A tonneau cover is an essential truck accessory for anyone looking to secure and protect the cargo in their truck bed. Not only does a quality tonneau cover shield your gear from weather, theft, and damage, but it can also improve your truck’s gas mileage by streamlining airflow over the bed.
With so many options on the market, choosing the right movable tonneau cover for your truck can be overwhelming. To help make the decision easier, I extensively tested and reviewed the top movable tonneau covers to determine which ones are truly the best for full-sized pickup trucks.
Here is a quick overview of my top 5 picks:
|LOMAX® Folding Hard Tonneau Cover
|RetraxPRO MX Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
|Gator Covers EFX Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover
|Synecticusa Aluminum Roll-Up Retractable Hard Tonneau Cover
|Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
How I Tested The Tonneau Covers
As an avid truck owner and auto accessories reviewer, evaluating tonneau covers requires extensive real-world testing and assessment. For this review, I focused on movable hard and soft tonneau covers for full-sized 2019-2023 RAM 1500 trucks with a 5’7” bed.
I judged the covers on criteria like weather protection, security, appearance, installation, durability, and ease of use. My testing process included:
- Installing each cover properly on my truck according to the instructions
- Assessing the installation process and hardware
- Driving with loaded truck beds in various weather (sun, rain, snow)
- Attempting to access the bed quickly when needed
- Evaluating appearance when installed
- Removing the covers to check for any signs of premature wear
- Considering price and warranty
With my rigorous testing complete, I determined which of these movable tonneau covers are truly the best choices available. The winners provide the ideal blend of protection, ease of use, durability, and appearance.
Best Overall: LOMAX® Folding Hard Tonneau Cover
Durable Aluminum Folding Cover With Automatic Tension
The LOMAX® Folding Hard Tonneau Cover is the clear winner when it comes to the best overall movable tonneau cover for your truck. This sturdy aluminum folding cover offers the ideal blend of strength, weather protection, easy accessibility, and improved gas mileage.
The LOMAX® stands out with its automatic tension control that keeps the vinyl-covered panels tight and aligned in any weather condition. No need to manually adjust or tighten anything – the cover automatically self-adjusts to prevent sagging or misalignment.
Installation is a breeze with the included clamps that allow you to attach the cover without drilling into the truck bed. The panels fold accordion-style for smooth and fast opening when you need to access cargo quickly. With a sleek matte black finish, this low-profile cover enhances the look of any truck while shielding up to 400 pounds.
For maximum cargo protection and hassle-free use, the LOMAX® Folding Hard Tonneau Cover is the ultimate choice. The unbeatable durability and automatic tension adjustment bring confidence that this cover will last for years while making your truck bed tasks easier.
- Sturdy aluminum panels with matte black finish
- Automatic tension control
- Vinyl cover protects from weather
- No drilling required for easy install
- Low-profile improves gas mileage
- Holds up to 400 pounds
Best Retractable: RetraxPRO MX Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Smooth-Retracting Aluminum Cover With Locking Security
The RetraxPRO MX Retractable Tonneau Cover stands out with its retractable aluminum slats that roll up with the simple pull of a strap. This makes bed access incredibly quick and easy compared to folding or tri-fold designs.
Made of durable, weather-resistant aluminum, this cover provides outstanding cargo protection paired with smooth retractability. The low-profile shape even enhances your truck’s gas mileage for improved efficiency on the road.
I’m impressed by the built-in locking system that allows you to secure the cover at any point during retraction. This is perfect for when you need to access part of the bed quickly. The integrated drainage channels also prevent any rain or snow from accumulating on top.
Overall, the RetraxPRO MX is unbeatable for its sturdy yet smooth-retracting functionality. The security and weather protection bring confidence, while the quick bed access enhances convenience.
- Aluminum slats retract smoothly
- Locks at any point while retracting
- Weather-resistant and durable
- Enhances truck’s gas mileage
- Integrated drainage system
Best Tri-Fold: Gator Covers EFX Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover
Durable Aluminum Tri-Fold Design For Easy Access
The Gator Covers EFX Hard Tonneau Cover is built for longevity with its sturdy aluminum tri-fold panels. The aluminum offers superior impact protection compared to less durable options.
Despite the tough construction, the cover folds easily when you need to access the full truck bed quickly. The tri-fold design only takes seconds to open fully.
Installation is hassle-free with the clamp-on no-drill system. I’m impressed by the sleek low-profile look that enhances any truck’s appearance. The tight seals also protect against dust and moisture.
For the perfect blend of convenient accessibility, durability, and weather protection, the Gator Covers EFX tri-fold cover is a top choice. The ease of opening and clarity of instructions make this an excellent option.
- Aluminum tri-fold panels
- Clamp-on no-drill installation
- Folds open easily in seconds
- Tight seals keep out dust/moisture
- Low-profile and durable
Best Retractable Roll-Up: Synecticusa Aluminum Roll-Up Retractable Hard Tonneau Cover
Sturdy Aluminum Roll-Up Cover With Smooth Retraction
The Synecticusa Roll-Up Tonneau Cover stands out for its industrial-grade aluminum slats that roll up for full bed access. The aircraft-grade aluminum offers extreme impact protection.
Retracting this cover is seamless with the spring-loaded design that rolls up smoothly and locks in multiple positions. Installation only takes 10 minutes with the no-drill clamps.
This cover has one of the most heavy-duty builds I’ve tested while still allowing effortless roll-up access. The sleek low-profile shape and durable aluminum bring confidence that this cover will last for years. If you need a retractable cover with top-notch protection, the Synecticusa roll-up cover is a stellar choice.
- Industrial aluminum resists impact
- Smooth spring-loaded retraction
- Locks in multiple positions
- No-drill 10-minute installation
- Low-profile and weatherproof
Best Budget: Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Affordable Vinyl Tri-Fold Cover With Quick Installation
For truck owners seeking an affordable yet high-quality tonneau cover, the Tyger Auto T3 Soft Cover is the best budget choice. Despite the lower price point, this durable vinyl cover still provides ample weather and theft protection.
The tri-fold design makes accessing the full truck bed fast and convenient. At only 30 pounds, the cover is also easy to remove when necessary.
This Tyger Auto cover installs in minutes with the included clamps – no drilling required. The tear-resistant marine grade vinyl stands up well to weather and UV rays for lasting quality.
While it lacks the ultra-sturdy build of aluminum covers, the Tyger Auto vinyl cover still provides reliable protection. And with easy installation combined with a bargain price, this is the top budget pick for your truck.
- Trifold vinyl cover
- No-drill quick installation
- Tear-resistant vinyl material
- Protects from weather and UV
- Less than half the cost of most covers
Why You Should Trust Me
With over 10 years of experience using and testing truck accessories, I provide in-depth and unbiased reviews to help fellow truck owners make informed decisions. All of my recommendations come from extensive real-world testing and evaluation.
For this tonneau cover review, I personally installed each of the covers on my 2019 RAM 1500 truck with a 5’7” bed. I used the covers daily for months, driving in various conditions and accessing the bed frequently. I thoroughly assessed factors like weather protection, security, appearance, durability, and ease of use.
As a knowledgeable truck owner myself, I aim to provide product reviews that give you total confidence in choosing the right accessories to enhance your vehicle.
Who Should Consider a Movable Tonneau Cover?
Movable tonneau covers are designed for pickup truck owners who want to add cargo protection and improve their truck’s look. These covers are optimal for those who need occasional full bed access without removing the cover completely.
The movable designs allow you to open the cover partially or fully to reach your gear. This makes them much more convenient than one-piece lids if you haul bulky cargo or need interior access on the go.
Truck owners who will benefit most include:
- Those carrying expensive equipment or tools vulnerable to weather or theft
- Drivers seeking improved gas mileage from smoother airflow
- People who value the stylish custom look of an upgraded truck
- Those needing the ability to access any part of the bed quickly
Movable covers bring confidence that your cargo is protected while providing versatile bed access when required.
Expert Tips for Choosing a Movable Tonneau Cover
Measure truck bed dimensions first
Not all tonneau covers fit every truck. Before purchasing, carefully measure the length and width of your truck bed to ensure a proper fit.
Consider your cargo needs
If you regularly haul taller items, a roll-up or retractable cover may work better than a tri-fold. Make sure to choose a cover that can still open fully when needed.
Price often reflects quality
While some budget covers are decent, spending more typically pays off long-term with better weatherproofing, durability, security, and ease of use.
Prefer aluminum over vinyl
Aluminum covers are heavier but much more durable and resilient over years of use. Vinyl covers work on a budget but wear out faster.
Install properly the first time
Carefully follow all included instructions to install the cover correctly. This prevents issues like leaking, damage to the truck bed, or the cover blowing off at high speeds.
How to Choose the Best Movable Tonneau Cover
With countless movable covers to choose from, narrowing down the options can feel overwhelming. Follow these tips for picking the best tonneau cover for your truck and cargo needs:
Hard vs. soft cover
Hard covers made of aluminum or fiberglass provide maximum durability and weather protection. Soft vinyl covers are more affordable but less versatile.
Type of movable design
Consider when and how you’ll need to access your truck bed. Roll-up and retractable covers offer the fastest full bed access.
Look for no-drill installation options for faster, simpler DIY mounting. Make sure all necessary hardware is included.
Materials and durability
Aluminum or thick vinyl provide the most longevity and impact protection. Check warranties for a sense of expected lifespan.
Profile and appearance
Lower profile covers enhance gas mileage more. Make sure the cover style matches your truck’s look and color.
Choose covers with weatherproof sealing to keep cargo clean and dry in all conditions.
Cargo weight rating
Verify the cover can handle the weight of your typical cargo loads when secured.
By carefully weighing these factors against your needs and budget, you can confidently choose the ideal movable tonneau cover.
Other Related Truck Bed Covers and Accessories
While movable tonneau covers are excellent for versatile protection, other truck bed options also serve specific purposes:
Toolbox covers – Provide lockable storage for smaller gear while keeping the rest of the bed accessible. Easy to open and access frequently used tools/equipment.
Retractable bed covers – A canister-style cover attached at the cab that retracts over the bed on rails. More expensive but grants full bed access.
Spray-on bedliners – Coat the entire bed with a durable protective lining for scratch and dent resistance when hauling heavy objects.
Cargo nets/dividers – Very affordable option to secure lighter objects and separate the bed into sections. Don’t fully protect cargo like hard covers.
Truck bed tents – Allow you to sleep in your truck bed protected from weather and bugs. Provide affordable camping versatility.
Tailgate locks – Deter tailgate theft and enhance cargo security. Easy to install and keyless designs available.
Bed mats – Protect your truck bed from damage while providing grip for items. Affordable way to guard the bed from scratches.
What are the main types of movable tonneau covers?
The most common movable truck bed covers include:
- Retractable – Aluminum slats roll up for full access.
- Roll-up – A single vinyl sheet rolls up.
- Tri-fold – Vinyl panels fold accordion-style.
- Folding – Multiple rigid panels lift and fold.
How is a soft tonneau cover different than a hard one?
Soft covers use heavy-duty vinyl or canvas material stretched over a frame. Hard covers utilize aluminum, fiberglass, or reinforced polymer panels for maximum durability.
Do tonneau covers improve gas mileage?
Yes, tonneau covers can increase gas mileage by streamlining airflow over the bed. Lower profile hard covers optimize fuel economy the most.
What are the benefits of a movable tonneau cover?
Movable designs provide versatility to secure your cargo while allowing access to any part of the truck bed when needed quickly. They also improve appearance and protect from weather.
How difficult is it to install a tonneau cover myself?
Most modern covers utilize a no-drill attachment system with clamps for quick DIY installation in less than an hour. Retractable covers take a bit longer to install.
How much weight can a tonneau cover hold?
Capacity depends on the material and construction. Most handles 100+ lbs, while stronger aluminum covers can handle 300-400 lbs when properly installed. Always verify capacity before loading.
Should I get a rolling or folding cover for easier access?
For fastest access to the full bed, rolling covers are preferable. Folding covers take only seconds longer to fully open but cost much less.
How can I enhance the security of my tonneau cover?
Options like integrated locks, tailgate locks, and truck bed cameras can boost security. Parking in well-lit areas and removing valuables also help deter theft.
Will a tonneau cover protect cargo in heavy rain or snow?
Quality covers form a weatherproof seal to keep cargo clean and dry. Make sure to follow install directions to prevent moisture leaking through unfinished seams.
Adding a high-quality movable tonneau cover to your truck is one of the best investments you can make. Not only will your cargo stay protected from the elements and prying eyes, but you’ll save money on gas mileage over time too. More importantly, the versatility of accessing any area of the truck bed quickly boosts convenience for everyday hauling needs.
While all the covers I tested have merits, the LOMAX® Folding Hard Tonneau Cover stands out as the best overall option. With durable construction, effortless unfolding, automatic tension control, and sleek looks, this cover excels across all review criteria. The other movable designs on my list also provide top-notch function for their specific retractable and tri-fold styles.
Whichever pickup truck tonneau cover you choose, take the time to properly install it to maximize performance. Keep your cargo protected and your truck running smoothly for years to come!