Truck bed covers turn a pickup box into a giant lockable trunk, much like a vault... These are a popular add-on to many pickups and make for a more useable vehicle and a finished look at the same time. Features vary much between types of covers and even among brands. The soft cover option makes for great value with a lot of protection for cargo and bed itself. At the other extreme are retractable covers that put a layer of metal over the bed and sit low and out of the way while allowing easy access to anywhere in the bed. Following are tips for getting the right cover.
Then there's the tilt hard cover race truck look that you could choose. Check out Gaylord and Undercover here... One company offers a fiberglass version and the other a plastic with about the same look but much lighter coming in at just 68 pounds for the full size version. Tilt forward lids turn truck beds to lock boxes but with restrictions on the height of cargo. Too tall and the cover will not close...
Sealing at front sides and back of any of the covers must be right to keep out dirt and water as well as wind. Many methods to do that are used and several work well. The best way to learn more about what works well is to study reviews and talk to people you know who own covers. Remember that no cover is truly waterproof, but some are very weather resistant. That should go for the long-term as well as short as well. Durability means the cover keeps out the weather for a long time.
As the weight of covers go up, so often goes up the difficulty of installing the cover. That's so especially with some of the tilt covers and especially that is true because of the bulk of these covers. But no longer is drilling holes in the bed sides part of installation on most covers. That reduces the stress associated with getting the covers in place and makes for less chance of a spot for rust to start. Clamp on mounting replaced bolt on and that makes installation far simpler.
Retracting tonneau covers often get the nod as the really premium choice for a bed cover. That's due partly to the cost but there are other reasons as well. A retractable cover is really at the core a sliding metal, aluminum, sheet that moves forward and back as needed to close or open the bed to access. When not in use, the cover slides into it's own storage can out of the way and out of sight as well. As secure as the hard covers that tilt or the tri-fold covers, the roll forward covers also permit easy access to the entire bed for using it any way you choose. Unlike tilt forward covers, the retractable bed covers put no limit on the height of the load carried either. Any cargo that fits the bed, fits the cover too.
Hard pickup bed covers come in tilting, folding and retractable versions. Superior protection comes with the hard versions but at a higher price tag than the soft covers. On the other hand, the soft tonneaus may be all many people need. And in fact the soft covers at a low price are easy to install, offer good protection and are often lighter in weight so that may help on fuel mileage as compared to hard covers. In addition the soft covers of the roll up design make full bed access easy and hauling any size cargo is no problem.