Bed Covers

Best Retractable Bed Cover – Expert Review and Guide



Tonneau covers are great additions to trucks. Not only do you make the truck bed a bit more secure, but with a good tonneau cover, you can also adjust the truck’s appearance. The sleeker appearance does ideally lower the drag, but that’s unlikely to affect the economy and power that much. There are a few types of tonneau covers and these vary in the way they look, offer protection, and in their overall versatility. softcovers are versatile but the protection offered isn’t the best, hardcovers offer the maximum protection but are heavy, expensive, and a partial opening isn’t possible. There has to be an intermediate solution to all this, right? And there is — the retractable tonneau cover. We look at a few popular choices on the market to help you decide on the best retractable bed cover for your truck.

Retractable Bed Cover Reviews:

Preview
Weather-proof
Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | GC24019 | Fits 2015 - 2020 Ford F-150 5' 5" Bed | Made in the USA
Inexpensive choice
Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover for 2009-2018 Dodge Ram 1500; 2019-2020 1500 Classic; Fleetside 5'7" Bed Without RamBox; TG-BC3D1015
Roll it up
MaxMate Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Compatible with 2009-2014 Ford F-150 | Styleside 5.5' Bed
Another solid choice
Lund Genesis Elite Tri-Fold, Soft Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | 95879 | Fits 2004 - 2012 GM/Chevy, Canyon/Colorado 6' Bed
Best of both worlds
Roll N Lock M-Series Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | LG221M | Fits 2014 - 2018, 19 Ltd./Lgcy. GM/Chevy Silverado/Sierra 6'6" Bed
Name
Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | GC24019 | Fits 2015 - 2020 Ford F-150 5' 5" Bed | Made in the USA
Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover for 2009-2018 Dodge Ram 1500; 2019-2020 1500 Classic; Fleetside 5'7" Bed Without RamBox; TG-BC3D1015
MaxMate Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Compatible with 2009-2014 Ford F-150 | Styleside 5.5' Bed
Lund Genesis Elite Tri-Fold, Soft Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | 95879 | Fits 2004 - 2012 GM/Chevy, Canyon/Colorado 6' Bed
Roll N Lock M-Series Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | LG221M | Fits 2014 - 2018, 19 Ltd./Lgcy. GM/Chevy Silverado/Sierra 6'6" Bed
Our Rating
Prime
-
Warranty
2015 - 2019 Ford F-150
2009 - 2018 Dodge Ram/Ram 1500
2009 - 2014 Ford F-150
GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado
2015 - 2019 GMC Sierra/Chevrolet Silverado
Compatibility
3 years
Lifetime
10 years
Lifetime
3 years
Type
Hard
Soft
Soft
Soft
Hard
Weather-proof
Preview
Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | GC24019 | Fits 2015 - 2020 Ford F-150 5' 5" Bed | Made in the USA
Name
Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | GC24019 | Fits 2015 - 2020 Ford F-150 5' 5" Bed | Made in the USA
Our Rating
Prime
Warranty
2015 - 2019 Ford F-150
Compatibility
3 years
Type
Hard
Details
Inexpensive choice
Preview
Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover for 2009-2018 Dodge Ram 1500; 2019-2020 1500 Classic; Fleetside 5'7" Bed Without RamBox; TG-BC3D1015
Name
Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover for 2009-2018 Dodge Ram 1500; 2019-2020 1500 Classic; Fleetside 5'7" Bed Without RamBox; TG-BC3D1015
Our Rating
Prime
Warranty
2009 - 2018 Dodge Ram/Ram 1500
Compatibility
Lifetime
Type
Soft
Details
Roll it up
Preview
MaxMate Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Compatible with 2009-2014 Ford F-150 | Styleside 5.5' Bed
Name
MaxMate Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Compatible with 2009-2014 Ford F-150 | Styleside 5.5' Bed
Our Rating
Prime
Warranty
2009 - 2014 Ford F-150
Compatibility
10 years
Type
Soft
Details
Another solid choice
Preview
Lund Genesis Elite Tri-Fold, Soft Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | 95879 | Fits 2004 - 2012 GM/Chevy, Canyon/Colorado 6' Bed
Name
Lund Genesis Elite Tri-Fold, Soft Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | 95879 | Fits 2004 - 2012 GM/Chevy, Canyon/Colorado 6' Bed
Our Rating
Prime
-
Warranty
GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado
Compatibility
Lifetime
Type
Soft
Details
Best of both worlds
Preview
Roll N Lock M-Series Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | LG221M | Fits 2014 - 2018, 19 Ltd./Lgcy. GM/Chevy Silverado/Sierra 6'6" Bed
Name
Roll N Lock M-Series Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | LG221M | Fits 2014 - 2018, 19 Ltd./Lgcy. GM/Chevy Silverado/Sierra 6'6" Bed
Our Rating
Prime
Warranty
2015 - 2019 GMC Sierra/Chevrolet Silverado
Compatibility
3 years
Type
Hard
Details

REVIEWS YOU CAN TRUST 

We strive to always give you genuine, accurate information. To do this, all of mechanicguides.com reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience. This knowledge comes from a team of automotive journalists and an independent mechanic, Steve “Whip” Whipple who has 11 years of experience in the auto industry. For more information, see here.

1. Weather-proof: Gator EFX Hard Fold Tonneau Cover – the best retractable bed cover

Sale
Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | GC24019 | Fits 2015 - 2020 Ford F-150 5' 5" Bed | Made in the USA
  • Fits 2015-2020 Ford F-150 5' 5" Bed
  • TOUGH TRUCK BED PROTECTION | The Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold is constructed of heavy-duty aluminum panels that automatically lock when closed, providing a level of security only found in hard folding tonneau covers. Panels are coated with a scratch-resistant, UV-protective, black powder coat finish.
  • EASY INSTALL & LOW-PROFILE DESIGN | The EFX tonneau cover can easily be installed in less than 30 minutes, without the use of tools or need for drilling. The truck bed cover mounts to the inside of the truck bed rails allowing the cover to sit flush with your truck bed, providing a stylish low-profile look.
  • WEATHER PROTECTION | This hard folding truck bed cover comes equipped with an integrated water management system to keep the rain, snow, dirt and dust out of your truck bed. Perimeter rubber seals and inner drain tubes carry water away from and out of the bed, providing superior protection from the elements.
  • 3-YEAR WARRANTY | The Gator EFX Hard Folding cover is backed by a 3-year warranty, Made in the USA, and supported by our US-based customer service team. If anything goes wrong with your cover, our tonneau cover experts are at your service and ready to help!

The Gator EFX Hard Fold Tonneau Cover is for you if you don’t mind spending a little extra to get great protection from the weather. The cover has panels made of aluminum and the hinges made from rubber. The low-profile design means the cover sits close to the top of the cargo area — and adds to the great looks of your Ford F-150 truck. And if that’s not enough, it’s got a powder coat black finish to swing your decision.

Panels made of aluminum

This is like a tri-fold softcover but the panels are made of aluminum. And that’s not all, it offers a more weather-proof solution. It’s got drain tubes to ensure water doesn’t get into the truck bed. And if evenly distributed, the cover can hold up to 300 pounds of weight as well. If you’re carrying something larger, you can even drive with it securely strapped while two-thirds of the cover is open. The installation is said to be an easy, no-drill job.

Why do we like it?

If you’re looking for a solid tonneau cover but don’t want to lose out on the versatility that a soft tri-fold cover offers, this is a great choice. It comes with a 3-year warranty and is compatible with a variety of truck models. This one we have here fits the 5’ 6” bed on Ford F-150 trucks made during the model years 2015 – 2020. Users have appreciated that the cover is easy to install but much better than regular soft tri-fold covers.

Pros

  • Good weather protection
  • Hardcover so more secure

Cons

  • More expensive than softcovers

2. Inexpensive choice: Tyger Auto Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover

Sale
Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover for 2009-2018 Dodge Ram 1500; 2019-2020 1500 Classic; Fleetside 5'7' Bed Without RamBox; TG-BC3D1015
2,625 Reviews
Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover for 2009-2018 Dodge Ram 1500; 2019-2020 1500 Classic; Fleetside 5'7" Bed Without RamBox; TG-BC3D1015
  • US Design Patented
  • Cover is dual-coated and made out of heavy duty 24oz. marine-grade vinyl, with aircraft-grade aluminum frames, and comes with stainless steel clamps for easy installation and great durability.
  • pre-assembled horizontal crossbars offer support and conveniently fold up with the cover providing full bed access when needed.
  • Easy no drilling installation with instruction and mounting hardware provided. | NOTE: Small holes will need to be cut in the bedliner for vehicles equipped with over-the-bedrail bedliner to secure the clamps for proper cover installation; cover will work with under-the-bedrail bedliner without modification.
  • LIMITED LIFETIME | IMPORTANT: Please measure your truck bed size before ordering. We accept returns; however customer will assume the return shipping cost if ordered wrong.

A soft tri-fold cover like the Tyger Auto-made product here also gives you the versatility of partially opening the cover to access the truck bed. Another significant advantage of a cover like this is that it’s not expensive. From a distance, it’s hard to make out whether it’s a softcover or a hard one because of its looks. So it’ll keep your cargo away from prying eyes, but certainly not away from a lot of jealous ones.

Easy to install

Up close you wouldn’t be disappointed, either. There are several models available, depending on the truck. We’re looking at covers for the Dodge Ram 1500/Ram 1500 trucks here (more details on compatibility at the end of this description). It’s easy to install, and you don’t have to drill the body except to make holes in the bed liner. The required installation hardware is included along with necessary brackets and weather seal strips. The cover comes pre-assembled so you don’t have to do the hard work. It’s made of heavy-duty, marine-grade vinyl. The frame is made of aluminum and comes with stainless steel clamps.

Why do we like it?

Tyger Auto offers a limited lifetime warranty on the cover, and it’s said to be compatible with the 2009 – 2018 Dodge Ram 1500/Ram 1500 trucks (and 2019 Classic). But if you have any questions, send the seller a message before making the purchase. The protection offered by the soft tri-fold cover will be less than what a hardcover will offer, but at the price, it’s a really solid choice. And users have agreed with that in the reviews. Installation is easy, and the cover holds up well.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Sleek looks

Cons

  • Limited protection


3. Roll it up: MaxMate Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

MaxMate Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Compatible with 2009-2014 Ford F-150 | Styleside 5.5' Bed
  • US Design Patented
  • Cover is dual-coated and made out of heavy duty 24oz. marine-grade vinyl, with built-in horizontal crossbars that offer support when cover is lying flat; and roll up with the tarp to provide full bed access when in need. Also comes with aircraft-grade aluminum side rails, and stainless steel clamps for mounting to the truck bed.
  • Seals with Velcro strip on the sides and secures with latch lock system at the tailgate. Tension system is available and can be adjusted on the end of the side rails to keep the cover tight and vinyl wrinkle-free in any weather conditions.
  • Easy no drilling installation with instruction and mounting hardware provided. | NOTE: Small holes will need to be cut in the bedliner for vehicles equipped with over-the-bedrail bedliner to secure the clamps for proper cover installation; cover will work with under-the-bedrail bedliner without modification.
  • 10-YEAR NO-HASSLE WARRANTY! | IMPORTANT: Please measure your truck bed length before ordering! We accept returns; however customer will assume the return shipping cost if ordered wrong.

Another softcover on the list is the MaxMate Soft Roll-Up tonneau cover. It’s made for the Ford F-150 trucks, is available in various configurations (more on that below), and is one of the most affordable ones on the list here. Like others, it has an easy installation with no need to drill, and the necessary hardware is included.

Inbuilt tension adjuster, tear-resistant

The cover itself is marine-grade vinyl, and in this case, it can just roll-up toward the cabin when you need to access the cargo area. There’s a tension system that can keep the cover tightly fitted and wrinkle-free. And to ensure it’s sealed from the elements, seals with velcro strips are included with the cover. 

For durability, the side rails are made of aluminum whereas the clamps are made of stainless steel. The cover has built-in crossbars that support the cover when it’s flat. It’s claimed to be weathertight thanks to the seals and snug-fit vinyl. The vinyl itself is tear-resistant, too. And with a lock that ensures the cover can’t be opened until you unlock/open the tailgate, you can be sure that no one will be able to unlock the cover quickly.

Why do we like it?

As a softcover, this makes a lot of sense. The roll-up construction adds a lot of practicality and the price is low as well. But keep in mind the protection is going to be limited. 

Depending on the model you choose, the cover will be compatible with different trucks. This one, for instance, is made for the 2009 – 2014 Ford F-150. It’s backed by a 10-year no-hassle warranty. If you have any questions, write to the seller before making a purchase. Another thing to keep in mind is to order the model that fits the exact specifications of your truck. While returns are accepted in the case a wrong model is ordered, you’ll need to pay the return shipping, adds the listing. Users are on the whole happy with the product, both with the price, installation, and overall protection.

Pros

  • Practical
  • Decently priced

Cons

  • Limited protection


4. Another solid choice: Lund Genesis Elite Tri-Fold Soft Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Sale
Lund Genesis Elite Tri-Fold, Soft Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | 95879 | Fits 2004 - 2012 GM/Chevy, Canyon/Colorado 6' Bed
  • Fits 2004 - 2012 GM/Chevy, Canyon/Colorado 6' Bed
  • PREMIUM MATTE CANVAS: Premium twill-woven material sits on top this soft tri-fold truck bed cover. Virtually maintenance free, this material option is best for those constantly on the go! It adds excellent protection while maintaining high-end looks
  • FLAWLESS FOLDING: Genesis Elite Tri-Fold unlocks via two easy to use clamps located on each side of the tailgate. Simply fold towards the cab and secure at either the first or second fold with integrated straps to accommodate various cargo sizes
  • LUND COMMITMENT: Extreme seal to keep bad weather out, hassle-free tension to keep your cover tight, & low profile, good looks are what you can expect with any Lund truck bed cover; and are exactly what you'll get with Lund’s Genesis Elite Tri-Fold
  • 5 MIN INSTALL: From box to truck in 5 minutes! Simply square up the cover to your bed, secure clamps, and hit the road. Best of all – this tri-fold truck bed cover is USA-made and backed by a limited lifetime guarantee

It’s so easy to install, Lund says it can be done in just five minutes. Now you’ll need to put that to test yourself but for everything else, the Genesis Elite cover looks like a good deal. It’s slightly more expensive than other soft tri-fold covers available on the list but it offers more as well. For instance, it’s a low-profile cover, so it sits close to the cargo area’s top. Although it’s a tri-fold cover, it appears seamless on the outside, and that looks great. And like some of the other choices here, it’s also backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Corrosion-resistant frame

The cover itself is made of HAARTZ maintenance-free, twill weave material. It has a light texture and is finished in matte black. The frame underneath is made of corrosion-resistant powder-coated aluminum and polycarbonate. It comes fully assembled, complete with weather-tight seals, and needs no drills or special hardware, mentions the company. The construction is such that it allows driving the vehicle with the cover partly opened — thanks to its integrated clip and strap system.

Why do we like it?

The Lund Genesis Elite cover is a decent softcover, but one that’s not short on features. Its low-profile design makes the arrangement easy on the eyes, whereas its tri-fold construction ensures it’s easy to use as well.

The softcover is compatible with a lot of trucks like the GMC Canyon (2004 – 2012; 2015 – 2019), Chevrolet Colorado (2004 – 2012; 2015 – 2019), and Isuzu i-280 (2006); all of these with a 6-feet bed. You should confirm that with the seller to ensure that that fit is perfect. As mentioned earlier, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty. In terms of overall time taken, users have mentioned that it’s easy to install and works almost perfectly, although some users have noted that the fit can improve.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Can be driven with cover partially opened

Cons

  • Fit can improve
  • Limited protection


5. Best of both worlds: Roll-n-Lock Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Roll N Lock M-Series Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover | LG221M | Fits 2014 - 2018, 19 Ltd./Lgcy. GM/Chevy Silverado/Sierra 6'6" Bed
  • Fits 2014 - 2018, 19 Ltd./Lgcy. GM/Chevy Silverado/Sierra 6'6" Bed
  • UNMATCHED STORAGE All Roll-N-Lock covers have the most compact canister of any other retractable cover. Sitting just 7 ¼" deep & featuring an aerodynamic housing lid, the M-Series preserves the truck bed cargo space
  • UNMATCHED STYLE The M-Series' vinyl-over-aluminum design maintains a classic tonneau appearance while being fortified with an aluminum undercarriage that has a patented, contoured hinge design for frictionless rotation & theft protection
  • UNMATCHED OPERATION The M-Series retractable cover features a torsion spring enclosed in a 3" aluminum casing, along with patented contoured hinge design for frictionless rotation to enable effortless & secure operation
  • UNMATCHED EASE The M-Series truck bed cover is simple to install with patented, clamp-on track design. All Roll-N-Lock covers are made in the USA & backed by a US-based customer support team, as well as a 3-year guarantee

This is the most expensive and, to those that can afford it, it’s the best retractable tonneau cover on the list. It’s by a brand called Roll-n-Lock, and it features a hardcover that can be rolled up like a softcover. Magic? Not exactly, but good engineering, yes! It’s available in a range of options. This one is the M-Series, is finished in black, and is made for trucks with a 6’ 6” bed. More on compatibility below, but there’s even an electrically retractable one available but that bumps up the price even higher — link to that is added below.

Aluminum underside

The Roll-n-Lock M-Series has a vinyl layer with an aluminum underside. This means it looks clean on the outside but has a sturdy base underneath. The mechanism is concealed in a 3-inch aluminum casing. It also has a contoured hinge design that helps in the cover’s smooth operation. The intricate system doesn’t take too much space in the cargo area. The cover is also lockable, which adds another layer of security to it. The kit includes all the mounting hardware required for the installation, which is a no-drill process and is said to be easy. It’s a clamp-on-track design and doesn’t take too much time or effort.

Why do we like it?

This is the most secure retractable cover. And while you need to pay much more than regular tonneau covers for this one, depending on the requirements, it can be worth it. Users have been happy with the way it sits tight, doesn’t let water inside, and looks and feels great. Some have suggested being aware of dents caused while shipping. That can hamper the snug fit of the cover.

Roll-n-Lock mentions that there’s a 3-year guarantee on the cover. The compatible vehicles include GMC Sierra 1500 (2014 – 2018), Sierra 2500 (2015 – 2019), Sierra 3500 (2015 – 2019), Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (2014 – 2018), Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (2015 – 2019), Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD (2015 – 2019), and Silverado 1500 LD (2019).

Pros

  • Great protection like a hardcover
  • Versatility like a softcover

Cons

  • Expensive

What is the best retractable bed cover?

If you’re ready to spend a little extra on a cover, it’s hard to beat the protection that a hardcover offers. It’s easy to understand why we think the Gator EFX makes for a great purchase. It is a foldable hardcover, so it manages to offer the ease of use of a softcover but without losing out on the protection of a hardcover. The Roll-n-Lock M Series cover might be the most expensive one here, but this is the best of both worlds. Since it’s a roll-up cover, you don’t have to worry too much about stowing it when folded. It’s also the most secure one here. Among the slightly less expensive ones, you have choices like the Tyger Auto soft tri-fold and the Lund Genesis Elite Tri-Fold. Both have the same working principle. Alternatively, you can also look at the MaxMate soft roll-up cover.