Roof Racks for Toyota Tacoma: Worth It and What To Buy!

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Toyota Tacoma owners can experience a whole wide world of adventure with this SUV. Having a functional roof rack can make it easier to get out on the road and explore nature. Unfortunately, not every roof rack will fit your Tacoma, so there are critical elements to watch for before making a purchase. 

So, can you put a roof rack on a Toyota Tacoma? Yes, you can, but there are some restrictions. 

Is It Worth Getting a Roof Rack?

Roof racks are just one of the terrific accessories for Toyota Tacoma owners. If you have never owned a vehicle with a roof rack before, they have several advantages that may make you want one for every automobile you have. 

Some popular uses for a roof rack include: 

  • Securing large items, such as canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, bikes, or other items
  • Storing bulky cargo that will not fit inside or so you can free up inside space 
  • Keeping wet or dirty things separate, including camping gear, hockey equipment, or other smelly items 
  • Using them for roof-top tenting products 

All these uses make you wonder why everyone does not choose to have these accessories for their vehicle. Once you start using a roof rack, you can notice some benefits that may not have been apparent before, including: 

  • Keeping the inside of your Toyota Tacoma cleaner and smelling better
  • Increases the resale value 
  • It gives a more polished look to your ride 

How Much Weight Can a Tacoma Roof Rack Hold?

The dynamic weight load that a roof rack can carry is the total amount of weight when the vehicle is in motion. This amount is because once a vehicle moves, the cargo weight on top changes the center of gravity. Loads that are too heavy increase the chance of tipping. 

The maximum dynamic load weight a roof rack can handle without damage is typically 165 pounds, although some less expensive brands may not have that high of capacity. You will need to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations before loading up your gear to ensure you adhere to the specifications. 

The static weight limit is the total weight that your Toyota Tacoma can handle when the vehicle is stationary. For example, if you have a roof-top tent, it may weigh 150 pounds, but once you and your guest turn in for the night, the total static weight can top up to 600 pounds or more. 

Thankfully, when your vehicle is stationary, the roof rack and the truck can support these large weight amounts until you are ready to pack up and travel to your next spot. 

Types of Roof Racks Available

Consumers will find dozens of brands and styles to choose from when searching roof racks for Toyota Tacomas. 

Before you rush out and buy the first rack that will fit your vehicle, you must ensure that it will carry the cargo you want and need. Some models will be versatile enough to suit several situations, while other uses will require a different setup entirely. 

Generally, the most popular roof rack choices for Toyota Tacomas include: 

  • Roof rails only 
  • Cargo basket or box 
  • Flat racks 
  • Water and winter sport racks
  • Bike racks
  • Racks with windscreens 

Roof Rails Only

Roof rails are ideal for oversized cargo items, such as kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards. You can also strap down large luggage pieces and things you cannot fit inside your vehicle. 

Cargo Basket or Box

If you want to tie down camping equipment, oversized luggage, or items like gas cans, using a cargo basket or box is the best choice. Baskets can help ensure your cargo stays put, even when you travel through rough terrain. 

Flat Racks

Flat racks are the best option when you want to install a roof-top tent on your Toyota Tacoma. These models provide a secure base for attaching your sleeping quarters away from home. 

Water and Winter Sport Racks

If you are an avid fisherman or hit the slopes often, using a water or winter sport rack will keep your expensive gear secure even at highway speeds. In addition, these models help protect your equipment from scratches and minimize any friction during transportation. 

Bike Racks

For avid cyclists who travel, using a proper bike rack is critical to keep it safe from damage and out of the back of your truck. In addition, these models help free up space inside your vehicle or truck bed, making it easier to transport bikes. 

Racks with Windscreens

Many roof racks will come with windscreens to help reduce road noise and wind resistance at high speeds. Choosing a model with a windscreen can also help improve fuel economy when transporting cargo. 

Some Considerations when Choosing a Roof Rack for a Toyota Tacoma

When shopping for the best roof rack for your Toyota Tacoma, you must consider these elements. 

  • Ease of Use
  • Purpose
  • Security

Ease of Use

One critical element is how a roof rack will be above your head on the vehicle. Will you need assistance, or can you secure your cargo yourself? You will need to determine how easy it will be to load and unload, even on the roof of your Toyota.


The type of cargo you will secure to your Toyota Tacoma will determine which roof rack you need. So, naturally, transporting bikes will require a different rack style than one your truck needs for a roof-top tent


Transporting expensive recreational gear can attract thieves when your vehicle is unattended. So, if you plan on loading up your Toyota with pricey snowboards or other items, you should be able to lock your valuables to prevent theft. 

The Best Roof Racks for Toyota Tacoma Vehicles

Take a look at these five roof racks for Toyota Tacomas suitable for your various cargo transport needs. 

  • Toyota PT278-35170 Roof Rack Rails 
  • AL Offroad HD 2nd/3rd Gen Tacoma Flat Roof Rack 
  • Victory 2nd/3rd Gen Tacoma Roof Rack for Sunroof Models 
  • Rhino-Rack for fishing, skiing, or snowboarding gear 
  • INNO Tire Hold II roof rack mount for bikes 

TOYOTA PT278-35170 Roof Rack for a Double Cab

If you need roof rack rails for your Toyota Tacoma to fit a double cab, this model can be perfect. However, you will need to ensure that the measurements are suitable for the year of your truck, as it may not fit all Tacoma models. 

AL Offroad HD 2nd/3rd Gen Tacoma Roof Rack

The aerodynamic design of this AL Offroad Tacoma roof rack for a double cab ensures that it provides a quiet ride while transporting your precious cargo. In addition, it is rust-proof and uses multiple notches for a wide range of tie-down choices.  

Victory 2nd/3rd Gen Tacoma Roof Rack

This Victory roof rack model is available for access and double cab trucks, and you can choose the option for a light bar cutout when necessary. If you have a sunroof in your Tacoma, this Victory model is compatible, so you can still enjoy it when it is not sporting cargo. 

Rhino-Rack for Fishing Rod, Ski, and Snowboard Carrier

If you love to spend time outdoors fishing or hitting the slopes, this Rhino-Rack is the best solution to secure your expensive cargo. This model uses a protective rubber molding finish, so you do not have to worry about damaging your gear during transportation. 

INNO Tire Hold II Roof Mount Bike Rack

If you need a secure way to transport your bike on your Toyota Tacoma, this INNO Tire Hold II model will do the trick. This roof rack keeps your bike stable and safe without touching the bike frame or the braking system. It folds up flat when not in use and comes with a locking mechanism and keys for security. 

In Conclusion

If you are looking for a gift for the Toyota Tacoma owner in your life or just want to make your vehicle more versatile for transporting cargo, adding a roof rack is a terrific option. No matter what type of cargo you need to carry, there is a model to suit your needs. 

Remember to pay attention to the manufacturer’s guidelines so you can be sure that the model you choose will fit your Toyota Tacoma. Once you install a roof rack on your vehicle, you will see just how versatile they are, and you will wonder why you waited so long. 

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