What Hardtops Are the Best for Your Pickup Truck?

Pickup trucks are man’s best friend when heavy lifting and cruising those rugged off-road terrains while loaded. But truth be told, your Chevy Silverado or Toyota Tundra will look more aggressive and functional with a hardtop than without one.

So, it’s nice to have a hardtop while picking up other aftermarket accessories for your beloved pickup truck. Other than protecting your cargo from rain, heat, and other elements, it can add a fancy appeal to your ride. They come in handy when moving heavy and bulky items, such as during house moving. A good hardtop can save you money from hiring movers.

Choosing a Hardtop for Your Truck: What You Need to Know

With all that said, the challenge when equipping your truck with a hardtop lies in finding a good one. While there are plenty of designs to choose from, you need to look beyond the beauty factor. If it’s a subsequent purchase, you’d probably pick from your previous brand. But new buyers have to look for help from friends or online. Here are a few things to watch out for when getting a hardtop for your pickup truck.

The manufacturer

A brand often defines the quality signature of the manufacturer. You’ll find different builders with a typical quality style to their hardtops. Those with years of market presence and who have solidified clients’ trust in their products are your best bet if starting with hardtops. Beyond that, also check the availability of spare parts and the factory location, since this directly relates to the production technologies used.

Material type or manufacturer technology

Hardtop construction also matters, especially when considering exposure to elements and temperature. Fiberglass hardtops are the most common on the market, though aluminum and ABS-made types also exist.

Something else to look into as far as the technology of hardtops is concerned is the molding process. There is manual lamination and light RTM. The former is an older molding process typical of budding manufacturers based in the Far East, some areas of Europe, and Turkey. On the other hand, light RTM uses vacuum lamination and is more advanced and expensive to implement, but the hardtop is of excellent quality.

Comfort features of the hardtop

While hardtops are built as a shield against the elements and your cargo, it still pays to have some comfort features included. One of the things to look out for is soundproofing. You don’t want a distraction from the discomforting noise during a heavy downpour.

Also, climate control ensures your valuables in the truck bed aren’t damaged by heat. For instance, the Road Ranger hardtops include side flaps with a remote opening, heated rear doors, automatic internal LED lighting, etc. Your choice of hardtop does not need to have all these features, but you can choose some of the ones that will make your use more convenient.

The height of the hardtop

Height directly relates to the appeal of your pickup truck after hardtop installation. If you don’t care much for the space and just want to retain the look of your vehicle, then you’re better off with a tonneau cover type of hardtop. Higher hardtops are better if you want more space and protection for your cargo from the elements.

These are among the things to look out for when shopping for your truck’s hardtops. Others include the availability of spares and the manufacturer’s location. These are important so that should anything on the hardtop get spoiled, it will be easier to find a replacement, and the waiting time before the spare reaches you won’t be long.

Types of Hardtop Covers for Your Pickup Truck

The above-discussed factors are a guideline to help you pick a hardtop that will serve you conveniently. But you still need to choose the type of hardtop that goes with your style and preferences. When searching for a hardtop canopy type, you’ll find plenty of options to consider.

Solid-sided hardtops

Solid-sided hardtops are the best if you want a hardtop to provide peace of mind security-wise. As their name suggests, these hardtops have stronger sides with a central locking mechanism. They’re a preference among transporters and business people and come with comfortable features like interior LED lights and carpeted interiors.

These hardtops are compatible with many pickup truck models, including the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Volkswagen Amarok, and Fiat Fullback.

Sporty Sliding Window Hardtops

These hardtops are for motorsport enthusiasts who want to add a sporty appeal to their pickup trucks. Sliding window hardtops feature side windows with a sliding design and have a remote central lock mechanism and internal auto LED lights. These hardtops are best for veterinary service providers or pet owners.

Pop-out side window Hardtops

The pop-out side window hardtops are the best if you need more ventilation and easier access to your truck’s bed. They come with a side window on each side, which can pop out to enhance user comfort and convenience. This way, you won’t need to remove the hardtop when loading or offloading the truck bed.

The pop-out side window hardtops complement the truck’s shape and design. Their cab-high construction provides the vehicle with a more aerodynamic appeal. Also, you can lock and unlock the rear door using your keyfob since it comes integrated with a remote central lock feature. They’re ideal for family camping, leisure outings, and business owners.

Gullwing hardtops

These hardtops draw inspiration from seagull wings and feature a door with an upward-opening mechanism. This opening design is possible because the door is front-hinged and opens towards the truck’s roof. The gullwing hardtops are outdoor enthusiasts’ preference, like the pop-out wide window. That’s because they provide a larger door opening, which makes it easier to load bulky cargo onto the truck bed.

These hardtops are commonly built out of fiberglass and aluminum to reduce their weight in the truck and provide better fuel economy. They’re ideal for leisure and family activities but are also preferred by plumbers, electricians, and other business persons.

Commercial pickup truck hardtops

When exquisiteness and looks don’t matter much, but you want something robust and durable to get the job done, commercial hardtops are a better choice. That’s not to say they’re ugly, but rather, those who seek commercial hardtops go after durability, functionality, and security.

These hardtops are often used for equipment transportation and are forged from heavy-duty materials like aluminum and steel. Some may come with reinforced edges and corners for extra strength.

Summing it up

Hardtops are the way to go if you want to add functionality and style to your pickup truck. They can provide additional security, functionality, and protection for your cargo. When shopping for a hardtop, consider the material type or production technology, design type, and your intended use.

Even though these factors alone are not enough to make you pick the best hardtop, they provide a strong knowledge of what to look for and expect. Better yet, seek professional help to find one that will conveniently serve you for years.

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