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Side Nets and a Mini Net Tested

By Shawn Pagan

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The second set of tests I had planned were for two weeks after that event when I was supposed to attend a run with my club in Mason, TX. I ended up not being able to make the event for a number of reasons, so then I was determined to finish my evaluation and testing the first weekend in October at the Fort-Worth Dallas FWD club's annual Oktoberfest and SWFWDA Fall Quarterly in Clayton, OK. Little did I know that regardless of the tests I had planned, the nets would become a great asset on this trip for a totally different reason.

The trip started out like any other trip - six hours on the road with no problems. But then my tow rig started to overheat. We were able to limp it into a Dodge dealership in Atoka, OK (about an hour outside of Clayton). The service department looked at the truck and determined that the problem was probably related to a faulty thermostat, but it was 5:15 pm and it would be at least an hour before it cooled enough for them to start tearing it down, so they wanted to know if I could leave it overnight.

Since Clayton was only an hour down the road I figured we would just unload the Jeep and drive on into Clayton and then wait for them to call us on either Friday or Saturday and we would come back and pick up the truck. But we had gear for two people for five days! How do you get that much gear into a Jeep?

Well here's where the Raingler Nets came in handy. We laid the "universal" Mini Net down across the top of my tonneau cover, but up high enough that it wasn't rubbing. We loaded the back of the Jeep to the gills with my Jeep cover, tools, spare parts, food, our small ice chests (for the trail) and Carl's clothes bag. That still left our chairs, table, large ice chest and my clothes bag and boots. The extra tie downs included with the Mini Net worked perfectly for securing the ice chest full of sodas, food and two bags of ice to the Mini Net (Note: Raingler also sells extra tie downs so you can get as many as you need)..


By carefully packing everything left on top of the Mini Net we were able to load and tie everything down to the Mini Net and tie downs.


As you can see from the photographs, the net was strong enough and able to be strung tight enough that it held everything up with only light rubbing against the tonneau cover.

When tightened, the net was strong enough to support the load above the tonneau cover.

With additional problems that turned up on my tow rig (turned out it was a cracked head and not just a thermostat), I really didn't get to run many trails that weekend so I didn't get to experiment with many different uses for the Side Nets and the Mini Net. But I can tell you that I was very glad to have them when I needed them.

Raingler makes a number of different accessories for their nets and like Eddie says, the customers keep coming up with new and different ways to use them all the time. If you think you have a need or a use for these nets I strongly recommend you check out their website for information on different sizes and applications to fit your vehicle. Currently, they are making specific nets to fit Jeep, Nissan Suzuki and Toyota vehicles, but many of them will work on other applications and they are looking for new markets all the time.

One thing to note is that in any configuration of the Raingler Side Nets and/or the Raingler Mini Net that I tried, both the hard top and soft tops still fit on the vehicle. So, if the nets are used to store things like soft doors etc., they could still be useable when the top is on.

These nets are very well made, extremely strong and very handy. In addition, they look good and do the jobs you need them for - whatever they may be. For me, the Side Nets are the most valuable (keeping stuff out of my daughter's way) but even though originally I wasn't totally convinced of the usefulness of the Mini Net, I am now. I will always carry the Mini Net with me whether it is strapped to the rear, the tonneau area or on top of the Jeep - just for that extra confidence that I can carry whatever I need to carry - whenever I need to carry it.


P.O. Box 270505
Louisville, CO 80027
(303) 523-1776
Website: www.raingler.com

Raingler Nets are also available at www.4x4ROCKSHOP.com

Shawn Pagan

Shawn Pagan is a staff writer for ROCKCRAWLER.com as well as Our Land Use Editor. Shawn resides north of Houston, TX.

Contact Shawn at thepagan@rockcrawler.com

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