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Should You Buy a Hard Retractable Tonneau Cover or a Soft Tonneau?

So you've finally decided to take your truck to the next level and buy a tonneau cover. Question is....what type of tonneau cover should you buy? There are a number of options and price ranges, so it's important to find a tonneau that meets your needs while staying within budget. Whether you want a simple soft tonneau that you can use occasionally or a more innovative retractable tonneau cover for permanent use, compare all the options to see what works best for you.

There are two basic types of tonneau covers....hard and soft. Hard covers usually offer more security and style, but do lack the versatility of soft covers. Soft tonneaus come in several styles: roll-up, snap, snapless, hinging and tri-folding. The least expensive are the snap and snapless tonneaus with a vinyl frame. These offer an inexpensive solution in nice weather or for occasional use, but the snapless have a J-lip style attachment that is difficult to attach during icy/snowy weather. These can also become torn easily, so you might not save money in long run if you need a permanent solution. Roll-up soft tonneaus are easier to install and have a tighter fit. They also provide more security because they can be locked down.

Tri-folding soft tonneaus have sections that are linked and fold over in a tri-fold method. These are easy to install and can be removed in just seconds if you need to load a large-sized piece of cargo. A hinging soft tonneau works similar to a car trunk in that it raises and settles on a hinge with shocks. A disadvantage is a hinged cover limits the amount of space in height when loading or unloading cargo.

A Look at Hard Tonneau Covers

Hard tonneaus offer rigidity and are usually made of aluminum, abs plastic (molded) or fiberglass. These come in three basic designs: folding, hinging or retractable tonneau covers. Hard folding covers are usually made with vinyl covering abs material and are stored behind the cab when folded. Folding covers may be tri-fold or have multiple panels. Hinging hard tonneaus are usually made of abs plastic or fiberglass and operate with a hinge similar to the hinged soft tonneau.

Hard retractable tonneau covers are usually made of solid aluminum or aluminum with vinyl laminate. They retract into a canister that's mounted at the front area of the truck bed, leaving the entire bed open for loading and unloading cargo. These come in a variety of styles and many feature remote control with a security lock. Hard retractable tonneaus provide the ultimate security and protection from theft and weather elements while enhancing the look of your truck. Many brand name retractable tonneaus are surprisingly easy to install and are flush with your truck bed once installed.

Overall, soft tonneaus are the more affordable option if you're on a very strict budget, but soft covers still lack the rigidity of hard tonneaus. Hard retractable tonneaus from top brand companies such as Pace Edwards provide the most for your money if you want a premier, permanent truck bed cover solution that offers both style and security. Pace Edwards creates covers such as the Jackrabbit, Bedlocker and Full Metal Jackrabbit. You can compare these and other covers online to find that perfect match for your truck.

  • Posted on   01/14/10 at 06:00:00 AM   by Ron  | 
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