Whether you’re protecting you beds contents or just want a stylish look, you’ll want the best Tacoma bed cover to get the job done, plain and simple.
A pickup truck’s greatest feature, its bed, is also its greatest weakness. After all, there’s nothing stopping the rain (or a less savory member of society) from ruining that club size box of taquitos or enormous sack of flour you just picked up at Costco. Despite having five (or six, or eight) feet of cargo capacity behind the cab of your truck, leaving items out in the open isn’t generally the best of ideas.
Enter the tonneau cover. Intended to turn your truck’s bed into a large, covered space, this accessory does a great job of keep the weather – and prying eyes – away from the stuff you’ve summarily hurled into the back of your pickup truck. Like most things in life, there are different approaches to this problem, with some covers being made of fabric and other of hard plastic. We’ll cover (pun intended) both here.
We’ve selected a pickup truck that’s representative of our readers, a late-model short-box Toyota Tacoma, to help make apples-to-apples comparisons in terms of cost. Always be sure to check your application before hitting the ‘Buy Now’ button because the Toyota Tacoma tonneau cover shown here won’t fit your F-150 SuperCrew.
Next time, you can make that Costco run without worry
Table of contents
BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover
On of the best Tacoma bed covers our list is this product because it is markedly similar to the one your author prefers for his own fleet. The BAKFlip MX4 tonneau cover has durable aluminum panels that automatically latch as the cover is partially or fully closed and is fully locked once your tailgate is closed. A Toyota Tacoma bed cover such as this is a tremendously secure option, and superior seals around its perimeter (including the tailgate) do a great job of keeping out bad weather.
But the real star of this Toyota Tacoma tonneau cover? The ability of its third panel to flip up against the truck’s rear window, permitting nearly 100% bed usage. Many hard-surface tonneau covers only flip two of the three panels, leaving the one right up by the cab in place and robbing useful cargo area when you’re trying to use your truck as a truck. This design solves that vexing problem. It’ll also bear 400 pounds of evenly distributed weight.
TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover
A common variant of this accessory is one which has a soft surface design and can be rolled up like a tarp when not in use. The advantages here are twofold: they’re cheaper to buy and are guaranteed not to hog cargo space when you’re trying to put something tall in the bed of your Tacoma. In this instance, owners simply unlock the tailgate latches & roll up the cover against the truck’s back window.
There is a measure of security here, since the tailgate – which can be locked – must be lowered before the tonneau cover can be rolled back. Of course, since this product is made of leather-embossed vinyl instead of hard plastic, a quick slash with a sharp blade is all that’s needed to gain access. Still, it makes for a great theft deterrent since a thief is more likely to target low-effort trucks without any tonneau cover at all. This Toyota Tacoma tonneau cover sits 1.5 inches above the truck bed, adding a dose of style to the thing as well.
RetraxPRO MX Retractable Tonneau Cover
Occupying the white space between hard-surface and soft-surface tonneau covers is this unit from a company called Retrax. As you can guess from its name, this thing rolls up like one of those old-school rolltop desks that your great-grandfather had in his office a million years ago. The PRO MX Toyota Tacoma bed cover has sealed ball-bearing rollers mounted onto aluminum support beams allowing smooth and easy bed access.
It features durable, aluminum panels that can support up to 500 lbs. of evenly distributed weight, as well as a matte finish for UV and scratch protection. One super cool feature that’s sure to be a party trick at the campground or tailgate party? The option of remote-controlled power operation. The canister into which the rolled-up cover retracts is about a foot square, with about 6 inches of space underneath it up at the head of the truck box. Also, this retractable cover can be locked in place anywhere along the truck bed, securing loose pieces of cargo too tall to fit under the cover.
Access Cover TonnoSport Tonneau Cover
Here’s another tonneau cover for your Toyota Tacoma that is of the soft-top roll-up variety. Its clamping system doesn’t require drilling into your truck bed to install the thing, which is always good since most of us dislike making holes in vehicles on which we are still making payments. The knackered (but unkillable) Silverado we use for firewood duty doesn’t count. Like the other soft cover on this list, the TonnoSport sits about a half-inch above bed level and looks good.
The cover is lockable and rolls up out of the way for easy access to the truck bed, meaning there is no need for irritating removal gymnastics when hauling large or tall items in the truck bed. It locks up with the tailgate lock, assuming your truck is equipped with one, and secured in place with a pair of easy-to-turn handles. The cover itself is made from a double-coat commercial grade reinforced vinyl, meaning it’ll stand up to bad weather and UV rays alike.
Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover
We’ll wrap up our list with one more hard-surface Toyota Tacoma tonneau cover, one which folds in thirds like the unit listed earlier but – critically – does not allow complete and full vertical access to the bed when it is folded up. In this example, the tonneau panel closest to the truck’s cab remains secured in place, providing a space on which to rest the other two panels but hogging the front one-third of your cargo area.
This isn’t all bad, since this design’s lack of movement means a more permanent fit and provides a robust watertight seal. It also provides a great surface on which to rest the other two tonneau panels and one can actually see out the truck’s back window when this cover is folded up. It is also a bit cheaper than the other hard top cover on our list.
How do you install a bed cover on a Toyota Tacoma?
At risk of sounding saucy, we’ll tell you to read the instructions and follow them carefully. Outside of that pithy advice, soft tonneau covers generally require the installation of some sort of track system, one which doesn’t always play well with OEM bed equipment. Check your application before ordering as there are many options to get around this problem. Some hard surface tonneau covers are simply lined up and plopped on the truck bed, secured in place with robust clamps that aren’t visible from the outside.
What is the best locking truck hard bed cover for the Toyota Tacoma?
Your author prefers the ones in which all three folding panels can be origami’d out of the way. This gives the best of both worlds – a covered cargo area and space for taller items when you’re doing real truck stuff. The hard covers in which the third panel doesn’t move are fine but infinitely less practical if you’re constantly hauling big items like furniture. The ‘rolltop’ tonneau covers are technically hard bed covers; we will note here that they have a lot of moving parts but are totally cool.
Any other tips or tricks?
Make sure everything is lined up properly when installing, lest you end up with a cover resting at a jaunty angle. Securing the thing to spec is also important; without such measures you’re likely to lose the thing at highway speeds. This not only results in a lost item valued at hundreds of dollars but can also cause a danger for other motorists. RTFM and you’ll be fine.
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