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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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