A tonneau cover is an excellent way to protect your truck bed and cargo, but can it protect against hail damage? This comprehensive guide examines tonneau covers and their ability to shield cargo from hail.
What is a tonneau cover and how does it protect cargo?
A tonneau cover is an accessory that goes over the truck bed, creating an enclosed space. Tonneau covers come in both soft and hard materials. They protect cargo by:
- Shielding cargo from sunlight, rain, snow, and other weather
- Keeping cargo out of sight and deterring theft
- Preventing cargo from blowing out on the highway
Tonneau covers secure the truck bed, allowing you to safely transport equipment, luggage, tools, and other cargo.
Do tonneau covers protect against hail?
Tonneau covers can provide some protection against hail, but the level of defense depends on the type of cover.
Soft tonneau covers are typically made of vinyl, canvas, or plastic. They roll or fold up for access to the bed. Soft covers mainly guard against light rain, debris, and prying eyes. They do not offer much defense against hail.
Hard tonneau covers are made from aluminum, fiberglass, or plastic. These rigid lids clamp directly to the bed sides. Hard covers provide more security and weather protection. However, extremely large hail could potentially dent the cover and damage cargo.
What size hail can a tonneau cover withstand?
There are no specific guarantees on the hail size a tonneau cover can withstand. However, here are some general guidelines:
- Soft covers may protect against small hail up to 1 inch diameter. Larger hail could rip through canvas or vinyl.
- Low profile hard covers may withstand 1-2 inch diameter hail.
- High profile hard covers with thicker aluminum or reinforced fiberglass construction may protect against 2+ inch hail.
The strength of a hard tonneau cover depends on its thickness and material quality. Custom covers made for harsh climates offer maximum hail resistance.
What is the best tonneau cover for hail protection
For the best hail protection, go with a durable, high-quality hard tonneau cover. Consider these factors:
- Aluminum covers with thick gauge aluminum panels offer superior protection. Aircraft grade aluminum offers maximum strength.
- Fiberglass covers with reinforced panels provide excellent protection. Multiple fiberglass layers are best.
- Solid 1-piece lids without joints or seams prevent gaps where hail could intrude.
- Low profile covers sit close to the bed, leaving less space for hail to bounce underneath.
- Weather seals keep the cover securely sealed to the bed, blocking gaps from wind, rain, and hail.
- Hail resistant warranty – Look for covers warrantied to withstand 1-2 inch hail.
While no truck bed cover can prevent hail damage entirely, the right tonneau cover can be an excellent line of defense against hail and other harsh weather. Protect your cargo by investing in a high-quality, durable hard tonneau built to stand up to the elements.