Gator FX3 vs BAK Flip Fibermax

Gotta admit, both of these guys are cool, but still which of these takes the cake here? And is the higher price of BAKFlip’s FibermaX justified?…let’s figure it out all here.

Both of these covers at first glance, look very similar and from a distant you won’t be able to differentiate between these two.

Both of them come with a really flushed low profile design where they both feature same kind of operation mechanism.

Let’s check out both of these boys.

Design Differences of both:

If we consider Gator FX3 first, the cover is very glossy and give a nice contrast with the seals (matte color). Its aluminum panels (can be opened all the way using buckle straps and prop rods) and it has rear bumpers to prevent damage to your truck.

It features very a slightly heavier panels (almost 20 pounds more in weight in comparison).

And that’s why they are durable. They have air-craft grade aluminum with a FRP (fiber reinforced polymer) coating which makes it strong and at the same time keeps its surface cool in hot conditions. (And also prevents dents and scraps).

Other than this the cover is equipped with EPDM rubber seals and hinges for excellent water resistance. And has drain tubes that help directing water out of your truck bed.

On the other side, the BAKflip Fibermax may seem same but shows a slightly higher quality that lasts longer.

It is very durable and can withstand even the harshest scratches and dents without damaging its exterior finish!

The textured surface gives off an elegant look in your truck bed while also providing extra protection against outside elements like dirt or moisture since they cannot easily penetrate this material’s tough skin.

It also has the same kind of FRP (fiberglass-reinforced polymer) coated panels but overall these panels are lighter in weight, 50 lbs compared to 70 lbs in Gator.

Also there is a same kind of EPDM seals and draining mechanism with drain tubes (which you have to install).

Good things about their design:

Both covers have coating, that really keep things cooler underneath in summers.

Both covers when fully opened do not hide the third brake light in the middle. Which is nice. (Other larger covers, like the Lomax Stance for example, hide everything).

Some of the design issues with both covers:

  • Both covers don’t have the cushioning underneath which would have been nicer, as carpeted underneath panels provide less noise/rattling and at the same time protects you cover from scratches (that look bad when you drive with them open).
  • They also lack in providing you with LED lights. I cant tell you how many times, I had to come back to my seat to pick up my cellphone and use it as a torch. (As I wasn’t able to see anything in the dark back there).
  • And yes you have to drill holes for the cover’s drain tubes installation. And I feel these must have been a drill free solution here.

If we talk about the Gator FX3 alone here, it has same cable latches underneath (which you pull to open the cover) and they really hide themselves underneath and you have to find them every-time you open the cover.

One more thing that this cover can improve is the slam latches. I think their quality should improve a little bit and I think they would not last as long as the other cover here.

If we look at just Fibermax here for a sec. These covers provide you more premium latches and you don’t have to fish for the actuating cables underneath but the most prominent feature to look here while comparing these two specially, is that this cover comes with dual action locking system.

This means that you can close Fibermax cover without closing the tail gate first.

In case of Gator FX3, you have to close your tail gate first in order to completely close your tonneau.

And it shouldn’t be like this. So if you are like me and have many (trucks and) covers, you can easily forget about it and close it down on the tailgate and it would stay open and become a security concern.

Protection Comparison – Which Is Better?

Both of these covers cover coexists with the bed rails for a constant and weather-resistant seal. And they provide very similar protection mechanism.

Here the Bakflip FiberMax offers you with inventive latch system that prevents leaks more efficiently, even when it’s raining/snowing to the max.

Hardly any other tonneau cover models come with this feature!

Overall, it tough core panels provide you with greater protection in comparison (especially when it comes to water leakage). Where it has more efficient EPDM rubber seals that run along the rails and across the hinges.

This rubber-like material makes sure that your gear remain dry and seal is water tight. While the supported drain tubes expel the excess accumulated water (in the rails) out of the truck bed.

In case of the Gator FX3, the lateral seals between the panels are not so great. And the area where the cover meets the tail gate is very prone to more leakage. You can say this cover keeps about 70% of the water out while the other can do 80%.

Also, no cover can provide you with 100% water leakage resistance, (if you find any do let me know). So its wise not to put any rain/water sensitive cargo in the back of your truck.

But the good thing about the Gator FX3 panels, is that their FRP composition on the top is really good at keeping the UV rays at the bay. So in summers these panels are less heated and things underneath also stays comparatively cooler.

Other than this, both covers can endure the same weight capacity of 300 lbs on the paper. But still, the FiberMax for some reason feel slightly more sturdy.

Working of these covers?

Both of these covers can be installed easily and quickly. They comes with bed rails with draining system and 3 clamp system and hard panels with easy installation (where you have to drill holes for drain tubes).

And in terms of working, for both covers, you simply have to unlock the tailgate to uncover your truck bed (as there is no lock on them, and without opening tail gate you can access your bed).

Both covers can be be locked at all positions (with the help of buckles/straps and you can safely drive your truck with partially or fully opened panels with the help of these).

For full bed access, the prop rods are provided to hold the piled panels at an angle of almost 90° just behind the rear window where both covers don’t block the 3rd brake light.

Here the FiberMax has a better overall automatic latching system that ensures that the panels are securely held in place. You can let go of the latches located on either side and open the cover with ease.

Basically, these cable latches lack quality in the Gator FX3, as in this cover they are less durable and last shorter in comparison. (Also as mentioned above, these cables also like to get hidden underneath and you have to find them out every time).

Other than this rest is similar, including their installation.

So What’s the Verdict?

Well, the FiberMax does provide you with overall better performance, but at the same time, it also costs a little more and does not provide as good a UV protection as the Gator FX3.

But this cover is more durable out of the two and has better resistance against rain/water leakage.