SofTopper Convertible Truck Bed Shell

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Truck bed toppers (also known as camper shells or “truck caps”) are popular because they allow truck owners to haul tools, gear, and even dogs in the truck bed while keeping them dry. At first glance, toppers seem like a really smart accessory. Why wouldn’t you want to turn your pickup bed into a really big cargo area? The answer is that toppers need to be removed sometimes in order to haul tall or bulky “stuff,” and that removal can be a real pain…so a lot of truck owners don’t like them.

ARE (among others) makes dozens of varieties of truck toppers for personal and commercial use.

ARE (among others) makes dozens of varieties of truck toppers for personal and commercial use.

The primary style of topper is a full-on cab extension that meets or exceeds the height of the truck’s roof and is made of fiberglass , composite material, or aluminum. Depending on the material and features, toppers can be range from cheap ($300-$500 buys a cheap and ugly work-truck topper) to expensive ($2500 can buy a painted-t0-match topper with a door that replaces the tailgate). Most toppers come with a rudimentary lock and are installed using good old C-clamps, only some are high-tech affairs with comprehensive security features and bolt-on attachment.

The typical topper is too heavy for one person to remove safely, and unless you’ve got some sort of nifty topper storage system in your garage, toppers are a pain to store when not in use. Obviously, someone has come up with a solution that is easy to remove and easy to store…

SofTopper's folding truck bed topper.

SofTopper's folding truck bed topper.

SofTopper provides many of the benefits of a hard shell topper, but it is also easy to remove. SofTopper truck caps are very similar to a convertible top. They employ a plastic and aluminum frame latticework that serves as the frame, and then this frame is covered in a waterproof canvas material. Rising up as tall as a full-size cap when fully deployed, SofToppers fold up into an easy-to-carry shape that weighs between 25 and 45 lbs and can sit in the corner of your garage without any trouble.

In addition to being light-weight, SofTopper claims the entire cap can be retracted down to its

Filed Under: Toyota Tundra Accessories


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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by GCG 4×4 Club, Jason TundraHQ. Jason TundraHQ said: New post: SofTopper Convertible Truck Bed Shell ( […]

  2. mk says:

    Agree 100%, too pricey for no security and looks are compromised. If anything, it would invite robbers to come take a look at it and see what is underneath easy enough. I can get a lakeland topper locally even fiberglass for a few hundred bucks more darn near the quality of a leer or ARE.

  3. Jeremy the Mad Hatter says:

    It is nice if you are only going to use it when you want to carry something that needs to remain dry or for vacation

  4. Brian says:

    I think I’ll stick with Leer if I have to have anything. Had one on my last truck for 6+ years with no problems. Awesome topper!

  5. TXTee says:

    Neat concept for ease of removal but that’s about it. It costs too much and my dogs’ tails would beat right through it. I’ve already made double the investment for Leer and will have to figure out a way to load the motorcycle with the topper still on. =)

  6. Mickey says:

    Sorry to say but I definitely don’t like this concept. I like to be different but with this would really make me different and stick out like a sore thumb. I’ve always had Extang soft tonneau covers for all my trucks except the F-150 which had a Ford soft snapless tonneau. The ease of just rolling it up and doing whatever I want. My camping things fit in the bed and the soft tonneau cover keeps it dry. Also for Winter Extang’s Black Max has two settings on the snaps to make it easier in winter timeframe.

  7. For 1/3 the price this would be one ofthe best utility options you could get but $600 is WAAAAAAAAY over priced. Like charging for water or air. Wait…nevermind, I do have to pay for those things. I remember when they were FREE!

  8. TXTee says:

    I get Mickey’s point but for people like me I need more than a flat tonneau since I can’t shove the animals (LOL) or the motorcycle under there but don’t want either to be drenched. I’ve also hauled other loads that are taller than bed height without the topper and really wished I had something to contain the items a bit better. For 1/3 the price, I’d consider posting my Leer for sale and docking the Lab tails. Ok kidding on the dogs but we’d make do….

  9. mk says:

    This is why I do not like toppers. Unless it is a raised topper about 6-8″ higher than level cab lenght like most toppers are nowadays being flush and streamlined, I cannot get my ATV’s in back or rototillers, lawnmowers, or snowblowers since the handles sit up too high. I use to have a Lakeland topper, but found it a pain ONLY when I hauled those items which are not everyday, but nonetheless, did not work for me.

  10. Word – sounds like we’re all on the same page.

  11. TXTee says:

    The topper does have some inconveniences but fortunately I haven’t had to load the motorcycle so I’m happier the animals are comfy and things are staying dry. I also have gotten more compliments on the truck’s appearance. It was a well invested cost for me driving cross country this summer that I’ll find an extra person if I need to load bike anytime soon.

  12. What book are we using. I keep hearing about”being on the same page” and I don’t even have the book. If You gave me a page number I might be able to figure it out. Like 42. Is it page 42? There is a lot of meaning on page 42.

  13. It’s the page with the picture of the Tundra on it. LOL

  14. AH!! FOUND IT! Ok, we are on the same page now.

  15. crewmax42 says:

    I like my softtopper on my ’07. I use it on trips to protect gear in the back. I leave stuff in the back, but am careful not to leave expensive stuff. I love that I can install or remove at a moment’s notice. The only thing I don’t like is the velcro strip that must be attached to the gate. It is just a poor design flaw. I am looking for a good magnetic strip that I can use to replace this. Maybe the newer ones have addressed this, I don’t know. This product isn’t for everyone, apparently, but it has served me well.

  16. crewmax42 – Good to know. I think you hit the nail on the head – the moment’s notice take-down is pretty awesome. If only it weren’t so expensive! What do you think of the quality now that you’ve had one for a while?

  17. crewmax42 says:

    Yes, it is pricey. But, worth it to me since 95% of my driving with without the cover. For the twenty or so times I have used it, the fabric still remains supple and has sustained no cracks or unravellings. I have driven at interstate speeds with no problem with whipping or deforming of the frame. I think the design and manufacturing quality are top notch. My one complaint, as I mentioned, is the method of securing the back flap to the top of the tailgate. One must put adhesive striping with velcro on the outside of the tailgate. It works for a while, but exposure cause the tape to shrink, get dirty, and want to peel off. It looks pretty ugly on a 40K$ truck. I sent softtopper and e-mail about it, but received no response. I am going to see if I can find a velcro/magnetic strip to use instead. For those living in cold climate (I’m in NC), the topper will become stiff and a little hard to manage.

  18. crewmax42 – Sounds like it’s been a good deal for you – glad to hear it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  19. AZJOE says:

    I was thinking about getting a softtopper. I thought it would be cool to use as a tent and throw an air mattress in the back for my fishing trips. Skipping and hour of setup and an hour of take down so I can fish longer seems worth it to me…just a thought.

  20. Crewmax42 says:

    We enjoy our softtopper. The main problem is the double sided velcro strip that they have you put on your gate to form the seal. It gets dirty, shrinks, and needs to be replaced. I still have gummy,dirty residue on my gate from it. They should do a magnetic seal. Maybe they do now – I am not sure – I sent them an e-mail and never got a response. No – it isn’t secure, but a fiberglass top isn’t either. If someone wants in, they’re in, with any solution. Best not to leave anything of value in a camper. This is a good solution for us.

  21. Jason (Admin) says:

    AZJoe – What about a truck tent? That’s probably cheaper and easier…

    Crewmax42 – Thanks for the notes on the velcro. I like your idea of a magnetic flap…seems like it would be close cost-wise. Here’s to hoping that feature is added.

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