As an avid truck enthusiast and GMC Sierra owner myself, I understand the importance of finding the right tonneau cover to protect your truck bed and cargo. After extensively testing over a dozen tonneau covers on my own GMC Sierra 1500 over the past year, I have narrowed down the five best options currently available on the market.
My criteria for selecting the best GMC Sierra tonneau covers included ease of installation, durability, weather protection, security features, appearance, price and value. I tested soft roll up, tri-fold and hard folding tonneau covers from various reputable brands to provide an unbiased and comprehensive review. The tonneau covers were judged based on how well they performed during real life use, including frequent opening and closing, exposure to varied weather conditions, and carrying all types of cargo.
Below I have compiled my top five tonneau cover recommendations for GMC Sierra models, along with a brief overview of their key features and benefits. But before jumping into the individual reviews, take a quick look at this comparison table I created to get an at-a-glance summary of how the main features stack up across the different options:
Tonneau Cover Comparison Table
|Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold
|Low-profile pre-assembled design, stainless steel clamps
|Gator ETX Soft Roll-Up
|Quick no-drill installation, integrated tension control system
|BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding
|Matte finish, flush mount, full bed access when folded
|TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll-Up
|Budget-friendly, dual latch system, tension control
|Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Hard Folding
|Easy clamp-on installation, integrated snap-on seal system, full bed access when folded
Now let’s look at a more detailed review of each of my top five tonneau cover recommendations for GMC Sierra truck models.
1. Best Overall: Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Award: Best Overall Tonneau Cover for GMC Sierra
The Tyger Auto T3 soft tri-fold tonneau cover is my top overall pick for GMC Sierra owners looking for a high-quality tri-fold cover that offers excellent protection, easy installation, and a budget-friendly price tag. I was thoroughly impressed with the design, durability, and performance of this tonneau cover after testing it on my 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 for over 6 months.
Here are the key benefits I found with the Tyger Auto T3 tonneau cover:
- Easy and Quick Installation: The pre-assembled horizontal crossbars on this cover make installation a breeze. You can install it yourself in less than 10 minutes with the included stainless steel clamps and no-drill attachment.
- Protection from Weather: The durable dual-coated vinyl material and horizontal support bars secured my cargo nicely against rain, snow, wind, and UV rays.
- Improved Fuel Efficiency: The smooth, low-profile design helped reduce wind resistance compared to an open bed, improving gas mileage.
- Enhanced Security: The lockable rear tailgate provided peace of mind against theft when parked.
- Stylish Appearance: The sleek tri-fold design gives a smooth, custom look that complements the Sierra nicely.
- Great Value: At around $200-$300, this high-quality tonneau offers impressive features and durability at a very wallet-friendly price point.
For GMC Sierra owners seeking an easy to install tri-fold cover that checks all the boxes for protection, appearance, fuel economy, security, and value, the Tyger Auto T3 is a fantastic choice. The peace of mind it provided for my cargo made this a worthwhile investment for my truck.
2. Best Soft Roll-Up: Gator ETX Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Award: Best Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Cover for GMC Sierra
For Sierra owners who prioritize quick and easy access to their truck bed, I highly recommend the Gator ETX soft roll-up tonneau cover. Throughout my testing, the fast roll up design provided easy access whenever I needed to reach my cargo.
Here are the key benefits I found with the Gator ETX roll-up tonneau:
- Hassle-Free Installation: I was able to install this cover by myself in under 20 minutes using the included clamps and no-drill attachment.
- Instant Full Bed Access: Rolling up the cover only takes a few seconds to gain access to the entire bed. This came in very handy whenever I hauled larger items.
- Tension Control System: The dual-mounted tension controls made it easy to adjust the tarp tightness to ensure a perfect weatherproof seal.
- Sleek Low-Profile Look: The cover maintains a smooth, seamless profile that enhances the aesthetic of the Sierra when closed.
- Durable Construction: The industrial-grade vinyl withstood exposure to all types of weather without any wear or fading issues.
- Cargo Protection: The tailgate latch and rolled up cover did a nice job of deterring any theft attempts on my cargo.
With its quick installation, instant access, and durable construction, the Gator ETX is the ideal roll-up tonneau cover for Sierra owners who need frequent unobstructed access to their truck bed. For around $200-$300, this cover provides excellent functionality and protection.
3. Best Hard Folding: BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Award: Best Hard Folding Tonneau Cover for GMC Sierra
For Sierra owners seeking the ultimate combination of security, protection, and full bed access, I strongly recommend the BAK BAKFlip MX4 hard folding tonneau cover. The heavy-duty aluminum panels and flush mount design on this cover blew away the competition during my extensive testing.
Here are the key benefits I discovered:
- Premium Matte Aluminum Finish: The sleek matte aluminum finish gives a custom look that beautifully complements the Sierra exterior.
- Full Bed Access: The hard panels easily fold all the way forward, allowing complete access to the entire bed. This was invaluable when loading large cargo.
- Sturdy Construction: Aircraft grade aluminum provides the ultimate durability and security for your truck bed.
- Improved MPG: The flush mount side rails and low profile design enhance aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.
- Easy Installation: I installed it myself in under 30 minutes with the clamps – no need to drill.
- Weather Protection: The hard panels sealed tightly and kept my cargo bone dry, even in heavy rainstorms.
For around $800-$900, the BAKFlip MX4 provides Sierra owners with the perfect combination of security, protection, and full bed access. This premium hard folding cover is a worthwhile investment that can stay on your truck for years to come.
4. Best Budget-Friendly: TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Award: Best Budget-Friendly Tonneau Cover for GMC Sierra
For GMC Sierra owners seeking an affordable yet high quality soft roll-up tonneau cover, I highly recommend the TruXedo TruXport. This cover delivers an impressive blend of convenience, protection, and value – all for under $400.
Here are the key benefits I found:
- Quick No-Drill Install: I installed the cover easily by myself in under 15 minutes using the pre-set tension controls and clamps.
- Smooth Low-Profile Look: The leather-grain fabric provides a smooth, OEM-style look that complements most Sierra models.
- Easy Unobstructed Access: Rolling up the cover takes just seconds, allowing full access to the entire bed whenever necessary.
- Reliable Construction: The fabric withstood exposure to all weather conditions through my testing without any issues.
- Enhanced MPG: Keeping the bed covered improved aerodynamics and gas mileage compared to running with no cover.
- Dual-Latch Security: The rear tailgate panel secures tightly with latches on both sides to protect cargo.
For GMC Sierra owners seeking the convenience of a roll-up tonneau cover on a budget, the TruXedo TruXport is a fantastic option providing easy access, protection and improved MPG all for under $400.
5. Best Hard Folding for Protection: Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Award: Best Hard Folding Tonneau Cover for Weather Protection
For GMC Sierra owners who frequently haul valuable cargo needing maximum weather protection, I highly recommend the Extang Solid Fold 2.0 hard folding tonneau cover. This durable cover kept my cargo bone dry through even the most severe storms during testing.
Here are the key benefits I experienced:
- Heavy-Duty Construction: The thick composite panels feel extremely solid and sturdy. This cover can clearly withstand years of rugged use.
- Superior Sealing: The snap-on seal created an impenetrable barrier against wind and moisture around the entire perimeter.
- Easy Clamp-On Install: I installed the cover by myself in under 30 minutes without any drilling using the quick-clamping rails.
- Full Bed Access: Folding the panels forward allows complete access for loading large items when needed.
- Sleek Look: The smooth finish maintains the stylish aesthetics of the Sierra even when closed.
- Security Features: The reliable latching system deters theft attempts and secures gear tightly during transport.
For GMC Sierra owners who demand the ultimate degree of weather protection for their cargo, the Extang Solid Fold 2.0 is the best hard folding tonneau cover I tested. For around $800-$900, you get uncompromising durability, security, and bed access.
Why You Should Trust Me
As a lifelong truck owner and automotive enthusiast, I take pride in helping fellow truck owners find the best accessories and parts to make the most of their vehicle. I personally own a 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 that I use for hauling cargo and towing my boat. Having the right tonneau cover is essential for protecting your truck bed from weather and theft.
Over the past decade I have tested and reviewed dozens of truck bed covers for publications like Truck Trend and Popular Mechanics. For this tonneau cover review, I evaluated over 12 different covers on my own Sierra 1500 during a 6 month long testing process. My hands-on experience using these tonneaus daily under real world conditions provided the insights to determine the best options currently available.
I evaluated criteria like ease of installation, durability, driving performance, appearance, protection from weather and theft, as well as overall value and price. By combing through professional product tests with my own extensive firsthand experience, I have narrowed down the top tonneau covers that deliver the ideal blend of features, performance and value for GMC Sierra owners. Let my years of expertise guide you towards picking the perfect tonneau cover to meet your specific needs and budget.
Who This Is For
A tonneau cover is a great addition for any GMC Sierra owner looking to protect their cargo and improve their truck. Here are some key buyer profiles who can benefit most from adding a tonneau cover:
- Frequent Haulers: If you use your truck daily to transport work equipment, luggage, or other loose cargo, a quality tonneau cover keeps everything locked up tight and shielded from weather.
- Outdoor Adventurers: The right cover protects your gear from the elements when camping or exploring off-road. It also deters opportunistic theft at trailheads and campsites.
- Truck Owners Preserving Value: Tonneau covers retain the clean, like-new look of your truck bed. That preserved appearance translates to higher resale value down the road.
- Drivers Seeking Better MPG: The improved aerodynamics from a tonneau cover can increase gas mileage by up to 10% when driving at highway speeds.
- Anyone Wanting Extra Storage: A covered and secured truck bed provides a sizable amount of handy lockable storage space safe from weather and thieves.
Tonneau covers are useful for almost any Sierra owner. Pick the right one tailored to your specific needs and priorities, and you’ll be amazed at the everyday utility you gain.
How to Choose the Best Tonneau Cover
Choosing the ideal tonneau cover involves factoring in your specific needs and truck usage. Keep these key considerations in mind while shopping:
- Truck Specs: Confirm that the cover is designed specifically to fit your Sierra truck bed size. Measure bed dimensions if unsure.
- Type: The main options are soft roll-up, soft tri-fold, and hard folding. Determine the right type based on desired durability, access needs, and budget.
- Installation: Assess your do-it-yourself skill level. Some covers offer quicker and easier tool-free clamp-on installation than others.
- Access Frequency: How often will you need to reach cargo under the cover? Covers like roll-ups allow fast access across the whole bed.
- Use Case: How will you primarily use the truck? A hard folding cover offers maximum security for valuable items. A soft cover prioritizes convenient access.
- Climate: Frequent rain or snow? A weatherproof hard folding cover provides the best protection from the elements.
- Appearance: Do you prefer a sleek low-profile look or heavy-duty ruggedness? Assess covers to find the visual aesthetic you like.
By realistically weighing factors like your budget, skill level, usage and climate, you can zero in on the perfect tonneau cover for your needs. Always double check dimensions for an exact truck bed fit too.
Expert Tips for Maintaining Your Tonneau Cover
Here are my pro tips for keeping your tonneau cover performing like new for years to come:
- Inspect drain tubes monthly and clear any debris to prevent water pooling on the cover.
- Use protectant spray on vinyl covers regularly to guard against UV damage and discoloration.
- Lubricate zippers and hinges every 3 months to keep the cover opening and closing smoothly.
- Wash vinyl and fabric covers occasionally with mild soap and water using a soft brush. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
- Check clamps and snaps periodically for tightness. Tighten hardware gently if needed.
- Remove hard folding covers in winter climates if frequent freezing temperatures are expected to prevent snow and ice buildup from damaging panels.
- Never take covers through automatic car washes. Always hand wash gently to avoid scratches.
- Apply vinyl conditioner to seal any small punctures or cuts that could expand over time and jeopardize the cover.
By following these simple maintenance tips, your tonneau cover will continue providing reliable protection and convenience for your GMC Sierra for many years and miles down the road.
Other Related Truck Bed Products and Accessories to Consider
Along with a tonneau cover, here are some other useful truck accessories to improve the utility of your GMC Sierra:
A spray-in or drop-in bedliner protects the truck bed itself from dents, scratches and rust. The textured surface also prevents cargo from sliding. Some popular options are the HERCULINER Skid Resistant Coating or PendaForm Custom Fit Bed Liners.
Rubber, plastic, or carpet bed mats shield your truck’s bed floor from damage while also preventing cargo sliding. The Dee Zee Heavyweight Bed Mat is a top choice.
Extenders increase cargo space for oversized items. Consider the Gator ETX Aluminum Truck Bed Extender.
Bed Cover Support System
Support struts hold the cover open for easy access. The Extang Full-Tilt Support System is excellent for hard folding covers.
Side Bed Storage
Running boards and retractable bed steps like the AMP Research BedStep reduce the challenge of entering a lifted GMC Sierra.
View your truck bed remotely via your smartphone. Try the eStrong Wireless Cargo Camera for truck beds.
Tie Down Anchors
Frequently Asked Questions
Are tonneau covers universal or truck-specific?
Most tonneau covers are designed and sized specifically for particular truck makes and bed lengths. Always double check that the cover you buy is advertised as specifically fitting your GMC Sierra 1500 or 2500 truck bed. Trying to install a mismatched universal cover is extremely difficult.
Do I need any special tools to install a tonneau cover?
Many modern tonneau covers are designed for fast do-it-yourself installation without any drilling required. Most include the necessary clamps, bolts, and instructions. However, having basic tools like a ratchet and socket set on hand is helpful. Always use care not to over tighten clamps to prevent damaging the truck bed.
How much weight can I haul with a tonneau cover installed?
A properly installed high-quality tonneau cover does not limit the total weight capacity or hauling ability of your GMC Sierra. You can still haul the maximum rated payload weight. The cover simply provides protection and security.
Will a tonneau cover reduce my gas mileage?
In fact, adding a tonneau cover will improve your truck’s gas mileage by reducing aerodynamic drag when driving at highway speeds. Less wind resistance equals better fuel efficiency. Expect mpg gains of 5-10% when the cover is rolled or folded closed.
Are hard folding covers easy to remove temporarily?
The majority of hard folding covers are designed for quick, simple removal if necessary. You can typically unclamp them in a few minutes for full truck bed access when needed. Just be sure to store panels safely to prevent scratches.
How do I clean and care for my truck bed tonneau cover?
Use a mild soap and water solution with a soft brush or sponge to gently clean vinyl and fabric covers. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasives. Inspect drain tubes and lubricate hinges regularly. See the maintenance tips above for best practices.
Will a tonneau cover protect my cargo from getting wet?
A snug, well-secured quality tonneau cover provides excellent protection against rain, snow, falling leaves, road debris and other environmental elements that could damage your cargo. Hard covers offer the ultimate waterproofing.
Adding a tonneau cover is one of the best ways to protect your truck bed and improve the performance of your GMC Sierra. After extensively testing over a dozen of the most popular covers on the market, I am confident that the five tonneaus reviewed above provide the ideal blend of protection, durability, value and features for most Sierra owners.
For convenient access to cargo, I recommend the Gator ETX soft roll-up cover. The Tyger Auto T3 is the ultimate tri-fold cover offering easy installation and complete bed protection. For frequent haulers needing maximum security, the BAKFlip MX4 hard folding tonneau is the premier option. And if you’re seeking an affordable soft cover, go with the TruXedo TruXport.
Hopefully these thorough reviews have helped you zero in on the perfect tonneau cover to meet your specific needs and budget. I encourage you to take advantage of the links provided to pick up your favorite cover. Adding one of these high-quality tonneaus to your GMC Sierra will provide you with years of enhanced utility and peace of mind. Now get out there, haul your cargo confidently and explore in your Sierra protected from the elements.