Pace Edwards UltraGroove vs Retrax Pro XR

Although these covers do take up some of your truck’s space, its a very little compromise on the safety, as they don’t block the rear view (including the 3rd middle brake light). But which of these covers is better for you?

Here the famous Pace Edwards Ultra Groove is a flat metallic bed which gives a very sleek and polished looks. The cover comes in both electric and manual opening/closing designs. (we’ll talk about both).

The Retrax Pro XR, on the other hand, provides you premium series, that offer you a great deal of rigidity thanks to its industrial grate material.

Both these covers have been specifically designed for truck owners who need an extra cargo hauling system while maintaining the style and elegance of their truck bed.

Let’s check out both of these guys…

Starting with Design:

If we look at the Retrax PRO XR first, this premium aluminum series cover offer you a very tough design with more rigidity.

(The cover basically comes in 2 options, aluminum, and the polycarbonate option, where Aluminum series offers you more durability, hence I got that one)

Its panels and rails are both made out of industrial grade extruded aluminum. Where its rails which they call the “Trax Railing System” allows you to store additional cargo on top of your cover (while still able to use the cover under).

The canister is slightly bigger (in comparison) and is also made of metal. (So if you are like me, you use it rough, like simply throw heavy things in there, its not going to hurt the canister).

The cover has a locking mechanism at the top (back driver side). And you can lock/unlock the cover using a key. It pops out a lever that you can use to open/close the cover. (The one sided lock is good but it limits you to open the cover from only one side).

But it still allows you to open the cover without using tail gate.

The cover works with the ball bearing method rolling but the good thing about this cover is that you can stop and lock it at any different positions (midway partial locking).

Overall the cover is made out of stronger material. Its a little less smoother. But has a lock. And can be stopped at any location and locked there. But its still a very expensive option not just here but overall.

On the other side, the Ultra Groove offers you a metal design which sits more flushed in comparison (which is better for the trucks aerodynamics).

Its canister also takes a very little space (about 10 to 11 inches deep and 11 inches tall, with leftover space underneath). (Retrax has 13 inches deep)

The canister has bristles on it protect the cover form scratching vinyl when cover goes in.

Rails are also very nicely sealed with gaskets firmly embedded. There is a foam in front of its canister that keeps the moisture out.

And speaking of moisture, it has 4 drain tubes instead of 2 usually seen in all types of these covers.

Moreover, the highlight of this cover (which is in the name, Ultra Groove) is its rail expansion system (RES).

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

Now this RES system allows you to install any kind of accessory on top of your cover, like bike racks, Thule, kayaks or even cargo baskets.

If we talk about Ultra Groove’s operational design, its has 2 variants. Electric and Manual/Spring load.

In electric one, it has remote control operations where you can open can close the cover with a push of a button. The cover comes with electromagnetic brake locks so you can stop the cover at any time.

And in manual, you have to unlock your tail gate first to access the cover. To open the cover, there’s one sided level underneath and you remove it and let go the cover (where its spring mechanism) opens up the whole cover for you.

For closing the cover, there is a pull cable given and you simple pull it and close it up.

For partial opening, there is 12 inch locking intervals, which make a total of 4 different opening spots for the cover, and you can drive with it partially open.

Overall the cover is great. Although its very harder to install compared to others. And the manual one has one sided knobs.

Both variants provide you with good water resistant and 3 year manufacturing warranty.

Also note that the electric one would cost you almost double of manual (which is not less to begin with, but still little lesser than the other cover here).

Protection Comparison

Both covers are great in terms of protection and durability.

Here the Edwards Ultra Groove offers you with a great shielding of polypropylene core and sealed ends that also covers the cover from underneath. And this allows this cover to protect your truck from all sorts of “Acts of God”.

It’s matte finish (besides looks) keeps your cargo underneath cool (especially in summers).

And its stuffed polymer coating also provides you safety from dents,dings, cuts… And the Armor Tek overlay lamination makes them water resistant.

And speaking of water resistance, the cover comes with 4 drain tubes that efficiently remove water out of your truck. Its one of the best ones (in the retractable category) to get rid of water leakage.

They are also a little modified and they go at the front and rear of the bed (parallel to each other) allowing excellent drainage of water, making this truck bed cover more efficient in the case of waterproofing.

Although, note that no cover is fully waterproof.

The cover also have nice extra wide seals, and it also covers the areas which are more prone to leakage. Like, it has its own tailgate seal that stretches all the way around and prevents the entry of water into the bed.

They also changed the hardware, as the cover has leveling arms at the back, the panels are not going to bow in and collect water…(so that’s an additional aid against water leakage).

Overall, these durable panels are rigid enough and can take up to 400 lbs of weight (and even a little bit more, evenly distributed). The cover also comes with 3 year warranty/30 day return policy.

If we talk about the Retrax Pro XR, it’s also very competing and comes with a life time of warranty (really gives you confidence).

This bad boy is made of tougher industrial grade aluminum slats which bring in 100 lbs more weight limit/bearing capacity. (500 lbs, evenly distributed).

It also has a coating which protects from scratches, dent/dings… in a similar manner, but they provide you with better UV resistance. So this means your stuff will remain more cooler in comparison.

The cover also has the water management system (but here you see 2 drain tubes instead of 4). But they are still efficient enough.

But overall less water resistance is provided by this cover in comparison (difference is very low).

Ease To Use and Installation:

Let’s start with installing them…

For the installation of UltraGroove, no drilling is required (in case of most trucks) and the cover comes with knob clamps… and all the tools needed in its kit. But I have to mention this… I don’t know about you but installing them is a pain in the rear. (Get it?)

The canister locks, mounting rails, all the screws, the T-Slot, channels, end caps… I mean its a lot (especially for a newbie).

I haven’t spent as much time installing a cover, as I’ve on this one… But the good thing is there’s ton of help, and their customer service also get up set up. And of course in the end it really makes it all worth it.

Now for the good stuff…

The cover like I showed you in the design section, comes with 2 variant….

And for its electric one, it offers you a hands-free operation and access with a remote.

The remote looks premium (and uses the cars battery, and yes speaking of this, you can open it up manually as well in case battery runs out or something).

And yes worth reminding, the electric models now come with Bluetooth applications, so forget about saving the covers additional key all the time.

For the manual one, you have to open the tailgate and release the latch underneath, and let go to open the cover fully.

Also, a pull strap is provided at the rear of the bed cover, so, that you don’t have to move around the truck bed to cover or uncover it. The bed cover can be locked at every 12 inches, so, that you can use a part of it according to your need.

Both covers really emphasis on the additional load you can carry on them (with the help of racks). Now these covers have T slots and you can install all sorts of racks, and on the other side, the Retrax Pro XR already comes with its rack system.

So you can maximize cargo capacity by using crossbars above the bed while keeping the cover open or closed, giving you the most flexibility in cargo management.

Verdict and Pros/Cons:

So let’s make things simple and talk about good and bad for both.

If we talk about the Pro XR. The cover comes with a lock which is good in terms of security, but then again its only one sided. It’s very durable with 500 lbs weight capacity. The cover can be partially opened at any point. Also I heard Pro XR is coming with power options as well.

For UltraGroove, you get smaller canister, more features with electric variants. The manual one can’t be opened without opening the tail gate. But you can open it from each side (unlike the Pro XR). It comes with 4 drain tubes. And it’s still durable enough having 400 lbs.

Ultra Groove is also slightly cheaper (but note its electric one is 2 times its price).