Product Review: Extang Solid Fold Tonneau Cover
Extang is one of the most well-known brands in tonneau covers. In fact, it’s one of the most popular Tundra accessories according to AutoAnything.com. Mark, one of our readers, installed and reviewed an Extang solid fold tonneau for the Tundra.
The Extang Solid Fold is a very simple tonneau cover install that can be done by one person.
The kit itself is brutally simple – in fact, the installation instructions are only two pages(pdf). Because there’s no lock, no struts, no complicated brackets, you can put on the tonneau without any tools. Extang claims the tonneau cover can be installed in as little as five minutes, and it probably can be if you’re in a hurry. But 10-20 minutes is more reasonable if you’re interested in being careful to make sure it’s squared-up properly by measuring all corners a few times.
Installing the brackets in the factory bed rails.
The tonneau cover itself attaches to the brackets using a simple spring-loaded handle system near the tailgate and a hand-tighten clamp near the cab. The front attachment points (the part of the bed closest to the cab) aren’t designed to be removed quickly with a simple pull, but the rear attachment points (the ones closest to the tailgate) can be pulled off quickly with one hand. This system makes folding up the tonneau cover simple and fast yet still secure.
Cab side (left) and tailgate side (right) attachment points for the Extang solid folding tonneau cover. As long as the tailgate is locked, it will be difficult to remove the tonneau because the attachment points are inside the bed.
Once installed, the tonneau cover resembles a flat solid tonneau cover (even though it folds up easily). It’s about an inch and a half higher than the bed, it’s very secure when the tailgate is closed and locked, and it passed Mark’s wet weather testing as well. The only water issue is with the seal around the tailgate – after a long rain, there was a little moisture in the bed. No issue with the tonneau itself. Folding and removing the tonneau cover can be done by one person, and if you decide to leave the cover on and fold it up, it comes with straps to secure it in place.
The tri-fold feature of the tonneau cover demonstrated. Note the strap to hold the tonneau in place while it’s folded up.
The Extang Solid Fold vs. The Trifecta
If you like Extang’s solid fold tonneau, keep in mind it’s basically a solid version of the Extang Trifecta. Both are very strong, but the solid fold is an aluminum frame with fiberglass panels, whereas the Trifecta is an aluminum frame with either vinyl or canvas panels. There’s obviously a cost difference between the two (the Trifecta is less expensive because it’s lighter duty), but functionally they’re the same.
So, if you’re looking for a simple tonneau cover that keeps the stuff in the bed dry, and if you’re not worried too much about security, the trifecta might be the better choice for you.
Comparing the Duracover tonneau cover we reviewed earlier this year to the Extang tonneau covers, the big difference is folding vs. security. The Duracover features a strong locking mechanism and a bulletproof hinge setup – if you install this cover, you basically make your truck’s bed into a secure, lockable trunk. Extang’s covers are easier to take off and put on (because they’re less bulky), and because they fold you don’t have to worry about removal near as much. Unfortunately, without a lock mechanism, the Extangs are somewhat vulnerable to theft (at least compared to the Duracover, which will keep your stuff secure even if you forget to lock the tailgate). Depending on what you’re looking for, either would be an excellent choice and we like them both.
Filed Under: Toyota Tundra Accessories