If you are in the market for a bed liner for your pickup truck, you have likely learned already that you have many brands to choose from in today’s market. It can bewildering to choose among the seemingly endless varieties, particularly when so many claim to offer features unavailable in other models, or improved longevity and durability or a host of other bonuses. However, a quick way to divide most, if not all, pickup truck bed liners is by the following two basic categories: bed liners that are drop in, and bed liners that are sprayed on. The next step is to determine which is best for the pickup truck you drive. To determine which is a better fit for you, let’s take a look at the ups and downs of both types of truck bed liner, and you will soon find the decision much easier.
The pros of drop in bed liners include the ease with which they may be installed and removed. A drop in bed liner will typically come with a rigid and thick body that will give a decent amount of protection to your truck’s bed, reducing the risk of dents and bumps and scratches. They will last a long time and won’t take too much trouble to clean. Additionally, you can mount them underneath the bedrail, or if you choose, above it, to provide more protection. There are also some drop in bed liners made from more flexible materials; physically hold and manipulate a drop in bed liner before buying it if you can.
Cons of drop in bed liners are that some do not fit as well as they should, making them prone to shift about in the bed of your truck. In contrast, a more rigid bed liner may scuff paint on your truck bed. Additionally, they can let in dirt and sand, increasing the likelihood of scratches. Finally, it is possible to gouge or break a drop in bed liner.
The pros of sprayed on bed liners include the fact that they will not shift on your truck bed, as they are designed to stick to the body panels of your truck. As they are considerably thinner than drop in bed liners, they do not offer the same levels of protection, but they do reduce the risks of tiny dents. Additionally, you can apply sprays to any body panel on the truck, which includes floor and interior panels. Furthermore, you can easily clean a sprayed on bed liner and you can also find them in many colors, which is a bonus if your bed liner is primarily designed to be aesthetic. They are typically considered to be sleeker, visually speaking, than drop in bed liners.
The biggest con of a sprayed on bed liner is that you cannot remove it. Additionally, the lack of protection they offer compared to a drop in bed liner is considerable. Furthermore, you may not be able to remove stains such as spilled paint from your sprayed on liner. Additionally, they are typically more difficult to correctly install and have look professional unless you actually have a professional bed liner install one.
The bottom line is that today’s pickup truck bed liner market is saturated with a host of models to choose from. To help you when next you decide to purchase a bed liner, consider questions related to your needs. How do you typically use your pickup truck? How much protection will you require from your bed liner? Enough to protect the truck from a constant barrage of heavy objects in the bed? Or perhaps you only plan to haul the occasional chair or mattress. Or perhaps you aren’t hauling anything, and the bed liner is purely for aesthetics? Shop around, whether online or in person, and keep asking questions. It’s the best way to ensure you get the best bed liner for your pickup truck.