Tri Fold vs Roll Up Tonneau Cover: Which One Should I Get?

Tonneau covers are one of the most essential truck accessories that every truck owner should own. However, they come in various shapes, sizes, materials, and quality. It is extremely important to figure out which truck topper will best suit your needs depending on your job, requirement, and purpose.

Tri-fold and roll-up tonneau covers are the most popular among truck owners. In this article, we will find out which one of the two takes the crown in the tri fold vs roll up tonneau cover battle. We will also discuss the basic differences so you can save yourself from disappointing purchases and make an informed decision.

Roll Up Tonneau Covers

Roll up covers are typically divided into two different categories known as the hard covers and the soft covers. However, these two don’t have many differences. The soft covers usually come with delicate fabrics like vinyl and canvas, whereas the hard toppers include good quality aluminum and rigid fiberglass materials.

These hard toppers are sturdier and have high durability. Moreover, the toppers also ensure better security and protection. These strong material does not break easily; hence you can store your valuable items without any worries.

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However, hard covers are a bit more expensive than others because of their heavy-duty construction and quality materials. Comparatively, the soft toppers are much more affordable and easier to use. It effectively protects your cargos from dust, rain, snow, and sunlight.

These roll-up covers come with a simplistic design which makes them extremely easy to operate. Furthermore, to load and unload your cargo, all you have to do is roll up and strap the topper on your cab.

Advantages of Roll Up Tonneau Covers

Roll-up toppers offer impressive features and benefits for their users. We have penned down some of the notable advantages of these toppers.

  • Easy Installation

As mentioned earlier, roll up toppers come with a simple design and construction. Hence, it does not require extra effort to set up these toppers. You can install the toppers without any trouble, even if you are inexperienced in this field.

The whole set-up procedure will not take longer than an hour.  Moreover, detaching the cover is also pretty straightforward. Therefore, you can easily remove and attach this topper anytime you want without facing any issues.

  • Full-Access to Truck Bed

Most truck toppers do not give you full access to the truck bed after installation. Therefore, if you have to haul more oversized cargo, you have to remove the whole cover to fit your item. Hence, it wastes a lot of time and makes the job cumbersome.

Luckily, these toppers are exceptionally lightweight and allow full access to the truck bed. You can effortlessly roll up the whole cover to fit any item without removing it from your truck. Hence, you can get your job done more efficiently and effectively.

  • Inexpensive

One of the best features of these toppers is they are readily available and highly affordable. You can get these toppers at a very low price than other truck bed covers. The minimalistic structure of the cover drastically reduces the cost.

Therefore, if you have never used truck toppers and want to explore the various options, roll-up covers are the best choice for this purpose. Moreover, these are also an excellent choice for old vintage vehicles.

Most new toppers are not compatible with old trucks. So, if you own a classic truck, you should go for roll-up toppers.

  • Weight

These toppers are incredibly light in weight which makes them effortless to maneuver. Moreover, the compact structure and minimal weight also make these toppers extremely easy to store. Its simple design and weightless formation will enhance your vehicle’s overall appearance and give it an aerodynamic look.

Disadvantages of Roll Up Tonneau Covers

We have discussed all the good things roll up toppers have to offer. Let’s take a look at some of the downsides of these covers:

  • Less Secure

Although these toppers come with a locking system, it does not offer the highest security. Anyone can cut through the cover’s soft material (vinyl, canvas) easily using a knife or any other sharp object.

Hence, the soft roll-up toppers are not suitable if you have to store valuable assets. However, hard toppers provide better security than soft ones.

  • Manual Rolling

To open and close the topper, you have to roll it up every time and secure the Velcro on each side. Consequently, the process becomes time-consuming because you have to roll the topper manually and strap them.

However, it does not require too much effort to open and close because of the product’s lightweight. But it takes a bit more time than other categories of covers.

  • Less Durable

This shortcoming is only applicable to soft toppers. The soft toppers are less durable and cannot serve for a prolonged period. The manufacturers use more soft and delicate materials to produce these covers; hence these can wear out sooner than other truck toppers.

Tri Fold Tonneau Covers

You can find tri fold covers in a myriad of different materials, starting from molded plastic to metal. These covers are the sturdiest of the bunch and the best when it comes to durability.

The topper comes with hard vinyl material on the exterior and tough fiberglass or hard molded plastic on the inside. These two layers combined with aluminum panels make the product extremely tough to breakthrough.

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It is the perfect topper for storing valuable items securely. Its heavy-duty construction will protect all your assets from any malicious third party. Moreover, these are also an excellent choice for protecting your truck bed and loads in it from adverse weather conditions.

The tri-fold covers come with a solid yet straightforward structure; hence it blends seamlessly with your truck body giving it a clean finish. However, the cover sits a little bit higher above the bed of the truck, but the clean finish helps to provide a seamless look.

Another great advantage of these toppers is that it gives you the full access to the truck bed. The covers remain mounted on the rails allowing you effortless access to the entire bed.

Advantages of Tri Fold Topper

The impressive benefits of these toppers will leave no room for disappointment. Starting from security to durability, these products got all grounds covered.

  • Sturdy and Durable

As mentioned before, companies that produce these covers use robust materials like fiberglass, hardened plastic, high-quality aluminum, or metal. These rigid components make the product highly durable. Hence, you can use this cover for a long time without facing any wear-out issues.

Moreover, the sturdy cover also helps to keep your cargo safe and undamaged even during rough rides. It will protect your stuff from debris, rain, snow, and heat, allowing you to travel easily without worries.

Another massive benefit of this cover is that it can carry loads on top of them. This means you can store items inside your truck bed and use the top space to carry more loads. Hence, this allows you to take more things in one go efficiently.

  • Faster to Open and Close

You only have to fold the cover three times to open and close it; hence it takes less time and effort. Moreover, the three-way folding option also enables you to get good access inside the truck bed. You can effortlessly store different-sized cargos without having to detach the whole thing.

  • High Security

These toppers come with convenient and reliable locks; no one can access your cargo without unlocking the tailgate. The heavy-duty construction prevents any third party from cutting or breaking in.

It will require a lot of force to break this sturdy material open; hence, you can stay worry-free and securely store your loads with these highly effective secure toppers.

Disadvantages of Tri Fold Covers

These covers offer a lot of exceptional benefits, but they are not free of drawbacks either. We have discussed some of the mentionable shortcomings of these toppers.

  • Hard to Install

Tri fold toppers are not the easiest when it comes to installation. It might require a bit more experience and workforce to set up these toppers. Moreover, they are also hard to remove.

Therefore, if you have to load huge cargo frequently, this topper might be an obstacle in the way. Removing and attaching it every time is going to be a nightmare. Furthermore, the heavyweight of the product makes the installation procedure more challenging.

  • More Expensive

These covers are pricier compared to other similar products. The high-quality material and the innovative 3-way folding construction make the manufacturing procedure a little bit tough. Hence, these toppers tend to cost more than others.

Tri Fold vs Roll Up Tonneau Cover

Now you know everything about these two types of covers. It is time to compare these products side by side and choose the right topper for you. However, it is important to remember that these two toppers are popular for different reasons. Hence, there is no perfect winner among the two. So, the right cover for you is the one that meets all your needs and requirements. Now let’s dive into the comparisons!

Installation Procedure

Roll up toppers are simple in design and do not require much effort to install. The set-up process is exceptionally straightforward and takes no longer than an hour. Hence, if you have to load enormous cargo, you can easily detach the topper and carry everything effortlessly.

Moreover, the product’s compact size also allows you to store it on your truck without taking up too much space.

Comparatively, tri fold covers take more time and effort to install than other covers; you might need one or more helping hands to set it up. Moreover, it is also a bit challenging to remove. This limits you from detaching the topper efficiently to load bigger things.

Therefore, if you are involved in activities where you have to load huge cargos every day, tri fold toppers may not be the best choice for you. So, roll up covers takes the lead when it comes to ease of installation.


Tri fold covers win this round for obvious reasons! Since these toppers consist of rigid materials and include a highly reliable locking mechanism, we deem this cover one of the most secured truck bed covers.

The topper does not crack or open even if you apply pressure on it. Hence, only people with the keys can access the stored items.

Although roll up covers come with a lock, the material of these sorts of covers can be compromised easily using sharp objects. Anyone with a knife can cut the fabric and illegal entry into the truck bed.

However, hard roll up covers provide better protection than soft ones, but these cannot top tri fold covers when it comes to safety. Therefore, if your top priority is securely storing your assets, you should go for tri fold topper without any doubt.


Roll up toppers are minimalistic in design and require soft fabric materials to manufacture. Hence, these covers are available at a low price with good quality. On the other hand, tri fold covers are comparatively more expensive.

Therefore, if you are on a budget and looking for a cost-effective purchase, you can consider buying a roll up toppers.


Roll up covers are easy to use and set up; however you have to manually open and close the topper, making the process a bit time-consuming. But tri fold covers are easy to maneuver. Its three-way positioning allows you to fold the topper easily without wasting any time.

Final Words

­Now you know which topper you should go for when it comes to tri fold vs roll up tonneau cover. Hopefully, this insightful article helped you understand the unique truck toppers and their benefits better. You can now easily choose the right truck topper for yourself, depending on your requirements.



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