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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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
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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.