Sawtooth STRETCH Tonneau vs Tonneau Cover with Rack

Sawtooth STRETCH Tonneau vs Tonneau Cover with Rack

When you start looking for a new tonneau cover for your pickup truck, you’re probably thinking of a few ways a truck bed cover will improve your life. Often, it may be as simple as what tonneau will best accommodate your hobbies. Driving a pickup makes it easy to bring your kayak, bike, or skis with you wherever you need to go. When you start looking for a tonneau, you might want one that can protect any cargo in your pickup’s bed while also featuring a rack that can carry larger items on top. Truck racks with tonneau covers are pretty common, but before you jump into that decision, it’s worth comparing it to one other option: an expandable tonneau cover like the Sawtooth STRETCH.

In this blog post, we’ll go into the differences between a truck bed rack with tonneau cover and an expandable truck bed cover. Both options have one thing in common: protecting the cargo in your truck bed while also carrying larger items. However, only the Sawtooth STRETCH can also protect your larger items.

Sawtooth STRETCH with Surfboard out the backSawtooth STRETCH with Surfboard out the back

Tonneau Covers with a Rack

You may have seen tonneau covers that feature an additional benefit: a rack that supports your larger items suspended above your truck bed. These are a popular purchase and are generally considered a smart choice, although they are often pricier than other types of tonneau covers

There’s not just one type of tonneau and rack combo. There are various styles and materials you’ll see if you start shopping. Here are the main variations:

Aluminum Tonneau with Rack: 

Aluminum is one of the sturdiest types of tonneaus you’ll find. An aluminum tonneau provides great protection for the low-lying cargo that fits in your truck bed. If you’re looking for a kayak rack for a truck with tonneau cover, you’ll definitely see aluminum options. On these types of combo units, a rack will be mounted on top of the tonneau. One of the tonneaus that falls into this category is the ADARAC Aluminum Series Truck Rack.

tonneau cover truck rack

 Credit ADARAC

Truck Cap with Rack Attached: 

We’ve previously gone into the benefits of a truck cap vs an expandable tonneau cover. Truck caps give you more space, which you’ll really benefit from if you want to camp inside your truck. With one of these products, like the Tracrac Caprac Truck Rack, you’ll be able to camp inside your truck bed while also mounting a large item on top of the truck cap. These caps are expensive, but can be the right option if you don’t want to bring a tent and need to sleep in the truck bed.



Rack Without Tonneau: 

Most racks don’t come with an attached tonneau. Some are compatible with a tonneau cover, but most need to mount directly to the truck bed rails and might get in the way of installing a tonneau cover. These racks can be great at improving your carrying capacity like the Yakima Overhaul HD, but we don’t recommend this option since it means your gear will be completely without protection.

     yakima truck rackCredit Yakima

Pros and Cons of Tonneau Covers with Racks

Like with any big aftermarket accessory purchase, you’ll find lots of opinions on buying truck bed racks with tonneau covers. These are the biggest pros and cons to keep in mind when you’re considering buying a tonneau cover with a rack:


  • Protects the cargo in your truck bed from the elements and risk of theft. 
  • Gives you more space by leaving your truck bed empty for your smaller cargo and holding your bigger items above your truck bed.


  • Leaves your larger items vulnerable to weather conditions and theft.
  • Costs much more than other tonneaus including the Sawtooth STRETCH.
  • If you need to haul something large with your tonneau open, your rack system will limit your loading capacity.
  • Limits your rear view visibility while driving.
  • Heavy weights and large items, like kayaks, can affect your handling and maneuverability. 

In conclusion, a truck rack with tonneau cover might be a good option if you have a large budget, aren’t worried about your bike or kayak being exposed to the elements, and want to take advantage of extra overall cargo space. If you’re hung up on any of those “cons” and are interested in an option that still lets you carry and protect large items and is much more affordable, read on to learn about the Sawtooth STRETCH tonneau cover.

Expandable Tonneau Cover

If you’re looking for a solution for protecting the contents of your truck bed and any large items, too, you should consider an expandable tonneau cover. Have you ever wished your tonneau cover could, well, cover more? Or even worse, have you tried to secure your tonneau over your truck bed and found that it just couldn’t close? If so, you found that most tonneau covers won’t stretch at all. But, there’s good news! Technical innovations have led to flexible tonneau covers that provide the same basic protection as metal or plastic tonneaus, while also stretching to cover tall and large cargo in a truck bed. 

The Sawtooth STRETCH Tonneau is made of a flexible composite textile 7x thicker than competing soft tonneaus. Not only can it stretch to cover your larger items or stacked items like camping gear, it can also stretch taut over low profile luggage. It can even stand up to rain or snow with easy-to-insert cross bars. Here are the top pros and cons of an expandable tonneau cover:


  • Offers security and protection for large cargo that can fit in your truck bed, even an item like a bike that is taller than the bed rails. 
  • This truck bed cover doesn’t take up any additional space when you aren’t using it.
  • It’s easy to install! One person can install the Sawtooth STRETCH in under 6 minutes. No tools needed.
  • Price is on the lower range of tonneau covers without compromising at all on quality. 


  • It doesn’t increase your truck’s cargo capacity in the same way that a rack mounted above the bed rails of your truck does. 
  • Doesn’t feature a lock. 

Want to learn about the other perks of an expandable tonneau cover? We have a blog post all about the biggest benefits

Sawtooth STRETCH on a Ford Ranger

Sawtooth STRETCH on a Ford Ranger


If you regularly carry large cargo, it makes sense that you need a truck bed cover that fits your life. You want an option that works best for you, so you may have been searching for a truck bed rack system with an integral tonneau cover without knowing that there is a product that could be even better. 

We’re passionate about our expandable tonneau covers because they are something we wish we had access to in the past. It was always important to us to not compromise on security with larger items. When we pulled up to a campsite, we didn’t want our kayak to be covered in dirt, or even worse, be damaged by long-term exposure to harmful UV rays. 

We knew there needed to be a way to get to your destination with your large cargo just as well protected as any smaller belongings. We invented the Sawtooth STRETCH tonneau cover to meet that need. Do you have any questions about whether the Sawtooth STRETCH adjustable tonneau cover is right for you? Give our team of truck experts a call at 801-692-3368 or shop the STRETCH tonneau.

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