Tonneau Bed Covers Infinitely Extend Your Road Utility

Keep it covered. Tonneau bed covers help you be more flexible on – and off – the road. These flat truck bed tops come in soft and hard, with options that retract, fold, or roll up for easy gear access and secure protection. Unlike truck caps, tonneau covers have a low profile design that allow full visibility above your bed.

What are Tonneau Bed Covers?

Hunting with a tonneau bed cover

A tonneau cover is a versatile cover that fits over the back of a truck bed, protecting whatever you’ve got inside from both weather and thieves. They come in a variety of types and price points, making it easy for you to find a cover that suits your needs. They start at the cab and usually extend all the way to the end of the truck, providing an extra layer of security for the contents of your truck bed.

Tonneau bed covers – also known as roll-up covers, cab covers, or pickup truck covers – are different from truck caps in that they lie flat in line with the top of the truck bed, providing security and storage without adding additional space above the bed.

Types of Tonneau Bed Covers

There are two types of tonneau covers: hard and soft.

Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Covers stretch a durable fabric over the truck bed. When you’re not using that area, you can easily roll down your soft cover to keep out dust and light rain. Soft tonneaus are great for trucks that see a lot of light-duty use and need to be nimble (like an everyday driver), because they’re easy to open and close but they don’t provide the highest level of security and protection.

Hard Tonneau Covers are rigid, instead of flexible like fabric, and they don’t roll up. They’re usually installed permanently and secured with a latch. They can be one solid piece that lifts up and down, or come in sections that retract or fold out of the way. Hard tonneaus give you maximum security, but depending on the model, they may require some work to install.

Fixed Covers

Fixed covers are permanently installed, hard shells that lift up to allow you to access the truck bed. They are usually made of fiberglass and are often coated with a color match finish. LEER tonneau covers can be paint-matched to your truck, and can even come with aerodynamic styling and details.

750 sport fixed tonneau cover

Fixed tonneaus are secure, durable, and quiet, and you can even get models with built-in lights. However, they’re a bit more expensive, and the height may make it hard to load or unload heavy or bulky items. Depending on the model, they may have lift-assist gas props, keyless remotes, interior lighting and other features built in.

Fixed covers are ideal for people who are highly concerned about the aesthetic of their vehicle. While they offer aerodynamic benefits, they are a rigid component so it’s a good idea fully assess all available options before buying.

Retractable Covers

Retractable covers can be permanently affixed and come in models that are easily removed when necessary. They allow you to access the truck bed by pushing metal slat panels towards the cab and into a canister system that operates mechanically – either with a remote control, a spring-loaded latch, or a pull strap. They are usually made of aluminum slats and are often coated with a protective black powder coat finish. Some even come with installed drain tubes to help move any excess water out of the roll canister and away from your truck bed.

Rectractable tonneau cover

Some retractable tonneau bed covers come with a rail system which allows you to easily attach a rack to bring along bikes, kayaks, and other storage or recreation items. They are also secure, durable, and quiet, making them ideal for people who like to hunt, hike and camp.

Folding Covers

Folding covers are permanently mounted covers designed to fold up and out of the way toward the cab. Folding covers are less expensive than most other options, but don’t provide as much security as a fixed or retractable option. The real benefit to folding covers is that they are extremely easy to use, instal, and are light weight.

Folding tonneau bed cover open

LEER’s folding cover opens easily and has a drain management system that doesn’t require any additional tubes.


Whichever tonneau bed cover you choose, remember that there is no such thing as “one size fits all.” You should consider your needs and budget when choosing a tonneau. If you want something simple, quick, and inexpensive, then a soft roll-up cover might be best for you. If you want more protection and security, then a hard shell cover will do the trick.

A fixed or retractable tonneau bed cover looks good and protects your vehicle well in every arena from grocery runs to school drop-offs and pickups, work sites and recreational activities. Consider your lifestyle and the real-life needs of your family before investing in any truck bed cover.

Which tonneau bed covers do you think would be the best fit for your lifestyle?

Leave a Comment