Truck Bed Cover: Retrax vs. Roll N Lock


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The best truck bed cover options

I decided not to go with a truck shell. Sometimes I need to haul taller objects that don’t fit under the shell. For the same reason, I didn’t want a hard tonneau cover (although they look really nice when matched to the same color as the vehicle.
The remaining options are to get a bed cover. So many different choices. But I choose to not let the cost be the determining factor this time. I didn’t feel a fold up cover would be secure because there are so many break-ins around boat ramps anymore.
Thieves figure our unattended trucks are an easy target. Even with an alarm, you’re out of earshot once you leave the dock area. So, I like the retractable bed covers.

My previous truck was a GMC Sierra 1500

On my previous truck I had the Roll N Lock. It worked well. I choose that one because it looked like the best option that was displayed in the local truck accessory shop.
Roll N Lock bed cover
Roll N Lock Truck Bed Cover
The Roll N lock served me well and I didn't have many issues. 
However, on an uneven surface, it was hard to open. 
And several times, when I wasn't careful to make sure the cover was connected to the tail gate, it slid open. I had some gear fly out. It was my fault, but make sure the cover is securely closed.
Also, the Roll N Lock is covered with a fabric so I was worried about it fading in the hot Texas sun.

My new Ford F150 bed cover

RetraxProMX in Matte Black
This time I did some searching online for all the options. I found the Retrax. It looked nice in the matte black finish and seemed more durable than the soft vinyl-like fabric covering of the Roll N Lock.
The RetraxPro MX retractable cover offers some great options:
It is durable.
The aluminum matte finish is sturdy, which for me was was preferable to the RetraxONE polycarbonate finish.
Unlike the Roll N Lock, you can lock down the cover anywhere along the running track. (The Roll N Lock has set positions where the cover will stop.)
Unlike the Roll N Lock, the cover doesn’t require pulling it all the way to the tailgate to lock it.
I bought the cover online through eBay. I made sure to get the correct model without cutouts for the top rail tie down holes because my truck had a protection cap over the top of the bed side.
Retrax Bed Cover
The matte black looks great with my black truck
One thing I discovered when I began to install it was that nowhere did I read before hand that if you have a drop-in bed liner like I do, that you have to notch out the liner for the canister to fit. I didn’t discover that until I opened the box and began looking at the installation instructions. By this time I had the cover out of the box and was really anxious to get it installed. I had to stop and run and get a tool to cut a notch in the bed liner. That made what would have been an easy one hour or less job turn into nearly two hours by the time I went to the Home Depot store and back.
After cutting out a little triangle in the bed liner, installation went without a hitch.
One note: the Retrax canister is a little larger than the Roll N Lock so you lose some bed space.
I really like the Retrax over the Roll N Lock but I was not unhappy with the Roll N Lock because I didn’t know any better on the previous truck.
I found the best price on eBay and installed it myself. It was easy if you have any ability. But it's nice to have someone help you lift it in place.
I searched for a listing that says "make offer," so I sent in an offer for a little less than the listed price and was able to save a little more money too.

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