We’ve been through a gamut of bed covers over the last decade. Roll-up soft covers, single-piece hard covers, three-piece folding covers and a variety of roll-up covers. This year, we chose to test the RetraxPRO MX retractable bed cover. Note we said “chose to test.” After trying out a big number of covers in the past, we have a good idea of what works well and what we want to add to our personal trucks. So we sought this one out.
Why? There are four big reasons we picked the RetraxPRO over a soft roll-up cover or other retractable covers:
- The RetraxPRO is secure. A soft cover is not. It’s a matter of economics for sure, but if you want the stuff in your bed to stay in your bed, you can’t top the security of the RetraxPRO (as long as you have a locking tailgate). The locking mechanism can close at any point, so if you have some lumber sticking out but want the rest of the bed covered, you can close the cover to that point and lock it securely.
- The heavy-duty construction is tough. We’ve had three guys stand on the cover at a racetrack to get a better vantage point. Can’t do that with a soft cover.
- Can’t beat the convenience. We run a gooseneck ball in the bed, which we use twice a week towing. We also use this truck for dirt biking (you can fit an mx bike in our Ram’s 6-foot 4-inch bed at an angle and close the tailgate with the RetraxPRO MX installed), mountain biking, and general truck bed use. Towing the RetraxPRO open real quick to hook up the trailer is quick and easy.
- Looks. The RetraxPRO—particularly the MX version with its matte black finish—looks good enough to seem like it was factory equipment.
Installation is a tad more difficult than a roll-up soft cover, so it’s best to have an extra set of hands helping you. We had ours installed in under 45 minutes—and that’s with taking photos along the way.
The only downside to a retractable cover is that is eats up about 10 inches of bed space at the front of the box. You can still slide stuff underneath it, but it shortens your bed. That’s one advantage to a soft roll-up cover.
Starting around $1,800