Product Review: Extang Solid Fold Tonneau Cover

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Extang is one of the most well-known brands in tonneau covers. In fact, it’s one of the most popular Tundra accessories according to Mark, one of our readers, installed and reviewed an Extang solid fold tonneau for the Tundra.

Extang solid fold tonneau cover

The Extang Solid Fold is a very simple tonneau cover install that can be done by one person.

The kit itself is brutally simple – in fact, the installation instructions are only two pages(pdf). Because there’s no lock, no struts, no complicated brackets, you can put on the tonneau without any tools. Extang claims the tonneau cover can be installed in as little as five minutes, and it probably can be if you’re in a hurry. But 10-20 minutes is more reasonable if you’re interested in being careful to make sure it’s squared-up properly by measuring all corners a few times.

Extang tonneau cover bracket Extang bracket installed.

Installing the brackets in the factory bed rails.

The tonneau cover itself attaches to the brackets using a simple spring-loaded handle system near the tailgate and a hand-tighten clamp near the cab. The front attachment points (the part of the bed closest to the cab) aren’t designed to be removed quickly with a simple pull, but the rear attachment points (the ones closest to the tailgate) can be pulled off quickly with one hand. This system makes folding up the tonneau cover simple and fast yet still secure.

Front attachment points for part of bed near the cab. Tonneau cover attachment points near tailgate.

Cab side (left) and tailgate side (right) attachment points for the Extang solid folding tonneau cover. As long as the tailgate is locked, it will be difficult to remove the tonneau because the attachment points are inside the bed.

Once installed, the tonneau cover resembles a flat solid tonneau cover (even though it folds up easily). It’s about an inch and a half higher than the bed, it’s very secure when the tailgate is closed and locked, and it passed Mark’s wet weather testing as well. The only water issue is with the seal around the tailgate – after a long rain, there was a little moisture in the bed. No issue with the tonneau itself. Folding and removing the tonneau cover can be done by one person, and if you decide to leave the cover on and fold it up, it comes with straps to secure it in place.

Extang tonneau cover installed.

The tri-fold feature of the tonneau cover demonstrated. Note the strap to hold the tonneau in place while it’s folded up.

The Extang Solid Fold vs. The Trifecta

If you like Extang’s solid fold tonneau, keep in mind it’s basically a solid version of the Extang Trifecta. Both are very strong, but the solid fold is an aluminum frame with fiberglass panels, whereas the Trifecta is an aluminum frame with either vinyl or canvas panels. There’s obviously a cost difference between the two (the Trifecta is less expensive because it’s lighter duty), but functionally they’re the same.

So, if you’re looking for a simple tonneau cover that keeps the stuff in the bed dry, and if you’re not worried too much about security, the trifecta might be the better choice for you.

Comparing the Duracover tonneau cover we reviewed earlier this year to the Extang tonneau covers, the big difference is folding vs. security. The Duracover features a strong locking mechanism and a bulletproof hinge setup – if you install this cover, you basically make your truck’s bed into a secure, lockable trunk. Extang’s covers are easier to take off and put on (because they’re less bulky), and because they fold you don’t have to worry about removal near as much. Unfortunately, without a lock mechanism, the Extangs are somewhat vulnerable to theft (at least compared to the Duracover, which will keep your stuff secure even if you forget to lock the tailgate). Depending on what you’re looking for, either would be an excellent choice and we like them both.

Filed Under: Toyota Tundra Accessories


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  1. Ryan Rusher says:

    Just a note the Solid Fold is made completely of Aluminum.

  2. Ingle says:

    ahhhh, a solid counterpart of their trifecta model. Coolio

  3. JimK says:

    Great review, since I am seriously considering this product for my F-150. Thanks for the pictures.

  4. JimK – Thanks man, always glad to help.

  5. Tammy Gullifer says:

    This letter is to document that the Extang Solid Fold Tonneau installed on a Toyota Tacoma or Tundra Truck may come loose and fly off of the vehicle creating a Highway hazard and may even cause an accident resulting in injury or death. The design of the front attach point should be investigated. I believe the attach point design, which incorporates a slotted screw hole (slotted in direction of load), allowed the attachment bracket to travel which released the hold down tension and resulted in failure of the attachment.
    In March of 2009, I purchased an Extang Solid Fold Tonneau (P/N 56905) for a 2007 Toyota Tacoma Truck (short bed) and had the distributor (TopperTown, Cocoa, Florida) install it. The Extang Solid Fold tonneau is constructed of 3 panels of aluminum honeycomb, hinged together, creating a tri-fold (see Figure 1). The Extang Solid Fold tonneau weighs about 50 pounds.
    On August 6, 2009, I was traveling approximately 55 mph on North Courtenay Parkway (Route 3) on North Merritt Island, Florida when the tonneau came loose and flew off of the truck. Luckily there was no vehicle immediately behind me as this would have caused a horrible accident. The tonneau landed in the middle of the right lane and after waving off oncoming traffic, I was able to retrieve the tonneau and put it in the back of the truck.
    I called the distributor (TopperTown, Cocoa, Florida) to inform them of the incident. They stated they had never experienced this type of problem and requested that I bring the vehicle in so that they could take a look at it. I then proceeded to TopperTown.

    While waiting for the installer to take a look, I did a little troubleshooting of my own and uncovered what I believe is a serious design flaw in the attach point design.

    There are four attach points that are used to secure the tonneau to the truck bed, two front (near the cab) and two rear (near the tailgate). The two front attach points are always supposed to be engaged. The rear attach points may or may not be engaged depending on the configuration of the tonneau. When the tonneau is in the unfolded configuration (and covers the full bed) all four attach points are engaged. When the tonneau is in the folded (or stowed) configuration it is secured to itself by straps and only the front attach points are engaged.

    For the Tacoma truck, the attach point design consists of a bracket secured to the truck bed rail and an interface clamp installed on the tonneau. The bracket that attaches to the truck bed rail is designed with slotted screw holes and is attached to a threaded nut plate by two screws (see Figure 2).

    At the front attach point the clamp on the tonneau is secured against the truck bed bracket by a wingnut (see Figure 3). As stated previously, the front attach points are always supposed to be engaged. For the rear attach point, the clamp on the tonneau is designed with a spring loaded handle so that it may be secured or unsecured as required by configuration (see Figure 4).

    Therefore, the cause of the failure was the fact that the front truck bed brackets had loosened allowing them to travel upward toward the tonneau. The amount of travel (3/8

  6. Mickey says:

    Wow…Thanks Tammy for the info. Let us know what the dealer thinks or does. I’ve always used a soft cover from Extang. Black Max to be exact.

  7. Tammy – Thanks for the heads up. Any chance the install wasn’t done correctly?

  8. Tammy Gullifer says:

    The installation instructions as shown on Extang’s web site are incorrent. They indicate the rail bracket should be installed in the down position. (See for bracket installation instrucations) When you look at the INSTALLATION for TRIFECTA TONNO (which the manufacurer said is the same for the Solid-Fold), you will see the diagram shows the bracket in the down position – notice the groove in the interface bracket is below the truck rail. The distributor who installed my Extang Tonneau, installed it per these instructions.

    The installation information contained on this website actually shows the
    brackets installed in the upward postion with the groove in the bracket aligned with the groove in the bed rail. This way, with the bracket already in the upward position, if the fasteners loosen, the bracket cannot move upward anymore to release the hold down tension. CAUTION: IF ANYONE ALREADY HAS AN EXTANG SOLID FOLD TONNEAU, INSPECT THE INSTALLATION TO MAKE SURE THE BRACKETS ARE IN THE UPWARD POSITION WITH THE GROOVE IN THE BRACKET ALIGNED WITH THE TRUCK RAIL.

  9. Tammy – Got it – good to know. Did you contact Extang with this info? They should be very grateful.

  10. Claude says:

    I know this is old, but I just bought this cover and was looking for good installation instructions since the extang site doesn’t seem very intuitive as to where to find Tacoma instructions. My brackets do NOT have the little slotted (curved) lip like the ones in this picture and in Tammy’s link. They are just a straight J type bracket. Totally flat where they attached to the existing bed rails. Wondering if I should call extang to see if they have the slotted ones.

    How is this cover holding up for you Jason?

  11. Jason says:

    Claude – That cover is great according to the guy who’s truck we installed it on. Since you’re installing on a Tacoma, I’m not sure if the brackets should be different. Calling Extang is a good idea.

  12. Louie says:

    have trouble with mine leaking at the folds on the corner

  13. Jason (Admin) says:

    Louie – That’s disappointing. You should contact Extang – their customer service is good and they might have a solution for you.

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