LAST UPDATED: March 21, 2019
Best Cargo Nets for Trucks: Our Top Picks for Protecting Your Stuff
Keep your gear safe with the best cargo net for your truck
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON March 21, 2019
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.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we 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.
Best Cargo Nets Reviews and Recommendations for 2020
For the ultimate pick in heavy-duty hauling, this Gladiator Cargo Net is the way to go. It has a high number of connection points, giving you great versatility for transporting large and oddly shaped cargo. It also means that your load will be secure. As an adjustable net, this one can accommodate even the largest truck beds. A number of internal attachment tabs are also included, which are great for securing smaller loads.
All Gladiator cargo nets are independently load rated and tested, so you know you’re getting a high-quality net. Certified by the BSI Group, these nets are used by the DOT and are NACSS approved. The materials used are weatherproofed and ultra-high strength, making this one of the most durable nets on the market. An integrated ripstop meshing prevents snags and helps secure smaller objects. Easy to use, this mesh net saves you the hassle of ropes and tarps.
This is the perfect option if you’re planning to haul a lot. The durability of Gladiator cargo nets goes almost unmatched. That being said, this is one expensive cargo net, so plan to spend more money if you want this kind of quality.
This PowerTye cargo net is great for securing a variety of items in trucks, trailers, SUVs, boats, and more. An innovative 2-by-2-inch mesh is the tightest on the market, helping to prevent small items from falling out. The net itself is crafted from a thick 4.4 mm latex/bungee blend for strength and durability. The material lends itself well to stretching and easily returns to its non-stretched form. It’s durable and resilient, keeping its elasticity over time.
With 10 tie-down points, this cargo net is also very secure. Durable ABS plastic hooks make for easy loading and unloading of cargo, and the adjustable sub-hooks give you maximum versatility. Another cool feature that comes with this model is the PowerTye Hook Guarantee: If any of the hooks break during normal use, PowerTye will replace them for you.
An ideal option if you’re looking for a quality product that won’t break the bank, this cargo networks well in a number of scenarios. It also comes in orange if you prefer a different color. A downside we found is that the plastic hooks do not tolerate cold well and may break in more extreme temps.
The Rightline Gear Truck Cargo Net secures your cargo and keeps it dry. It’s designed in a bungee style and is attached to a strong, lightweight tarp for enhanced durability. The tarp gets rid of the tangling that is very common with cargo nets. Tilted attachment points make it easy for you to stretch the cargo net in all directions.
This cargo net for trucks has a universal fit and can be used on all truck beds and utility trailers. The tarp is resistant to tears, cuts, and abrasions. It features tape-sealed seams and keeps your items dry even when it's raining. The net is easy to install and folds down easily for storage. We are also pleased with the one-year warranty from the manufacturer.
However, this net may let you down when you need it most. The tarp and plastic hooks are poorly constructed. Additionally, the tarp is thin and rips very easily.
The Grizzly Gear XL cargo net stretches up to 7.5 by 5 feet. It's an all-purpose, weatherproof net that fits on most truck beds and trailers. It has hooks that have a high tensile strength and are able to maintain grip under heavy loads. They also won't scratch your vehicle's finish.
This net is super stretchy and is large and strong enough for a normal, full-size pickup truck bed. The mesh is made of nylon-reinforced rubber that resists moisture and maintains elasticity. The net’s 7-by-7-inch grid is able to grab smaller objects and irregular-sized cargo. There are also a lot of hooks, so you can attach the net in dozens of places. In addition, it’s easy to fold and pack the net away for storage.
One downside is that it can be frustrating to untangle when you remove it from the packaging or from storage. However, you can remove the hooks, which makes it easier to untangle. Another problem is the hooks fall off easily when the net is not attached to the pickup bed or another surface area.
This cargo net is 5 by 7 feet and stretches to 10 by 14 feet. It's constructed of 1/4-inch elastic bungee cord with 5-by-5-inch mesh squares that contain small items and also prevent large objects from falling out of the cargo bed. The net is designed for truck beds, trailers, ATVs, luggage racks, and more.
One of the best parts about this net is that it's incredibly stretchy. It's also very sturdy and easy to use. The net's 16 D-clip carabiners are aluminum alloy and will not rust and won't fade or break like plastic hooks. The clips are designed so you can quickly hook or unhook the net from the attachment points on your truck. The net also comes with a storage bag.
There aren't too many complaints about this net. However, it may have a slight odor from the manufacturer. Another problem is that the carabiner clips may not fit the large rails of certain utility trailers.
AxPower's bungee cargo net is 4 by 6 feet and stretches to 8 by 12 feet. It comes with a storage bag, 12 ABS hooks, 12 metal carabiner clips, and two extra bungee cords. The net is constructed of 5mm rubber bungee cord, and the clips and hooks are simple to use. It's designed for use on trucks, trailers, Jeeps, ATVs, RVs, boats, and more.
You can adjust this net in a variety of ways using all of its hooks. It's quick and easy to strap things down, and it holds tight at highway speeds. It's well-made, very functional, and stretches enough to keep items in place without squishing the contents. Overall, it's very good-quality and is available at a good price.
One complaint is that the mesh grid is a little large and too open to secure smaller objects. Some users have also only received one bungee cord instead of two as promised in the description.
This cargo net is specifically designed for use on 2005 and newer Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks with long beds and is attached to the OEM bed rail. It stretches from 3 feet by 5 feet to 4.5 feet by 7.5 feet and features heavy-duty 8mm bungee on the perimeter, 6mm bungee on the interior, and a diamond-mesh grid. It also comes with 15 hooks, four carabiners, and a storage bag.
The net's knotted joints are strong and durable. It is sturdy, feels very secure, has a lot of stretching capability, and won't loosen when you're driving. The bungee material is also thicker and better quality compared to many other nets on the market.
But it's not perfect. Third generation Tacomas do not have rear bed rails, so this net is not compatible. It also doesn't work on short beds. The hooks may also bend if the net is too tight, and the net is not very adjustable.
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.