Truck bed covers are one of the most popular accessories for pickups. And that’s because truck bed covers offer an excellent blend of style, security, and function – they’re particularly good at protecting your truck bed and its contents.
Bed covers block out the elements and potential thieves, and they can even improve your fuel mileage. If you don’t have a truck bed cover, here are some of the best styles to consider.
Retractable Soft Cover
Retractable soft covers for truck beds are both flexible and extra secure. These covers are typically soft, meaning they’re made of tough fabrics that can be extended and secured over your truck bed when needed. When it’s not needed, the retractable soft cover can be removed and stored in a canister attached to the front of your truck bed.
Because it doesn’t need to be removed and reinstalled, this type of cover is great if you plan to use a bed cover only as needed. Most retractable covers can also be locked in place when in use, providing an added layer of security. There are many options and price points available, but prices for popular models typically range from around $300 to $800 according to eTrailer.com¹.
Foldable Hard or Soft Cover
Though it’s not quite as convenient as a retractable cover, a foldable truck bed cover offers several of the same benefits. Foldable covers can be folded up and stored in place when they aren’t being used. This makes it easy to pull out your cover when you need protection and quickly stow it away when you don’t.
Foldable covers come in two styles, hard or soft. Soft covers are typically made from a piece of durable vinyl or canvas stretched along an aluminum frame. This makes them light and easy to handle. Hard foldable covers may be made from aluminum, fiberglass, polypropylene, or other rigid materials. The cost of a foldable truck bed cover varies greatly, with Consumer Reports² noting options as low as $250 and as high as $1,500 depending on the material type.
Painted Hard Cover
Not everyone enjoys the look of a typical truck bed cover. If you’d like the protection of a bed cover without changing the look of your truck, a painted hard bed cover may be the perfect solution. Painted covers are typically made from fiberglass or ABS plastics and offer the same protection as other hard covers.
The difference is these covers are painted to match the color of your truck, providing utility and excellent security while blending seamlessly with your truck’s aesthetic. However, most covers must be removed in one piece to provide full bed access. Some covers provide limited access via front or butterfly-style hinges. Depending on the exact features and configuration you’d like, and if you’d like the paint matched and cover installed, the average price of a painted cover runs between $1,200 and $2,000 according to Dual Liner³.
Are you serious about maximizing the security and cargo space of your truck bed? Look no further than a camper shell. Also called a truck bed shell or a truck topper, a camper shell is a large cover that fits over your truck bed and turns it into a sealed enclosure. These covers are available in a wide range of sizes and styles that provide the ultimate in protection, security and storage space.
Camper shells are great for hauling cargo that absolutely must be protected from the elements. They make a great option for transporting pets as well. Truck bed shells are also popular for recreational use because they provide a comfortable and dry sleeping space. Camper shells are similar in cost to painted hard covers, with the price dependent on the material. Dual Liner⁴ estimates one can be had for between $1,200 and $2,000.
Protect Your Truck Bed With One of These Covers
There are plenty of benefits to installing a truck bed cover on your pickup. They offer great versatility and utility, protect your bed from harsh wear and tear, and keep your gear secure when you’re off the road. And the right cover can really add some style to your truck as well.
To find the perfect truck bed cover for your vehicle, you’ll want to do a little research. Check out different options that fit your make and model, and consider the different types of covers mentioned above. You can check with your local dealership for cover options, and you can also search online to compare pricing and find even better covers for less. Most importantly, you want to make sure the bed cover you pick fits your truck bed for certain security.
Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.