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Tri-Fold vs. Roll Up Tonneau Covers: What’s the Difference?

Tri-Fold vs. Roll Up Tonneau Covers: What’s the Difference?

If you own a pickup truck, you know that storing things in the vehicle’s bed can be a risk. Any items you put there are at risk of damage or theft when left in an open truck bed. Whether you’re faced with flying debris or bad weather, your items aren’t always safe in the back of your pickup truck. However, you can use a tonneau cover to help alleviate some of these issues and make your truck bed safer. Here’s what you need to know about tonneau covers.

What Is a Tonneau Cover?

A tonneau cover is an aftermarket modification you can add to your pickup truck that covers the bed of your truck. This cover can take many forms, but its main purpose is always to protect the items in the bed of your truck from both debris and prying eyes. These covers don’t keep items stationary, so you’ll still need to strap things down in your truck bed to prevent sliding.

Defining Tri-Fold Covers

There are two very popular versions of tonneau covers, and understanding the difference between them is important. Tri-fold covers can be both hard and soft covers that sit on top of your truck bed, are usually made with some metal, and feature a thin covering that seals and protects the truck bed. These covers fold in three parts so that you can still access the bed of your truck.

Defining Roll Up Covers

Roll up covers are a soft material that you use to cover the top of your truck bed. They normally sit on a frame, and the materials roll up the frame so that you can easily access your truck bed whenever you need. They also offer protection to your items and help shield your belongings from people who want a look at what’s in your truck.

The Differences Between the Two

Tri-fold covers and roll up covers accomplish similar functions, but they do so in very different ways. Understanding the differences between the two is important for anyone who wants to purchase a truck bed cover for their own vehicle. In the sections below, we will cover the pros and cons of both options.

The Benefits of Tri-Fold Covers

Tri-fold tonneau covers are durable options you can add to your vehicle. They are easy to fold so that you can access your trunk quickly and they possess many benefits you should know about.

Easy To Remove

The first thing you should know is that tri-fold truck bed tonneau covers are very easy to remove from the truck entirely. You just need to undo the clamps that hold them in place under the railing to remove them from the truck. This provides you with an easy way to access the full truck bed.

More Support

Due to the use of crossbars over the cover, the tri-fold cover provides extra support and durability that the roll up cover doesn’t. This means you can expect a bit more protection from these covers over roll up covers.

Extra Security

The additional durability of these covers makes it harder for people to break into your truck bed. You can even use a model with locks to keep your items safe while they sit in your truck.

Convenient Cleaning

Because these covers are easy to remove, you can easily get into every part when cleaning them; you can really get in there and scrub them, which makes maintenance much easier. Additionally, they hold their shape well, so you can maneuver them easily when cleaning these covers.

Easy Installation

One of the biggest benefits of these covers is that they are installed using simple clamps that hold onto the railings of your truck bed. This means you can clamp on the cover without the use of other tools, and it will only take a few minutes to put in place.

The Cons of Tri-Fold Covers

Although these covers have a lot of benefits, they also have a few drawbacks that you should consider before investing. While many people don’t mind these drawbacks and still purchase these covers for their benefits, it’s still important to know these factors before making a purchase.

More Expensive

Tri-fold tonneau covers are a bit more expensive than soft roll up covers. This is especially true when you consider the material costs and installation process, as the extra material takes more work to manufacture. However, the cost can be worth it for more security and protection for your truck bed.

More Difficult Storage Access

Although they’re simple to open and close, tri-fold covers can make it more difficult to access every part of your storage area. The covers can become an obstacle if you don’t fold them all the way down, but you can get around this with proper positioning.

Hard To Open or Close

These covers are also a lot harder to open and close than roll up covers, as you need to reach into your truck and undo the clamps to open the storage area. This isn’t a huge problem, but it does make a difference for some people.

The Benefits of Roll Up Covers

Roll up covers also have many benefits and are very useful for truck owners who want more protection for their vehicles. These benefits are slightly different than tri-fold covers, which is why understanding the differences between roll up covers and tri-fold tonneau covers is important for buyers.

Lightweight Option

These covers are lightweight and easy to install. It’s easy to move them around because they’re so light, and they allow you to store more in your truck bed because they have a smaller impact on your vehicle’s overall weight.

Low Profile Design

This benefit depends on the specific design of your cover, but most roll up covers are thin and utilize smaller frames. This means they block less of your view out the rear window and will look like a cohesive part of your truck instead of an add-on.

The Cons of Roll Up Covers

While these roll up covers are very useful, they also have drawbacks that can impact their usefulness in some cases.

A Lack of Hard Options

The main drawback of roll up covers is that they don’t have a hard option for their design. This means they don’t have the same strength and security as some harder covers, but they still have a sleeker design and can give better access to your storage.

Knowing which cover option you should pick isn’t a simple task. There isn’t one objective option that’s better than the rest. The right decision depends on what you want for your own vehicle and which cover seems to fit your needs the best.

Tri-Fold vs. Roll Up Tonneau Covers: What’s the Difference?