A tonneau cover is an excellent addition to any pickup truck, providing protection, security, and style. Tinted tonneau covers offer additional benefits beyond their clear counterparts. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore why you may want to consider a tinted tonneau and the key advantages it provides.
What Is A Tonneau Cover?
Before diving into tinted tonneau covers, let’s review what a tonneau cover is. A tonneau cover sits over the truck bed, protecting the cargo area. There are three main types:
Hard Tonneau Covers
Hard covers are made from aluminum, fiberglass, or ABS plastic. They provide rigid protection and lock to secure cargo. Hard covers open by folding or retracting. Popular brands are BakFlip, Retrax, and UnderCover.
Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Covers
Soft roll-up covers are made of vinyl. They roll up to allow full bed access. Bows provide tension to keep the vinyl taut. Leading brands are Access, Extang, and Truxedo.
Tri-Fold Tonneau Covers
Tri-fold covers have 3 vinyl panels that accordion fold. The side panels fold first, then the rear panel folds over the cab. Gator and BakFlip offer tri-folds.
Why Choose A Tinted Tonneau Cover?
Now that we’ve reviewed tonneau cover basics, why choose a tinted cover? Here are the top reasons:
1. Protection From UV Rays
A tinted tonneau blocks UV rays, protecting cargo from sun damage and fading. The tint acts like sunscreen for your truck bed.
2. Temperature Control
Tinted covers reduce heat buildup in your truck bed, keeping cargo cool on hot sunny days. Think of it as built-in shade for your pickup.
The dark tint obscures valuables, providing additional security. Potential thieves can’t see what’s inside your truck as easily.
Tinted covers complement colored trucks, giving an integrated, customized look. Especially on black, white, or red trucks, a tinted cover accents the paintwork.
Quality tinted tonneaus are formulated to resist fading, cracking, and damage from UV exposure. They hold up better long-term.
6. Glare Reduction
Tinted covers cut down on glare and reflections on the tonneau surface. This makes loading and accessing the truck bed easier on bright days.
7. Resale Value
Similar to tinted car windows, tinted tonneaus project a premium, upgraded image for potential buyers. This can boost resale value down the road.
As you can see, there are some great reasons to choose a tinted tonneau. Next, let’s look at the different levels of tint available.
Tonneau Tint Options
Tonneau covers come in various tint shades, from light to dark. Consider how much tint you want:
Light tints reduce glare while allowing some visibility of cargo. They have a translucent, smoked look. Light tint works well if you need to access cargo frequently.
Medium tint strikingly reduces glare while obscuring cargo. It offers the best of both worlds for many truck owners – UV protection with reasonable visibility.
Dark or limo tint looks black, providing maximum heat protection, security, and style. Limo tint is great if appearance and privacy are top priorities. Downsides are very limited cargo visibility and interior light blockage.
Evaluate your needs and preferences to choose the ideal level of tint. Now let’s look at…
Tinted Tonneau Cover Materials
Tinted covers are available in different materials. Here are the pros and cons of each:
Tinted Vinyl Tonneaus
- Pros – inexpensive, easy to clean, rolls up for full bed access
- Cons – less durable, prone to punctures/tears, can stretch over time
Tinted Hard Folding Covers
- Pros – rigid protection, locks to secure cargo, folds open in sections
- Cons – heavier, costs more, can’t roll fully open
Tinted Retractable Covers
- Pros – hard panels roll up, leaving bed totally accessible
- Cons – higher cost, can collect debris in tracks, prone to jamming
Tinted Fiberglass Tonneaus
- Pros – very durable material, lightweight, easily painted
- Cons – higher upfront cost, can crack if impacted
Prioritize your needs like cost, durability, and bed access to select material. Next, let’s compare…
Brands Of Tinted Tonneau Covers
Many leading manufacturers offer tinted tonneau covers. Here are some top options:
Known for innovative hard folding covers, BakFlip tonneaus feature aircraft-grade aluminum panels. Their tinted models include the BakFlip MX4, FiberMax, and G2.
Truxedo specializes in soft vinyl roll-ups. Their tinted offerings include the TruXport, Lo Pro QT, and Sentry CT. Known for easy installation and operation.
LUND tonneaus feature rain diversion systems to keep cargo ultra-dry. Check out their tinted Genesis Elite roll-up and Genesis Elite tri-fold.
UnderCover builds rigid, lockable covers focused on security. The UnderCover Armor Flex and Elite LX are quality tinted options.
Leading maker of vinyl tonneaus, Extang offers choices like the solid Beam and folding Encore. Available in smoked tint.
This covers some top brands worth considering. Be sure to measure your truck bed size and research fitment before purchasing.
Now that we’ve explored the benefits, options, materials, and brands – let’s recap why you should get a tinted tonneau cover…
Top Reasons To Get A Tinted Tonneau Cover
- Protects cargo from sun damage and fading
- Reduces heat buildup in truck bed
- Provides extra security by obscuring valuables
- Matches and accents colored truck paintwork
- Formulated to resist UV damage and fading
- Cuts down on glare and reflections for easier bed access
- Projects a premium, stylish image boosting resale value
So in summary, tinted tonneau covers offer exceptional functionality and aesthetics. Consider going tinted for your next tonneau purchase and start reaping the advantages for your pickup truck. Whether you prioritize protection, security, durability or appearance, a tinted cover has you covered!
Frequently Asked Questions About Tinted Tonneau Covers
Still have some questions about tinted tonneau covers? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
Are tinted tonneaus legal?
Yes, tinted tonneaus are street legal in all 50 states. There are no laws restricting tonneau tint levels.
How difficult is installation?
Most tinted tonneaus can be installed at home with basic tools in under an hour. Carefully follow the instructions. Soft covers are easiest, while hard folding tonneaus are more involved.
Can I keep my bedliner with a tinted tonneau?
Absolutely. You can install a tinted tonneau right over an existing spray-in or drop-in plastic bedliner. Additional clamps may be needed.
How do I clean a tinted vinyl cover?
Use a mild soap and water solution with a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid harsh cleaners. Condition occasionally with vinyl protectant sprays.
Will a tinted tonneau cover fade over time?
Quality tinted tonneaus are treated to resist fading, but all covers degrade slowly from sun exposure. Fiberglass and aluminum panels last the longest.
Can I drive with a soft tinted cover open?
It’s not recommended to drive faster than 45 mph with a soft tonneau rolled up. High speeds can damage the material. Folding and retractable covers can drive safely open.
Will a tinted cover reduce my gas mileage?
Most tinted tonneaus improve mileage slightly (1-3 mpg) by reducing aerodynamic drag versus an open bed. Soft covers maximize MPG benefits. Hard covers look better but reduce efficiency a bit.
How much do tinted covers cost?
Entry-level tinted vinyl tonneaus start around $200. Mid-range tri-folds run $400-800. High-end hard folding covers are $800-1500 installed. Cost depends on material, features, and truck size.
Can I mount a toolbox with a tinted cover?
Yes, toolboxes can be installed over or under many tinted tonneaus. Ensure the toolbox legs rest properly on the bed rails, not on the cover itself.
Will my truck bed leak with a tinted tonneau?
Quality tinted covers are designed to seal against the tailgate and bed rails to prevent leaking in rain. Ensure the cover is properly installed, latched, and the drainage tubes are clear.
So in summary, tinted tonneau covers are legal, easy to install, customizable, and cost-effective truck upgrades that provide real functionality and style benefits. Considering going tinted for your next tonneau!