Reviews

Best Jeep Roof Racks: Boost Your Jeep’s Carrying Capacity

Going on road trips doesn’t have to be complicated—simply get a Jeep roof rack

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BY Alice Musyoka / LAST UPDATED ON November 14, 2019

It's not as much fun driving a Jeep if you have to sacrifice storage space. Traveling with luggage can be a tricky affair. Fortunately, Jeep Wrangler roof racks make the task easy. If you have an upcoming road trip, get a roof rack so you can carry more stuff. Here we’re shedding light on the best Jeep roof racks available.

Best Overall
Arksen Universal Roof Rack
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Summary
Summary

This 64-inch roof rack is perfect if you like to travel often. It has easy-to-follow installation guidelines, so you’ll be able to quickly set it up and set out on your adventure. It’s also a bit larger than other racks.

Pros
Pros
  • Made of heavy-duty steel and has metal bottom bars to accommodate heavy loads
  • Four thick U-bolts secure it to your vehicle's roof rack cross bars
  • Steel wind deflector helps eliminate resistance, improving your car’s fuel consumption and overall performance
Cons
Cons
  • Metal bars might develop rust if you don’t check them often
  •  Uneven weight distribution will cause the rack to lose some of its structural integrity, especially in the middle. 
Best Overall
Arksen Universal Roof Rack
Best Value
ROLA 59504 V-Tex Rooftop Cargo Basket
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Summary
Summary

This rack has a sporty design and a rough-coat finish that makes it scratch resistant and protects it against outdoor elements. It is designed to act as a wind deflector and can accommodate a lighting fixture.

Pros
Pros
  • Rack can fit Jeeps, SUVs, full-size cars, and vans with roof bars.
  • Has a removable air deflector at the front that’s designed to maintain wind dynamics and reduce wind resistance
  • Easy to install, thanks to the roof rack system
  • Doesn’t require any additional features
Cons
Cons
  • Uneven placement of screw holes makes it hard to install on some cars
  • You may have to apply an anti-rust coating or seal the tubing
  • Welded parts are not well-finished, so you have to be careful
Best Value
ROLA 59504 V-Tex Rooftop Cargo Basket
Honorable Mention
EAG Roof Rack for Jeep Wrangler
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Summary
Summary

This 80-pound rack allows you to load items double its weight as long as you evenly distribute them. It is designed to fit the style of the rugged Jeep Wrangler. Its black color blends with any exterior paint.

Pros
Pros
  • Steel tubing measures 1 inch and features a powder-coated black finish for durable service
  • Rack’s window-hinge mounting brackets ensure your Jeep stays undamaged during installation
  • No assembly required, so installation is super easy
Cons
Cons
  • Rusts easily, especially if it is exposed to humid conditions
  • Heavier than most racks in its class
  • Paint does not last and chips off easily
Honorable Mention
EAG Roof Rack for Jeep Wrangler

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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of a Jeep Roof Rack

  • More room inside the vehicle. Have you experienced little legroom or an uncomfortable journey because of bags and boxes piled around you inside your vehicle? A roof rack frees up room in the cabin for a smooth and relaxing ride.
  • Carry large items. No matter how much room you have inside your vehicle, you might struggle to fit large or oddly-shaped equipment in there. Fortunately, a roof rack provides a solution to this.
  • Safe transportation. Putting equipment on the top roof of your vehicle rather than beside the passengers keeps everyone safe inside the vehicle. During an emergency stop, items won’t fall or crash on people inside.

Types of Roof Racks

Raised Rail

A raised rail roof rack is popular on station wagons, SUVs, and minivans. You don’t usually need a specific assembly kit to attach them to vehicles because they’re super easy to install. The bars are adjustable, so you can place them on various parts of the roof.

Flushed Rail

This type of roof rack is functional and looks stylish on top of a vehicle. It provides a streamlined appearance that isn’t boxy. Plus, these racks sit lower, making them suitable for taller vehicles to travel under garages and in tunnels with no hassle.

Tracks

These racks go from the front to the back and outer edges of your Jeep’s roof. The tracks run parallel to one another and come with an attachment bar system. This type of roof rack is versatile due to its positioning and can be custom installed with shell tops, sheet metal tops, and other materials.

Fixed Point

This type of roof rack is fastened down on the outer edge of the roof with two points on each side. Generally, the connection points are located under a removable panel or a flip-up panel, making them a subtle design. As these roof racks have a clean and integrated look, you can permanently keep them on your car, even when not in use.

Top Brands

Arksen

Arksen prides itself in developing products and transportation for explorers. This company launched in 2017 and is based in London. Roof racks are just some of the products it carries. We recommend the Arksen Universal Roof Rack from Amazon. This item features a 23-inch length for increased space to act as a cargo rack. 

Mopar

Mopar cares about your automotive needs. It was founded in 1929, and its headquarters is in the United States. This brand produces and sells parts for a range of automobiles. It also designs and builds a minute number of customized vehicles. The Mopar Removable Roof Rack from Amazon is a great purchase for regular travelers. It’s suitable for the 2011-2020 Grand Cherokee.

Reese

Reese was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in Massachusetts. The brand has since become a household name in the towing industry. It manufactures an extensive line of heavy-duty towing equipment. If you’re looking to purchase a roof rack from Reese, we recommend the Reese Rooftop Cargo Basket.

Jeep Roof Rack Pricing

  • $70-$100: In this price range, roof racks typically have a top-grade EVA foam and weatherproof sleeve material, such as nylon. The racks are usually no larger than 18 inches and typically are hardtop in nature.
  • $100-$200: If you can spend a little more money, you will find roof racks with an aerodynamic design that reduces noise and movement while traveling. The installation will be much smoother and easier too.
  • $200 and up: The most expensive, high-quality roof racks can hold the maximum capacity loads. The maximum price range will also include additional storage straps to securely attach items to your vehicle’s roof. The rack will also have side rails for extra stability and a rain gutter.

Key Features

Load Capacity

This is possibly the most important feature of a roof rack. Calculate how much equipment you’ll be carrying and its weight before making a purchase. The average rack can hold around 80 pounds, and anything that can handle more weight will likely be a bigger rack. Also, consider the shapes and difficult clips that come with the rack so you can transport oddly-shaped items.

Weight and Construction

The rack should be made from durable, sturdy materials while remaining a light bar. The heavier the roof rack, the more weight it’ll add to your vehicle, which can increase fuel consumption. Look for materials such as aluminum, which is 30 percent lighter than steel but still provides exceptional strength and load-carrying capacity.

Strap Quality

Once you’ve placed your equipment on the roof rack, you want it to remain still throughout the journey. Look into the different straps included to prevent any accidents during your journey. The roof rack should be designed for all items you have, such as a kayak, and be a suitable size and shape for your items.

Other Considerations

  • Profile. A low-profile roof rack makes loading and unloading your equipment easier. It also allows you to access low parking garages or tunnels conveniently. A low-profile rack also eliminates any rattling since it’s fixed tight to your roof and can even offer better fuel mileage.
  • Installation. It doesn’t matter if this is your first or fifth roof rack; you want the installation to be simple. Crossbars are typically the cheapest roof racks to purchase and are easy to install and remove.
  • Load Rating. Be aware of your vehicle’s roof load rating before placing belongings on top of the roof. Roof racks have a maximum load, but if your vehicle’s roof doesn’t support an equivalent figure, you may cause damage to your vehicle. Take the vehicle load rating and deduct the roof rack’s weight plus any accessories.

Best Jeep Roof Rack Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Arksen Universal Roof Rack

The Arksen Universal Roof Rack is the best roof rack for carrying extra bags, luggage, equipment, and camping gear, such as a rooftop tent. If you’re searching for a Jeep roof rack that’ll fit all the bare essentials, this is a perfect choice.


This product is equipped with heavy-duty bottom metal bars for durability and safety while traveling. It’s built with a steel wind fairing that helps to reduce noise and wind resistance when driving in poor weather conditions. Plus, its capacity is much larger than most on the market. It’s easy to assemble and features a steel wind fairing to decrease wind resistance and noise. The rack also has a rugged ridge to securely keep your items in place.


However, the materials can rust easily, which means you’ll have to replace the rack eventually or refrain from using it in wet conditions. You also need to carefully load your belongings onto the rack, as uneven weight distribution can make items more prone to falling off.

Best Value
​​​​<strong>ROLA 59504 V-Tex Rooftop Cargo Basket</strong>

The ROLA 59504 V-Tex Rooftop Cargo Basket is a less-expensive purchase with many benefits. It arrives in two pieces and is easy to construct. We also love that it includes universal mounting hardware, making the roof rack suitable for a range of Jeeps.


Its heavy-duty steel construction makes this a durable and sturdy product in all types of weather. Plus, when it’s fitted correctly, you won’t experience any rattling or moving around as you drive. This roof rack is designed to be long lasting and features a rough-coat finish that’s resistant to scratches.


However, this product is prone to scratching, and if it’s not attached securely to your Jeep, it can leave some permanent damage that’ll cost you money to repair. You also need to be careful when installing the roof rack, because the screw holes aren’t accurately placed.

Premium Pick
​​​​<strong>EAG Roof Rack for Jeep Wrangler</strong>

The EAG Roof Rack for a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is a strong contender. Its basket design can handle up to 150 pounds, making it suitable for a variety of items. It also has a heavy-duty design, so you can transport odd-shaped objects without forcing them inside your vehicle.


This product is suitable for all weather due to the textured black powder-coat finish that offers resistance against rust and corrosion. You can use the roof rack in windy conditions without any hesitation, thanks to the front wind deflector, which is the perfect blend between form and function.


If you consider this item, be aware that it’s only designed to fit a Jeep Wrangler JK 07-18. This limited compatibility can be disappointing for some. And while it’s designed with safety and security in mind, it rusts easily in humid conditions, it’s quite heavy compared to some of its rivals.

Best Universal Fit
CURT Universal Rooftop Cargo Carrier

While not designed specifically for Jeeps, the CURT Universal Rooftop Cargo Carrier is a great option regardless. Measuring 41.5 x 37 x 4 inches, the rack fits most roof rack crossbars and comes with universal brackets. 


The 4-inch-high walls are designed to keep objects safely in place, while the deflector in front repels wind during high speeds. It's quick and easy to assemble the two pieces of the rack using the included hardware. Made of tubular steel, the rack is strong yet lightweight and has a carbide black powder coating that is corrosion-resistant. You can also use a cargo net or cargo bag in this rack for added security. But one of its best features is its ability to expand. If you purchase a separate extension, you can increase the square footage from 11 feet to almost 17 feet. It's a great value overall, and once you figure out the set up, it takes just a few minutes to install or remove.


Unfortunately, it can fade, and the powder coat can start flaking off over time, which can expose it to the elements and cause it to rust. In addition, the included hardware isn't the best quality.

Honorable Mention
Rhino Rack Aero Bar 4WD SUV Roof Rack

The Rhino Rack Aero Bar 4WD SUV Roof Rack fits two-door and four-door 2007-2010 Jeep Wranglers, four-door 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JKs, and four-door 2019 Jeep Wrangler JLs as well as other models. It's designed for vehicles that have protruding side gutters. If you don't want a permanent rack on your Jeep, this is a great solution, and it's ideal for transporting kayaks, paddle boards, and other items. 


One of the best features of this roof rack is that it's easy to install and remove. Strong and durable, this rack has flush-style Vortex bars that match the exact length of your Jeep's roof. VGS strips are included to minimize wind noise, and you can use several accessories with it, which makes it even more convenient. Users like that the rack looks like it has been installed by the factory. It features a nice-looking matte black powder coat and overall is well-built. 


There are not many complaints about this rack except that the screws may loosen over a short period of use and may need to be retightened periodically. Also, it's not designed to be used while off-roading.

Tips

  • Low-profile racks are a better choice than fancy racks, even for rugged vehicles like Jeeps. This is because they make loading and unloading luggage easier and have better wind dynamics. 
  • If you have to choose between a modular roof rack and a non-modular one, go with the modular one. You can test out different set ups, each which uniquely meets your loading needs. 
  • Jeep roof racks are susceptible to rust. Get anti-rust paint or seal water entry holes before using a new rack to help prolong its life. Also, be sure to occasionally check for signs of rust. 

FAQs

Q: Which is the best material for a Jeep roof rack?

Most roof racks are made of steel. While steel may make them heavy, they may not be high-quality. Aluminum performs better than steel in regards to carrying capacity and rust resistance.

Q: Will a roof rack damage my Jeep?

Not if it’s correctly installed. Roof rack manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure that their racks do not damage any vehicle parts.

Q: Is a roof rack a permanent fixture?

Most people who install roof racks on their Jeeps leave them there to avoid the hassle of having to reinstall them. However, if you prefer to remove your roof rack every now and then, it’s doable.

Final Thoughts

The 64-inch Arksen Universal Roof Rack is highly rated, and it’s the perfect accessory for a long road trip. But if you want an affordable alternative, choose the ROLA 59504 V-Tex Rooftop Cargo Basket