Before you can choose the best Tacoma Tonneau cover for your truck, you need to know what you are looking for and why. Tonneau is a French word for the open passenger or cargo areas of a motor vehicle. The first covers were a simple canvas that kept the rain and sun off cargo and passengers that were unprotected.
Today, few American trucks or cars have an open passenger area, so a cover is used to protect the bed and walls, along with its cargo from the effects of the sun and weather, not to mention theft.
Editor's Note: We cover the recommended synthetic oil for hemis here.
The Different Types Available
There are four types of cover made for Tacoma and other trucks: Folding, Roll-up, Retractable, and Hinged.
Folding covers come in a bi-fold or tri-fold option. Each type folds for quick access, and most companies have options of fabric stretched over a frame, or a metal shell to meet every budget.
Roll-up covers provide coverage of the cargo area at an affordable price. It is secured against the cab for access to the cargo area, unlike folding covers. Most install in a few minutes.
Retractable covers are tougher and can be locked down for secure storage if you are away from your Tacoma. It has a more attractive look than roll-up or folding covers.
Hinged covers provide the best security and weather protection for your Tacoma truck. The metal shell can be painted a perfect match to its color. They are the most expensive option but are worth the cost if you have the budget.
The tonneaus listed are the best mix on Amazon for quality and price. Make certain you choose one that matches the year and model of your Tacoma truck.
8 Top Covers for the Tacoma Tonneau 2021
BEST FOLDING BED COVER
The Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold fits the 2016-2019 Toyota Tacoma 5’ Bed Models. Each Gator ETX selection has a limited lifetime warranty on the frame and ten years on the vinyl tarp itself.
The bed seals vary by make and model but are covered by the warranty.
Gator’s manufacturing, assembly, and customer service are based in the USA with a 24-hour support team.
The cover ships assembled and is an easy and quick installation, taking less than 10 minutes. Tacoma owners secure the built-in clamps to the bed rails with no drilling or other tools needed.
The Gator ETX seals protect the bed of your Tacoma and its cargo from dirt, wind, snow, and ice. Closed, the Soft Tri-fold provides a sleek appearance, and its durable design looks good when secured in the open position. Strong aluminum cross-pieces support tear-resistant vinyl, enhancing strength & durability.
- Free tailgate seal
- Manufactured and assembled in the USA
- Easy, quick installation with no tools required
- Limited Lifetime warranty on the Gator frame and a 10-year warranty on the cover tarp
- Hinges require replacement faster than on other models
BEST SOFT ROLLING BED COVER
Truxedo's TruXport is an attractive roll-up truck bed cover that includes top quality features with a price that won't break the bank. The TruXport is easy to install on the 2016 and 2017 Tacoma 5’ Short bed models, and operation is simple.
Once installed, the pre-set tension control built into the latching system helps maintain a tight seal against the weather and the cover’s great look all year.
The vinyl cover rolls up without blocking the rear-view mirror and has a tight, smooth look if extended and in the closed position. The tonneau functions well in any climate, and its hook and loop system ensures a tight contact between the cover and the rails for a snug, waterproof seal. Installation is simple, requires no drilling or other tools, and can be accomplished in under 20 minutes by one person.
The cover sits about 15 inches above the cargo bed and provides an attractive look. There are dual paddle latches on both sides of the tonneau, fastening it to the rails and are accessed on either side of your Tacoma.
- Tool-free installation in under 20 minutes
- Hook and Loop system easy to fasten even in freezing weather
- Dual paddle latches allow easy access to either side of the tonneau
- Only fits the 2016 and 2017 Tacoma models
BEST HARD ROLLING BED Option
Introducing the BAK Revolver X4, a hard rolling truck suggestion packed with many of the same great features of the X2, with a stylish, matte black finish.
When closed, heavy-duty aluminum slats secure the cover the full length of the bed on both sides, providing unrivaled strength and security.
When opened, the cover rolls up providing full bed access without blocking the rear view mirror and third brake light visibility.
The Revolver X4 gives your truck a finished, OEM look. The heavy-duty aluminum slats are topped with industrial-grade, matte finish vinyl. Don't forget the new matte finish rails and seals that match the factory bed rail caps of your truck.
Unrivaled Security - Patented Locking Rails Secure the Cover the Full Length of the Bed.
No Heavy Lifting – Cover Rolls Open and Closed and Rolls Tight for 100% Bed Access.
No-Drill Clamp-On Installation, Extended 3-Year Warranty, Made in the USA.
Sleek, Low-Profile Design and Close the Tailgate with the Cover Open or Closed
- 100% truck bed access when rolled-up
- Made in the USA with a 3-year warranty
- Heavy-duty aluminum slats provide exceptional strength and improved security
- Factory rails needed to be removed to install the X4
The BAKFlip MX4 is constructed with heavy-duty aluminum panels. Each panel is covered with a matte finish for scratch resistance and UV protection.
It is similar to other BAKFlip tonneaus, but the MX4 has an upgraded latch housing component, and the new, Universal Tailgate operation has an integrated seal that functions with the tailgate open or closed.
This all-season truck bed tonneau is designed for extreme environments, from the heat in Arizona to blizzards in Colorado.
The BAKFlip's frame design mounts flush to the Tacoma bed for a low-profile appearance. It stands up to everyday use and provides clear visibility to the brake lights if folded up. It is backed by BAKFlip’s 3 year extended warranty and is manufactured and assembled in the USA.
Folded up, this BAKFlip tonneau provides 100% Truck Bed Access, allowing you to haul anything that can fit in the cargo area. It maintains visibility to the third brake light when folded and secured toward the cab.
- Made in the USA
- Universal Tailgate operation
- 100% truck bed access when folded
- Heavy-duty, scratch-resistant aluminum panels with premium UV protection
- Limited color options
The Tonno Pro Tonno Fold Tri-folding Tonneau is one of the best truck bed covers for Toyota Tacomas and many other models. The Tonno 42-512 ships assembled and can be installed in less than 10 minutes with no drilling required.
You’ll enjoy security and protection for your cargo and truck bed in a few minutes. The three sections of this Tonno Tri-Fold are hinged, which makes it easy to collapse into a compact, flat unit.
This allows one person to remove the entire tonneau in a minute if you need space for oversized cargo or fold toward the cab and secure in place for smaller loads that do not require the entire cargo area.
The panels are marine grade, tear-resistant, double-sided vinyl. Each one has Tonno’s proprietary black textured finish for a sleek, professional appearance. The aluminum frame secure to the bed rails with our patented slide-lock design, and the snap clip fastening system provides safe and easy storage open or closed.
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Marine-grade, tear-resistant vinyl
- Tonno Torch detachable LED bed light
- Q-seal gasket provides an excellent weather seal
- Ships already assembled and installs in less than 10 minutes
- Does not provide 100% truck bed access when unfolded
The TruXedo Titanium is a hard roll-up truck cover that offers the best of both worlds; combining the all-weather protection of a vinyl roll-up tonneau with a hard aluminum substrate that coils up above the truck bed if rolled forward.
The cover is an excellent combination of TruXedo's signature low-profile design and the benefit of added strength, security, and durability. Titanium is ready for whatever you throw at it.
Designed to fit the 2016 and 2017 Toyota Tacoma 6' Bed models, Titanium installation is fast, with no drilling or special tools required.
The lightweight aluminum slats are solid and durable, providing a 400-pound load rating. The leather-grain vinyl is UV-resistant and offers excellent protection from the elements. To secure your Tacoma cargo bed, all you have to is close your cover and lock the tailgate. The Integrated Slat Caps offer a cool-to-the-touch operating point if the cover is too hot to touch and provides a finished professional look.
- Hard aluminum frame
- Slats covered with UV-resistant vinyl
- The slats do not block the rear window when rolled-up
- Cover locks in place with the tailgate for excellent cargo security
- The TruXedo 957001 Titanium only fits the 2016 and 2017 models
The Rugged Liner Hard Folding Tonneau Cover ships assembled. The truck bed clamps are built into the cover so that it can be installed or removed with no drilling or other tools. The built-in straps let you fold the cover up to the rear window and secure it to the front of your truck bed.
This allows you to drive with it open or closed, keeping it out of the way if the cargo is too tall for the tonneau to close. The cover comes with a built-in tether for increased safety, and two LED cargo lights for excellent visibility at night.
The Premium Hard Folding Cover gives your Tacoma truck a better aerodynamic design, with lower wind resistance and a sleek appearance. Rigid aluminum makes up the top and bottom layers and hinges at the top of the cover. Between the layers is a high-density foam which provides increased durability and strength. It installs in less than six minutes and is backed by a 3-year warranty.
- Built-in tether for additional safety
- No tools required for installation
- Two built-in, LED cargo lights
- 3-year warranty
- Does not provide 100% easy access to the cargo area
The American Tonneau 76410 Hard Tri-Fold is a stylish, high-quality vinyl wrapped hard truck bed cover packed with great features. Beyond its good looks, this Tri-Fold is simple to use, ships to each customer assembled, and takes a few minutes to install with no tools or drilling required.
Once installed, it folds up against the cab for quick access to the truck bed and its contents.
The panels and frame are constructed from an industry-leading composite and covered with a premium mildew and mold resistant vinyl. The robust construction leads to a sleek, professional finished product that provides a secure seal against extreme weather.
The 76410 and all other American Tonneau covers are manufactured and assembled in the United States. Each of their products is covered by the company’s limited lifetime warranty and come with a free tailgate seal, a $32 value. The 76410 fits all Tacoma models with a 6’ bed.
- Removes in seconds
- Free tailgate seal included. A $32 value
- Installation can be completed in under 5 minutes
- Manufactured and assembled in the United States
- Bottom of the rear window is partially blocked when the cover is folded back
Tips Regarding Usage, Toolboxes, Etc
The best tonneau cover for a Tacoma truck is the one that meets your needs. Before you make your final choice, remember that a quality product can last the life of your Tacoma truck. It can add value at resale, so don’t be hasty in your decision or pick the cheapest option available. A few things to consider:
Do you need constant access to the truck bed? Are you hauling dirt or large items like appliances or off-road vehicles? Guess what; a truck cover might be a waste of time and money if that describes how you use your Tacoma.
Are you hauling common items like grocery bags, tools, sports equipment, and luggage on trips? Do you need access to 100% of your truck bed each day, week, or less? If the answers are yes and no, a better option might be a roll-up cover, either vinyl or one with metal slats. They do not require the need to expose the entire truck bed to retrieve the cargo and are a more affordable option.
Is there a bike rack on the tailgate or built into the cargo area? That can determine the type of tonneau and may eliminate many hard shell tonneau options. On the other hand, if you use your truck constantly and are in the cargo area between multiple trips each day, the best option is a hard shell option that lifts to give you complete access.
Where you live may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in this case. If you live in Portland, the tonneau you choose has to seal against rainfall that takes up half the year and more in many cases. The same is true for snow in the Northern states like Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. If your problem is with an intense sun over 300 days a year in states like Arizona or New Mexico, you need a cover to protect the bed of your Tacoma.
In the case of rain and snow, a strong seal is more important than how sleek the top looks or if it is flush with the top of the truck bed. Most tonneau types have a good seal, but be sure to look for one that advertises how it keeps out moisture. When battling the effects of the sun, it needs to be sealed with UV-resistant paint or vinyl.
If your Tacoma is a work truck, you probably have a toolbox mounted in the truck bed. If the top is lower than the rail next to the cab, then almost every type of tonneau cover can be fitted in place. The problem then is raising the cover or rolling it back so you can fully open and access the toolbox. There are several options.
If you have bought a truck, and have not mounted a toolbox or a tonneau, make certain you purchase a toolbox that meets your requirements but stays below the level of the rails. That way, you can choose anything from a roll-up to a hard shell.
Before mounting the toolbox, choose which tonneau you want. If a roll-up is the best option for you, leave enough space between the toolbox and the back of your Tacoma, so the lid opens and stays up on its own.
Some companies offer a toolbox that attaches underneath their tri-fold covers. They open in front, and are a good choice for larger tools, especially in short bed trucks.
HOW TO MEASURE YOUR TRUCK BED
The size of a truck short bed varies from 5’ to 6’6” depending on the manufacturer. Long beds start at over 6’. The only sure way to know your bed size is to grab a tape measure (and a friend). Start at the inside rail behind the rear (the bulkhead) and pull the tape out to the inside rail of the tailgate. This is the measurement used by cover manufacturers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I have a limited budget?
Answer: They come in a wide price range, so you should be able to find a model that meets your requirement and your wallet? Unless you carry high-value items that can be easily carried off and resold, security should not be a concern, and a cheaper roll-up tonneau should be good.
I have a lift, does that affect what I need?
Answer: If it’s high enough, yes, a high lift means that you may not be able to reach up to pull the cover down if it is a single piece, hard shell. The same is true for heavier roll-up and folding covers.
Do I need help installing it?
Answer: In most cases, the answer is no. The covers available today are lightweight and ship assembled. The heavier, one-piece shells might require a second person to lift over the truck bed to align it.
Make sure to choose an option that matches the year model and truck bed length. Pick one that lasts and looks good as you’re driving down the road.