Now we come to the third faction in the Eternal Tonneau War: the one-piece, solid tonneau (read previous 5 Advantages of an Extang Solid Fold Tonneau and Truxedo: 5 Advantages of a Soft Tonneau Cover for full comparison). It’s every bit as secure and easy to install as the hard tri-fold, but it has its own distinct advantages over both hard folding and soft tonneaus. Undercover, though they make their own folding tonneau, the Flex, just added a few more advantages to the solid tonneau with their new Lux line. You can figure out which one is right for you by using UnderCover’s onsite customizer, but here’s our take on why solid, hard tonneaus are better:
The Undercover Lux is just simple. There are no folds to deal with, no snaps or velcro to arrange. You just install it at one end and close it at the other. It locks your stuff beneath a protective shield of weatherproof fiberglass. It’s easy to pop off and hang on your garage wall when you’re not using it. It works like a laptop or a roof hatch or a toilet seat. You get it.
Hard tonneaus are easier to light. Undercover’s Lux even includes a simple LED light so you can see what you’re digging for. You have a light in your car trunk or your SUV’s cargo area. Why not your truck bed? Most modern trucks keep lights on the roof for just this purpose, but a tonneau casts the bed back into the shade. That’s why Undercover included a powerful, efficient, LED system.
3. The Sleekness
Fabric, flapping around in the breeze? A bunch of segmented panels, like some kind of cheap siding? No. If you want the very best look to be found in a tonneau, you need to go with a hard solid unit. Think about a car. Ford didn’t fit the 1963 Lincoln Continental with a fabric trunk lid. The Undercover Lux looks stock, like it was designed to be part of the truck.
4. The Match
This can’t be said for every one-piece tonneau, but the Undercover Lux is painted to perfectly match the factory color on your truck. Undercover works directly with manufacturers to match the exact paint that came on your truck for a billiant, streamlined finish. Remember that ‘63 Continental? All the doors were the same shade. A truck equipped with a Lux is so perfect it’s distracting.
5. The Versatility
Versatility might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a hard tonneau, but consider it for a moment: Remember that scene in Cast Away when bearded and skinny Tom Hanks looks at his bloodfaced volleyball Wilson and says, “This could work!” He’s talking about the best half of a port-a-john, washed up on his tiny cay and soon to be turned into a sail for his escape vessel. But how much better would a Lux have worked? It only weighs 58 lbs, and it’s huge! See? Versatility.
So there are a few of the one-piece, hard tonneau’s upper hands in the Eternal Tonneau War. The Lux is the clear winner within its segment. But what tonneau would you choose?
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.