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    Resources — camper shell

    The Ultimate Guide To Toyota Tacoma Tonneau & Bed Covers

    The Ultimate Guide To Toyota Tacoma Tonneau & Bed Covers

    Regardless of how you use your Tacoma, trucks were made to carry things. Sometimes you want your stuff covered, or many you just like that sleek design of a covered bed. Either way, there are plenty of options to cover your Taco’s bed. Let’s take a look at some of them.


    These covers are one of the most common types of covers that you will find on a truck. A tonneau covers are either hard or soft covers designed to protect unoccupied areas of a car, or in our case, the bed of a pickup. There are quite a few types of tonneau covers.


    The most basic cover that you can get is just one piece of material that fits to your bed, and snaps into place. These are great if you’re on a budget. While they generally are not the most durable, they get the job done. The can bed a flexible piece of material that you can fold in any way you like, or they have some type of firmer piece. Those limit how much you can open them, and they basically work best either on or off, not so much in between, but they offer more rigidity.

    Pros: inexpensive, easy to install

    Cons: lacking rigidity, generally not the easiest to take off/retract when needing full access to your bed


    This is going to be one of your cheaper options for tonneau covers. They are exactly what they sound like. They are a soft cover that lies over your bed, and to pull it back, it folds into three sections. You can generally pick these up for around $300 to $400. However, there are more expensive ones for closer $1000.

    Pros: Inexpensive (sometimes), easy to install, full bed access

    Cons: Sometimes inferior quality and fit (on less expensive ones), soft material may cause pooling water

    Gator makes a popular tri-fold. It’s basis, yet durable. The lightweight construction makes it easy to fold, but the large locking tabs keep it in place when you want it down. The price is on the lower end too, so it makes it more appealing too. Here is a link to the Gator Tri-Fold, but make sure to get the right size for your truck. BTW - this is what I have and it works great!


    Rolling covers are a good option for a fast retracting option. Like tri-folds, they are easy to install, and are a cost effective option, though you can find more expensive versions. With the nature of whey are, they will be made out of soft material, which could be prone to wear tear. You can get higher prices ones that are made of aluminum, and that could prove to last longer.

    Pros: Easy to install, can be inexpensive, full bed access

    Cons: Prone to rips if soft 

    BAK Industries makes some good stuff. Their covers are durable and highly rated. While their Revolver X4 is a little on the high end when it comes to pricing, it is a good option to choose from if the want easy use and protection.


    These operate similarly as the rolling ones, but they roll/retract down. These are going to be on the higher priced side, and they take up a bit of bed space in the back. However, they are very fast and easy to retract. Electronic ones exist, and they make things easier, but keep in mind that the more moving and electronic parts you have, the more things can go wrong over time.

    Pros: East to retract

    Cons: Expensive, take up bad space

    Roll-N-Lock is one option of a durable and easy to use retractable cover. It locks well, and it made out of aluminum with vinyl to ensure durability. 


    These hard covers are deigned to give you rugged protection. They can also be color matched to your truck to give a nice sleek look. These can either fit flush to the top of your bed, or be raised to meet your roofline. These are generally made out of fiberglass don’t come off to easily. They are more “permanent” or long-term installations.

    Camper Shells/Caps

    These offer the largest covered area for your bed. They generally match up with your roofline, and are painted to match your truck. They come with windows, and are generally made out of fiberglass. They are great for keeping a large amount of stuff out of the elements. The biggest downside is that you can move cargo in and out through the tailgate. There is no access from the sides. These have a wide range of prices, but generally are on the higher end of the $300 to $1000.

    Pros: large amount of surface area, excellent security from the elements, color matched

    Cons: only one point of access, not quick to remove, generally more expensive

    Flush Shells/Hard Tonneau

    While the camper ones meet your roofline, these sit flush, or right above your bed. They can be color matched to your truck, and they really add a sleek and complete look to the back of your truck. While they are durable, they aren’t the most practical if you toss a lot of stuff in your bed. While they generally hinge open to allow more access, then most practical point of entry is the tailgate. These are around the same price as the camper shells, but can cost a little less.

    Pros: durable, color match

    Cons: limited access 


    Now, there are outliers to everything. For example, there are covers that really stand out from the rest. Peragon makes a retractable cover that is not only quick to retract, but quick to remove completely should you need the full bed. There are some rolling covers that are soft material, and some that are aluminum. There are expensive versions of each cover listed, and some that are expensive.

    It all depends on your budget, and what you want out of it. Do you want t show vehicle, or do you need an off-roading beast? Perhaps you need both. This is a guide I put together for you from one Tacoma owner to another, but it’s just a guide. Find what works for you!

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

    Image Credits:

    Tri Fold – Courtesy of Gator

    Snap – Courtesy of Tonneau Cover World

    Rolling – Courtesy of CJ Pony Parts

    Retractable – Courtesy of Suspension Connection

    Camper Shell – Courtesy of Tom’s Camper Land

    Flush Shell – Courtesy of Tom’s Camper Land