Husky Liners have been engineered to retain their shape, resist scuffs and stains, and hold up to daily wear-and-tear. We put company’s floor mats to the test.
I always find it surprising when you see someone who spends an enormous amount of time, effort, and money on keeping up the appearance of their vehicle’s exterior paint, trim and tires, but for whatever reason, they neglect cleaning the car’s interior. Sure, a quick wipe of the dash and interior panels with a spray protectant, the occasional window wash, and a pass through the cabin with a vacuum will suffice for most, but nothing makes spending time in a car less pleasant that smelly carpeting.
I live in Vancouver, a city infamous for gray skies and more than its fair share of rainfall. As a result, Vancouverites track an awful lot of water, muck and debris into their cars and onto the floor mats and carpeting. This is a huge problem as damp carpeting will eventually begin to smell as food and organic wastes deposit on the surface, get ground in by your shoes, and facilitate the growth of mould. The combination of moisture and the captured particles and stones promote carpet wear, and in some cases, the formation of rust on the surfaces below. Many consumers try to tackle this problem by purchasing rubber floor mats from the local big box store, but these generic offerings tend to be ill-fitting, cumbersome, and in reality, poor performing.
About Husky Liners
There is a solution. And it is a relatively economical one. Winfield Consumer Products is an American company that designs and manufactures automotive accessories for light trucks, sport utility vehicles, vans and passenger cars. The company’s most successful product is an innovative floor liner system they market under the Husky Liners name which has been designed as an alternative to traditional floor mat designs. Recently, I received a set of these units to outfit my personal vehicle, a 2009 Honda Ridgeline.
What makes Husky Liners so effective is the fact that they have been custom moulded to fit your vehicle. The liners are made from an engineering resin (rubberized thermo-plastic material) that the company has so much faith in, that they guarantee the liners against breaks, cracks or tears for the life of the motor vehicle in which they are installed. Husky Liners have been engineered to retain their shape, resist scuffs and stains, and hold up to daily wear-and-tear.
Floor Mat Installation: Best Practices
It is important to remove your factory mats prior to installing the Husky Liners in order to get a correct fit. The lightweight trays slipped easily into place in the foot-well of my truck, and while there were a few small gaps along the outboard edge, I must admit that I was impressed with how close to perfect a fit they do provide. To protect the floor area in the rear passenger compartment Winfield produces a long mat which extends to provide coverage for all three seating positions. It is constructed from the same material as those used in the front, but is a more traditional mat design due to the reduced contours of the rear foot wells. It features a raised edge to keep water from escaping and the fit was very precise.
Regular automotive floor mats tend to move about as you shift your feet, so to help prevent the Husky Liners from shifting the designers have incorporated an arsenal of small spikes to help the liner grip the interior carpet and stay in place. These “Sta-Put Nibs” are located on the backside of the liner trays and proved to be very effective. I have yet to feel any sensation of mat movement as I drive, and the only time I need to readjust the position of the liners is when I knock one out of place by moving a seat or mishandling cargo. It is also nice to feel confident that due to this clever engineering, it is virtually impossible for these units to interfere with the vehicle’s pedals.
The top surface of each Husky Liner features a series of raised plateaus which enhance traction, but more importantly, keep your pant legs out of the water and mud contained in the tray. When excess water and debris has accumulated you can simply vacuum the mess up with a Shop-Vac, or carefully lift the liner and pour the contents out. A quick wipe with a damp cloth or sponge will suffice to keep the liners looking clean and tidy.
I have had the Husky Liners installed for almost three months, so I removed them prior to writing this review to check the condition of my carpeting. There was no evidence of water penetration and other than a few small stones near the accelerator, nothing had made it past my new layer of protection. They even managed to contain a massive soda spill that was the result of a 44-ounce cup being jettisoned from the console cup-holder during a panic stop to avoid a wayward canine. Without the Husky Liners in place, the carpet on the passenger-side of my truck would have been heavily saturated and severely stained. As a result, I expect that these mats will prove priceless if you typically transport messy kids and pets in your vehicle.
Husky Liners are currently available in your choice of three colours- black, grey or tan. The front units for my application retailed for US$89.95 plus shipping, as did the second row unit I required for the passenger compartment. Husky Liners can be ordered at a number of automotive accessory retailers nationwide, but you can also order them directly from Winfield through the company’s website.