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2021 Bed Rack Buyers Guide

February 11, 2021


Overlanding in 2021: The Bed Rack for Your Next Adventure



There are many different options to choose from when considering a bed rack and the pros and cons of each. Many will be in search of “What is the best Overlanding Bed Rack” and that answer is not as simple as you may think. Overlanding is not a one size fits all and greatly depends on the user and the expedition they plan on embarking on. We will cover several different bed racks that each have their own specific uses and features that may make a rack better for one person and not the other. While there are many truck bed racks out there we will look at a couple of brands more closely. If you have any questions regarding a specific bed rack that you are looking to purchase in 2021, do not hesitate to reach out via email, chat, or give us a call. We want to ensure you have the gear that works best for you, with world class customer support and the best price possible.



RCI Offroad Universal Bed Rack


RCI Offroad is a manufacturer based out of Loveland Colorado that specializes in aftermarket products utilized by those within the Overland Community. Every rock slider, bumper, skid plate, and bed rack is all designed and built right here in America with American Craftmanship. RCI ensures quality is always upheld while prices remain low, making RCI a great brand to go with when diving into the world of Overlanding. The RCI Universal Bed Rack is available in two different heights, 12” or 18”. The weight capacity on this rack is recommended to be 750lbs but an unofficial test performed at RCI maxed the rack out at 1500lbs! The rack is fully adjustable to accommodate the demands placed on it as there are multiple mounting points located on both the sides and top of the rack. For further capability adding the additional support brace not only provides a little extra stability but additional mounting locations as well! The 18 inch rack does allow you to see out of the rear window which is huge convenience. Where this rack also shines is the ability to add tonneau cover adapters. These adapters allow you to match up nearly any tonneau cover with the rack. The tonneau cover must have rails that run the length of the bed, be low profile, and preferably a roll up cover. The hard folding covers will work but you won’t be able to open the cover as you normally would. It is important to note that the tonneau cover adapters will add 3 inches to the height of your rack. With a 45 minute installation time frame, endless ability to mount gear, and being able to utilize this rack with a tonneau cover; the RCI Universal Bed Rack is definitely worth considering. Did we mentioned that this rack with all features added is under $900.00?



upTOP Overland Truss AFS Retrax Bed Rack

Many manufacturers are starting to find ways to pair their bed rack with tonneau covers. The crew at upTOP paired their top of the line rack with a top of the line tonneau cover brand: Retrax. The Truss AFS (Adaptive Full Size) Bed Rack is able to pair up with Silverado, RAM, Sierra, All F-Series Fords, Titans, and Tundras. The AFS Rack is constructed from durable powdercoated aluminum with mounting locations too many to count. The Truss AFS Retrax is available in both mid (11.5”) and full height (19”). This specifically pairs to the Retrax XR Tonneau Covers that have grooves in the rails that allow this rack to match up with perfectly. Retrax is a top of the line retractable tonneau cover that can lock in any position, allowing you to decide how open or close the cover is. You must have the Retrax Cover installed before installing this rack for installation to go correctly. If you have a Retrax Tonneau Cover and are looking to expand the potential of your rig, then the Truss AFS Retrax Bed Rack from upTOP is the solution for you. Again…this rack for a short bed truck at mid-height is under $900. For the full length full height rack you are still under $1300, which is competitive when compared to some other models.



Leitner Designs ACS Rack


Leitner Designs offers a bed rack that does not skimp on versatility or one of a kind accessories. The Leitner ACS Rack is available in both a classic and forged version, while they may offer the same mounting capability the mounting capacity is a different story. The weight ratings for each model are: ACS Classic: Off-Road= 250 lbs. | On-Road =500 lbs. | Static Load = 1000 lbs with the ACS FORGED: Off-Road= 400 lbs. | On-Road =800 lbs. | Static Load = 1400 lbs. So if this is a factor for you then the Forged model is the way to go. Constructed out of military-grade aluminum alloy and sporting a dual stage powder coat finish, this offroad bed rack is built to handle anything you throw its way. One cool feature on this rack is the ability to move the rear cross bar. This allows you to still carry items that may be otherwise obstructed by a bed rack. The other accessory that is a must have for the Leitner Racks are the Gear Pod or Gear Pod XL. Both storage containers easily install onto the Leitner ACS Bed Rack and are constructed from roto-molded polyethylene that are scratch and dent resistant as well as strong enough to hold up to the suns harmful UV rays. That are equipped with a seal that runs along the edge of the opening to ensure maximum resistance to the elements, keeping your gear protected. It is easy to see why the Leitner Designs ACS Rack is a favorite among the overland community.

CBI Offroad Cab Height Bed Rack

CBI specifically designed a rack that would sit cab height  to ensure the rack could serve a multitude of functions. From easily mounting your roof top tent to taking the rack to the job site and stacking long pieces of lumber on top, the CBI Bed Rack is capable. The rack features numerous mounting points, a 2-stage powder-coat finish, and integrated tie down points to keep your cargo right where you want it. A rack like this truly doubles for those that enjoy camping but also have work to do during the week. Easily mount MAXTRAX, RotopaX, Hi-lift Jacks, Shovels, Axes, or any tool you may need when at the campsite or worksite.

These are just a few of the racks that are available to use and each has its own strength that caters to an individuals needs. If you hare having a hard time picking the bed rack that is right for you in 2021, give us a call, chat in, or shoot us an email. We are happy to assist any way we can with your build. Our goal is to find the option that works best for you, while providing the best service possible at the best price possible.