Side-By-Side Comparison of BakFlip vs Solid Fold w/ Pics
So everyone has their preference of which hard tonneau is best. I've gotten to test two of the most popular out head-to-head and wanted to share my experiences. Here's a quick snap-shot of the BakFlip vs the Extang Solid Fold ... just one guy's opinion.
Open & Close (BakFlip Wins):
--BakFlip opens and closes with a quick pull of a latch from either side of the truck. Panels are lightweight and fold up with ease. Once open, you can either lock it down with the locking arms (fully open) or use the d-rings attached to a bungee to leave open in a partial-open position. In the closed position, just simply drop or push the panels downward and they auto-lock in to place. Careful, if you fold the cover back against the D-ring you will ding your cover though. Make sure they are flat when folding.
Its also noteworthy that the BakFlip can be driven with any combination of the panels open.
--Solid Fold must be unlocked from both sides before you can fold up. When opened all the way, it has fasteners that simply snap it down quickly. You can't use it in a 1-panel-open position. To get access to 100% of the bed you have to remove it (simple enough to do but it takes more time than the few seconds it takes on the BakFlip). It can also be used in a "partial" open position (which they call fully open because to get it further open you take it off). See here...
Sturdy (Solid Fold Wins):
While the BakFlip is sturdy enough, the Solid Fold is much tougher and holds considerable more weight on top of it. If you're out tailgating or watching the fireworks, the entire family could sit on top of the cover if you wanted. This is because the Solid Fold sits on top of your rails rather than inside them. And the panels themselves are much stronger.
Top Load Weight Limit (Solid Fold Wins):
Evenly distributed weight:
-- BakFlip G2 model will hold 300 lbs.
-- BakFlip HD or F1 will hold 400 lbs.
-- Solid Fold model will hold 700 lbs.
Security (Solid Fold Wins):
Yes, both units are secure but give me a hanger and I'll break in to any BakFlip by just lifting the corner near the bed and reaching for the release wire. Probably not practical but a thief could do it in seconds, see the location here:
Without pulling down the tailgate, nothing is opening the Solid Fold. The latches that hold it down are spring loaded which makes them way tougher than the release wire used by BakFlip.
This is a double-edged sword though. The quick action on the BakFlip makes it easier to open from either side of the bed vs visiting both sides of the bed to release the spring loaded mechanisms on the Solid Fold. I actually prefer the quick action of the BakFlip (which is why it won the first category above) but technically, the Solid Fold is
Day-to-Day Functionality (Solid Fold Wins):
The Solid Fold lets you close your tailgate while the cover is already in the down position (more below).
Plus, you can get the these add-on tie down cleats that allow you to put the tie down(s) almost anywhere along your bed rails. (You can see below that there is a pair of them towards the tailgate on my truck). You can even leave them put if you have no reason to move them because they fit under the cover.
Alternatively though ... if you have the bed cap with stake pockets, BakFlip retains access to those whereas the Solid Fold would cover them. Extang won this category because their cleats can move to where you need them and because they can be used under the cover. (If I had a picture of the BakFlip and pocket stakes together I would put it here). If you use those stake pockets more than cleats on the inside, you'll probably prefer the BakFlip in this category. Its noteworthy though that we had a few discussions that several models of the F150 removed access to the stake pockets with the new bad caps. You can see in my pics (see the security section) that I can't access mine either way.
Pay Load Functionality (Tie):
The BakFlip is pretty nice to be on-the-go and open the cover all the way, then close it all the way, even if you weren't expecting to need full access to the bed. And if you do need access to the whole bed you don't have to worry about throwing the cover in with your load. However, I found it bothersome to have the back window covered. If you're hauling something that could damage your rear window then you'll appreciate that added protection. Its all a matter of how often do you really carry something that you're worried is going to fly through the rear window?
Pricing (Solid Fold is Less Expensive):
(prices good for the time of the review)
Assuming you have a 5 1/2 ft bed:
If you look around, you'll find the BakFlip G2 model for about $650 and the BakFlip HD for about $900. I got G2 for $675. There are two additional models which are even more expensive.
If you search for the Extang Solid Fold you'll find it as low as $610. There's only one model.
Real World Experience (Bottom Line):
By a long shot, I use the bed of my truck for daily family activities vs heavy duty or large things. I want to be able to close my tailgate after grabbing those last bags of groceries, or when I've grabbed the last bag of mulch, or when I'm talking on the phone and have a drink in my hand (or basically anything taking up both hands at once). The BakFlip requires you to free up a hand so you can grab the release string, then open the cover, then close your tailgate, then close your cover. Its a total inconvenience that you take for granted until you're unable to simply shut the tailgate with your arm loaded with bags (or whatever).
What's more? Depending on what you're hauling you might not appreciate how nice it is to see out your back window to see if your tube has blown away, your bikes have shifted or that large item is getting ready to tip over. ...unless you're carrying something that might fly through the back window.
I guess it comes down to how you plan to use the bed of your truck. Large and bulky payloads more frequently = BakFlip. More family friendly daily use = Solid Fold.
There are probably a dozen other pros and cons for each unit. I wrote this to hopefully help the next guy trying to decide which unit might be best for him. These two seem to offer the best of features and function within the hard, folding tonneau category. I hope the review is useful, but its a clear choice for the Extang Solid Fold for me.