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> Choosing Between Hard and Soft Tonneau Covers

Choosing Between Hard and Soft Tonneau Covers

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One of the first decisions to make when shopping for a tonneau cover is whether you want a soft or a hard design. Each of these designs has its own distinct features and advantages. To help you choose the best cover for your needs, we’ll examine both designs and what you can expect from them in terms of weather protection, security, ease of use, and more.

Soft Covers

Image of a soft roll-up tonneau cover
A soft roll-up tonneau cover from Truxedo
Soft tonneau covers are usually made with a vinyl material assembled on a frame. Sometimes, a tougher canvas material is used instead. Regardless of the material, soft covers provide good protection from rain, dust, and melting snow, keeping the contents of your bed safe from the worst mother nature has to offer. In addition to weather protection, most soft covers require your tailgate to be opened in order to open the cover. This feature provides an additional level of security compared to leaving the bed exposed.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of soft tonneau cover design is affordability. Soft roll up covers such as the American Soft Rolling Tonneau Cover provide great protection and a sleek look at a very low price. The soft material also means these covers are lightweight, making them easy for anyone to operate.

Hard Covers

Image of a Gatortrax hard retractable tonneau cover
A hard retractable tonneau cover from Gatortrax
The most obvious advantage of a hard tonneau cover over a soft model is superior security. With a hard cover installed, your truck bed becomes more secure than your cab. On top of improved security, certain hard cover designs such as the one piece Undercover SE use an over-the-rail design that provides maximum water resistance.

Hard covers can be made with a wide variety of material including aluminum, fiberglass, and ABS plastic. These sturdy materials can withstand a great deal of weight, making them ideal for work trucks or trucks that will frequently see excessive snow loads. In addition to being sturdy, fiberglass and ABS plastic covers are also available painted to match your truck, creating a completed, custom look that soft covers can’t provide.

For a more detailed examination of different tonneau cover designs, check out our guide to picking which tonneau cover is right for you or contact our team of experts today. No matter what kind of bed protection your truck needs, we’ve got you covered.