Retractable Tonneau Cover
Peragon’s unique cover provides security, style, and ability to easily utilize every inch of a truck’s bed.
By crude, unofficial estimate, the number of truck-bed cover installations and reviews that MotorTrend's truck editors have performed over the years definitely is in the hundreds at this point.
Today, as more and more pickups are uber refined and being used solely as transportation, with limited to no towing and/or cargo-carrying tasks performed, "tonneau" covers are becoming popular methods of visually enhancing trucks, giving beds a clean, finished appearance.
Despite a perceived importance for looking good (in layman's terms, "vanity"), functionality really is the primary reason for installing a bed cover. A tonneau's primary job is to protect a truck bed and its contents from exposure to sun, rain, snow, dirt, etc., as well as theft, and sustaining damage caused by other variables.
The coverings typically are made with vinyl (soft) or aluminum (hard), and designed to open and close by rolling, flipping, or lifting off or on, or retracting into or out of a truck's bed.
As retractable bed covers go, the lion's share of them are motorized, where, at the flip of a switch, the cover is pulled back into a box that sits near the front of the bed. Yes, they are convenient and secure. However, the cover's storage box, which also contains the motor mechanism for these units, compromises a truck's cargo capacity by as much as 12 inches or more. In some instances, this also is true for covers that are retracted manually. The bottom line is, when a pickup is used for doing truck things, its bed capacity is the last thing to skimp on.
We recently discovered a new (to us) offering from Peragon Truck Bed Covers that we believe checks every box when it comes to meeting the needs of owners who want a high-quality, stylish, retractable cover for their pickup's bed that won't compromise cargo capacity. Although manual, the Peragon cover retracts and is easily removed when necessary, making 100 percent of the truck's bed space available in a matter of seconds. Yes, theoretically, every truck-bed cover can be removed. However, it's not the manufacturers' intent for most retractable units to be taken off after they're installed.
Peragon goes against this grain by offering covers with a design and functionality that really are unique to the segment. The Peragon cover basically retracts like a closed accordion and stacks neatly against the front of a truck's bed. The bundle only uses 6 inches of bed space, and if that area is critically necessary, the cover can be completely extracted from the truck in no time.
This design also alleviates a predicament we had with the flip-style tonneau on our 2016 Chevrolet Colorado. While the flipper is easy to operate, when it's completely opened (two panels flipped onto the third panel at the front of the bed), it actually eliminates 26 inches of cargo space from being used (for contents taller than 21 inches). In order to load and secure a motorcycle, large furniture, or other cargo taller than the bed rails and longer than 50.5 inches, the entire cover must be removed. It's doable, but, with the hard flip-style cover, it also is annoying (because you then need a place to store the cover).
Peragon's model C2-SB is the specific cover for longbed (72-inch) 2016-2018 Colorados. With the optional Platinum Package we ordered, the setup includes the aluminum cover, rails, ramps, gas-charged struts, stainless-steel hardware, a dual-deadbolt lock, tailgate seal, and a three-year extended warranty. Classic Black is Peragon's popular, standard color. However, Artic White also is available for Colorado (and custom colors for other trucks), for an additional cost.
Our change to this retractable cover is predicated on our feeling that it truly is a best-of-all-worlds unit that meets all of our needs. It's stylish, very secure, smooth functioning, and simple to operate, and, most important, we're now able to load large cargo, in many cases, without having to completely remove the cover (and it conveniently can be stored in the back seat when we do have to take it out). Getting the usable space back and convenience are the big wins with Peragon's retractable truck-bed cover.
Our installation took place at MotorTrend's Tech Center in Santa Ana, California. The effort can be accomplished in a home garage or driveway, provided there is sufficient space for moving around the truck. Surprisingly, a 7/16-inch wrench and deep socket, a ratchet, scissors, drill and bits (for Chevy Colorado longbed and possibly other applications), a tape measure, straight edge, Sharpie marker, and masking tape are the only tools necessary for bolting the cover on.
Peragon provides detailed printed instructions and also offers a series of awesome videos covering every aspect of installing covers properly. We learned that the keys to nailing this install are patience and measuring carefully to ensure the cover is positioned squarely from front to rear, and side to side. It is also important to heed the directions' order to add 1 degree of upward angle to the cover's rail brackets. Failure to do this can result in the cover binding and not retracting or closing properly.
In many instances, showing is better than telling, so we're including photos and a couple of videos that highlight details of the effort—not step-by-step how-to (watch Peragon's instruction videos for that)—and our ultimate reward: a really slick-looking retractable bed cover.
Tech Center manager Christian Arriero completed the installation without assistance, save for positioning and securing the bed cover's railing on and to the truck. That job requires two people, but all in all, this is something that mechanically adept DYIers can accomplish without any problem.
Peragon Truck Bed Covers
Peragon Truck Bed Covers