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Best Retractable Tonneau Covers for Your Truck

You have a truck because you most likely transport a lot of goods and other items constantly. When the weather is nice maybe you throw some dirtbikes in the back, or when it’s snowing the truck bed is where you store your snowboards for a day out. Protect your goods, belongings and truck bed from poor weather conditions with a truck bed tonneau cover. Whether you drive a pickup truck or a 4×4, having a safe and secure cover that’s easy to install is almost a necessity. Let’s look at what good retractable tonneau covers look like.

7 Top Retractable Tonneau Covers – Reviews & Comparison

1 – Retrax Pro MX Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Before you click the order button, remember to make sure you know the correct measurements for your truck. The Retrax tonneau cover comes in a few different sizes, with this one fitting a 5.5 ft truck bed. The sleek tonneau cover is among the most stylish retractable covers due to the matte or glossy finish. 

The best part is it’s easy to use, but doesn’t come at the cost of durability. The construction of the retractable truck bed cover is incredibly strong, made from industrial strength aluminum. It’s so strong and robust in fact that it can support loads of more than 500 pounds!

The retractable cover is easy to install, opens and closes smoothly, giving you easy bed access. We like the matte style since it’s more resistant to scratches. 

The ball bearings allow for smooth and effortless retraction, no snaps and springs required. The locking tonneau cover can stay in any position. Keep it completely open, or closed or anywhere in between. 

It’s great for 5th wheel towing and even improves your mileage up to 10%! 

The smooth and lustrous design will only add to the overall appearance of your truck, while protecting truck bed and the cargo. It also adds a lot of security to your truck with strong materials that seal your truck bed tight.

We saved the best part for last. Retrax offer a limited lifetime warranty that will have you and your new rolling tonneau cover covered (pun intended).

PROS:

  • Some soft retractable tonneau covers bulk up and take up lots of space. But this hard cover won’t.
  • Choose from a glossy or matte finish that is resistant to scratches.
  • Made from industrial strength aluminum, it can carry distributed loads of over 500 pounds!
  • The retractable truck bed cover is easy to install.
  • It locks in many positions.
  • It improves your mileage up to 10%!
  • The smooth design adds to your truck’s overall image.
  • Enjoy a limited lifetime warranty with your purchase.

CONS:

  • It might not seal completely and keep your belongings dry and safe from water.

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2 – Pace Edwards SWC3250 Switchblade Tonneau Cover

Similar to the Retrax design, the Pace Edwards Switchblade truck bed covers have a low profile design that secures your cargo without compromising storage space.

It installs easily and removes just as quickly. The Armortek deck’s aluminum construction is finished with a polymer coating, making this a very very tough cover. It also keeps precipitation and moisture at bay with the well sealed fit.

For a price that doesn’t exceed $900, we’d argue that the Pace Edwards Switchblade series is quite affordable. Plus it features most of the designs and features higher end models possess.

These retractable options are much better than the traditional hard roll up tonneau cover. It saves more space and has a more streamlined look.

It sits flush with your bed rails, and fits perfectly. Retract the Switchblade truck bed covers with the simple pull of the strap. It’s so easy in fact you can do it with a single hand, making it easy to load and unload your items.

PROS:

  • The price is quite affordable for something that usually costs closer to $1500.
  • The low profile design sits flush and saves storage space.
  • The Armortek aluminum is made of strong materials that form a perfect fit with your truck bed.
  • The robust cover is low maintenance and looks good on your truck.
  • You can make sure the tonneau cover fits your truck by using the their system to verify the measurements.
  • Open and close the cover with the simple pull of the strap. It’s so easy it can be done with one hand!
  • It has a pretty high rating on Amazon with nothing less than 3 stars.

CONS:

  • Make sure you verify the fit before your purchase.

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3 – Roll-N-Lock Locking Retractable M-Series Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Roll-n-lock is a large company that produces many truck bed tonneau covers fit for trucks. We’ve decided to take a look at their M-series, as it has been widely accepted as the best of the bunch.

They take strong industrial grade aluminum and a vinyl coating to create the heavy-duty cover. 

This roll and lock tonneau cover fits just as well as its competitors but takes up less space. The torsion spring responsible for the smooth retraction give a frictionless rotation that doesn’t snag. Just pull on the strap and watch it roll without catching.To save you trouble, it even comes with an auto-lock function that keeps your cargo safe inside from thieves and the weather as well.

What’s more, this tough tonneau cover is also very easy to install. Installation could be a bigger headache than actually working the tonneau cover, but Roll-n-lock makes the process easy. We suggest referring to installation videos rather than the manual.

It’s a tonneau cover that is low maintenance and nice to look at.

PROS:

  • It’s a good and seamless fit for most trucks.
  • One of the best options on the market.
  • The vinyl over aluminum construction of the aluminum slats produce a heavy-duty tonneau cover.
  • The footprint is smaller than its competitors.
  • One thing to rave about is the torsion spring which operates smoothly for snag-free retraction.
  • The auto-lock function keeps your belongings safe from thieves.
  • Installation is relatively easy if you refer to the videos.
  • The low-key design looks great with any truck.

CONS:

  • It costs quite a bit more than the previous suggestion.

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4 – GatorTrax Retractable Tonneau Truck Bed Cover

Make sure you check the product listing to make sure it fits your truck model. Gator Covers will list the model number the cover fits for your reference.

Gatortrax retractable tonneau covers come in matte or gloss design depending on personal preference. We always feel that matte is elegant and more scratch-resistant than the latter. 

The sealed ball bearing makes retraction smooth and simple and easy enough to be done by hand. You can also lock the truck bed cover in and position to protect your belongings from water and rain.

The lexan made (a strong and durable material) retractable tonneau truck bed cover is tough and low maintenance. The ball bearings need minimal upkeep and will not freeze. The tonneau cover can withstand temperatures ranging from 150 to over 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It’s made in America and America knows trucks. To stand by the quality of their product, Gatortrax provides a limited lifetime warranty with your purchase.

The subtly hidden lock will secure your tailgate and keep everything secure and safe from delinquents. 

Whether you are just going around town running errands or on a job, the sturdy material is also resistant to UV rays, moisture, and almost anything else you can throw at it.

PROS:

  • Choose between the glossy and matte finishes to suit your personal style.
  • The sealed ball bearing makes retraction easy for the lightweight tonneau cover.
  • The lexan polycarbonate can withstand low to high temperatures and any weather condition.
  • Made in America with a limited lifetime warranty.
  • Lock your belongings and keep everything safe.

CONS:

  • It may not last for over 2 years.
  • The cover snags after prolonged use.

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5 – Bak Industries Rollbak G2 Aluminum Hard Retractable Tonneau Bed Cover

Who doesn’t like improving their mileage? Does 10% sound good? How about 11? This retractable truck bed cover can improve your mileage up to 11%!

The sleek design will complement your truck, no matter what model you drive. 

The powder coated aluminum allows the retractable tonneau cover to be weather-resistant, durable, and everyday waterproof.

The installation will have no impact on your tailgate. Weighing at about 90 pounds, the truck bed cover is relatively lightweight and offers protection while not weighing down your truck bed.

The intermittent locking system allows you to lock the tonneau cover at every 12 inch mark.

The design doesn’t interfere with the standard design of your truck, so you can keep those bed rails and save yourself some headache. 

It glides up and down easily, 100% maintenance-free. There are fewer accessories and moving parts in this option than many others.

It comes assembled with factory settings, so all you need to do is pop it on. It almost turns your truck into an armored truck. Chances are, the tonneau cover will outlast your truck!

PROS:

  • The tonneau cover comes assembled.
  • The design is relatively maintenance-free.
  • Made from 100% powder coated aluminum, it’s built to outlast your truck!
  • It’s easy to install and won’t interfere with the tailgate or bed rails.
  • Lock the tonneau cover at any 12 inch mark.
  • Resistant to water and other weather conditions.
  • It improves your mileage up to 11%!

CONS:

  • There is no warranty if purchased through Amazon.
  • Might not last for years.

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6 – Syneticusa Aluminum Roll-Up Retractable Hard Tonneau Cover

It comes in two different sizes, so make sure you purchase the right one. The strong aluminum slats are powder coated in matte to create a hard truck bed cover that is not only scratch resistant, but immune to weather conditions and even leaves.

A bonus feature it has is the ability to be locked in any position, not in inch intervals. Keep it locked whichever position is convenient for you.

The mounting brackets and the bolts are included in the package, and the total installation time might take you up to 30 minutes.

It is built to last over the years but it won’t fade from exposure or need a lot of maintenance if any at all.

The sleek and streamlined look will be a great new addition to your truck. The aluminum tonneau cover has a rubber edge that runs around the border to ensure a perfect seal.

PROS:

  • Coming in two sizes, one for a short bed and one for the standard size.
  • Aluminum slats are strong and covered in a powder coated matte finish to give weather and scratch resistance.
  • Lock the tonneau cover in any position you see fit with the secure key-lock system.
  • You get the mounting brackets and bolts you need for installation in the package.
  • Built to last over the years without risk of fading and need for maintenance.
  • A rubber edge runs around the perimeter to ensure a tight seal.

CONS:

  • Installation instructions are hard to follow.
  • Might scratch after all.

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7 – RetraxONE XR Retractable Truck Bed Cover

For those wanting a truck bed cover that can hold sleds, snowboards, skis and bikes, then look into this option.

The RetraxONE XR has an integrated Trax Rail system for compatible accessories. With a nice and smooth matte finish, the top is resistant to scratches. Which comes in handy since loading these items on top is bound to scuff it up.

Hold even more cargo both on top of and under the tonneau cover. It’s compatible with most racks, but just make sure on their website.

The cargo loaded on top does not take away from the functionality of the cover itself. It can still be locked at any position and is still streamlined and and provides a firm seal.

Made in the USA, your purchase is protected by a limited lifetime warranty.

PROS:

  • The single sheet of polycarbonate slides open and closed easily with innovative engineering.
  • Still a fully functional cover, enjoy the perks of every other Retrax design.
  • Compatible with most racks.
  • Double the storage space both on top and under the tonneau cover.
  • The low-key design is fully sealed around the edges.
  • Features an integrated Trax Rail system.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

CONS:

  •  It might leak.

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Our Top Pick

Retrax Pro MX Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

For the best retractable tonneau cover, we have selected this one from Retrax.

This company provides the widest selection and has the highest ratings with the most trivial cons.

It opens and closes easily and locks in any position. This greatly enhances the convenience when you are loading heavy cargo.

The one piece polycarbonate is resistant to scratching while adding to your truck’s overall appearance.

It also improves your mileage and can be paired with the Trax Rail System.

It features a secure key-lock system that keeps suspicious people out of your truck bed and away from your valuables.

It stays flush to the rails and offers a reliable seal that makes this design weather resistant.

What to Look for When Buying the Best Retractable Tonneau Cover

Whether you haul heavy loads, want to protect your truck bed cover, or want to double up on storage space, a retractable tonneau cover is what you should look into. They differ from the foldable options, but we’ll get into that later. To ensure the quality of your purchase, there are a few factors to keep in mind. 

Security

A big purpose of purchasing a pricey retractable tonneau cover is for security. A lock and key is what’s important and hopefully a dependable seal all around. To make sure the tonneau cover gives you maximum security, you must guarantee the right fit. Do your research, know your truck, and purchase the right size to ensure there are no gaps. If you pay a little bit more, you may even get the automatic retracting feature that can be operated with a remote. It’s easy to use and gives you greater peace of mind knowing thieves can’t just pry open the lock.

Durability

What materials are used in making this truck armor? Most truck covers are made of aluminum, vinyl, polymer or lexan, and some are a blend of any of the two. These materials are tough, durable, and produce tonneau covers that are made to last. If they have a matte finish, they are more resistant to scratches. These materials also keep your belongings safe from the weather and keeps moisture out. Unfortunately, over a long period normal wear and tear will occur. Even though most truck bed covers do not require maintenance, it’s still important to store it properly.

Weather Resistance

Most if not all retractable truck tonneau covers are weather resistant and waterproof. Another main function of truck tonneau covers is to keep your belongings dry. However, no matter how weather resistant your cover is, it won’t matter if it doesn’t have a tight seal. So make sure the cover fits well!

Design

Most truck bed covers have a pretty uniform design. They are of a black color and either have a matte or glossy finish. A lot of manufacturers boast about how little space their covers take up and how thin and lightweight it is and easy to retract.  These are all great features to have.

Price

You get what you pay for, and that’s a rule all consumers must accept. Sure you maybe able to find a foldable option for a fraction of the price, but will you get the same security, convenience and peace of mind the retractable options offer? You’re looking at anywhere between 800-2000 dollars.

Warranty

We always stress searching for an option that comes with a warranty or guarantee. This is for your own protection and of course saves you a lot of effort if something goes wrong. A couple of our suggestions above come with limited lifetime warranties. It will do you good to look into the definition of “limited” in this case. Sure you lose out on some time contacting customer service and sending the product back, but that’s a lot better than throwing a thousand dollars down the drain.

Folding VS. Retractable Tonneau Covers

As promised, we’ll help you decide whether you should spend more bucks on the retractable options or if the foldable ones will suffice. There are downsides and advantages to both, it’s up to you to decide which works best.

Folding Tonneau Covers

You will mostly see these pop up as the “tri-fold” tonneau cover options on Amazon. They live up to their name by folding into three segments, allowing on-third, half or full access to your truck bed. Not to mention, they also come at a cheaper price too.

The tri-fold tonneau covers are for you if you don’t often need to use it. I know it sounds counterintuitive as we should only buy products that provide practicality, but folding the pieces back and pulling them back down can be hard work. Especially if the folding cover is heavy.

Another thing folding covers require you to do is to operate it with both hands. Sure if you bench heavy weights you can try to do it with one hand, but it’s easier done with two.

They are also easier to install but might not be made of as durable material as the retractable tonneau covers.

Retractable Tonneau Covers

You might be more familiar with the perks of the retractable options after having gone through this article. But let us refresh your mind.

The access to your truck bed is made easier with the retractable design. It can be operated with just one hand at no extra effort. 

Most options come with a strap and can be locked at any position giving you easy access to your truck bed. They also have even lower maintenance costs if any at all and are made of highly durable materials. The one downside I would say is the price. They are a lot pricier than the foldable versions.

So which one is the right choice for you? Start by thinking how often you will use it and for what purpose. Is convenience what’s most important to you or saving a few bucks? Okay, it’s not just a few bucks but you know what we are getting at. There isn’t really a “better” one or the “right” choice. It all depends on your individual needs.

Should I Get a Tonneau Cover with an Independant Lock or One That Works with the Tailgate?

Safety is a lot of people’s main concern, so the locking system comes into question. However, the security isn’t really dependant on the lock at all. Well, of course it does help, but what is the lock without a tonneau cover made of strong and durable materials? The thieves will get into your cargo easily even if you have a lock if the truck bed cover is flimsy.

Choose an integrated lock for non-locking tailgates and for ones that do lock, you might want to look for one that can’t open when the tailgate is up.

Conclusion 

For retractable tonneau covers, security and durability are the two words you should keep in mind. If budget is a limitation, there are plenty of options that fall between the two extremes that offer pretty good features and are made of robust materials. Once you have got that down, then look into the secondary features such as design, and scratch resistance.  Retractable tonneau covers are meant to add convenience to your life and enhance the overall look of your truck and not take away from it. Your best option is to search for one with a warranty or guarantee of at least a year to protect your purchase.

William

This article is written by William Johnson, the founder of RRD. William is passionate about radar detectors. His interest in reviewing and testing radar detectors from different brands started nearly 10 years ago, when his own radar detector then (a cheap and brand-less detector he bought online) failed to detect and radar gun nearby.
William

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