Rolling and Folding Tonneau covers are two of the most popular types of truck bed covers, probably due to their ease of use and simple installation. The debate over whether to roll your Tonneau cover or fold it has been going on for years. The best way to decide which method is right for you comes down to personal preference and the weather conditions in your area.
In our rolling vs folding tonneau cover comparison, we’re going to compare their basic features along with the advantages and disadvantages of both categories. Finally, a consolation with a product suggestion section will pick the right tonneau cover that will perfectly fit your truck bed.
|Rolling Tonneau Cover
|Folding Tonneau Cover
|Tough aluminum / Steel slats shield, rigid fiberglass
|Duration of Installing
|It takes a second to fold up at once & re-seated them
|It takes longer to install
|Easy to operate
|It’s pretty hard for the novice
|It is affordable to buy
|It’s a little pricey.
Rolling Tonneau Cover
Rolling tonneau covers are typically found on pickup trucks with bed lengths of 6 feet or more. These covers consist of three sections (two rails and a roller tube assembly) where the middle section is “folded” under the cab of the truck when opened. Once opened, this middle section “rolls up” into position along the side rails, where it locks into place, creating an all-weather enclosure for your truck bed.
This tonneau is generally considered more convenient than folding tonneau covers because they offer 100 percent access to your truck bed while also protecting you from the elements. Let’s have a look at the benefits and drawbacks of this truck bed cover below-
- Strong and durable frame design
- Low-profile construction
- Can handle extreme weather condition
- Budget friendly
- Easy to operate
- Takes time to install
Folding Tonneau Cover
Folding tonneau covers lockdown on both sides of your truck’s bed using clamps or bows/brackets, making them secure while not in use and easy to remove when required. The primary benefit of a folding tonneau cover is that it provides 100 percent coverage of your truck bed, minimizing debris and protecting its contents from the elements.
This type of cover also improves gas mileage by reducing drag and wind resistance while driving at highway speeds — which can save you money at the pump! Let’s have a quick look at the benefits and drawbacks of this truck bed cover below-
- Easy to operate and remove
- Two varieties available- hard & soft
- Offers single-hand opening and closing
- Most of them are customizable
- Can handle cargo on top
- Manual operation
Comparisons between Rolling Vs Folding Tonneau Covers
It’s pretty tricky to find or tell which one should be your best choice, as this subject only relies on your truck’s requirements and budget. However, below we have compared some key features of our competing parties to give you an extensive idea of them.
Well, at first, we’re going to compare their cover materials. The rolling tonneau covers are handy and made with double-sided flexible vinyl elements. Most of the cover materials are expensive and durable for use.
In contrast, when you see the folding tonneau covers material, they’re also unique and made with aluminum, rigid fiberglass, canvas style covers which make it super solid and viable. It’s not to mention that aluminum is very sturdy, and the fiberglass is weightless, handy.
For lock mechanisms to be effective, they must be easy to use and difficult for thieves to access or break. Fortunately, there are several types of lock mechanisms that meet these requirements almost perfectly.
Most rolling tonneau covers have security straps that run from the front of the truck across to the other side. Its tailgate lock offers easy operation, ensuring 100% security to your precious cargo.
Meanwhile, folding tonneau covers have a tailgate lock mechanism for cargo protection. This security feature for folding tonneau covers is designed to prevent theft from happening by causing all sorts of problems when attempting to lift or move your truck in any way without having the key fob handy.
Folding tonneau covers may weigh up to 50-100lbs (pounds) at a single point, but these are the requirements for a hard one. Again, rolling tonneau covers may weigh up to at least 120 pounds. Naturally, it seems that rolling covers can bear heavier than folding ones.
Installation & Removal
The rolling covers allow you to install them without using any hassle of drilling or heavy tools. You can finish the way only 17 mm socket and ratchet, which may take a minimum of 20-25 minutes. On the other hand, one may require more time to install the folding tonneau cover than a rolling tonneau cover.
Folding tonneau covers have multiple options to access the cargo section. The opening and closing of the cover are very simple. You will find a folding mechanism that offers easy operation.
Again, rolling tonneau covers are often easy to open and close. Some models come with rolling bed covers for quick installation. You can easily access the cargo section by rolling the tonneau cover.
Some Product Suggestions
We have short-listed some products that may interest your requirements. Have a quick look below-
Rolling Tonneau Cover: –
- Fits 2015 - 2020 Ford F-150 5' 7" Bed (67.1")
- MADE IN THE USA | made in the USA with globally sourced materials and supported by our USA-based customer service team!
- FAST & EASY INSTALL | Simply clamp the rails on without the use of a drill. Cover assembly comes with everything you need for a simple install
- 100% TRUCK BED ACCESS | Roll the cover towards the cab and secure with the storage strap for full access to your bed.
- LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY | The Gator ETX Soft Roll Up is backed by a Lifetime Warranty on the frame and a 10-year warranty on the tarp
- Fits 2015 - 2020 Ford F-150 5' 7" Bed (67.1")
- UNRIVALED DURABILITY | The RX4 hard rolling tonneau cover is constructed with a matte-finished black vinyl material over a sheet of durable aluminum slats
- UNRIVALED SECURITY | RX4 features patented rotational locking rails to secure the cover the entire length of the bed, as well as a latching mechanism to lock the cover to lock at the tailgate
- UNRIVALED CONVENIENCE | The RX4 releases with a hidden cable on either side of the truck bed. It rolls up against the cab for full bed access, 3rd brake light visibility, and 5th wheel compatibility
- UNRIVALED SUPPORT | The BAK Revolver X4 is America’s #1 selling hard rolling truck bed cover. Proudly made in the USA, the RX4 is backed by a US-based customer support team and a 5-year guarantee
Folding Tonneau Cover: –
- Fits 2004 - 2014 Ford F-150 5' 7" Bed (67")
- 100% BED ACCESS | The Flex allows you to drive with the cover in three secure positions: closed, partially closed, & fully open. The cover folds into an upright position with dual prop rods, without resting on the back of the cab
- STYLISH LOW PROFILE DESIGN | The Flex hard folding cover has a gloss black finish and lies flush with the truck bed to enhance the appearance of your truck. It also features full perimeter seals to help prevent water intrusion
- EASY OPERATION | This cover has durable, aluminum automatic-latching panels that release with pull cables on either side of the truck. The dual-action tailgate seal allows you to shut the tailgate without lifting the cover first
- PURCHASE WITH CONFIDENCE | The UnderCover Flex hard folding tonneau is lightweight & easy to install. It comes with a 3-year, hassle-free guarantee, is made in the USA with globally sourced materials, & is backed by a US-based customer support team
- Fits 2014-2018, 19 Ltd/Legacy Chevy/GMC Silverado/Sierra, 2015-19 2500/3500HD 6' 7" Bed (78.9")
- ULTIMATE SECURITY | The BAKFlip MX4 tonneau cover has durable aluminum panels that automatically latch as the cover is partially or fully closed, and is fully locked once your tailgate is closed
- STYLISH MATTE FINISH | Featuring matte-finished aluminum panels, protecting against marks, scratches and UV damage; as well as premium upgrades to the perimeter seals and hardware
- 100% BED ACCESS | Operate this cover closed, folded or flipped up, all without covering the 3rd brake light. Paired with a dual action tailgate seal for tailgate operation open or closed
- WE’VE GOT YOUR BAK | The MX4 truck bed cover is rated up to 400 lbs of evenly distributed weight and is easy to install. This hard fold has a 5-year, hassle-free warranty, with a US-based support team
If you want a cover that is up and out of the way during the day and easily accessible at night, choose a rolling cover. On the contrary, if you want a cover that you can use for hauling and won’t interfere with the bed of your truck, choose a folding cover. I hope that our rolling vs folding tonneau cover comparison article help you to find you desired tonneau cover.