Gator Recoil vs GatorTrax

Both these cover from the same company offer great features that make them very unique. But still what if you have to pick one of these guys… which one is for you?

The Gator Recoil is a great entry level retractable cover which is also a budget friendly option.

While on the other side, the GatorTrax comes with premium features and a more durable inner construction.

So is the higher price of GatorTrax justified here? Let’s find out.

Overview of Both

  • The Gator Recoil is a great budget pick, providing a great value to money.
  • The GatorTrax, on the other side, offers a premium finishing, and 100 lbs more weight bearing capacity.
Gator Recoil
Gator Recoil
Gatortrax Retractable Cover

The Gator Recoil which I consider the budget option in retractables, provides you with a similar looking cover to other.

It’s low profiled, made out of aluminum slats (which are then powdered coated giving it a texture) and works with ball bearing rollers.

The GatorTrax on the other side also comes in aluminum but you also have the option to get this cover in poly-carbonate constructed material as well.

Both covers provide you with drainage systems and layered surfaces. Both of them are USA made and shipped free in lower 48 states and also come with 2 years of warranty.

So, why GatorTrax provides you with better Design?

Gator Recoil with logo

Well, first things first, with GatorTrax you can lock this cover at any position unlike the Recoil where you only get 3 locking positions. So it provides you with better accessibility.

And speaking of accessibility, the cover also comes with a lock (facing upwards on the driver side, also covered properly).

So you can use a key to unlock the cover without opening the tail gate.

Also this cover provides you with smaller canister in comparison, so you have the space to hitch another wheel in there.

(It can be fitted over any fifth wheel goose-neck hitch, which is not higher than 2 inches below the bed rails).

Another thing that makes this cover better is its composition which provides you with more durability, as you’ll see below (under protection heading).

Protection and Durability

Now with less durable material the weight bearing capacity of Gator Recoil comes out to be just 200 lbs where on the GatorTrax its 100 lbs more, so 300 pounds.


Well because the The GatorTrax offers inner construction consist of H shaped aluminum beams that make these covers tough. (They are place at every 4 inches along the length).

And because of the reinforced beams, the cover also stays straight and does not bow in the middle, so water does not accumulate in the central area.

The Gator Recoil on the other side, is more susceptible to bowing in the middle, and the cover does not provide you with as strong water-tight sealing, so it’s little bit less protective against water leakage as well.

Gator Recoil

Nonetheless, both covers would have some kind of leakage, and no cover is 100% waterproof.

When you open the cover, it rolls in the canister which takes a bit space in your cover (which is a compromise with all retractables).

It has a protective cover over the canister to avoid dirt build-up.

Accessibility and Performance

These covers come with rails and kit (everything included, including drain tubes to install). And they both can be installed quickly, but still with the GatorTrax, it takes lesser time.

Gator Recoil on truck

That’s beacuse in case of Gator Recoil, you also have to set the latch tops at different locations/positions to adjust how much you want the cover to open at each location.

But in case of GatorTrax, you don’t have to do that, as with this cover you can lock at any position.

Also note that in Gator Recoil, only 2nd latch top is adjustable after installation.

Also with this cover, you get less accessibility and ease of use, as here to open the cover, you have to open the tail gate first, and then you pull the strap to disengage the latch and push the cover forward (to open it up). (The grip latch is only available at the driver side).

But in case of GatorTrax, you have a lock, and you can unlock the cover and open it up without opening the tail gate.

The cover also has smoother ball bearings in comparison.

If we talk about Gator Recoil’s 3 limited positions…

The first is at the closing point where the truck bed is covered completely.

The second position is intermediate between the opening and closing points so that you can have partial bed access.

And the third locking position is at the opening point where you have total bed access.

Things I miss in both covers:

Both these covers don’t have bristles on its canister, and although the cover barely touches the canister, this further protects the covers from scratching vinyl when the cover goes in.

Also both covers don’t allow you to install additional rails, which can be really useful with these retractable covers, in fact one of the best selling points with these covers is that you can install additional rails (as you can’t with trifolds).

An lastly, both covers only provide you latching on the driver side and it would have been nicer if they can on provide it on both sides.

What’s the Verdict?

So with GatorTrax, you get more durability and overall protection combined with a premium design… so it makes sense why these covers are bit pricey compared to Gator Recoil.

But these features really justify its price tag.

On the other side, if you want to keep things in budget, you can defiantly go with the entry level retractable Gator Recoil cover here.

This cover may have slightly less durable panels, but they surely would provide you with still a good deal of durability and protection.