If you have a pickup truck, chances are pretty good that you use the bed for storage and even hauling. The problem is that the bed is wide open which means your cargo is left exposed to the weather and thieves. Whether it’s expensive tools or the purchases from your trip to the grocery store, having someplace to securely stash your stuff is great.

Tonneau covers are the solution to this particular pickup truck problem. You may have not heard the term Tonneau cover, but chances are, you’ve seen them. They are the pickup covers that fit over the entire bed opening and provide a “top” or “lid” for the bed. Tri-Fold covers are easier to work with and allow the cover to be folded out of the way in sections to permit access without lifting or pulling back the entire cover.

Which type is the best to get – hard or soft? This answer will depend on your budget and your needs, but let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons for each type of Tri-Fold cover so you can make an educated purchase.

Hard Tonneau Covers

Hard covers are made of fiberglass, durable plastic or metal. The hard covers offer great protection not only against the elements, but also against thieves. They can be locked in place for added security.

Hard covers are generally more expensive than soft covers due to the materials and construction. They are a great investment for anyone storing valuable items in the truck bed and for anyone planning on keeping their truck for several years.

Soft Tonneau Covers

Soft covers are a great option for those who are working on a budget. They provide protection for any items stored in the truck bed for less investment than a hard cover. They will keep out everyday exposure to the elements like sun and rain that can be damaging.

Though the soft covers can be locked for added security, they are more susceptible to attempts by thieves as they can be cut to gain access to whatever you have stored under it.

Soft covers may be less expensive, but most still come with lifetime warranties and are well-crafted.