Toyota Tacoma 2nd & 3rd Gen Roof Racks for Overlanding
Built to go to places, 2nd and 3rd Gen Toyota Tacomas are a solid choice for overlanding and off-roading. Small but powerful, Tacomas are very much capable of reaching destinations and terrains that bigger vehicles can’t. They are known for their reputation in terms of reliability, capability, customizability, and overall high quality.
These trucks are also stocked with amazing off-road features and equipment—such as Crawl Control, Pre-Collision System, Traction Control, as well as excellent suspension and extreme four-wheel-drive capability. That is why a lot of off-road travelers consider Tacoma trucks as the best choice for overlanding.
Another component that makes a Toyota Tacoma a popular choice among overlanders is its aftermarket modification. Among the many aftermarket parts available, roof racks are the most common upgrades vehicle owners have. Roof racks for Tacomas have been getting positive reviews and satisfaction among many users due to the added value and convenience that they bring.
Best Tacoma Roof Racks
Due to high popularity and demand, hundreds of different sizes, designs, and types of racks for Tacoma trucks have been made available. From new brands to well-known and trusted names like Cali Raised, Prinsu, Eezi-Awn, and KC HiLites, the options can be endless.
So, to make things easier for you, we’ve filtered the leading choices based on price, quality, reviews, and overall standard. We are listing our top 13 Toyota Tacoma roof racks, together with their descriptions, highlights, and customer feedback.
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Why use a roof rack?
Roof racks are practical modifications to your truck or vehicle. They serve a lot of purposes—which include providing extra storage, holding camping or overlanding gear, mounting rooftop tents, etc. They are also excellent at carrying equipment like LED light bars and light pods, awnings, kayak, canoes, bicycles, skis, fishing poles, and solar panels. Tacoma overland racks are also the best place to store essentials like water, gas, portable showers, cargo boxes, recovery boards, and spare tires.
Aside from functionality, there is also an aesthetic effect a roof rack has when mounted on top of a truck. Moreover, roof racks and roof bars are also said to increase the resale value of a vehicle. For these benefits, roof racks are definitely seen as worthy investments among travelers and campers.
What to Consider When Choosing a Roof Rack for Your Tacoma?
Picking the best rack for your Toyota Tacoma is not really as rocky and bumpy as the terrain you’re going to venture into—as long as you know the right characteristics to look out for. We’ve listed below some guidelines on how to choose the right rack for your vehicle.
While there are universal roof racks to accommodate your Tacoma vehicle, it is ideal to choose one that is right for your 1st, 2nd or 3rd Gen model. This is helpful in terms of better compatibility, ease of installation, and overall performance.
Weight and Size
Your Tacoma rack should ideally be lightweight to moderately heavy in terms of weight and can hold a good amount of carrying capacity. The size and weight factors should be given deep thought to avoid causing too much strain on your vehicle and impacting aerodynamics negatively.
Another thing to ponder on is how you intend to use your roof rack. As mentioned above, most racks are utilized as storage or supporting systems for roof dwellings. While heavy-duty roof racks can fit into any use case, some only have limited capability. For instance, a small rack may be best for transporting lightweight bikes but may not be enough to hold a roof tent.
Security and Ease of Use
Many buyers express huge interest and pleasant feedback on roof racks that offer uncomplicated installation and robust locking mechanisms. These elements make the racks stable when the vehicle is in motion and make it far more difficult for thieves to remove from your car. Some truck racks also come with durable molds and fittings that can hold ropes, bungee cords, and padlocks to secure your luggage.
Quality and Style
The most essential features to look into when shopping for a Toyota Tacoma roof rack are probably the product quality and style. Superior materials and sleek designs easily capture both the eyes and satisfaction of overlanders. These two make every vehicle roof rack worth the investment.
Top Choices for Tacoma Roof Racks?
Cali Raised 2005-2022 Toyota Tacoma Premium Roof Rack
Superior among its roof rack counterparts, the Cali Raised LED Premium roof rack is top-notch, sleek, sturdy, and lightweight. Its slim and streamlined fit ensures excellent aerodynamics that can improve the performance and appeal of your Toyota Tacoma. This rack is built with a high load rating that can withstand well over 1000 lbs—exceeding the 500 lbs weight limit for most vehicles. This allows you to carry more essentials and gears on the roof.
Simple to install, this Tacoma rack is designed to be 100% bolt-on. Cali Raised Premium Roof Rack features a mount for LED light bars that enhances your vehicle's lighting capability. It even has a 360-degree lighting package option. This LED roof rack also gives you the option to include a light bar, a light kit, a switch, and a dual-function wire harness upon order.
Its high-quality black powder-coated finish guarantees remarkable protection from the damaging effects of corrosion.
What buyers love most about the Cali Raised 2005-2022 Toyota Tacoma Premium Roof Rack is its one-of-a-kind feature: the all-new adjustable LED wind deflector (ALWD). The ALWD protects the LED light bar when not in use—keeping everything street legal whenever off the trail.
Price: Starting at $799.99
Cali Raised 2005-2022 Toyota Tacoma Economy Roof Rack
Equally durable at a lower price, the Cali Raised LED 2005-2022 Toyota Tacoma Economy Roof Rack is the money-saving version of the Cali Raised LED Premium Rack above. It is ideal for those who are looking for a simple yet quality Tacoma overland rack. Also designed to be a high load carrier, this product is fully CAD-designed and made of heavy-duty yet light-weight materials like its scratch-proof powder black finish that can withstand road salt, rust, and grime.
Cali Raised LED Economy Roof Rack is available with or without an LED cutout. For those who opt for the rack and LED cutout combo, it can accommodate 42” single row light bars. Just like its premium counterpart, Cali Raised Economy Roof Rack offers hassle-free bolt-on installation.
The economy version of the premium roof rack, it has a much more simplified fixed front LED fairing for those who do not want to pay the additional costs for the bells and whistles of the adjustable version.
Price: Starting at $699.99
Prinsu Toyota Tacoma Cab Rack
Prinsu Roof Racks is an industry leader with their Prinsu Tacoma Cab Rack for 2nd and 3rd Generation 2005-2022 Toyota Tacomas in the double cab (4-door) configuration. It works with all sunroof and non-sunroof models, as well.
This product’s easy bolt-on installation makes the addition of this roof rack to your vehicle simple, since it does not require drilling or any modification. It consists of 2 laser-cut side rails constructed of 3/16″ 5052 aluminum plate. These rails have 3 mounting tabs each that will allow you to bolt the roof rack into the 5 factory mounting holes on each side of the roof.
This roof rack also includes a 1/8″ 5052 aluminum plate wind deflector to help with aerodynamics and prevent wind noise.
The Prinsu Tacoma Cab Rack is completely modular and adjustable. This means that you can choose how you want to configure your rack and how many crossbars to assemble to accommodate bigger load sizes and weights. Since the weight capacity of the roof rack varies based on the number of crossbars used and their configuration, customer discretion is advised. The product comes standard with 6 cross bars for cargo and 1 additional bar for mounting a wind deflector, light bar, or combination of the two.
Price: Starting at $730.00
Prinsu Tacoma Access Rack
The Prinsu Tacoma Access Rack is a modular and adjustable roof rack that is compatible with the Access Cab versions of the Toyota Tacoma. It is constructed from high-quality aluminum materials and features a corrosion-resistant black powder-coated finish.
This specific product comes standard with 5 cross bars for cargo and 1 additional for mounting of a wind deflector, lightbar, or combination of the two. However, you can choose the number of crossbars you want to assemble your rack with.
It is worth noting that this roof rack requires drilling into the factory roof for the installation of nut certs.
Prinsu Access Racks have 4 T-Slots incorporated on the top of aluminum crossbars—which provides you with the ability to utilize multiple tie-down options to efficiently secure all your cargo. This is perfect for mounting roof top tents and adding accessories like lighting.
Price: Starting at $660.00
Prinsu Toyota Tacoma Habitat Rack | 2005-2022
Possibly one of the best designed Tacoma roof racks, the Prinsu Toyota Tacoma Habitat Rack was created as a partial rack,to work with in-the-bed campers like the AT Habitat or a 4wheel camper model that overhangs over the cab of the truck.
Its features include 1) full aluminum construction to guarantee no rust, 2) modular design to fit overlanding needs, 3) noise-reducing edge trim to ensure zero to minimal wind noise, 4) bolt-on configuration for a no-drill installation, and 5) 2 laser-cut rails with 2 mounting platforms each that will allow you to bolt the rack into the forward mounting points on the cab.
Designed for use with over-cab campers in mind, the Prinsu Habitat Rack maximizes your vehicle's carrying capacity and offers great flexibility of mounting and tie-down options to the rack.
Price: Starting at $620.00
Prinsu Toyota Tacoma Top Rack | 2005-2022
The Prinsu Toyota Tacoma Top Rack | 2005-2022 showcases Prinsu's industry-leading design as these racks are made for the Gen 2 and Gen 3 Toyota Tacomas camper shells. Staying with their strengths it has a low-profile and quiet aerodynamic build. It has a full aluminum construction and high-strength alloy crossbars.
A couple of options are available for the Prinsu Top Rack. Models are available for both the short- and long-bed Tacoma models—with the standard short-bed rack including 6 crossbars for cargo and the long-bed rack including 7 crossbars. The option to bolt the rack directly to the truck topper is also available, although not the preferred method.
These Prinsu truck canopy racks are modular, adjustable, and bolt together roof racks for fiberglass truck caps, such as Leer, A.R.E, and Snugtop which are equipped with Thule/Yakima tracks. They allow campers and overlanders to maximize storage solutions and topper capability.
Price: Starting at $710.00
Front Runner Toyota Tacoma Slimsport Roof Rack Kit
The Front Runner Toyota Tacoma (2005 - Current) Slimsport Roof Rack Kit is a no-drill installation rack. It has a low-profile flat deck rack and sleek side rails with integrated mounting feet. Its high-strength aluminum slats have top and bottom T-slots suitable for all Front Runner top mount accessories.
This product offers an optional Slimsport Rack 40″ Light Bar Wind Fairing that has a 40″ cutout to allow the use of 40″ LED Slim Light Bar VX1000-CB / 12V/24V / Single Mount.
The biggest advantage of this roof rack brand among its competitors is its low-profile characteristic. Its flat deck rack and included standard full fairing with rubber edge trim make the rack ultra-quiet. It is worth noting however, that despite its streamlined design, this Slimsport rack has a load-carrying area of 1272mmL (50.07") x 1185mmW (46.65").
Price: Starting at $695.00
Front Runner Toyota Tacoma (2005-Current) Double Cab Slimline II Roof Rack Kit / Low Profile
Manufactured to fit 2nd Gen (2005-2015) and 3rd Gen (2016-2022) Tacomas, the Front Runner Toyota Tacoma Double Cab Slimline II Roof Rack Kit / Low Profile is a cargo roof rack kit. It requires no drilling and is compatible with “shark fin” antennas and tilt moonroof.
The Double Cab Slimline II Roof Rack Kit is engineered for modern off-road adventure vehicles and offers unmatched strength, lightness, and functionality. Its features include a 1) modular design for complete flexibility, 2) high-quality material and strength for carrying loads and offroading use, 3) durability constructed from lightweight yet high-density aluminum, 4) versatile gear mounting options, and 5) low-profile streamlined design.
The Front Runner Toyota Tacoma Double Cab Slimline II Roof Rack Kit comes with a lot of inclusions—such as 49.4" W x 45.5" L Slimline II Tray, Wind Deflector, and 2 Low Profile Foot Rails. It also works great as a cargo roof rack for carrying kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards, storage boxes, as well as roof top tents, awnings, and lighting.
Price: Starting at $915.00
KC HiLites M-Rack Kit - 50” Pro6 Light Bar Roof Rack - Side Blackout Plates - 2005-2022 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab
Tailored-fit for 2005-2022 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab trucks, KC HiLites M-Rack Kit - 50” Pro6 Light Bar Roof Rack combines the art of excellent design and value for functional properties. Weighing only 25 lbs, its aerodynamic style practically changes nothing in terms of your vehicle’s center of gravity and factory curb weight when installed. It also presents a modular quality that can be scaled according to your cargo needs.
KC M-RACKs are created with precision using 3D modeling and laser cutting technologies to come up with form-fitting products that contour the roofline of your vehicle and eliminate any unsightly gaps or awkward positioning. Its other notable features include strong aluminum construction, integrated mounting for lighting, wiring harness for the lights, and crossbars with tracks that offer endless accessory mounting options.
This KC HiLites roof rack also includes an integrated 50″ Gravity® LED 8-Light Pro6 light bar system delivering 18,400 raw lumens of light output. This helps offroad drivers a lot in terms of unparalleled light distance coverage, performance, and clarity when needed.
Price: Starting at $2,799.99
Eezi-Awn Toyota Tacoma K9 Roof Rack Kit
Eezi-Awn Toyota Tacoma K9 Roof Rack Kits are one of the strongest and most reliable platform racks available in the market. Fitting perfectly with Toyota Tacoma truck’s roof, this product has been tested on the toughest off-road trails to ensure durability. It is made from matte black powder coating and extruded aluminum with fully-welded joints (not bolts). It offers an infinite number of gear organization configurations.
With dimensions of only 1-3/8" in thickness, the Eezi-Awn K9 Roof Rack Kit is very low-profile and will never slow you down. It is also Thule & Yakima compatible, which is ideal for attaching bikes, kayaks, and the like.
Aside from being one of the most durable roof platforms, The K9 Roof Rack System is also one of the most innovative roof racks. Compared to other product brands and models, it is thinner, lighter, stronger, and quieter.
It is also more aesthetically complimentary to your vehicle than many others and comes with a complete array of bolt-on accessories—such as Jerry Can holders, Axe mounts, Shovel mounts, Hi-Lift Mounts, Max Trax Mounts, Awning Mounts, Under Rack Table mounts, and more.
Price:Starting at $1,000.00
Eezi-Awn Toyota Tacoma 3rd Gen Spine Cab Rack Kit
Considered as Eezi-Awn’s “next-level” product, their Toyota Tacoma 3rd Gen Spine Cab Rack Kit introduces a unique single-piece mounting system. This makes installation a breeze, which can even be done by a single person in an hour or so. Just like the previous Eezi-Awn rack, this model features the same components in terms of capacity, compatibility, and accessory availability.
While this particular model uses the same K9 Platform as their other roof rack systems, it offers a unique single-piece mounting system called the “Spine”. The spine mounting system makes it a lot less complex and a lot faster to install.
Price: Starting at $1,175.00
Eezi-Awn Toyota Tacoma K9 Cub Rack Kit
The Eezi-Awn K9 Cub Rack Kit is the newest addition to the k9 rack collection. It was created to accommodate 2005-2022 2nd and 3rd Gen Double Cab Tacomas. The kit comes with (4) mounting channels, (4) position-specific mounting brackets, (2) side supports, (3) crossbars, and (1) wind fairing. Although, additional individual crossbars can be ordered to suit your needs. It comes with numerous bolt-on accessories and offers uncomplicated installation.
The Eezi-Awn Tacoma K9 Cub Rack Kit is a more affordable yet equally-durable Eezi-Awn K9 roof rack.
Price: Starting at $750.00
LFD Off Road Tacoma Double Cab Roof Rack 2005+
LFD Off Road Tacoma Double Cab Roof Rack 2005+ is constructed using 11 gauge steel side rails with a structural stiffening bend and proven Ruggedized Crossbars that are laser cut, bent, and welded for maximum strength. It also gives you the option to add a Lightforce 40" Single Row LED Light Bar.
For low wind noise, the rack’s curved front fairing crossbar uses a rubber bulb to form a seal with the roof. Its side rail slots allow for easy crossbar position adjustment and can be used with accessories like QuickFist clamps.
This product features ruggedized crossbars that have slots sized for M8 or 3/16 bolts for easy bolting of accessories, or they can be used with popular clamp-on style accessories, and have pre-positioned holes for MAXTRAX mounting pins as well.
Price: Starting at $789.00
Common Questions About Tacoma Roof Racks
What's the difference between a roof rack and a roof bar?
Before the distinctions, let’s mention the similarities between a roof rack and a roof bar. Both roof racks and roof bars are laid on top of your vehicle in the same direction—that is crossways, from the driver’s side to the front passenger’s side.
Now, to the difference. Aside from the name, the main contrast between the two is that roof bars are usually composed of a pair of bars that run across the top of the car, while roof racks are often modular, featuring more than two cross bars. Installation-wise both roof bars and racks can be attached directly to your Tacoma.
Will a roof rack affect my Tacoma's MPG (miles per gallon)?
The direct answer to this question is YES. Just like any other objects you place on your vehicle’s roof, the addition of racks, baskets, and even roof bars will also create noise and wind resistance. It also adds an aerodynamic drag, which then results in higher power requirements and ultimately increased fuel consumption (lower miles per gallon).
The good news is that roof rack manufacturers have continued to evolve and come up with new lower-profile roof rack models with more streamlined designs to improve aerodynamics and MPG.
How to install a roof rack in your Tacoma?
Tacoma roof rack installation is much easier due to the fact that this specific type of truck has factory-installed fixed mounting point systems to attach your roof rack to. This means you won’t have to do any drilling in order to add a roof rack. Instead, you just need to find and uncover these points, (which are located under the weather guards) and add your roof rack by following your manufacturer’s product manual and installation instructions. Overall, mounting a Tacoma rack is a simple do-it-yourself (DIY) job, although there are also shops where you can get help to install your roof rack.
What accessories are available for my Tacoma roof rack?
To make your roof rack even more functional and better-looking, you can add accessories like spotlight brackets, jerry can holders, tie-down rings, awning kits, etc. Most racks accept clamp-on style accessories from major brands like Thule, Yakima, and Rhino Rack as these parts can simply clamp onto the racks' crossbars. Some rack manufacturers will create their own accessories which we also offer for sale.
This Tacoma roof rack buyer’s guide and product list showcase a variety of overland rack options to choose from. We’ve covered products from known and trusted brands—ranging from lightweight and minimal roof racks up to premium ones with sleek designs and multiple customization options. While each and every one of the listed roof rack models has its distinct advantages, the ultimate decision boils down to your own preference, budget, and needs. While the Prinsu Roof Racks have been very popular sellers with the Tacoma overlanding community, there is a wide variety of brands to choose from. For example, Front Runner has been a popular Tacoma rack option as they offer dozens of factory accessories for optimizing the organization of your gear. Take your next overlanding or off roading adventure to the next level with strong and reliable Tacoma rack and accessories.