There are many reasons why the Toyota 4Runner is a best seller and one of those reasons being that it is simply a fun car to drive. Most drivers who buy the 4runner, want to take it out and drive it over rough terrain. While taking your 4Runner off-roading is very fun, there is no doubt that the rough terrain does do a bit of damage to your 4Runner.
If you notice that this is the case, then you might want to invest in a good set of rock sliders. Rock sliders are great because they do a great job of protecting the underside of your 4Runner. We have compiled a list of the five best rock sliders for the 5th generation 4Runner, and we hope that you will consider one of them to protect your Toyota 4Runner.
Okay, let’s get started!
What are Rock Sliders?
Before we dive into the five best rock sliders for the 5th generation Toyota 4Runner, we should talk more in-depth about rock sliders in general. First off, what are they? Maybe you know a bit about them since you see them on the underside of many trucks, or maybe a friend or family member mentioned that you should consider putting on rock sliders for your 4Runner. You know a bit about them but not too much, and now you are curious.
For starters, rock sliders are simply very strong metal protectors that are bolted to the underside of an off-road truck along with the rocker panels.
It is important to note that most truck drivers might not consider putting on rock sliders unless they like to take their truck off-roading.
Rock sliders are commonly made out of tubular steel, and this material is strong enough to protect the rockers and the bottom sides of the truck. The rock sliders offer protection from stumps, bumps, and damage caused by rocks and other on and off-road unforeseen obstacles.
However, it does not hurt to have an extra layer of protection. This is especially true if you live in an area where the streets are bumpy and not fully paved or you work in areas of construction where they are sand and dust floating around.
Rock sliders are a great investment because if they are built from quality material and if they are installed properly, they can withstand a lot of hitting and scraping that usually happens to the bottom of the truck as you are driving over rough terrain.
Does my Toyota 4Runner Actually Need Rock Sliders?
While rock sliders are quite beneficial, they are not a must-have item unless you like to go off-roading.
Rock sliders are normally installed by drivers who enjoy riding out in rocky terrains either to go rock climbing or if they simply find joy in driving on off-road trails.
If you are someone who uses your Toyota 4Runner for usual drives to and from work and rarely ventures out into the off-roading road, then you definitely do not need rock sliders.
The answer to this simply depends on your lifestyle.
Top 5 Best Rock Sliders for the 5th Generation Toyota 4Runner
Pricing (Note: This is just an overall estimate, prices may vary depending on time and vendor): $125-260
What makes the C4 Fabrication Sliders so great is that they bolt to your frame and not your rocker panel factory.
Since the C4 Fabrication Sliders bolts directly to your frame, they provide more solid and stable protection.
It is important to note that for the C4 Fabrication Sliders, you can get them with the C4 Fab text or with no text at all.
You can also choose to buy your C4 Fabrication Sliders with no plates and it will ship without holes to install the plates.
If you do decide later on that you do want plates on your C4 Fabrication Sliders, then you will need to drill the holes yourself so be sure before you place your order.
What makes the C4 Fabrication Sliders such a great choice is the fact that they are dimpled. This means they have traction for standing and it also makes them very easy to clean, especially if you had recently driven your 4runner through the mud.
The C4 Fabrication Sliders also come in two tubing options: regular steel tubing, as well as dom tubing-bot of these options, are pre-welded.
If you opt for the dom tubing of the C4 Fabrication Sliders, it is an additional $89 (estimate price, which could vary depending on the vendor).
However, most fans of the C4 Fabrication Sliders find that the additional cost is worth it, especially if you are planning on using your 4Runner off-trail.
Another great aspect of the C4 Fabrication Sliders is that they are easily removable if you do decide to take them out to resell your 4Runner.
C4 Fabrication Sliders are so great that more times than not, leaving them on your 4Runner as a bonus does increase its resale value to buyers.
Pricing (Note: This is just an overall estimate, prices may vary depending on time and vendor): $675+
The RCI Sliders are great for those who appreciate simplicity.
If you have smaller children, then the RCI Sliders is also an option you might want to consider. Unlike other rock sliders, the RCI Sliders have the option for a full-length tread plate.
You can use the full-length tread plate as a step. It is also great if you are traveling with someone who likes to wear higher heels and may find it uncomfortable to jump off of a tall truck.
The reason why so many customers would recommend the RCI Sliders is that they offer both a heavy-duty build that is designed for off-roading as well as offering a full plate step for convenience.
If you want some fun color options, then the RCI Sliders is not for you. Like we had mentioned earlier, the RCI Sliders is known for its simplicity which means it sticks to that brand through and through.
The RCI Sliders only come in one color powder coating: satin black. It is still very beautiful and easy on the eyes color, but if you were looking for a pop of color then unfortunately the RCI Sliders do not offer that.
The RCI Sliders are designed with 11 gauge DOM tubing along with a ¼ inch heavy-duty frame mount.
When they are bolted on, their full-length frame mount will be able to provide the ultimate strength of protection-promising that they will get the job done as quality rock sliders.
The RCI Sliders are not ones to be ignored if you are someone that values a strong and quality rock slider set that also looks simplistic and sturdy.
Pricing (Note: This is just an overall estimate, prices may vary depending on time and vendor): $700+
Next on our list are the Metal Tech 4 x 4 Sliders.
The Metal Tech 4 x 4 Sliders come in two different powder coatings: a smooth finish and a semi-gloss finish, both in black.
What is great about the Metal Tech 4 x 4 Sliders is the fact that they are the only sliders on the market (thus far) that are powder coated inside and out without any special request.
The Metal Tech 4 x 4 Sliders also come either with or without the kick-outs and double as a step.
However, the Metal Tech 4 x 4 Sliders does not offer a full tread plate design. Many people find this to be a negative on the Metal Tech 4 x 4 Sliders part.
Still despite not offering a full tread plate design, many customers are loyal to the Metal Tech 4 x 4 Sliders. They continue to get raving reviews.
If you are someone that wants to support a great company, then know that they have great customer feedback.
If they have loyal customers and are continuing to pull in new ones, then that speaks volumes about their company as well as their product.
The Metal Tech 4 x 4 Sliders are not great for super heavy-duty trails, but they are excellent for mild to heavy trails.
The Metal Tech 4 x 4 Sliders also provides a simple look that you cannot go wrong with.
Pricing (Note: This is just an overall estimate, prices may vary depending on time and vendor): $565+
Shrockworks are made with a 1.75-inch outer rounded tube and 2-inch square tubes for mounting. They are bolt-on sliders that mount directly to the frame with a fame plate. This method is very similar to most rock sliders.
Shrockworks’ actual frame plates are very thick, at ¼ inches. They are made from steel and they have a very solid mourning base.
You can rest assured that they will stay in place and will not be torn off as easily compared to other bolt-on options.
The Shrockworks are available in two options: the two tube option and the three tube option.
The two tube option is meant for a more dual-purpose slider. The two tube option offers a step as well as protection.
As for the Shrockworks three tube option, it is said to be a true slider. This is because the three tube option is held tight against the body of your 4Runner so it has a nice and clean look while only providing protection. If you wanted to use your slider as a step, then the three tube options cannot provide that. If anything, you will get a minimal step at best.
However, although it does not provide a step, the three tube option is ideal if you want to take your 4Runner off-road.
The Shrockworks sliders are available in two different powder coat options, including a bare steel option. The first option is a simple, regular black powder coating. The second option is a bit more unique.
It is a textured black powder coating that is great because it provides you with some grip.
Pricing (Note: This is just an overall estimate, prices may vary depending on time and vendor): $700 +
The CBI Sliders are another bolt-on option.
The CBI Sliders come in two different options for powder coating. You can either go with a simple satin black that offers a simple and smooth finish or you can opt to get them in bare steel.
You also have the option with the CBI Sliders to have kick-outs included.
The CBI Sliders also come with two different tubing options. The first is the standard HREW (Hot rolled Electrically Welded) tubing. However, for an additional $100 you can get the DOM (Drawn over metal) option which is considered upgraded tubing.
It is up to you whether you want the HREW option or the DOM option. The DOM might be worth it if you do a lot of heavy wheeling but you can opt to skip it if you do not.
If you are wondering about steps, the CBI Sliders do stick out far enough that they can be used as steps if needed.
Due to their strength, CBI Sliders can also be used as Hi-Lift jack points.
CBI Sliders are great because they come with the option of having kick-outs or omitting them.
In Conclusion | Are Rock Sliders for You?
Rock sliders have many benefits and to put it simply, installing rock sliders will not harm your 4Runner in any way if they are installed properly. They will protect the underside of your truck and give you peace of mind whenever you have to drive through rocky terrain.
Rock sliders are also quite versatile because aside from protecting your 4Runner against any road damages, you can use rock sliders as a great step for getting in and out of tall trucks.
This is especially useful if you or your partner fall on the shorter side, or if you often ride your 4Runner with young kids.