The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most accessorized pickup trucks on the market, and a tonneau cover is one of the most basic and essential accessories. 

The Tacoma is meant to be packed with gear, and a heavy-duty bed cover on your Tacoma is a must-have if you plan on going anywhere with that gear. 

This buying guide should give you a better idea on what would go best on your adventure rig. 

Our Best Tonneau Covers For A Toyota Tacoma

  1. Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover (Our Top Pick)
  2. Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover (Best Budget)
  3. BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover (Best High End)
  4. Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
  5. Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

What Are Tonneau Covers?

Toyota Tacoma Tonneau Cover

A tonneau cover is a hard or soft cap that sits on top of a truck bed in order to protect it and your cargo from both the elements and potential thieves. 

Click here to learn more about why it’s called a tonneau cover. 

Companies in the truck accessory industry have created multiple types of tonneau covers that provide a variety of solutions for your truck bed protection needs. These products boil down to a few main types of tonneau covers. 

What Are The Different Types of Tonneau Covers?

The 3 most common types of tonneau covers you’ll see on Amazon are folding tonneau covers, roll-up tonneau covers, and retractable tonneau covers. 

Let’s take a quick look at what each of these means. 

Folding Tonneau Covers

Folding tonneau covers are usually made out of hard aluminum panels or soft vinyl. They are split into 3 hinged sections that fold on top of one another starting at the tailgate and working toward the cab. 

The hinged sections are usually constructed out of an aluminum frame that sits on top of or in between the bed rails. 

Roll-Up Tonneau Covers

Roll-up tonneau covers are almost always a soft tonneau cover made from heavy-duty vinyl. 

These tonneau covers have the advantage of giving the truck owner full bed access because the cover rolls back from the tailgate into a compact roll against the rear window. 

A soft roll-up cover is usually constructed with vinyl with integrated crossbars that roll along an aluminum frame that sits on top of the bed rails. The vinyl is secured to the truck bed with velcro or buttons and a latching system. 

Retractable Tonneau Covers

Retractable tonneau covers are like folding tonneau covers in that they are made from either soft vinyl or aluminum slats. 

These covers provide easy access to the truck bed, and they can be fully hands-free with electric models available. 

The downside to these covers is they take up some bed space due to the canister that the cover retracts into. 

How Does A Tonneau Cover Work?

A tonneau cover works from a combination of durability and functionality. An assortment of clamps, latches, seals, and high-quality materials makes up the construction of the tonneau cover. 

Marine-grade vinyl or heavy-duty aluminum panels create the cover, and a fiberglass or aluminum frame creates the frame that the cover lies on. 

This entire assembly is clamped to the bed-rails creating a tight seal around the perimeter while also improving the aerodynamics of your Tacoma. 

The cover is then made functional with an assortment of hinges, latches, bearings, and tension control.

What Do You Look For In The Best Tonneau Cover?

A good Toyota Tacoma tonneau cover will have multiple factors working in its favor. These are the materials used, installation requirements, functionality/ease-of-use, and weather resistance. 

Good materials such as tear-resistant vinyl, stainless steel clamps, and aircraft-grade aluminum will make for a long-lasting tonneau cover that should be able to survive whatever the elements throw at it. 

Easy installation provides a headache free installation process, and it’s usually nice to not have to drill holes in your new Tacoma. Easy installation also usually means easy removal, and this comes in handy when hauling large items. 

A good tonneau cover should be able to be opened and closed with minimal effort. It should also have versatile functionality such as latching in the open position or being able to be latched and unlatched from one side of the truck bed. 

Finally, a quality tonneau cover should be able to survive most weather conditions. This usually stems from being constructed with quality materials and having built in functionality like an integrated tailgate seal. 

Best Tonneau Covers For A Toyota Tacoma Reviewed

1. Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover (Our Top Pick)

Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

The Gator EFX is a great middle of the road hard folding cover. 

Its stylish low-profile design and matte black aluminum panels give your Tacoma some style points at a competitive price compared to other hard tonneau covers such as BAK

Made in the USA, this tonneau cover is constructed with all the heavy-duty materials you could ask for.

It also doesn’t cover the bed rails, so you can put other accessories over the truck bed like a Thule rack. 

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Access to bed rails
  • 3 year warranty

Cons

  • ⅔ bed access

Buy The Gator EFX Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover On Amazon


2. Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover (Best Budget)

Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

The Tyger Auto T3 is a great soft-folding tonneau cover similar to a Tonno Pro Tonno Fold

It’s constructed with 24oz marine-grade vinyl, an aluminum powder-coated frame, and stainless steel clamps. 

It comes pre assembled for an easy installation, although small holes will have to be cut if your Tacoma model has an over-the-bed rail bed liner. 

Pros

  • Easy installation & removal
  • Inexpensive
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • ⅔ bed access

Buy The Tyger Auto T3 Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover On Amazon


3. BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover (Best High End)

BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

The BAK BAKFlip MX4 is the perfect tonneau cover for the serious Toyota Tacoma owner. 

It comes ready for all weather conditions with its durable aluminum panels, dual action tailgate seal, and scratch resistant matte finish. 

Like the Gator EFX, the BAKFlip gives the truck owner access to the bed rails giving you the most functionality out of your Tacoma. 

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • 100% bed access
  • Access to bed rails

Cons

  • Expensive

Buy The BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover On Amazon


4. Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

The Gator ETX soft folding tonneau cover is almost identical to the Tyger Auto T3 at #1 on our list but at a slightly higher price. 

The ETX is made with industrial-strength vinyl, a heavy duty aluminum frame, and superior perimeter sealing. 

The advantage the ETX has over the Tyger Auto T3 is each ETX is made for an exact year, make, and model whereas a Tyger Auto T3 is made for a range of years. 

Pros

  • Easy installation & removal
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • ⅔ bed access

Buy The Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover On Amazon


5. Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

The Extang Solid Fold 2.0 is Extang’s hard folding version of the Extang Trifecta

It comes in a one-piece design constructed with ultra-tough automotive grade polymer panels, hard polymer rubber corners, and blade-style seals. 

This tonneau cover is sure to live up to any of your durability needs. It lacks in not giving you access to the bed rails though.  

Pros

  • Heavy duty construction
  • Easy installation & removal

Cons

  • ⅔ bed access
  • No access to bed rails

Buy The Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover On Amazon


Final Thoughts On Tonneau Covers For A Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma owners usually have different plans for their pickup truck than that of a Toyota Tundra owner. 

It helps to have a general plan in mind for the accessories you want to add to your Tacoma because this will help determine what tonneau cover is best for your truck.

A big utility rack packed with outdoor gear will need to utilize the bed rails, and you’ll need 100% bed access if you plan on hauling around a dirt bike. 

Once you have a plan, reference this buying guide and make a decision on what works best for your needs.