tonneau cover to be almost completely flush with the top of the pick-up truck bed covering the truck bed rails.
- Flexible roller design
- Knife-proof aluminum base
- Can carry up to 400 LBs on cover
- The ground wire is protected with platinum for increased efficiency
- Tie-straps for highway driving with bed cover open
- Stylish low-profile fitment
- Can’t be driven with the bed cover partially open
- Roller-style restricts half a foot of access space at the cab end of the bed
Tyger Auto makes their second entry on our list with their cheapest offering yet: their entry-level T1. But don’t let the low price fool you. With consistently positive reviews and many repeat purchases from those who upgrade their trucks, the T1 is certainly no flash-in-the-pan offering in the world of pickup truck bed covers.
The T1 is great for saving on gas mileage and keeping your cargo dry. But don’t expect Tyger’s T1 to withstand loads: it’s a soft canopy and, unlike the T5 featured at the head of this list, won’t withstand weight placed atop it. Nor will it be particularly useful if you’re carrying valuable cargo. With no hard shell, it won’t win any durability contests. It will however save you money and provide that sleek finish to round off your truck’s look.
Access when you want
Tyger’s bed cover is perfect for those who don’t have time to hassle themselves removing snaps. Instead it uses an adjustable Velcro system that can be set at any opening configuration required. Speed is the name of the name of the game, and easy access is what the T1 provides.
They Tyger T1 comes with weatherproofing to ensure that your cargo stays dry and that the cover is virtually guaranteed against leaks. Although an optional step in the installation, every T1 is shipped with weatherproofing, and why wouldn’t you want to make use of it?
Locking Snap Cover
The cover can be locked in place after installation, allowing a degree of safety and security for your cargo. Simply snap the cover into place once unfolded, and use one of the two latches (on either side) to unlock the cover ready to be rolled up.
Easily installed, the T1 requires no drilling for installation. Once the bed rails have been installed, simply screw the latches to your preferred fitment and away you go!
- Quality construction despite low price
- Velcro cover provides easy access
- Low-profile design
- Latches lock the cover in place
- Great value
- Not load carrying or suitable for heavy weights
- No lock and key access, easy access to bed contents via Velcro
Pickup Truck Bed Covers—An in-depth analysis of what to look for when you’re buying
The best truck bed covers come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be sized to fit a variety of models, such as the Ford F150, Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram. One of the main differences will be the style and, depending on your usage, not every style or solution found in the market will fit your needs.
One-piece pickup truck bed covers
These types of truck bed covers are typically what you’d find on the lower endof the price spectrum, but they can range upwards depending on their features and construction. They’re simple hinged ways of protecting your cargo and are a cheap and effective way of getting better gas mileage. Most single-piece designs will be the most secure option for your cargo. They have no flexible parts, and are typically hard-shelled, meaning that water resistance is top-notch. Some even have the added benefit of incorporating a stylish tail spoiler that can look rather cool.
But they’re not without their drawbacks. The biggest drawback is space utilization. While the load area underneath the tonneau is perfectly useable, anything that would normally sit above the bed and bed rails (such as a couch or other item of assembled furniture) will be impossible to fit without removing the cover. They can be expensive too. Although some models have gas struts and lighting as nice add-ons, if you’re looking at the $700-range you might want a cover with more practical features.
Snapping Pickup Truck Bed Covers
A snapping cover uses snaps to secure a vinyl cover over the truck bed. This is one of the cheapest options out there, and also one of the easiest for quick installation. You get a decent amount of weather protection from these covers, that are waterproof, and will resist snow and ice as well.
However, with as many as 50 snaps on average, putting these covers on and off can prove to be a time-consuming task. It gets worse in the extreme heat or ice-cold, as the temperature fluctuation can cause the vinyl hood to contract and expand. This means that lining up all snaps for fitment can prove to be tricky at best, downright frustrating at worst.
Folding Pickup Truck Bed Covers
These types of pickup truck bed covers are most popular for those looking for the best available option. They come in vinyl, fiber-reinforced plastic or aluminum.
Typically divided into three or four parts they’re a good solution to cover your truck bed securely while having the flexibility to carry larger oversized loads that may extend beyond the bed rails. Some go-to names in this field are Lund, Tyger, and Gator although every major bed cover manufacturer seems to have one in their arsenal.
The only downsides to these types of covers are the lack of rear-ward visibility and increased wind resistance when driving with the bed in the open or “up” position.
Roll-up Pickup Truck Bed Covers
This style of pickup truck bed cover ensures that you get a mix of easy uncovering and quick access to your truck’s pickup bed. As the name implies, you roll up the cover to reveal the bed underneath. It’s a simple solution that can be found in vinyl as well as harder aluminum slatted applications.
The drawback of this kind of truck bed cover is that most options don’t allow you to select how much of the bed you want to be uncovered. It can be all or nothing when it comes to rolling it out, but the design does mean that when the bed is exposed, rear-ward visibility is impacted to the minimum.
Retractable Pickup Truck Bed Covers
If style and versatility are two main criteria of your purchase decision then retractable covers are one of the best pickup truck bed covers you can find. They act similarly to roll-up bed covers but instead retract into a small storage canister which is fitted at the cab end.
Most units such as the Syneticusa retractable bed cover have the option of locking at any point, ensuring that you can safely drive having the cover open, closed, or at any percentage. This allows you to protect some areas while being able to access others and gives you the freedom to select exactly what areas need coverage.
But there is a drawback for those who need to use their bed space to its optimum. That is that the retractable bed cover’s canister needs to be housed somewhere. That somewhere is inside the bed itself. Although only typically half a foot in-depth, the canister can rob space close to the cab. Although not a massive problem for most, if you’re planning on filling your truck’s load area to its maximum capacity, this may prove to be problematic.
Pickup Truck Bed Covers — Your FAQs answered
Can I install a pickup truck bed cover myself?
The simple answer is yes, in most cases you should be able to. All the pick-up truck bed covers we’ve listed here, and all other mainstream options, are all designed for easy self-installation. However, depending on what type of bed cover you select, the installation may differ. Most will require basic tools to complete the job, such as ratchets, screwdrivers, and possibly even a power tool. But the process is always clearly listed out, and many will have model-specific installation guides as well.
Are bed covers universal?
In many cases no. Although some universal options do exist, these will likely not afford you the protection and ease of use you’re looking for in a pickup truck bed cover. While almost all options are available for major makes and models if you were to own a Ford F150, be sure to order one that is specifically designed as a Ford pickup truck bed cover.
Will fitting a pickup truck bed cover cause damage?
Some bed covers require holes to be drilled to mount them, while others will require drainage channels to be fitted. Granted not everyone is comfortable with the thought of drilling a hole into their truck, but the chances are it will improve fitment and prevent possible corrosion. Another factor to consider is whether or not you already have or plan on fitting a bed liner to the truck. Even truck bed covers that only install via the use of clamps could be hindered in their operation if a bed liner exceeds the truck’s bed rails. It’s best to consult the manufacturer if you have any doubts.
Are bed truck covers watertight?
One of the main reasons for purchasing and installing a pickup truck bed cover is the need to protect against the elements. While most tonneau covers will be water-resistant, depending on the make and model, as well as the design, they may be more or less able to resist water. Styles that have more joints such as tri or quad-folding bed covers may see leakage occur over time, but this is likely only after several years of use. If you need a bone-dry bed though, your best bet will be a single piece hinged solution.
Pickup Truck Bed Covers Overview
Buying the right cover for your pickup truck’s bed is a deeply personal decision. In fact, it could be just as important and diverse as your reasoning behind buying a particular truck in the first place. However, thanks to this guide, you should be more equipped to go shopping for the perfect pickup bed cover. Have you already bought one? Is there a great example that you think should be included in this list? Then jot them down in the comments below, and we’ll be sure to take a look!