So you’re looking for a tonneau cover and need to know which is better – a snap tonneau cover or a roll up tonneau cover. You’re in the right place because we definitely know tonneau covers here at 4 Wheel Parts.

Let’s dive right in and start with the major differences.

First Up

Both snap bed covers and Velcro bed covers are considered to be “roll up” covers. When you want to buy one or the other, make sure the roll up cover you get is the type you really want. There are big differences in the snap and Velcro types.

Snap covers are the old school roll up covers and not many people like them anymore, but for some reason they’re still being made. Kind of like CD players. Snap covers are also the cheapest type of tonneau cover you can buy. Velcro covers have pretty much replaced the snap covers because they’re better in most ways.

Roll up tonneau covers are pretty fast and easy to install, but there is a difference in the snap and Velcro types. Velcro will take you about 20 minutes or less to install and use. Snap covers take up to an hour.

Rolling Up and Rolling Down

Velcro tonneau coversWhen it comes to actually using your roll up tonneau cover, Velcro covers roll up and out of your way in about 10 seconds. Snap covers take a few minutes to unsnap and roll up. Not a big deal, really, unless it’s raining and you’re getting soaked. Or if it’s freezing cold outside. Think about the coldest, wettest day in winter and picture yourself standing outside and unsnapping about 30 snaps on each side of the bed. And another 20 across the back.

With a snap cover, once you roll the cover up, you’ve got to remove the cross. You’ve got to find a place to store them or just let them flop around in your truck bed. That doesn’t sound annoying, does it? You’ve also got to take off the back rail and store it somewhere too. With a Velcro cover, the bows are attached to the cover itself so they roll up together with the cover itself. So does the back rail. Easy and not annoying. All self contained with nothing to store

And when you want to put the cover back, Velcro pretty much seals itself when you roll the cover down in place. Just run your hand over the Velcro and you’re done. With the snap cover you’ve got to walk around to every snap (about 70 snaps on a cover), line them up and press them into place. Again, not a huge deal unless it’s raining or cold or you’re in a hurry. At that point, you’ll wish you went with Velcro every time you push a snap into place.

And if it’s cold outside, then nature comes into play. Most things contract in the cold and a vinyl tarp is no exception. When you are rolling a snap cover back into place in cold weather, you almost always have to start at the rear corners and “stretch” the cover to get the first snaps to attach to the rail. This can take some effort to “cam it over” and onto the rail. Not so with a Velcro cover. On a Velcro cover, since the tarp is attached to the back rail, you simply set the back rain into its set position on the side rails and push down. No fuss, no muss and you are out of the cold in 15 seconds.

Another item you should be aware of is when it comes to sealing the sides, Velcro seals all the way down the rail of your truck. The snaps obviously only seal where each snap is located, leaving little gaps between each one for water to sneak in. And for many of you, this is the reason you are buying a cover in the first place…to keep water out.


When it comes to what your roll up tonneau cover looks like there are a few differences between Velcro and snap tonneau covers. Snap covers always sit on top of your truck bed. Velcro covers have different versions so you can find some that sit on top and others that sit flush inside the bed rails so you get that clean, low-profile look.

Another thing keeping the snap covers from having the low-pro look is the arched bows. They arch in the center of the cover and make it stand taller instead of flat and straight across the top. The arch gives your truck a slight hunchback look and doesn’t look as clean as the Velcro covers. Velcro bed covers usually use a spring or tension control system to keep the cover tight. No hunchbacks needed.

Last But Not Least

Some snap bed covers use plastic snaps. That’s great if you don’t want to worry about rust on metal snaps, but not so great when the plastic loses its shape and you can’t snap it together anymore. Velcro doesn’t lose its Velcro – it just works. Same thing happens in very cold weather. Snaps can lose their shape and not be able to stay snapped. Velcro still works.

Velcro truck bed covers come in a few different styles, like roll up and folding. Snap bed covers don’t give you many choices. Snap covers start somewhere around $219. Velcro covers are about $40 more, but you can see the benefits are worth it. Another win for Velcro bed covers is they usually come with a lifetime warranty. Snap covers usually don’t.

Now that you’ve decided which roll up tonneau cover to get for your truck, you can come to us with any questions you still have or to get your cover on its way to you. Let us know which type of roll up truck bed cover you prefer and why. Give us a call, send an email or let us know in the comment section below.