Trucks are not only a cool means of transportation, but it’s also a great way to move a good amount of things at a time. That being said, it’s most likely that protecting the contents of your truck bed is important to you.
Buying a tri-fold tonneau cover is the best way to ensure that your things are guarded. There are so many styles and brands out there that it can be hard to decide which tri-fold truck bed cover is right for you.
To help set you on the right path, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best tri-fold tonneau covers and a how-to guide on buying one for your truck!
Top 5 Best Tri-Fold Tonneau Covers
Tyger Auto T3
Best Cover For Dodge Ram
Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold
Best For Ford F-150
#1. Tyger Auto T3 – Best Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover For Silverado
Our first truck cover is the Tyger Auto T3. Tyger Auto creates quality, modern tri-fold tonneau covers that provide an extra layer of protection for your truck bed. The Tyger Auto T3 is a 5-star rated, dual-coated cover that comes pre-assembled and saves time with its simple installation.
It’s important to understand how to install the truck cover because it can be a little tricky coming right out of the box.
Before installing your tri-fold tonneau cover, make sure that your truck bed had been thoroughly cleaned.
If you’re worried about highway driving, the T3 comes equipped with pre-assembled crossbars that add durability and strength to your cover. With its stainless steel clamps, the Tyger Auto T3 holds up against heavy rains and keeps your truck bed dry.
Tyger Auto cares about you and your tri-fold tonneau cover. To make sure you’re covered, Tyger Auto offers a Limited Lifetime warranty.
I believe the Tyger Auto T3 is great if you’re looking for something that’s cheap and will last. I would recommend the T3 if you’re looking to stay low-key and save some money. Not only is it affordable, but the lightweight design will boost your fuel economy. That’ll save you some money in the long run.
#2. Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold – Best Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover For Dodge Ram
The Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold is the cover for you if you’re looking for something that’s strong and can maintain through tough weather conditions. Installing the Gator ETX takes no more than 10 minutes and you won’t need any tools.
The aluminum crossbars give it that added strength to withstand heavy rains and strong winds. If money is an important factor for you, the Gator ETX is one of the cheapest tri-fold truck covers on the market and still offers quality protection.
What’s great about the Gator ETX is it was manufactured in the USA and is backed with a 10-year warranty. It’s designed to add a supported level of protection for your cargo.
The sleek and durable design of the Gator ETX will give your truck a low-profile appearance that in turn provides more privacy and security.
Overall, I’d recommend the Gator ETX if you’re looking for something super affordable and easily installed. Despite its cheap price, the GatorETX is a tough, strong tri-fold tonneau cover that’ll fit your truck comfortably.
#3. MaxMate Tri-Fold – Best Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover For Ford F-150
The MaxMate Tri-Fold is made of marine grade vinyl and comes with steel clamps that make installation pretty easy. Because of its aluminum frames, the MaxMate Tri-Fold offers long-lasting durability for your truck bed.
It’s important to mention that because the aluminum frames are so heavy, the middle frame tends to buckle under a good amount of pressure.
The stainless steel clamps are sturdy and are a bit stronger to make sure your cover stays connected to your truck. MaxMate offers a 10-year warranty in that case that something happens to your tonneau cover.
Not to mention, the illustrious design of the MaxMate Tri-Fold creates an eye-catching appearance and its weatherproof material keeps your truck bed dry through tough storms.
To make sure your MaMate Tri-Fold stays water-resistant, keep your sealing surfaces clean with a silicone lubricant.
#4. Tonno Pro Tonno Fold – Best Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover for Dodge Rams
Next, we’re going to check out one of the top-rated truck bed covers around! The Tonno Fold 42-200 includes a double-sided vinyl that takes no time to assemble. With its strong panels, the Tonno is easy to fold and remove for heavier cargo.
The Tonno Pro Tonno Fold 42-200 package includes:
- Tonno Torch Detachable LED Bed Light that can be installed anywhere.
- Pro-Clean Tonneau Cover Cleaner that protects the tonneau from UV rays.
- SureSeal Tailgate Seal that keeps your truck bed dry.
- Pro Gloves that fit comfortably in the glove compartment.
The Tonno Fold 42-200 is the smart choice if you’re looking for something unique, stylish, and secure. In this world, you get what you pay for and that can definitely be said for the Tonno Pro.
If you’re not looking to spend a bunch of time dealing with your truck bed cover, the Tonno Fold 42-200 is easy to use and super easy to clean.
#5. BAKFlip G2 – Best Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover For Silverado
Last, but certainly not least, the BAKFlip G2 provides complete bed access whenever you need. What’s great about the G2 is, you don’t have to remove your truck cargo if you’re carrying a large load. The BAKFlip G2 is hassle free!
When you need to haul a large load, simply fold the cover open and flip it back against the cab – Manufacturer
The BAKFlip G2 offers superior protection against theft with its solid core, double-sided, aluminum panels.
Because of their easy-to-use, no-drill clamps, the BAKFlip G2 takes less than an hour to install.
Overall, I believe the BAKFlip G2 is the smartest choice as far as giving you complete truck bed access. It’s the best choice if you want something with more protection against theft.
To top it off, the G2 is one of the highest-ranking covers in America and you’re covered with a 2-year warranty. The BAKFlip G2 will have you standing apart from the crowd is its high-quality material is worth every penny.
Best Tri-Fold Tonneau Covers – Buyer’s Guide
Tri-fold truck bed covers offer a wide range of uses for your truck. It’s a decorative piece, security measure, and an added level of protection for your truck bed. Finding the right cover for you can be a bit overwhelming with all the name brands and styles there are.
This buyer’s guide will map out the different types of truck covers and how to choose the right tri-fold truck cover for you. We’ll also explore the helpful tips on maintaining your tri-fold tonneau cover so that you get the most out of your investment.
Styles And Types
Now, there are two styles that tri-fold tonneau covers come in: hard and soft. Choosing between the two is really based on your own preferences. They each have their ups and downs.
Hard Tonneau Covers
Hard truck bed covers are built to last and are more reliable. They’re perfect if you’re in need of something super secure. Though they’re more expensive, hard tonneau covers are better suited for protection against theft and pressing weather conditions.
Depending on which style you choose, your truck bed cover will either roll up or fold up. Neither is better than the other but it’s important to understand the differences between each.
- Hard roll-up covers give you full access to your bed without removing the cover.
- This will make moving larger loads easier.
- They’re usually made out of tough vinyl and strong aluminum frames.
- They add top-notch security for your truck bed with unique styling made to fit your truck.
- Hard fold-up tonneau covers are designed with panels that can be folded on top of one another.
- Most come equipped with fastening buckles so that you can leave your truck cover as open as you like.
- Hard fold-ups are stronger and slightly more expensive.
Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Covers
Much like the hard tonneau covers, soft covers add more protection against severe weather conditions and UV rays. They’re cost-friendly and the lightweight material will boost your fuel economy which will save you money in the long run.
- Soft roll-ups are best if you need something inexpensive but first-rate.
- There is the technology that will allow you to roll up your cover as much as you want with just a click of a button.
- Soft roll-up covers are extremely easy to use.
- The panels are built on metal frames that fold and unfold with ease.
- You can fold the cover-up against your rear window for complete bed access when you need it.
- There are fastening straps so that you can drive with your cover partially open.
Again, neither is better than the other. Your choice is dependant on your personal opinions and needs.
Measuring Your Truck Bed
Before you go out to buy a tri-fold tonneau cover, you need to accurately measure out your truck bed. This is super important because if you rush into buying a cover without proper measurements, you’ll get the wrong size and end up spending double to get a new one.
Tri-fold truck bed covers are meant to fit comfortably on your truck bed.
Be advised that most advertised lengths can differ by one or two inches. Don’t be afraid to triple-check your measurements.
Benefits Of Having A Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover
There’s no denying that tri-fold tonneau covers give your truck a sleek, new edge. Besides being visually appealing, tonneau covers offer many hidden features that every truck owner should know.
If you’re driving around with an open truck bed, the wind blows over the cab and into your bed against the tailgate. This causes a drag that forces you to press on the gas to maintain your speed.
The aerodynamic design of a tri-fold tonneau cover generates less air drag which could save you up to 20% in gas mileage.
I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying out of sight, out of mind. Having a tri-fold tonneau cover will ensure that your belongings remain private to the public. Some tri-fold truck bed covers even come with some form of the locking mechanism to give your truck maximum protection.
If you don’t have a garage, this may be useful, especially to you. Tri-fold tonneau covers are the perfect means of defense against harsh weather conditions such as snow, rain, hail, etc.
Also, tonneau covers will protect your things from the harmful effects of UV rays.
Easy to use
As we mentioned before, tri-fold tonneau covers will either fold or roll up and working them can be pretty simple. They don’t take that long to set up or take down so you won’t have to worry about spending too much time fidgeting with them.
Potential Drawbacks Of Buying A Tonneau Cover
Like anything, there are some drawbacks to owning a tri-fold truck bed cover. It’s important that you understand them before you decide if you want one or not.
The cost of a tri-fold tonneau cover can be one of the biggest drawbacks of getting one. Price can, of course, vary by brand but most tonneau covers can range anywhere from $200 to $1000.
Make sure you do thorough research on the different brands so that you get the most for your money.
Installing a tri-fold tonneau cover can seem like a scary thing to do if you’re not used to it. Calling a professional to help install your cover could be the best choice. There are some truck covers that require a drill.
If that’s not something you’re into, then look into tri-fold tonneau covers that come equipped with clamps.
Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover Maitenance
Cleaning and maintaining your tri-fold truck bed cover is a sure way to get the most out of your purchase. Most truck owners tend to neglect this part of having a truck cover. Mostly because cleaning one takes time and can seem tedious after a while.
Trust me when I say that cleaning your tri-fold tonneau cover is very important and will preserve its quality material.
Soap and water
You can wash your tri-fold truck bed covers with warm water and soap. Make sure that you thoroughly rinse away all of the soap so it doesn’t build up and damage the surface.
Your tonneau cover can be washed by hand or you can take it through the car wash.
There are special vinyl protectants that are specifically designed to clean tri-fold tonneau covers. These protectants will clean out the dirt and grime and leave your truck cover with a great shine.
Questions To Ask Yourself When Buying A Tonneau Cover
Before you buy a tri-fold truck bed cover, you should create a mental list of things that will guide you towards buying the best cover for you.
How much are you willing to spend?
Because tri-fold tonneau covers can be a little bit pricey, you should create a budget for yourself so you don’t break the bank. Tonneau covers can cost between $200-$1000.
Already know what you’re willing to spend before you go galavanting into the world of truck bed covers.
Why do you want the tonneau cover?
Ask yourself, what’s your purpose in buying a tri-fold tonneau cover? Are you looking for something with more security? Or do you want something that’ll make your truck stand out?
Figuring this out will help you narrow down your choices and pick the tri-fold tonneau cover best suited to fit your needs.
How are you going to install your tonneau cover?
Some tri-fold tonneau covers require drilling and can need an extra pair of hands to set up. Other covers have stainless steel or plastic clamps that will keep your truck bed cover in place.
That being said, tonneau covers can take as little as 10 minutes to set up. Knowing how you’re going to install your cover will make choosing one a little easier.
Do you need full access to your truck bed?
If you use your truck bed often, then you’ll want something that can be removed easily or can roll up comfortably against the back window. Being aware of this will help you decide between choosing a roll-up or a fold-up cover.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I know if a tri-fold tonneau cover will fit my truck?
To know if your truck can hold a tonneau cover, you need to familiarize yourself with what type of truck you have. This would mean knowing the make and model and what type of cab you have. Next, you’ll need to measure your truck bed.
Tri-fold tonneau covers are specifically made to adequately fit your truck bed. Getting familiar with your truck will make choosing a truck cover a whole lot easier.
What are the different ways to open and close a tonneau cover?
There are five different types of truck bed covers that differ in the way that they open and close.: roll-up, fold up, hinged, snap, and retractable.
Roll-up: Roll-up tonneau covers, as we previously discussed, are one of the most common and cheaper ways to open your cover. All you need to do is roll your cover to the back of your cab. Easy.
Fold up: As well, fold-up tonneau covers are more common and come with three panels that you fold to the back of your cab. Some fold-up covers give you complete access to your truck bed, others do not.
Hinged: Hinged tonneau covers open like hoods and DO NOT give you 100% access to your truck bed. You might want to avoid these covers if you tend to move large cargo that requires full bed access.
Snap: This is one of the cheapest options and I can understand why. You have to walk all the way around your truck to undo every button and then fold your cover and stick it somewhere. It takes forever! But they’re cheap so that could be a plus if you’re on a tight budget.
Retractable: Retractable tonneau covers are more expensive and are one of the quickest ways to open and close. They give you 100% bed access and some are even electronic so you can use a remote instead of your hands.
What are tonneau covers made out of?
Hard tonneau covers are typically made out of aluminum, hard plastic, or fiberglass. Soft tonneau covers are made out of vinyl ( most common) or cloth.
How long does it take to install a tri-fold tonneau cover?
Most tri-fold tonneau covers can be pretty simple and easy to install. Depending on if your tri-fold tonneau covers come with clamps or require drilling will determine how much time it’ll take to be installed.
How much security do tri-fold tonneau covers really provide?
ALL tri-fold tonneau covers, in general, add more protection for the belongings in your truck bed. Typically, leaving your truck bed open creates an easy opportunity for anyone to take your stuff. Covering won’t give anyone the urge to try and steal anything.
In case anyone is still tempted, hardcover tonneaus will do a better job at keeping someone out. If you want something even more top of the line, then you’ll want to invest in a retractable tonneau cover with an electronic lock.
Where does the name tonneau cover come from?
Honestly, no one knows. It’s like asking why tomb, bomb, and comb don’t sound alike. It just is what it is.
Can I add accessories to my tri-fold tonneau cover?
It depends on what type of tri-fold tonneau cover you get. Most tri-fold tonneau covers and can be modified to carry certain accessories such as bike rails or cargo racks. Installing these accessories can be a pretty easy thing to do.
You should keep in mind that if you cut or drill into your tonneau, you’ll run the risk of voiding your warranty. Be certain that modifying your tri-fold tonneau cover is something you want to do before you actually do it.
How do I know if I’m getting my money’s worth from my tri-fold truck bed covers?
Tonneau covers can range from $200 to $1000. However, if you do some digging around, or refer to my list of tonneau covers above, you’ll find some pretty high-quality covers at affordable prices.
Knowing the features that make a tonneau cover stand apart from the rest will help you know if you’re being ripped off or not. Make sure that you research tonneau covers thoroughly before buying one. That way you’ll go in knowing exactly what you’re looking for and what to stay away from.
How long do truck bed covers last?
The life of a tri-fold tonneau cover can vary depending on the company. Most name brands offer a warranty that’ll cover you in case anything happens to your cover. When you go to look at a tonneau cover, make sure you check out how good the warranty is so you make the wisest decision.
I thank you guys for sticking with me this far and I hope I’ve been able to teach you something about a thing or two.
Adding a tonneau cover to your truck is a great way to give it a little fashion and protection. There are so many brands and styles that it can be hard to keep up with.
Before doing my own research, I had no idea how much thought and research goes into finding a tonneau cover. There may be 1,000 people out there who like this certain tonneau cover but it doesn’t mean that’s the cover for you.
After reading this article, hopefully, you feel more prepared to buy a tonneau cover tailored to your specific needs.
Though all 5 of the tonneau covers we went through are pretty great, I think I would personally recommend buying the Tyger Auto T3 for the following reasons:
- It’s affordable and it gets the job done. You get more than what you pay for with this cover.
- Through all of my research, I found that the T3 is one of the most talked-about tonneau covers around.
- It’s sturdy and reliable and takes 2 seconds to install.
But that’s only my opinion. I think you’re well-equipped now to go out and find the best tri-fold tonneau cover for YOU!