Which Is Better Roll Up Or Tri Fold Tonneau Cover

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Last Updated on May 6, 2022

Trying to choose between a roll-up or a tri-fold tonneau cover? It is a dilemma for most buyers who are looking for a tonneau cover. Both of them are widely popular and have a lot of similarities. It is quite difficult to choose either of them without knowing all the details. And that is where we are going to help you.

In this article, we will provide all the details about both of them with the pros and the cons. We didn’t write it as roll-up vs tri-fold tonneau cover. We have provided all the information you need. By the end of this article, you’ll be sure which one will be the best suited for you.

Which Is Better Roll Up Or Tri Fold Tonneau Cover

Roll-up tonneau cover

As the name suggests, you have to roll the top cover towards the bulkhead to open it and do the opposite to close it. Isn’t it simple? Well, providing the simplest opening and closing method is the main target of a roll-up tonneau cover.

Usually, the soft roll-up covers are made out of some kind of vinyl. You’ll find that pretty much all the hard roll-up covers are made with sturdy aluminum panels.

Roll-up covers are easy to open and close. They don’t require any lifting like the foldable tonneau covers. There is one thing many people don’t like about roll-up covers. You’ll have to hold the cover with some kind of strap or lock while it’s open. In this way, it takes a longer time to open and close than a tri-fold cover.

As the cover needs to roll up, the top covering part isn’t that strong. Even the hard roll-up tonneau covers are made with thin aluminum panels. So, the security won’t be as solid as a tri-fold tonneau cover. The weather protection is quite the same with a soft roll-up and tri-fold tonneau cover. In harsh weather, the soft tri-folds perform better though.

But hard roll-up tonneau covers like the BAKFlip Revolver X2 or the Gator EFX can provide pretty much the same security and weather protection as a tri-fold tonneau cover.

Roll-up bed covers are cheaper than tri-fold tonneau covers. But some premium hard roll-up tonneau covers can be expensive matching or sometimes even crossing the price of a hard tri-fold tonneau cover.


  • Easier to open and close with minimum effort
  • Relatively lightweight
  • All of them offer 100% bed access
  • Costs less than a tri-fold cover
  • Most of them have a low-profile design with better looks


  • Not enough sturdy or durable
  • A thin top cover means less security
  • You can’t drive with a partially open roll-up cover

Tri-fold Tonneau Cover

A tri-fold tonneau cover has three foldable parts and by folding each time you’ll get more bed access. Tri-folds offer easy access with good security.

Most soft tri-fold tonneau covers have a vinyl tarp with metal or plastic frames. On the other hand, you’ll find hard tri-fold tonneau covers made with different materials like aluminum, polycarbonate, or high-quality plastic.

Tri-fold covers offer easy access to the truck bed. You can open a third of the cover and get quick access. Carrying a tall fright while covering other goods is also possible as it offers partial access to the bed. Opening a tri-fold cover isn’t as easy as a roll-up cover though. You’ll need to lift and fold it to get access to your truck bed.

Tri-fold tonneau covers will provide better security than roll-up bed covers. Hard tri-folds are quite impossible to penetrate as the top part is rigid. Although the frame is solid, a person can cut through the vinyl tarp of a soft tri-fold cover. Most soft tri-fold (including some hard tri-fold) cover doesn’t offer 100% bed access.

Pretty much any tri-fold cover has good weather sealing. In harsh weather, a soft tri-fold will seal better than a soft roll-up tonneau cover. The hard tri-folds have a good reputation in weather protection in any weather.

To buy a tri-fold cover, you’ll have to spend more than a roll-up tonneau cover. There are some soft tri-fold tonneau covers that won’t cost you too much than a roll-up cover.


  • Amazing security
  • More durable
  • Better weather protection
  • Partial access makes it easy to haul a tall freight
  • You can load goods over some hard tri-folds (like the BAKFlip G2)


  • Relatively harder to install
  • They can be heavy
  • Costs more than a roll-up


Here comes the hard part. Which one is better, roll-up or tri-fold tonneau cover? It’s not possible to say any of them are too good or too bad.

As a safe choice, a tri-fold tonneau cover is better. A tri-fold tonneau cover will have a better build, security, and weather protection in general. So, you’ll get everything covered with a tri-fold tonneau cover. But if you can work with a little less weather protection and want simplicity with a lesser price point, a roll-up tonneau cover is better suited for you.

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Author: Charles King

Charles King is an automotive enthusiast with a keen interest in the latest technologies and products. He likes to educate himself and help other car lovers by sharing his knowledge. This website is a place for him to share his thoughts and experiences.

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