Tri Fold vs Roll Up Tonneau Cover – What is better?

Do you realize that you need the accessory? Whenever you are going camping or to a large city like Chicago, it’s essential. However, which type to prefer? What about the covers’ usability, durability, ease of installation? Let’s compare tri fold vs roll up tonneau cover.

The Need for a Tonneau Cover

tri fold vs roll up tonneau cover

Summer is in full swing now. Are you going to have a camping trip? Your pickup truck helps you to experience the most inimitable adventures! For example, why don’t you go to an off-road park, such as:

  1. Little Egypt.
  2. Fox Valley.
  3. The Cliffs.
  4. Rocky Glen OHV.

Riding is fun there! It’s so exciting to pass the challenging areas. If you’ve got an off-highway vehicle, you can relax and recreate in a park. Just don’t forget to pay an annual OHV Usage Stamp fee. Your family would be delighted, as the trails are scenic.

Will you need a tri-fold or roll up tonneau cover in an off-road? Of course, you will. Your cherished pickup truck deserves it. The accessory provides perfect stuff protection on the mountain trails. When the wind is high, it keeps it away. The tools are organized and in good order.

The Basic Differences

Quite naturally, now, when there are prospects of shower rain, there is less scope for riding. When a thunderstorm is anticipated, competitions may be postponed. Some roads are closed when it’s too muddy. However, you don’t have to remove the stuff to the tent.

Foodstuffs and cartons can remain in the truck bed. They remain dry. However, which cover type do you need?

A soft tri-fold tonneau cover is:

  • fast to install;
  • easy to maintain;
  • low-profile.

Quite naturally, soft accessories are lightweight. They are made of heavy-duty vinyl fabric. It ensures great protection against moisture. These accessories are simple to operate. Just fold them once and the second time, if you need it. However, tri-fold vs retractable tonneau cover is not too compact. When it remains stacked behind the cab, you don’t get the complete access to the truck bed department. One-third of it is covered. It is so easy to uninstall and remove the cover? Yes, but it may be annoying to do it quite often.

most secure truck bed cover

Benefits of Roll-up Accessories

Do you need the most secure tonneau cover? Metal accessories are the best in that respect. Tough aluminum or steel slats shield your belongings and tools in the most reliable way. Potentially, the fabric tarp can be cut by a knife. The thieves distinguish the bed content through the gaps between the metal frames. Well, I think, it’s highly doubtful. The locking mechanism matters. It is to be handy and reliable.

Meanwhile, hard roll-up vs tri-fold tonneau cover is preferable:

  • in winter;
  • during a moving;
  • on a highway.

The look is perfect. It’s completely sleek. A soft-folding tonneau cover sits on the top of the bed department. It may flutter a bit. A panel cover that is roll-up or retractable is low-profile. Its performance is even better than the tarp accessories. The item’s wind resistance is better. It doesn’t snap in the wind.

Additionally, Ram 1500 tonneau cover made of metal slabs is stronger. It can support some load. For example, the accessories endure heavy snowfalls. You can place some cartons on the top.

Here you can see more information about best tonneau cover for ram 1500!


Both cover types that are tri-fold and roll-up are versatile and protective. Your stuff remains dry and clean inside the truck bed. However, we appreciate the gas mileage improvements the most.

So, when the tonneau cover F150 is on, the truck’s aerodynamics is much better. It’s sleek and streamlined. The accessory reduces the drug. Wind resistance is cut down. Therefore, you save money, spending less fuel.

Here you can see more information about best tonneau cover F150!
Which accessories are more efficient in terms of gas mileage? In other words, do tonneau covers save gas? The SEMA study has shown that foldable accessories are perfect. For example, 2 items made of vinyl resulted in 5.6-5.9% of improvement. A hard, retractable item ensured only 4.2% of savings. However, it depends on the pickup truck and the cover model.

Usability and Look

Do you want to select a tonneau cover for Tundra Crewmax? Compatibility is a primary concern. The accessory is to fit your truck model, year and make. Don’t forget to measure the bed dimensions.

Here you can see more information about best tonneau cover for Tundra Crewmax!
Meanwhile, a soft roll-up tonneau cover is positioned inside the edges. As well as a tri-fold one, it sits on the bed top. However, you can simultaneously use other accessories. Ladder racks or tie-downs find a bit of place inside the truck bed.

Additionally, the cover is:

  • compact;
  • easy-to-open;
  • fast to operate.

Both types of covers are attached to the rails. They are fastened by the clamps. However, a slight difference still exists.

How to Install a Roll-Up Tonneau Cover?

Quite naturally, the installation of the roll-up items is a bit more complicated. It may take up to an hour. Meanwhile, it depends also on your truck modification. If the side rails are standard, no drilling is required.

best roll up tonneau cover

Thus, to install the cover, just:

  1. Position the clamps.
  2. Put them on.
  3. Secure the clamps.
  4. Position the front header guides.
  5. Roll the cover down.

The tonneau cover is fastened by Velcro closures. So, the installation is still pretty simple and user-friendly. Do you wonder how to remove a roll-up tonneau cover? The procedures are the same. Just perform them in reversed order. Soft truck bed covers roll up easily. Meanwhile, being rolled up, the accessory provides complete access to the bed department. The cover remains snug against the cab. Therefore, you don’t need to uninstall it often.

On the contrary, a tri-fold cover may require removing. Being unfolded, it provides only 60-70% of the access to the bed. Additionally, the other accessories can’t be used if it remains installed.

Overall Judgment

Are you going to select a tonneau cover? A soft folding item is easier to use and maintain. It’s water-resistant and durable. Roll-up accessories are preferable in terms of access. However, consider your climate. Using metal panels can be not handy when the temperatures are extreme. Meanwhile, you’ve got some information that let you select a tonneau cover. Fit the accessory to your truck bed and enjoy the convenience!

Video Review: Tri Fold vs Roll Up Tonneau Cover


  1. 1

    While the horsepower of my pickup truck has been very impressive since the day I first drove it, driving under the rain is a bit of a hassle because water collects on the back of the truck. I agree when you mentioned that tonneau covers are optimal when driving on a highway. I’m going to be doing a lot of driving upstate in a few days so I should definitely pick up a cover for the back of my truck soon.

  2. 2

    I like how you mentioned that one of the benefits of using a tonneau cover is that it’s more resistant to snapping in the wind versus a tarp covering the bed of your truck. I’m thinking of looking for a tonneau cover because my wife and I are considering taking our kids on a camping trip and need something to protect our camping gear in the back of my truck. It seems like a good idea for me to think about getting a reputable cover so that our equipment and supplies stay safe while we travel to our camp destination.

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