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Tonneau covers, or truck bed covers, are as stylish as they are functional. On the style side, they can complement your truck's overall color scheme and help it achieve a cleaner, crisper look. On the functionality side, Tonneau covers help protect items stored in the truck bed from the likes of Mother Nature. They're also a theft deterrent, as they keep stored cargo covered and hidden. But beyond making the decision to install a Tonneau cover, there's the choice of which type to purchase. The two main styles are hardcovers and soft covers. Which one is better for your truck? Read on to find out more:

Soft Tonneau covers are typically made from either vinyl, polyester or canvas, and are most often offered in an all-black color. The materials are all durable and the covers are adequately able to protect truck bed cargo from the likes of UV rays, rain, and snow. With that being said, here's a look at some of the benefits of going with a soft Tonneau cover:

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  • They're affordable: Soft covers are as practical as they are affordable, as most range in price from $190 to $800. Essentially, an OEDRO F150 soft tri-fold Tonneaucover is going to be much more affordable, only $195.99, than a hardcover for the same vehicle type.
  • Easy to use, operate: Today's soft Tonneaucovers are light and easy to operate. Some are even able to open and close or roll up, with just the touch of a button. This is a nice feature for anyone, but especially for the elderly who might be more restricted in mobility.
  • They fit well: One drawback to hard Tonneaucovers is that they typically don't fit as well as soft covers. For instance, some Tonneaucovers may not cover the entire truck bed, or not fit as snugly on the sides as soft covers do. Fit is obviously important when you're trying to keep rain and snow out of truck beds.
  • They offer a smooth, uniform look: If you're looking for a smooth, sleek look, then a soft Tonneau cover is your better bet. Hard Tonneau covers have a tendency to look more uneven and textured, while soft covers complement the overall truck's appearance better.
Hard Tonneau Covers: What You Need to Know
Hard Tonneau covers are typically built with metals, hard plastics, or fiberglass materials. For this reason, they tend to be more durable than soft Tonneau covers. Here's a look at some more information about hard covers, starting with their advantages.



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  • Better security: Even though some soft covers lock, hard Tonneau covers are generally thought of as the more secure Tonneaucover option. That's largely because it's much more difficult for a wrongdoer to cut into or remove metals and hard materials from the truck bed's side rails.
  • Custom finishes: Often times with soft Tonneau covers. Drivers don't have much of a choice when it comes to colors or finishes. Like we noted earlier, soft covers typically come in black color.
 

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I chose a used UnderCover Classic hard cover for my 2007, $250.00 installed and it's perfect. The inside of the bed stays dry, and the contents are secure.
Tire Car Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Wheel
 

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I chose a hard cover, Undercover UltraFlex, because I want as much security as possible when traveling. The UltraFlex is sturdy and about as secure ans any vehicle can be short of using a commercial grade cap. It also allows me to fold all three sections up and has a couple of arms which hold it up allowing me to use more than 90% of the bed for tall things when necessary.

My thoughs on a soft cover is that they are about as secure as a convertible top on a car. If a thief wants something inside and the vehicle is locked it is a simple matter to cut the top (or tonneau) and grab the stuff inside.

Also, I disagree with the idea that a soft tonneau fits better than a hard one. It depends on which make and model you are talking about.
 

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Mine came with the Toyota hard trifold cover and I love it! Can flip to fit a plethora of items or fold it all the way back and lock it in place. And if for some reason you need to remove it all together - that's easily done too. Keeps water out of the bed, so rest easy if you need to haul food stuffs, seeds for garden or food plots, etc.
 

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I have a Bakflip Revolver X4 rollup cover. It's probably not as secure as a true hardcover, but for my purposes it works great!
It's constructed of aluminum locking rails connected so they flex, and it's sprayed with a black matte bedliner type material to
make it look like one piece. It can be rolled up to less than 12 inches, giving you lots of the bed space and it can only be opened
when the tailgate is down giving it some security especially if you lock your tailgate. You can walk on it up to 250lbs or 400lbs
evenly distributed. It cleans up nicely and doesn't flap in the wind. I upgraded to this one from the original Revolver X2 and love it.
Here's a link to it:
 

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I chose a roll up soft cover for a few reasons. 1. Less expensive. 2. Rolls up and out of the way extremely quick and easy. 3. Easy to unroll and stretch tight.

At first, I did not like the noise from the cover slapping against the rain support rods under the cover when I had my crew max window down. I tried to cover the rods with hot water pipe insulation and that helped some. But I ended up just taking them out all together and it's absolutely silent now. I am careful to not let the truck sit out in the rain so water does not collect on the cover and I park my truck in the garage most of the time. The rods are held in with velcro so they are easy to re-install if needed.

What I don't like. 1. Not as secure as a hard cover. It is locked and can only be opened by dropping the tailgate, but it could be opened with a knife quick and easy. If I lived in a high crime area or had to park outside all the time, I would go with a hard cover for more security. 2. Eventually, this cover will go bad in the sun, although it seems to be working great so far. I think if I lived in a hot climate and parked in the sun everyday, it would not be doing as well as a hard cover.
 

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I chose a hard cover, Undercover UltraFlex, because I want as much security as possible when traveling. The UltraFlex is sturdy and about as secure ans any vehicle can be short of using a commercial grade cap. It also allows me to fold all three sections up and has a couple of arms which hold it up allowing me to use more than 90% of the bed for tall things when necessary.

My thoughs on a soft cover is that they are about as secure as a convertible top on a car. If a thief wants something inside and the vehicle is locked it is a simple matter to cut the top (or tonneau) and grab the stuff inside.

Also, I disagree with the idea that a soft tonneau fits better than a hard one. It depends on which make and model you are talking about.
Did you have any issue with the install with that cover? My cover side rails don't want to sit flush against my truck side bed, making them lean inward and the latches not grasp correctly.
 

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Did you have any issue with the install with that cover? My cover side rails don't want to sit flush against my truck side bed, making them lean inward and the latches not grasp correctly.
No, mine went right on with no problems. I have the rails on my bed which the cover attached to.

I did receive the tonneau with a couple of plastic pieces broken and had to have replacement pieces sent to me. They were the pieces where the drain hoses attach. It was easy to replace them once they arrived. I have had it for almost three years now and am very pleased with it so far.
 

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Thanks for the quick reply....I've got the bed rails too. Mine is a 2021 and the company said for some reason they don't fit quite right on the 21's, maybe it'll just take a little more adjustment.
 

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i also went with the undercover ultraflex. it's secure and locks when you lock your tundra. no separate key required. the softcover wasn't an option for me because of its lack of security. basically, it's personal and financial preference.
 

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I went with an Advantage Hard Hat tonneau. It looks like a soft tonneau/vinyl, tri-fold. But has plastic panels under the vinyl, so it offers protection too.
 

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Another thing to consider is the fact that on most tundras the tailgate does not lock when you lock your doors with the key fob. I got a PaceEdwards retractable metal tonneau cover which is nice and secure because I haul $2,000 worth of tools in the back. But then I had to install a power lock on the 2016 DC Tundra tailgate. I got the Pop & Lock PL8530 Power Tailgate Lock for Toyota Tundra (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002I9V4H...abc_9R7FDTVHY82ZQ6PBR00G?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1), but it stopped working in about a month because the tabs that flip the key lock lever bent. So I tack-welded stronger tabs onto the lever and it’s been good for a year. I’ve got pics if anyone wants to see the fix.
 

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Another thing to consider is the fact that on most tundras the tailgate does not lock when you lock your doors with the key fob. I got a PaceEdwards retractable metal tonneau cover which is nice and secure because I haul $2,000 worth of tools in the back. But then I had to install a power lock on the 2016 DC Tundra tailgate. I got the Pop & Lock PL8530 Power Tailgate Lock for Toyota Tundra (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002I9V4H...abc_9R7FDTVHY82ZQ6PBR00G?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1), but it stopped working in about a month because the tabs that flip the key lock lever bent. So I tack-welded stronger tabs onto the lever and it’s been good for a year. I’ve got pics if anyone wants to see the fix.
I have the pop n lock that I installed when I got the tonneau. I noticed that there was potential for some issues with the mechanism so I lubricated mine to ensure smooth operation. I hope it lasts a long time. So far so good.
 
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