Incisional hernia is a common surgical problem, frequently requiring prosthetic mesh repair. The demands of the ideal mesh seem conflicting; ingrowth at the mesh–fascia interface, without development of adhesions at the visceral mesh surface. Various antiadhesives combined with macroporous mesh and composite meshes were studied for prevention of adhesions to mesh and ingrowth into the fascia. In 60 rats an abdominal wall defect was created and repaired with underlay mesh. Rats were divided into six groups and treated with polypropylene mesh (PPM, control), PPM with auto-cross-linked polymers (ACP) gel, PPM with fibrinogen glue (FG), polypropylene/expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) mesh, polypropylene/sodium hyaluronate/carboxymethylcellulose (HA/CMC) mesh, and polypropylene-collagen/polyethylene-glycol/glycerol (CPGG) mesh. Mesh infection was assessed in the postoperative period, adhesions and reherniations were scored at sacrifice 2 months after operation, and tensile strength of the mesh–tissue interface was measured. Six rats developed mesh infection, half of them were treated with PPM/ePTFE. The PPM/HA/CMC group showed a significant reduction in the amount and severity of adhesions. In animals treated with PPM/ACP and PPM/FG, severity of adhesions was reduced as well. Reherniation rate in the PPM/ACP group was 50% and significantly higher than that in other groups. Rats in the PPM/HA/CMC had the highest tensile strength. PPM/HA/CMC approaches the demands of the ideal mesh best, having superior antiadhesive properties, no reherniation and no infection in this rat model of incisional hernia.