We review the BedRug Bed Liner: an innovative bed liner that protects your paint finish – and your knees
What the heck is a BedRug you ask?
A BedRug is an innovative new concept in bed liners designed to protect the surface and finish of your truck’s cargo box. BedRug liners are comprised of a closed-cell foam similar to that used in high-end lifejackets which means that it will not break down when exposed to water, resists mildew, and does not absorb water. The foam is 3/4 of an inch thick and is computer designed to guarantee the proper fit for your application. This means that installation is quite simple and that you will end up with a perfectly level floor surface. The foam does not affect the finish of your truck as the foam backing is nonabrasive.
The BedRug’s exterior surface is covered with an attractive material that looks like carpet, but is in fact a much more durable plastic-based product comprised of Polypropylene resin. It is stain resistant, will not absorb water, and provides enough surface friction to keep your load stable at speed.
How does it work?
The BedRug uses Velcro to secure it in place, but it comes fitted with the loop material stitched in place so you only have to apply the hook fasteners in the designated areas. Once you have secured the fastening strips in place you need to position the assembled bed rug in place to check on fit and verify that the fasteners will be in the correct spot.
Assembling the Kit
Most BedRug kits come with two pieces-one designed to protect both the side-walls and bulkhead, and a large piece for the floor section. However, the Honda Ridgeline features a cargo trunk integrated just aft of the rear wheels beneath the floor of the cargo box. This handy storage area is accessed via a swing lid that comprises about 60% of the rear floor. As a result, the BedRug kit has been adapted to accommodate this unique feature by providing a two piece panel design for the floor surface. The side-wall and bulkhead panel is shaped like a horseshoe, and it is to this piece that the forward floor panel is fastened by using a non-corrosive zinc alloy zipper. This design will effectively hold the liner in place and prevent loose material and debris from finding its way beneath the surface of the liner. The second floor panel is attached to the lid of the recessed storage bin using the included hook and loop fasteners and then the edges are tucked in at the sidewalls. This accommodation was important as the Honda Ridgeline’s trunk is where the vehicle’s spare tire, jack and tools are stowed.
The process for installation is very simple. The first thing you have to do is make sure that the bed of the truck is very clean. It is important to make sure that the surface is clear of any surface dirt or grit that may mar the finish of your bed.
The second step is to unfold the bulkhead and sidewall panel and zipper the forward floor piece into place. Once this is accomplished, place the BedRug into position against the bulkhead checking for fit and making sure that it is situated in the correct position. There are slits cut in the liner to accommodate the Ridgeline’s floor and side-wall tie-downs which act as helpful indicators when positioning the BedRug. The Honda Ridgeline also features two cargo lamps near the rear of the cargo bed so the BedRug designers have provided openings for these which will help you orient the mat.
Once in place it is important to pull the top of the panels away from the walls and peer down to see where you should position the Velcro strips that will be used to attach the panels to the truck’s surface. BedRug has provided an adhesive (3M 4298) which comes in handy packets that contain small, single use, foam applicator pads that are saturated with the industrial adhesive. Before employing the adhesive it is important to wipe the contact points for the hook and loop fasteners with Isopropyl alcohol to make sure that the area is free of any soap residue, chemicals or other agents that might prevent the adhesion of the Velcro strips. Once you are sure it is clean and dry you can use the sponge applicator pads to lightly glaze the areas where the Velcro strips will be fastened with the adhesive. It is important to do this step in small stages so that you don’t make a mess, and so that you are careful to place each hook fastener in the correct place to guarantee a good fit. I should also point out that in order for the hook fasteners and adhesive to achieve maximum effectiveness the temperature of the truck bed surface needs to be 20°C (68°F).
I then removed the BedRug and flipped it over so that I could attach the long strips of hook fasteners to the truck floor with the adhesive. Once all the hook fasteners are in place I began to install the BedRug itself. The floor panel portion slipped easily over the two cargo hooks and once I had it oriented so that it met all three walls and was clear of the trunk lid, I pushed it down securely into place. During this step it is very important to ensure that the liner does not extend over the rear of the trunk lid, as it would hinder its operation. This would also signal that the floor panel needed to be adjusted so that it sat closer to the bulkhead wall.
Once the forward floor panel is in place I began to secure the BedRug to the bulkhead area, working from the bottom up and centre out as suggested by the instructions. This allows you to push out any air pockets and to ensure that the liner effectively mates to the bed’s many contours. I then continued this process rearward along the two side-walls continually checking my placement based on the aforementioned slits for the cargo hooks and the openings for the two cargo lamps. While performing this step I found myself immediately impressed with the quality of the fit, the overall appearance, and the obvious comfort the liner’s surface provided for my aging knees.
The final two steps were a breeze as the two remaining panels were small enough that they were easy to handle and manipulate. I positioned the rear floor panel in place and secured it down; making certain that it was perfectly aligned with the trunk lid.
The BedRug kit for a traditional pick-up design includes a tailgate extension as part of the floor panel. This works great as it fills the gap between the gate and the bed floor and prevents spills and or the accumulation of debris. In the case of the Honda Ridgeline however, the tailgate is designed to operate both as a standard drop gate, but also as a swing design which means that the BedRug kit needed to be adapted to accommodate this feature. As a result, there is a separate panel to cover the tailgate surface.
The BedRug company literature claims that the surface will not readily stain, but I must admit that I found it quite difficult to clean when damp. I hauled a load of pumpkins to a target shooting event and the soil left behind was hard to clean due to the rainy conditions. The instructions suggest using a vacuum or brush to clean light soil and grime, but compressed air or even a power washer can be used to effectively clean the surface. I imagine the occasional use of the latter would keep the BedRug looking new.
Should you happen to spill gasoline, chemicals, or oil on the surface a detergent soap with degreaser is suggested such as that used at most wand-wash locations.
The marketing people at BedRug are quick to stress how ultra-tough and durable these liners have proven to be and they do back it with a respectable 3-year limited warranty. I will admit that it gives the truck a much more upmarket look than a traditional drop-in or spray-on liner, and I have had several people stop me in parking lots to give it a closer look. In the Vancouver area the BedRug retails for under CAN$500 for my application, with some online retailers offering the kit for as low as $450, but shipping will be a killer.
I suspect these will be very popular with people that mount canopies on their trucks as it provides a minor improvement in insulation and provides a non-slip surface to help keep your load from shifting around while the truck is in motion. I also think that the liner would prove comfortable enough that the more adventurous sort could comfortably sleep in the cargo box while on a hunting or camping trip. Try that on a traditional bed liner.
For more information on bed rug check out the company’s website at www.bedrug.com