Heavy Duty Tonneau Covers

When you’re shopping for a tonneau to secure cargo in your pickup truck bed, you should prioritize a heavy duty tonneau cover. You don’t want to deal with a tonneau that wears out quickly, leaving your gear vulnerable to weather damage or theft. You want a tough tonneau that can stand up to the elements and wear over multiple years. Whether you’re driving a small truck or a large truck, we can recommend the best heavy duty tonneau covers for you to choose from. 

In this blog we’ll go over some top reasons you should choose a heavy duty tonneau cover. Then we’ll look at some of the best features that indicate a high-quality, durable truck bed cover. Finally we’ll introduce you to our high quality Sawtooth tonneau cover and 3 other models we can also recommend. 

Reasons to Choose a Heavy Duty Tonneau Cover

No matter what you’re carrying, it’s worth looking for a heavy duty tonneau cover. There are some models out there that might be at the lowest price point, but they’ll provide little utility, wear out quickly, and provide poor protection for your gear. If you’re going to purchase a tonneau, you should look for one that can last and provide quality protection for your cargo. 

If you’re taking your truck up to a ski area, driving on dirt roads, or even commuting to work in a rain storm—you’ll want your tonneau cover to be heavy duty. Here are the top reasons to pick a heavy duty tonneau cover:

  • Weather resistance
  • Better protection for your gear
  • Ability to avoid theft
  • Long-lasting use
  • Rugged appearance that matches your truck
  • Tough enough to come in contact with your cargo

Features to Look for in a Heavy Duty Durable Truck Bed Cover

What does it mean for a tonneau to be heavy duty? Well, there are a few things you can keep an eye out for when shopping for bed covers for your pickup truck. If you see all these attributes, you’ll know you’re looking at one of the best tonneaus for your Toyota, or any other make of truck, that will stand the test of bad weather and time. 

Durable Material

There’s no need to get overwhelmed by various tonneau cover materials. Even though there are lots of tonneau styles, they generally are made out of the same few things. If you know what a tonneau cover is made of, you can determine how long-lasting it will be. 

Something to keep in mind is that people often assume that soft pickup truck bed covers are not as durable as hard tonneaus, but that isn’t necessarily true. Some soft tonneaus, like lightweight snap-on covers, can be made out of a thin material. However, other soft tonneaus like the Sawtooth STRETCH tonneau are very durable and heavy weight. Here are some materials to look for in a tonneau cover. 

  • Aluminium tonneaus: You won’t be surprised to hear that metal tonneau covers are one of the toughest types out there. Aluminum tonneaus hold up well no matter what you put your truck through. One of the best advantages of aluminum tonneau covers is that they can often support a lot of weight placed on top of them. The main disadvantages to these covers is their high price and the likelihood that they can dent or if painted, can flake.

black pickup with aluminium tonneau cover

  • Hard plastic tonneaus: Some plastics are stronger than others. For example, fiberglass is a reinforced plastic material made out of plastic resin and embedded with woven strands of glass fibers, adding strength and durability. Fiberglass is the main material in some of the strongest truck bed covers. However, fiberglass tonneaus can be quite expensive, heavy, and require painting, so they may not be the best heavy duty tonneau cover for the money.

hard plastic tonneau cover on pickup

  • Thick textile tonneaus: The Sawtooth STRETCH is made of durable composite textile that is roughly 7 times thicker than other soft tonneaus. The thicker the material, the longer it is likely to last. Plus, it can come in contact with your cargo so you can still cover large items while holding them in place.

expandable tonneau cover on red toyota tacoma

Another thing to consider is that pickup truck bed covers with lots of moving parts are more likely to run into component durability problems. For example, a retractable tonneau could experience wear and tear and the retracting device could stop working. Then you would need to replace the whole tonneau cover since most manufacturers don’t allow you to replace a single part. 

Weather Resistance

One of the main reasons for using a tonneau cover is to protect your gear from inclement weather, or just exposure over time to dust and the sun. To get the most out of your purchase, you’ll want to look for a tonneau that can stand up to nasty weather. Although no tonneau is completely waterproof, most are water resistant. Although some water could leak in around the edges, your truck bed will remain mostly dry and clean. Tonneaus with more moving parts are more likely to let water in. That’s another reason you might want to look for a tonneau without moving parts.

Firm Closure

Another way to know if a tonneau is heavy duty is to ensure that it closes firmly around the edges: preventing dust, dirt, and water from getting into your truck bed. There are lots of different types of closures a tonneau cover can have. Some just sit on top of your truck bed, but might extend a bit over the sides of your rails to keep water out. Others, like retractable tonneaus may slide along rails that you install. The Sawtooth STRETCH secures with highly flexible, PVC coated structural steel reinforced perimeter mounting hooks that connect to military grade black anodized aluminum attachment rails. Plus, it’s still easy to remove quickly when needed. 

A firm closure can also make it harder for a thief to steal your belongings. Some tonneaus feature lock closures that can add an extra level of security. Others with firm closures can still discourage thieves by keeping your gear out of sight. 

Ability to Hold Cargo in Place

Since you’re looking for a heavy duty truck bed cover, that probably means you’re taking advantage of your pickup truck bed. A truly heavy duty tonneau can protect even large and tall items. Even if you drive a mid or small size pickup truck, you might sometimes be carrying big cargo that sits above the side rails of your truck. In that case, you’ll need a tonneau cover that can expand. The only one that stretches to cover your gear is the Sawtooth STRETCH. It comes into contact with your cargo, which both protects it and holds it in place without voiding your warranty. If you’re taking a fast corner, your gear will stay put if it’s covered by the Sawtooth Tonneau. 

Top 3 Heavy Duty Tonneaus

So you’ve decided to go with a heavy duty tonneau cover. The next step is choosing the right one for you. Whether you need the best tonneau cover for Toyota Tacoma or the best tonneau cover for Nissan Frontier, look no further. Our truck experts have hand picked a few of the toughest tonneau covers out there. 

  1. Sawtooth STRETCH Tonneau Cover: The award-winning Sawtooth STRETCH truck bed cover is unique in a few ways. First, it’s the only expandable tonneau that can stretch to cover large and tall cargo. This means it’s heavy duty in all scenarios. Other heavy duty tonneaus can only help you if your gear is laying flat in the bed of your pickup. The second unique thing about the Sawtooth STRETCH is that although it’s a soft tonneau cover, it’s just as tough as many hard tonneaus. You’ll find that this heavy duty soft tonneau cover can outperform and possibly last longer than any other tonneau out there while keeping all sizes of gear safe and covered. Plus, with a sleek matte black appearance, it hides signs of dirt that other tonneaus start to show right away.
  2. DiamondBack HD Tonneau Cover: This aluminum tonneau cover is known as one of the toughest tonneaus out there. Its aluminum panels can open at the front and the back. They are sturdy enough to support up to 1600 lbs of weight on top. That’s enough to support an ATV on top of your tonneau cover. The aluminum material can also help this tonneau last for many years. With prices ranging from $1,729.00 - $2,199.00, this is one of the priciest tonneau covers out there. 
  3. Ranch Legacy Tonneau Cover: This model is a high-quality fiberglass tonneau. One of the main reasons people look for fiberglass tonneaus is that they can be painted with factory matched paint that will blend in well with the rest of your truck. If you’re looking for a heavy duty, sleek-looking option, this tonneau is worth considering. Prices start at $1309.00 so this is also on the pricier side of tonneau covers. One common complaint about fiberglass models is that since they are hinged from the cab, they only allow limited access to your truck bed. Plus, if you need to carry a large item, you may have to remove your tonneau entirely. 

Conclusion: Heavy Duty Tonneau Covers are Worth It

After going over the reasons to look for a heavy duty tonneau, the types of features to prioritize, and the top 3 heavy duty truck bed covers, we hope you’ve seen how worthwhile it is to buy a heavy duty tonneau. The only thing left to do is pick the right bed cover for your truck. While you’re here, check out our Sawtooth STRETCH Toyota Tacoma 2020 tonneau cover, or the best Nissan Frontier truck bed cover. Our truck experts can help answer your questions, too. Contact us any time or take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions, and good luck in your search for the best heavy duty tonneau cover.