Everything You Need to Know About Cargo Barriers

Imagine having to go camping off road where humps and rocks can’t be avoided and your you keep on holding your baggages at the back whenever your vehicles goes jumpy to keep them in place. You would even consume yards and yards of ropes to try to tie your things up and to make them stay still and waste more time untying them when you arrive at your campsite. 

But there’s actually an easy solution this common headache of campers and it’s nothing but cargo barriers! With these cargo barriers, you will no longer worry about you, your children’s safety and even your pets while traveling rugged roads. It will also secure your cooking gears, recovery gears and other equipment that you have stored in the rear of your vehicle. 

Although they must seem like simple accessories, they contribute a great importance when it comes to your protection as well as your camping experience.

Read on as I am here to let you know more about these amazing cargo barriers!

What are cargo barriers?

Cargo Barriers are fence-like or barricades commonly made up of fabricated steel which are mounted behind the rear or behind the front seat to protect the passengers in front from getting hit by bags, luggage and even pets that are placed at the back of the vehicle. 

What are the Different Types of Cargo Barriers?

Full Mesh – Vans

These are cargo barriers that are made out of mesh that suits most popular panel vans such as Opel Combo, Ford Transit Connect, Fiat Doblo, Renault Kangoo, of the Volkswagen Caddy.

Full Mesh – Passenger Vehicle

These are also cargo barriers made out of mesh which includes child restraint cut outs that are installed to suit vehicle requirements. These barriers are suitable to most common station wagons and 4WD.

Full Polycarbonate

This cargo barrier is made out of polycarbonate which enhances the air conditioning and has a clearer vision compared to other barriers. This barrier suits most common station wagons, panel vans and also 4WDs.

Mesh/ Polycarbonate

This cargo barrier offers a polycarbonate escape hatch for additional escape means in case of a passenger being locked in the rear cargo area and can also be fitted with station wagons and 4WDs.

Sliding Door

This allows you to walk to your cargo area from the front seat as it has a sliding door and this is typically available for larger vehicles.


This cargo barrier has a door-like entrance that will allow you to enter the cargo area from the passenger seat easily. These types of barriers are mostly suited for larger vehicles.

Mesh/Metal Combo

These barriers are made out of mesh and has a sheet metal bottom which provides stronger support for things that are heavier which are usually placed at the bottom of the cargo area. It provides extra protection for passengers against heavier baggage in case of collision.

Metal/Polycarbonate Combo

These type of barrier are similar to Mesh/Metal Combo Barriers except that it is part carbonate and the bottom is made out of sheet metal. This barrier is commonly used with larger vehicles such as Ford Transit, Mercedes, Sprinter, etc.

Vapour Resistant Barrier – Straight

This limits the amount of fumes and chemical smells that go through the driver’s area however, this type of barrier is also not available for all vehicles.

Vapour Resistant Barrier/Kinked (VRBK)

This is also similar to the Vapour Resistant Barrier – Straight however, the kinked design reduces the amount of light reflected from the window and is available to suit most vehicles.


This barrier is a perfectly fitted on the floor behind the driver and the passenger seats. It can be used in most common hatch vehicles.

Half Barrier

This type of barrier requires measurements as it is made-to-order especially if you have a sliding drawer system which blocks a full mesh cargo from being installed. Here are a few things to note about half barriers: 

  • Cargo Barriers made out of mesh or net offers more flexibility in case you need a little bit more space for storing.
  • Metal cargo barriers provides strength and security and are favoured by those who always place heavier and more solid objects at the rear of their vehicle.
  • Cargo Barriers made out of plastic offers durability and safety at an affordable price.
  • Plexi-glass cargo barriers also provides security as well as allow you to see through the glass from the passenger seat to the rear of the vehicle to easily check the things that are placed at the back.

What Are The Features of a Good Cargo Barrier?

  • It is manufactured in line with the Australian Standards (AS 4034) which is indicated on the Rating Label. Without a Rating Label means that the cargo barrier only partially complies with the Australian Standards which is not advisable in most cases and also used in accordance with the safety information on the plaque fitted on the cargo barrier
  • It does not need extra holes for drilling and customized fit is always advisable
  • Powder coated steel mesh
  • It has a means of escape for a small child such as an “access” window in the barrier of provision of a small hammer to break the glass 
  • Upper anchorage straps for child safety seats
  • Rounded frame that moulds to the cargo area with little space for objects to get through
  • Compatibility for your needs such as half piece systems or a full one piece system
  • Compatibility for any side air bag feature on your existing vehicle
  • It has not been modified for a different vehicle and transferred as they won’t fit perfectly with your vehicle and in case that you have side curtains equipped, this might prevent them from deploying as well as objects from behind may be stuck on the sides of at the bottom.
  • Used in accordance with the safety information on the plaque fitted on the cargo barrier

Tips on How to Store your Cargo Safely:

  • The heavy and hard items such as tool boxes should be placed underneath the other luggage and should also be placed against the rear set back as this will maintain the position of the item and prevent them from moving too much that may cause damage to your vehicles rear as well as for your safety.
  • Don’t overload your vehicle with items that you won’t be needing on your camping trip since the cargo barrier may not hold more than its maximum capacity and may cause it to bend or break.
  • Make sure that the heavy items does not fill up two-thirds of the way up the rear back seat and make sure that lighter items come on top so in case of collision, items on top won’t hit the cargo barrier with such as a strong force and you won’t be worrying if the light items are slightly moving.

Most Popular Brands of Cargo Barriers:

  • Black Widow – Black Widow does not only specialize in vehicle dismantling but they also offer all kinds of vehicle accessories such as cargo barriers. They offer a lot of cargo barrier options to make sure it fits your vehicle perfectly.
  • Tradesman – Aside from cargo barriers and other vehicle accessories, Tradesman is also known to offer installation services of cargo barriers to make sure that it is correctly fitted to your vehicle.
  • 4WD Systems – 4WD Systems also offer installation services apart from cargo barriers and other products. They offer a large range of cargo barriers including Standard Cargo Barriers, Dual Position Cargo Barriers, Half Cargo Barriers and the Special Cargo Barriers.
  • Ausguard (Caddy Cargo Barriers) – Ausguard also offers a wide variety of cargo barriers but they are known for their high protection cargo barriers especially for off-road use.
  • Hayman Reese – Hayman Reese is known for their quality cargo barriers made with advanced software to make sure that it meets the Australian Standard testing requirements.
  • Milford Auto – Milford Auto has been with this industry for over 40 years and offers over 300 cargo barriers designed and tested to ensure your safety in the most rough driving conditions.
  • Autosafe – Autosafe cargo barriers are made for most vehicles and can still be customized according to your preference. Their cargo barriers are all made in Melbourne and meets all Australian Standards.
  • eBay – Although eBay offers a wide range of cargo barriers with cheaper price, it is recommended to check the merchant of the seller of the product to make sure it is of quality and meets all requirements of a good cargo barrier.

Related Questions:

Why Do I need to Have A Cargo Barrier?

Unrestrained objects or equipment placed at the rear of your vehicle may be a danger to your safety as well as may cause damage to your vehicle. In cases of collision, or a rugged path can cause the objects at the back of your vehicle to move and may smash, spill or break and may even cause your life, so it is always better to make sure everything is safe when going on your camping trip to avoid inconveniences along the way.

Is there a load limit for a cargo barrier?

Cargo barriers usually have a 60 kg load limit but it is advised to always check the user instruction plaque fitted to the barrier to make sure that your cargo is not heavier than the load limit. Other safety advice can also be found on the user instruction plaque.

Is fitting a cargo barrier easy?

Having to fit the right cargo barrier for you vehicle should be easy but if you have other modifications with your barrier, you will need a bit of work and might need it bolted to your drawers. It is also advisable to have a qualified person from the store where you purchased it from especially for metal and plexi-glass types to fit it to your vehicle to make sure everything is in proper place.

Can I still put a cargo barrier even if I have Side Curtains equipped?

If you wish to fit a cargo barrier to a vehicle equipped with a side curtain, make sure that the cargo barrier will not prevent the side curtain from deploying in all mounted positions as air curtains are usually designed to fill up an area up to 150 mm from the trim of the vehicle between the roof line and the occupant’s shoulder height. It is always advisable to have someone from the manufacturer install or validate and test your installation to make sure both will work properly.

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James Mitchell

Hi, I’m Jimmy Mitchell and I love exploring this great country with my wife and two boys. I have a 2015 Sterling LX that is the Mitchell Family camping machine. Lets Getaway is the website where I share things about my trailer as I learn them, and help other camper owners to enjoy their RV even more.

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