The Pros & Cons of Tonneau Covers

You probably have some very basic questions about tonneau covers. First and foremost - what’s good, and what’s not so good.

There is a lot of information out there, but what is fact, and what is fiction? It really depends on your perspective.

Let’s break it down to a few simple pros and cons:

Fuel Economy

Let’s start with the obvious. Improved fuel economy - a pro, right?

This one is little bit harder than you might think. If you look up 2 different articles on the subject, you will get 2 different answers. While it makes sense that with the reduced drag, your truck would not have to work as hard to maintain a set speed. Easy, right?

What if we told you that test results tend to show that at 55 mph there is almost no drag difference, and fuel mileage is basically unaffected?  What we can tell you on this is from our personal experience, that a ‘74 Chevy that got 8 mpg on the highway, on a good day, went to 10. Not great, but noticeable. Granted, newer trucks have a lot more going for them then an old Chevy. So, unless you have an old truck, mileage is neither a pro nor a con.

Security & Functionality

Next, let’s look at security and functionality of tonneau covers.

This one really is easy. A hard cover turns your bed into a lockable storage option for your truck. This is an easy way to keep you cargo clean and safe. You can lose some of your trucks functionality when it comes to hauling larger items, but if you have the budget for a high end retractable cover, or a mid-range tri-fold, you are right back in the game.

So, for the security question - definitely a pro. And for functionality? Maybe. Soft covers, not so much. How do you lock up vinyl?


Now for the fun one - style.

Let’s face it, tonneau covers look awesome. Old school trucks look great with old school vinyl covers. It was the style of the times. You can even polish up the snaps! Got an 80’s truck? The roll up covers look right at home on these trucks, no snaps or Velcro to clutter up the look. Newer truck? A fiberglass hard cover painted to match your truck might be the way to go. They all look cool with the right application. Sometimes, it’s all about style - trucks aren’t just for work anymore. We have to put style in the pro column.

These are a few of the pros and con that we have come up with, and we know that many of you have your own opinions. The fuel economy one is intriguing, and without any real world studies, all we have to go on is individual reports. We’d love to hear back from you with some of your experiences and things that we may have missed, and by “may” we mean “did”.

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