5th Gen 4Runner Roof Rack Options

 In 5th Gen Mods, Accessories, Off-Road

The Top 12 roof rack options for your 5th gen 4Runner

Roof Racks for 5th Gen 4Runner

Full-Length 4Runner Roof Racks and Small Basket Racks – We covered them all.

Below you will find an overview of the top (most common) 11 roof racks that every 5th Gen 4Runner owner should consider.

Whether you are an avid offroader whose looking for the extra space, occasional thrill seeker or weekend warrior, below is a good resource to help you consider the platform that is right for your needs.

From the affordable baskets like the Yakima to the more expensive options like Gobi and FrontRunner, we have it all right here.

Recently, we wrote a post on the top 10 mods and general accessories, while racks were mentioned last they are certainly not the least important. In the off-roading world and even on your daily driver, roof racks are something that can be used for a wide variety of applications.

This addition might be one of the most practical mods you can do. With a good platform, you can store off-road gear, weekend accessories and even the most random of uses like picking up that oversized Christmas tree.

Roof racks are a great addition to anyone who off-roads, overlands, goes on road trips, day trips, and for families that need a little more storage on top. While we have plenty of space inside our 4Runner, it is always nice to have extra storage up top.

Do you need a roof rack?

Let me help you justify the cost!

General Gear: There are hundreds of general items you can throw on a rack. We have seen several 4Runners with storage boxes, gun cases, recovery gear, bikes, kayaks, snowboards, skis, recovery tracks, camping gear, travel gear, overland gear, fuel storage, water storage, off-road jacks, shovels, and of course the Rooftop Tent.

Lighting: You can run spot lights, flood lights, lightbars, marker lights, reverse lights and so much more. There are many companies that make off-road lights that can be mounted in a wide variety of configurations so getting creative here is fun. Do your research and find what light combination suits your needs best.

Extra Tire: If your 4Runner has 34″+ tires that can no longer fit in the spare location you can place a spare tire on top. You always have the aftermarket bumper ($2000+) with a swing-out option but that can be a large cost. Or, you can buy a Wilco hitch swing as well. With a quality rack, you can always throw your spare tire on top.

Dirty Gear: With dirty gear, it’s nice to have the option to throw stuff on top of your 4Runner instead of the rear cargo area. If you need to transport firewood, for example, many racks are fully capable of holding large amounts of this and other items that may get your cargo area dirty.

Family Needs: If you are the family type like most of us, you might need a rack. We have used our current system for things like our Christmas Tree, daughters tree-house, bikes, sleds, kayaks, camping gear, home depot trips. You name it. You would really be surprised at how much you will use your roof rack after you have one installed.

Rugs, Lumber, and oversized Items: Have you ever seen an SUV with 16 pieces of lumber sticking out the back window? Yeah, don’t be that person. This is also incredibly sketchy and can damage your interior pretty quick. Before my first rack, I bought a large rug and threw in inside. It was so large that it was riding shotgun with me. I hit a bump and busted off my AC knob. I was pretty pissed off.

General Benefits: There are many other reasons to have roof racks like we mentioned above but most importantly, they are great for any piece of gear that won’t fit inside your 4Runners. These are just a few examples to help you decide if you need a rack or not. Roof racks are a great addition and it will come in handy for years to come.

Top 12 Roof Racks for 5th Gen 4Runner

This is not a list from best to worst. Nor is this a list of the “best roof racks” out there. This is a general list of common racks. Most of the full racks and 3/4 racks are at the top. All of the small basket styles are at the bottom.

  1. BajaRack
  2. Front Runner
  3. Eezi-Awn – Equipt1
  4. Prinsu Design Studio
  5. Rhino-Rack
  6. Gobi
  7. ARB Flat
  8. ARB Basket
  9. N-Fab
  10. Yakima
  11. Rola
  12. Curt

BajaRack – Full & 3/4 Options

BajaRacks 5th Gen 4Runner

Well Trusted, Industry Standard

The BajaRack is a stylish and fully functional rack. Most of their options are full-length basket style racks so they are able to hold plenty of gear. But the BajaRack also offers a completely flat (UTility – shown above) option as well. If garage height is a problem, this would be your best option. The BajaRack like the famous Gobi Rack comes in multiple sunroof options; with and without the sunroof cutout. If your 4Runner has a moonroof, it is nice to know that Baja offers an option to accommodate your needs.  All of the BajaRacks come with an epoxy primer (rust inhibitor) with black powder coating.

Additions, Accessories, and Design

While only coming with a wind deflector, BajaRacks sells a wide variety of additional accessories. If you are looking for a fully functional overland style rack that’s a low profile with a clean design, BajaRacks might be for you. The optional gear you can buy for the BajaRack is similar to ARB gear. It’s just really high-quality stuff with plenty of options for mounting. Baja has awning mounts, axe/ shovel mounts, fuel can holders, Hi-Lift jack mounts, plenty of LED light mounts and much more.

BajaRacks are made to withstand all seasons and take the abuse of on and off gear. They are made out of  1″,  3/4″,  and 1/2″ steel tubing. They also have an optional mesh bottom which adds strength. The load capacity is dynamic (while driving) 300lbs and static 600lbs.

While they start out pricier than some other racks, BajaRacks are a great choice if you want a dependable rack with plenty of options. There is a lot of documentation online for this rack. If you are wondering how to mount a light or strap down a set of recovery tracks, there is more than likely a piece of content or video on it somewhere.

BajaRack PROS

  • Factory mounts (no drilling required)
  • Low profile and basket style
  • Quality fabrication
  • Powder-coated
  • Versatile overland/ expedition style
  • Hidden SPY light LED bar feature

BajaRack CONS

  • Expensive
  • Long Production and Shipping
  • Decreases Fuel Economy
  • Increases Wind Noise

Front Runner – Full & 3/4 Options

5th Gen 4Runner Rock Sliders

Shot Cred: @GeneralOverland

Full-Length Flat Overland Style Rack & 3/4 Options

Front Runner is a T6 aluminium (ultimate tensile strength) rack that has a slim and flat design. The Front Runner racks are made of T6 aluminum along with 3CR12 (low-cost grade chromium) stainless steel. They come powder coated in satin black. Front Runner comes in full rack options as well as the 3/4. Both are considered full overland style racks with multiple options for mods, lights, and accessories.

This system is a top contender in the 5th Gen 4R world. This is a good option but it does sit a little higher off the 4Runner than the BajaRack. If you are looking for a high-quality flat system with endless options for scaling up accessories, look at Front Runner.

Front Runners Accessories and Options

The kit contains roof mounting hardware, the slimline platform, the foot rails and the wind deflector. The driving weight load and the static load is around 660lbs for both the full-length and the 3/4 system. This would be a good option if you’re looking for a clean low profile, clean design with total functionality and endless opportunities for accessories. Front Runner has even more mounting options and additional accessories than BajaRack. There are too many options to list (60+ accessories to give you an idea). With Front Runner, just know that if you want to mount something, they offer a solution for it.

The downside to Front Runner is that most of their accessory mounts and brackets are expensive and compatibility with any other brackets is not so great. If you grab a Front Runner system, expect to pay more money for their hardware mounts and accessory options down the road or just get creative.

Front Runner PROS

  • No drilling on 3/4
  • Low profile flat design
  • Durable
  • Powder-coated
  • Versatile overland/ expedition style
  • Plenty of accessories and add-ons

Front Runner CONS

  • Expensive
  • Accessories and Brackets are Expensive
  • Drilling Required on Full-Length
  • Decreases Fuel Economy
  • Increases Wind Noise

Eezi-Awn K9  – Full-Length Options Only

2016 Trail 4Runner Swell Runner

Shot Cred: @SwellRunner

The Eezi-Awn K9 is Pricey but Functional and Very Clean!

The Eezi-Awn K9 while not having a cheaper 3/4 length option is a great option to consider. This system has a very clean design which looks great on the 5th Gen. Very similar to a Front Runner in terms of design, the Eezi-Awn K9 is an aluminum system with slotted groves that are made to fit their own line of accessories and mounts.

While this rack can still be outfitted with many other aftermarket accessories, the design allows for their accessory mounts to work much easier. Eezi-Awn K9 has an adjustable height feature which allows you to adjust the brackets up and down. Many other systems do not offer a feature like this. If adjustability is important to you, then consider the K9. Although this system has an adjustable height, it still sits higher than some other low profile systems out there.

Build Specifications and Sizes

The K9 features fully-welded joints (not bolts) and is made from extruded aluminum which is incredibly light and comes with flat black powder coating. The K9 is a universal expedition style system that offers plenty of room for mounting accessories.

The design is aerodynamic, lightweight, and highly durable. The sizes ranges from 1.4m x 1250mm to 2.2m x 1250mm. As an overland style system, the Eezi-Awn K9 is fully capable of storing anything you throw at it. Whether you are looking to mount a rooftop tent or store camping gear, this rack is more than prepared to handle what you throw at it.

K9 Accessories and Options

The Eezi-Awn K9 only comes with mounting hardware. K9 offers a wide variety of accessories. G-Clamps for mounting to factory rails, shower arms, spotlight mounts, spare tire mount, MAXTRAX mounts, Axe/shovel mounts, Hi-Lift mounts, tote/box mounts, jerry can mount and much more. Like the Front Runner, their mounting options and accessories are pretty pricey. If you want your accessory mounting search to go smooth, Eezi-Awn makes it really easy.

Equipt1 K9 PROS

  • Factory mounts (no drilling required)
  • Adjustable height
  • Low profile, flat design
  • Powder-coated in satin black
  • Versatile overland/ expedition style
  • Light-weight
  • Plenty of accessories and add-ons

Equipt1 K9 CONS

  • Expensive
  • Decreases Fuel Economy
  • Increases Wind Noise

Prinsu Design Studio- Full & 3/4 Options

Prinsu 4Runner Roof Rack - Full & 3/4 Roof Rack Options

Shot Cred: @Dirt_Road_Therapy

An affordable, aggressive, fully capable system (drilling required on full length)

The Prinsu Design Studio ROOFRAC is a low profile, bad ass, aggressive looking platform that looks nothing like many mainstream platforms on the market. This is an affordable alternative to the full-length Gobi, BajaRack, Front Runner, and Eezi-Awn K9. Although the Prinsu comes in a full-length option at $765, the 3/4 is much cheaper sitting at only $595. It is built from the same aluminum material as the Eezi-Awn K9.

Prinsu Design Studio was recently bought out by CBI, an Off-Road industry leader. Here is what CBI had to say about the acquisition:

CBI Offroad Fab is excited to announce the acquisition of Prinsu Design Studios, a privately owned, Utah-based company which designs, develops, and builds racks primarily for the Toyota vehicle market. CBI Offroad plans to continue offering the same great racks and accessories that Prinsu is known for while improving the overall customer experience. One of the biggest focuses will be on reducing lead times so that product is on the shelf and ready to ship. CBI Offroad will retain the current Prinsu name and all current products that are offered.

In any case, you are in good hands with the crew behind CBI. CBI has built high-quality off-road products for years and they continue to carry on their line and the newly acquired Prinsu Design Studio line.

Build Specifications and Options

The Prinsu comes in 3 total Sizes 3/4, 7/8 and a full-length option. Prinsu is aluminum with three powder coating options, Bare aluminum, Black, Or Custom color. The Prinsu ROOFRAC is designed from 2 laser-cut side rails with 1/4″ 5052 aluminum. This design features a T-slot channel like many mainstream platforms along with 2 bottom facing channels. With this rack, you have many options for mounting your expedition gear or for general/ daily use.

Included Accessories

The Prinsu comes with all of the mounting hardware and has two different crossbar options. It comes with a wind deflector due to it sitting just high enough to have a wind noise. The wind deflector does have options for a 30″ and 40″ light bar cut out which is pretty awesome. For additional add-ons, Prinsu does not have much to choose from. For mounting, you need to get creative with accessories.

They offer tie-down eye nuts, awning mount bracket, extra crossbars, an extra mounting foot or like we mentioned a wind deflector for an LED light bar. They also offer load panels which can be purchased in a single or double. These load panels help you mount more accessories.


  • Affordable
  • Factory mounts (3/4)
  • Load panels with endless mount options
  • Wind deflector with LED cutout
  • Low profile design
  • Aluminum/lightweight
  • Powder-coated options
  • Versatile overland/ expedition style
  • Short lead times (compared to Gobi, BajaRacks)


  • Drilling Required on Full-Length
  • Decreases Fuel Economy
  • Increases Wind Noise

Rhino-Rack with Multiple Mount Options

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

The Rhino Pioneer SX Platform Stylish and Durable

The Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform is another low profile option that is highly durable. This platform is similar to an Eezi-Awn K9 and the Front Runner, but a little less expensive than both. Similar to a Front Runner, the platform is designed as a flat panel slotted rack. Most of the accessories for this platform are made by Rhino-Rack, again like Front Runner. If you want accessories, you will spend quite a bit of money on their specific accessory mounts.

We installed the Rhino-Rack on our 5th Gen. What appealed to me was how low profile the platform was, that we installed. Please note the differences in options. The platform sits much lower than many expedition systems on the market and it mounts to the factory roof rails which make the install quite easy. One person can mount the platform to the factory roof rails in about 20 minutes. The 3/4 platform combined with the factory rails is large enough to carry a tire and some extra overland gear while the full option (backbone system) is a complete expedition style rack.

The backbone system (pictured above) can support a roof-top tent like many of the full-length options above as well as many other common accessories. This is a universal platform with endless options but you will pay big bucks for the accessories. To give you an idea, the tie-down eye nuts are $80 for 3, while many others are $10 a piece. The gear is outrageously expensive.

Build Specifications and Options

The Pioneer SX Platform is made from reinforced nylon and aluminum and comes powder coated black. The measurements of this unit for the Backbone (full rack) system is Length 76″ x Width 49″x Height 1.5″. The measurements for the 3/4 platform are Length 60″ x Width 48″x Height 1.5″. You can mount the 60″ platform to the factory roof rails or for $369 you can purchase the stronger Backbone system and then mount the 76″ platform.

Accessories, Mounts, and Add-Ons

The Rhino-Rack has endless options for mounting but you will pay for their accessories. Like the Eezi-Awn K9, Rhino-Rack only comes with mounting hardware. While other companies include wind deflector’s this platform does not require one due to being an incredibly low profile. You can always buy their extra mount options like the antenna brackets, awning brackets, light bar and pod light brackets, axe/shovel brackets and much more. Just expect to overpay for most of these add-ons. It’s really expensive.

Rhino-Rack PROS

  • Factory mounts (no drilling required)
  • Factory Rails (3/4)
  • Factory Mounts (Backbone)
  • Very low profile design
  • Aluminum/ light-weight
  • Powder-coated black satin
  • Short lead times and Shipping (Compared to Gobi, BajaRacks)

Rhino-Rack CONS

  • Expensive Aftermarket Accessory Brackets

Gobi Rack – Full Options Only

Gobi 4Runner Roof Rack - Full Roof Rack

Beautiful, Strong and fully capable Gobi

One of the most common roof racks is the Gobi Rack. While it is one of the pricier options on this list it’s also one of the highest quality. It has a two unique look’s which are quite stunning. The first is the Stealth which is built to be low profile while providing maximum functionality. Then there is the Ranger which is built to be fairly low-profile but more for function, The Ranger outer bars are quite taller than the Stealth. Both of these models come equipped with the famous ladder.

  • The Gobi Stealth: The Gobi Stealth has an “unmistakable look” (I think that’s their tagline). But, it really does. The Gobi Stealth is a super low profile, aggressive, fully capable, overland style platform. With the stealth, you have options for LED bars or pod lights.
  • The Gobi Ranger: The only difference between the Stealth and the Ranger is the basket on the top. The Ranger has a basket that sits a bit higher than the Stealth. As the Stealth is more popular, the Ranger is even more capable because of its larger basket rim. Grab the Ranger if you plan on mounting gear and hardware at high heights.

Gobi Additions, Options, and Accessories

Gobi also comes with two sunroof options; with a sunroof cutout or without. Also for lighting, it comes with a few options pre-fabricated, you have your choice of multiple light mounts or a single mount for a single light bar. Along with the roof rack, you receive the Gobi ladder, wind deflector, and two cross bars. There is also a tire mount which is great for anyone who has larger than stock tires.

Weight Limits and Powder-coating

The rack itself can handle a safe driving load capacity of 300lbs. In addition, the static load capacity easily holds up to 600lbs. That is great if you choose to have a rooftop tent.  You also do not have to worry about your rack rusting quickly due to weather, Gobi racks are black powder coated with an anti-rust undercoat which provides years of on/off-road utility. While the Gobi rack is pricey, it is worth every penny due to it being incredibly clean, functional and strong.


  • Factory mounts (no drilling required)
  • Low profile option & basket style option
  • Powder-coated
  • Versatile overland/ expedition style rack
  • Multiple mounting options & brackets
  • Lots of documentation online for mods & accessories


  • Incredibly long wait times
  • Everyone has one

ARB Flat Alloy Roof Rack (70” x 44”)

ARB Flat Alloy Roof Rack (70” x 44”)

There are a lot of off-road companies on the market, but few have a name as well-known as ARB. Although ARB has made roof racks for many years, their flat alloy rack has been introduced to the market and might just be the rack you are looking for.

A Slim, Sturdy and Lightweight Rack

There are a few things that set the ARB roof rack apart from other brands. The first is that the ARB flat mesh rack for the 5th gen is made of alloy, making it extremely strong but also lightweight…significantly lighter than other racks on the market (under 50 pounds). The rack is also very low profile, providing a sleek and refined look for your 5th Gen 4Runner. The flat design helps out with the slim profile, but also allows a user ample options for storing equipment on the rack.

Maybe one of the more relevant aspects to this rack is who produces it. As previously mentioned, ARB is legendary in the off-road community. You can be assured that if you purchase this rack you will be getting a high-quality rack that has been designed well.

If you aren’t wanting to do any drilling for an aftermarket roof rack, this is a great option as the ARB rack utilizes the factory roof rack mounting locations. This does mean you won’t have a full-length rack and more so a ¾ or 7/8 length rack, so depending on your needs this may be a positive or a negative aspect.

Lastly, this rack is very strong. With a dynamic load rating of 300 pounds and a static load rating of 600 pounds, the ARB Flat Alloy Roof Rack is capable of holding gear such as kayaks or paddleboards, but also a roof top tent that can hold two people on board. This alloy rack comes with mesh on top to help you configure your gear and give you more options for transporting equipment and gear.


The Flat Alloy Roof Rack comes in a 70” x 44” platform, but steel options are available in other sizes. It is important to mention that only the alloy rack comes with a mesh floor, as the flat steel options only come with crossbars.


  • Alloy/ lightweight
  • Low profile
  • No drilling required
  • Strong
  • Excellent quality
  • Flat design
  • Powder coated
  • Lots of mounting options
  • Very versatile


  • Decreases Fuel Economy
  • Increases Wind Noise

ARB Basket – Full & 3/4 Options

ARB Roof Rack 5th Gen 4Runner

The ARB Background and Dependability

ARB is a commonly used and trusted expedition company. ARB, in general, provides a lot of high-quality parts for the off-road community. ARB racks vary in shape, size, and prices. The cheaper options are all steel, while the more expensive options are made from alloy. ARB makes racks with optional mesh bottom plates along with wind deflectors. ARB makes a few options and then many different fitting kits for vehicle specific applications. You mount the rack to a PVC protected galvanized support channel that sits in your roofs support channel. Then you have molded rubber clamps that mount to the actual platform.

You can get the ARB at 70” X 44″ in multiple options. You can choose the steel rack with (#3813010m) or without (#3813010) the mesh floor. For the alloy rack, they only offer a system with the mesh floor (#4913010m). If you are looking at the flat platforms, they have the same size 70” X 44″. Those part numbers are the alloy (#4913020m) and the steel (#3813030). You will also need the fitting kits for these racks which is part #3722020.

UPDATE: ARB is launching a new flat platform that you might want to take a look at.

Weight Limits and Powder-coating

ARB has evenly spaced crossbars to support the load which is rated to carry up to 330lb as a driving load. The static load is not mentioned but they can handle rooftop tents. If you want to mount an RTT (rooftop tent), you need the 70” X 49” touring rack (part #3813200). Based on other similar platforms, you can expect to see around 600lbs as a static rack. The powder coat is millennium grey powder-coat with a zinc-rich primer that gives 1000 hours of salt spray resistance.

Strength, Quality, Style

While ARB varies in price the quality stays the same on every model minus strengths from materials (alloy vs. steel). The ARB platforms sit taller than most racks unless you purchase a low profile platform. Regardless of what rack you end up buying, you should be happy. With ARB, you are buying an industry leading name that delivers heavily relied upon off-road and overland gear.

Accessories and Add-Ons

ARB does not offer a wide variety of clamps, mounting hardware and accessories for their rack. You will need to get creative in mounting your gear with an ARB rack. They do offer the basics like wind deflectors, jerry can holders, off-road tools, Hi-Lift jack mounts, and few others but for the most part, you will need to look at outside sources for many options.


  • Factory mounts (no drilling required)
  • Factory mounts with fitting kit
  • Large basket design and low profile design options
  • Powder-coated
  • Strong
  • Optional mesh floor


  • Few add-ons, clamps, and mounting accessories
  • Decreases Fuel Economy
  • Increases Wind Noise

Nfab Aluminium Rack – 3/4 Option Only

Nfab 4Runner Aluminium Roof Rack

The well known N-Fab company has a Roof Rack

While being one of the cheapest complete racks on the list that does not mean it is poor quality. The N-Fab rack is actually one of the most cost-effective options on the list. It has a full aluminum design so it is lightweight but still strong. While you may not want to set up a tent on this rack it is capable of holding plenty of gear, or even a spare oversized tire.

Nfab Powder-coating and warranty

The Nfab rack comes with a textured black powder coating that has a 5-year warranty. N-Fab itself has a lifetime warranty which makes this rack rank above most in a sense. Featuring a low profile design while still showing elements of a basket, this is an option to consider is budget is limited or you are looking for something small and compact. This option will hold gear securely with side straps as well.

This option is the perfect choice for anyone who hits trails, needs a platform for weekend trips or for general use but does not want a rooftop tent. Compared to other $1000 options, this choice covers many areas of importance and needs.



  • Factory mounts (no drilling required)
  • Affordable
  • Strong design
  • Mild basket design
  • Powder-coated


  • Not a full rack
  • Decreases Fuel Economy
  • Increases Wind Noise

Yakima MegaWarrior & LoadWarrior Rooftop Cargo Basket

Yakima Roof Rack Basket 5th Gen 4Runner

The Yakima MegaWarrior & LoadWarrior Cargo Basket Durable but and Great for Storage

The Yakima MegaWarrior and LoadWarrior Cargo Basket is a great durable option for those who want to have the additional storage space. It may not look as low profile as some of the other full-length options but the price it is great. Quick install, functional, and durable basket.

Build specifications and Options

The Yakima MegaWarrior Cargo Basket is a durable all steel basket with a black painted finish. It’s dimensions are length 52″ x width 48″ x Height 6.5″ with a optional Length 22″ extension. There are optional crossbars available for purchase if the factory rails do not come factory on your 4R.

MegaWarrior Vs. LoadWarrior

These options are probably the most conventional, and most often installed roof racks on SUV’s in general.

Yakima LoadWarriorCheck Today’s Price

  • Dimensions: 40″ x 39″ x 6.5″. Weight: 25.00 pounds

Yakima MegaWarrior Basket Check Today’s Price

  • Dimensions: 52″ x 48″ x 6.5″. Weight 43.8 pounds

Yakima MegaWarrior Extension Check Today’s Price

  • Adds 22″ (40%) to Yakima MegaWarrior

Built-in Wind Deflector

There are no included accessories that come with the Yakima. But the basket comes with a built-in wind deflector which is needed due to it sitting so high. While not an option for the deflector, but you can modify a light bar slot. There is a lot of documentation online for the Yakima line of racks.

Yakima PROS

  • Uses factory roof rails (no drilling required)
  • Cheap
  • Durable and functional
  • Steel Design

Yakima CONS

  • Painted not Powdercoated
  • Taller than most racks
  • Decreases Fuel Economy
  • Increases Wind Noise

Rola V-Tex Rooftop Cargo Basket

Rola Roof Rack 5th Gen 4Runner

Shot Cred: @TX_TacoRunner

The Rola V-Tex Rooftop Cargo Basket Affordable and Strong

The Rola V-Tex Rooftop Cargo Basket while being super affordable is another great option for those who want a strong easy to mount rack/basket. This rack while being cheaper than the Yakima might be a better choice. While not being quite as large it has better features for an offroader.

Build specifications, Powdercoated steel, Smaller height

The Rola is a durable heavy-duty steel basket with a black powder coat finish. It’s dimensions are Length 48″ x Width 37.5″ x  Height 4″.  This rack along with being the second cheapest is stylish compared to some, strong,  and powder coated.

Probably the lowest priced rack that packs a serious little punch!

Built-in Wind Deflector and optional extension and Accessories

The Rola is 4″ tall and comes with a built-in wind deflector which is a huge plus. This basket also comes with all mounting hardware which isn’t much due to it being a crossbar basket.  For accessories, Rola sells an optional 18 3/4″ length extension, cargo box or net, a cargo bag and last but not least a bike carrier attachment.


  • Uses factory roof rails (no drilling required)
  • Cheap
  • Durable and functional
  • Steel Design
  • Quite Stylish
  • Spacious
  • Plenty of accessories
  • Powdercoated
  • 5 year warranty


  • No customizable options  ” For the price though overall you can’t complain much”
  • Decreases Fuel Economy
  • Increases Wind Noise

Curt Cargo Carrier – $100+

The Cheapest option

The Curt Roof Rack Cargo Carrier is the cheapest option on this list but not bad by any means. This basket looks pretty good and is fairly strong for the price. It’s the perfect choice for someone who needs the extra space but doesn’t want to pay a lot.

Another low priced rack that packs a serious little punch!

Build specifications, Powdercoated steel, Heavyweight limit

The Curt is an all-steel rack that is pretty durable for the price and comes powder coated black, It’s dimensions are Length 41.5″ x Width 37 ” x  Height 4″ it’s size is very similar to the Rola Rack.

Built-in Wind Deflector and optional extension

This basket is almost identical to the Rola V-Tex which is only 4″ tall and comes with a built-in wind deflector. This basket also comes with all mounting hardware so no additional purchases are needed. The extension is $ 92 and measures at Length 21′ and adds’s 6 sqft of storage to the original 11 sqft.

Curt 18115 PROS

  • Uses factory roof rails (no drilling required)
  • Cheap
  • Durable and functional
  • Steel Design
  • Fairly Stylish
  • Powder-coated
  • Spacious

Curt 18115 CONS

  • No customizable options  “Like the Rola Basket for the price overall you can’t complain”
  • Decreases Fuel Economy
  • Increases Wind Noise

Which Rack is for You?

Overall, every one of these roof racks has great benefits. While some may look good they may not be built for function though. Whatever option you choose for your 4Runner is based on what you are looking for and your adventure plans.

You may want a low profile design that’s super clean, versus a large rack but has more function. There are many factors when choosing the style, functionality, color options, storage, and most importantly mounting options.  We hope this guide helps you choose the perfect roof rack for your next adventure.

Leave a comment and let us know what platform you are running and why. If you have any questions about the options above, also let us know by leaving a comment. If you would like a rack added to this list, shoot us an email.

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  • David Strom

    How about comparing to factory racks? I have a 2012 TE 4Runner, where the roof rack is different from the other versions, and later (after 2013) TE.

    Looks nice, can mount a Megawarrior basket, but not a great fit. This earlier TE rack is taller than the other factory racks, and is black, so it looks better, I think.

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Good call, that would be a great idea. That factory rack that was on the earlier 5th Gens was clean. Super rugged and just fit the 4Runner perfect. Yeah, an overview on the cross bars, mount bars and earlier versions of the 4Runner rack would be a good idea. We can get into detail on what aftermarket racks and basket racks would fit with each application. Thanks for the tip. If you want to write that article, we would totally hook you up for it. : )
      Cheers David!

    • Thomas

      Hi – this was a great article. I have a question on which of these rack mount directly on roof of the vehicle (not the existing factory Toyota roof rack). My 2018 Off Road came with chome colored factory racks and I’m thinking of taking the factory racks off entirely and replacing them with one of the black racks in your article. It’s hard to tell from some of the pictures which racks mount on the existing factory rack versus directly on the roof of the 4runner. Thank you!

  • William

    Just letting people know that Gobi is made in the USA, Colorado I believe. To me that is a big deal since I do tend to prefer parts that are made in the States. Although the rack is ubiquitous on 4runners everywhere, I believe there is a reason for that. I just ordered mine yesterday, the wait is 3-4 months. I figure the wait is worth the price and quality.

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Thanks man. Yeah, the Gobi Rack is an amazing product. Let us know when you have everything installed. Would love to see the step by step install on that rack! Keep us in the loop.

  • joshua

    Great now I have some decisions to make! Thank you for having such a complete list and great information! @illest.illusion

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Yeah, there are plenty of roof rack options to choose from for the 5th Gen. Let us know when you decide on a rack!

  • @ProTrd

    Thanks to this crazy informative write up im able to make my decision on what system to go with thank you!

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Yeah, we wrote quite a bit on options. The crazy part is that we are missing quite a few. Maybe we will do a follow-up post. Also, we just spoke with a solid company who is making a new rack for the 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra. It should be out soon. We will keep the site posted.

  • JC


    Do you know anyone who has bought the EchoTechne roof rack? I love the way it looks but I’ve seen on one of the 4runner forums that people had issues with the bolts rusting and bad wind noise. I realize any roof rack will have some noise associated with it but it seems a rack like the Frontrunner’s would be worse because it has no angles to it. I feel like I’ve been waffling between every single rack now for months… I like Prinsu’s but don’t really want to drill.

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Good question. Yeah, I have seen a few of the Ecotechne roof racks out there on the forum but I don’t have any personal experience with them. They do have a Prinsu like, design as well. The Ecotechne roof rack looks like a very streamlined roof rack with plenty of mounting points. What concerns me about the company is they are not based in the US, or somewhere that speaks English. I could be wrong here but go check out their website. It’s all Spanish, and pretty difficult to navigate. But. their products look pretty mean.

      There shouldn’t be too much of a problem with the Front Runner Roof Rack wind noise. That is a seriously high-quality rack with many guys out there that can vouch. Front Runner sells an additional wind deflector for the rack, but is not needed. That rack sits so high above the roof, that most of the wind will have downforce and travel through the rack.

      Yeah, Prinsu is a great rack also. The Prinsu Roof Rack comes in a 7/8 length model, full length, and 3/4 length. The 7/8 length roof rack has a very similar look to a full Prinsu Roof Rack but is 12″ shorter (I think). This rack does not require drilling. This is a great option if you do not want to drill but love the look of the Prinsu Roof Rack.

      • JC

        Thank you Brenan. I love your website by the way. Convinced me to pull the trigger on a TRD CAI and a Borla despite all the negative chatter on the 4Runner forum. And the Venezuela thing is what originally gave me pause on the Ecotechne. Going to go a different route. I feel like the Frontrunner may be the one because of it’s versatility.

  • Dave Buchanan

    Can you recommend a rack that has good Kayak adapters?
    When I upgraded to Gen5 4-Runner our Yakima Kayak racks didn’t fit the crossbars on the new truck.
    I’m looking to add a basket type rack but need to be able to carry 2 kayaks on it.

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Did you look at the mega warrior basket with the extension?

    • Peter Ensrud

      The Yakima option would give you a basket and cross bars that would also enable you to add a kayak rack. Being that the roof is so high, I would also look into the Thule Canyon XT basket with extension, and cross bars. I believe the basket has an option to add locks to lock basket to cross bar, and you could add the Thule Hullavator, which is a lift system that would enable you to load and unload your kayak with ease, and both basket and kayak lift system could be keyed the same to have matching locks/keys, easier than fiddling with multiple keys! The Thule basket has a ~150lb load capacity. Would be a good way to add kayaks, paddles, and other gear to the roof. The hullavator is not cheap, but I used to sell them and work with them daily for customers, and can tell you honestly, they rock, and have a lifetime warranty. Thule is great, and anytime customers in the past had issues with racks/parts breaking, and lets say a kayak hit the freeway and was damaged (happened), Thule covered it. All instances vary. Overloading rack…exceeding recommended speed (like most customers do), but great customer service. and a solid brand. Only annoyance is the wind fairing. Yakimas is more solid, where as the thule one has been known to flex at high speeds and push wind down, but not always. Just fyi. Good luck.

  • Corby

    Do you know which rack will work with strapping down kayaks with my current adapters for the crossbars?
    Also, does the GOBI ladder work with all different rack systems or just the GOBI?
    I would like to put it with the Nfab Aluminium Rack.

  • Andrew Tidwell

    Are there any issues with rust on these roof racks? I live at the beach and was wondering which would be best for avoiding rust – or if there are things that could be done to mitigate it. Thanks very much – love this site!

  • Tarin

    Have you seen the LFD Off Road cross bars and racks? They look pretty promising and are inexpensive. Haven’t seen them in person yet.


  • Mac & Belinda

    We have a 2017 4Runner that we wish to carry two Hobie Pro Angler fishing kayaks on. They are 12′ and 14′, weigh a total of 250 lbs, and combined are about 75″ wide.
    What would you recommend? (Is it even practical?)
    Thanks! Mac and Belinda

  • Brad

    Was thinking of getting rhino rack 70 inch for my 2014 4Runner would it cause issues if i were to get the 54” wide instead of 49”?

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Would it fit? Sure but it might hang over the side of the 4Runner about 2-3″ on both sides. The 54″ would be too wide for 5th Gen roof in my opinion but it depends on what look you are going for. You can see the Rhino Rack 49″ here. I thought that was perfect. 54″ might be pushing it.

  • Kris

    Hey Brenan! This article was very helpful in narrowing my rack search. Thanks for that!

    I’m currently torn between the full length options by Front Runner, Prinsu, and a third brand not in this article…

    Could I get your thoughts on the Southern Style Offroad roof rack?

    Do you see a huge benefit of the front supports being drilled vs the rubber supports SSO offers?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      I think drilling into your roof is fine as long as you are committed to that rack for the life of your truck. SSO makes nice products but I don’t have experience with them. I know a few guys that have their bumpers installed. They make quality stuff for sure. The 4 factory bolts on your roof are enough to hold down the weight of a rack. End of day, drilling would be stronger and more secure being you have 6 bolts instead of 4, but drilling might overkill as well. I have a custom built rack and we have a similar style front support like SSO, it works great. No need for drilling.

  • Skyler

    So can you hit the pros/cons of the alloy vs steel options for the racks that offer both? Obvious would be weight, but can you talk to whether there is enough strength loss in the alloy options to pay for the extra weight of steel? Anything else between those two?

  • Steve Carter

    Having some difficulty trying to decide among the various rack options described in this article. I primarily want a rack so I can get up high for certain photo situations, which means I need a ladder and a rack sturdy enough to stand on (I weigh 175lb). I don’t think I need a full size rack for that; I’m guessing the 3/4 will be sufficient. Another priority will be minimum wind resistance and noise on the highway. The Gobi Stealth seems like a good option, but the BajaRack mesh option seems like it might be helpful if standing on the rack. Thoughts or suggestions? What am I missing?

  • Craig K

    Two of the photo’s show gas /water can’s mounted to the ladder. Living in FL it would be nice to have for Hurricane season. Where can I find that kit?


  • Joe

    I have a 2018 TRD Off Road Premium with the sunroof. Looking around, and doing research, I have only run across the Gobi and the BajaRack with sunroof cut out option on full length racks. Has anyone run into another option? I am not super keen on the long wait times for either of them. Additionally, my favorite reseller can’t get decent margins so I am looking for another option, but feel like I need to have that sunroof option since that was a requirement for me when I bought my 4Runner.

    • Brian

      You can adjust the rails on the Prinsu to avoid your sunroof. Thats my plan 🙂

  • Craig Kauzlaric

    I’m looking at the Front runner roof rack. Lots of options for add ons.

  • Brian

    You can update the Prinsu specs to include that they have a no-drill full size option.

  • Darren

    Has a question on the ROLA V-TEX ROOFTOP CARGO BASKET. In the picture in the article it looks like the rack is directly clamped to the side rails and potentially no crossbars are needed. Everything I’m reading on Amazon is saying that crossbars ARE needed. Can anyone confirm if the Rola would fit on a 2016 4Runner XP with standard roof rails?

  • Jason

    Great article, thanks very much. Proud owner of a 2019 Limited. Total stock right now, need to start with a new rack so this is very helpful. Vehicle has factory rails and crosssbars. We’re a family of four who spends a ton of time camping and skiing, in the mountains almost every weekend but outside of that I also use the vehicle for office-related work stuff. The current setup doesn’t fit with my existing long yakima box (need it further forward and I’m maxed out on settings). I’d like a cargo rack where I can integrate the longer box but then easily remove it when it comes to play real estate guy for work (cargo basket can certainly stay on forever, just need to be able to get into parking garages). Thoughts? Thanks very much in advance!

  • Doug

    Why would the ARB FLAT ALLOY ROOF RACK decrease fuel efficiency and the others wouldn’t?

    I’m looking for a flat design and one that would be sturdy enough for a RTT if I decided to get one. Do I need 300lb weight limit?

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Just updated the article. Technically every roof rack will decrease fuel economy and increase wind noise on some level.

  • Doug

    Great thanks …I’m leaning Rhino Rack with the upgraded support braces (backbone).

  • Doug Pierce

    Okay …I need low profile rack and while there are no immediate plans for a RTT, I would like to get a rack that would hold one should I need it.

    So low profile
    Weight rated for RTT
    I hate my factory rails so I don’t want to use those

    Any recommendations that may be updates since this post originally?

    I was leaning Rhino Pioneer, but saw in another post you don’t recommend it if RTT a consideration.

    Any thoughts that you’d update if buying now based on yours and others feedback?

  • Doug Pierce

    Just now …thanks for the reply! That writeup may have sealed the deal for me as it’s one of the options I was down to! Thanks for the link share!

  • Mike Hanley

    Do you have any information on the stock bolt spacing on the 4runner? I.e. If I’m trying to make my own roof rack, before I rip my existing rails off I’d like to have a good design and know the stock spacing one the OEM rails are taken off.

  • roof marketer

    Do you write all of your blogs urself or do you
    have a team? Contractors? Do you have guest writers?

  • Ryan

    First, thanks for all the time and effort you put in to the website. It has proven to be a game changer for a first-time 4Runner owner like myself.
    With that being said, I just wanted to pass some information to you and possibly to some of your other readers. If you are law enforcement, military, or a firefighter, check out http://www.expertvoice.com and sign up for their insane savings. I got the Rhino-rack 76″x49″ Pioneer and the Backbone system for a total of $763…that’s over a $400+ savings.
    The website also has TONS of other vendors that one can use also. I’ve said TONS of cash through them!
    Thanks again for the hard work and information you provide! I’m taking lots of notes and they are working out great!

  • Cory Byrd

    Which racks work best with a light bar? Obviously, I would have to go with a full, not a 3/4. Thanks for the info!

  • Joe

    Trying to find a full length roof rack for my 3rd gen that I can mount my rooftop tent on

  • Lee LaCombe

    Put a Gobi Stealth on my 18 TRD Off Road. Took almost 4 months to arrive, but from the instant it showed up, it was worth the wait. Shoot, even the packing was impressive… Any idea what mounting hardware was used for the MaxTraxs on the gray rig in the article? I like the setup. Thanks

  • Karl

    Hi Brenan. The Gobi breakdown doesn’t mention wind noise as a Con. I would assume all roof racks will create noise to some levels. Is there any information you can point me to that has more details?

  • Colin Arnold

    Hey- Have you looked at the Rago Fabrication Modular Factory rail system? Connects right into the factory rails, totally flush, tons of modular applications for recovery gear, gas/water cans, tools, etc.. Also has add-on for Yakima round bars so you can still use a cargo box, kayak holders, etc.

    Looks like a great rack alternative.

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Gobi Ladder Install 5th Gen 4Runner