The BAK Vortrak Retractable Hard Truck Bed Cover
BAK Introduces the New Vortrak
If you’ve always wanted a retractable cover, but never found one that was just perfect for you and your ride, get ready for Vortrak. BAK has combined all the great features of the RollBAK with great improvements from across their industry leading line of tonneau covers, and they’ve added in a few extra features that have really blown us away. It is no wonder why so many customers, myself included, sweat by BAK Industries.
The Lowdown on Vortrak: A Full Review
Let’s start with a quick rundown on all things Vortrak.
What is the BAK Vortrak?
What style of tonneau cover is the new Vortrak?
- A Retractable Hard Truck Bed Cover
- Made up of Aircraft grade ½” Aluminum Slats
- With two adjustable locking locations
- Unlockable by two release cables, one on each side of the truck bed
- Weather Resistant
- Super Durable & Secure
- A Sleek, extra Low-Profile Design
- With a Matte Black Finish
Oh, and I almost forgot that the Vortrak is made right here in the US and comes with a great 2-year warranty, backed by BAK’s stellar reputation. See what I just did there. Puns can be fun. (Lamentably lame, I know I am.)
Standard BAK Fanboy Disclaimer
It is certainly no secret that I’m a fan of BAK Industries. You’ve probably even seen me wondering around the office sporting my BAK MX4 shirt from time to time. So I’ll disclose that up front. But here’s the thing: BAK has earned my trust and fandom and more over the years. They make great products and I have tested them in person and even installed a few. I rarely hear complaints nor have I ever had any myself.
Furthermore, BAK stands by their products. They back them up with great warranties and solid customer service. Honestly, they are one of our favorite companies to work with in the industry. I did want to be transparent about my love of the brand and their products. But even without my trust in BAK, this new Vortrak is blowing my mind.
Over the years, BAK has continued to innovate, launching revisions and updates to their earlier great products, followed by brand new releases that many of us never saw coming. Vortak is a little bit of both. Let’s start with the update.
RollBAK, meet Vortrak
The RollBAK is a great retractable hard tonneau cover released a few years back, also by BAK Industries. We’ve got a great review of it over in the Product Center. And aside from not recommending you walk or wrestle gators or crocs on top of it, this was the industry leader, until now.
Superior Durability & Protection against the Elements
The base design of the RollBAK and Vortrak are similar. Both employ ½” thick aircraft grade aluminum slats that are interlinked so that they form a solid protective shield when rolled out, and are still able to retract into a canister that takes up less than a foot of truck bed length mounted at the front end of your bed.
What’s great about this design is that aluminum is exceptionally durable, especially for its weight. This means it is going to be difficult to damage. We almost always recommend a hard tonneau cover, especially if you’re going to be hauling around valuable equipment in your bed. Vortrak protects your gear from prying eyes and hands. This provides great peace of mind and security.
Furthermore, interlocking slats help to keep the weather out. Precipitation, like snow and rain, flow away from the tonneau cover, across the water tight slats, and into channels along the edge of the tonneau. Water will drain out through OEM drainage holes, and you end up with as close as you can get to a waterproof truck bed as humanly possible.
And whereas with a soft vinyl tonneau you have to worry about hail damage or just sharp objects puncturing the cover and allowing water in (or thieving hands), with a hard interlocked cover, you’ve got serious protection against both. This baby would need to get hit pretty hard, several times to really put a hurt on it. And we are talking either massive hail like you ain’t ever seen here or someone deliberately taking a sledgehammer to it, likely multiple times, with decent aim, before you’re going to see major damage.
BAK builds their retractable hard truck bed covers to take a beating and last.
Easy to Use
While I have struggled to find fault with most of the design choices BAK has had over the years, everyone has their own personal preferences. Some love the folding tonneau for its design options, including hard tops, the ability to have full bed access, and the option for partially opening the cover to haul something that doesn’t quite require full bed access.
And for a long time, where BAKFlip had other designs, like retractables and rolling covers, beat was with those options for access. Where folding tonneau covers in general sometimes struggled was with ease of use. While unlocking and folding up a tri-flip cover is super easy, some consumers found that having to do it repeatedly was rather tedious.
This has always been a pro for retractables in general. The Vortrak makes it even more of one. With new and improved heavy-duty aluminum rails, this new retractable hard cover glides easily up into the canister when you want full bed access. And she rolls out just as beautifully and without resistance. It would be hard to find a tonneau cover that is easier to use than the Vortrak.
But that wasn’t enough for BAK. They always have to take it to the next level. Whereas some tonneau covers, especially retractables, only have a locking mechanism on one side or the other, or worse--dead in the center of your truck bed, BAK’s Vortrak has release cables on both sides of the truck bed. You simply tug down gently on one or the other, and the Vortrak easily retracts.
But we aren’t done just yet. Cause my personal biggest complaint with retractables has almost always been that they aren’t as versatile as those folding tonneau covers. A lot of retractable covers can only be locked in place when they are completely open or closed. A few innovative companies have established a single locking position or two that are located somewhere in between open and closed. But that functionality is really no better than a folding cover. It just seems like there should be more functionality to retractable covers.
Two Adjustable Locking Positions
BAK took it to the next level with Vortrak. They’ve solved this issue. Finally, a company that hears my complaints and answers them. No only can you install the Vortrak without a drill or any specialty tools, but from the comfort of your own garage you can adjust these two locking positions. Need half your bed open for this particular load? Adjustable to your needs in minutes. Looking to just have a foot open at the back for an object that needs to stick out the back a bit, like a piece of lumber? No problem. BAK and Vortrak have the versatility to offer you whatever locking position you need.
I hate to harp on this, but this has been a serious complaint I have had for years. Why hasn’t anyone tried this before? Retractables should be able to be locked in multiple positions. BAK heard me and answered superbly.
Now, maybe I’m one of the few who is super excited about this. But if you ever find yourself needing to have a partially open tonneau cover, then you’re going to be excited about it too. Finally, a tonneau cover that is as versatile as your truck’s bed. I’m loving this new Vortrak! Of course, this is one of the biggest additions and upgrades from the RollBAK to the Vortrak.
BAK in Matte
Every time I say it, every time I write it, and every time I read it--I don’t know about you, but I just hear AC/DC blasting in my ear drums. I am digging this new Matte Black Finish that BAK has been adding to their line over the past couple years.
There’s just something about that Matte Black. It matches most OEM accents as well as most of our aftermarket options. Looking for customer fender flares that match your new tonneau cover from BAK? You will have lots of options if that cover is Matte Black. Want a non-shiny black tonneau that is low-profile? This is the retractable tonneau for you.
Finally, many stock fender flares and accents are already matte black. So this cover will match a lot of stock options and trim levels. There’s little not to love about the look and feel of BAK’s new Vortrak tonneau cover.
Low Profile Retractable
One of the key considerations when looking at a new tonneau cover is the profile. Some tonneau covers, like rolling hard covers, typically ride above your truck bed rails. For some customers this is no big deal. But from the side view, your tonneau is particularly visible, even from the side of the road when you’re driving by.
Then you have folding tonneau covers, most of which, even those labeled “low-profile” by other companies, still ride above flush level with your truck bed rails. Again, this isn’t that big of a deal, unless if ultra low profile really is your jam.
There are two big benefits to having a true low-profile design. One is visibility. If no one knows you have a closed tonneau cover, then no one knows you might have any expensive gear stored away under it. This can add great peace of mind, especially if you’re ever driving through rough neighborhoods.
Secondly, low profile tonneau covers increase aerodynamics even more. While any old tonneau can possibly increase your fuel economy by up to 1 MPG, a real low profile tonneau cover, like Vortrak, will maximize that return on investment.
Finally, the look of a sleek, ultra low profile tonneau cover, especially with a sick matte black finish, really makes your truck pop. You want to stand out among your peers and buddies? The new Vortrak will show them that you only install the best. You’ll be impressed by how this baby sits low and slides nicely into that spring-loaded canister.
Vortrak: Maximizing Retractable Usability
The word I find myself using with every great new release by BAK is “apotheosis.” I was trying to avoid it, this time, at least, but I see now I’ve dropped the proverbial ball, so to speak. The thing is, if something is the apotheosis in its category, that means it is the best of the best--the peak! And it is hard not to describe the Vortrak as such.
Retractable hard covers are nothing new. They’ve been around for years. They have their pros and cons. But where the Vortrak shines is by eliminating nigh all of those cons and emphasizing and improving its pros (a.k.a. curves). The extra locking locations that are adjustable really does it for me. Maybe for you it will be the ease of use or the two unlock chains, one on each side. The ease of use is such a great pro, and BAK made Vortrak even easier to use.
The only downside Vortrak may possible have is that spring-loaded canister. And this is an obvious issue that every retractable has. The canister does take up some of your truck bed space. So if you absolutely must have your entire bed free, then retractables may not be for you. Here’s the thing though: Vortrak’s canister takes up less than a foot of truck bed length. And there is still room underneath to load pieces of lumber or drywall. So really, you’d have to have a very particular instance to need full bed access. In my opinion, the pros heavily outweigh the cons. Hard retractable covers are great options. The the Vortrak is the best retractable I have seen to date on the market. BAK’s really outdone themselves this time around. Vortrak is truly impressive.
Now that you’ve gotten the pros and cons and updates and innovations of BAK’s new Vortrak in this epic review, you’re probably ready to order one. Make sure to enter your make and model first, cause the Vortrak (and all tonneau covers, for that matter) is custom fit to your vehicle.
And make sure you order from us, cause we’ve got the best prices all with free and fast shipping! In face, Midwest Aftermarket is the best place to buy tonneau covers, specifically a Ford F150 bed cover, a Ram tonneau cover, or a Silverado pickup bed covers like the Vortrak for that matter, offering free shipping in the U.S., a 30-day money back guarantee, and a wide variety of styles and top-of-the-line brands. Whether you are looking for a hard or soft cover, a hard retractable BAK Vortrak tonneau cover or a solid one-piece bed lid, we’ve got the products you need. Pickup bed covers add character to your truck, provide added security, and cut down on fuel consumption. What are you waiting for?! Order your brand new Vortrak tonneau cover today!
We wanted to tell you about this great new product from BAK immediately! And while you can place orders starting May 14th, we wanted to let you know that the first customer won’t receive his/her Vortrak until June 4th. Actually, that’s just the shipping day, so I guess give it a day or two after that. The point is, you can order now, but they aren’t shipping out from the factory until June, just so you know. These covers are going to sell fast, so order soon or you might have to wait for the next batch. Get your Vortrak this summer!