If you’re looking to squeeze just a bit more cargo space out of your Taco, then a solid, well-built Toyota Tacoma roof rack might be the answer to your problems.
The Toyota Tacoma is plenty accommodating for a mid-size truck, able to haul you and all the gear you might need for a rustic weekend getaway, but sometimes, inevitably, you’re going to butt up against the upper limit of what the truck can carry. A Toyota Tacoma roof rack or roof cargo basket adds a significant amount of extra carrying capacity by allowing owners to use the roof as an open cargo area, perfect for hauling jerry cans, tents, camping supplies, spare tires – basically whatever additional gear you need that can’t be relegated to the bed. Pair a Tacoma roof rack with a good bed rack and you’ve got all the cargo space you could ever need.
Toyota Tacoma owners will find no shortage of excellent roof racks and baskets on the market. Here, we’ve rounded up six of the best Toyota Tacoma roof rack and Tacoma roof basket options available, covering a range of different styles and price points, all fully compatible with Tacoma models from 2005 up.
Table of contents
- 1. Editors Choice - KC Hilites C-Series Aluminum M-Rack Rack
- 2. Best Budget Friendly Roof Rack - Rhino Rack Roof Mount Cargo Basket
- 3. Best Accessory Ready Roof Rack - Front Runner Tacoma Slimline II Roof Rack
- 4. Smittybilt Defender One-Piece Roof Rack
- 5. Yakima LoadWarrior Rooftop Cargo Basket
- 6. Genuine Toyota Roof Rack
- ECCPP Roof Rack Crossbars
1. Editors Choice - KC Hilites C-Series Aluminum M-Rack Rack
Far and away the most premium option on this list, this KC Hilites C-Series aluminum roof rack is among the best Tacoma roof rack options available today, anywhere. It’s party piece is an integrated KC Hilites curved 50” C-Series LED light bar with 27,000 lumens of output, built right into the front crossbar, and four integrated LED flood lights. At a scant 25 pounds, the KC Hilites M-Rack is also one of the lightest options out there, helping minimize its impact on your Tacoma’s center-of-gravity, and the rack’s unique, highly flexible hardware tracks make it possible to tailor it to your needs. This model fits 2005-’19 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab trucks.
2. Best Budget Friendly Roof Rack - Rhino Rack Roof Mount Cargo Basket
The most budget-friendly option to make the cut, the Rhino Rack Roof Mount Cargo Basket’s low price proves you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get a quality Tacoma roof basket. Rhino Rack has amassed a sterling reputation over the last three decades, and this cargo basket is a perfect example of why. It has a 165-pound dynamic load rating – among the highest of all the roof baskets we looked at – and yet it weighs in at just 35 pounds. It’s also stylish, made from heavy-duty black powdercoated steel, and features a sleek, aerodynamic wind deflector to limit the amount of extra drag it generates. Although, as one reviewer points out, removing the wind deflector creates a perfectly-sized space for a 30” LED light bar, if you need one installed.
3. Best Accessory Ready Roof Rack - Front Runner Tacoma Slimline II Roof Rack
If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills Tacoma roof rack that just works, you could do worse than the Front Runner Slimline II. This low-profile roof rack offers the “best strength to weight ratio of any Roof Rack,” according to the manufacturer, with high-density aluminum formed into a design made to meet the harshest of off-roading conditions. It features a unique bolt-on design that makes mounting cargo to the top, bottom, and sides of the rack simple and free from rattles, and the roof rack kit comes with rails, a 49.5” x 45.5” tray, and a wind deflector to limit wind noise and aerodynamic drag.
One of the best features of the Slimline II Roof Rack is that Front Runner has a ton of modular accessories specifically designed to work with it. From spare tire holders, LED flood lights, cargo chocks and so much more, all designed to work specifically with this rack instead of having to make something work. Sold with a Limited Lifetime Warranty and a durable black powdercoat, you can rest assured that the Front Runner Slimline II is built to last making it one of our favorite Tacoma roof rack options.
4. Smittybilt Defender One-Piece Roof Rack
Smittybilt has built its business around offering some of the most rugged, high-quality truck and SUV accessories on the market, aimed squarely at the avid off-roader. When it comes time to buy a Toyota Tacoma roof rack, you can’t go wrong with the Smittybilt Defender. It’s made from 1” round steel tubing with a 16-gauge wall thickness, welded together for strength and coated in a black, textured powdercoat that’s made to last. It has multiple roof mounting options, and most nifty of all, this one-piece Smittybilt Defender roof rack has welded light tabs for off-road spotlights, reverse lights, and light bars.
5. Yakima LoadWarrior Rooftop Cargo Basket
If reputation means anything, then the Yakima LoadWarrior is a highly recommended Tacoma roof basket just by association. Yakima is a well-known, trusted name in automotive cargo accessories, and the company’s know-how is on full display in the LoadWarrior’s heavy-duty weather-resistant steel construction and wind noise-reducing fairings. Needless to say, it’s compatible with the most popular Yakima gear mounts so you can tailor it to your exact needs, using the stout 1 1/8” front and rear load bars. The included universal hardware is compatible with most round and square roof racks.
6. Genuine Toyota Roof Rack
While it may seem like the obvious choice, Toyota’s own Tacoma roof rack is an excellent roof-top cargo solution, delivering guaranteed fitment and OEM build quality at a decent price. What really sets it apart, however, is that the integrated cross bars are hinged at one end, allowing them to be unlocked and stowed into the side rails when they’re not needed, minimizing aerodynamic drag and wind noise. If there is a downside, it’s that the Genuine Toyota roof rack is only rated for up to 75 pounds, with the weight distributed evenly across both cross bars. Still, that’s more than sufficient for most items you’re liable to put up there. While some sources say this particular model is good only for model years 2017 and up, multiple customers say they have had no issues installing on older Tacomas.
ECCPP Roof Rack Crossbars
While some of the best Tacoma roof racks we’ve shown you mount directly to your cab, some do not and require that you have crossbars installed. If your Toyota Tacoma didn’t come with factory installed crossbars, these pieces from ECCPP are just what you need. These crossbars can be easily installed in less than 30-minutes, come with all necessary mounting hardware and have a low profile, streamlined design for reduced wind noise and clean styling. They’re capable of handling an evenly distributed load of 150 lbs. and are perfect for mounting universal cargo baskets, like some we’ve featured, or other carriers for canoes, kayaks, bikes and more.
I love the idea of having a Tacoma roof basket that has integrated flood lights. What is the best way of wiring this without consuming my dash with endless switches from all my other LED lighting?
If you’ve outfitted your Tacoma with multiple options of auxiliary lighting and don’t like the clutter of multiple switches on the dash, one of our favorite options is to get a gang switch panel kit. This allows you to have one compact controller in your cab control multiple accessories from a central fused control source. They’re simple to install and give a much cleaner look in the cab.
How difficult is it to install a Tacoma roof rack?
It all depends on which you decide to go with. Some might require you to drill into the roof of your cab and use nutserts to secure the racks, while others simply secure to the rain gutters of the cab. The cargo baskets are super simple in that they simply mount on the crossbars of your roof rack with u-bolt style mounts and can be installed in a matter of minutes.
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Updated 4/21/2021 – Ranked product, updated descriptions, added new product and added FAQ section