Possessing a bed is the defining feature of a pickup truck. Truck beds are useful for everything from carrying axles home from the junkyard, to hauling all of your camping gear, to even helping your second cousin move his furniture to a new house. The problem with an open truck bed is that it’s just as easy for anyone to take things out as it is for you to put things in. The solution to that problem is a camper shell, bed box, or tonneau cover.
Our Toyota Tundra only has a 6-foot bed, so we didn’t want to make it even shorter with a bed box. Similarly, camper shells are useful to lock up your gear and even provide a place to sleep, but you aren’t going to haul a table saw or parts washer in the back of a truck with a camper shell. For this shop truck, a tonneau cover made the most sense. We picked the BAKFlip G2 model from BAK Industries, which installs in a matter of minutes with simple handtools. This hard folding tonneau cover keeps all of the bed space usable and retains easy access over the side of the bed, but also securely stores our gear behind the locking tailgate.
We purchased our truck with a plastic bedliner already installed. There was no interference when installing the BAKFlip G2 onto the existing bedliner. Similarly, spray-in bedliners are not a problem.
The BAKFlip G2 came well packaged with detailed instructions explaining installation. The only tool necessary was a 9/16-inch wrench.
No drilling was required for the installation—the rails clamp to the truck bed to hold the tonneau cover in place. The panels and rails come in a UV-resistant black powdercoat finish to resist scratches and the fading that comes from constant sun exposure.
Weatherstripping around the perimeter of the BAKFlip make it fairly weathertight, but the company also includes drains to channel water off of the tonneau cover for those who live in rainy environments. We opted not to use these since we didn’t want to drill a drain hole in our bed.
The BAKFlip uses latches at each segment of the folding cover, so you can open it all the way or just as far as you need. The latches are easy to open via cable and automatically lock into place when the panel is lowered.
The BAKFlip G2 uses four aircraft grade aluminum sandwich panels that can be flipped open to allow as much access to the bed as you need. Unlike some folding tonneau covers, the front panel even flips forward to allow complete access to the bed.
Straps equipped with plastic clips can be used to keep the bed three-quarters of the way open. This is how we typically leave the cover on a daily basis when we’re hauling parts in the bed of our Tundra.
If we have one complaint, it’s that standard-size Action Packers don’t fit under the BAKFlip. The Tundra’s shallow bed depth is more to blame than the tonneau cover itself. However, it has required us to swap all of our camping gear over from Action Packers to these slightly smaller (and less rugged) plastic totes.
The BAKFlip panels are constructed from powdercoated aluminum over a foam core. They are extremely light and capable of holding up to 300 pounds. That weight must be distributed over a large area, though, or else you risk denting the aluminum.