Top 7 CNC Roof Racks For 5th Gen 4Runner

Prinsu Roof Rack on 5th Gen 4RunnerFeatured: @Wamp_1 with Prinsu Rack 

Looking for a CNC Roof Rack for your 4Runner? Check out our top picks for the 5th Gen 4Runner!

Low-profile CNC roof racks have risen to the top of the market for their functionality, price and design. These roof racks are extremely functional. With a multitude of crossbars and slot mounts, there are a lot of configurations for the racks.

Rooftop tents, cargo bags, kayaks and bikes can all be mounted with ease. Also, CNC roof racks have the most lighting options available on the market. There are many different light mount locations on these racks – the possibilities for lighting is almost endless. From scene lights to chase lights and forward-facing light bars, CNC racks are highly configurable.

CNC roof racks are unlike all other roof racks on the market. They are some of the strongest racks out there, and yet none of them weigh over 100 pounds. With such little weight, mpg and on-road performance won’t be affected all that much. On the other hand, when you want to go off-roading, the extreme strength and durability of these racks will hold up against just about anything you throw on them.

CNC-manufactured roof racks are among the cheapest rack on the market. At an industry average of $1000, it is easy to see why these racks are becoming so popular. Other roof rack options, like the Gobi Rack or Front Runner, can cost well over $1500 (or more) after you add options and brackets. When you are working with a budget or you have lots of other DIY mods in mind, sometimes those racks just won’t cut it.

With a CNC roof rack, you get a ton of performance for a fraction of the cost.

What is CNC?

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control.

This is when the computer controls all of the machine processes of a product without manual control. So, a computer numerical control rack, or CNC rack, is cut and processed by a computer. By allowing a computer to perform the processes, the cuts on the rack are smooth and straight with no mistakes.

Prinsu Roof Rack

Prinsu Roof Rack on 5th Gen 4Runner

Featured: @AllTerrain4r shot by @Adventure_T4R

Find it online:

Specs

  • 1/4 CNC Aluminum Side Rails
  • 1×2 Inch Aluminum Extrusion Crossbars
  • 1/8 CNC Wind Deflector
  • All Hardware Included – Black Zinc
  • Full, 7/8, 3/4 Rack Options
  • Light Bar Cutout Available
  • Drill Option and Non-Drill Option
  • Full Rack: $900+

Initial Impressions

The Prinsu Design Studio, now owned by CBI Offroad, has created one incredible rack. They somewhat founded the CNC roof rack concept so it’s only natural to slot them first. The rack is available in different lengths to better fit your needs and budget. The wind deflector matches the slopes and curves of our windshield better than many other racks on the market. The non-drill and drill options available are another awesome feature. For some, drilling is a more sturdy and permanent option, while others can still get the rack without worrying about permanently altering their 4Runner.

Prinsu also has one of the most configurable crossbars on the market. Each one has T-Slots, which allow you to bolt items to the rack without drilling into the crossbars themselves. This allows you to remove your mounts about as quickly as you attached them without doing any permanent damage to the rack itself. The rails can be attached vertically or horizontally. Lastly, Prinsu has a 40-inch light bar cutout; it is actually a little wider so a 42-inch single-row bar could fit. Prinsu intentionally designed the cutout so that light bars will fit seamlessly into the slope of the wind deflector.

Full Rack

The full rack is their largest rack spanning from the front windshield all the way to the rear of the vehicle. Having such a large rack creates plenty of space for things like rooftop tents. It has the most crossbars, so out of the three size options, there is the most surface area for mounting. If you are looking to add a light bar, the full rack is the most suitable because the light bar would sit at the edge of the windshield. If you go with the 7/8 or 3/4 rack, the light from the light bar will get cut off and won’t be “as visible”, however, that is to be debated.

7/8 Rack

This rack is a less expensive option than the full (-$100), but it still provides plenty of surface area and mounting capability. This rack is still suitable for a light bar, it just won’t be as effective as the full rack, again, debatable. The 7/8 is not compatible with the sunroof/moonroof. If you have a sunroof and want to use it, this rack is not for you. If you don’t have a sunroof, then this will not affect you. This option has to be drilled to the 4Runner and that might be a drawback for you.

3/4 Rack

The 3/4 Rack is the most inexpensive option out of the 3, coming in at about $700. The wind deflector sits behind the sunroof on this rack so the tilt feature on the sunroof is compatible. Like the 7/8 Rack, the 3/4 does require drilling which could cause you to look elsewhere. This is the cheapest CNC roof rack on the market but it is also the smallest. If you need to mount a lot of items like traction boards and rooftop tents, then there just isn’t a lot of room. However, this rack is cost-effective and can get the job done, especially if you just want to improve the look of your 4Runner while adding a little more storage capacity.

Add-ons 

Prinsu Design Studios has come out with a multitude of add ons for their roof racks. The main accessory is its load panels. These CNC-cut aluminum panels mount on top of the cross rails and provide even more surface area to mount items. Also, Prinsu has recently released their own set of handles for their roof racks called Ridgeline Handles. The Ridgelines are a perfect fit for the rack. Also, these handles allow for Baja Designs Rock Lights to be attached to the insides of the handles as accessory lighting for the rack.

Those were just a few of the options Prinsu provides, but there’s a lot more where that came from. Anything from Rotopax mounts to Maxtrax mounts, you name it, they have it.

Pros

  • Full, 7/8, 3/4 Options
  • Non-Drill or Drill
  • Light Bar Cutout
  • Most Variations on the Market
  • Hardware Included

Cons

  • Accessories Not Included
  • Prinsu Rack Handles Sold Separately
  • $900 (while that is not a lot compared to the $1500 racks out there it is important to note that this is not the cheapest rack mentioned in this article)

upTOP Overland

upTOP Overland Roof Rack for 5th Gen 4RunnerPictured: Alpha (left) & Bravo (right) Roof Racks 

Find it online:

Specs

  • CNC Aluminum Side Rails
  • Aluminum Extruded Cross Rails + Attachment Slots
  • Different Light Bar Cutout Options
  • Hardware Included
  • Sunroof Compatible
  • Scene Pod Knockouts
  • $800+

Initial Impressions

The upTOP Overland Bravo racks and Alpha racks are both two pretty stunning racks. The design is probably the best on the market in terms of aggressive looks and uniqueness.

The Bravo is one of the more affordable full-length CNC racks on the market. Don’t think that lower cost means lower quality because the Bravo has a lot to offer. It has a unique wind deflector unlike any of the other racks. The wind deflector is not as “low profile,” as the other racks, but it looks awesome! The wind deflector has multiple light bar cutout options, varying from 10-inch bars to 40-inch bars and more. This makes the upTOP stand out above many as they design fairings for full pars, partial bars, and even pods like the Baja LP-series. Some of the other racks mentioned in this article have a “one size fits all” cut out. So if you don’t get a light bar to fill the entire cutout, your rack just won’t look right. Well done upTOP!

Also, the Bravo has built-in scene pod knockouts. Scene pod knockouts are an incredible new feature that upTOP is using on their roof racks. These are perfectly cut, CNC holes in the side rail that allow for easy attachment of “scene pods.” Made out of aluminum, scene pods allow you to mount Baja Designs LED Rock Lights to your rack with ease. No extra drilling or cutting is required.

The Alpha is another low-profile roof rack, however, it offers a massive footprint. The rack measures 50″ wide in 98.5″ Long. That’s larger than almost any other roof rack on the market. The design of The Alpha is unlike anything we have seen before. It’s safe to say that UpTOP Overland is probably the leader in ingenuity, creativity and design integrations right now.

They feature internal design rails that you can have color-matched to your 4Runner which really sets this rack apart from the competition. The Alpha rack comes with the same scene pods as the Bravo, just another great feature of this rack.

6 grab handles are also included in your purchase of the Alpha rack. No other roof rack mentioned in this article comes with a set of handles (other than Sherpa although those are built-in). While it might not seem like much, having those handles adds a secure place for you to hold onto while you are reaching for something on top of your 4Runner. Whether it be mounting equipment or washing off your rig, the handles will definitely come in handy. If you are looking for a unique roof rack with a massive footprint for rooftop tents or storage, this rack is one to consider. Plus, it looks freaking killer!

Pros

  • $800+
  • Varying Light Bar Cutouts
  • Scene Pod Knockouts
  • No Drilling Required
  • Moonroof Compatible
  • Impressive Features
  • Unique Design
  • Lots of Handles

Cons

  • Accessories Purchased Separately

Cali Raised LED

Cali Raised Roof Rack on 5th Gen 4Runner

Credit: @hope_and_silver

Find it online:

Specs

  • CNC Aluminum Side Railing
  • 9 Extruded Cross Rails
  • Light Cutouts for Lighting on Passenger & Driver Side are Optional
  • All-New Adjustable Wind Deflector/LED Light Bar
  • LED Light Bar & Scene Lighting Can Be Purchased as a Combo
  • $900-$1622

Initial Impressions

Premium Roof Rack 

Cali Raised LED is looking to change the game with their new Premium roof racks. These racks have the first adjustable wind deflector. Instead of being mounted to the wind deflector, the light bar is mounted to the front side of the first cross rail.

The manually adjusted wind deflector can be changed by simply moving it up or down. With that said, they should offer an option to have this on a switch – that would be rad! Maybe future options will add a bit more functionality.

When the deflector is lowered the light bar is revealed and can be put to use, but if you bring the deflector back up, the light bar can be hidden away. This protects the light bar from fast-moving debris like bugs and even small dust particles on the highway.

The premium roof rack also offers a full lighting package option. You get 4 scene lights that fit perfectly in the roof rack cutouts. Cali Raised has not produced a harness for those lights yet, but seeing as it is a relatively new rack, again, there is still time for improvement.

Having a light bar and scene lighting options available at the time of purchase is a really nice addition to the rack. Not many people are running this rack yet so it’s hard to tell how it will pan out without a lot of real-world usages. However, it could become an industry leader soon enough. The premium roof rack does get pricey with all the lighting options, but it can be easier and less time-consuming to pay for everything in one big package.

Economy Roof Rack

Cali Raised LED also offers an economy roof rack. The starting cost is about $100 cheaper than the Premium Rack. The main difference between the two racks is that the Premium Rack features an adjustable wind deflector and the Economy Rack does not. The Economy Rack does still have the option for a light bar cutout and all the same accessory light options as the Premium Rack.

Pros

  • Innovative wind deflector
  • Scene lighting & light bar options (available at time of purchase)
  • Light Bar protection

Cons

  • Expensive: Up To $1600 for Lighting
  • Functionality leaves you wanting more
  • Adds 5 Inches to Vehicle (more than other rack options)

KC Hilites M-Rack with Pro6 Light Bar

KC Pro6 M-Rack - CNC Roof Racks for The 4RunnerPicture Credit: @Trail4R

Find it online:

Specs

  • CNC Aluminum Side Rails
  • Horizontal Aluminum Cross Rails + Hardware Tracks for Mounting
  • 50-Inch Gravity Led 8-Light Pro6 Light Bar
  • 4 Blackout Plates (cover scene light cutouts)
  • Hardware Included
  • Lighting Cutouts (for driver, passenger & rear sides of the rack)
  • $2888+

Initial Impressions

The M-Rack might just be one of the most dynamic roof racks on the entire market. KC HiLiTES has been a leader in the offroad industry for a long time and has developed one incredible roof rack. Originally introduced by the company M-Rack, KC HiLiTES now owns/runs their line of racks as KC M-Racks. Pictured above is the KC Pro6 M-Rack as it showcases their one and only Pro6 Light Bar. This is their integrated 8-Pod Gravity light bar. This distinct light bar is an absolute powerhouse, giving off 18,400 raw lumens of output.

The M-Rack features multiple accessory scene light cutouts (lights not included) to give the rack even more light options. The cutouts are for C-series accessory lights. The scene lights fit into the designated cutouts on the rack and shine in the side regions of the vehicle. Having this side lighting makes getting in and out of your vehicle at night a lot more comfortable because you can clearly see what your getting ready to step into. Scene lighting improves visibility offroad as well; it can help you see objects low to the ground near your vehicle that you would not be able to see otherwise. KC has some of the best and brightest scene lights on the market integrated into their rack. The only downside to them is their cost – this rack is probably the most expensive on the list.

The above rack is pictured with C-series lights covered in amber Lamin-X light film. You can also run a C-Series light bar in the front on this roof rack which is a little more subtle and low profile. The C-Series light bar still has a lot of light output, it just isn’t as unique as the Pro6 Light Bar, which is unlike any other.

This roof rack is designed with functionality in mind with the M-Rack, itself, weighing only 25 lbs. With such a low weight, this roof rack will barely impact your 4Runners performance, if at all. The M-Rack doesn’t have quite as much load-bearing strength as some of the other options, but it is still very sturdy and will hold almost anything you desire. Lastly, it has been designed to follow the 4Runners roofline to maximize aerodynamics and reduce wind noise. So, the rack is designed with on-road vehicle performance in mind as well.

For handles on this rack, you see dual Agency 6 Grab handles drilled into the side of the rails.

Pros

  • KC Signature Gravity Pro 6 LED Light Bar
  • KC Signature C-Series Light Bar
  • Multiple Light Bar Options
  • Built-in Scene Light Cutouts
  • Perfect-Fit C-Series Scene Lights
  • Light-Weight Rack
  • T-Slot Crossbars
  • Multiple Accessory Lighting Options (must be bought separately)

Cons

  • No built-in handles or KC branded handle add-ons
  • Very expensive with Pro6
  • KC Accessory Lights Cost An Extra $600

Sherpa Equipment Co. – Crestone

Sherpa Equipment Co.Picture Credit: @doug_bogan

Find it online: 

Specs

  • 1/4″ Thick 6061 CNC Aluminum Side Rails
  • 9 Extruded Aluminum Cross Rails (black or silver)
  • Half fairing for Single Row Light Bar W/ Options
  • Extreme-LED and Baja Designs Light Bar (can be added to purchase)
  • All Stainless Hardware Included
  • No Drilling or Silicone Required
  • Sunroof Compatible
  • Powder-Coated Optional
  • $879+

Initial Impressions

The Sherpa Roof Rack is growing as one of the most popular CNC racks in the 4Runner community. With so many options at the time of purchase, what’s not to like? You can buy a Baja or Extreme LED light bar with the rack and be ensured a perfect fit. Also, you can get the rack powder coated or leave the bare metal depending on what you want.

Built into each rack are “hand-holds” that make climbing up onto the roof of your vehicle easy. Having to grab onto a solid CNC aluminum rail with cutouts can be dangerous. So, it is important to have areas that you can tightly hold onto. While some racks have aftermarket handles, the hand-holds don’t jump out from the sides, so your wind noise won’t be increased nor will have something hanging off the side of your roof rail.

These racks are incredibly strong. Made out of 1/4″ thick side rails, this rack has a load rating of 300 lbs dynamic and 700 lbs static. So when you’re on the road, you can have 300 lbs of gear, plus the roof rack on top of your 4Runner; but when you are camping, you and a few others can get up in your rooftop tent because it can hold 700 lbs when the vehicle is not in motion.

Like Prinsu Design Studios, Sherpa Equipment Co. has created their own lineup of add-ons that you can purchase to go with its rack. Sherpa makes adapt plates (similar to Prinsu Load Panels), that provide extra surface area for mounting offroad accessories. They also have a handful of mounts that you can choose from for recovery boards, Rotopax’s, etc.

Another HUGE piece about Sherpa that sets them apart from their competition is their mounting design. They do not require and actually recommend against using silicone. Instead, they designed their mounting feet with rubber roof seals. The rubber mounts are designed to create a seal similar to what the factory rack does in order to keep everything dry. With that said, many people have complained about these rubber feet rattling on top of the roof.

Pros

  • Light Bars Can Be Added
  • 300-lb Load Rating
  • Multiple Color Options

Cons

  • Powder Coat Costs $100+ Extra
  • Black Crossbars Cost Extra

Echotechne Roof Rack

EcoTechne (Steel) Roof Rack Install and Review For the 5th Gen 4RunnerPictured: @flo_runna_

Find it online:

Specs

  • CNC Side Railing
  • 3 Extruded Cross Rails + Rear Railing & Wind Deflector
  • Height: 4 inches
  • Depth: 97 inches
  • Light Bar Cutout Included
  • $900

Initial Impressions

The Echotechne Roof Rack is another CNC rack option for the 4Runner. While it isn’t the cheapest or most functional rack, it does have its’ own style and distinct look. The side rails on this rack differ from the other options because the Echotechne Side Rails aren’t flat, they are sort of bent in the middle, so they come out a little on the sides. This doesn’t really change the performance of the rack, it just provides a look that no other rack has.

The rack automatically comes with a light bar cut out, so if you purchase the rack, be prepared to purchase a light bar to complete the look. If you don’t want a light bar or can’t afford it with your budget, you should probably look elsewhere. If you are looking to get a light bar as well, then don’t shy away from this option. It can fit 40-inch single-row light bars just fine allowing for the most possible light output on the rack.

There are a few downsides to this rack. The first is that this rack is not made in the USA, so parts will not be held quite to the same standard as if they were made right here in the US. Also, this rack has a subpar powder coat. With a bad powder coat, your rack is more likely to rust and it will be more affected by the elements. So, if you purchase this rack, be prepared for some potential fix-ups you have to perform and possible challenges with replacement parts (if you need them).

Pros

  • Light Bar Cutout Included
  • Mounting Positions for Lighting

Cons

  • Lack of a Distinct Feature
  • Low-quality Powder Coating
  • Not Made in the USA
  • Heavy (made of steel)

Victory 4×4 Roof Rack

Find it online:

Specs

  • CNC 3/16 Aluminum
  • Steel Mounting Brackets
  • Extruded Aluminum Rails
  • No Drilling Required
  • Hardware Included
  • Powdercoated
  • Light Cutout Available
  • Cost: $1000+

Initial Impressions

The Victory 4×4 is the last CNC roof rack option. It has a durable design and has the functionality you might be looking for. However, there isn’t anything to go crazy for. Some might say that it doesn’t match the 4Runners contours as well as some of the previously mentioned roof racks.

The rack can be purchased with a light bar cutout for an additional $25. The $25 should not make or break your decision it is just a little annoying that it costs extra when most of the companies in this article offer the cutout option for free. However, this cutout does fit up to a 43.5″ single row light bar; if you had a light bar you wanted for your rack but were worried it was too big, this rack can take it.

The 4×4 rack has Milled T-Nut access points on the side rails (similar to Prinsu Rack), which makes it easy to mount objects to your rack. Victory 4×4 also offers a number of aftermarket accessories and mounts to go with your rack (additional costs). This will save you the time and hassle of having to find mounts that are compatible with your rack.

They also offer their own led scene light kit. They might not be the brightest or even best-looking (they are really bulky like a garage side door motion detector) option out there, but a set of scene lights for just $100 is certainly a cost-effective option. With their scene light add-on, it’s quite clunky, especially when compared to other brands like Prinsu, upTOP and the KC M-Rack. Those brands all have very clean scene light additions, but Victory 4×4, not so much.

Victory 4×4 has really interesting design choices. They came from Jeep world before Toyota and as you can tell by their “flagship” 4Runner – it’s somewhat reminiscent of a Jeep. I personally think Victory 4×4 should hit the drawing board again with their design, but with that said, some people in the Toyota industry love their stuff so it’s hard to say whether or not they will last the test of time.

Pros

  • Drilling Not Required
  • Light Cutout Available (will fit a 40-inch single row light bar)
  • Hardware Included

Cons

  • No real “Wow” Factors
  • Odd design choices with fairing
  • Clunky design with scene lights
  • Being so similar to the Prinsu, it is a more expensive option for no reason at all.

Final Thoughts

UpTOP Overland Roof Rack on 5th Gen 4RunnerPictured: UpTOP Overland Roof Rack Bravo

Roof racks are essential for the offroad enthusiast. They add a lot of extra storage space for the 4Runner. Racks are important for mounting rooftop tents, bikes, kayaks and much more.

Picking the right rack for you can be difficult because there are so many, but CNC racks might be for you. They are lightweight, strong and durable. These racks don’t take up a lot of space and still give your 4Runner a distinct look.

There are less expensive options, like the Prinsu and upTOP Overland roof racks, or you can purchase an expensive rack and lighting package from industry-proven brands like KC with their KC Pro6 M-Rack.

It all depends on your lifestyle and what you need; the choice is yours. Make it a good one.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
15 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Patrick A Koetzle
Patrick A Koetzle
4 months ago

I just purchased a Sherpa roof rack (the crestone) for my 5th gen. I have a thule force xt large cargo box from my previous car that I’d like to mount to the new roof rack. Sherpa tells me it will not attach because the bottom is not flush so the clamps won’t reach unless i remove some of the front and back crossbars from their rack. Curious if you guys know of any way to troubleshoot this so i dont need to exchange the rack or box. If not, what flush (flat)-bottom cargo box you recommend instead of thule so i can swap them out. thanks!

Mike H.
Mike H.
9 months ago

Uptop Overland really took off over the past year! I remember seeing them on Tacomaworld now they are making a ton of racks. My buddy got one for his 4Runner it looks super clean with the outside rail the same color white as his rig. He added on their scene pods that they have and those are slick as hell! I’m going to put their Bravo on my Tacoma soon. Great article!

Tory
Tory
9 months ago

One thing I’d like to see more discussion about is the methods that manufacturers use to seal the new roof racks. With the exception of the Sherpa rack (which has a well engineered, OEM quality sealing system), ALL of these racks just tell the owner to smear hardware-store silicone all over their roof. This is a TERRIBLE idea for many reasons.

I was unhappy with how my Ecotechne rack instructions barely mentioned sealing it at all, so I came up with my own method here:

https://www.4runners.com/threads/ecotechne-roof-rack-installation-5th-gen.7090/

J.B.
J.B.
9 months ago

Wait…Southern Style Offroad didn’t make the list?! After months of research, and watching the YouTube channel “Wonderlost Overland”, I went with the team from Louisiana. No regrets.

The design and layout complement the 4Runner. It’s a brute. Yet wind noise is minimal. The weight/load numbers, options, and overall cost were reasonable. And I liked the precut scene light mounts and the 8020 they use. Lead times were as expected dues to viruses and hurricanes, but it came well packaged and installed easily.

Installed an Extreme 40” lightbar and have some scene lights (Thanks to another Wonderlost video)

Trail Safe.
-JB

J.B.
J.B.
9 months ago
Reply to  Heath Hudson

I hear ya. (And good article by the by)

It was (is) a tough choice with all the vendors and options on these things. The SSO fit the bill when I did my initial review of all that was out there. Since then, some have stepped up those game. Heck even SSO has a “rail height extension” now that adds just another layer of complexity to which one to choose!

(Glad I’m done!)

Trail Safe.
-JB

Last edited 9 months ago by J.B.
Hill Larry W
Hill Larry W
9 months ago

I used RhinoRack. Very happy. Solid, no wind noise. Nice article. Thanks

Dustin - @calrunr
Dustin - @calrunr
9 months ago

Nice post! I just switched over from Gobi to Prinsu and so far really happy. Pros: lighter weight, easier to mount to flat metal, lower profile, won’t rust. Also really smart that lighting companies are getting into the mix with racks. So much of the rack is based on lighting. I’ve wondered why serious rooftop tent companies (Like iKamper, which I’m running) don’t make their own platforms. The functional use of the “rack” is very different for those of us running an RTT full time. IMO, prinsu is the least “rack-like” option and really just provides a simple streamlined platform to sit an RTT on top of. – @calrunr

Anthony Branch
Anthony Branch
9 months ago

I have an LFD OffRoad full rack. Plenty of crossbars and highly adjustable to fit anything I have wanted to mount on it. I like LFD products so much I have also purchased the rear bumper with tire carrier and DOM sliders.

trdxyr
trdxyr
9 months ago

Good Morning and Merry Christmas! Would Front Runner count as CNC as their side support rails are set up similar?

Blake
Blake
10 months ago

Love my KC M Rack.

Katie
Katie
10 months ago

My Southern style off-road rack has been fantastic.

Dillon
Dillon
10 months ago

RCI getting into the mix just as this article comes out 👍🏻

Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn
10 months ago

Greenlane Offroad!

15
0
Questions or Comments? x
()
x