Do you break into a cold sweat every time you leave your cargo exposed on the truck bed of your Ford F-150 for the naked eye to see? Or every time the weather forecast announces heavy rain for the next 24 hours? Then you need to do yourself a favor and start planning to buy a relevant tonneau cover for your precious ford F-150. The Ford F-150 is a classic pick-up truck that needs an equally impressive tonneau cover.
The article below covers the most popular types of tonneau covers and our detailed review on some of the best tonneau covers F150 that are in demand nowadays. By the end of this article, you will surely find the right tonneau cover for your truck bed. Let’s get started.
|Undercover Flex (Best Waterproof)||Available on Amazon|
|Gator ETX (Best Soft)||Available on Amazon|
|MaxMate (Best Soft Roll Up)||Available on Amazon|
|Gator Recoil (Best Retractable)||Available on Amazon|
1) Best Waterproof Tonneau Cover for F150-
UnderCover has been designing the best waterproof tonneau covers for Ford F150 for more than 20 years. UnderCover Flex is one of them. The major factor that makes it the best waterproof tonneau cover f150 is that it uses the best water repellent fabric accessible in the market which is, fiberglass-reinforced polymer(FRP) on its top surface. You will appreciate the fiberglass coating of this cover when it will rain cats and dogs in your area.
We also love the flush-fit design of the cover that doesn’t allow any excess water to stay on the top surface. The EDMP weatherproof rubber seals all around the edges also play a huge role in keeping the truck bed moistureless. Moreover, the UnderCover Flex didn’t stop here with their water-resistance techniques. You are also going to appreciate the drainage tubes and rail canal channel as much as we do as they easily flush out the water that manages to pass the weather seals.
Moving on to the bonus features that will make it more appealing to you. The heavy-duty aluminum frame with rigid fiberglass coating can handle even severe impact making it a long-lasting cover. The cover is both lighter and stronger than any aluminum-based cover available. Once that tailgate is locked, it will take some back-breaking to break in.
Another trait we would like you to take under consideration while buying UnderCover Flex is that it offers multiple driving positions. You can drive it completely shut or in its strapped position which will give you 3/4th bed access and in a ninety-degree folded position which will give you full-bed access. Now, the notable aspect is that, unlike other hard folding covers that stick to the front cab in a vertical folding position, the flex holds itself in a straight position with the help of integrated prop rods.
Pro-tip– You should add bumper seals on the rear panel to avoid any accidental crash of the cover with the cab as the prop rods are made of cheap plastic that may loosen on a bumpy road.
Next, we’ll discuss the no drilling installation. You need professional help with this as some customers may find the instructions given in the manual guide are somewhat confusing. The rail alignment would need adjustments once or twice to fit perfectly with the ford.
The rest of the procedure is doable. Once you finish the installation, UnderCover Flex is ready to give your Ford F150 the best waterproofing experience by keeping it nice and dry with its heavy-duty fiberglass even under heavy rain or during a car wash.
2) Best Tonneau Cover For F150 Supercrew-
In our next review, we are going to discuss the best tonneau cover for F150 SuperCrew, Gator ETX soft roll-up cover from Gator Covers, a widely known brand in the automotive industry. You can get 100% access of your bed in just a few seconds because of its hassle-free roll-up design. Though the heavy-duty vinyl fabric wielded in the cover is lightweight yet once you’ll see how it adds to the versatility of the cover, you won’t complain one bit.
The glossy shine of the vinyl cover will enhance the overall look of your F150 supercrew. But one thing about the vinyl material we don’t fancy is that it may, shrink or fade if exposed to the high temperature for a prolonged period. But on the plus side, its silky smooth surface boosts its dust & water resistance capacity. You can also drive around in a fully opened position after you strap it with the buckles attached to the cover.
Continuing with its selling points, the cover comes with manual tension control which will allow you to modify & tighten it in case it gets loosened. With the help of this feature, you can maintain its snug fit no matter how much you use it.
Let’s talk about its installation system. There is no need for drilling still be aware that it could be a trial and error process for someone who isn’t mechanically inclined. You have to fasten three clamps on each rail on both sides which could take more than a few trials to adjust in the right position. Once you get them right, all you have to do is set the elevator bolt assembly on each side of the cover near the front of the cab.
That’s it, roll the cover on the Velcro strips attached to the rails to shut the cover and close the tailgate to especially their soft roll-up covers. But there are things we want you to consider before buying this cover. The rails and clamps both are of low-quality material. But Gator Cover offers a limited lifetime warranty on this cover so you can replace them in case they trouble you.
Another point that bothered us is that the trigger latch to open the cover is only available only on the driver’s side. It would have been better to have it on both sides.
3) Best Roll Up Tonneau Cover For F-150-
MaxMate tonneau covers manufactured in the USA are known for their par excellence performance. To the ford owners who don’t want to take any chance, we would recommend, Maxmate soft roll-up covers for their f-150. The highlight of this cover is dual-coated heavy-duty 24-ounce vinyl fabric. Added to this, there are aluminum rails and stainless steel clamps to ensure the durability of the cover.
Vinyl of this high quality can provide extra watertight coverage to your truck bed. Another aspect we love about this vinyl cover is that maintaining it is a breeze. Also, you are going to love the satin finish and sheath-like fitting of the cover.
Furthermore, the rolling mechanism of the maxmate soft cover is effortless to work with. Simply roll the cover on the Velcro strips present on the rails to seal it. If you are someone who needs access to your truck bed more often, then this roll-up cover would be a life savior for you. Plus, it has tension adjustment on the driver’s side to adjust the tightness of the cover from time to time.
The installation process, in our opinion, could be simple for some but difficult for others. Though all you have to do is secure the rails on each side of the bed with the help of the steel clamps and fix the elevator bolts, yet there are a few things you have to keep in mind. For instance, setting the rails in equal proportion from the tailgate is very important to balance the cover. The whole installation process depends on it.
Pro-tip- The manual guide instruction says that you don’t have to add the weather stripping if you have a plastic bed liner. But don’t make this mistake. Add the weather seal to your bulkhead near the cab otherwise, you will be left with a gap between the cover and the cab which will result in leakage.
Now one thing that we don’t like about this cover is that, unlike the folding covers, you have to completely undo the cover in order to remove it, including the rails and the clamps. If you ignore just this shortcoming, MaxMate soft roll-up cover is the best roll-up tonneau cover F15 with all its upgraded features.
4) Best Retractable Tonneau Cover For Ford F-150
The best tonneau cover for the Ford F150 should match its grandeur. That’s why we recommend you to go for the Gator Recoil Retractable Truck bed cover for your ford f-150. It only contains a solo panel with high-quality aluminum slats. The hard shell of aluminum slats provides a strong shield against any accidental impact, scratches, dust, and erosion increasing its lifespan.
What we love most about the gator recoil is that you can easily push in and pull out the cover manually from the dense canister by operating a locking cord. One pesky aspect of the canister is that it covers about a foot of the bed. But apart from that, you’ll get full access to the bed.
Also, the cover has matte black powder finishing which provides a low-profile elegant look to your truck bed. Something else that you’ll appreciate in the long run about the low-key matte finish is that it can absorb the harsh sunlight making the cover immune to fading.
Yet another trait that impressed us is its intermittent locking mechanism which will enable you to latch the cover on three different spots along the bed rail. Also, once you shut the cover with the tailgate, it’s nearly impossible to even for the meanest robber to break in.
Besides, warding off the intruders, the thick aluminum shell also lends safety against the water. Added to this, the weather seal around the edges and drain pipes that are placed below the canister provide additional water protection.
Now, let’s look into the tricky installation process. Let us make you aware of the fact that installation would take at least an hour if not more because it requires way more detailing than it’s shown in the instructions. Be ready to secure a lot of nuts, bolts, and clamps. If you’ll be able to do this patiently and correctly, the after result would be worth it.
Remember, in case you think there is any defective or missing item, the Gator Cover offers two years warranty. Overall in our view, it is an incredible quality cover that offers a lot more than you can imagine making it the best retractable tonneau cover f150.
How to Install Tonneau Cover Ford F150
Crucial Factors To Look Before Buying A Tonneau Cover For F150-
Climatic Condition– Before buying a suitable tonneau cover for your ford f-150, always consider the climate of the place you live in. Believe us, you don’t want to buy a softcover made of vinyl if you live in a place like a texas city. The scorching heat of the texas city will most probably shrink or melt it. Thus, choose hinged covers or hardcovers made of heavy-duty aluminum. As aluminum provides premium UV resistance.
Safety– All tonneau covers, no matter the type, provide at least minimal security to your truck bed by keeping whatever goods you have inside hidden from the unwanted surveillance. Yet if you need an extra level of security for your f-150, you should blindly go for the hardcovers that are made up of dense materials like aluminum and fiberglass which would be difficult to break. If possible choose hardcovers with an independent locking system.
Prevention– While buying a tonneau cover, you must keep in mind whether it is dust & dirt resistant or not. And whether it can withstand elements like mildew and mold or not. Purchasing a vinyl softcover, be it rolling or folding, would be a safer choice if you live in a dusty and damp region, as vinyl is easy to maintain and less prone to snag harmful organisms
Cost-Effective- Most ford owners fail to realize that expensive doesn’t always mean the best. Thus, they end up buying costly hardcovers even though they don’t need the upgraded features that come with them. Hopefully, you won’t let your mom scold you for wasting money on the expensive covers when there are so many affordable softcovers available in the market for you.
Types of Popular Tonneau Covers for F-150-
Folding Tonneau Covers for F-150-
Folding covers are well-established tonneau covers worldwide. Soft folding and Hard folding are two sets of folding covers that are available in both tri-fold and quad-fold options. Soft folding covers differ from hard folding covers in terms of their material, installation system, and price range. Soft folding covers are not only easy to manipulate but are more affordable than hard folding too.
But the fabrics like aluminum, fiberglass & ABC plastic used in hard folding are more rugged and secure than softcover materials like vinyl and canvas. Added to this, both soft and hard folding covers protect against water in their own way. The high-quality weatherproofing seals and drainage system in hardcovers and the vinyl fabric in softcovers which is known to be the most water-resistant can keep your truck bed dry on a similar level.
We would recommend the Ford owners who require full bed access to buy hard folding covers as soft folding covers only free up half proportion of the truck bed.
Retractable Tonneau Cover-
Designed to meet modern standards, retractable tonneau covers are those flat covers that consist of a single panel that glides sideways to the front of the truck bed in a spiral storage housing to open and close. Though they are more expensive than their distant cousin, hard folding covers, still they are more desired for many reasons.
Firstly, because operating them is child’s play. You can not only access your truck bed easily with one hand but can also, control them through wireless remote control. Secondly, they won’t cover the rear window of your Ford F-150 like folding covers.
The retractable covers are divided into two categories- Hard and Soft. The fabrics used in hardcovers are aluminum & polycarbonate and soft covers are mostly made of vinyl. You can lock the cover whenever you want, be it in the middle for partial access or at the end for full access. The sturdy retractable cover can provide ample security & overall weather resistance to your Ford F-150.
The only drawback of this cover is that the installation process can be a bit more complicated than other covers.
Rolling Tonneau Covers
As the name suggests, a rolling or roll-up tonneau cover is like a magic rolling mat that you can effortlessly fold at the front of the cab in just a few seconds. Comparing rolling covers to other tonneau covers would be like comparing apples to oranges. But let’s go through all the traits that make it stand out from its other siblings.
Unlike other tonneau covers, you don’t have to deal with several panels or a heavy frame with rolling covers. Even though some covers like hard folding and retractable covers do provide full bed access but you will always face some sort of a hindrance with them. For instance, hard folding panels cover the rear window, so you can’t drive with your cover open and the barrel of the retractable cover takes up a lot of space. With rolling covers, you’ll be free from such discomfort.
The roll-up covers have two categories, soft rolling, and hard rolling covers. For Ford F150, soft roll-up covers are most commonly used because of their simpler workability. Though their soft material vinyl and canvas are extremely lightweight, still they provide substantial protection to your truck bed.
Added to this, they deliver considerable protection against harsh weather conditions. Soft rolling cover has an upper hand over hard rolling covers simply because their fabrics are lighter than hardcover aluminum & fiberglass fabrics. That is why they are easier to fold and unfold too. But yes, the safety that will come with hard rolling covers is difficult to beat by soft rolling ones.
Hinged Tonneau Covers-
Hinged tonneau covers, also known as single-piece solid tonneau covers, are flat covers that work in a similar fashion to a car bonnet. It consists of a sole panel that is connected to the bulkhead of the cab by two or three metal hinges. It can only be opened in an upward direction with the help of in-built gas struts. They will give you a full view of your truck bed once opened.
The best thing about hinged covers is that they can be painted to match the color of your Ford F-150. They are robustly built with heavy-grade aluminum, fiberglass, and ABC plastic. They can provide top-notch security to your F150 with a high-quality tailgate locking mechanism. Besides the security, they can prevent dust, water, and harsh sunlight to enter the truck bed.
However, these truck bed covers have some unlikeable traits too like their high price and the intricate installation system. You may need a professional to install them. Also, its lack of flexibility won’t allow you to carry oversized cargo in your ford because even fully opened, the hinged covers engulf half of the space of your truck bed. That is why they aren’t that popular amongst ford owners.
To make a long story short, buying a tonneau cover for your truck bed is a necessity these days. But while buying the best tonneau cover f150 focus on what you need instead of what you desire. Think about your truck bed size & your truck type. Think about how often you use it and how much security you want. Hopefully, you can select the best one from the tonneau covers we have reviewed for your f-150.