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Key Cargo Liner Traits and How to Choose the Right One


Soccer moms, basketball dads, church or school volunteers, commercial transporters – they don’t see a lot of the same things on the average day, don’t have to deal with the same sorts of problems, but there is one thing they’re all familiar with. Getting people, supplies and other materials from A to B can range anywhere from mundane to fun, from ho-hum to downright chaotic. So much of this may depend on road and traffic conditions – outside your control, but potentially hazardous to the state of your cargo space and the luggage you’ve got back there.

Picking the right cargo liner for your van or family car may seem like a piece of cake, but there are actually a few things you ought to know before investing in the first product your cursor can find. Here, we’ll outline those traits for you so you can get back to work with greater confidence.

Overall benefits of a cargo liner

First of all, let’s go over a few of the benefits wrapped up in using a cargo liner. The most obvious one is that thanks to their unique manufacturing – you’ll typically find liners made of a durable, but pliable, rubber-like material – they provide extra traction for items like grocery bags, coolers, golf caddies and the like, which means they won’t tip over as readily as if you had a bare cargo area. But when gravity, the momentum of a sudden stop or life in general inevitably come into play, you can rely on your cargo liner to protect the underlying carpet and the area around the spill to stay clean or dry. Often, they feature grid-like patterns that contain the spilled liquid or debris, as well as raised edges to keep it all in.

Others are made of canvas or carpet. Installation hardly ever takes a long time. Some versions feature nibs on the underside to keep it in place, and others include tie-downs to secure the mat over your seatbacks for total coverage. Our selection also includes liners with extensions or capes to protect the outer perimeter of your cargo area from pet claws and possible damage when loading or unloading. In a similar vein, we’ve got dog-friendly places of rest for your consideration, too.

Sizing your cargo liner

Now that you’re aware of the wide variety that’s out there, let’s try to narrow things down a little. Despite all the variety of materials and purposes out there, the cargo liner you choose will be either a universal-fit or custom-sized to match your interior dimensions.

A custom product like the Husky Liners WeatherBeater Cargo Liner are guaranteed to fit your specific make and model’s trunk or cargo area thanks to the laser-scanning technology that helped make it. Universal liners, on the other hand, are rarely a flawless fit, despite their name. Not to worry, though – they can be trimmed to just the right size with a simple pair of household scissors.

Spray-on vs. Roll-on Truck Bed Liners

Up to this point the article has been devoted strictly to the topic of liners for your sedan, SUV or CUV. We also carry liners suitable for your truck bed, which is arguably more likely to require solid traction for your materials – especially when traversing bumpy roads. In addition to the carpet and rubber liners in our selection, we also stock various spray-on and roll-on liners – but at the end of the day, what separates one from the other?

Roll-on liners are, essentially, a painted-on bed liner and are ideal for those who prefer to do it themselves, rather than dole out hard-earned cash for a professional install. Paint rollers and scrub brushes are all that’s needed to get the job done, and in the case of our own Al’s Liner DIY Truck Bed Liner Kit (pictured above), you can choose from a wide range of colors to offset or match your paintjob.

Spray-on bed liners, like this one, are also meant to save money, but will require a spray gun for that flawless finish and thickness you desire. The spray paint’s non-skid surface might offer a grabbier, more reliable surface than the roll-on, and additional coatings and sealants provide an extra layer of protection, but ultimately the choice is yours.


No matter which liner you decide on, all you need is a little time and some elbow grease to set your cargo space up for optimal protection and style. If you have any questions, or if this article was a particular help to you, let us know in the comments below.