Both soft and hard bed covers are made for different scenarios. Hard tonneau covers are better for harsh weather conditions, sharp-edged cargo, and delicate loads. On the other hand, soft covers are affordable, fit for awkward-shaped cargo, and best for carrying lighter loads.
Is Soft or Hard Tonneau Cover Better?
Between soft and hard tonneau cover, there is no evident winner. The question of which one is better for you depends on various factors. We will compare these two types from different aspects in this section.
As the name suggests, soft tonneau covers are lightweight and easy to handle. They are easy to operate and maintain. You will even find some designs where you can electronically control the cover to be on and off.
Soft bed covers have a sleek look and pristine finish that will attract any customer any day. The soft covers have elastic fibers that make them easier to install.
On the other hand, the hard tonneau covers lack flexibility. They require more effort to operate. The purpose of their sturdy build is to withstand harsh weather conditions. Thus, user comfort is sacrificed.
Security of Truck Beds
Hard tonneau covers provide better security to the loads in a truck bed. They have high resistance against natural and artificial abrasives. Their hard and thick build coupled with an anti-theft locking system makes it extra hard to break or tear into.
However, the soft covers do not have such strength. You can easily punch a hole into it. The lithe fabric of soft covers makes it easier to break into. So, you can assume that these covers are not suitable for delicate loads and storage purposes.
The price range of tonneau cover is an important matter of consideration. Soft truck bed covers are much affordable compared to hard bed covers. If you are a truck owner and looking for a budget tonneau cover, then a soft tonneau cover should be at the top of your consideration.
On the other hand, hard tonneau covers tend to have higher price tags due to their sturdy design and durable build. The scope of customizable finish also adds to the price. This makes the hard tonneau cover among the high-end covers in the market.
As the soft tonneau covers tend to be flexible, they are much easier to fit truck beds. You can fit the cover snugly into the bed without any delay. This comes into handy when you need a quick solution to rain, dust, or snow.
However, installing the hard bed covers are not as easy as soft covers. They tend to be rigid, which makes them harder to fit into the truck beds. You might even have protruding issues with hard tonneau covers.
The heavy build of hard tonneau covers makes them perfect for protection. However, due to their heavyweight, they are more difficult and exhausting to install.
On the other hand, soft covers are easier to install due to their lightweight. But they do not protect hard bed covers do. This is an issue for many to choose a hard bed cover over a soft one.
Hard bed covers have more resistance to damage compared to soft truck bed covers. As they are rigid, you can rely on them for the total protection of your truck bed. They can handle the harshest onslaught of nature and artificial abrasives. So, if you are carrying delicate and precious objects, getting a hard tonneau cover is the best way to do it.
Soft covers are prone to damage. However, they can handle light foreign objects such as dust and snow. If you believe you are not going to face harsh weather conditions, then you can make do with the soft bed covers.
Surprisingly enough, the appearance of your truck bed cover matters. If we have to compare the appearance of hard and soft covers, both have their pros. The soft tonneau covers tend to have a perfect fit without any protruding issues. They have a smooth finish and a nice vibe to them.
However, you don’t get many color options or customize the finish. The hard tonneau cover on the other hand has the option of a customizable finish. You will even have the option of choosing your preferred color. They make your truck look sleeker and rigged.
Therefore, you can see that hard bed covers are better when you are carrying important loads in harsh conditions. But if your journey isn’t that long to face harsh weather conditions, and you are not carrying delicate stuff in your truck bed, then it’s a different story. In this case, it would be a waste of money spending behind a hard tonneau cover other than a soft tonneau cover.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do tonneau covers have shrinking issues?
Ans: Soft covers tend to shrink often but the hard bed covers hardly shrink. The reason is that the soft fibers of a soft bed cover lose their elasticity over a long period of usage. Cold weather conditions also have a hand in this. These are the reasons shrinkage takes place.
Q: Can I make my tonneau cover look new?
Ans: You can reserve the pristine condition of your tonneau cover through proper use and regular maintenance. To do that, you must not use soft covers with sharp-edged cargo. Similarly, you should avoid using hard bed covers with awkward-shaped cargo.
Both soft and hard tonneau covers do what they are supposed to do. Aside from their unique aesthetics, their protection qualities cannot be questioned. The crux of the matter is situation-based. However, when installed correctly, both covers will serve you beautifully. But you must keep in mind the cargo needs, budget, and preferences.