Retractable Vs Flip Tonneau Cover

Retractable Vs Flip Tonneau Cover: Which is Better?

When shopping for a tonneau cover, it is essential to remember that you are buying a product that will protect your truck, not be an ornament. A cover that is too loose will allow rainwater to collect under it, causing rust on the frame, while a cover that is too tight will be harder to open. Instead, look for one that is the right size for the truck.

In this article, we will cover the comparison between retractable and flip tonneau cover, their advantages and disadvantages, including some product suggestions. So, Let’s began the debate between retractable vs flip tonneau cover.

Quick comparison

If you have a shortage of time, you can look at our short comparison table below. But, we suggest reading the entire article to have a detailed understanding of retractable and flip tonneau cover and differences.

Comparison Table

FactorsRetractable Tonneau CoverFlip Tonneau Cover
Construction MaterialReinforced polycarbonate, or heavy-duty aluminum saltsaluminum W/ Vinyl
Lock and SecurityIntegrated lockTailgate lock
OperationManual and automaticManual

Retractable Tonneau Cover

Retractable tonneau cover allows people to enjoy the outdoors without the hassle of removing and storing a tonneau cover each and every time they open or close the doors. Although they are quickly becoming more popular on the market, many new pickup trucks come equipped with a Retractable Bed Cover. 

Retractable Bed Covers are designed to cover up your truck bed while you’re not using it. They work by retracting over the top of the truck bed and are secured into place with either a switch or button. 


  • Multiple Open Positions
  • Aerodynamic & Low-Profile
  • Spiral Storage Canister
  • Integrated locking system
  • Versatility -Supports Small Cargo, Large Cargo, Extra-Large Cargo


  • Heavy.
  • May require bed modification (cutting)

Flip tonneau cover

A Flip Tonneau Cover is a type of tonneau cover that is built using a low-profile design. This tonneau style is constructed from two pieces, with one piece resting on top of the other to form a “folding” or “flipping” movement. 

This creates an incredibly smooth and clean look, eliminating the more traditional bars typically found on a roll-up tonneau cover. Flip tonneau covers are made from different materials, including solid aluminium, vinyl-coated steel, ABS plastic and high-end fabrics for a higher-end luxurious look.


  • Provides security
  • Protection from Damage 
  • Better Gas Mileage
  • Holds Things in Place 
  • Budget-friendly


  • Long installation time
Retractable Vs Flip Tonneau Cover

Comparison between a retractable and flip tonneau cover

It is clear from above that both retractable and flip tonneau covers have strong and weak points. Now let’s compare some of their key features to have even more ideas on them.

Material and Build Quality

Both retractable and flip tonneau cover manufacturers use high-quality materials in their production. Retractable covers are made from reinforced polycarbonate or heavy-duty aluminium slats, where the Flip tonneaus are manufactured from aluminium W/ Vinyl. Having a good construction material with premium finishing ensures maximum security to your trucks tonneau.

Lock and Security

Like other types of tonneau covers, these two provides excellent protection to your stuff kept in your truck bed. Most retractable tonneau covers have integrated lock that supports both manual and automatic operation. You can easily open or close the cover with keys or a remote keyfob. Moreover, you can lock the cover at any position you want.

On the other hand, you will find the Tamper-Proof Latching system in Flip tonneau covers. This tailgate lock mechanism features a quick-release attachment system for opening and closing the truck bed cover in no time. It also features added cab and window protection.

Ease of Use

Both of these two types of tonneau covers offer user-friendly features for ease of use. Even though you like the truck bed cover open and close automatically, the retractable cover will be the best option for you. On the contrary, Flip tonneau covers are best if you want a lightweight and low-profile truck bed cover. Since this type of cover is lightweight, one can easily operate the cover without much labour.

Installation Process

Unlike other types of tonneau covers, most retractable tonneau cover comes with installation tool kits. Assembling is also easy with this tool kit, and you don’t need to be an expert for installing the cover in your truck. At the same time, the Flip tonneau covers feature a rail guide that makes the mounting easy and trouble-free.

Price Range

Budget is an essential aspect of every purchase. Considering producers of retractable and flip tonneau covers tried to keep the price at an affordable range. But, being a modern and well-equipped tonneau cover, some models of retractable truck bed covers are more expensive than Flip tonneau cover. 

Some Product Suggestion

We have short-listed few considering construction materials, overall performance, ease of use, and price from our long research on retractable and flip tonneau cover. Of course, you can choose any one of these products as per your choice and budget. However, feel free to explore other options too!

 Retractable tonneau cover

Flip tonneau cover


In conclusion to our retractable vs flip tonneau cover, it is clear that both the retractable and flip tonneau covers have their strong points to consider. But, we suggest a retractable tonneau cover for those who want modern and aerodynamic truck bed covers. On the other hand, for those who like lightweight and low-profile truck bed covers, flip truck bed cover might be the perfect one to consider.

1 thought on “Retractable Vs Flip Tonneau Cover: Which is Better?”

  1. Pingback: Soft vs Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover: Which is Better? – Truck Bed Facts

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