Your truck is the ultimate tool you have in your arsenal. It’s what allows you to move mountains of dirt and transport hundreds of pounds of supplies at a time, and like any other tool, you want to maximize its performance. Truck bed covers are essential for securing unstable loads and protecting valuable gear, but the question is, how much does it cost to get one?
Here is a cost comparison of different brands of trunk bed covers.
Hybrid & Hard
$950 - $1400
$978 - $1430
Soft & Hard
Soft & Hard
$300 - $1079
$460 - $1079
$1419-$2699 at starting prices
Soft & Hard
$ $480 - $1,039
In this article, we’ll compare 10 truck cover companies, compare the different costs between bed cover types, and look at cover installation costs to get a good idea of how much a truck bed cover really costs you.
Popular Truck Bed Cover Brands and Their Costs
The first notable factor that affects the cost of a truck bed is its brand. Every brand is different. Some put more effort and care into the manufacturing process or are willing to purchase more effective materials that cost more. Sometimes, the reputation of the company influences its prices.
In this section, we’ll take a general look over 6 Tonneau manufacturers:
Backflip provides tri-fold and roll-up covers in an aluminum and vinyl composite or another composite. That is, they sell hybrid and hardcovers. Their tri-folds range from $978 - $1430, and their roll-ups range from $950 - $1400.
Extang offers hard and soft bed covers, but they only provide tri-folds that make up their Trifecta series. Their prices vary because they offer custom covers based on the model and year of your truck, as far back as 1960.
GM is the most ambitious company, offering hard and soft roll-ups, hard and soft tri-folds, hard one-pieces, hard retractables, and even hard quad-folds. Unfortunately, the prices of these options were not available on GM’s website. However, through a third-party seller, they seem to cost $300 for soft roll-ups, $1079 for hard roll-ups, hard tri-folds are $730-$1079, and soft tri-folds are $460.
As the name suggests, Retrax supplies retractable bed covers, which are always hard. Their cost ranges from $1419 - $2099 and $1999 - $2699, depending on whether they are made with polycarbonate or aluminum.
WeatherTech offers a hard/soft tri-fold, soft roll-up, and hard retractable cover. The prices will range between $480 - and $1,039 for the tri-folds, based on the make and model of your truck. The soft roll-up is $500.
How Does the Truck Bed Cover Material Affect Its Cost?
Truck bed covers differ in the strength of their material from soft covers, hardcovers, and hybrids of the two. Let’s review them briefly.
The soft covers are the least expensive because they’re made from cheaper materials, usually vinyl. They will undoubtedly protect your goods from the elements or flying out of bed, but they have zero theft protection. These covers range between $170 and $300. This is definitely the choice for those of us on a budget.
Hardcovers are made with heavier and better-quality materials for areas that get extreme weather, and they keep out thieves at the same time. That might be an uncompromisable thing for your cover, depending on where you live. The cost for these hardcovers ranges between $700 and $2000.
Hybrid covers are made of a composite of soft and sturdy materials. They have the smooth appearance of a softcover combined with the weather resistance and protection of a hardcover, although not to the same extent as an actual hardcover. Appropriately, the cost is also a hybrid that ranges between $200 and $700.
Don’t forget that the size of your bed will also influence the cost. A larger bed means more material, which means more money.
Types Of Truck Bed Covers and Their Cost
The third factor is the cover’s operation, or how they open and close. The options are either roll up, fold up in thirds, or retract, and the process in conjunction with the material and brand will vary the price wildly. Some materials don’t include all cover types. For instance, there are no retractable soft covers, but there are hard and hybrid retractable covers.
So, in general,
- Hard hinged covers will be about $1000 and $2000. These are expensive despite being one solid piece because they are raised with hydraulics.
- Soft roll-up covers will be around $300
- Hard roll-ups will range between $750 and $1500
- Hybrid retractable covers will cost approximately $900 and $2100, but electrically-powered ones will cost almost $3000.
- Hard retractable covers will cost between $1000 and $5000
- Soft tri-folds will cost between $250 and $800
- Hard tri-folds cost somewhere between $500 and $1300
There are also soft and hard camper shells, but we won’t include them in this article for brevity.
The Installation Costs for Truck Bed Covers
Naturally, we can’t forget the cost to install your new bed cover, which will almost certainly play a part in the total price of the cover if you are not technically or mechanically inclined to install it yourself or because you might be a bit too old to deal with it by yourself.
The bed cover installation is not something you want to skimp out on to save some money if you aren’t confident in your ability to install it. It’s the most essential part, and a proper installation means the difference between enjoying the benefits of your truck bed in a matter of hours for decades to come and sending it flying down the highway somewhere in a day or two.
The cost of installing a truck bed cover includes
- Labor (if you hire someone to do it)
- The time it takes to install the cover
- The operation of the cover
- The parts necessary to install the cover
The cost of installation will vary based on the cover you have in that it will change how long it takes for a mechanic to install it. Still, it also varies based on where you live in the states, but installing soft tonneau covers will typically cost between $150-$200 because they are the simplest, while the various hardcovers will range between $500-$2000.
The good news for you is that many truck covers, such as those from Weathertech, are simple to install, even for those of us who struggle with hardware.
Now you have a good idea of how much your new truck tonneau cover will be, and maybe even changed your mind about which one you want. So long as the cover performs well for what you need it to do in the area you live and work in, there’s nothing wrong with trying to see how cheap you can go.
Before you buy, check to see if returns are an option. Just so you know, this article didn’t take into account shipping and handling if you are ordering your cover online.