FOLDING HARD COVER
The benefit of the folding hard cover vs one piece covers is that you can retract it on the spot, in case you need to haul something in your bed that is taller that your truck rails. On most Bakflip models, you also have access to about 90% of the bed, since the last panel can fold up and lean up against the rear glass window of your truck, leaving only a small flap covering the front of the bed. On other brands, the last panel does not fold up, leaving only about 70% of the bed usable for ‘taller than rail’ items. Still, other brands and models, such as the Access Lomax give you the option of easily removing the entire cover so that you have 100% of the bed accessible for these items.
One drawback of the folding hard cover is that it is not the most waterproof cover, since the only thing keeping water out of the truck bed is a rubber seal. Some folding hard covers, such as all Bak Industries models and the Undercover Flex, feature a water channel however, which collects any water that entered through the cover’s side seals, to run along the channel and drain out through two tubes at the front of the bed, which required a hole to be drilled in the front bed wall (on Fords and Dodge trucks, you can usually drill into the plastic plugs in the front bed wall), so that water can drain outside of the bed. Another drawback is the fact that the panels can be a bit heavy for a smaller person to handle. It does require a little bit extra effort to lift and flip those panels backwards. Lastly, if you do have to open the cover all the way, the last panel folds up against your truck glass, which blocks your view via the rear view mirror.
One of the most popular brands for folding hard covers is made by Bak industries, which has different models, the G2 (powdercoated black aluminum panels), the Fibermax (black fiberglass panels), the F1 (black reinforced fiberglass panels), and their newest version, the MX4 (allows you to close either the tailgate first OR the cover first). While the number of covers they offer may be a bit overkill, they do have a great design. They also offer rack integrated folding hard covers, including the CS (heavy duty aluminum panels) and the CS/F1 (heavy duty fiberglass panels) . These covers include an 2 integrated rack posts and crossbars which allow you to haul items which require a bed rack while still granting access to the bed of the truck.
There are several other different manufacturers for the folding hard covers. Other brands/models you may want to consider are the Undercover Flex and Fold-A-Cover’s G4, along with some Truxedo and Extang models, which offer several different designs. One unique design comes from Rugged Liner’s Hard Fold Cover, which does not require you to install rails on the truck which means that the cover can be completely removed with little effort, although it does make the cover less water resistant. Finally, the Access Lomax cover is a newcomer which features a very slim and attractive aluminum surface that looks similar to a darker brushed stainless steel. Aside from the space age looks of the cover, another benefit is that, despite utilizing rails similar to the Bakflip models, the entire bed cover is easily removable by folding the cover back pulling a release cord and lifting the cover up and out of the bed, leaving behind only the tonneau’s rails, which clamp onto the bedrails of the truck.