Best Cargo Nets for Trucks: Our Top Picks for Protecting Your Stuff
Keep your gear safe with the best cargo net for your truck
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Cargo nets are the ultimate tool for keeping your loads tied down. Especially useful for open truck beds, cargo nets are elastic, strong, and secure, perfect for helping you transport that big screen TV or helping your friends move. Read on to learn everything you need to know to pick the best cargo net for your truck.
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy a Cargo Net?
- Flexibility. Cargo nets are flexible in their shape, making them ideal for holding down uneven and oddly-shaped loads. This is a definite benefit when you’re frequently hauling items that might otherwise be difficult to strap down.
- Transparency. Because cargo mesh nets allow you to see through them, you can check on your load much more easily. Likewise, it’s easy to slip extra items under the net without having to undo it, making it convenient.
- Convenience. Using a cargo net to strap down a load is a lot easier than with ropes, bungees, or other devices. They’re easy to attach and detach, yet still secure. When you’re frequently loading and unloading, that makes things a whole lot easier.
- Heavy duty. Lots of storage nets on the market can hold heavy loads with ease. Make sure you get a high-quality net if you’re often hauling heavy objects–the material makes a difference in the durability of your net.
- UV protected. Unlike ropes, chains, or bungees, most cargo nets feature a UV protective coating that keeps them from disintegrating in the sun. That makes cargo nets more durable than some other options.
Based in Folsom, California, Grit Performance makes high-quality automotive products that are all backed by a lifetime warranty that ensures your cargo net is protected. It’s been innovating products for a decade and has a couple of bestsellers, including the large Super Duty Bungee Cargo Net and small Super Duty Bungee Cargo Net.
Gladiator Cargo Net
Rancho Cordova, California is home to the headquarters of Gladiator Cargo Net, designer and manufacturer of heavy-duty cargo nets made to handle the toughest loads. In business since 2016, it has been making a name with products such as the Baja Net and the RipProof Mesh Cargo Tarp.
Since 1991, PowerTye has been making cargo tie-downs in Anaheim, California. An industry leader in creativity and design, its products are durable and come with competitive value prices. Its wide assortment of products includes the popular 15”x15” Mini Net and the 24”x36” Adjustable Net.
- Under $25: There are lots of options available in this price range, with some being more qualitative than others. It’s important to keep a lookout for the materials used to gauge the durability. Smaller nets are more frequent in this price class.
- $25-$50: At this price point, you’ll find high-quality nets in various sizes. They’re going to be durable, adjustable, and usually heavy-duty. If you’re frequently hauling cargo, we recommend investing at least this much in your new net.
- Above $50: If you’re a heavy-duty hauler, this is the price range for you. The most durable safety web cargo nets are common here, including various styles and sizes.
Most pickup truck cargo nets will feature one of a few styles of hooks, straps, or carabiners to secure the net to the vehicle. Some of these are more durable and secure than others, with carabiners coming in first. Hooks are also good as they’re easy to attach and detach, but they’re not quite as secure as carabiners. Straps work well but are the least secure.
High-quality cargo nets are made from stretchable materials that will not break under stress. If you’re planning to load heavy cargo, check that the bungee cargo net can support this weight. Some will be able to hold 100 pounds or more, while others won’t. Also, keep in mind that larger nets or bigger ropes will not necessarily equal a higher strength.
A small number of security cargo nets come with a built-in tarp element to help protect loads from wet weather. If that’s a concern for you, it’s worth checking out this type. Otherwise, you can also just place a tarp over your load and strap the cargo net on top.
- Perfect Fit: It’s important that the size of the cargo net matches up with the cargo area to achieve a secure fit. If you’re securing cargo in an open truck bed, measure from edge to edge, lengthwise and widthwise, then order a size that’s a bit bigger to accommodate larger or higher cargo.
- Color: Most cargo nets come in a standard color of black or grey. This is so sunlight doesn’t reflect and distract other drivers. If you do come across cargo nets in other colors, we’d recommend sticking with the standard choices.
- Materials: As with everything, manufacturing and material quality will vary. Look for cargo nets made from durable high-tensile-strength rope or canvas that has some stretch. This will ensure that your cargo net lasts you a long time.
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Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Cargo Net
- Keep your cargo net extra secure by adding a couple of bungee cords to the mix. These can help tie down the load, especially when the mesh net only has four anchor points. Additional anchors will add to the security, keeping everything from sliding around.
- Consider coating your net with a spray-on waterproofing solution. This will add to the durability of the material, protecting it from humidity and rain while in use. Just keep in mind, this won’t make your cargo impervious to the elements.
- You can always double up on truck box cargo nets if you require an extra hold. Simply strap the load down with the first cargo net, then add a second cargo net at an angle for additional strength.
- A truck cargo net is also a useful tool for keeping small items from rattling around in the back of your car or truck. Simply use it over a smaller surface area, tighten, and your miscellaneous trunk items won’t keep rolling around.
- Maintaining a cargo net is really easy. Most high-quality options will be weather- and UV-resistant, so there’s not much you need to do. Keep them stowed away when not in use to protect them; clean them with a damp cloth if there’s ever any dirt or grime on them.
Q: What do I need to haul large loads?
A: Aside from a heavy-duty cargo net, you’ll also want additional straps to secure the net and tie everything down. That’s especially important if the load is also oversized or oddly-shaped. To avoid anything coming loose, we recommend tying down the load at all four corners and, at a minimum, at two other points.
Q: If my cargo is heavy, do I really need a cargo net?
A: Yes! It’s a common misconception that the weight of the cargo alone will keep it from blowing away. It’s incredibly important to secure every load properly, regardless of how light or heavy it is. Make sure the truck bed cargo net and any additional ropes or straps you’re using are strong enough to hold the weight of the load.
Q: Is a cargo net useful if my cargo area is closed?
A: Yes, definitely! Cargo mesh nets are, of course, most useful in open pickup truck beds where they can prevent cargo from blowing away in the wind. If your truck bed is already covered in one way or another, you can still benefit from a cargo net.
Our top pick is the Gladiator Cargo Net MGN-100. It’s a thick, heavy-duty net that securely attaches to your truck.
If you’re looking for a great cargo net that won’t break the bank, check out the PowerTye Mesh Cargo Net. It’s a great value.