Pickup truck owners everywhere tend to get stuck on one important question: which is better, a drop-in or spray-on bed liner? The bed is one area that will probably take the most abuse throughout a pickup truck’s lifespan, so having some protection is incredibly important. Here are the pros and cons of both styles of bed liners so you can make an informed decision before you buy. However, the decision is ultimately up to you, so take a look at all the facts and decide which of the two will better fit your needs.
Spray-On Bed Liners: Pros and Cons
A Spray-on truck bed liner is a great option because it’s permanent. In fact, it doesn’t need replacing even after it’s been used for years, making it cost-effective in the long term. The spray-on option is permanent because it consists of a liquid polyurethane sprayed directly onto the bed and tailgate, therefore eliminating the chance of dirt or water, which could cause damage or rust.
There are quite a few advantages of a spray-on liner. In fact, it lasts for a very long time and allows for excellent traction. That amazing traction virtually eliminates the chance of any objects sliding around in the bed while you’re driving. You can also choose from a variety of different colors and textures, to find one that best suits your needs.
Another great feature of a spray-on liner is that it looks much more aesthetically pleasing than a drop-in liner since it’s sprayed directly onto the bed itself. It even lessens the amount of road noise you’ll hear when driving.
There aren’t many cons to getting a spray-on bed liner. The major con to a spray-on liner compared to a drop-in is that it is usually more expensive. However, that’s because it lasts much longer, so when you look at the long-term, the costs actually even out. Another drawback is that the color of a spray-in may fade over time due to UV rays, making it look faded or paler than it originally was.
Drop-In Bed Liners: Pros and Cons
Drop-in liners are the second option, which consists of a huge piece of plastic pre-molded and shaped into the shape of a pickup truck bed and then simply placed in and attached with bolts. Generally, you can choose between styles that go over the bed rails or under the bed rails.
Drop-in liners make loading and unloading items into your pickup bed easy since they will just slide right across the plastic. It’s also perfect for protecting the actual bed from dings, scratches, and dents since the plastic is thick and takes most of the abuse.
The installation process for a drop-in liner is also extremely convenient: just drop it right in the bed and attach it, and you’re done. It’s also the more inexpensive option and can be easily replaced if it’s damaged.
There are some cons to a drop-in liner. For one, they don’t last as long as the spray-in style. Since a drop-in doesn’t adhere to the pickup truck bed, it allows for the possibility of water and dirt to get between the liner and the actual pickup bed. This can cause damage, scratches, and even worse, rust.
There’s also a chance of an item in the bed snagging and the edge of the plastic and ripping it up. Once it becomes dislodge or loosened, you’ll have to replace it entirely. Also, the easy sliding and gliding mean that if an object isn’t tied down during a drive, it could slide around, fall out if the tailgate Is down, or become damaged.
The Verdict: Find Which Type of Bed Liner Works Best for You
When it comes to overall value and longevity, a spray-on bed liner is probably the best choice. While it may be more expensive upfront, the long-term cost and lifespan make the extra cost worth it. Remember that it’s ultimately up to you which liner style will fit your needs best. Look at all the pros and cons of each before you decide. When you consider each factor, you’ll find the bed liner style that best fits your truck, and more importantly, your work needs.