Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform 5th Gen 4Runner

Rhino-Rack Pioneer 5th Gen 4Runner

Rhino-Rack Roof Rack 5th Gen 4Runner – CXB & SX Leg Kit + Backbone System

When looking at roof racks, there are a handful of solid options to choose from. Some of my first choices were the Gobi Stealth Rack, BajaRack Utility (Flat) Rack with sunroof cut out, Front Runner Slimline 2 Roof Rack, and the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform roof rack. What all of these roof racks have in common is their somewhat low profile design.

I wanted a roof rack that would be as slim and sleek as possible with as many options for accessories as possible. We ended up going with the Rhino-Rack but we may install the Front Runner Slimline or another option on our 4Runner in the future.

Below, I wanted to break down why I decided to go with the Rhino-Rack over the others.

  1. The Gobi Stealth Rack
  2. The Baja Flat Utility Roof Rack
  3. Front Runner Slimline 2
  4. Rhino-Rack Pioneer CXB Leg Kit Platform Roof Rack

#1 & #2 – The Gobi Stealth Rack and The Baja Flat Roof Rack

Although these roof racks are superior in every category, I decided to go another direction for a couple of reasons. The first problem I have with these roof racks is that everyone and their mother with off-road 4Runner ambitions has one. I wanted our rack to be different, unique and something that not everyone has mounted on their 5th Gen. The second and most important reason was the price.

These racks range from $1500-$2000 after tax and freight. Where these racks excel is their load rating and stellar performance in their ability to handle anything you throw at them. This is one area where the Rhino-Rack with the CXB leg kit can improve on.

#3 – The Front Runner Slimline 2 & Eezi-Awn K9 Expedition Roof Rack 

My second choice for a roof rack was the Front Runner Slimline 2 Roof Rack. This rack is relatively slim, but nowhere close to to the Rhino-Rack. The 600lb load rating is also nice. Front Runner and Rhino-Rack both make full versions and 3/4 versions of their racks for our 5th Gens.

On a side note, the K9 Roof rack was a serious contender as well but it sat a little high off the 4Runner in my opinion. My choice really came down to these Roof Racks; the Front Runner Slimline 2 and the Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform.

Features and Benefits of the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform

Rhino Rack Pioneer Platform 5th Gen 4Runner

The Rhino-Rack came in a bit cheaper $600 and with the mounting brackets at under $800 while the Front Runner is a little over $1000. While the Front Runner Slimline 2 smokes Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform (CXB Leg Kit) in terms of load capacity (175lbs dynamic vs. 600 pounds dynamic), the Rhino-Rack Pioneer is still cheaper with the factory rail mount kit.

Load Ratings with the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Roof Rack

It is important to note that there are two ways to mount the Rhino-Rack platform on your 4Runner that give you different load ratings. One option is the factory rail mount kit (175lbs) and the other is with the Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting Kit (700+lbs).

Using the factory rail system (60″ x 49″) will allow you to hold 175 pounds which will be more than enough for most 4Runner owners out there. But, if you want to go a step further and add a rooftop tent to this rack, then you will need to go with the Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting Kit (76″ x 49″).

Rhino-Rack Slim, Sleek and Clean Design

Rhino-Rack Slim, Sleek and Clean Design

The Rhino-Rack is very slim, made of the same aluminum material, looks similar and is shorter in height compared to the Front Runner Slimline 2.

The Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform is made with lightweight reinforced nylon and aluminum weighing in at only 43 pounds!

This is nothing compared to the Gobi Stealth Rack and the Baja Rack (+/- 100 pounds).

CBX and SX Leg Kit Options

Rhino-Rack SX LEG Kit – Cross Bars Needed

Rhino-Rack Pioneer 5th Gen 4RunnerRhino-Rack Pioneer 5th Gen 4Runner Factory Leg Kit

With the Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Leg Kit, you can mount the rack using the rhino rack crossbars. If you want the rack to sit higher off the 4Runner, you should buy the SX Leg Kit with the optional crossbars.

You can also mount the rack straight to another set of legs (CBX Leg Kit seen below), which we will be doing our install on.

Rhino-Rack CBX LEG Kit – No crossbars needed

The Pioneer CXB Platform Rack Factory Rail Kit

The Pioneer CXB Roof Rack Factory Rail Leg Kit 

The CXB Leg Kit mounts directly to the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform. No need for any other crossbars with this leg kit. Also, using this leg kit keeps your roof rack slightly closer to the vehicle which makes for a more slim, low profile appearance.

DISCLAIMER: The CXB Leg kit was not built for the Pioneer Platform, and Rhino Rack advises against this. I, however, had this set-up installed for about 2 years and did not have one problem. If you configure the rack/leg kit this way, please do so at your own risk.

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform Cost

Below are the part numbers and prices for this kit on the Rhino-Rack website at their MSRP. Do not buy this rack direct from the Rhino-Rack website (Unless everywhere else is out of stock). The price is much higher than on Amazon as well as some third-party sites. Below is just the MSRP and part numbers for reference on the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform Roof Rack (Specifically for the 5th Gen 4Runner).

Retail Price

  • HALF RACK – Pioneer Platform (60″ x 49″) #44100B $769.00
  • Mounting Option 1: Vortex SX Leg Kit (x4) #SX005 $259.00
  • Mounting Option 2: Heavy Duty CXB Leg Kit (x4) #CXB $151.00
  • Mounting Option 3: Rhino-Rack Backbone 2 Base Mounting System #RT4B1 $369.00

What We Paid 

  • Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform (60″ x 49″) – Check Today’s Price 
  • Mount Option 1: Vortex SX Leg Kit (Factory Rails + Crossbars) – Check Price
  • Mount Option 2: Heavy Duty CXB Leg Kit (Factory System) – Check Today’s Price
  • Mount Option 3: Rhino-Rack Backbone 2 (Base System) – Check the Price (In order to mount the rack to the Backbone System, you need the 76″ x 49″ rack)
  • Don’t forget the Eye Bolts (makes mounting anything easy): Check Price

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform Accessories

5th Gen 4Runner Pioneer Roof Rack

Choosing the right roof rack can be challenging but this rack is a solid choice if you are 80% on-road and 20% off-road. The Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform Roof Rack with CXB Leg Kit offers many options and accessories for you to scale your rack as needed with little to no research for parts and materials.

  • Pioneer Accessory Bars
  • Pioneer Rack Rollers (42″)
  • Universal Awning Bracket Kit
  • Sunseeker 2.5m Awning
  • Pioneer Platform Side Rails
  • Pioneer Platform Full Rail Kit
  • Pioneer Platform Front & Side Rails

Rhino-Rack as a company makes it easy for you to pick and choose match made accessories. The only downside to this rack is the ability to mount a roof-top tent. You can do it with the CXB leg kit, but it is not recommended. If you are going to mount a roof-top tent, you should check out the Backbone Kit. All in all, after everything has been mounted and tested on-road and off-road, I am incredibly happy with this roof rack.

Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System

Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System - 5th Gen 4Runner

Rhino-Rack also makes a unique mounting system specifically for the 5th Gen 4Runner that replaces your factory roof rail system. The Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System has a higher load rating than the CXB Leg kit that comes with four legs which use’s the factory rail system.

Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System holds just over 700lbs – that’s more than the Front Runner Slimline 2. The Rhino-Rack Backbone for the 5th Gen 4Runner can carry more weight because the Backbone Mounting System mounts straight to your roof using factory mount location points. The system is designed to carry more static and dynamic weight.

Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System

Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System - 5th Gen 4Runner Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System - 5th Gen 4Runner Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System - 5th Gen 4Runner

When we purchased our rack, everyone was out of stock on the Rhino-Rack Backbone system. We really wanted to go this direction because of the load rating and overall a much better look, over the factory roof rail system.

Although I still really like this look of the Rhino-Rack with factory rails, the Rhino-Rack Backbone looks and performs much better as a true utility rack. But at $350, the Backbone mount system will put you just over $1000 instead of under $800 for the Rhino-Rack with CXB Leg kit.

Check out the step by step Rhino-Rack install to get a better idea at just how easy this rack was to install.

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3 years ago

Enjoyed the article big time. After a lot of back and forth, I ended up going with the 76×54 Pioneer platform and backbone for my 2020 Venture. There were some challenges during the actual installation but we worked thru the hard to reach areas. In addition, glad we measured three times before drilling holes in platform as Rhino has not created the engineered spec template for the 2020 4Runner. I’ve mounted the iKamper Mini on top of this and am loving every minute of this setup on our fly fishing and exploration adventures. Glad I ran across your article. Thanks!

3 years ago

Hi! Nice post. I would love to go w/ a platform w/ full rail and backbone install, but I know I’m going to be putting a RTT up there. Have you heard of people being able to do this? I don’t see there being any cross bars to install to as RTTs usually do. Any input would be great! Thanks!

5 years ago

Hi. I have the 76 platform and I’m getting quite a bit of wind noise. I’m looking at getting some flaring but I’m wondering how that would work if I have a sunroof. The platform goes half way across the opening.

5 years ago

Does the weight capacity change at all when using the heavy duty CXB leg kit or the SX leg kit on the factory rails? Or is it still only rated for 175 lbs since that’s what the factory rails are weighted for? I want to be able to have two people lay on the roof for watching the stars while camping or something.

6 years ago

Can a 76 x 49 inch pioneer platform fit on the stock roof rails? If so, what are the downsides of fitting the longer rack on the rails?

6 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

Thanks Brenan. Just to be clear, if I already have the factory installed crossbars on my 4Runner, should I install the CXB leg kit, or the SX Leg Kit?

6 years ago

Hey Brenan – Rhino spec on the Pioneer SX Platform is 175 lbs (dynamic). Elsewhere you’ve stated if you’re going to throw on a rooftop tent that you’d need to go with the backbone system. Will I be fine putting a RTT on the platform + factory roof rails as longs as it’s less than 175 lbs? I am assuming that static it should be able to handle some multiple of that amount (i.e. a couple of people in the tent)? I’m looking at a Tepui which should come in around 130 lbs. Appreciate hearing your thoughts.

6 years ago

Did you have any issues with the CXB attachments not “hooking” under the factory roof bars? Picture for reference in the link…comment image

Thank you

6 years ago

Hey Brenan, I’m curious if you know of anyone running the Backbone system with a shorter Pioneer platform? (the 60” vs. the 76”) Rhino Rack’s Backbone install/fitment guide specifically notes the 71” and 76” work, but no mention of the shorter systems. I love the system, just don’t want to cover the sunroof on my TRD Off Road.

Thanks and love the blog!


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