The Best Cargo Mats or Liners for Camping

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WeatherTech Floor mats

You spilled the beans. Literally. Now you’re picking Husky dog hair out of the last protein product you packed for your seven-day camping trip. You’re only on day five. Looks like carpet fibers are on the menu tonight. 

Whether you’re a serious outdoorsperson or a fairweather camping enthusiast, transporting your gear to your site is as necessary as long underwear in November. Neat packing or not, something is bound to break, leak, or spill. Camping is messy. But despite it all, you can still keep your vehicle’s interior protected. 

Up front, you might install floor mats or floor liners, and seat covers can protect your upholstery from stains and cuts. Skid plates prevent your undercarriage from getting bashed to smithereens on the rough-cut logging road you stumbled upon after that last wrong turn in a series of many. And Husky Liners floor matsa trailer hitch is a must, whether it’s for towing your car out of the ditch or pulling a boat or pop-up trailer to your site – it’s a toss-up which is more common. 

But what about your cargo area? 

It’s the part of your car’s interior that gets the least attention, but it’s the first spot that gets loaded up with all the junk you’re going to bring. Lucky for you, AutoAnything carries cargo mats and cargo liners that are perfect for making large messes in the back of your vehicle a tiny problem to clean up. 

Why Get a Cargo Liner or Mat?

Day-tripping for a picnic and a quick fish or packing up supplies for two weeks deep in the bush – you always need more gear than you think, and some of it ain’t gentle on your ride’s interior. The camp stove has sharp corners and will tear your carpet at the first chance it gets. Camp fuel can seep past the cap and discolor or corrode your seat back. And Wednesday night’s can of Zoodles that you didn’t finish? Should’ve put it in a cooler or Ziplock bag, because now there’s tomato sauce in your spare tire well. 

You can think you’ve got all your bases covered and your new SUV is perfect to take camping. There WILL be something that spills. What you need to do is prepare ahead of time so cleanup afterward won’t suck so bad. 

Cargo Mat vs Cargo Liner: What’s the Difference?

If you’re still reading, that means you acknowledge you need to find something to help keep your cargo area organized and protected. Doubling up a layer of Saran wrap doesn’t cut it. There are two categories of products that do, though: cargo mats and cargo liners. 

But what’s the difference between them?

What is a Cargo Mat?

Husky Liners Cargo LinerA cargo mat is a rather open term to describe something that covers the cargo area in your vehicle. It’s cut to go to the edges of your hatch, covering the carpeting that lines the spot. 

Cargo mats can be manufactured from some common materials including:

  • Automotive carpeting, much like your car’s factory floor mats are made of
  • Polyethylene, a durable and flexible plastic
  • PVC, a common synthetic plastic material
  • Thermoformed HDTE plastic, a rigid plastic 
  • Or a cushioned fabric or material

A cargo mat may have light ribbing or a grippy surface. Primarily, it’s designed to be a protective layer between the totes, bags, and boxes you put in your hatch and the carpeted floor. 

What’s a Cargo Liner?

Imagine a walled fortress. All the business goes on in the middle but there’s a guard posted along the perimeter. A cargo liner has a built-in lip along the edge that keeps a spill contained to the middle. (Wait, that’s not a fortress, that’s a prison!)

Cargo liners are manufactured of rubber-like materials like HDTE or PVC. And since it would be really strange and awkward for the lip to be in the middle of the floor, cargo liners for SUVs and cars alike are form-fitted to the cargo area precisely. 

Now that we’re all on the same page about cargo liners and cargo mats, which one should you choose? We’ve compiled a list of popular seven cargo mats and liners to choose from, available now at AutoAnything. 

Seven Awesome Cargo Liners and Cargo Mats for Camping

1. Husky Liners WeatherBeater Cargo Liners

Husky Weatherbeater Floor Mats

From: $97.16

Camping is serious business, and scrounging up a ShopVac to clean up a spill in the back of your 4Runner isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. But if you’ve equipped your vehicle with a Husky Liners WeatherBeater cargo liner, you won’t need that vacuum to deal with that jerk, Denny, pulling the open bag of sunflower seeds from the bottom of the pile. In fact, it’ll only a minor nuisance to clean it up, swatting the barn swallows away as you pull the cargo liner out and dump it off. Good as new. 

Meanwhile, the grooved surface on this liner helps to keep liquid spills away from gear on top, and adds extra grip to keep stuff from pinballing in the back. Because Husky Liners makes their cargo liners with flexible elastomeric plastic, it takes just a slight bend and a yank to get it out of the cargo area, and the same to get it back in. 

The underside has nibs to keep it from sliding around, but that wouldn’t happen anyway because the FormFit Edge keeps it snug against the sides. That perfect fit is due to laser scanning technology that creates a perfect image and mold of your car’s space. It’s the FormFit Edge lip that acts like a bowl, keeping your spill on the inside. 

Husky Liners are proudly made in the USA and backed by a manufacturer’s warranty against cracks and breaks for a lifetime. 

2. WeatherTech Cargo Liners

Weathertech Cargo Liner

From: $107.95

The benchmark in floor mats and floor liners also has something for your cargo compartment. WeatherTech Cargo Liners are a highly-rated solution for customers who need the best protection against extreme abuse. We’re talking, the worst you have to offer: whole milk, solvents, and even Canadian poutine gravy. Yikes. 

WeatherTech has precision-fit cargo liners are designed for most years, makes, and models of cars, minivans, SUVs, and crossovers thanks to a laser-measured process. They’re made of a proprietary thermoplastic material that will be the only thing to survive a nuclear event, aside from the cockroaches you unknowingly shared your tent with last trip.

The cargo liner’s surface is textured to prevent shifting as you drive, or as bears pound against the side of your vehicle. The tall outside lip keeps any liquids contained. They even offer a bumper protector that attaches to the lip to prevent scratches as you lift totes of gear into the back of your vehicle. 

Engineered in the USA, WeatherTech backs all their cargo liners with a Limited Lifetime Warranty against defects and workmanship. 

3. MAXLINER MAXTRAY Cargo Liners

From: $89.99

Edge-to-edge protection on a budget? Yeah, it’s possible. The MAXLINER MAXTRAY Cargo Liner offers much the same type of protection but at a slightly lower price point. Plus, the MAXTRAY adds some flair to your car’s caboose with modern imprints that double as water-channeling grooves. 

Each style is custom designed for a specific make and model. Manufactured of durable polyethylene, MAXTRAY cargo liners are flexible for easy install and removal, but strong enough to withstand sharp edges – say, filleting a fish. Should your cargo decide to have its own little party in the back of your car, the cargo liner’s outer edge will keep it contained and easily mopped up or washed off. 

MAXLINER MAXTRAY cargo liners are made in the USA and available in four popular colors – black, cocoa, tan, and grey. You know they must be good quality as they’re backed by a Lifetime Warranty. 

4. Rugged Ridge All Terrain Cargo Liner

Rugged Ridge All Terrain Floor Mats

From: $69.99

If you’re looking for a popular Jeep cargo mat or liner, it pays to take a peek at Rugged Ridge All Terrain Cargo Liners. Like their name suggests – rather, directly states – they’re rugged. Any liner that has a chevron pattern and molded-in angular edge supports has our vote. 

The underside has nibs molded in that are grippy against your carpet, while the shape has been cut to fit your Jeep’s rear cargo area exactly. Those little chevrons lift your gear up off the floor and away from that drippy LifeStraw and muddy boots. 

Rugged Ridge uses thermoplastic elastomer for their cargo liners, so it’s going to last longer than it’ll take to roll your vehicle. It can withstand oil, many chemicals, and of course, water-based spills. They’re covered by a Lifetime Warranty from the manufacturer, too. 

5. Lund Catch-All Xtreme Cargo Liners

Lund Catch-All Xtreme Cargo Liner

From: $82.83

Whether the 12V battery you use to power your tent gear drips a bit of acid or the peanut oil for your fish fry sprung a leak, you could leave permanent marks in your SUVs hatch when you go camping. But the Toyota 4Runner cargo mat or liner on your birthday wish list could stop it before it happens. That is, if you choose to put the Lund Catch-All XTreme Cargo Liner on that list.

You know the name already. Lund is well-known for making high-quality truck caps, tonneau covers, and floor mats. Their cargo liner is the same top-grade stuff. 

Manufactured from Xynet thermoplastic, it’s molded for a custom fit to your vehicle’s space. What makes the Lund Catch-All XTreme cargo liner different is that has a snap-fastener system to lock it in place, not just the nibs on the bottom. The raised outer lip holds more liquid than you’ve ever spilled in your car, and you can wash it off with soap and water when you get a chance. 

It’s available in three colors to either complement or contrast your interior – black, grey, and tan. The Lund Catch-All Xtreme cargo liner is covered by a Lifetime Warranty. 

6. ProZ Premium Rubber Cargo Mat

ProZ Premium Rubber Cargo Mat

From: $69.99

So, maybe your Ford Explorer cargo mat needs to fit around a safety kit or custom sub box enclosure. Cargo liners don’t play well with aftermarket accessories or equipment. But a ProZ Premium Rubber Cargo Mat can offer protection, no matter what oddball shape it needs to fit. This cargo mat is easily fitted to your SUV by trimming it with scissors along the imprinted lines. 

The ProZ Premium Rubber cargo mat is molded from heavy-duty PVC that provides an impenetrable barrier for your carpets. Nibs on the back prevent sliding around, and channels molded into the top side carry spills away from the underside of your camping gear. No one likes soggy cereal boxes, right?

Choose from one of three colors, beige, black, and grey, to keep your cargo area looking fly as hell. ProZ includes a 30-day warranty with your purchase too. 

7. Canine Covers Cargo Liner Dog Bed

Canine Covers Cargo Liner Dog Bed

From: $165.00

Picture this: you’ve just set up your tent and the heavens open up. Like, serious torrential rains. Think that thin tent material will keep the water on the outside? Think again. If you’re thinking ahead, you could be resting comfortably in your SUV instead of chilled to the bone with the Canine Covers Cargo Liner Dog Bed.

True, you’re not a dog. Maybe you have Sarge with you, maybe not. But that quilted bed is looking mighty enticing when you’re camping. It’s specially-tailored to fit your cargo area and up the seat backs, fastening on the headrests with security straps. Lay the back seats down flat and you’ve opened up a cozy-looking cot. The non-slip underside will keep it in place so the blankets don’t bunch up. 

Crafted of poly-cotton fabric and protected by a water-repellent top layer, it makes for an excellent alternative to a sopping sleeping bag. For Fido, that is. Take your pick of seven colors. It’s backed by a 90-day warranty. 

These are seven awesome choices for cargo mats and cargo liners for camping, but there are many others available. Search the massive selection at AutoAnything to find the cargo mats or liners that fit your needs and your budget. 

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I am a writer and adventure travel blogger. I enjoy slow travel and going where there aren't roads - be it overlanding with my 1986 Ford Econoline campervan or my Surly Disc Trucker touring bike. Heck, sometimes, I'll even grab a backpack and hike. I'm more of a DIY person and spend way too many hours YouTubing videos about campervan renovations.

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