Keeping the cargo in your truck safe from the elements and secure against theft usually means installing a tonneau cover.
Soft, hard-folding, and retractable covers are available and each comes with individual benefits.
Read our Retractable Truck Bed Cover Review to discover the top 4 covers that we feel will not only give your truck a stylish look but will also offer maximum protection to your valuables.
4 Best Retractable Truck Bed Cover
Last update on 2021-09-27 at 06:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
This tonneau cover is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and as such is designed to last for a long time. It is scratch-resistant as it is finished in a matte black powder coat. Installation should take around 30-minutes, and probably would if the instructions were a little clearer.
Using a YouTube video makes it a much simpler task as you can watch a step-by-step guide. The best part of the installation is that no drilling is required. All of the holes are pre-cut in the rim of the truck and just require you to align the cover and tighten the bolts.
This truck bed cover is lockable, not from 1-side, but 2. The covered key-lock system gives added security and the raised locks act as leverage to open and close the cover. Once you have it in position the lock clicks down into place.
The perimeter of the cover has tough rubber seals to prevent as much rainwater from getting in as possible. Rest assured that rain won’t damage the cover as there are 2 inbuilt drains to channel water safely away. We love that you can lock the cover in any position and it won’t affect the vision from your rear windscreen. The tough strap enables the user to pull the cover closed in 1 smooth action. Talking of smooth, this quality cover is virtually silent; no rattles can be heard as you drive.
- 1-year warranty
- Great value for money
- All installation hardware is included
- No drilling or specialist tools required
- Fully lockable
- Aircraft-grade aluminum slatted construction
- Weatherproof, scratch-resistant
- Low profile, stylish look
- Easy to use, smooth operation
- Instructions aren’t clear
- End rails caps could be aluminum instead of plastic
This tonneau cover is constructed from a single sheet of aluminum polycarbonate. This gives it an added durability and allows it to bear up to 200-pounds in weight.
As it is made from a 1-complete sheet, dust or moisture won’t get trapped and scratch the cover each time it gets rolled up. The storage canister is around 11″ x 11″ and sits snug to the rear of the cab. It is no way affects the rearview and barely affects the storage capacity of the truck bed.
The cover retracts and glides smoothly as it runs on a system of covered ball-bearings. This prevents the operation from ever freezing or jamming. The rolling design prevents the cover from touching itself if it winds, therefore preventing any needless scratches. The cover can be locked in any position, even if there is a bulky item taking up half of the room in the truck, the other half can remain covered.
It fits snugly around the rails of the truck bed and utilizes the pre-drilled holes made in the factory. This means installation is relatively simple and needs no specialist tools. The profile is incredibly low and enhances the look of any truck. It seals particularly well and prevents most moisture and debris from damaging the contents. If any water manages to sneak through, there are 2 designated drainage tubes to direct the water straight back outside. Keeping this retractable truck bed cover clean is a breeze. The powder-coated matte finish won’t fade and requires no maintenance.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Made in the USA
- Improves fuel consumption by up to 10%
- Easy install with YouTube guidance videos
- All hardware supplied
- Latch and lock system keeps all cargo secure
- Smooth operation
- Locks in any position
- Durable construction with scratch resistance
- 2-people needed for construction
- Drainage tubes are awkward to lock into place
- More expensive than the Syneticusa model
The Roll-N-Lock truck bed cover does exactly as you would expect from its name. It rolls smoothly across the top of the truck bed and locks securely, in not 1, but 4-positions to ensure total cargo security.
It is a manual retraction tonneau cover that takes a matter of seconds to open or close using a heavy-duty spring system.
Fitting it should take around an hour and is easier with 2-people. The company has downloaded a video to YouTube which makes installation easier. Watching someone else go through each step makes it more clear and obvious.
Many other brands require some assembly, particularly of the drain plugs. This can be one of the more awkward and time-consuming tasks. This truck bed cover has drainage tubes built-in on the factory assembly line. So, not only is it easier to install but it is also guaranteed to keep more moisture out with its tighter seal.
The cover is made from high-quality aluminum with a vinyl coating on top. This prevents any scratching or corrosion whilst remaining incredibly durable.
It doesn’t matter which position it is locked in, ¼, ½, ¾, or fully closed, the driver will hear no noise or rattling, even with heavy side-winds.
Your truck will look stylish, the cargo will remain secure and dry, and you will be impressed with its fit, form, and function.
- 3-year limited warranty
- Made in the USA
- Low profile, vinyl, and aluminum construction
- Fully opens or closes in seconds
- Ideal for home installation
- 4-different locking spots
- High-torsion spring drive that cannot fail
- All hardware included
- Can be installed with an existing bed liner
- No specialist tools required
- 2-man installation recommended
- Poor instructions, refer to YouTube video instead
- Doesn’t work with racks
When you’re choosing a tonneau cover and need one that will stand up to the elements, this could be the right one for you.
It is constructed from the same material that is used in the cockpits of fighter planes, polycarbonate. As such, it is tough and durable and can withstand many weather conditions. It won’t bend, dip, or break in temperatures as low as -50 degrees f. and will still perform well without warping or fading when the temperature hits 200-degrees f.
It can even safely hold a load of up to 300lbs as long as it is evenly distributed.
Using this cover couldn’t be easier. The keyhole has a little cover to protect it from the weather. One click flips up the cover that then becomes the handle that you use to smoothly slide the cover back and forth. At any chosen point the cover can be locked into place enabling you to carry larger cargo whilst keeping smaller goods safe and secure.
This cover is one of the easiest to fit as it utilizes a clamp-on system that fits your existing rails. You need no specialist tools and your truck should be looking amazing within an hour.
It also provides superb security as it works and locks independently of the tailgate. One can be accessed without needing to unlock the other. Using the key-lock system the cover can be locked into any position at all depending on your requirements.
The storage cylinder measures 11″ x 11″ and as such, takes up little of the storage space in the truck’s bed. It doesn’t touch the cab nor obscures any rear-view.
The sealed ball-bearing mechanism makes the operation perfectly smooth and quiet each time. It has been designed to never freeze, jam, or need any maintenance.
Features and Factors of Retractable Tonneau Covers
Each model in our review will differ slightly but the overall benefits and styling are similar.
Easy installation. All of our featured covers can be installed in less than an hour by someone with little mechanical knowledge.
Retraction. The covers can be fully open or closed. If you are carrying awkward-shaped cargo the cover can be locked at virtually any position to keep the rest of the truck bed cover.
Protection. All of the covers featured in our Retractable Tonneau Cover Review are lockable for added security. They also have perimeter rubber seals that protect against damaging rainwater.
Fully-drivable. A folding tonneau cover can become easily damaged whilst driving from the force of the wind. This does not happen with a retractable style as it has a low profile and remains flat.
Full-capacity storage. The covers do not obscure any part of the truck bed and ensure 100% of the bed is available for storage.
Easy operation. Once your truck cover is installed you will be amazed at just how simple it is to operate. Within seconds you can secure and lock the contents of your truck giving you peace of mind each time you walk away.
Style. The low profile covers that ‘complete’ the look of any truck making it look smart and slick.
Design. All of the covers are relatively lightweight yet very tough and durable. They won’t fade in the sun, scratch in windy conditions, nor will they sag and let water puddle.
Is a Retractable Truck Bed Cover Better than a Soft Cover?
We believe that a retractable tonneau cover is superior to a soft cover for many reasons other than the cost. If your budget and mechanical skill allow, we feel that you would get greater benefit from a retractable cover for the following reasons;
SECURITY: All of the products that feature in our Retractable Truck Bed Cover Reviews are fully lockable. They are made from sturdy materials such as aluminum or fiberglass, and this, therefore, gives the user peace of mind that the contents of the truck can be safely left. Soft covers can be easily ripped and valuables might be stolen.
DURABILITY: Soft covers tend to rip, shrink, and sag over time. Once a dip has formed it will prove more difficult to keep the truck bed contents dry. Retractable covers are made from high-quality metals that won’t warp, scratch, or break and will have a much longer service life.
RETRACTION: A softcover either covers all or none of the truck’s bed. It can be folded back to allow for larger cargo but is never quite as secure and tends to flap in the wind. A retracting cover can be slid to many different positions to enable different cargoes.
OPERATION: A retractable cover can take just seconds to open or close. Soft covers usually require more effort to roll them and either clip or strap them into place. However, installing and removing a softcover is a faster and simpler task.
COST: Soft covers are the least expensive option, although the top-of-the-range softcover can cost as much as a basic hardcover. Soft covers usually cost anything up to $500 and the most expensive retractable tonneau covers can be 4 times that price.
Choosing the ideal cover for you will come down to the budget and the value of the contents of your truck.
If you want to keep bits and pieces dry occasionally then a softcover will suffice. Protecting high-cost valuables comes at a greater price so that they can be stored under lock and key.
Will this cover fit my truck?
This is always the most frequently asked question. Our review states which truck the covers fit but should you have further questions, Amazon has a drop-down menu on the product page. Fill in a few vehicle details and the results will appear.
Do any retractable truck bed covers feature LED lights?
None of our featured covers have lights, although it is a good idea. Some of the more expensive models that include remote-powered opening and closing have interior lights fitted.
The instructions claim that a tonneau cover can be fitted by one 1-person, is this true?
With plenty of time, patience, and a little strength then it is possibly a 1-person job. However, getting each side correctly aligned and holding it in position as bolts are tightened is an easier and faster task with 2-people.
Do you need specialist tools to fit a retractable truck bed cover?
None of our reviewed products require any specialist tools, nor do they need any holes drilled. Most use the pre-existing holes and just require bolts to be tightened using an adjustable wrench. Another brand features clamps that simply snap into place on the rail.
How does a truck bed cover improve fuel economy?
Besides security, this is one of the most popular reasons for fitting a tonneau cover. The cover acts as a barrier to prevent the wind from getting into the bed of the truck. When wind resistance is reduced, miles per gallon are increased. So not only can your truck look sleek, but the cover can pay for itself with all of the savings on gas.
Hopefully, our Retracting Truck Bed Cover Reviews have helped you to make an informed buying decision.
Keeping the bed of your valued truck clean and dry and the contents secure is easily achieved when you purchase the perfect fitting tonneau cover.
The peace of mind that you will get each time you lock up and walk away is surely worth the initial financial outlay?