Informational Guide

Are Tonneau Covers Waterproof?

Are tonneau covers waterproof? We look at the most waterproof tonneau cover types & help you figure out how to keep water out.

If you want to protect your cargo from bad weather, it makes sense to install retractable tonneau covers. However, you might be asking – are tonneau covers waterproof?

In this article, we will look at the most waterproof tonneau cover type and help you figure out how to make a tonneau cover waterproof. 

Do tonneau covers keep water out? Sadly, there's no tonneau cover that is completely waterproof. With that said, you can expect some to be extremely water-resistant, offering the most protection for your truck bed and your gear.  

Which tonneau cover is waterproof? It depends on the style of your truck bed and how heavy the rain becomes. Even with a heavy-duty tonneau cover and special weather gaskets, a small amount of rain can still get in. However, there's a clear distinction between some types of tonneau covers and the level of moisture that is allowed to pass into the truck bed.   

Are Tonneau Covers Waterproof

Different Types Of Tonneau Covers & Their Water Resistance Levels 

Roll Up Tonneau Cover 

Are roll up tonneau covers waterproof? These can be some of the least water-resistant, especially if it is designed from a soft material. However, the majority of these tonneau covers are lightweight and extremely affordable, making them insanely popular. 

If you were going to use a soft one of the best tonneau covers, we would only recommend it when you don't carry cargo that needs to remain dry, or you drive in a climate that doesn't get a lot of precipitation.  

Retractable Tonneau Cover 

Are retractable tonneau covers waterproof? These would be the second choice for weather protection but also offer lots of functionality and toughness. There's a canister placed at the bulkhead where the cover retracts when you need bed access.  

Because these are usually created from padded polymers, polypropylene, and aluminum, the cover is built to last. However, it isn't a one-piece design, so water can get through the joints, although this only happens rarely because of the slats. It is also fitted with special compression seals located at the tailgate.  

Soft Tonneau Cover  

Are soft tonneau covers waterproof? If you must choose a soft tonneau cover, opt for a folding versus a roll up one, although neither is an ideal option. The folding tonneau cover contains an aluminum frame with either a vinyl or canvas material on top. 

If the manufacturer offers a watertight seal, you might pay more, but you also gain more protection from weather situations. Any soft tonneau cover should only be considered if you aren't worried about rainfall.  

Hard Tonneau Cover 

Are hard tonneau covers waterproof? The hard tonneau cover is going to perform better than most of the soft variety. Additionally, a hard folding tonneau cover works better than a roll up version. The aluminum panels should provide superior protection from leakage. 

However, hardened plastic and fiberglass models also have some advantages. With any of these, you also get superior protection from would-be thieves, offering you a great all-around choice for your truck bed security.  

Tri-fold Tonneau Cover 

Are tri-fold tonneau covers waterproof? These don't operate as well as the hinged, which is the best tonneau cover for keeping water out. However, you don't want to overlook the value of the tri-fold design. With this style, you can leave part of the bed open while protecting cargo closer to the back. 

The biggest reason to purchase this type of truck bed cover comes down to versatility, but it's also a secure option. With that said, these are often some of the most expensive on the market.  

How To Make A Tonneau Cover More Water Resistant: DIY Tips 

Do you know how to waterproof a tonneau cover? Is there a way to make the tonneau cover more waterproof, or can you improve the durability of the seals? We look at a few ways to shield your cargo better. 

For starters, you want to make sure you get the right sized tonneau for your truck. Then when you receive your tonneau cover, make sure all of the parts are installed. You don't want to leave any component out of the equation, no matter how small it might appear. You can also purchase extra seals, but these are manufacturer-specific, so you need to cross-reference what works with your setup. 

If you don't want to spend a lot of money, you might also consider adding some drain tubes to your truck bed where there are gaps. Additionally, any time that you can park out of the elements, you make it easier for the tonneau cover to do its job. If a major storm is coming, try to park somewhere where the downpour won't directly hit the truck bed cover.  

After you make adjustments, perform your own tonneau cover water test to see if there are any more flaws you need to address.  

4x4 truck

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is it OK to go through car wash with tonneau cover? 

You shouldn't take your tonneau cover through an automatic car wash, or it could become damaged. Instead, you should remove the tonneau cover or learn how to detail your truck 

Are there any tonneau covers that don't leak? 

No tonneau cover is completely waterproof. However, the hinged and hard tonneau covers tend to do a better job of keeping the water out. You can also reinforce the seals or add drainpipes to further protect your cargo.  

What material are hard and soft tonneau covers made from? 

Hard tonneau covers are often made from aluminum, polypropylene, or fiberglass. You can purchase soft tonneau covers made from durable vinyl or canvas materials. The hard tonneau covers tend to do a better job protecting the cargo 

How much does it cost to have a tonneau cover installed? 

If you want a soft tonneau cover installed, you will likely pay between $100 and $500, depending on your truck model. On the other hand, the hard tonneau cover installation can cost $500 to $2,000.  


Sadly, you aren't going to find a waterproof tonneau cover, although some do a better job of protecting the cargo than others. If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, spend a little more to get a weather-resistant tonneau cover.