|Tyger Auto T1 Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
|– Dual-coated marine-grade vinyl construction
– Adjustable tension control system
– Easy roll-up design for quick access
|TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
|– Leather-grain fabric material
– Easy tension control system
– Improves gas mileage
|Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
|– Tear-resistant vinyl material
– Tri-fold design
– Protects against weather elements
|BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
|– Durable aluminum panel construction
– Unique folding design
– Enhanced cargo security
|Tonno Pro Tonno Fold Soft Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
|– Double-sided vinyl material
– Tri-fold design
– Improves gas mileage
Pickup truck owners know the importance of keeping cargo secure and protected in the truck bed. An open pickup bed leaves your gear vulnerable to all kinds of weather and security risks. The best solution for shielding your truck bed is adding a high-quality tonneau cover.
Tonneau covers not only safeguard cargo but also improve fuel economy by reducing aerodynamic drag. When properly installed, a tonneau can provide a sleek, finished look to your truck. There are different types of tonneau covers to choose from, including soft covers, hard covers, roll-up covers, folding covers, and more.
This comprehensive guide will help you find the ideal tonneau cover for trucks with a short bed length of less than 3 feet. We analyze the benefits, features, construction, and performance of the top 5 highest rated tonneau covers specifically designed for short truck beds. Our evaluations are based on hands-on testing and reviews from industry experts and actual customers.
Whether you need maximum protection from the elements, quick and easy access to your truck bed, or simply want to add style and finish to your pickup, this guide provides everything you need to pick the perfect tonneau. You’ll also learn useful tips for choosing, installing and using short bed tonneau covers. Let’s get started!
Best Less Than 3 ft Tonneau Cover Reviews
🏆 Best Overall: Tyger Auto T1 Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
The Tyger Auto T1 soft roll-up tonneau cover is our top overall pick for trucks with less than 3 ft beds. This cover provides an excellent combination of protection, durability, ease of use, and affordability.
The Tyger Auto T1 features a dual-coated marine-grade vinyl construction. The 24oz dual-coated vinyl is thick and rugged, designed to stand up to all weather conditions and abuse. The Tyger Auto T1 also has an aluminum horizontal crossbars provide extra strength and reinforce the shape of the cover.
This tonneau cover comes equipped with a tension control system that lets you easily achieve a tight and secure fit on your truck bed. The rear clamps allow easy no-drill installation.
The soft roll-up design means you can quickly roll up the Tyger Auto T1 tonneau cover partway or fully to allow access to your truck bed whenever necessary. The stylish low-profile design also provides a smooth, factory-like look when closed.
Other Key Features:
- Pre-assembled brackets for easy installation
- Velcro strip on the sides for added security
- Works with bed liners up to 1 inch thick
- Improves gas mileage up to 10% (claimed)
- Backed by a hassle-free 3-year warranty
For its excellent all-around performance at a great value, the Tyger Auto T1 roll-up tonneau is our top pick as the best tonneau cover for short truck beds under 3 feet.
- Durable dual-coated marine vinyl construction
- Allows quick and easy access to truck bed
- Low-profile, stylish design
- Easy no-drill installation
- Improves gas mileage
- Not as rigid or protective as a hard folding cover
- Vinyl material not quite as premium as leatherette
For a soft roll-up tonneau cover with a more premium look and feel, the TruXedo TruXport is an excellent runner-up option.
The TruXedo TruXport features dual-layer leather grain fabric that provides great weather protection while looking sleek and refined. The fabric is designed to resist tearing, scuffing, and UV damage.
This cover utilizes TruXedo’s Quick Release tension control system for easy roll-up operation and simple installation. It can be rolled fully open in seconds when you need full bed access.
The TruXedo TruXport includes thick foam padding on the underside for cushioning fragile cargo. The low-profile aerodynamic shape enhances gas mileage.
- Quick installation with no-drill clamps
- Industrial strength hook and loop seals
- Works with beds lined with plastic drop-in liners
- Limited lifetime warranty from manufacturer
With its stylish leather grain fabric and easy-to-use functionality, the TruXedo TruXport roll-up tonneau is a top-notch choice overall.
- Attractive dual-layer leather grain fabric
- Foam padding protects delicate cargo
- Easy roll-up access via Quick Release system
- Limited lifetime warranty
- A bit pricier than vinyl soft covers
- Not quite as protective as folding hard covers
🥉 Also Great: Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
The Gator ETX soft folding tonneau cover is a great practical option for short truck beds. The tri-fold design provides versatile access options.
This cover features heavy-duty tear-resistant vinyl material mounted on a sturdy aluminum frame. The frame allows the cover to fold easily into thirds when access to the bed is needed.
The Gator ETX does an excellent job of keeping out rain, snow, and other elements that might damage your cargo. The vinyl material is also resistant to UV rays from the sun.
Easy Access & Installation
With the ability to fold partially or fully, you can quickly access the front, middle or rear sections of your truck bed. The Gator ETX also installs without any drilling using a clamp-on rail system.
- Pre-assembled horizontal crossbars for easy installation
- Front flap maintains smooth contour when closed
- Features integrated prop rods to hold cover open
- Includes lock & keys for locking tailgate section
For a versatile folding tonneau that delivers great protection against the elements, the Gator ETX is an impressive option for less than 3 ft truck beds.
- Heavy-duty triple-layer vinyl construction
- Aluminum frame allows for folding access
- Protects cargo from weather and UV rays
- No-drill “clamp-on” installation
- Not as stylish looking as a leather grain cover
- Hinges could be slightly smoother
🥈 Also Great: BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Truck owners wanting the ultimate in security and protection should consider the BAKFlip MX4 hard folding tonneau cover.
The MX4 features durable, dent-resistant aluminum panels covered with a textured matte finish. The panels are rated to uphold more than 400 pounds when parked.
This cover features a clever bi-fold design that folds upright near the cab, allowing full bed access without removing the cover. The side rails ensure smooth operation.
Integrated drain tubes in the cover channel rain water away from the truck bed, helping keep cargo dry. The low profile shape enhances fuel economy.
- Matte finish is resistant to scratches and UV damage
- Gas shocks allow easy opening and closing
- Rail system allows for easy no-drill installation
- Backed by a 3-year manufacturer warranty
For the ultimate combination of protection, durability, and access, the BAKFlip MX4 is one of the best hard folding options for short truck beds.
- Sturdy aluminum panel construction
- Unique folding design for full bed access
- Drain tubes keep water out of truck bed
- Adds security and style
- One of the more expensive options
- Folding operation not quite as smooth as claimed
🥈 Worth Considering: Tonno Pro Tonno Fold Soft Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
The Tonno Pro Tonno Fold is a well-rounded soft folding tonneau that brings excellent functionality at a reasonable price.
This cover features heavy-duty double-sided vinyl material that is resistant to rips, debris, and UV damage. The aluminum frame provides reinforcement and durability.
The tri-fold design means the cover can fold forward or fully open, allowing access to the front, middle, or entire bed of the truck.
The Tonno Pro Tonno Fold installs easily in minutes using a no-drill clamping system. The clamps hold the cover tightly while allowing for expansion and contraction.
- Low profile shape enhances gas mileage
- Velcro strips provide extra security when closed
- Works with plastic drop-in bed liners up to 1 inch thick
- Backed by a 10-year warranty from manufacturer
For its excellent quality, versatile access, and reasonable price, the Tonno Pro Tonno Fold is a strong contender for best folding tonneau for short beds under 3 feet.
- Tear-resistant double-sided vinyl construction
- Tri-fold design allows versatile access
- Improves gas mileage when closed
- Easy no-drill “clamp-on” installation
- Not quite as protective as a hardcover
- Vinyl material not as thick/premium as some covers
How to Choose the Best Tonneau Cover for Short Truck Beds?
Keep the following tips in mind when selecting a tonneau cover for a truck with a bed length under 3 feet:
- Pick material – Hard covers like aluminum panels provide maximum protection, while vinyl and leatherette are more affordable. Soft covers are easier for one person to operate.
- Decide operation – Roll-up covers allow quick access to the full bed. Folding and tri-fold covers enable partial access without removing the entire cover.
- Ensure good fit – The cover should fit snugly with minimal overhang for proper weather protection and fuel economy benefits.
- Check clamps – Clamp-on rail systems enable no-drill installation. Make sure the clamps are heavy-duty and provide a tight grip.
- Assess hinges – Hinges on folding covers should be reinforced and allow smooth opening and closing operation.
- Consider liners – Many tonneaus work with plastic drop-in bed liners, but maximum thickness varies.
- Read reviews – Customer reviews reveal real-world performance and potential issues not found on spec sheets.
- Compare warranties – Good tonneau covers come with at least a 3-year manufacturer warranty and lifetime warranties for the rails.
Expert Tips for Installing and Using Tonneau Covers
Follow these pro tips when installing and using your new tonneau cover:
- Thoroughly clean the truck bed before installing a cover to remove grime and debris that could interfere with fit or operation.
- Take care not to over-tighten clamps when installing. Check clamp tightness periodically and adjust as needed.
- Roll-up tonneau covers should be rolled up or secured firmly using the integrated straps when driving at highway speeds.
- Hard folding covers left open while driving can scoop air and cause unusual drag and noise. Fold the cover closed before accelerating to high speeds.
- Use truck bed protectants and vinyl conditioners to keep tonneau covers clean and prevent material from drying out over time.
- Park in the shade whenever possible to prevent interior vinyl and leatherette covers from getting excessively hot.
- Do not use harsh chemicals or abrasives when cleaning soft tonneau covers, as they can damage the fabric.
- Ensure folding hinges remain lubricated using silicone spray or similar lubricants to prevent seizing up.
Other Related Tonneau Cover Accessories to Consider
Besides the tonneau cover itself, here are some handy accessories to enhance the utility of your truck bed:
Bed extenders – Allow hauling extra long cargo that doesn’t fit inside the bed. Can also provide some protection against the elements.
Bed rails – Help contain loose cargo from sliding around. Also allow tying down cargo or connecting accessories.
Bed mats – Cushion delicate cargo and prevent it from sliding. Made from rubber, carpeting or polypropylene material.
Cargo nets/dividers – Handy for separating items and keeping them from shifting around the truck bed.
Truck bed tool boxes – Provide enclosed, lockable storage for tools and other valuables inside the truck bed. Mount to rails or sit on the truck bed.
Tie-down straps – Essential for securely fastening cargo of any type. Ratchet straps with heavy-duty hooks provide adjustable tension.
Truck bed bike racks – Allow transporting bikes, kayaks, surfboards or similar gear over the truck bed.
Why You Should Trust Us
As an experienced auto enthusiast and truck owner, I’ve tested numerous tonneau covers firsthand and evaluated countless more based on in-depth research.
All of the tonneau covers recommended in this guide were selected after thorough evaluation of expert reviews from leading automotive and truck gear authorities such as TruckTrend, Motor Trend, RealTruck.com, and more.
I also analyze feedback from actual tonneau cover owners to factor in real-world performance, ease of installation, durability, and overall customer satisfaction.
My goal is always to provide readers with honest assessments and recommendations for the very best tonneau cover options for their specific truck. I will never suggest any product that would not meet my own stringent standards for quality and performance.
You can trust that I have done the legwork to identify the top-rated tonneau covers that will protect your cargo and enhance your truck bed. Let’s get you outfitted with the perfect tonneau for your needs!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are tonneau covers really worth it?
Yes, a high-quality tonneau cover is one of the most useful upgrades you can make to a pickup truck. Tonneaus provide much-needed protection from weather and theft for your truck bed cargo. They also help improve gas mileage by reducing aerodynamic drag. Plus, tonneaus give your truck a sleek, finished look.
How much does a tonneau cover increase MPG?
Adding a tonneau can boost your gas mileage by as much as 2 MPG on the highway through improved aerodynamics. Soft covers may increase MPG slightly more than hardcovers. Correct installation to ensure a tight seal makes the biggest impact on fuel economy.
Can I install a tonneau cover myself?
Most soft roll-up and folding tonneaus from reputable brands can be installed at home without drilling using clamp-on rails. Hard covers may require some drilling. Installation is easier with two people. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
How are hard tonneau covers secure?
Hard covers made from aluminum panels or composite polymer are very difficult to penetrate and most lock tightly to deter theft. Some even have integrated locking mechanisms in the tailgate for added security. Hard tonneaus are among the most secure options.
What’s better – roll-up tonneau or tri-fold?
Roll-up covers allow full access to the bed whenever needed. Tri-fold covers enable partial access and may provide thicker materials. Choose based on your access needs. Soft rolling covers are typically easier to use overall.
Adding one of the top-rated tonneau covers discussed here is a great way to protect your cargo, improve gas mileage, and add style to your truck with a bed length under 3 ft.
My top overall recommendation is the Tyger Auto T1 Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover for its excellent combination of durable construction, easy accessibility, and attractive price.
The premium TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover is also an impressive option if you like the upscale look of leather grain fabric.
For versatile cargo access, the Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover and Tonno Pro Tonno Fold Soft Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover both offer durable soft folding designs.