Truck Caps Vs. Tonneau Covers

The Ford F-150 is currently the bestselling vehicle in Canada. With this massive following, it’s no wonder the aftermarket options of accessories for trucks are so plentiful. From rooftop tents, winches, LED bars, tow mirrors, you name it. People love to personalize their trucks. Well, why not personalize your cargo space as well with a tonneau cover? Or should you buy a truck cap?

Tonneau Cover

A tonneau cover is a cover that covers the back or “box” of the truck. They can be soft or hard covers. Both are great for protecting your cargo. They increase fuel economy by improving the aerodynamics of your truck. Each tonneau cover is unique in its design and features. There are five different tonneau covers:

One-Piece Fiberglass Tonneau Covers

These are custom made depending on your box size and are a one-piece, sturdy cover of your truck bed. This option blends in the best with the rest of the truck because each one is painted to match your truck. They also come with the ability to lock. However, they do limit the size of cargo unless you remove the cover.

Roll-up & Fold-up Tonneau Covers

These are the most versatile of tonneau covers available. They’re pretty lightweight, so they can usually be switched from one vehicle to the next. They are often black and made of a variety of materials. Only some of them offer locks.

Canvas Tonneau Covers

Canvas tonneau covers are extremely lightweight and easily removable. They’re ideal for someone who uses their full truck bed from time to time and needs it unobstructed. You can’t lock them; however, they’re made of very durable, marine-grade vinyl.

Retractable Tonneau Covers

Retractable tonneau covers offer the durability of a fiberglass cover with the ability to roll it up. The durability comes from the strong tracks that run along either side of the truck bed. Retractable covers are lockable and keep most of the elements out.

Toolbox Covers

These are made of different materials so that they can accommodate different toolboxes.

Truck Caps

A cap is also known as a truck bed shell or a camper shell. They come in all different shapes and sizes. Because of the increase in height at the back, a cap offers significantly more storage than a normal pickup truck. Your needs for the back of the truck will really dictate your height requirement. For example, if you’re going to use it as a camper, you’ll want to be able to stand up inside.

They’re usually made of fiberglass or sometimes aluminum, offering a strong enclosure to store tools and other items. Options include windows or vents on the side, and they, too, are coated in the same colour as your truck.

Once a cap is installed on a truck, it’ll take two or more people to remove. If your cap has been properly fit to your truck, it will be weather proof except perhaps in high winds.

What Are You Trying to Cover?

As with any modifications to your vehicle, it comes down to assessing your needs. If you use your truck for work and a defined set of tasks, then you can likely choose a permanent cover (if that suits those tasks). But if your truck hauls family furniture one weekend, transports construction tools during the week, and takes you and your friends overlanding during the summer, then you’ll want a more flexible cover on the back. Whatever you choose, though, know that you have lots of options open to