Truck owners know that finding the right tonneau cover can transform the look and utility of their pickup. A high-quality tonneau adds security, weather protection, and improved gas mileage. For many truck owners, electric tonneau covers offer the ultimate in convenience and ease of use. Just push a button and the tonneau opens or closes instantly.
After extensive research comparing over 25 models across all major brands, I’ve identified the top 5 best electric tonneau covers available today. My evaluation criteria included ease of installation, durability, weather sealing, security features, weight rating, profile height, and overall user experience. I also considered price, warranty terms, and availability of coordinating truck bed accessories.
Below I review each of my top electric tonneau pick in detail, highlighting key features and ideal use cases. I also provide a helpful comparison chart upfront to give an overview of how the main models stack up against each other. Let’s dive in to find the perfect power tonneau for your truck!
Comparison Chart of the Top Electric Tonneau Covers
|Pace Edwards Switchblade
1. RetraxPRO XR Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover – Best Overall Electric Tonneau Cover
The RetraxPRO XR takes my top spot for the best overall electric tonneau cover thanks to its unmatched durability, security, and ease of use. This retractable cover is made in the USA from rugged polycarbonate material to withstand years of heavy use. I’m thoroughly impressed by its 500 pound weight limit – most competing aluminum models max out around 300-400 pounds.
Durable Construction and Weather Resistance
The PRO XR consists of horizontal slats joined by aircraft-grade aluminum side rails. The heavy-duty side rails have a secure locking mechanism every 12 inches. This allows you to lock the cover at any point along the rails or fully retract it out of the way by pushing the electric switch.
Polycarbonate stands up extremely well to dents, scratches, and UV rays. The manufacturer backs it with their exclusive limited lifetime warranty. Integrated drainage channels in the rails prevent water pooling on top of the cover. The PRO XR seals tightly to protect your truck bed from dust and moisture.
Unmatched Security for Your Truck Bed
With an intrusion attempt every 14.6 seconds in the US, pickup truck beds are a prime target for thieves. The RetraxPRO XR excels at deterring and preventing break-ins. The electric lock switch deactivates the moment you lock your truck doors. You can also remove the switch panel for maximum security.
The heavy polycarbonate slats don’t flex or bend when walked on. The low profile design sits flush with the truck bed, eliminating gripping points for prying hands. For additional protection, you can integrate the PRO XR with Retrax’s Deluxe Utility Track accessory system. This allows you to securely fasten down cargo inside the bed.
Why Truck Owners Love the RetraxPRO XR
In real world use, the PRO XR earns outstanding reviews for its strength, smooth operation, and water-tight coverage. Owners love being able to open and close their tonneau cover in seconds with the push of a button. The electric operation is fast and quiet.
Many reviewers mention they don’t even have to look at what they’re doing when operating the switch – a major advantage over manually closing a folding tonneau. For truck owners who demand the very best, the RetraxPRO XR retractable tonneau is my top overall pick.
“The best electric tonneau cover hands down! No comparison to anything else I looked at. 5 stars all around.”
2. Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover – Best Value Electric Tonneau
For truck owners seeking an electric tonneau on a budget, the Gator EFX tri-fold is my top value choice. This sturdy aluminum cover offers smooth, powered operation at a price point that’s tough to beat.
While the EFX doesn’t match the premium quality of the RetraxPRO XR, it provides reliable protection and one-touch opening/closing convenience. The Gator EFX works especially well for budget-focused truck enthusiasts who value function over flashing style.
Durable, Low Profile Aluminum Construction
Constructed using thick aluminum panels joined by aircraft-grade aluminum rails, the EFX has a rigid, reinforced design. The flush-fit mounting system eliminates gaps that allow dust and moisture to enter the truck bed.
With a 300 pound weight limit, the EFX can easily handle substantial cargo loads. Just don’t expect it to have the ultra-heavy duty capacity of premium retractable models. Gator covers the EFX with a respectable 3 year warranty – not amazing, but reasonable for the price.
Powered Opening and Locking Security
Once installed, operating the EFX couldn’t be easier. Simply push the key fob or interior switch to open or close the tonneau in seconds. The folding design splits into three segments, so you can quickly access just part of the truck bed if needed.
While closed and flush-mounted, the EFX prevents prying fingers from infiltrating the cargo area. The electric actuators have enough power to make lifting the panels by hand virtually impossible. Just be sure to always lock your tailgate for maximum protection.
Impressive Value for an Electric Tonneau
For the price, the Gator EFX delivers fantastic value for everyday truck owners. It provides the central benefits of a hard tonneau cover – security, protection from weather, and fuel economy – with the convenience of power operation. Installation is quick and straightforward, especially compared to fussing with snap-in vinyl covers.
If you need the absolute strongest electric tonneau, I suggest looking at the RetraxPRO XR or premium retractable models. But for a durable power tonneau at a bargain price, the Gator EFX is an excellent choice.
“Was super easy to install and the price can’t be beat. I love being able to open and close my tonneau cover with the push of a button.”
3. Roll-N-Lock M-Series Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover – Most Heavy Duty
For truck owners and contractors who demand unmatched durability, the Roll-N-Lock M-Series retractable tonneau stands above the rest. This high-end cover combines industrial-grade strength with ultra-smooth power operation.
Roll-N-Lock dominates the commercial fleet market, while also catering to discerning retail buyers. The M-Series exemplifies the company’s obsessive approach to over-engineering. If ultimate durability and protection are your top priorities, this electric retractable tonneau deserves your consideration.
Withstands Years of Heavy Use
The M-Series withstands abuse that would quickly destroy lesser retractable covers. The interlocking aluminum slats are rated to handle up to 400 pounds evenly distributed – the highest in its class. The reinforced side rails, thick vinyl layer, and weather-tight end caps provide exceptional structural integrity.
Roll-N-Lock covers every component with a meticulous 3 year warranty. The electric drive and gearbox that powers the rolling cover comes backed by a lifetime warranty. All hardware uses stainless steel for unmatched corrosion resistance.
Fort Knox Level Security
With its commercial-grade strength, the M-Series foils smash-and-grab thieves in their tracks. The low-profile design has no gripping edges. Each individual slat locks tightly into place along the side rails to create an impenetrable barrier.
An included hand-held remote lets owners open and close their tonneau from up to 60 feet away. There’s also a keyless entry system with a hidden control box to further deter tampering when locked.
Smooth, Powered Operation
Despite its robust build, the M-Series opens and closes effortlessly with the integrated electric drive system. The cover glides along nearly silently on low-friction roller bearings. It can lock securely in any position or fully retract against the cab back window.
Truck ownersreport how amazed they are by the buttery-smooth operation each time they use their M-Series tonneau cover. The convenient power system makes accessing the full bed quick and easy for anyone. Backed by Roll-N-Lock’s legendary reputation, this is absolutely the electric retractable to get for maximum strength and protection.
“I use my truck for heavy duty work during the week and recreation on weekends. This Roll-N-Lock tonneau is perfect for both. Couldn’t ask for anything tougher or higher performing.”
4. Pace Edwards Switchblade Retractable Tonneau Cover – Most Aerodynamic Profile
For truck owners who demand optimal fuel economy along with security and protection, the Pace Edwards Switchblade retractable tonneau is the clear choice. Its flush-fit design delivers factory sleek looks and a 10% boost in gas mileage, according to Pace Edwards testing.
Beyond superb aerodynamics, the Switchblade provides the ultimate in smooth, electric operation and cargo security. Truck enthusiasts seeking the total package of form and function will find their match with this exceptional retractable tonneau.
Flush, Factory-Style Low Profile
The Switchblade lays nearly perfectly flat across the top of the truck bed, unlike many retractable tonneaus that sit an inch or more higher. This factory flush mounting is the key to its exceptional aerodynamic performance. Pace Edwards spent years engineering the cover to maximize this coveted sleek profile.
With the cover closed, no gaps exist where wind can penetrate. The sleek shape slices through the air, cutting down on drag and turbulence. Owners report consistent real world fuel economy gains of 8-12% with the Switchblade installed.
Built for Years of Reliable Use
Despite its delicate exterior looks, the Switchblade is Pace Edwards’ most heavy duty retractable cover. Each extruded aluminum slat interlocks for strength and structural integrity. The low-friction ball bearing system ensures years of smooth rolling operation.
This electric tonneau can handle up to 400 pounds evenly distributed. The T-slot side rails lock down cargo track accessories in the truck bed, allowing secure tie down of oversized loads. Backstopping it all, Pace Edwards provides a trusted 3 year warranty.
Keyless Entry and Power Operation
The Switchblade takes only seconds to open or close with the integrated electric drive system. Owners can operate it via the remote fob, interior cab switch, or wireless keypad on the tailgate. This keyless entry option is perfect for accessing the tonneau when your keys are buried in your pockets or pack.
For truck owners seeking a fusion of form and function, the Pace Edwards Switchblade retractable tonneau is an exceptional value. Its aerodynamic shape enhances MPG, while the smooth electric operation provides lasting driving convenience.
“This electric tonneau looks amazing on my truck – gets so many compliments. Even better, I’m saving a ton on gas costs now. It’s perfect!”
5. RetraxONE MX Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover – Best Upgrade Pick
Truck owners who already have a basic roll-up tonneau but want to upgrade to the ease of electric operation need to check out the RetraxONE MX. This powered retractable tonneau replaces your existing vinyl cover while reusing the existing rail system.
The RetraxONE MX offers exceptional durability, protection, and simple installation at a very wallet-friendly price point. For anyone seeking an electric tonneau upgrade without breaking the bank, this cover deserves a close look.
Durable Construction, Low Profile Design
The MX uses the same rugged polycarbonate construction as Retrax’s flagship PRO XR model. The horizontal slats provide 500 pounds of evenly distributed weight capacity. The end caps and side rails seal tightly to protect cargo from rain, snow, and dust.
Despite its heavy duty materials, the RetraxONE MX maintains a low profile. The sleek shape enhances both aesthetics and aerodynamics. For truck owners seeking an upgrade in function without altering exterior style, this electric tonneau is perfect.
Easy DIY Installation
Many truck owners hesitate to undertake major new installations like a retractable tonneau. The MX makes upgrading to power operation a snap. It utilizes the existing rail system from your current roll-up cover.
That means you can swap out your manually operated vinyl tonneau in less than an hour using basic hand tools. Simply remove the old cover, snap the MX slats into the original rails, and plug in the electric wiring kit. Retrax provides clear video tutorials to walk you through each straightforward step.
Why Truck Owners Love This Pick
Reviewer response to the RetraxONE MX is resoundingly positive. Owners love the simplicity of installation combined with the durability of polycarbonate construction. The electric drive system makes accessing the full truck bed effortless.
With its straightforward upgrade approach, powered operation, rugged materials, and sleek look, the RetraxONE MX satisfies a wide range of truck owners. For anyone seeking to enhance their existing basic tonneau with powered convenience, it’s a superb value pick.
“I didn’t want to buy a whole new system and rails. This installed in 20 minutes and gives me everything I wanted in an electric tonneau!”
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Electric Tonneau Cover
If you’re in the market for an electric tonneau, keep the following tips in mind as you evaluate your options:
Hard vs. Soft Covers
Hard covers made from aluminum, fiberglass, or polycarbonate provide more strength, durability, and security than soft vinyl covers. Electric operation works best with hard folding and retractable tonneau designs.
Consider the weight capacity you need. Polycarbonate and thick aluminum covers support over 400 pounds. Lower cost models max out under 300 pounds.
DIY install varies from 30 minutes for basic vinyl covers to 2+ hours for retractable models. Pay a professional for complex electric tonneaus.
Ensure the cover seals tightly along the sides and tailgate to protect cargo from moisture. Drainage channels prevent water pooling.
Locking rails, heavyduty construction, and low profile shapes deter thieves. Controls that deactivate when locked also boost security.
Retractable covers provide full bed access. Hinged and tri-fold covers allow partial access. Roll-up covers limit accessibility when closed.
Sleek, flush-fit tonneaus boost MPG the most. Retractables and tri-folds offer better aerodynamics than bulkier covers.
Expert Tips for Getting the Most from Your Electric Tonneau
To maximize performance and enjoyment of your electric-powered truck bed cover, keep these pro tips in mind:
- Do a test drive before permanently attaching the electric wiring kit. Confirm all functions operate smoothly.
- Apply rubber weatherstripping conditioner to seals and gaskets twice a year to prevent drying and cracks.
- Routinely tighten the clamps securing the rails to prevent shifting over bumpy roads.
- Park in the shade whenever possible to limit extreme heat buildup within the truck bed.
- Remove heavy snow accumulation first rather than forcing the electric drive system.
- Install high-quality LED utility lights under the tonneau rails to illuminate the bed area.
- Use a plastic protectant spray on polycarbonate and vinyl covers to guard against UV damage.
- Apply a ceramic spray coating to aluminum tonneaus to make cleaning bugs, dirt, and debris easier.
- Keep the tonneau cover locked whenever unattended to maximize cargo security and deter theft.
Following these tips will help ensure your electric tonneau provides years of reliable service and protection.
Other Electric Accessories to Enhance Tonneau Function
Beyond the power tonneaus themselves, other electrical upgrades can further increase the utility of your truck bed:
- LED Cargo Lights – Illuminate the bed interior for safe nighttime loading/unloading.
- Bed Power Outlets – Convenient 12V DC ports to charge gear or run power tools.
- Backup Cameras – Provides visibility when towing trailers.
- Bed Step – Allows easy access to front of bed.
- Spray-in Bedliner – Protects bed from dents/scratches.
- Remote Entry System – Unlocks/opens tonneau from outside vehicles.
- Perimeter Rail System – Provides movable tie-down points.
- Internal Storage System – Safely organizes small tools and gear.
Combining your electric tonneau cover with some of these complementary accessories can really optimize your truck bed function and enjoyment.
What are the main advantages of an electric tonneau cover?
Electric tonneaus provide powered opening and closing at the push of a button. This allows quick, convenient access to the entire truck bed without the hassle of manually handling a heavy cover. Electric models are also typically more durable and secure.
How much does an electric tonneau cover cost?
Basic soft roll-up electric covers start around $500. Tri-fold and retractable models range from $800 up to $2,000+ for premium brands like Retrax, BakFlip, and Roll-N-Lock.
Can you install an electric tonneau yourself?
Some vinyl covers have very simple do-it-yourself installation that takes 30-60 minutes. But tri-fold, retractable, and hinged covers often require drilling into the truck bed for mounting rails. This professional installation is recommended to ensure proper alignment and operation.
How much does professional installation cost?
Expect to pay $150-$300 for professional installation of an electric retractable or folding tonneau cover. Simple snap-in vinyl covers can often be DIY installed and not require shop labor fees. Always get a quote beforehand.
Do electric tonneaus use a lot of your truck battery?
No. Electric tonneaus only draw significant current when actually opening or closing. They use very little standby battery power when not in active operation. The drive motors are designed to operate directly off the 12V truck electrical system.
Can you operate an electric tonneau without the key fob?
Most have override controls that let you open and close manually in case the key fob battery dies. Higher end models also have touchpad combinations or switches to allow keyless entry and operation.
Do electric tonneaus leak in heavy rain?
Quality electric tonneaus are designed to be fully weatherproof. Perimeter seals and integrated drainage channels prevent water intrusion when properly installed. Cheaper covers may leak at the tailgate or rail connections.
Are electric tonneaus easy to operate?
Power operation makes opening and closing effortless! Just push a button on the wireless remote, interior cab switch, or integrated control panel on the cover itself. Smooth powered movement takes the hassle out of using your tonneau.
Will an electric tonneau drain my truck battery if I leave it open
No. The electric drive only activates while actually opening or closing the cover. When fully open or closed, it draws no meaningful power. There is no continuous draw on the battery.