A tonneau often refers to any area of a vehicle that is exposed to the elements, and a tonneau cover is any mechanism that is used to cover up that area (Source).
But, if you have a pickup truck, the best retractable tonneau covers make it safe to store belongings in your cargo bed, and easy to access them as well.
A retractable tonneau cover requires installation, however many can be simply setup without having to drill or further modify your truck. Once installed, a retractable tonneau cover is easily operated by pulling the cover open and closed. Some even come with security features like a lock and key to further protect your belongings.
Retractable tonneau covers are sealable and waterproof to avoid mold, mildew and rust from appearing on your tools and on your vehicle. They hide your cargo bed from plain sight and are much more lightweight and easier to use than a hard tonneau cover (Source).
If you own a pickup truck and need to access items quickly, then a retractable tonneau cover is perfect for you. Its waterproof construction also makes it ideal if you live in a particularly rainy or snowy area.
Prior to purchasing a retractable tonneau cover, you’ll want to consider if the size is appropriate for your vehicle’s cargo bed. You’ll also want to think about its security features (if it has any) as well as its weight.
Here are the top-rated retractable tonneau covers we found.
What’s The Best Retractable Tonneau Cover?
Table of Contents
- 1 What’s The Best Retractable Tonneau Cover?
- 2 Are Retractable Tonneau Covers Waterproof?
- 3 Comparing The Top 5 Retractable Tonneau Covers
- 4 1. Easy-open Retrax 60373 ONE MX Retractable Truck Bed Cover – Best Overall
- 5 2. Lund 95879 Genesis Elite Tonneau Cover – Most Flexible
- 6 3. Gator Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Truck Bed Cover – Most Durable
- 7 4. Tyger Auto TG-BC3D1015 TRI-FOLD Truck Bed Tonneau Cover – High-Performance Truck Cover
- 8 5. Bestop 18113-01 ZipRail Tonneau Cover – The Safest
- 9 How to Install a Retractable Tonneau Cover
- 10 How to Fix a Retractable Tonneau Cover
- 11 Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Tonneau Cover
- 12 Ready To Buy The Best Retractable Tonneau Cover?
The best retractable tonneau cover is the Retrax 60373 ONE MX Retractable Truck Bed Cover.
When looking for a quality tonneau cover, you should take into account a variety of features such as: durability, construction materials, water-resistance, ease of operation, and security.
The Retrax ONE MX is a highly durable cover that is completely waterproof and simple to use. This tonneau cover is extremely light, and thanks to its sealed ball bearing technology it is incredibly simple to open.
The RetraxONE MX is made of a durable polycarbonate that boasts a scratch-resistant matte finish. With its secure locking design, this cover protects the contents of your truck bed completely.
Additionally, the simple flush mounted latch allows you to access the truck bed without any key at all. Overall, the Retrax 60373 ONE MX retractable tonneau cover is an incredible product thanks to its durable and secure design.
Are Retractable Tonneau Covers Waterproof?
Overall, retractable tonneau covers are quite waterproof. Because most of these products are composed of fiberglass, polycarbonate, or vinyl, water repels off of its surface completely.
However, if the cover is not perfectly airtight there may be gaps that will allow some water through. In order to combat this, you should ensure that the product is of the proper dimensions to fit your truck.
Some retractable tonneau covers simply snap onto the bed of a truck. These models should be avoided if you need your tonneau to be 100% waterproof, as they provide very little protection from the rain.
Depending on your needs, you may or may not need a waterproof tonneau cover. Luckily, there are many products that feature some great water resistance capabilities.
Comparing The Top 5 Retractable Tonneau Covers
|Retrax 60373 ONE MX Retractable Truck Bed Cover|
|Lund 95879 Genesis Elite Tonneau Cover|
|Gator Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Truck Bed Cover|
|Tyger Auto TG-BC3D1015 TRI-FOLD Truck Bed Tonneau Cover|
|Bestop 18113-01 ZipRail Tonneau Cover|
1. Easy-open Retrax 60373 ONE MX Retractable Truck Bed Cover – Best Overall
Light & Easy To Open
Most of the tonneau covers currently on the market are relatively heavy and difficult to handle. However, opening and closing the Retrax 60373 ONE MX is a breeze, as the company uses a radically new technology, based on sealed ball bearings. This tonneau cover is surprisingly lightweight, yet it is extremely durable and therefore – reliable.
The RetraxONE MX is a retractable truck bed cover that combines strong, durable polycarbonate with a super scratch-resistant matte finish. The RetraxONE MX boasts a low-profile patented design that streamlines the overall appearance and provides a firm seal.
The RetraxONE MX can be locked in any position along the rail. It is made from polycarbonate – a super tough thermoplastic commonly known as LEXAN, which is reinforced with a number of aluminum rods. This unique construction is designed to keep your cargo safe and secure even in the most extreme weather conditions.
The RetraxONE MX also features a spiral track storage canister that prevents the cover from rubbing on itself as it retracts and closes, while at the same time it does not obstruct the access to your cargo. The RetraxONE MX glides easily with the the sealed ball bearings, and you do not need a power drill to install it.
Designed For Maximum Security
The secure key-lock system offers protection that no other soft cover can provide. To access your pickup bed, simply release the flush-mounted latch with the touch of a button – no key is necessary – and the cover slides out of your way without any effort on your part.
The cover can also be locked open in any position along the rail, thus allowing unlimited hauling flexibility and convenient use with any fifth-wheel trailer.
2. Lund 95879 Genesis Elite Tonneau Cover – Most Flexible
Mix Of Flexibility and Performance
The Genesis Elite Tri-Fold design mixes the flexibility of a Tri-Fold with the performance of a full, one-piece seamless cover to protect your precious gear or cargo. The Genesis Elite Tri-Fold also features a durable, black powder-coated aluminum sub-frame, a commercial-grade clamping system and a tailgate seal.
100% Access To Cargo
The Genesis Elite Tri-Fold allows full access to your entire truck bed with an integrated clip and strap system that enables the vehicle to operate with the top in the open or folded position. This cover comes fully-assembled, requires no drilling or special hardware, and can be easily installed in less than ten minutes.
Each Genesis Tri-Fold is custom-made for a precise fit, depending on the specific make, model, year and bed size of your truck.
Lund is proud to announce that this model tonneau cover is manufactured in the USA and has a limited lifetime warranty. Limited, as the warranty is restricted to the product’s first owner only.
3. Gator Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Truck Bed Cover – Most Durable
Fends Off The Elements
The manufacturer guarantees that this tonneau cover is perfectly capable of eliminating dust, rain and snow. It protects the inside of your bed and cargo from the elements by providing a tight tailgate seal. Along the frame of the cover there are additional seals that will prevent moisture from entering the bed.
This product also comes with a limited lifetime warranty on the frame, valid for as long as you own it. It also has a ten-year warranty on the vinyl. The vinyl is supported by an aluminum frame and cross-bows for extra strength. It sits on top of the bed rail to help keep water out of your truck bed.
As bed seals may vary by make and model, measure your truck bed from bulkhead to tailgate before proceeding with your purchase.
Easy To Install & Secure
The fastening buckles make it possible for you to drive down the road safely with the cover securely fastened open. It does not matter if you are hauling cargo or just cruising around town, the cover stays absolutely secure.
The quick latch system ensures tool-free installation in less than fifteen minutes. The quick latch is simple and easy to use. You can adjust it by hand for the perfect fit.
4. Tyger Auto TG-BC3D1015 TRI-FOLD Truck Bed Tonneau Cover – High-Performance Truck Cover
Tyger’s soft tri-fold tonneau cover comes fully assembled for easy installation. The cover folds easily for quick access to the truck bed and also provides extra protection to your valuable cargo with a tailored look. This soft tri-fold tonneau cover mounts on top of the truck bed rails. Its sleek design offers 12% gas savings on average.
This model features heavy duty front clamps that directly attach onto the bed rails, offering maximum security. Its patented quick release rear latches make it easy for you to access the truck bed in one simple step. The safety buckles help to secure the cover in place when it is folded completely to the cab.
A Happy User
“Shipping was swift, and the top arrived fully assembled except for a few minor tweaks. Due to the width of my truck bed, I had to caliber the mount spacing, which was done by just moving two screws. My son and I had it installed in a quarter of an hour.
Since TG-BC3D1015 is a universal top, most of our time was spent deciding on its exact position. I like best that it provides a proper overlap of the edges, and fits tightly at the corners. It was really as simple as setting the top on the truck and pushing it into place.
Once I was happy with the position, I placed the provided foam tape, and secured the mounts to the rails. It fits great, and looks good. On our trip, I had the bed loaded with luggage, strollers, food, and all other ranges of family travel supplies. We hit rain, wind, and a fair share of dusty roads, and when we arrived at the destination, all of the stuff under the bed-cover was clean and dry.”
5. Bestop 18113-01 ZipRail Tonneau Cover – The Safest
It also incorporates aluminum support cross rails right into the fabric for a smoother appearance and swift installation. The cross rails remain flexible in any weather, so you can use your tonneau even on the coldest days.
Easy To Install
The installation does not require any power tools and takes less than fifteen minutes with the clamps included. The fabric has a semi-rigid extrusion that simply slides into the Belt Rail channels on the side rails and the tailgate bar. Quick, easy and secure! With fabric rolled up to the cab, you enjoy full access to the bed.
Durable And Top-Grade
This tonneau is made of durable, top grade, leather-grain, vinyl-coated polyester that can withstand any rough weather conditions, and it is also mildew, and UV-resistant. Thus, it helps protect cargo in the truck bed throughout the whole year.
The highly reliable Belt-Rail attachment system attaches the Tonneau cover securely and quickly to the truck bed, while the peel-back, non-snap closure featuring quick release tabs makes for fast and easy open and close. It should also be mentioned here that this tonneau reduces drag and helps improve gas mileage.
How to Install a Retractable Tonneau Cover
Depending on the product that you choose, there are a variety of steps that are involved when installing your tonneau cover. Luckily, the entire process is usually not too complicated and should take less than an hour.
First, you will need to install the rails onto the truck. These are what your cover will attach to, and also allow the tonneau cover to be opened and closed as needed. It is important to clamp the rails down tightly in order to ensure that they do not move around and scratch the body of your truck.
Once the rails have been installed, you will attach the cover itself to the rails. Most products simply slide into place, and then are secured with bolts. Starting at the front, make sure that both the driver and passenger side rails are aligned with each other before locking them in place.
All there is left to do now is to continue clamping down the entire rail, and extending the cover to ensure that it completely encloses the tonneau. Again, every product will vary slightly, but these general directions should outline the process for you.
How to Fix a Retractable Tonneau Cover
Over time, your retractable tonneau cover may become damaged or worn and require some fixing. In order to fix your tonneau cover, you first need to assess the damages and decide exactly what is wrong.
Some common issues with tonneau covers include rips or tears, misalignment, flapping in the wind, etc. Any tears in the cover itself will greatly compromise the security of your truck bed, leaving it exposed to the elements.
The only thing you can do to repair this is to find a way to patch the hole. Durable adhesives like duct tape may not be enough due to the likely exposure to water.
If the cover itself has become loose and starts flapping in the wind. You are likely dealing with a rail that has shifted. Remove the cover and rails completely, and reinstall the rails.
Make sure to align them as perfectly as possible, and take note of any damage that may have caused this issue in the first place.
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Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Tonneau Cover
To make a wise purchase of the most suitable tonneau for your truck, you should keep in mind the following tips:
- Your Top Priority
- Are you looking for functionality, security, superior design, versatility or easy removal?
- Frequency Of Access To Truck Bed
Both hard and soft tonneaus are offered in folding, retracting and hinging designs. A hard retracting or soft roll-up cover can quickly be opened for full truck bed access, without removing the cover. Soft and hard hinging tonneau covers can be lifted open, but they require some extra effort, if you need to fully remove them.
Soft folding tonneau covers can easily be fully removed or folded forward for truck bed access, whereas hard folding tonneau covers can also be folded forward for bed access, but generally are more difficult to remove.
Installing The Tonneau Cover
Most models are installed in about one hour by someone with limited technical skills. Remember that all covers work best only if they are properly installed. If you fail to line up a rail correctly on a roll-up tonneau, it may be more difficult to close.
Likewise, if you miss the right seal placement on a hard tonneau, it may not be fully waterproof. Soft tonneau covers tend to be a bit easier to install than the hard models.
Ready To Buy The Best Retractable Tonneau Cover?
The Tonneau is one of the most important pickup truck accessories, especially if you are using your vehicle throughout the year. Whether you are using your truck for work or leisure, no truck is fully functional or complete unless it has a tonneau. However, a tonneau cover can be a tricky purchase.
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