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  • Tacoma Rock Sliders - Why you Should Consider Them

    by Ryan Horton January 03, 2024 6 min read

    Rock sliders are one of the most underrated products you can add to your Tacoma and one of those items that you don't need until you actually need them. They may not be the flashiest Tacoma accessory, but Tacoma rock sliders provide much-needed protection, especially for those who find themselves off road off the beaten path exploring rough terrain. Not only do they provide protection, but they can also act as a step providing easy access in and out of your rig. In the article, we will explore some of the benefits and top choices when it comes to Tacoma rock sliders.

    Key Takeaways

    Tacoma rock sliders provide ample protection and can also act as a step allowing for safe entry and exit from the vehicle.

    Most Tacoma rock sliders feature an easy installation that is completely bolt-on and does not require drilling and/or welding.

    Many of the top brands offer customization options such as the ability to add optional top plates, a powder coat finish, and even select the angle of the slider.

    Why You Need Tacoma Rock Sliders

    We aren't here to convince you that you need Tacoma rock sliders, but we are here to recommend them before it is too late. Like a Tacoma engine skid plate, rock sliders always seem to be on the back burner until it is too late and you wish you had them. Take our advice and consider some rock sliders today if you find yourself navigating tough trails with objects that could come in contact with your rocker panels.

    Best Tacoma Rock Sliders

    There are many brands out there that offer Tacoma rock sliders, but some stand out which we outline below. Truck Brigade has nearly a decade of experience with these products and can attest to their quality and craftsmanship. It is worth noting we are only focusing on actual rock sliders that are mounted to the frame of the Tacoma and not side steps or running boards which are not designed to protect. Tacoma rock sliders that bolt to the frame as the ones that are discussed here, all can act as a great jack point for something like a Hi Lift jack allowing you to easily jack up one side of your Tacoma. All rock sliders we discuss are proudly made in the U.S.A. with the finest materials.

    C4 Fabrication Rock Sliders

    C4 Fabrication Tacoma rock sliders are proudly made in Sturgis, South Dakota with the highest quality materials. The round tube is made from DOM (drawn over mandrel) which increases strength and dent resistance over mild steel tubing which is used by some. In addition, C4 Tacoma rock sliders feature removable top step plates, zinc-plated hardware, and a main slider rail that is made from 3x2 inch rectangle tube providing a much larger surface to slide over rocks and debris. It is worth noting that C4 products ship bare steel and powder coating is not currently available. We recommend painting or powder coating the sliders prior to installing.

    C4 Tacoma sliders will fit both access cab long bed and double cab short bed Tacoma models. C4 2nd Gen Tacoma rock sliders and C4 3rd Gen Tacoma rock sliders are available.

    C4 Tacoma Rock Sliders

    RCI Offroad Rock Sliders

    RCI Offroad Tacoma rock sliders are built and powder-coated in-house in Loveland, Colorado. RCI offers some of the highest quality sliders and also allows you to customize them to fit your needs best. For example, with RCI Tacoma sliders, you have the ability to order them with an optional added top filler plate that is dimple-died for added strength and a secure step. You also have the option of ordering them with a satin black powder coat and either a 5-degree angle or a 20-degree angle. The 5-degree slider will act more as a step while the 20-degree variation provides a bit better protection for the rocker panels. 20-degree sliders are the standard offered by RCI, but if you are looking for more of a step and can sacrifice a bit of protection you might look at the 5-degree version.

    In terms of construction, RCI offers their 2nd Gen Tacoma rock sliders and 3rd Gen Tacoma rock sliders with a 2-inch square main tube and 1.75-inch DOM outer rails. They attach to the frame of your Tacoma with a 3/16 inch laser cut steel plate and come with 1/4 inch thick gussets on all four legs. No drilling or cutting is required to install RCI's Tacoma rock sliders and all necessary grade 5 and grade 8 hardware is included.

    RCI Tacoma Rock Sliders

    CBI Offroad Rock Sliders

    CBI Offroad has long been known for their Tacoma bumpers, skid plates, and more. CBI Tacoma rock sliders build on CBI Offroad's legacy of quality functional products and are made in Idaho Falls, Idaho. All CBI Tacoma rock sliders are bolt-on and constructed from the finest materials. This includes optional DOM steel tubing and powder coat options.

    CBI Tacoma Rock Sliders

    CBI Tacoma sliders come in three versions: Overland Series rock sliders, Trail Series Rock Sliders, and Classic Series rock sliders. Each of these series is further broken down below.

    • CBI Overland Series Tacoma Rock Sliders: This version of slider is considered to be CBI's most complete and it comes with top plates that offer additional protection and a stepping point. In addition, CBI Tacoma Overland Series sliders can be ordered with an optional kick-out which can help you Tacoma clear trail obstructions and you can also order them with an optional powder coat finish.

    • CBI Trail Series Tacoma Rock Sliders: The Trail Series rock sliders from CBI are considered to be more of a mid-grade slider and do not have all the features of the Overland Series sliders. Top plates are not an option on the Trail Series sliders but you do still have the ability to order the rock sliders with a kick out and they come with an optional powder coat finish.

    • CBI Classic Series Tacoma Rock Sliders: The Classic Series rocks sliders are the most affordable option from CBI. They do not come with top plates or a kick-out, but you do have the ability to order them with a black powder coat. Like all CBI Tacoma sliders, the Classic Series sliders can be ordered with HREW (hot rolled electric welded) or DOM (drawn over mandrel) tubing and are available for the long double cab long bed along with short bed Tacoma models.

    Cali Raised LED Rock Sliders

    Cali Raised rock sliders are proudly made in Fort Worth, Texas and the complete process from laser cutting the material to powder coating is all done in-house. Cali Raised LED is known for having some of the shortest lead times allowing you to receive your products sooner.

    Cali Raised rock sliders for the Tacoma come in two variations: Trail Edition rock sliders and Step Edition rock sliders. The Trail Edition rock sliders do not come with top plates but are available with an optional kick-out and powder coat finish. The Step Edition rock sliders come with top plates that can be coated differently than the slider itself. One unique feature of Cali Raised LED rock sliders is the ability to order them with a bedliner coating. This can be a great option for those looking for added grip and security when entering and exiting the vehicle while also providing excellent corrosion resistance.

    Cali Raised LED Tacoma Rock Sliders

    Westcott Designs Rock Sliders

    Westcott Designs Tacoma rock sliders are another great option for Tacoma owners looking to maximize protection. Westcott sliders feature some of the cleanest welds in the game which is another positive in addition to their quality construction. Westcott manufactures all their products which include their industry-leading Westcott roof rack, rock sliders, lift kits, and more in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Westcott Tacoma Rock Sliders

    Westcott rock sliders are ultra customizable with the ability to order them with HREW or DOM tubing, 0 degree or 20 degree, optional top plates, powder coated, and even the ability to order them MIG welded or TIG welded. Westcott's TIG welded sliders are some of the best-looking and quality-built sliders we have seen.

    Westcott TIG Welded Tacoma Rock Sliders

    Last Words

    Hopefully, you now are aware of the many benefits Tacoma rock sliders can offer. While Tacoma side steps and running boards act as an excellent step in and out of your vehicle they do not provide the necessary protection many of our customers desire. The rock sliders offered by the companies outlined above act as a step into your Tacoma, but more importantly provide excellent protection for your rig on tighter trails and areas with exposed objects.


    What are Tacoma rock sliders?

    Tacoma rock sliders provide maximum protection for your rocker panel from rocks and ruts on the trail and also act as a secure step in and out of your Tacoma.

    How much do rock sliders stick out on a Tacoma?

    Tacoma rock sliders are very low profile as compared to other step options. At most, Tacoma rock sliders extend out 2-4 inches from the body of a Tacoma.

    How do you install rock sliders on a Tacoma?

    Most Tacoma rock sliders are bolt-on and don't require any drilling or welding. Simply bolt the rock sliders to pre-existing holes on the Tacoma frame.

    How to weld on Tacoma rock sliders?

    While most Tacoma rock sliders are bolt-on some are weld-on. To weld on rock sliders it is best to use jack stands or some other means to hold up the rock sliders allowing you to align the sliders properly. Once the rock sliders are aligned according to the directions from the manufacturer tack the rock sliders in multiple places allowing the welds to hold the complete weight of the rock sliders. Once you confirm that the positioning is correct, finish weld the rock sliders to the frame.

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