5th Gen 4Runner All-Weather Utility Rear Cargo Mat Liner
Whether you need a heavy-duty cargo mat, an all-weather cargo mat or just something to cover up your carpet, cargo liners are key. Every owner out there should have something to protect their carpet from everyday spills and general disasters.
When your kids throw a bottle of grape juice in the back or a half-eaten popsicle down, you better hope you had something to protect your carpet. Rear cargo liners can protect your investment while keeping things easy to clean and maintain for the life of your SUV.
Different Types of Cargo Layouts
There are a few different options when it comes to a rear cargo area. You have 4Runners with the third row, as well as 4Runners with and without the cargo sliding deck. This leaves three options for your rear cargo area.
4Runners with the third-row seating have a slight slant while the 4Runners without third-row and 4Runners with the sliding cargo tray have a flat surface. This should play a part in what rear cargo mat you decide to purchase.
Rear Cargo Mat and Liner Options
- WeatherStopper – Check Price
- Husky Cargo Liners
- MAXTRAY Cargo Liner
- BDK Heavy Duty
- Motor Trend
Why did we go with the WeatherStopper?
We decided to go with the WeatherStopper Mat because it had a slight lip on the edge all the way around. Not a lot of all-weather mats have this. The Husky Liners Cargo Liners have larger sidewalls but they are not a mat. Most of the “all-weather” and “heavy-duty” cargo mats do not have a large lip.
The liners are a bit more expensive but there are quite a few mixed reviews on whether or not their “laser cut precision” is actually precise. We wanted to test the waters with the cargo mat first, and then venture into the liners later depending on how this mat performed.
When advertised, most of the all-weather mats show a spill in the center of the mat. The WeatherStopper is one of the only mats with an actual sidewall to help keep liquid and general debris contained inside the mat.
What happens when liquid spills and you hit a corner at speeds? That liquid is going to overflow right into the cracks of your 4Runner where you aren’t able to clean it. You can always pay for a detail, but that starts to get costly and is just a pain in the ass.
We also decided on the WeatherStopper because we carry plants periodically in the back. When you travel with plants, soil, bark, and any tiny debris, things get dirty. The WeatherStopper appeared to be the best at holding tiny particles and keeping them contained within its sidewalls, compared to the others with no sidewalls.
The WeatherStopper with Sliding Tray
This is a tough one.
Yes, the WeatherStoppper rear cargo looks good on the rear 4Runner sliding cargo tray. My problem with the mat and rear cargo sliding tray is when you pull the tray out.
In the back of my 4Runner, I carry an EDC bag. It’s basically a tool and road-side bag, which is pretty heavy. Inside is jumper cables, general sockets, wrenches, recovery strap, tow shackles, first aid kit, and god knows what else.
When I pull the tray out, the bag falls and dips down into that empty section below, taking the tray with it. I can also see this happening with ice chests’ and miscellaneous camping gear or anything heavy.
A cargo mat like this will probably not work with a cargo slide tray unless you tend to never pull your tray out or you don’t have anything sitting up against your seats.
If you don’t have anything sitting up against your seats permanently like me, you will probably be fine.
Without something heavy resting on the mat, you will not have any problems.
U-Haul Blanket for 4Runner with Cargo Tray
For now, I will stick with my U-Haul Blanket that covers the back area. The U-Haul blanket sticks to the carpet great (once and awhile wrinkles but you can straighten it out) and has prevented some pretty disastrous spills from hitting the bottom. It seriously works great, let me know your thoughts below on this one.
My bag will still dip down if you pull the tray out, but it’s free and was not purchased with the intent of being used as a fully functional cargo mat. It just kinda works for what it is.
You can buy one of these blankets directly from U-Haul or just take one from your next move. Some guy gave me one when I bought a piece of furniture he made for our daughter. From there, it just stuck. Ever since it has lived in the back and it has served the Trail 4Runner well.
Cargo Mat with Third-Row Seating
Any 4Runner with third-row seating will have an interesting option when it comes to a cargo mat or liner. You can go with a cargo liner, like the Husky Liner or a cargo mat like the one pictured above. The liners will offer more protection as they are “laser cut” specifically for our 4Runner, while the mats are more universal.
What makes it interesting for the 3rd-row is the decent/slant in the rear cargo area. The 3rd row has a slant so most of the liners or mats you choose will eventually tend to slide down. Without cleats on the cargo mats or liners, this is almost inevitable.
Pictured above is the WeatherStopper in the 4Runner with third-row seating. For the third-rows slight descent in the back having a mat or liner with a lip is important. This will prevent spill damages to your carpet.
At the end of the day, this is a solid option for any 4Runner with 3rd-row seating or an SR5 without 3rd-row or cargo tray. Even if you have the cargo tray, you can still pull it off, there are just some important areas to note before making the purchase.
Update After 1 year (really not a bad option)
After a year of use, the mat has held up fine. The only issues are on both sides of the mats, the edges have sagged down a little bit. We have had a few major spills of milk for our 2-year-old (3-year-old now) daughter among other random spills. The mat is super easy to pull out and spray off.
I did not clean the mat for the photos, this is just how it sits. I did take a few things off and straighten it out a bit. It does tend to slide down a little bit in the third row, as the third row is slanted. For the price, I don’t think this is a bad option for the rear cargo area.
Upon lifting up the WeatherStopper, the carpet is in pretty good shape. No stains, marks, or anything that needed to be addressed. It looked great.
For the price, this is not a bad option at all. It will protect your carpet and give you peace of mind when trowing a bunch of gear on top.