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What is the difference between the hard and the soft tonneau cover?

What is the difference between the hard  and the soft tonneau cover?

Tonneau covers are very useful for protecting your items from the elements and theft when stored in your truck bed. Deciding between a soft or hard cover is the first step in finding the right tonneau cover. Hard and soft tonneau covers are two primary types of truck bed covers, each with distinct characteristics, materials, and functionalities. To help you decide between a hard or soft tonneau cover, we'll explore more of the differences and benefits of each type of cover.

Hard Tonneau Covers

  • Material:Hard bed covers are the most popular type of covers for most truck owners, they're built with strong materials like aluminum, hard plastic, fiberglass, etc. They feature a tough, rigid design that helps to keep your bed protected.
  • Ease of use:While some hard tonneau covers offer folding or retractable designs for partial or full bed access, others may need to be removed completely for full truck bed access.  Hard tonneau covers are much heavier and sturdier. This means it may be more difficult to lift the cover and access your truck bed.

Hard tonneau cover

  • Security:Hard tonneau covers are a theft deterrent because they keep stored cargo covered and hidden. They are more difficult to break into than soft covers, deterring theft and keeping cargo secure.
  • Durability:Hard tonneau covers are constructed with strong panels designed to withstand the elements and provide maximum protection for your cargo. They are waterproof, providing excellent protection from the elements and unwanted access. They can withstand harsh weather conditions, UV exposure, and are less prone to wear and tear than soft covers.
  • Visual appearance:Hard tonneau covers are made of tougher and thicker plastics and metals, giving them a much more rigid shape and appearance. They often provide a sleek and streamlined appearance that contributes to the overall look of the truck. Some hard tonneau covers are paintable, allowing for color customization to match the truck's exterior.
  • Weight and weight limit:Hard tonneau covers use heavy fiberglass or plastic panels, so they can be bulky and weigh down a truck. A hard cover means you can carry less overall. It adds more weight to the vehicle and means you can put less in the truck bed before reaching its maximum weight limit.
  • Cost: Hard tonneau covers typically start around $500 and can cost more than $2,500 when fully loaded.

Soft Tonneau Covers

  • Material: Typically made of an aluminum frame with a vinyl top, soft tonneau covers tend to be lighter and easier to periodically remove and install as needed.
  • Ease of Use: Soft Fold Tonneau Covers are easy to roll up and store when needed, making access easy and very convenient. Soft covers are easier to install and remove, often with a simple clamp-on or roll-up design. This allows for quick and convenient access to the truck bed without having to completely remove the cover.
  • Security: Soft tonneau covers are not built to withstand the elements and can be opened by a thief with a knife. They may not provide the same level of security against theft or impact as hard tonneau covers.
  • Durability: Soft tonneau covers will fade in the sun and buckle under the weight of snow.

soft tonneau cover

  • Visual appearance: Soft covers are usually made of polyester or nylon, giving them a shiny, typically black, fabric look.
  • Weight and Weight Limit: It's safe to say that most, if not all, soft covers weigh significantly less than hard tonneau covers.
  • Cost: Soft tonneau covers are generally more affordable than hard tonneau covers, typically falling in the $300 to $800 price range, making them an attractive option for truck owners looking for a cover that balances cost and functionality.

In summary, hard tonneau covers offer superior security, durability, and an elegant appearance, but may be more difficult to install and remove. On the other hand, soft tonneau covers are easier to use, more affordable, and provide convenient access to the truck bed, but offer slightly less security and durability than their hard counterparts. The choice between the two often depends on individual preferences, the level of security required, budget considerations, and the intended use of the truck bed cover.

5 Reasons to add a Truck Bed Cover

  • Protection From Weather Elements
  • Safe Transport of Your Equipment or Luggage
  • Protects The Cargo Bed
  • Reduces Fuel Use
  • Improves Looks

If you're looking for functionality, we have a wide selection of soft tonneau covers and hard tonneau covers for nearly every truck on the market. Click here to browse our selection.

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