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The Best Automotive Cargo Area Covers
The Best Automotive Cargo Area Covers

Photo of author, Bryan Raab Davis

Bryan Raab Davis

Published Apr 8, 2022 Updated Oct 6, 2022 12 min read

Golden retriever in the back of an SUV with cargo area coverPhoto credit:
SUVs and crossovers are the dominant body styles on the road today, and, public perception aside, they are, in essence, tall station wagons. As with the wagons of yore, there’s a large cargo area and seats that can be folded any which way to make efficient use of the space. This is great—until the bags of potting soil stowed back there burst or the family golden retriever has shed his bodyweight in fur all over your car’s cozy cabin.
Fortunately, the automotive aftermarket industry seldom ignores a market niche, so they offer a vast array of cargo area covers. There are options for pet owners, sporty folks, campers, off-roaders, and the rest of us. The best cover the sides of the cargo area, not just the load floor and are spill-resistant. Sedan drivers are catered for, too, even if they’re not as common as they were.
Any one of these cargo covers will help keep your vehicle looking showroom sharp; this not only adds to the pleasure of ownership but can pay dividends when the time comes to sell or trade it in. Of course, the best cargo area cover for you will depend on your lifestyle and what you drive; here, we review some of the best.
Table of contents

1. Editor's Pick: Alfheim Universal Cargo Area Cover

Cargo area cover in the back of an SUV
This cargo liner from Alfheim is resistant to water and pet damage—an excellent all-around pick. Photo credit:
Alfheim’s cargo liner is designed to fit small-to-medium size SUVs and features extra tall sidewalls for full-surface protection of your cargo area. Self-adhesive Velcro strips are included with the unit, and you can use those to mount the sidewalls and keep them in place.
The four-layer liner features high-density random-grain polyester fabric coated in a PVC waterproof film with high-elastic styrofoam cotton underneath and a non-slip silicone backing. There are two loops for securing the back wall of the system to the headrests in your second row, and the liner includes a long and wide bumper protector which is easy to unfurl and stow. The manufacturer states that this cover is machine washable.
Users report that this liner is sturdy but with a tendency to wrinkle under heavy use. We like the handy storage back on the seatback side of the liner too. We also like the fact that the Alfheim cargo area cover is not quilted. While quilting may look smart, its seams can become dirt traps.
Thanks to a great price-to-utility ratio, this option makes a sensible choice for a lot of motorists. However, there were reports of a chemical smell from the assembly adhesives used in the Alfeim cover; for some, that drawback might negate the cost savings.
  • Pros/Affordable, water-resistant, universal-fit, machine washable
  • Cons/Some users report a chemical smell and tendency to wrinkle
2. Best for Sedans: Motor Trend Premium FlexTough Cargo Mat
Cargo cover in trunk of a sedan

Motor Trend’s affordable, resilient cargo covers are a great option for sedans. Photo credit:
Motor Trend supplies its mat in a large rectangle with hash marks and scoring that allow you to easily cut it to shape using a pair of household scissors.
Sharp, anti-slip spikes covering the entire underside of the mat help lock the liner in place against your carpet to prevent it from sliding around, and deep grooves in the top face help control and wick away spills.
There is a range of sizes available, as well as both black and tan variants to suit the interior décor of your SUV. Each size option features large wings and flaps around the perimeter that allows you to easily customize the fit to suit your vehicle. The premium rubber polymer is durable and weather-resistant but some drivers report a heavy rubber odor.
Choose this option if you have a small, awkward, or obscure cargo area and need a premium, durable liner at an accessible price.
Motor Trend cargo liners are made in Vernon, California.
  • Pros/Easy to customize, waterproof
  • Cons/Some noticed a faint oder, not soft-touch
Best Pet-Resistant Liner: F-color SUV Cargo Liner for Dogs
Quilted cargo liner in the back of an SUV

F-color’s pet-friendly cargo liner features reinforced stitching, oversized non-slip backing, and soft quilting to keep your pet comfortable. Photo credit:
With four water-resistant layers that include 600 Denier Oxford fabric (Denier is a measurement of a textile’s thickness), this pet-resistant cargo liner protects your vehicle from pet hair, scratch marks, and accidents— it also keeps your pet more comfortable.
There are two sizes available, a generous 55-by-91-inch cover and an even larger 55-by-106-inch unit that fits easily into SUVs like the GMC Yukon. Adjustable head-rest straps and a non-slip backing help keep the cover secure. There’s a heavy-duty bumper protector to keep your paint safe from pets’ claws. We’d like to see taller flaps for better protection up and around the sides of the cargo area and wheel wells.
The water-resistant material will protect your car from most accidents, but it’s important to clean it quickly; the material is water-resistant, not waterproof. The liner is machine washable if you have a machine large enough, but it must be drip-dried. Installation is fast and easy.
F-color cargo liners offer a good mix of comfort and resilience to suit pet owners, and can even double as a picnic blanket.
  • Pros/Comfortable for pets, larger sizes available
  • Cons/Only water-resistant, can be hard to clean, could better protect sides of cargo area
4. Most Versatile: Split Cargo Liner by 4Knines
Quilted cargo cover in the back of an SUV

Drivers with large cargo areas and split-fold seats will love the versatility of this multi-section cargo liner. Photo credit:
The 4Knines 40/20/40 split-folding cargo liners make it easy to use your folding bench seats or ski pass-throughs without removing or scrunching up your cargo liner.
This is perfect for people with bicycles or stand-up paddleboards who need to protect their interior while still leaving a rear seat in use for another passenger. This pet-friendly cargo liner is available in three sizes, from 42 by 78 inches to 55 by 106 inches. The liner is secured with headrest straps, while zippers allow you to keep the entire unit together or fold down sections as needed. There’s also a bumper flap that keeps your exterior safe from marks as you load the bike, the kayak, or the dog into the cargo area.
The 4KNines liner features rubber non-slip backing, a thick cotton padding, and 600 Denier polyester coated in waterproof film for four layers of water-resistant, rugged protection in your vehicle.
The material is machine washable and the backing is colorfast. This is a bulky and heavy liner with a price tag to match, but the result is a premium cargo liner with innovative features that is comfortable for pets and rugged enough to handle even the most adventurous hobbies.
  • Pros/Versatile design, available in a range of sizes
  • Cons/Some user found this model cumbersome and heavy
5. Best Premium Pet-Proof Liner: FrontPet Quilted Dog Cargo Cover
Quilted cargo liner in an SUV

The plush cargo liner from FrontPet offers premium protection. Photo credit:
FrontPet’s quilted cargo liner features ultra-thick GSM Oxford padding on the floor and sides to give your cargo a comfortable coating for your pet to lounge around in. The four-layer construction is water-proof and durable, with non-slipping backing that helps it stay in place. The adhesive Velcro included helps keep the extra-large sidewalls in place, and there are adjustable straps to help you customize the fit to suit your vehicle.
Premium color options include black, tan, and grey, making this a great-looking cover. It also features hand storage pouches for all your pet’s gear. Reinforced trim and stitching add to the resilience of this liner, which promises to keep your SUV cargo hold free from the stains and scratches well known to pet owners.
This cargo liner option rings in at a higher price point than some of its competitors, but the trade-off is a high-quality option that looks good, lasts for ages, and keeps your pet feeling company. Like most of these quilted fabric liners, this one doubles as an oversized picnic blanket.
  • Pros/Premium look and finish, suitable for larger SUVs
  • Cons/Premium price
6. Best for Bad Weather: Husky Liners Weatherbeater Series
Molded rubber cargo liner

HuskyThese custom cargo liners are loved by drivers who need heavy-duty protection from mud, snow, and muck. Photo credit:
The Weatherbeater series from Husky offers decades of heavy-duty protection in the back of your cargo area, making it ideal for those of us with active, sometimes messy lifestyles. Like all laser-cut liners, this one only offers limited side-wall coverage and isn’t soft to the touch. So these cargo liners might not be the best choice for pet owners.
Because these units are laser-cut, they offer solid, reliable, no-slip coverage. The premium TPE blend won’t deteriorate in extreme temperatures, and it is thick enough to protect your vehicle’s original carpet from just about thing you can throw at it.
The option below suits the Cadillac Escalade, and there are affordable options custom-cut to fit almost every SUV model on the market.
We like Husky Weatherbeater liners for their sheer toughness and durability.
  • Pros/Heavy duty, waterproof
  • Cons/Limited side protection, less comfortable for pets

7. Best Soft Liner: Drymate Cargo Liner Mat
Drymate cargo liner in package

Drymate offers a handy cut-to-fit cargo liner. Photo credit:
Drymate cargo liner offers great value and impressive versatility. The product is a 58-by-72-inch soft carpet mat that is easy to trim to shape with a box cutter or pair of scissors.
This machine-washable mat is constructed with three layers, two are non-woven polyester with over 50% recycled fibers on the outside, plus a Phthalate and BPA-free waterproof inner layer within. There are two colors available, brown or charcoal, and the liner is reversible.
The liner looks exactly like your interior carpet giving your cargo area an untouched, factory-fresh appearance while also offering up sturdy protection that prevents spills and stains from penetrating through to your existing carpet.
This is an affordable and sturdy option for drivers willing to cut and trim their own custom cargo liner and it is both pet and toolbox friendly.
  • Pros/Affordable, customizable
  • Cons/Takes more work to install than a custom-fit cover

Which Cargo Liner Size is Right for My Ride?
The best cargo liners come in a variety of sizes. Choose a liner that is as close as possible to the measurements of your cargo hold. You can find those measurements on the website of your vehicle manufacturer, or you can measure them yourself. Remember to measure at the widest section of your floor for full coverage.
In general, smaller liners are good for hatches like the Volkswagen Golf or Toyota Corolla Cross as well as crossovers like the Subaru Outback or Hyundai Kona. Medium liners suit mid-size SUVs like the Ford Escape or Toyota Rav4, while drivers with a Dodge Durango or Chevrolet Suburban should opt for an XL-size liner from most companies. Alternatively, select a custom-fit laser-cut liner from a brand like WeatherTech or Husky for a perfect fit.
How to Choose a Cargo Liner
Apart from size, you should also choose a cargo liner that offers you the sort of protection you’ll need. If you frequently move heavy objects or big toolboxes in your cargo area, opt for a premium TPE rubber liner that offers heavy-duty protection.
Softer 600 Denier Oxford liners are better for lighter duty and pets because they’re softer and more comfortable. If you need both options, you can keep a laser-cut rubber liner in permanently and use a more pet-friendly cargo liner over the top when you need to.
How to Clean a Cargo Liner
The easiest cargo liners to clean are rubberized units that can be hosed or wiped off. If you remove the mat to wash it, ensure the underside is completely dry before reinstalling it, as moisture can become trapped and cause mold growth.
Fabric options are usually machine-washable but should never go in the dryer. Drip-dry them instead. Again, always make sure they have dried fully before you use them again, as moisture inside your interior can cause mold to grow and generate odors.
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