When we started building our truck for overland adventures we knew we were going to need a truck bed cover. We started with a basic tanneau cover and it worked well for the day to day stuff like grocery shopping and small errands. We quickly realized that there was not enough room for our camping stuff and that was an issue. We needed to find a different option.

We started looking at bed caps and tried to find something that met all of our needs. We needed something lightweight, affordable, and well built.

Fiberglass caps are relatively lightweight and offer good protection however, they can be expensive! They also limit the use of the truck bed for carrying large loads that may be taller than the cab.

Overland racks are awesome looking but didn’t provide the weather protection we were looking for. We like to be near the coast, and we love the snow! We didn’t want our stuff subjected to weather extremes.

There are some really cool metal bed caps that offer strength, weather protection, and super cool looks! The issue is the price and weight. These caps limit your payload and lighten your wallet pretty significantly. This would be my preferred option if we didn’t have kids. Add in three kids and all of their stuff and we need every pound of payload capacity.

Enter the Softopper

The softopper is a heavy duty fabric cover that stretches over a folding metal frame that offers great coverage for the truck bed. We decided on this because it was very lightweight, relatively affordable, looks great, and is very well built.

Softopper’s folding truck caps replace heavy, fiberglass or metal camper shells and provide cab-high protection that a flat tonneau cover cannot. It can quickly collapse forward out of the way or is easily removed all together to make room for larger loads.

softopper.com

That tagline got our attention! We decided to take the chance on a softopper and we really love it. Lets get into the good and not as good.

Take it from softopper

  • Collapses in seconds!  Just unzip it, unsnap it, and fold it up!
  • Removes completely from vehicle in seconds, and is small enough to store in tight places.
  • Light enough for one person to operate and lift: 18-30 lbs.
  • Quick, efficient online ordering & delivery!
  • Ships right to your home or business from $45.95 (domestic).
  • Installation; average installation time: 37 minutes.
  • Roll-up canopy side panels and/or rear window for easy access.
  • Clear, vinyl windows provide complete visibilty through truck bed.

Canopy is of the highest durability:

  • 2-Ply Laminated PVC coated Sailcloth.
  • Same fabric used by most major auto manufacturers for convertible tops.
  • Available in 3 Colors: Black, Grey, and Tan.
  • Waterproof.
  • UV Stabilization to resist fading.
  • Proven against mildew and rot.
  • 4 Season Fabric; No need to remove during snowy winters.
  • Easy to clean by hand with soap and water OR Wolfstein’s RaggTop Vinyl Cleaner OR by touchless carwash.
  • Looks great for years! 
  • Replaceable front and rear window panels.

Frame is made from durable, anti-rust aluminum:

  • NO NEED to DRILL into TRUCK!
  • Bedrails attach with custom clamps.
  • Folding frame made from lightweight clear anodized aluminum tubing.
  • Easy to remove from truck completely.
  • Non-adhesive weather stripping provides waterproofing for entire truck bed.
  • All parts individually replaceable.

Accessories Available Include:

  • Protective Boot Cover to increase longevity and provide easy storage.
  • Rear Screen Panel: Great for camping, and providing airflow to pets in the truck bed!

Free Industry Leading Warranty

The Good

  • This cap is very lightweight and can be installed by one person, though it is easier with another helper.
  • The softopper is way more affordable than a traditional cap. We paid around $750 for the softopper with 4 additional clamps (more on that later). The quotes for fiberglass caps were in neighborhood of $3000. The overland racks start around $1500 and go up from there. The purpose built overland caps start at $3500 without any of the cool add-ons.
  • The softopper allows for adequate storage and allows us to huddle in the back on a rainy day, or for a scenic truck bed dinner. The cap keeps us and our stuff clean (mostly) and dry.
  • It looks cool! It is reminiscent of an Africa safari vehicle. People ask about it all the time. The cap offers a clean look to the truck.

The Less Good

The cap is fabric so the theft protection is far less than a locking cap, made of a solid material. Fortunately we have had no issues with this however, if you routinely carry expensive items in the back and leave it unattended, this cap might not be the best choice for you.

It is mostly sealed. The cover does not provide a 100% seal but more like a 95% seal. We added some weather stripping around the tailgate and near the cab and we have 99.9% water exclusion however, on really dusty roads there can be some dust inclusion. The dust has only been an issue on really long, dusty roads. It has not really been a huge issue, definitely not a deal breaker. If you drive on a lot of dusty roads keep a small brush in the door panel for clearing the dust before opening the back.

The cover does not allow for any overland storage. This is not a fault on the topper at all but worth noting. We are looking into fabricating some racks that slide under the mounting bracket for the topper so we can externally store a jack, gas can, and other recovery gear.

The rear door seals to the tailgate with some heavy duty velcro and ours started to peel. This is not a reflection on the Velcro but more on the installation. However, softopper sent us more Velcro quickly and at no cost (great customer service).

The topper is held on by 4 bed clamps (2 per side). This was a fine mounting solution but we wanted a bit more strength so we added 2 more clips per side. It would be great if the cap came with some additional clamps but again the top functioned ok without them.

In Conclusion

The softopper is a great truck cap for those on a budget, who are looking for something lightweight, or who are looking for something that is easily removable.

We added some weather stripping, a few more clamps, and we are looking for a rack system that will compliment the softopper. It is a great cap for us and we have had no issues. The customer service is super helpful and very supportive.

We highly recommend the softopper. It meets most of our needs, looks great, is lightweight, and affordable. Check out https://www.softopper.com for more information.

Please let us know if you have any questions! Get Up, Get Out, Create Adventure!

* We were in no way compensated by softopper for this review. We purchased this with our hard earned money!

Erik Meyer Camping, Day Trips, Gear, Overlanding, Rebel , ,

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