Should I Get a Hard or Soft Tonneau Cover for My Ute?

Should I Get a Hard or Soft Tonneau Cover for My Ute?

James ScerriOct 5, '23

If you’re looking for an effective way to protect and secure your cargo, a ute tonneau cover is the perfect solution. These sturdy covers fit tightly to your vehicle and keep small and large items from falling and creating road hazards. As an added bonus, tonneau covers offer protection from weather, theft and prying eyes. They also allow you to transport far more items than your vehicle would have otherwise had the capacity for. In light of the above, the decision to buy a tonneau cover is basically a no-brainer. But how do you decide between a soft cover and a hard cover? Both of these options offer excellent benefits and will keep your items securely contained, but they also have their specific advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Soft Tonneau Covers

Improved Fuel Efficiency

Soft tonneau covers reduce aerodynamic drag by smoothing out the airflow over the bed of the truck. This can lead to improved fuel efficiency by reducing the resistance that the open truck bed creates, particularly at higher speeds.

Weather Protection

Soft tonneau covers provide protection against the elements. They can keep rain, snow and dust out of your truck bed, helping to keep your cargo dry and clean. However, it’s important to note that soft covers may not be as weather-proof as hard covers in extreme conditions.

Ease of Use

Soft tonneau covers are often lightweight and easy to open and close. They typically use a roll-up or folding design, which allows for quick and convenient access to your truck bed when needed. This roll-up design also makes them super easy to store away when necessary.

Cargo Management

Soft tonneau covers can enhance the way you organise or manage your cargo. Some models come with built-in storage pockets or straps to secure items in the bed, preventing them from shifting during transportation.


Soft tonneau covers are generally more budget-friendly compared to their hard counterparts. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to cover your truck bed, a soft tonneau cover is a great option.

Easy Installation & Removal

Soft tonneau covers are often designed for easy installation and removal without the need for permanent modifications to your truck. This makes them a convenient choice for truck owners who may want to switch between covered- and open-bed configurations.

Disadvantages of Soft Tonneau Covers

Limited Security

Soft tonneau covers provide only a basic level of security for your truck bed and cargo. They can deter casual theft and keep items out of sight, but they are not as secure as hard tonneau covers or locking truck bed enclosures. Determined thieves can easily cut through the soft material to access the contents.

Reduced Durability

Soft tonneau covers are generally less durable than their hard counterparts. Over time, exposure to the elements, UV radiation, and frequent rolling or folding can cause wear and tear, leading to rips or fading of the cover material. However, certain soft tonneau covers are made specifically to overcome this issue, and the soft covers at Ute Covers Direct are exceptionally durable.

Limited Weight Capacity

Soft tonneau covers are not designed to support heavy loads or provide additional cargo support. If you plan to carry significant weight on top of the cover, it may become damaged or sag over time.

Advantages of Hard Tonneau Covers

Improved Fuel Efficiency

Like soft tonneau covers, hard covers are often designed to be aerodynamic, reducing drag and improving fuel efficiency. This can lead to cost savings over time as your truck consumes less fuel while driving at higher speeds.

Weather Protection

Hard tonneau covers offer excellent protection against the elements. They are highly weatherproof and can keep rain, snow and dust out of the truck bed, ensuring that your cargo remains dry and clean.

Enhanced Security

Hard tonneau covers provide a high level of security for your truck bed and cargo. They are typically equipped with locking mechanisms that make it difficult for unauthorised individuals to access the contents. This added security can help protect valuable items or tools stored in the bed.


Hard tonneau covers are known for their durability and resistance to wear and tear. They are less susceptible to damage from UV radiation, harsh weather conditions, and general use than other types of cover are. This durability often leads to a longer lifespan compared to soft covers, unless the soft covers in question are exceptionally tough.

Weight Capacity

Some hard tonneau covers have the capacity to support additional weight on top. This makes them suitable for carrying items like sports equipment, camping gear, or even a rooftop tent, effectively increasing your truck’s cargo capacity.

Disadvantages of Hard Tonneau Covers

Higher Cost

Hard tonneau covers are generally more expensive than soft covers. The cost of materials and manufacturing contributes to their higher price tag. If you have budget constraints, a hard cover may not be the most economical choice.


Hard tonneau covers are heavier than soft covers, and the added weight can reduce your truck’s payload capacity. This can be a significant drawback if you frequently carry heavy cargo in your truck bed. Depending on the design and installation method, the weight distribution of a hard tonneau cover can also affect your truck’s handling and ride comfort, especially when carrying lighter cargo.

Installation Difficulty

While many hard covers are designed for relatively easy installation and removal, they can still be more challenging to install compared to soft covers. Some may require professional installation or special tools

Bulky Storage

When you need to remove a hard tonneau cover to accommodate larger cargo, storing the cover can be challenging due to its size and weight. Some covers may require a dedicated storage space when not in use.

Rigid Design

The rigid nature of hard tonneau covers can be a limitation when you need to carry exceptionally large or irregularly shaped cargo. Soft covers can often adapt more easily to accommodate such items.

How To Choose

Both soft and hard tonneau covers are extremely useful products that can revolutionise the way you transport large and small items. Furthermore, modern tonneau covers are designed for optimal practicality and convenience in an effort to minimise any drawbacks they may have. Ultimately, your choice will depend on your specific needs and what you really value in a tonneau cover. If your utmost priority is to protect your items from thievery and extreme weather conditions, a hard cover would possibly be best. If you still want some protection from these things but also value convenience, flexibility and affordability, a soft tonneau cover is the better alternative. What’s more, the soft tonneau covers at Ute Covers Direct are a step above the rest. These covers are designed to fit a variety of vehicle makes and models. They’re also made from materials of the highest quality that ensure maximum safety and durability. When it comes to tonneau covers, you won’t do better than the soft covers at Ute Covers Direct.

Secure Your New Tonneau Cover Today!

Now that you’ve done the research, it’s time to choose the perfect tonneau cover for your ute! At Ute Covers Direct, we have a range of soft tonneau covers to choose from, as well as an assortment of spare parts and accessories. As a business that specialises in soft tonneau covers, we can help you find the cover that fits best. For incredible cargo storage solutions, browse our collection today!