The 10 Best F150 Bed Covers
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in August of 2015. Whether you're a new convert or a longtime owner of America's best-selling truck, every so often you'll want to protect the contents of your F150's bed from the elements and/or thieves. Thankfully, any one of these covers will do the trick perfectly. They're easy to install and remove, come in both hard and soft varieties, and are available in prices to suit a range of budgets. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 10, 2020:
Anybody who has ever owned a pickup truck knows how annoying it can be to get caught in the rain when transporting cargo that you don't want to get wet. It is equally vexing to have to unload everything from the bed at night, lest someone steal something. Enter truck bed covers. These handy items solve both those problems.
During this update we made a few minor changes. Though we still stand by nearly all of our choices from the last time we visited this list, there are two exceptions. We decided to eliminate the Bak BakFlip G2 in favor of the BakFlip MX4. The MX4 has a matte finish that better matches the accessories found on most F150s, and it also has a thicker, high-density core that allows it to support up to 400 pounds, whereas the G2 can only support 300. Another notable difference is the dual-action tailgate seal in the MX4, which means you can open and close the tailgate without having to adjust the position of the cover.
We also replaced the Roll-N-Lock LG101M with the Roll N Lock E-Series. The latter has an electric motor that you control via a small key fob, making it one of the most convenient options on the market. As you would expect though, it is pricey, so it won't be suitable for anyone on a tight budget.
Those without a lot of cash to spare are generally going to have to settle on a soft model, like the Tyger Auto T3, TruXedo Soft Roll-Up, Tonno Pro Tri-Fold, and Gator ETX 53316. While these offer less security than hard models, they will still keep everything in the bed dry during rainstorms and can act as a visual theft deterrent, if not a serious physical one.
Along with picking up a cover, you might want to consider a bed mat to keep the floor of your cargo space in tip top condition.
June 27, 2019:
Truck bed covers come in soft and hard models. Soft models are going to be cheaper, but hard models provide better security, so you'll have to decide what is most important to you. Our favorite hard tops are the RetraxPro XR, Bak Revolver X2, and Roll-N-Lock LG101M. The RetraxPro XR slides smoothly, can be key-locked into any position, and its excess cover material is hidden below the bed's rails when in the open position. The Roll-N-Lock LG101M has similar features, except it can only be locked open at four pre-set positions. If you are worried about the retraction mechanisms of the these two models jamming or breaking, then you may want to consider the Bak Revolver X2 instead. It has a roll-up design, but unlike most roll-ups, is actually a hard cover. It sits flush with the rails when installed and won't cause a huge blind spot when driving with it completely open.
Of the panel models on our list, the Bak BakFlip G2 and UnderCover Flex FX21019, both of which are hard covers, fold all the way up to allow for full bed access, whereas the Tyger Auto T3, Tonno Pro Tri-Fold, and Rugged Liner EH-F5515 only allow for two-thirds access unless they are completely removed. If you want a soft top that allows for full bed access, then we recommend a roll-up model like the TruXedo TruXport Soft Roll-Up or Gator ETX 53316.
UnderCover Hard Painted If you want a cover that perfectly matches the paint job of your truck, your best bet is to go right to Ford. This model is constructed of lightweight ABS polymer plastic that makes it easy for one person to lift up when they need access to the bed. It has contoured edges that help it to blend in seamlessly with your vehicle and also direct water flow away, and it even comes with a wall-mount hanger to store it out of the way when not in use. ford.com
Ranch Sportwrap The Ranch Sportwrap is designed specifically to fit your particular model year and comes in factory paint colors, so it will offer a seamless look. It is constructed from fiberglass, making it essentially impenetrable to thieves, but at the same time, a hinged design and lift-assisting arms make it easy for you retrieve things from the bed when needed. autoaccessoriesgarage.com
History Of The Ford F-Series Truck
In 1953, Ford celebrated its 50th anniversary and completely redesigned the F-Series truck line.
The Ford F-Series of trucks has been the best selling line of trucks in the United States for nearly 40 consecutive years. It has also been the top-selling vehicle of any kind for over 30 years. The F-Series line was first released in 1948 and has been continually modified and improved year after year since its inception.
When Ford released the 1948 F-Series truck, it was their first post-war line of new vehicles. They came with three engine options and a range of cab and chassis configurations. The smallest of these being the F-1, and the largest being a 3-ton beast of a vehicle, the F-8.
In 1953, Ford celebrated its 50th anniversary and completely redesigned the F-Series truck line. The F-1 was replaced by the F-100, and the F-2 and F-3 models were both replaced by the F-250. It was also the first year that an automatic transmission was offered in Ford's truck line and the last year for the Ford flathead V-8 engine, which is still popular with retro hot-rodders today.
1959 marked the first year that a factory installed 4-wheel drive option was available on both the F-100 and the F-250. Before this time, only aftermarket conversions were available. Ford's decision to offer their F-Series truck line with factory 4-wheel drive was influenced by the increasing public interest in off-roading recreational vehicles. This was also a time when the pickup truck began to enjoy some popularity as a personal vehicle, instead of just a work truck.
In 1975, the first Ford F-150s were released. It was intended to be a heavy-duty version of the popular F-100 with a higher payload and stronger springs, but eventually its popularity far surpassed that of its smaller counterpart and, in 1984, the F-150 replaced the F-100 as Ford's base model full-size pickup truck.
Benefits Of Truck Bed Covers
Truck bed covers offer a vehicle owner a number of benefits that cannot be realized with an open bed. One of the most obvious being protection from the elements. Harsh weather of all types can be damaging to not just a truck bed, but its contents as well. Long-term exposure to the sun can cause cracking in plastic and leather items, as well as bleaching and color loss. Rain can cause metal items to rust and damage sensitive electronics. If one does not have a truck bed cover, they will only be able to transport items in fair weather. Truck bed covers also protect cargo from road debris and dust, ensuring your items arrive clean and free of damage.
Installing a truck bed cover can increase a vehicle's MPG by anywhere from 5 to 10 percent.
Truck bed covers offer your cargo more security, from both falling out and theft. Just keeping valuables out of sight is often enough to reduce the chances of anything being stolen from a truck bed, but a locking truck bed cover can offer even more protection. In fact, a locking truck bed cover is the best way to reduce the chances of equipment theft.
Anytime cargo is loaded into an open pickup truck bed and transported at high speeds, there is also a chance of it falling out on the road, especially lighter items that can be tossed around by the wind. Truck bed covers can prevent you from losing items and also keep the roads safer.
It's not just people who often transport cargo that can benefit from a truck bed cover. Everybody feels the pinch of steadily increasing gas prices. This is doubly so for vehicles like trucks, which are known to get lower miles per gallon. In addition to an efficient engine, one of the best ways to improve a cars MPG is to make it more aerodynamic. Installing a truck bed cover can increase a vehicle's MPG by anywhere from 5 to 10 percent.
Picking The Right Truck Bed Cover
Soft tonneau covers are ideal for those who don't want to spend a lot and are interested in improving MPG and protecting equipment from the elements. Most have a frame of some type that supports the soft vinyl material and they snap closed along the edges of the truck. Unfortunately, they cannot be locked so they are not great for anyone who wants to store equipment overnight.
Many also feature a rear tension system to make attaching the cover in cold weather easier.
Roll-up soft tonneau covers are slightly more expensive than standard soft tonneau covers, but they are more convenient. They have similar security drawbacks, but are easier to remove when access to the bed is needed. Many also feature a rear tension system to make attaching the cover in cold weather easier.
For those who often need to access just a small section of their truck bed, folding covers are often the perfect choice. They are available in soft and hard versions, and many can be locked in place when the tailgate is locked. They will also allow you to carry tall cargo, while still leaving a portion of the truck bed covered.
Another option for those who like convenience is the retractable cover. These slide into a canister located at the front of the bed. They offer a sleek appearance as they are generally flush with the truck and are available in a range of materials. Retractable covers offer a high level of security as nearly every model can be locked, and many can be secured even when partially opened.