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What Are The Advantages In Using A Cargo Liner?

Factory cargo mats tend to be flimsy and offer little protection. We sell well-made ones that are impervious to spills and keep your trunk looking new. We discuss options & features.
What Are The Advantages In Using A Cargo Liner?

If you've ever considered purchasing a used car, you understand how proper vehicle condition and cleanliness make a good impression. But have you ever noticed that a vehicle with a spotlessly clean, immaculate trunk or cargo area tends to really stand out in your mind? Sure, you can shampoo and vacuum the cargo area of a vehicle that's seen its share of abuse - but there really is no way to fake the look of a trunk area that's always been kept clean and scratch-free from the start.

Rear Cargo Area
A rear cargo area or trunk that's immaculately clean can be a real source of joy and enhance resale value.

Logically, in the overall scheme of things, condition of a trunk area shouldn't make a huge difference. Nevertheless, it still does. A "showroom condition" cargo area increases vehicle value well beyond its functionality, because it speaks of a much higher level of vehicle care. If previous owners took the trouble to preserve a cargo area, they more than likely took above-average care of the rest of the car. It's hard to deny that an immaculately-preserved cargo area ends up being a tie-breaker when choosing between two otherwise similar vehicles.

In reality, we all know that keeping a cargo or trunk area clean and spotless is no easy feat. All it takes is one accident while hauling any kind of dirty or wet debris, and you've got a permanent stain that never fully comes out. Looking closely at OEM factory materials used to line trunks and cargo areas of vans and SUVs, we wonder if designers and decision-makers at car companies ever carry winter tires or construction material? Why are these floor coverings more like Velcro than carpet, and why are they built with materials that collect dirt like a magnet? Why are they so difficult to clean? Perhaps those designers in question never loaded anything into anything because they were chauffeur-driven and had contractors do all the household work.

Cargo Or Trunk Area
In reality, keeping a cargo or trunk area clean is no easy feat. Cargo liners help you do it.

Superior cargo liners are easy to remove and have a surface that's easy to clean. They're custom-shaped to fit the floor of your exact car or truck - covering every inch whether a vehicle has an enclosed trunk or an open rear tailgate area. Within the Cargo Liners & Trunk mats section of our website, we've got fitted liners and mats made from vinyl, rubber, and carpeting in a variety of styles and patterns. We've even got padded cargo liners for pets.

When visiting a specific item, you'll notice a Product Options drop down box on the right. There, you'll be prompted to enter make, model, and year. For vans, SUVs, or wagons you may be asked to specify if they are equipped with two or three rows of seats. After answering, any size or color choices for your specific vehicle will become visible. For example, there may be a choice of liners fitted to cover a larger, more complete area behind second row seats as well as smaller liners designed to fit behind third row seats only. Some liners may be equipped with cut-outs that allow a rear seat to be mounted above it. In this article, we'll discuss features and differences of cargo liners and mats we sell.

"Cargo Liners" vs. "Cargo Mats"

Most of the cargo floor protectors we sell are described as "cargo liners" while some are labeled "cargo mats". Regardless of materials they're made from, a cargo liner provides complete floor coverage with a raised lip around some or all of its sides. That raised lip may extend an inch or several inches up onto the cargo walls. Mats have little or no lips around the edges, and they may not cover 100% of the floor area. Both cargo liners and mats can feature grooved ridges, cups, or other compartments to trap solid and liquid spills, or they may feature a smooth, flat surface. Most of them are made of polymers or carpeting, and you'll come across several terms used to describe the materials used in their construction. For example, "rubberized plastic", "vinyl", "thermoplastic", and "synthetic rubber" are just a few. For the purposes of this article, we'll refer to all types of polymer construction as vinyl.

Some cargo liners feature a raised rear lip while others feature no rear lip or a soft rear lip that folds down during loading and unloading. Consider exactly how your cargo area is designed and how you'll be using it when you make your choice. For example, an upstanding rear lip might be in the way if you have a cargo area without a rear threshold. Or, a liner without a rear lip might not contain dirt the way you need it to.

Vinyl And Rubber Cargo Liners

Vinyl and rubber aftermarket cargo liners are superior because they have properties completely opposite from the mats supplied by most vehicle manufacturers. They're completely impermeable to liquids, so they contain spills (or anything else) on top of their surface instead of absorbing and leaching them onto vehicle floors below. And on that top surface, liquids and dirt are safely trapped without spilling over thanks to grooved channels or raised edges along the sides. Vinyl and rubber liners can be blasted clean with water, wiped easily to remove stuck-on dirt, then left to dry on their own without the slightest hint of mold. Thanks to modern compounds, these liners stay flexible even in sub-freezing temperatures, remain odor-free, and avoid becoming sticky in extreme heat.

Vinyl Cargo Liners

Do you like the look of a cargo mat with grooves and channels? There's a good chance you'll find a match for your vehicle with the Husky Liners WeatherBeater Cargo Liner or GoodYear Cargo Liner. For some vehicles with a 3rd row of seats, the WeatherBeater liner is designed to allow a third row seat to sit on top of the liner thanks to foldaway cutout sections around anchor points. If you've got a Jeep Wrangler with deep-treaded knobby tires, we've got the Bestop Cargo Liner patterned to match the mud-stomping looks of off-road tires. And if you're in the mood for vivid hues, Lloyd offers the NorthRidge Custom Fit Cargo Mat in a choice of eight colors. The Northridge is custom-fitted to the shape of each vehicle floor, and has a molded pattern on its surface to help contain spills.

Husky Liners WeatherBeater Cargo Liner
The Husky Liners WeatherBeater Cargo Liner allow third row seats to sit on top of the liner thanks to foldaway cutout sections around anchor points.
Bestop Cargo Liner
Own a Jeep CJ or Wrangler? If so, Bestop's Cargo Liner for those models is patterned to match mud-stomping off-road tires.

If you prefer a floor liner that fashions a diamond plate pattern across its entire floor surface, the Husky Liners Classic Style Cargo Liner is available in traditional black, gray, and tan colors. WeatherTech's Cargo Liner offers a square grid pattern and choices sized to fit cargo areas behind 2nd or 3rd row seats on applicable vehicles. The Aries StyleGuard Cargo Liner features grooves that create the look of a brick paved street and surface texture resembling a finely weaved mesh. And if you appreciate artistic designs, take a look at the curved sweeps embossed into the floor of the MaxLiner MaxTray Cargo Liner, also equipped with a higher-than-average raised lip around its perimeter.

Aries 3D Cargo Liner
The Aries StyleGuard Cargo Liner.
MaxLiner MaxTray Cargo Liner
The MaxLiner MaxTray Cargo Liner.

Rubber Cargo Mats

Lloyd Rubbertite AllWeather Protection Rubber Cargo Mat
The Lloyd Rubbertite All-Weather Protection Cargo Mat.

While most cargo liners and mats are made from stiffer polymer compounds that support contoured shapes better, Lloyd's Rubbertite All-Weather Protection Cargo Mat offers durable, heavyweight composition rubber designed to stay flexible below freezing while providing the advantages of softer, more pliable material. It has coin-shaped depressions to capture any spills. For minivans and SUVs with fold-flat seats, it also allows buyers a choice of a fitted mat that fits behind third-row seats only, or a larger mat that covers the top of third row seats when folded flat.

Smooth Surface Cargo Liners & Mats

Lund Catch All Xtreme Cargo Liner
The Lund Catch-All Xtreme Cargo Liner.

Sometimes a smooth, textured surface meets your needs better than anything else. For example, the Lund Catch-All Xtreme Cargo Liner is flexible and smooth enough to wipe clean easily, yet textured just right for providing grip when needed. And if you slide cargo in and out of your vehicle regularly, Lloyd's Clear Protector Cargo Mats make a good choice with a smooth surface of harder plastic that's completely flat without grooves or perimeter lips. Robust spikes on the bottom keep it anchored in place for heavy-duty use.

Carpeted Cargo Liners

We offer a range of carpeted cargo mats from Lloyd in a range of colors and carpet densities. Choose Lloyd's lighter weight nylon Velourtex Custom Fit Cargo Mats or polypropylene yarn Classic Loop Custom Fit Cargo Mats if you prefer carpeting that's not deep (both are 20 ounces/square yard). For luxury, take a look at their Ultimat Custom Fit Cargo Mats (32 oz/sq yd) deep pile nylon yarn mats with rubber backing, or their Luxe Custom Fit Cargo Mats (48 oz/sq yd) which add a thick layer of urethane padding underneath for comfort as well as sound insulation.

Lloyd Classic Loop Custom Fit Cargo Mat
The Lloyd Classic Loop Custom Fit Cargo Mat.
Lloyd TruBerber Custom Fit Cargo Mat
Shown here is the heavyweight texture of the Lloyd TruBerber Custom Fit Cargo Mat.

Lund also offers the Catch-All Cargo Liner which is, essentially, their Catch-All XTreme molded vinyl liner covered with a layer of thin, wear-resistant carpeting on top. Underlying core material ensures that liquid and muck don't work their way through. And if you prefer a heavy-duty carpet with multiple, co-mixed yarn colors that hide dirt and stains, Lloyd offers the Berber 2 Custom Fit Cargo Mat. Dense nylon yarn will survive a pounding without looking worn.

Cargo Liners For Pets

When canine pets are along for the ride, there's a good chance you're visiting places (parks, hunting grounds, etc.) where there's no hose or facilities to wash their fur off before returning home in the car. That's why we complete our product lineup with custom-fitting cargo liners designed especially for pets which keep your car clean on such occasions. They all offer thick, soft padding to ensure your dog is comfortable - a big factor to ensure he or she stays calm. And knowing that cargo liners from our selection are not permeable by wetness, accidents, mud, drool, hair, and other things dogs drag along, YOU'LL be able to stay calm. While these types of liners are soft to the touch, they can also be used effectively as protective mats for carrying other types of dirty debris as well. Because they all offer waterproof and stain-resistant top layers, cleaning procedures are easy - just hose off, then hang to dry.

Canine Covers Cargo Liner
The Canine Covers Cargo Liner is available in solid colors, paw print patterns, or camouflage.
Covercraft Custom Cargo Area Liner
The Covercraft Custom Cargo Area Liner.
Pet Pad Cargo Protector
The Pet Pad Cargo Protector covers floor surfaces only.

If you prefer pet cargo liners that cover the back of your second-row seats (or third depending on vehicle application) in addition to the cargo floor area, take a look at the Canine Covers Cargo Liner and Covercraft the Custom Cargo Area Liner. Both of these are fitted to your vehicle and made with split-seatback capacity. That means after a seam is separated, one portion of the liner will fold down with your seatback down while the other portion remains upright in place.

Both come with headrest straps, corner ties, and grippy bottom surfaces to keep them in place. Covercraft's liner is available in solid colors and Canine Covers offers their Cargo Liner in a choice of up to 7 solid colors, paw print patterns, or camouflage designs. If a pet cargo liner covering only the cargo floor suits your needs better, the Pet Pad Cargo Protector offers a similar level of protection without extending up onto seatbacks. Note that this is a universal-fit product.

Cargo Containment Blocks

Cargo Containment System

Whatever cargo liner you decide on, there are times when you need to keep items you're hauling in place. WeatherTech's CargoTech Cargo Containment System accomplishes that task with four simple L-shaped blocks made of plastic. Once the blocks are positioned around the base of any objects on your cargo liner, they'll be held in place thanks to a grippy underside layer of rubber-like plastic. Instead of sticky glue/tape residue or textured Velcro hooks, the L-blocks use friction to stay in place once they're placed down on top of any carpeted or synthetic rubber cargo mat. Use them to keep simple grocery bags in place, or use them when hauling a heavy television set. You'll find these blocks in the Product Options field of WeatherTech cargo liners, or they can be purchased individually by clicking here since they'll work on any surface.

WeatherTech CargoTech Cargo Containment System
WeatherTech's CargoTech Cargo Containment System.

And after the load's been hauled and messes need to be cleaned off your cargo liner, we’ve got the Weathertech TechCare FloorLiner & FloorMat Cleaner/Protector Kit designed to remove the stickiest messes.

There certainly are a multitude of choices when it comes to cargo mats and cargo liners. Perhaps it's worth repeating that if you use your car or truck as intended, meaning, you carry (sometimes dirty) things in the trunk or rear load area, you owe it to your ride to help protect it, whether it's for your long-term satisfaction, or the convenience of a better trade-in value. Take your time and scroll through the options to find the best one for you. And as always, we're available to answer any inquiries by phone seven days a week to help you make the best choice.

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