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  • Prinsu vs FrontRunner

    by Ryan Horton October 06, 2023 4 min read

    Let's face it, when you are sick of your factory roof rails and in the market for a new roof rack, the options seem endless. It can be hard to determine the key differences between racks and rack manufacturers. Even if you have purchased a roof rack and are happy with the decision, there is always the thought lingering of whether you made the right decision.

    Selecting a roof rack has never been harder thanks to the increased number of options that are out there. Don't feel bad, we were in the same boat. With so many options comes unique features that might help you gravitate to one specific rack over the other. If Prinsu and Front Runner (Slimline II) are two you are considering, you have come to the right place. Stick with us for the Prinsu vs Front Runner in-depth comparison.

    Key Points:

    • You cannot go wrong with either a Prinsu roof rack or Front Runner roof rack.
    • Consider the features of each rack system to make the most informed decision.
    • How you plan to use your roof rack and what roof rack accessories you see yourself needing play an important role.

    Prinsu Roof Racks

    Prinsu roof rack on a Tacoma

    Prinsu has been a staple in the game since 2012 and since then has been continuously refining their rack system. Today's Prinsu roof rack is the result of years of testing and the best version we have experienced. Prinsu's Roof Rack Systems are modular, adjustable, and completely bolt together Roof Racks that can carry the gear in an organized and convenient fashion. These roof mounted racks are completely bolt-on for most applications, capable of carrying cargo boxes, Roof Top Tents, mounting Light Bars, and designed for heavy-duty use.

    Prinsu roof racks come with two laser cut side rails, wind deflector, noise reducing edge trim, 2x1 inch extruded aluminum crossbars, mounting brackets, and all the necessary hardware to complete the installation. Prinsu racks are extremely versatile and feature a unique drop point in the cross bars allowing you to easily attach accessories within minutes. Prinsu is also known for having one of the largest selections of roof rack accessories that are specifically designed to be used with Prinsu rack systems.

    In terms of applications, Prinsuoffers a roof rack for many of the popular offroading and overland vehicles on the market including the Toyota Tacoma, Toyota 4Runner, Land Cruiser, Lexus GX460, Ford F150, Chevy Colorado, and many more. There is a good chance Prinsu offers a rack for your specific vehicle.

    Front Runner Slimline Roof Racks

    Front Runner roof rack on a Tacoma

    Front Runner is another name in the roof rack space that has been continually perfecting their rack and has grown in popularity over the years. The Front Runner Slimline II roof racks feature a modular and lightweight design that can be configured to fit your specific needs and is available for many different vehicles including cars. It features more of a tray design that has large cross bars with t-slot channels designed to easily accept Front Runner roof rack accessories.

    Due to the FrontRunner rack having a tray design, it doesn't tend to be as low profile as some of the other racks on the market including the Prinsu rack. This can result in additional wind drag. For many this is not a big deal especially if you plan to keep gear mounted to the rack such as a roof top tent.

    Front Runner Outfitters offers their Slimline rack for many different vehicles including for some cars such as BMW, Audi and more. Rest assured that Front Runner also offers their racks for the overland crowd as well.

    One unique feature that comes standard with Front Runner roof racks is the ability to turn your roof rack into more of a basket style roof rack with the addition of Front Runner's Expedition Rails. This is just one add-on that is available for the Front Runner roof rack and many more options are available allowing you to easily customize your Front Runner racks for your specific needs.

    Final Thoughts

    While the Prinsu rack and Front Runner rack serve a similar purpose, the racks from each manufacturer are drastically different in terms of design and overall appearance. We do not think you can go wrong with a rack from either brand, but the decision really comes down to which rack you think has the better appearance. The Prinsu is a more low-profile rack with side plates and cross bars while the Front Runner Slimline rack is more of a rack with side plates and a tray. Each design has its own benefits which we touched on above. The Front Runner Slimline II is available for more vehicles than the Prinsu is available for so you may be forced into making a decision that way. However, if you have a choice, we really suggest you compare the rack features and overall appearance to decide which rack will work best for your specific needs.

    Brand Prinsu Front Runner
    Design Side Rails and Cross Bars Side Rails and Tray
    Side Plate Material 3/16 Inch 5052 Aluminum 3/8 Inch T6 Aluminum
    Wind Deflector Material 1/8 Inch 5052 Aluminum 2.5 MM Aluminum
    Cross Bar Material 2x1 Inch Threaded Aluminum T-Channel 3x4 Inch Aluminum with T-Channel
    Mounting Method Bolt-On or Minor Drilling Required Various Depending on Application
    Finish (Side Plates) Bare, Black, Grey, or White Powder Coat Black Epoxy Powder Coat
    Finish (Cross Bars) Black Black Epoxy Powder Coat
    Hardware Standard Standard
    Wind Deflector Standard (No Light Bar) or 40 Inch Cut Out (allows 40n inch light bar)
    *some models have 50 inch cutout
    Weight 45-65 lbs. Depending on Vehicle 50-80 lbs. Depending on Vehicle
    Weight Rating 600-800 lbs. (static); 300-400 lbs. (dynamic) 660 lbs. (static)
    Height Adds 1-3 Inches Total Adds 2-4 Inches Total
    Options Optional Shield Plates N/A
    Sunroof Functional Functional
    Integrated Handles Optional Add-On Optional Add-On
    Accessories All Prinsu Accessories All Front Runner Accessories
    Price Ranges from $720 to $1,480 (most models) Kits Range from $890 to $1,699 (most models)

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