GOBI Roof Rack Digest For The 5th Gen 4Runner: Everything To Know Before You Buy

4Runner GOBI USA

GOBI USA Roof Racks & Ladders. What Makes GOBI Stand Out From The Pack?

In the world of 4Runner modifications, GOBI USA has risen to the top time and time again. They have remained a prominent, solidly-constructed, roof rack and rear ladder company for roughly 20 years. GOBI has made a name for itself in the off-roading enthusiast world. They also favor the world of Toyota with products ranging from 4Runners to Land Cruisers and even FJ40s.

What many people don’t know is that the 5th Gen 4Runner roof rack was one of GOBI’s original products. Now, they offer products for the last three generations of 4Runners.

GOBI USA hand-makes every product and everything is made-to-order. They don’t have inventory sitting on 20′ high shelves in their warehouse waiting to be purchased.

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Why Consider GOBI?

White 5th Gen 4Runner Amber Lights & Snorkel Gobi Stealth with Riser

GOBI’s roof racks and rear ladders offer uncompromising support and longevity. Below are a few features that truly make a difference:

High Weight Capacities

Traditional OEM roof racks offer fairly low static and dynamic weight capacities. Conversely, GOBI designs and engineers all of their roof racks to withstand the maximum weight your vehicle can handle. Specifically, a safe driving max load capacity of 300 lbs and a static max load capacity easily up to 800 lbs.

The GOBI driver’s side rear ladder supports up to 250 lbs and the standard removable crossbars have a max dynamic safe load limit of 165 lbs per crossbar.

What does this mean for the overlanding community? You can adventure comfortably and safely with all of your gear strapped to your roof. You also won’t have to worry about your rooftop tent crashing onto your ride in the middle of the night!

Solid Materials

Specific to the 5th gen 4Runner racks, the roof rack structure is made of a 16-gauge 1/0” (92.54cm) welded tubular frame with 3/4 #9 gauge expanded metal welded in place at all points. Everything is undercoated with an anti-rust gray epoxy and finished with a textured semi-gloss black powder coat. The ladder is made of the same gauge tubing and paint finish.

All of the included hardware comes in a stainless steel finish and is highly resistant to corrosion and rust.

Plenty of Useable Cargo Space

If you opt for one of GOBI’s racks with the sunroof opening, you get 15.63 sq. ft. of usable space. If you choose the full rack with no sunroof opening, you gain almost 5 sq. ft. of extra space for a total of 22.13 sq. ft. All of this space is considered “traversable”.

Built-In Auxiliary Lighting Mounts

Each GOBI rack offers chase light mounting options on the rear of the rack. It supports different mounting positions and can utilize different size lightbars. In addition to the rear, GOBI has front-facing lightbar mounting options integrated between the upper and lower tubing (i.e., between the “riser”).

Option 1. Ranger Rack

GOBI Ranger Rack

GOBI also offers a few different options to customize your roof rack. Below is a breakdown of the various options that you can choose from.

The “Ranger Rack” sits at 6¾” from the top of the 4Runner roof line and with the standard front riser, 8¾”. This rack is a bit bulkier but offers taller side walls for items that may shift around when in use. Think of this as their “basket” roof rack option that resembles something you’d see on a safari vehicle.

Option 2. Stealth Rack

GOBI Stealth Rack

The “Stealth Rack” sits 5″ from the top of the 4Runner roof line and with the standard front riser, 7″. As the name implies, it’s stealthy looking. The rack itself is a bit slimmer in height and in my observation, one of the more common GOBI racks you see on 4Runners.

Riser vs. No Riser

One of the customizable features of both of the GOBI racks is the option of a riser.

This gives you the option of removing the upper front height of the roof rack to have the front tubing run at the same height as the rest of the rack. The “no riser” option would bring the rack height of the Stealth to 5″ from the roofline all around, and 6¾” on the Ranger, respectively.

GOBI USA Roof Rack Comparsion

Pictured above:

  • Left – Stealth Rack Multi-Light Setup with No Riser
  • Middle – Stealth Rack Multi-Light Setup with the Riser
  • Right – Stealth Lightbar Setup with the Riser

If you want a stealthy, low-profile look, the Stealth Rack with “no riser” is what you’re looking for.

Sunroof Cutout vs. No Cutout

No Sunroof Cutout

Solid Platform 4Runner GOBI Stealth Rack

Not all 4Runners come with a sunroof. For those that do have one, you have the option of a removable sunroof opening which allows for unencumbered access (if desired).

Sunroof Cutout

2022 lime rush 4runner off-roading

The removable sunroof opening also cuts down the overall weight of the rack by 18 lbs. However, it will add ~$150 to the cost of the rack.

The sunroof insert adds ~$250 to the overall cost, but the racks without the sunroof opening are ~$100 more, so it nets out to an additional $150 to add the option. If you order the sunroof insert separately without the purchase of a rack, it’s ~$300.

Lightbar vs. Light Pods

If you plan to run a singular lightbar above the front wind fairing, then you’ll want to opt for the “lightbar setup”. GOBI offers a wide range of lightbar sizes and brands on their website, ranging up to 50″ (curved or non-curved).

With the “no riser” setup, you won’t be limited to a single-row LED lightbar. However, anything taller than that might create some wind-drag noise.

Gun RNR Multi Light Setup GOBI Rack

The “multi-light setup” allows for multiple front lights, like the KC Pro6 Lightbar setup. The main visual difference between the multi vs. lightbar setup is that the multi has two raised bars between the bottom of the rack and the riser whereas the lightbar setup has no raised bars in between.

Removable Cross-Bars

GOBI Adjustable Cross Bar

Lastly, all of the GOBI racks come with two removable cross bars. There is an option to upgrade the bars in lengths ranging from 60″ to 80″.

No Drill Install

GOBI USA Roof Rack For Toyota 4Runner

One of the other key features of GOBI’s 4Runner racks is that the mounting solution is completely “non-drill”. More and more aftermarket manufacturers have gone in this direction, leveraging OEM mounting points. GOBI’s been doing it for a while and both the roof rack and rear ladder mounts are reversible.

If your 4Runner is a lease or you plan to remove your rack at some point, GOBI even offers a transfer kit.

Rear Ladder

Gobi 5th Gen 4Runner Full Roof Rack

One item included with their full rack purchase is the driver’s side rear ladder. While the ladder can be purchased on its own, purchasing a GOBI roof rack comes with two removable cross bars, a pretty cool adventure bag, and the rear ladder. The ladder will add a tiny bit of weight to the rear, but not enough that you’ll be required to change out your rear liftgate struts. 

GOBI does offer replacement rear gas springs that are designed to raise the rear hatch with ladder more consistently in severe weather than original OEM gas springs.

Final Thoughts

5th Gen 4Runner Safari Style Roof Rack

It goes without saying that GOBI USA is a top contender to consider when building your 4Runner. Their racks are tried and true and the company has been around for a very long time.

Nobody has ever argued about the quality of a GOBI rack. GOBI has had customers with the same racks on their vehicles for 10-25 years. They definitely stand the test of time (unless you roll your 4Runner).

With my first 5th Gen build (pictured above), I opted for the Stealth Rack with the standard riser and the rear ladder. I waited a couple of months for it to ship and it was worth the wait. The powder coating was flawless, the bent tubing was consistent all the way around, the construction was incredibly solid, and the traversable roof was great for accessing gear.

If you’re in the market for a new roof rack, GOBI USA is one company you should definitely consider.

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9 months ago

Love my Gobi.
For a hot second they offered built in light cradles as an option. Made for such a clean set up.

9 months ago

Maybe it was a good choice many years ago but now there are many other better choices as far as materials, design, and functionality.

Fred F
Fred F
7 months ago
Reply to  Carlo Donzelli

What other better choices? Can you please provide some examples?

6 months ago
Reply to  Fred F

I see the Gobi fanboys didn’t like my comment, understandable. My favorite is sherpa, made of aluminum (not heavy and rust prone steel), 2 configuration available as far as payload, and uses standard extrusion bars.

10 months ago

No regrets with my Gobi ranger rack

10 months ago

Hands Down Gobi makes the best roof racks, but to get some accessories mounts are tough & they are pricy .. You have to think out of the box to get some the pelican & roam cases mounted. The rear mollie panels were tricky getting up on a GOBI Rack. But what I really love about my GOBI is that it is rock solid, I don’t have to worry about any rattle down the road. The GOBI support are the best I have to say, they were very quick to help me on creating special light bar mounts for my multi light roof rack. You get what you pay for and I am very happy with my GOBI Rack, 3 years later, still loving it. The Ladder is solid and I do love having lunch on the roof rack out at Joshua Tree!

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