Best Tonneau Covers For Tundra Crewmax – 2021 Guide

Are you tired of cleaning leaves and debris out of the bed of your Tundra Crewmax? Or do you need an extra place to store valuables or equipment? If so, a tonneau cover could be the answer.

Placed over the bed of the truck, these covers provide protection and peace of mind, all while adding a visual appeal to your Tundra.

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Comparison of the Best Tonneau Covers For Tundra Crewmax

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What Do I Need To Know Before Buying a Tonneau Cover?

Before you purchase a tonneau cover, you may want to consider some of the aspects that factor into the decision. Here are some of the most important features to weigh before you pull the trigger.

Level of Security and Safety

A Tundra Crewmax has plenty of room in the cab for your valuables. But if you use your truck on the jobsite, you may have equipment that’s too large to fit inside the truck. Therefore, you’ll need a tonneau cover that can protect against theft. This may require you to buy a locking or a hard-folding tonneau cover. Unlike soft vinyl covers, a hard tonneau cover isn’t susceptible to damage from knives or other objects.

Syneticusa Aluminum Cover

Accessibility and Ease of Use

Tonneau covers shouldn’t be a hassle to remove or partially remove. For the sake of time and convenience, selecting a tonneau cover that provides access to the entire bed or one that’s easy to lift/remove is essential.

Weather Considerations

If you live in a wet climate, you’ll want a tonneau cover that can stand up to the weather or possible corrosion. In this instance, plastic or fiberglass is the ideal choice. Sunnier climates may cause the tonneau cover to fade over time, making a metal or painted metal option the preferred selection.

Review of the Best Tonneau Covers For Tundra Crewmax

With so many tonneau covers available for your Tundra Crewmax, picking the right one may seem daunting. To ease your decision-making process and provide some insight, here are some reviews of the best tonneau covers for the Tundra Crewmax.

Best Overall:Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Cover

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  • Lifetime warranty
  • Excellent sealing too keep out moisture
  • High-quality materials for increased durability
  • No tool installation allows complete installation in 10-to-15 minutes
  • Each cover is custom fit to specific makes and models, providing little to no fitment issues (fits all three-bed sizes of Tundra Crewmax)


  • Cover only folds ⅔ of the way open
  • Some drivers report noises above 75 mph

What Recent Buyers Report

Overall, the Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Cover receives stellar reviews with customers particularly praising the easy installation, sleek aesthetics, and watertight seal. Even after a trip through the automatic car wash, this tonneau cover doesn’t allow any moisture inside—a testament to its sealing superiority. However, some drivers report that it doesn’t react well to high speeds with the clamps struggling to keep the cover in place. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Super affordable and coming with a lifetime warranty, Gator stands by its products without charging a premium price. A small latch on each side provides full access to the bed in about 30 seconds, which mimics the ease of use similar to a roll-up tonneau cover.

Bottom Line

With installation so simple that novice DIYers have little to no problem, an attractive price point, and above-average construction, the Gator EXT Soft Tri-Fold Cover checks the major boxes of buyers. But those who want something more durable or a stronger theft deterrent may want to check out a hard tonneau option.

Runner-up:Undercover Ultra Flex

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  • Integrated LED bed rail light
  • Carpeted under panels help protect cargo
  • Three tonneau cover positions for easy access
  • Sleek appearance that’s flush against the truck bed
  • Allows hauling of large items without removing the tonneau cover


  • Included rails have popped off over time for a few owners
  • Hardware appears cheap and brittle (clamps, weatherstripping)

What Recent Buyers Report

The Undercover Ultra Flex is a fan favorite, simply because it’s one of the few hard tonneau covers that offers full bed access without the need for removal of the cover. Installation takes less than an hour, even for novices. Plus, the carpeted underside helps prevent inadvertent scratching on the truck body and cargo. However, some buyers report problems with the rails staying on the truck, which requires manual tightening occasionally.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Thanks to its intuitive design, this tonneau cover provides full access to the bed—a quality typically only reserved for soft or roll-up tonneau covers. It also uses aluminum panels, providing an added layer of protection against theft and weather.

Bottom Line

Economical buyers may find that the Undercover Ultra Flex is outside their financial means. But with full bed access, aluminum construction, and a five-year warranty, this tonneau cover is a great value for those with the budget.

Best for the Money:Syneticusa Aluminum Cover

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  • All hardware included
  • UV protected to prevent fading
  • Locks in any position for ultimate convenience
  • Retractable cover offers the advantages of both a hard and roll-up tonneau cover
  • Powder-coated aluminum slats provide a mix of looks, durability, and weather protection


  • Each lock has a separate key; losing one can create a hassle
  • Some buyers report issues with installation due to uneven (not squared) aluminum slats

What Recent Buyers Report

Although installation may take two people to lift onto the bed, most buyers report that installation is a breeze. The sporty aesthetic also appeals to buyers, who praise the Syneticusa Aluminum Cover as a better option over soft covers in terms of looks, as well as durability and theft protection. However, minor issues can arise during installation due to missing hardware; many report that a trip to the hardware store was necessary to complete the installation, albeit for parts typically under $1.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Overall, this tonneau cover offers top-notch protection from the elements while still allowing all the benefits of a soft, roll-up tonneau. It also comes with a paintable canister housing, which buyers can paint to meet the look they desire.

Bottom Line

Retractable covers offer some of the best versatility available on the market, and the Syneticusa Aluminum Cover is no different. Superb construction also lends itself to long-term use, while a waterproof seal is another perk. However, it’s not in the budget for some buyers, and those that lose things frequently may not like the two-key system. But as far as retractable covers, few other options will beat this one.

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Editor’s Pick:TruXedo Pro X15

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  • Lifetime warranty
  • Automatic tension control for a tight fit every time
  • Uses proprietary X15 rails for a low-profile appearance
  • Roll-up soft cover provides nearly instant access to bed
  • Self-leveling design for easy installation without modification


  • Company hesitant to honor warranty
  • Mounts on the inside of the bed, taking away space for cargo

What Recent Buyers Report

Excellent durability and waterproofing is what stands out most to buyers of the TruXedo Pro X15. Even at high speeds and heavy downpours, this tonneau cover stands up to the test, keeping the contents of the truck bed dry without any problem. The only drawback is that buyers in extreme climates noticed some damage in the event of ice or heavy snow.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Made from woven fabric instead of vinyl, this tonneau cover is stronger and more durable than many other available soft tonneau covers. In addition, a watertight seal, quick-release latch, and dirt-resistant coating add the ultimate trifecta that many buyers look for in a tonneau cover.

Bottom Line

The TruXedo Pro X15 is a great buy in terms of longevity and quality. It’s proven to stand up to the elements while also offering an ease of use that’s beyond reproach. But at the high end of the soft tonneau cover price spectrum, it’s not the perfect fit for every buyer.

Honorable Mention:Rugged Liner E-Series

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  • Water-resistant assembly keeps cargo dry
  • Double-sealed hinges
  • Included tailgate lock improves overall security
  • Aluminum construction provides strength and durability
  • Comes assembled out of the box, making installation quick and easy


  • Last ⅓ of the tri-fold stays in place, lowering the amount of usable space
  • Some users report gaps around the edge, making it ineffective against moisture

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report that the aluminum construction of the Rugged Liner E-Series make it appealing on the eyes and durable in the long run. However, some users also state that this doesn’t sit flush on the Tundra Crewmax bed, rendering it useless against heavy rains.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With just four clamps needed for installation and aluminum construction, this tonneau cover offers unparalleled strength and appeals to even the most novice DIYers. Furthermore, a generous three-year warranty puts the buyer’s mind at ease if they’re unfamiliar with the Rugged Liner brand.

Bottom Line

For an aluminum tonneau cover, the Rugged Liner E-Series is both affordable and of the highest quality. Buyers who want durability and longevity will love this option. However, it doesn’t provide a watertight seal that many other tonneau covers boast. So for those that can’t afford to have the bed soaked during downpours, another tonneau cover may work better.

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Types of Tonneau Covers – Comparison Overview 

As you can tell from the reviews above, tonneau covers come in all types of varieties, complicating the buying process. Here are a few of the most common types of tonneau covers and a comparison of each.

Tri-Fold vs Roll-Up Tonneau Cover

As the name implies, tri-fold tonneau covers fold into three pieces, allowing you to fold them up for access to the bed. Conversely, a roll-up tonneau cover simply rolls up into a tight roll near the cab of the vehicle. While similar in function, the biggest difference between the two is ease of use and materials.

A tri-fold product is usually made of hard plastic, making it more durable. The roll-up tonneau cover is soft and susceptible to puncturing. However, a roll-up is far easier to use, with removal and installation taking a matter of seconds compared to several minutes for a tri-fold. Furthermore, a roll-up tonneau cover is far easier to store, as it requires less space.

Tonneau Cover vs Camper Shell

A tonneau cover is a sleek addition to your Tundra Crewmax, providing protection for your bed without being overly obtrusive. However, they get dirty over time, which can become problematic if you want to remove or access it when you’re dressed nicely. A camper shell allows you to carry far more cargo in the bed of the truck, functioning almost like an SUV. But it’s also bulky. This can lead to obstructed vision when driving, as well as problems removing and putting it back on the vehicle.

Hard vs Soft Tonneau Cover

Hard tonneau covers are the best option to prevent theft. They affix to the side rails and may also include a locking mechanism, making theft far more difficult. However, they’re more bulky and hard to remove and put back on.

Soft tonneau covers are just the opposite. They may keep valuables out of sight, but if a thief wants to access the bed, a knife will easily do the trick. However, installation and removal is a cinch and typically takes two minutes or less.


How to Install a Tonneau Cover

Once you’ve decided on the ideal tonneau cover for your Tundra Crewmax, the next step is installation. While seemingly straightforward, follow these tips to make the installation process quick and effortless.

How to Install a Soft Tonneau Cover

Soft tonneau covers typically come in two varieties. One has frame rails that run from side to side under the soft cover; the other does not. Either way, here’s how to complete the installation:

  1. Attach a tailgate seal (may or may not come with the tonneau cover kit)
  2. Install the included side rails
  3. Install the adjustment blocks that help hold the tonneau cover in place.
  4. You may have to also thread the tonneau cover onto a cab rail (that sits near the rear window of the Tundra Crewmax)
  5. Install frame rails if necessary
  6. Unroll the tarp and snap it into place with the mechanism provided (some have grooves, some have snaps)

Note: Some tonneau covers may have a full-frame that goes onto the rails via clamps and an allen wrench.

Rugged Liner E-Series

How to Install a Hard Tonneau Cover

Hard tonneau covers, especially tri-folds, come with clips that tighten under the side rails. Compared to roll-up or soft tonneau covers, these are far easier to install. Start with the first section, place it where you want it near the cab, and tighten it into place. Repeat with the other two sections to complete the installation.

Note: Some tonneau covers may have a more complicated installation process, but the above directions should work for most.


With bed protection against the elements and the ability to keep your equipment and valuables secure, tonneau covers are an essential accessory for your Tundra Crewmax. So don’t tempt fate. Add a sleek look and an added layer of protection by purchasing a tonneau cover today.

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People Also Ask

While the concept and installation of tonneau covers are relatively straightforward, here are some questions that people commonly ask.

How to Measure Truck Bed For Tonneau Cover

To measure the Tundra truck bed for a tonneau cover, simply measure from the bulkhead (the lip of the bed near the cab) to the inside edge of the tailgate. If you don’t have a tape measure handy, just remember that the Crewmax comes with three available bed lengths: 5.5 feet, 6.5 feet, and 8.1 feet.

How Much is a Tonneau Cover?

Soft tonneau covers range from about $150 to $500 depending on the material and brand. Hard tonneau covers can cost a bit more. And while they typically range from $300 to $600, they can go as high as $1,500.


How to Fix a Leaking Tonneau Cover

The good news is that you have a ton of options to fix a leaking tonneau cover. This list includes:

  • Installing new seals
  • Caulking around the seals with silicone
  • Adding insulated water pipes
  • Purchasing a bed seal kit

Are Soft Tonneau Covers Secure?

A soft tonneau cover protects your bed and cargo from the elements. However, it does little to prevent theft other than limiting crimes of opportunity due to valuables being visible.

Do Tonneau Covers Make Noise?

A properly installed tonneau cover shouldn’t make any noise, as it fits snugly across your bed. If you do hear noise, chances are the tonneau cover is improperly installed or loose.

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