Bed covers, or tonneau covers, are among of the most useful products we sell at Sound Depot and Performance. Pickup trucks are extremely useful, as they can haul large quantities of whatever you want, and the bed keeps any dirt and grime out of the interior of your vehicle. The downside, and sometimes it’s a big downside, is that everything you put in your bed is there for the whole world to see. That means you may have security issues with your contents. And what if it rains? Now your contents may become damaged.
That is where a bed cover comes in. It turns your bed into a secure, dry environment to store and transport your cargo.
There are two major differences in bed covers: They come in hard or solid designs, and soft or vinyl designs. Let’s explore the differences between these styles.
Hard Bed Covers
Hard covers are far and away the most popular style on the market these days. Years ago, they came in one-piece fiberglass designs and, while these were beautiful, they were extremely heavy and bulky. You needed two people to remove such a cover, and then you had to figure out where to store it. This style is still available, but is not a product we sell. We have one-piece composite covers that are paintable to match the truck, yet weigh around half of the fiberglass models, so they are much easier to remove and store.
The big advantage of these covers is security and weather protection. The downside of this cover is bed access. It hinges up from the cab side and limits your access to the whole bed. If you’re out and about and need to remove it to carry something big, you have a problem.
Hard Bed Covers: Folding Covers
Folding bed covers have become a popular option for people needing the security of a one-piece cover, but also needing to access the bed in more easily. Folding covers do a good job of weather protection, but not quite as good as a one-piece cover. They are often made of three panels that can swing up and be stowed up against the back of the cab, or a design that makes them easy to removed. They are less bulky than one-piece covers, and are commonly sold in a black finish.
Hard Bed Covers: Roll-up Covers
Roll-up covers are considered the classiest, easiest to use cover by many people. They come in two distinctly different styles.
Canister Style Roll-Up Cover
The most popular style uses a canister that mounts up against the cab and stores the cover when it is retracted. It works much like a roll-top desk. You can slide it completely closed, completely open or anywhere in between. The advantage is very good weather protection and security, and probably the simplest design to operate. The downside is that the canister will take up a small amount of space in the bed – for some people this is a deal-breaker. They are also the most expensive covers because of their complexity.
Exposed Style Roll-Up Cover
A new style of roll-up cover is now available that rolls up on top of the bed and gets stored up against the cab. It is a very easy-to-use design and, like many others, offers good security and weather protection. The downside of this cover is that it has to be all the way open or all the way closed, while the canister style can be partially opened in many different steps along the bed.
Soft Bed Covers
Soft or vinyl covers were the most popular style for decades. They still serve a purpose for many people since they are noticeably less expensive than hard bed covers. They do a reasonably good job of weather protection, and they are very easy to operate. You can now buy vinyl covers in one-piece hinge-up styles, tri-fold styles and roll-up styles, so you have many options from which to choose.
The major downside to a vinyl cover is security. It will keep your cargo out of sight, but a pocket knife is all that is needed to get bed access. If your primary goal is decent weather protection and some sense of security, and you need to keep the price down, these covers might be for you.
Sound Depot and Performance offers installation service on all of our bed covers. Our highly skilled and trained staff will work with you to find the best cover for your needs, and will then expertly install your cover for you. We have several of these covers on display and invite you to stop by our facility with your truck to check them out.
You can also contact us here for more information.