When it comes to aftermarket accessories for your truck, one of the first things drivers typically look for is a tonneau cover, which is essentially a truck bed cover. While the decision to purchase a truck bed cover may be an easy one, selecting the right type can be challenging. That's because there are a variety of tonneau covers, from hard covers to soft ones, rolling covers to folding covers. In this post, we decided to compare two of the more popular types of covers: soft roll up covers and tri fold covers. Here's an in-depth look at each of these two styles.

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Roll Up vs. Tri Fold Tonneau Cover: Key Differences

A soft rolling cover and fold cover share several similarities. For instance, they both install on the rails, and are easy to install and use. Yet, these two popular types of covers also have some key differences. Here's a look at the attributes that separate them:

  • Roll up: Because of how they're installed, it's easy to use other bed accessories (i.e., tie downs, ladders, etc.) simultaneously. Additionally, because of how easily they roll up and can be secured to the truck cab, the cover can remain on the truck at all times - even when you need to access all of the bed's available space.
  • Tri fold: Unlike rolling covers, tri fold covers make it difficult to use truck bed accessories while the cover is in place. What's more is the cover will likely have to be removed when it's not in use due to the way it folds/stacks when bed access is needed. For drivers that regularly need to store items in the full truck bed, removing the cover each time can be an inconvenience.

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How to Use a Roll Up Tonneau Cover

As we noted above, it's very easy to use a roll up cover. To roll up the cover, all you need to do is unlatch it from the truck's tailgate and literally roll it toward the cab. Once you've gotten it rolled to the cab, fasten it via the strap attachment. Once you're ready to place it back over the cab, just roll it back down and secure it via the tailgate. These types of covers are ideal for truck drivers who regularly load their vehicles with lumber, tools and other equipment, as they can just roll back the cover to make space.

It's nearly just as easy to install a rolling cover as it is to use one. The cover comes with clamps that attach to the truck bed rails, and thereby the cover. It should take no more than an hour to install this type of cover and you'll only have to remove the clamps if you want to completely uninstall it.

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Benefits of a Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover

We've already covered some of the benefits associated with soft roll up tonneau covers in this piece, but many of them are worth repeating again. Here's a look at them (and more):

  • They're extremely easy to use, and you likely won't need to remove the cover to use the truck bed's full cargo space.
  • They protect stored contents from Mother Nature, as well as theft, when covering the truck.
  • There are latches at the truck cab, so when it's rolled up, it remains secure and doesn't have to be removed.
  • Installation is easy, typically taking less than an hour.
  • They can be used simultaneously with other truck bed accessories.

How to Use a Tri Fold Tonneau Cover

Like rolling covers, tri fold tonneau covers install fairly easily. Installation typically consists of clamps and rails, which are easy to fit on and long lasting. Where tri fold covers differ from rolling covers, however, is while in use. For instance, to fold up a tri fold cover, it just needs to be unlatched from the truck tailgate and folded - three times, hence the name - toward the cab. However, once completely folded, the cover must be removed from the truck. In some cases, you can just tuck the cover into the bed, but if there's too much cargo that you need to get in the truck, you'll likely need to store the cover somewhere else. For these reasons, it's not quite as easy as operating a roll up cover, but it's still very easy to install and operate. It tends to be ideal for truck drivers that always store the same tools and/or materials in their vehicles, and just need a safe "roof" over them.

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Benefits of Tri Fold Tonneau Cover

Here's a look at some of the key benefits of a soft tri fold tonneau cover:

  • They're fast to install (20 minutes or less on average) and easy to operate.
  • They offer protection from Mother Nature, as well as theft.
  • Many soft tri fold tonneau covers have a low profile, allowing for a seamless blend with the truck.
  • Since they attach to the rails, you're able to utilize most of the truck bed.
  • If you need to remove them for full truck bed access, they're easy to uninstall.

What Kinds of Tonneau Covers Do You Need?

To answer this question, you first need to think about what you currently use your truck for and what you may be needing to use it for in the future. For example, if you need access to the truck's full bed often, you'd likely be better served going with a roll up cover, as you won't have to remove it each time you need to store items. But if you don't use your full truck bed often and just need something to keep it safe from rain, snow, UV rays and would-be thieves, a tri fold is likely just fine. Both are good options, but it's important to first assess how you currently use your truck in making your purchase decision.

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Where to Buy a Tonneau Cover

There are various suppliers, outlets and brands you can select from, but when it comes to quality products and variety, OEDRO has truck drivers covered. As a supplier of both soft roll up and tri fold tonneau covers, all of OEDRO's products are made with double layer PVC for added durability and protection. All covers are snow proof and designed to protect truck contents from the elements. And OEDRO stands by its products with a unlimited lifetime warranty. For more information, visit OEDRO product today.

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