When looking for the best truck bed liner the bed liner coatings from some of the spray on bed liner folks come quickly to mind. In many cases the liner coatings are not so out of line on cost as what it may at first appear. Here's why...
A Line-X bed liner or a Rhino or Speed Liner puts on far more of a layer of protection than what you may at first think.
If you get a chance to really look closely at the liners from these brands you can see that to describe these coatings as liner paint is a bit of an understatement. The coats you get with one of the professionally applied liner installers really looks almost more like a plastic bed liner than it does a coat of paint.
That is accomplished partly as a result of the material that gets sprayed on and partly a result of how it gets put on. That coat, rather than being about a gallon of paint as you get with the many do it yourself bed liners, is really more like 5 or 6 gallons of paint.
Try getting a paint coat on like that using commonly available tools and paints and you get an idea of how different the spray in truck bed liners really are. Coats that thick at the very least would take lots and lots of coats and days and days to dry whereas these spray liners thick as they are go on and out of the shop in just a few hours not days and days.
Maybe the best truck bed liner for really abrasive types of use is a drop in liner or a plastic liner. That may be so. In that case damaged liners can simply be replaced and away you go.
However overall the bed liner coatings that are applied by the major liner installers certainly rival the drop in liners and the spray liners offer several advantages to the plastic types and at this point competition at work has the prices of spray linings in the same range as some of the other options. Combine a rubber mat over a spray on liner and you may have the best combination you can get for every kind of application short of really severe commercial applications. By that I mean, using trucks in demolition kinds of work. Hauling broken concrete and such. In those cases the heavy plastic liners are about the only way to go.