The Difference in Soft Tonneau Covers Styles

Soft tonneau covers offer great cargo protection along with versatility for minimal investment. They are the easiest bed covers to install, with full attachment to your truck in as little as 10 minutes. Soft tonneau covers are made from durable vinyl that in most cases, are covered by a lifetime warranty. That means that this type of tonneau cover is actually made to outlast your pickup truck.

Soft tonneaus are UV protected and perform exceedingly well in rain, snow, wind and heat. They are designed to withstand the elements with all-weather metal frame rails. Although you will get some wind movement when driving, the cover will improve your gas mileage. A 5% improvement in fuel economy is the industry-wide accepted number, though up to 10% is possible and in the long run the savings pay for the cover itself.

A soft tonneau cover provides complete and total access to your truck bed, which makes it perfect for hauling large items. The main style difference is in how they open for bed access. Understanding these differences will help you choose the soft tonneau cover that is right for you.

Roll-Up Tonneau Covers

The roll-up tonneau cover is the most popular style. It offers excellent versatility along with added security and improved gas mileage. For full bed access, just peel back the cover, secure the roll at the cab with the attached straps, pop-out the bows and slip-off the tail rail.

Some other features of roll-up tonneau covers may include:

  • A latching system with an easy release pull cord for quick access
  • Side locks that work with a locked tailgate to provide added protection
  • Tension adjusters which allow you to modify your cover’s fit

All soft covers feature 3 seal styles: heavy-duty snaps, industrial-strength Velcro-style “hook and loop” material, and quick “peel and seal” tongue and groove closures. Each soft tonneau cover seal type has its own pros and cons, and selecting a style from the 3 is usually a matter of preference.

Lift-Up Tonneau Covers

Lift-up tonneau covers are propped-up by heavy-duty gas shocks. They operate like a standard trunk or bed lid and they secure closed with simple latches underneath the tailgate. Lift-up covers also offer alternate openings, including removing the tarp just like a roll-up tonneau cover. Plus, they lift up and close with just one hand.

Folding Tonneau Covers

Folding tonneau covers feature sections that are linked together, yet fold back piece-by-piece for different degrees of access to your bed. They secure at the cab in a stack when you want the cover to stay open. And, because the entire cover is linked together, folding tonneau covers come fully assembled and install in minutes.

Toolbox Tonneau Covers

Soft toolbox tonneau covers are specially designed to sit behind your truck bed toolbox, turning your vehicle into a versatile workstation. Available as a lift-up tonneau cover or a roll-up cover with “peel & seal”, snap or “hook & loop” Velcro-style closures, toolbox tonneaus are cut to fit standard depth bed boxes.

When shopping for a soft tonneau cover, you’ll find many choices to fit your specific needs. As you narrow down the field to the ideal soft tonneau cover for your truck, consider these features:

  • The seal/closure type that meets your needs
  • The most convenient opening style
  • How you want your truck bed to look

Each soft tonneau cover style has its own unique advantages. Though picking one is essentially a matter of personal preference, some styles are better than others. Soft tonneau covers come in an array of styles to suit your truck bed cover taste.

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