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How to choose between truck toppers, truck caps or tonneaus?

Few vehicles are more versatile than a pickup truck, especially when drivers are able to take advantage of add-on accessories. Many of the most popular accessories used by businesses and individual drivers alike are designed to increase a pickup’s carrying capacity while providing additional protection to materials and equipment. Truck toppers, truck caps and tonneaus can all make a big difference for your driving experience. However, to get the best results, it is essential that you choose the right accessory for your needs.

Truck Toppers

Also sometimes referred to as fiberglass truck bodies, truck toppers are undoubtedly the most versatile truck accessory on the market. These spacious storage areas come fully loaded with diverse shelving options, even allowing for options such as generator storage, sliding drawers, or a ladder rack. Some models provide over 70 inches of head space, allowing you to walk inside the pickup bed area to access needed tools and equipment.

The versatility and durability offered by fiberglass truck toppers makes them a popular choice among electricians, plumbers, and other contractors. Easy installation and transfer to other vehicles makes them ideally suited for vehicle fleets that might otherwise rely on SUVs or vans. Because these accessories can be installed on the back of a pickup truck, they allow contractors to have better access to remote locations or areas with poor road conditions.

With so many customization options available, truck toppers are generally more expensive than the other options in this list. While they are the best option for contractors, they would likely be considered overkill for the everyday driver.


Tonneaus are commonly used by everyday pickup truck users who want to provide a little extra protection to the items in their truck bed. A tonneau is nothing more than a flat cover that goes on top of the pickup’s “box,” providing a solid layer of protection against the elements while also ensuring that items won’t accidentally fall out of the truck bed.

Tonneaus are available in either hard plastic or soft fabric. Hard plastic is more durable, but doesn’t allow for the transportation of larger equipment. Rolling back soft fabric covers to accommodate large cargo is possible, but these materials are typically less durable.

These covers are generally suited for individuals who don’t need to transport materials in their pickup bed on a regular basis. They are quite easy to remove when not in use, and their flat design ensures they won’t take up too much space when in storage.

Truck Caps

Truck caps serve as a type of middle ground between tonneaus and truck toppers. These hard covers sit at the same height as your truck cab, giving your pickup truck the same look as an SUV. Truck caps provide the same type of protection as a tonneau while offering more space for storing cargo. In fact, truck caps are generally roomy enough that you could even sleep in the pickup truck bed on a camping trip if necessary!

While truck caps take up less space than a truck topper, they are somewhat limited in their application. These caps are little more than a spacious cover, and as such, do not provide shelving or other specialized storage solutions that contractors so frequently need.

Truck caps are often a permanent attachment, and cannot be removed if you need to increase your vehicle’s carrying capacity or switch to a new vehicle. Drivers should carefully consider future potential needs before adding these accessories.


Truck toppers, truck caps, and tonneaus all offer their own sets of pros and cons, with each suited for different purposes. As you examine your own needs in light of these specifications, you’ll be able to make the right selection for your vehicle.

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