There are several benefits to buying a tonneau cover for your pickup truck.
Not only do tonneau covers improve your truck’s aesthetic, but they also protect it and any precious cargo from damage.
Let’s explore how these covers can be a great investment and go over the best ones for your GMC Sierra.
Does a Tonneau Cover Actually Save Gas?
One of the most common questions truck owners have is whether tonneau covers improve fuel economy.
By providing drag reduction, a cover should help your truck become more aerodynamic and thus give you better gas mileage. But does it make much of a difference?
According to a 2007 Wind Tunnel study, having a tonneau cover on a truck reduced its drag by 5.7%.
More importantly, the study noted that GMC Sierra trucks were the most likely to offer improved gas mileage when driven with a cover.
The rule of thumb is that improving aerodynamics by 10% will offer an improvement between 2 and 3% in gas mileage.
The study’s results thus indicate that adding a tonneau cover will improve fuel economy by 1.8%.
Ultimately, you will receive a modest improvement in gas mileage for your new or used GMC Sierra pickup truck.
However, other factors that may impact gas mileage include driving speed and the weight of the tonneau cover.
The Best GMC Sierra Covers
Here are the top tonneau covers to consider for your GMC Sierra.
This tonneau cover is one of the most affordable options.
It features a tear-resistant vinyl top and offers heavy support to protect your truck bed and cargo from the elements.
Additionally, it includes a speed clamp that allows you to automatically lock the cover into place.
The installation is straightforward and takes about ten minutes.
- Monster Support Bows
- Easy installation
- Tailgate seal
- Lifetime warranty on the parts
Gator FX Cover
The gator FX Cover is a pricier option at around $800.
However, it features a sturdy aluminum material and a simple, no-drill installation.
This cover can handle up to 300 pounds of weight on top and offers heavy-duty support.
It’s also one of the most secure covers and opens up all the way for full access to the truck bed.
- Secure buckle straps
- No drill is required to install
- Heavy-duty support
- 2-year warranty
Gator MX Cover
While the price of this cover is higher than many others, it also offers some of the best protection.
Its heavy-duty aluminum material can withstand up to 500 pounds.
It also includes a scratch-resistant finish for a longer lifespan.
With this cover, you will also receive full bed access.
- Ball Bearing Operation
- Complete bed access when opened
- Scratch-resistant matte finish
- Can lock in any position
- 3-year warranty
BakFlip’s MX4 cover is one of the sturdiest on the market, using aircraft aluminum and boasting a scratch-resistant matte finish.
While it’s somewhat lightweight, it offers heavy-duty protection.
The installation is easy and takes only about ten minutes.
Additionally, the design features a low profile for improved aesthetics.
- Heavy Aluminum Material
- Easy Installation
- Low Profile
It’s no surprise that Gator has some of the best covers for the GMC Sierra, but we need to mention the Gator EFX too.
The Gator EFX is a hard tonneau cover that can fit GMC Sierra 1500, 2500, and 3500.
This beautiful cover is aluminum and has a semi-gloss finish. Installation is easy with no drilling, EPDM rubber hinges, and it can hold up to 300 pounds.
- No drilling with installation
- EPDM rubber hinges
- Semi-gloss black finish
- 3-year warranty
Extang Folding Cover
The Extang solid folding cover is compatible with the GMC Sierra and some Chevy models.
The best part about this truck cover is that you can choose from three truck lengths.
Extang makes this cover with aluminum and TPO and has a tailgate lock.
- Three truck length options
- Tailgate lock
- Dent and scratch-resistant
If you want something that can handle loads of different sizes, the Leer HF350M is worth considering.
It can be locked even while open for securing larger loads.
Though it has no tubes, it has a unique water drainage system that provides ample rain protection.
The design is also one of the sleekest – it’s very low profile and will fit nicely onto the truck bed.
- No tools required for installation
- Low-profile design
- Matte finish
- 3-year warranty
Tyger Auto T3 Tri-Fold
The Tyger Auto T3 Tri-Fold cover is suitable with GMC Sierras with a 5’8″ truck bed.
This cover is perfect for new truck owners and those who need to access their truck bed daily.
Tyger makes this cover with marine-grade vinyl that’s double coated to ensure it’s strong and scratch-resistant.
- It comes with pre-assembled horizontal crossbars
- Perfect for daily access
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Ten-minute installation
RetraxONE MX Tonneau Cover
RetraxONE produces high-quality truck covers, and their RetraxONE MX is perfect for your GMC Sierra.
This GMC Sierra cover is made with polycarbonate. It’s a durable thermoplastic that is reinforced with aluminum rods.
You don’t need to drill anything to install the cover, and it can hold up to 300 pounds when you distribute it evenly.
- Spiral track storage container
- No drilling to install
- Durable thermoplastic material
- Reinforced aluminum rods
Extang Trifecta 2.0 Soft Tri-Folding Cover
Another fantastic Extang cover for your GMC Sierra is the Trifecta 2.0.
This softcover is tri-folding and is one of their best-selling tonneau covers.
They make it with a heavy-duty leather grain material that won’t let water leak into the truck bed or damage the cover.
- Heavy-duty leather material
- Lifetime warranty against defective materials
- Low-profile appearance
Is a Hard Tonneau Cover Worth It?
When you consider that one of the main reasons for a tonneau cover is to protect cargo, buying a hard one is a sound investment.
If you drive your truck to different places or you live in a place with extreme weather changes, a hard tonneau cover may be especially worth it.
Hard covers also add protection because they’re harder to remove due to locking mechanisms.
That means you’re less likely to have your cargo or groceries stolen.
Additionally, harder covers offer much more flexibility than soft ones.
Lastly, if you think about aerodynamics, you’ll stand a better chance of improving fuel economy by having a heavier design.
That means a harder tonneau cover may give you the best bang for your buck.
Do Tonneau Covers Add Value?
Tonneau covers increase the value of your truck by making it more secure and versatile.
Without a cover, you will need to tie up any cargo you carry to keep it in place.
Your truck bed and valuables will also be more vulnerable.
Whether you plan to carry heavy loads often or simply want the convenience of throwing groceries in your bed once in a while, a tonneau cover gives you a stylish way to add functionality.
You will also be protecting your truck bed from damage, not just potential cargo. A tonneau will ensure your truck lasts longer.
What Is the Most Secure Truck Bed Cover?
If you prioritize security over other features, it’s crucial to know which designs offer the best protection.
There are several types of hard tonneau covers: roll-ups, retractable, folding, and solid.
Soft covers come in the same categories, but hard covers will offer the most protection.
Out of all hard cover types, the most secure is the solid hard tonneau cover.
That’s because its locking mechanism over the tailgate makes it difficult for thieves to break into.
Though the solid hard covers will offer you ultimate protection, the best tonneau cover will depend on your specific needs.
For example, if you’re only planning to carry small cargo, a folding hard cover may be best.
On the other hand, if you carry expensive or valuable equipment for work, you want to opt for a solid cover.
There are several great tonneau covers on the market, and they range greatly in price.
Choosing the best cover for your truck will depend on several factors: what you use your truck for, how often you carry cargo, and your budget needs.
Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll be adding durability and value to your Sierra.