Top 6 Best Tonneau Covers on a Budget
There are countless reasons why you may want to install a tonneau cover on your truck. These covers serve a variety of uses, including protection against snow and rain as well as falling debris, and can offer some level of security. Even accumulating dust or direct sunlight can cause damage to the truck bed over time. The right cover can offer a solution to these problems. The trouble, though, is that it can be difficult to pick out a cover that’s right for your truck, with so many options out there. This is especially true if you’re on something of a tighter budget.
At Ultimate Rides, we deal with custom truck accessories on almost a daily basis. Below we’ll share our recommendations for affordable tonneau covers that you can still count on to protect your truck bed. Though these covers are specific to certain truck models, you should be able to find the same product to fit on your truck. Let our team know if you need any help with installation in the Chicago area, or if you’re in the market for a custom pickup truck. We’ll be happy to help however we can!
1. Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover
Compatibility: 2017-2022 Ford F250/F350 Super Duty with 6.75′ Bed
One of the best tonneau covers available at an affordable price is the T3 from Tyger Auto. It’s a tri-fold tonneau cover made by one of the top brands on the market. The cover is made from high-quality vinyl that is designed to stand the test of time, with stainless steel clamps and an aircraft-grade aluminum frame. The installation process won’t require any drilling on your end, and the product even includes a limited lifetime warranty that covers manufacturer defects. If you see something wrong with the cover, you’ll have a pathway to a replacement with no trouble. If you’re looking to get the best value from your next tonneau cover, and only wish to spend a few hundred dollars, this is the first option we’d recommend. Just make sure to pick out the cover that fits your truck!
2. Tyger Auto T1 Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover
Compatibility: 2019-2022 Ram 1500 with 5.5′ Bed
The next cover on our list once again comes from Tyger Auto, but it’s a different style for you to consider. The T1 is a roll-up tonneau cover, made from the same great materials as the last cover we shared. The cover rests on high-strength aluminum crossbars, and truck owners will have the ability to roll it up to gain access to their bed, while it sticks in place when not in use. It’s not the highest-security option available for your truck, as it uses Velcro to stay in place rather than fully locking and sealing. Still, as long as you don’t plan on leaving valuable items unattended in your truck bed, it can be a good choice to protect from rain, UV rays, falling leaves and branches, and much more.
3. Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Compatibility: 2009-2014 Ford F150 with 5.5′ Bed
One top competitor to Tyger Auto is Gator, and this cover is one of the best and most affordable products they have available. The process of installing the cover should be surprisingly easy, with no tools necessary. The edge of the cover seals to your truck, preventing rain and snows from leaking into the bed. On top of that, you won’t have to worry about falling leaves rotting in your truck bed, or scrapes and scratches from other environmental hazards. It’s another one of the best tonneau covers available to own today, and it shouldn’t be hard to find the right fit for your truck.
4. MaxMate Soft Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover
Compatibility: 2015-2022 Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon with 5′ Bed
This cover from MaxMate is one of the most budget-friendly options we have to share. If you drive a modern Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon truck, it could be the one for you. The cover is designed and constructed with great care, and the crossbars come pre-assembled to make your installation go much smoother. If you find any problems with the cover, you’ll have access to a 10-year no hassle warranty for all drivers in the United States. Though you will likely still need some basic tools to install the cover correctly, it shouldn’t be too difficult for most to handle. Search for a model that’s the right fit for your vehicle and you’ll be good to go!
5. Gator ETX Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Compatibility: 2009 – 2018 Ram 1500, 2019-2020 Ram 1500 Classic, with 5.5′ Bed
The tonneau covers from Gator are just about always reliable, and that includes this soft roll-up tonneau cover for the Ram 1500. By now, the basic design of the cover will likely be familiar to you. This option in particular is available at a great price and was even manufactured in the United States. It rests on a set of rails that should be easy to install, and the cover was constructed from high-quality materials that should last. If you run into problems with the cover, the warranty is there to back you up. At this price, it’s hard to find very many faults with this tonneau cover.
6. MaxMate Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover
Compatibility: 2019-2022 Ram 1500 with 6.5′ Bed
The cheapest tonneau cover on our list is this cover from MaxMate. Though you’ll be able to save, that certainly doesn’t mean you’ll have to put up with a lackluster cover. Just like the last cover from MaxMate, you’ll be able to rely on the quality of materials used here. The company’s covers are easy to install, and meet all the basic needs one would want from a tonneau cover at this price level. If this option is the right fit for your truck, you should feel more than comfortable installing it. It also shouldn’t be hard to find one of these soft covers that fits your vehicle with just a short search.
Choosing the Best Bed Covers for Your Needs
Finding a good cover at an affordable price is important. It can be useful to know that you don’t have to spend an outrageous amount to find a cover that works for your truck. While the more costly options likely offer higher security and durability, there are plenty of great covers out there that can be found for less than $300, and they’ll still last a very long time. We’ve shared some of our top picks with you already, but how does one go about choosing between them?
The first thing you’ll need to do is find a cover that fits your truck. The most popular covers, including the options on our list, should be easy to find for all modern pickup trucks. You may or may not be able to simply purchase one of the products linked above, depending on what truck you drive. However, if you have to search around a little bit, simply type in the name of the cover you prefer along with your specific truck and you should find one without a problem.
Before making a decision, take a look at the advantages of each cover. Some styles, like roll-up tonneau covers, place an emphasis on ease of access. Others prioritize a low profile look and better security, like a tri-fold tonneau cover. Weigh your needs with the features of each cover. From there, decide on the option that best suits your truck and what you plan to use it for.
Installing Soft Tonneau Covers
Thankfully, soft tonneau covers are usually much easier to install compared to hard covers. Still, they can be tricky in some cases. A typical soft cover will only require some basic tools and maybe an hour of your time at most. Plus, if you’re still not feeling confident after reading through the included directions, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to find a video tutorial somewhere online that will show you how to go about installing the cover.
Sometimes, it’s just easier to let the professionals handle tonneau cover installation. If you live in or are within driving distance of the Chicago area, we encourage you to contact Ultimate Rides. We have our own custom service center staffed by a team of expert techs. They’re the crew that upgrades our own inventory, and we also offer custom services to the public. We’ll have the ability to order any cover you’d like and get it installed at a fair price. Call us today at 815-634-3900 to find out more information or schedule an appointment. When you’re ready to pay Ultimate Rides a visit, you’ll find our office and service center at 38 W. Division St., Coal City, IL 60416. That’s about an hour south of the city, and our customers know that it’s worth the drive for everything we have in store for your truck.