Overlanding is self-reliant and that’s one reason why each outing you experience will hold a special place within you and your travel companions indefinitely. While it comes natural to take pride in what we accomplish on each trip (and rightfully so), let’s not forget that there’s a true warrior assisting us every step of the way… your rig. Your vehicle's functionality and carrying capacity is considered the "be all" for this type of activity. Today's blog will focus on things to consider when choosing the best roof rack or bed rack for overlanding.
But I Already Own a Factory Roof Rack… Let's Start from Scratch
Let’s first address those who own a vehicle that is sporting a factory roof rack. While these may work great for everyday use, they often lack the strength needed to support higher-weight overland gear and accessories. In this scenario, our team highly recommends replacing the factory roof rack with an aftermarket roof rack. We have partnered with industry leading brands such as PrinSu Design Studio, Cali Raised LED, Sherpa Equipment Co., upTOP Overland and many more; each of which offer a much stronger and versatile roof rack than one from the factory. Not only are these roof rack systems higher strength but they are much more versatile, providing a better mounting platform for Roof Top Tents, Awnings, Storage Boxes, Maxtrax Boards, RotopaX Containers, Spare Tires, Lighting, and other cargo that may be needed for extended days off the grid. Assuming that we've convinced you to start with a blank canvas, let’s review the potential options available for your vehicle. While cars and SUVs are limited to a roof rack (unless you want to get VERY creative), those who own a truck or a Jeep Gladiator will have a more expansive product offering to choose from. This category will range from roof racks, bed racks, and load bars (often referred to as bed bars).
Overland Roof Racks: Roof Racks are becoming increasingly popular and are now available in a variety of stylish designs. They are typically low profile and feature an innovative design to help reduce wind drag and wind noise. Many roof racks such as the PrinSu Roof Rack, Cali Raised Roof Rack, Sherpa Roof Rack, and upTOP Roof Rack, feature wind deflectors that can accommodate a LED Light Bar. Each of the listed manufactures have created an overland style roof rack that was designed with the adventure enthusiast in mind. They can often support weights of 600lbs. – 700lbs. and feature channeled load bars and tie-down points that will allow you to easily secure your gear. These roof racks are popular choices for those who are wanting to run a LED Light Bar and securely transport their gear to the next location. While many aftermarket roof racks can easily support a Roof Top Tent, it is recommended that truck owners consider a bed rack, due to the aerodynamic aspect of things.
Overland Bed Racks:In addition to roof racks, bed racks allow you to truly maximize your truck’s carrying capacity. By installing a bed rack on your truck, you now not only have the ability to store things in the truck bed but also alongside (and on top) of the truck bed rack. Truck Brigade is proud to be an Authorized Dealer for many industry leading manufacturers of truck bed racks, such as Leitner Designs, Cali Raised LED, CBI Offroad, RCI Offroad, and the list goes on! We have chosen to partner with these brands due to the fact that they each have been tested and proven. Each of these manufacturers have set themselves apart by creating a unique product that could easily cater to anyone’s lifestyle. Bed Racks are often a little pricier than a roof rack, however with that often comes more convenience and more functionality. Bed Racks typically are capable of supporting weights between 800lbs. – 1,400 lbs., depending on the brand. Below is a list of recommended Overland Bed Racks / Offroad Bed Racks.
Overland Bed Bars: If you’re looking for the most conservative option to expand your vehicle’s carrying capacity from a price standpoint, bed bars may be the perfect solution. These are easy to install and just as easily removed when not in use. While they do not have the same strength that a roof rack or bed rack offer, they are strong enough to support a Roof Top Tent and other miscellaneous gear. Some excellent quality bed bars to consider would be Cali Raised LED, C4 Fabrication, and CBI Offroad. By going with one of these three manufacturers, you can rest assured that you will get many years of reliable use. Please note that bed bars are typically manufactured to be vehicle specific and are not available for certain vehicles at this time.
When trying to determine what type of vehicle rack solution you want to go with, one of the first questions you need to address is, what gear will you need to carry? Considering your lifestyle and the activities you enjoy will go a far way with determining which option is best for you. Please note that while we try to be as informative as possible regarding category breakdowns and product recommendations, this topic could be discussed for days on end. The options out there are truly unlimited! We would like to point out that each manufacturer and product that has been mentioned in today’s blog has been tested and proven by not only our team, but a multitude of enthusiasts around the world. If you would like further assistance with choosing the best roof rack, bed rack, or overland bars for your next overland adventure, please do not hesitate to reach out to our crew!
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