Pace Edwards SwitchBlade Hard Tonneau Cover Review

content loading

Customers compare 311-SWD2336 to these similar products




Products Featured in this Video








































Review of the Pace Edwards SwitchBlade Hard Tonneau Cover


Randy: Hey guys, it's Randy here at etrailer.com. Today, we're going to be taking a look at the Pace Edwards line of their Switchblade tonneau covers. Now, these are available with the Armor Tech vinyl finish or with the pure powder coat metal finish. I really like the way these covers work. I've messed with quite a few of these retractable style covers, and I got to say this one was probably one of the more easy ones to get installed, and it worked right off the bat. I like the way they design these.

They're custom fit for each vehicle, all your shims and everything are generally already in place, right where you need them. And it just makes the cover so it operates really nice and smooth. We get it installed very quickly. The biggest difference you're going to see between the Switchblade and the metal Switchblade is going to be the finish.As I said, this one has that Armor Tech vinyl, which is a very high grade, very durable vinyl, and it's more of a matte finish. You'll also notice we don't have any seams that run across where aluminum slats are.

Now, if we go with the metal type, it's going to look much more like this. It's going to be a more high gloss, black, powder coat finish. You are going to have the slats as it runs across at each of the intersections. Personally, I like the metal style over the regular, just because it's all going to be the same color. I do think though, that the Armor Tech coating here is a really nice layer on top.

It's bonded directly to the aluminum. So separation isn't going to be an issue. And I think it gives it a nice look, maybe a little bit more clean even than the aluminum one that goes side to side.And I like how smooth the operation is on this one. You can see it very readily reels back in. It has a counter spring located inside of our container here.

Now, that's a self-lubricating spring, so as long as you open and close this maybe once a week, that system should work just about indefinitely. Also, when it's time to close it, we have the option of closing it from each side, of course, by hand. But I like just the strap here, being able to pull back on it. It very quickly and easily clips into place there.We can close our tailgate with the cover closed, which is a big advantage. We don't always see on some of the other ones. So whether we just need a little bit of access to get some stuff out of the back here or whether we need full bed access, I think it's going to be a really good solution for you. When working with customers, the main concern for most of them is going to be one of two when getting a tonneau cover. Either they've got a fifth wheel in the bed of their truck, or they keep some hunting gear, keep some tools back there and you need security. So the reason I like this cover is there's a couple of levers in the back, which will show you. You can't get to them without your tailgate being open. So as long as you have a locking tailgate, security's not going to be an issue at all.The other thing's going to be for protection. Again, maybe you've got a fifth wheel back there, you've got more sensitive items. And I don't like my hunting gear getting wet and getting snowed on and things like that. So by having a system like this, it's going to keep that protected. It's going to keep the elements out of there for the most part. I mean, no tonneau cover is going to be 100% waterproof, but for the most part, everything's covered. They've got a real nice seal system set up all the way along the edge here. We're going to have a seal, and it's nice and flexible. It's not as stiff as what I've seen on some of the other ones. It really contours right along with the cover. Same back here at our tailgate. You can see that seal's going to be nice and thick. It goes all the way across there.And then for the kind of the third level of that, each of our rails are designed with gutters that are essentially going to channel any moisture that might get in into our canister here. Now, our canister's a sealed canister, and it has drains on both sides, the driver's side and the passenger side. Those drain tubes will just route out a already existing hole generally. You might have to enlarge one. On this application, we'll show you a little trick on how you can do it without having to enlarge it. But allows that water to run down and out, so it's not getting trapped in the back of your truck causing any kind of issues with anything you might have stored in there. Now let's go back to that Armor Tech finish for just a minute. This is going to be a very high grade vinyl, and it is not just a cover that goes over the aluminum.They bonded those two portions together. So we've got our aluminum slats, which you can see pretty much at each of these lines, there's going to be an interlocking slat. So you've got a kind of a ball and joint socket. That's what allows it to roll up really easily for us. And then we've got this superior grade vinyl over the top of it, just to give a lot of protection. This gives us kind of a matte finish look. I like that look, but also they have a metal version of this as well, to where the entire thing would be aluminum. Then you'd be looking at a finish more like this, a little bit more of a high gloss finish. And it could add maybe a little bit more rugged appearance if you we're going with that vinyl cover on top. I like the way this one looks.I think the aluminum, if you're ever prone for tree branches that scrape it or anything like that, I don't think it's really going to be an issue, but you know, aluminum does tend to be a little bit more sturdy than a vinyl. So I'd keep that in mind. Now, a very comparable cover to this one is from Bak. It's the Vortrak. It does not have that Armor Tech finish available on it. It's the aluminum, more similar to the Switchblade that has the aluminum slats on it. And I don't think there's a whole lot wrong with that cover. I also like that cover. This one is just a little bit more cost effective, so I would lean towards this one over that one, but it's all about 50/50 there. Now, when talking with folks about different tonneau covers, a question I commonly get that I never really thought of was, will it handle a snow loadSo Wisconsin, Minnesota, you get a bunch of snow on it and it will. The aluminum construction and the way it's designed will hold a load. I mean, put four or five foot of snow on there, and I don't think much will hold up, but just normal snow, if you brush it off in the morning, I don't think you have any issues there at all. And something that I would recommend if you don't feel like opening it each time, but you still want to see in the bed of the truck, we've got some nice LED light kits that you can install. Basically, have a button back here that you can press and turn those on. And basically it'll illuminate everything inside of there. You can see it gets pretty dark in there. We're in a pretty bright area right now, and it's still pretty dark in there.You might not be able to see each and everything you want to get out. So that would be something to keep in mind. Outside of that, it's pretty much kind of all contained. You're going to get everything you need. I think it's a really nice cover. I think it'll do a great job for you to keep your stuff either protected from the elements or secure from theft. Another common question I get when working with customers is how much space is the tonneau cover going to take up in my bed So we've got a few different numbers to try to help you out in determining what kind of room you're going to lose by adding the tonneau cover. The first one's going to be how much the bed rails stick inside from the outside edge of the bed. And in that case, we're looking at about 2 1/8 of an inch.Then how much room does the can take up in the front, the canister that holds the cover From the front edge of your bed to the very back of the seal on the handle portion, it's 15 1/8 of an inch. And then from the top of your bed rail to the bottom of that canister, it's going to be about 8 3/8. Now, a couple that'll give you an idea about some cosmetics would be that the bed rails themselves, where they sit up over the top, they only stick up about an 1/8 of an inch. So it gives it a nice flush appearance. The canister up front is going to stick up off the bed rail by about an inch and 5/8. Now, in working with customers who own these, I get a lot of positive feedback on these covers.Of course, we kind of already touched on the installation process. I really like the way this one goes together. The clamps are really easy. The drain tubes are easy. It's just a simplified installation process than what I see a lot of the other ones. I also hear how good they are with snow on top. They hold up really well. So if you're up North or where you get a lot more snow, it's going to be a really good solution there. And I also like how well they work. I think our customers, I've heard that several times, just so easy for it to roll up and come back and it offers good weather resistance. Now, I've not dealt with a tonneau cover yet that is 100% waterproof. I just really don't think they exist, but this one seems to have all the right stuff on it to make sure that anything that you've gotten inside is going to be protected as good as it can be.Now, one thing I want you guys to keep in mind is that these are custom fit. They're designed specifically for each bed length in each truck style. So definitely use our fit guide. If you put in your year, you put in your make, you put in your model, we're going to help you to ensure that you get the exact tonneau cover that's going to work for you. Be sure you know your bed length so you can get that input so we can get the right one out to you.And depending on your application, something we ran in here, this is a 19 GMC Sierra 1500. You can see that it's covered up our stake pockets here in the back a little bit. And the side rails do come up and they rest on top of the bed rails. So I would imagine that if you have any type of clamp-on style ladder rack or something like that, that you're not going to be able to use it with this cover, but it's going to go with most of the covers out there. We do have some available though, if you're concerned with it, that do leave your stake pockets open.Now guys, that's going to wrap up our look at the Pace Edward's line of the Switchblade tonneau cover. Again, I think these are really solid, very cost-effective covers that work really well and install very easily..


Questions and Comments about this Video

Info for these parts were:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Randy B
Installed by:
Randy B
Employee Hayden R
Installed by:
Hayden R
Employee Zach D
Video by:
Zach D

At etrailer.com we provide the best information available about the products we sell. We take the quality of our information seriously so that you can get the right part the first time.