Get Your Load Under Control: The Ultimate Cargo Net Guide
Hauling loose cargo in an open truck bed can be a risky endeavor. An unsecured load rattling around back there is a hazard to both your gear and fellow drivers. But don’t sacrifice utility for safety. With the right cargo net, you can safely transport tools, supplies, and equipment without containing it to the cab.
Cargo nets are an indispensable accessory for truck owners who use the bed for hauling.
These specially designed nets securely attach to your truck bed sides, allowing you to safely transport loose objects while keeping them easily accessible.
But not all truck bed nets are created equal. You’ll want to consider factors like durability, weather protection, and secure fit when choosing the right one for your needs.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about picking out the ideal cargo net. We’ll also provide tips on properly using your net for optimal efficiency and security.
Meet the Rightline Gear Truck Bed Cargo Net
One of the best truck bed nets available today is the Rightline Gear Truck Bed Cargo Net with Built-In Tarp.
This heavy-duty net is designed to keep your cargo stable and protected trip after trip.
Rightline Gear is a respected brand known for their quality outdoor gear and truck/Jeep accessories. Their cargo net is a prime solution for securing loose loads in your truck bed.
Here’s an overview of the key features of this top-rated cargo net:
- Built-In Tarp Protection – The net features an integrated water-resistant tarp layer that helps shield your cargo from rain and debris. Not fully waterproof, but adds an extra barrier.
- Bungee Cord System – The net is secured via bungee cords that stretch to provide a tight custom fit for your truck bed. Easy to install and remove without any tools required.
- Durable Construction – It’s made from high-strength polyester to withstand repeated use and outdoor exposure.
- Stuff Sack Included – Comes with a stuff sack for compact storage when not in use.
- 1-Year Limited Warranty – Backed by Rightline Gear’s warranty against defects.
When you open the box, you’ll find the cargo net and the stuff sack. Bungee cords are pre-attached to each corner and ready to stretch across your truck bed.
With excellent coverage and weather protection, the Rightline Gear net is a smart solution. But how do you know if it’s the right option for your truck?
Choosing the Best Truck Bed Cargo Net
While most cargo nets serve the same general purpose, there are some variables to consider when choosing one:
Truck Bed Size
The first factor is proper fit.
Measure the dimensions of your truck bed to determine what size net you need. Most full-size truck beds can accommodate a standard 5′ x 7′ net like the Rightline Gear one. But smaller truck beds may require a more tailored size.
You want a net that stretches tightly over your bed without sagging. Take into account any truck bed rails or overheads as well. The net should sit flush with the top of the bed walls.
Check the net’s construction and material quality.
You want superior abrasion and tear resistance, as it’ll be exposed to shifting cargo and outdoor elements.
The Rightline Gear net features durable polyester with reinforced stitching at stress points. Look for similar high-strength fabrics in a quality net.
Avoid cheaper nets with flimsy mesh prone to sagging and ripped seams. Paying more upfront will reward you with years of reliable use.
Consider weatherproofing features if hauling loads in the rain.
Some nets have built-in tarps or coating to repel moisture.
The integrated tarp on the Rightline Gear net provides an extra barrier against rainfall without the need to throw a tarp over your cargo. But it’s not 100% waterproof like a tonneau cover.
If you need guaranteed dryness, look for “waterproof” instead of “water resistant” in the product details. Or plan to use a tarp for heavy wet weather.
Bungee cords vs. strap systems – what’s easier to set up and adjust?
Elastic bungee nets like the Rightline Gear one offer quick tool-free installation. Just hook the cords over the bed sides.
Net models with buckled strap systems take a bit more time and adjustment to get tight. But straps may hold heavier loads.
Bungees do loosen over time. Check regularly that your net still fits snugly after repeated use.
Opt for organizational add-ons like pockets and tie-downs if useful.
You can find cargo nets with handy built-in pockets to corral small items and prevent sliding.
If you’ll be transporting especially heavy or unruly loads, look for additional lash points and tie-downs. They help secure oddly-shaped cargo.
For simpler needs, a basic open net without extra bells and whistles will suffice. The Rightline Gear model is an ideal no-frills choice.
Cost can vary greatly based on durability and features.
Budget-friendly nets under $50 work temporarily but won’t hold up to frequent use.
Splurge over $100 if you demand robust long-lasting quality. The Rightline Gear net falls in the middle affordability-wise.
Consider cost per use – a pricier heavy-duty net that lasts for years may save you more than a cheap disposable one.
Buy from a trusted manufacturer.
Rightline Gear is a go-to brand for truck accessories, known for reliability and durability.
Lesser-known brands may lack the materials and construction quality of big names like Rightline. Read reviews and check warranties offered.
With the Rightline net, you can feel confident thanks to the solid brand reputation and 1-year warranty behind it.
Using Your Cargo Net Right
You picked the perfect cargo net for your truck bed needs. Now it’s time to put it to work! Follow these tips for loading and transporting cargo like a pro:
Strategic Load Placement
The key to secure transport is even weight distribution.
Place heavier items low and centered in the truck bed. Surround them with lighter objects.
Try to minimize abrupt weight shifts. Don’t load all the cinder blocks on one side and umbrellas on the other. Keep items balanced.
Improper cargo loading causes the net to sag and pockets to form, allowing objects to collide dangerously. Take time to load carefully.
Leave Room for Mesh to Stretch
Get your cargo organized under the net, but don’t cram every inch of space.
Overstuffing prevents the net from stretching taut. Leave a bit of breathing room. The net should dip slightly rather than go totally slack.
Piling cargo too high risks collapse. Loads should rest a few inches below the top of the bed walls.
Take advantage of any tie-downs, lashes, or pockets
your net offers to secure awkward or heavy items.
The movable bungee design of the Rightline Gear net allows you to tighten and reinforce any weak or stretched areas.
Extra ropes, ratchet straps, or tarps can also help stabilize unwieldy loads. Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond to get it secure.
Once on the road, check your cargo net often for shifting and adjustments needed.
Stop regularly on long hauls to check for sagging and re-tighten if necessary.
Do a final thorough inspection when unloading to spot any weak spots or damage so you can address it next haul.
Constant vigilance ensures your net holds everything in place trip after trip. Don’t just slap it on and assume your cargo will stay put unattended.
Store Properly to Avoid Theft
When your hauling is done, take down the cargo net and put it away.
Leaving it rigged up full time invites theft of your gear.
Use the included stuff sack to keep it tidy between uses. Stow it behind seats or in a storage bin.
Removing it also protects the net from UV damage and dirt accumulation while not in use.
Follow this cargo net etiquette each trip, and you’ll get years of uncompromised performance.
Diagnose and Fix Common Cargo Net Issues
You inspect the net and find it’s not securing loads like it used to. Uh oh, what’s the problem? Here are some typical cargo net troubles and solutions:
Over time, the net’s bungee cords may relax and loosen.
This allows the center to dip from the weight of cargo.
The fix is simple – pull and stretch the cords to restore tautness across the net’s expanse.
Distribute heavy items evenly
instead of clustered in one spot to minimize sagging.
Contents Slipping Under the Net
Smaller objects may poke through gaps
along the net’s sides or around tie-down points.
The easiest remedy is packing items in boxes or bins that are too large to fit through holes under the net.
You can also use the movable bungees to cinch the mesh tighter in problem areas.
Tears and Rips
The net’s fabric may eventually develop small tears or holes from snagging.
For minor net damage, use a patch kit specially designed for mesh and vinyl repairs.
But if tears are large or cause the net to sag badly, it’s time to replace it with a new one.
Don’t risk damaged nets.
Worn-Out Bungee Cords
With regular exposure to weather and strain, the bungee cords will degrade over time.
Replacing stretched out or cracked bungee cords restores the net’s tight fit. Use cords specifically made for cargo nets.
Check for cord wear once season
and preemptively swap any that are fraying or damaged.
Sometimes a sagging net is not due to wear, but incorrect sizing.
Maybe you got a 5 x 7 net assuming it would stretch to fit, but your bed is actually 6 x 8.
Carefully measure your truck bed’s dimensions and get a net that matches or slightly exceeds them.
Oversized is better than undersized. You can tighten an overlarge net, but can’t expand a small one.
With a quality net, most problems have easy fixes. Address issues promptly and your cargo net will deliver years of reliable performance.
Frequently Asked Cargo Net Questions
New to truck bed nets? Here are answers to some common questions:
Is the Rightline Gear net waterproof?
The integrated tarp provides added water resistance
but may leak during heavy rainfall. For full waterproofing, use it in tandem with a tarp or tonneau cover.
What size truck bed will it fit?
It’s designed for full-size 5-7 foot truck beds
but has elasticity to stretch and fit slightly smaller beds. Reference the size chart and measure your bed to confirm.
Is the Rightline net hard to put on and take off?
The bungee cord system allows quick and easy tool-free installation
– just a matter of stretching it across your bed. Roll it back up and stow when not hauling.
Can I leave it on overnight or when parked?
Take the net down and stow it away if leaving cargo unattended
for any length of time to prevent theft. It’s meant for transport, not permanent installation.
What’s the weight capacity?
This heavy-duty net is built to withstand up to 500 pounds
of evenly distributed cargo weight. Anything heavier may require additional tie-downs.
How durable is it?
The super-strong polyester stands up to years of use and the elements. Rightline Gear nets are designed to last far longer than cheaper versions.
Will it fit tonneau covers or bed caps?
Some tonneaus don’t accommodate nets
, but soft and roll-up covers generally do. Measure your setup to ensure the net will stretch over a cover.
Can I use it when towing a trailer?
It can work great for securing loads on small utility trailers.
Just ensure you get a size that adequately covers the trailer bed.
Got additional questions? Reach out to the vendor for guidance on selecting the ideal cargo net.
Take Control of Your Truck’s Cargo Capacity
Pickup truck beds give you ample room for hauling, but that cargo space does you no good if objects are free to shift around back there.
A high-quality cargo net like the Rightline Gear model takes advantage of your truck’s utility while keeping your gear under control.
This guide covers the key factors from weatherproofing to installation method when choosing the right heavy-duty net for your needs and budget.
We’ve also provided tips on maximizing any net’s performance through proper loading, placement, inspection, and storage.
Analyze your truck bed cargo requirements and select a net that ticks all your boxes. With your gear and supplies secured smartly, you can haul with confidence and focus on the road ahead.
The days of wishing you had more hands to wrangle sliding cargo are over. A sturdy truck bed net provides peace of mind on every haul.