Are Hard Tonneau Covers Worth it?

Absolutely, hard tonneau covers are worth considering. These covers are the most durable and secure in the market. They are made of tough materials like fiberglass and aluminum that really stand up to rough weather and keep thieves away.

Hinged Tonneau Cover
One Piece Hard Tonneau Cover

Sure, they might cost a bit more at first compared to the softer ones, but for keeping your stuff safe and your truck running efficiently, they’re a smart choice.

I’ll explore the upsides and downsides. Let’s get started!

Hard tonneau covers are loaded with benefits. Let’s discover what they bring to the table.

Provide Durability and Enhanced Security

Hard truck bed covers are tough cookies. They’re made from rigid materials, which means they don’t give up easily to scratches or dings.

This makes them ideal for handling the stress of everyday use without bending or breaking. Due to their robust construction and quality materials, hard tonneau covers have a longer lifespan.

You can check my list on Top Tri-fold Hard Tonneau Covers here

Some of them also come with pretty solid locks, so it’s not easy for someone to just sneak into your truck bed.

Improve driving experience

BakFlip F1 on Tundra
BAKFlip F1 Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover.

Without a cover, truck bed is like a big open box that catches air as you drive, creates a drag making your truck work harder and burn more fuel.

Now with a hard tonneau cover, the wind flows over the cover reducing air turbulence. This means less drag and less work for your engine, translating to better gas mileage.

These hard tonneau covers aren’t just flat boards on top of your truck. They’re actually designed with smooth shapes and curves that help cut down on wind resistance and helps your truck run on the road.

Over time, this can add up to real savings at the pump.

You can learn more about impact of tonneau cover on fuel economy here.

Provide Protection from Elements

Hard tonneau covers protect the truck bed against all kinds of weather. Whether it’s raining, snowing, or super sunny, these covers keep your truck bed and everything in it safe and dry.

They are tightly sealed, so nothing unwanted gets in, like water or dust. These covers last long, even if they’re exposed under the UV rays or snow a lot, without getting damaged.

Plus, they help your truck bed stay in good shape, protecting it from getting rusty, scratched, or dented.

Improve Aesthetics

These covers give a robust and tough appearance to your truck. They are available in various finishing options, and some of them also come in different colors to complement your truck.

People like them because they add a personalized look to your truck. They definitely step up your truck’s game by giving it a rugged style and vibe.

Provide Hauling Flexibility

Hard covers enhance the utility of truck beds significantly. You can store your items inside the bed, keeping them secure and protected from the elements.

Diamondback HD rugged finish
Diamondback HD rugged finish. It’s a bi-fold hard cover.

They can carry weights ranging from 200 lbs to 600 lbs on top. Some of these covers are sturdy enough to support a person’s weight when standing on them, as long as they are designed to handle the extra load.

My personal favorite is Diamondback HD. It can carry up to 1600 lbs on top of it.

This is super handy for when you’re heading out camping or need to carry large tools for a job.

Plus, this added versatility can be a real game-changer for how you use your truck, making it even more useful than before.

Longer Warranties

These covers often come with longer warranties, with some even offering lifetime warranties.

This is a major advantage, as it reflects the manufacturer’s trust in the product’s durability and quality.

A lifetime warranty means you’re covered for any potential issues for as long as you own the cover, providing both security and value for your investment.

Keep in mind, while hard tonneau covers bring a lot to the table, they’re not without their quirks. You might not encounter all of these issues, but it’s wise to be aware that they could pop up.

Cost Factor

One of the biggest downsides is their cost. Hard tonneau covers are generally more expensive than their soft counterparts.

This higher price tag can be a significant factor for truck owners on a budget. The reasons for the higher price tag are rooted in their construction and the benefits they offer.

Usually, the more you pay for a cover, the better it is and the longer it will last.

Fitment Issues

You need to ensure that you’re buying the right size cover for your truck because these covers aren’t universal.

If you don’t choose the correct size, you could end up with issues like water leakage and noise, which will cost you time and money.

This is an important step that you can’t ignore.

Learn how to measure a truck bed for a tonneau cover in my dedicated post here

Height Restriction for Cargo

Due to their design, some hard tonneau covers may restrict your ability to carry taller items that don’t fit under the closed cover. If you often transport large or tall items, this could be a significant drawback​.

Furthermore, if you carry trailer hitches there’s a possibility some covers may not be compatible with them.

Daily Life Impact

  • Additional Weight: Heavier and bulkier design makes removal challenging, potentially limiting easy access to the truck bed for frequent use, especially for senior citizens or female truckers.
  • Fuel Consumption: Heavy tonneau covers can have negative impact on fuel efficiency.
  • Maintenance: Some hard covers may require more maintenance, especially if they have mechanical components like retractable systems. Repairs can also be more costly if these complex mechanisms fail​.

So make a smart choice. You can get some help from my post on Choosing the Right Tonneau Cover for Your Truck.

To Sum Up

Sure, hard tonneau covers might come with a few disadvantages, but when you stack them up against the advantages, the benefits definitely tip the scales.

Yes, they’re pricier, but think about it, they’re not the kind of covers that tear or wear out every other month. They’re a more cost-effective option.

If you’re all in for a rugged, tough-as-nails cover, just keep in mind there’s a slight trade-off with fuel economy.

It boils down to what you value more: that extra toughness and security, or squeezing a few more miles per gallon out of your fuel.