Overland Bed Racks are an essential addition to any serious outdoor enthusiast and overlander. They allow us to transport everything we might need safely while adding substantial visual appeal.
I’m excited to take you through some of these options and hopefully assist in purchasing the correct set for your vehicle.
Overlanding, camping, and outdoor adventures are more popular than ever. There is no better way to de-stress than to spend nights far away from bright lights, busy highways, and honking cabs.
Let’s take a look at some of the best overland bed racks the market has to offer.
Yakima Outpost Mid-Height Bed Rack
The Yakima Outpost Mid-Height Heavy Bed Rack is right up there with the best. It has been designed to fit most truck beds on the road today.
Except for Nissan and Toyota models, which require the Bed Track kit 1 Accessory (sold separately), this bed rack fits tracked beds and certain Tonneau Covers.
Additionally, this quality bed rack is compatible with all existing Yakima mounts and can easily transport all your outdoor and camping equipment.
The Yakima Outpost Mid-Height Heavy Bed Rack has been built to go the distance with quality and durability high up on the list.
It is manufactured from premium engineered aluminum and is expertly finished off with a durable and attractive black powder-coat finish. This results in an impressive maximum off-road rating of 300lbs and an outstanding on-road rating of 500lbs.
This bed rack also includes an easy to mount QuickChange rack attachment.
This technology makes putting and taking this bed rack off a pleasure. Integrated tie-down points make securing any type of load easy and safe, adding accessories and gear mounts are just as simple and quick due to the T-slot attachment.
This bed rack works well with Yakima HD Crossbar, in 60”, 68”, and 78” lengths that are sold separately.
Additionally, this quality bed rack features the Same Key System (SKS) locks. These are ideal for safely securing the rack system to the truck bed.
This bed rack weighs just 34lbs with a length of 25 inches, a width of 19.25 inches, and a height of 15 inches.
Hooke Road Overland Bed Rack
The Overland Bed Rack from Hooke Road is another great option for pick up drivers and mounts easily on the factory bed rail with the universal mounting system. This premium bed rack will handle anything that you throw at it or on it.
It offers numerous tie-down and mounting points to secure all your overland and camping gear safely, and crossbars allow for use of rooftop tents and other roof-mounted accessories. Expedition side panels are ideal for mounting your outdoor gear, water, food, and recovery kit.
The Hooke Road Overland Bed Rack is durable and has been designed to give you numerous years of outdoor activities. They are seriously strong and have been manufactured from lightweight machined aluminum.
The weight capacity of this rack on the road is 400lbs. Hooke Road also considered static weight capacity of 800lbs, for when you stay in your rooftop tent.
Hooke Road Overland Bed Rack fits a big variety of vehicles from Jeep Gladiator to Ram’s, Ford’s, Chevy’s, and Toyota’s pick up trucks, i.e. Tacoma, F-150, and Silverado, to name only a few.
Thule Xsporter Pro Pickup Truck Rack
Thule is one of my favorite products. They have been making excellent vehicle accessories for a long time now and have earned their reputation for outstanding quality and innovation.
The Xsporter Pro Pickup Truck Rack is one of the best out there and is the ideal mid-size truck rack for transporting cargo up to 600lbs. The SecureLock System features two Thule One-key lock cylinders to keep your bed rack safely secured to your truck.
Installation is quick and simple and features an innovative bolt-on design. This means that there is no need to drill into your beloved truck.
The bed rack is 16 inches high and not only provides easy access to cargo but also sits just below the cab for a sleek appearance and improved aerodynamics.
In true Thule fashion, the Xsporter Pro Pickup Truck Rack is infused with WinDiffuser Technology. When this technology is applied to the load bars, the noise and drag are reduced by disturbing the airflow.
This is an excellent feature when going on long overland trips, this bed rack is quieter and also reduces fuel consumption.
This Thule Xsporter Pro is built to last. It is made from corrosion-resistant and durable, high-quality aluminum and offers a beautifully crafted lightweight design.
Thule products may seem expensive, but they are worth every cent. They also hold their resale value well should you want to upgrade in the future.
KML OFFROAD Rack
The KML OffRoad Rack features an open rack design with loads of storage capacity. It is super strong and can support almost any outdoor and camping gear that you can put on it.
Each application is a custom fit and has been designed to eliminate any drilling with a clever direct bolt-on system.
This is done with square tubing, which results in a versatile system to accommodate all trail needs. This multipurpose cab height rack not only meets all the requirements of overlanders but also features a full line of lighting.
All of the racks are expertly prewired and are managed by a waterproof six-way switch. I love this feature; it is difficult to describe just how effective this lighting system is and how much of a difference it makes.
Mid-size applications are made from premium 1.75” square tubing, and all full-size applications are made from ultra-strong 2.0” square tubing. The full-length rails offer integrated tie-downs. These allow you to secure all types of gear and loads.
Two of my favorite features on the KML Rack are side plates and a removable shelf. The side plates allow you to mount recovery lamps, jacks, water cans, and gas cans.
The removable shelf allows you to store items that you may need to access quickly, like compressors, CO2 tanks, and propane bottles.
The Truck Rack from Thule is nicely designed and is ideal for transporting your outdoor accessories and mounting your rooftop tent. Installation is simple; the bed bars mount perfectly to the factory bed and will take you less than one hour to complete.
It includes the complete kit with all the necessary components for installation. The Truck Rack comes in two colors: powder coated with a satin black texture finish and silver aluminum. This results in a quality product that is durable and corrosion-resistant.
The Thule TracRac has been custom-designed to fit a small range of vehicles and provide excellent mounting points to load and transport just about anything. This is a fantastic budget-friendly option, which is practical and functional.
The Truck Rack is also great for hauling all types of commercial cargo like lumber and roof sheeting.
Fab Fours’ Overland Rack
The Fab Fours’ Overland Rack is proudly made in the United States. This product is made to go the distance with superior strength and durability. It features an expandable design with ten integrated 3×3 pod mounts, multiple mounting points, and multiple tie-down points.
This bed rack is custom made to fit the 2020 Jeep Gladiator JT (hardtop only) and is the perfect balance of functionality and form.
My two favorite features are the integrated roof access step and the ability to create a solid floor (extra cross members sold separately). These features make this bed rack extremely versatile, with an optional front rack coming soon.
The 12 gauge steel construction will handle your cargo with ease, and installation is quick and simple. With two included cross members, this bed rack offers an impressive 500lbs loading capacity. Each product is expertly finished with a two-stage black powder coat.
Westin Overland Cargo Rack
The Westin Overland Cargo Rack is fast becoming the leading option when one is looking to increase the storage capacity of your truck combined with practicality.
Surprisingly, it was only introduced into the market earlier this year. This all-new Overland Cargo Rack offers a low-profile design and is manufactured from premium quality 14 gauge steel.
For additional durability, it comes with the Westin e-coated base textured finish. This ensures outstanding rust and corrosion resistance.
The Westin Overland Cargo Rack will provide you with years of long service and features top support rails that can be mounted in any position, a custom die-cast riveted logo badge, and a multipurpose Cargo Management System (CMS). The multipurpose CMS allows for a large variety of easy and convenient gear storage.
Installation is quick and simple with no drilling required, all parts are bolted onto your vehicle, and all mounting brackets and hardware are included.
This rack has been uniquely designed to fit OEM bed rails and can accommodate most rooftop tents. Optional rack lengths are available (sold separately) in 45” and 57”.
The low-profile design keeps your gear just below the cab roofline. Not only does this assist in reducing noise and drag, but it also provides your truck with aggressive styling.
Buyers Guide Pickup Truck Overland Bed Racks
This buyers’ guide will highlight key points that you should consider before purchasing a Pick-Up Truck Overland Bed Rack:
Roof Top Tent
A rooftop tent is a great way to enjoy a good nights’ sleep when Overlanding. Not only are they quick to erect, but they also keep you high off the ground away from critters that might be native to that particular area.
If you have a rooftop tent or are planning to purchase it in the future, it is vital to make sure that the Bed Rack you choose offers rooftop tent capability.
There are numerous options available, with some manufacturers providing additional floorboards as an optional extra. These floorboards offer excellent stability to ensure your tent stays firmly in place.
Just like rooftop tents, Tonneau Covers are a great accessory. They are effective at keeping your gear dry and safe when Overlanding.
If a Tonneau Cover interests you, or you may want to purchase one in the future, it is advisable to make sure the overland bed rack offers Tonneau Cover capabilities.
When loaded gear exceeds the cab height, it will be exposed to the vast amount of incoming air that is caused when driving. The oncoming wind hitting your gear will create drag and noise.
It is less common at low speeds, but if you happen to be driving long distances on tar roads to reach your camping area, then this might be something you will need to consider.
There are overland bed racks that are designed to eliminate this issue, whereby the gear is cleverly stored just below the cab line. This type of design increases aerodynamics, reduces noise and fuel consumption.
Accessory Mounting Points
Suppose you want to mount items like high-lift jacks, water containers, recovery kits, and gas cans. In that case, it is advisable to consider an overland bed rack that offers Accessory Mounting Capabilities. The Accessory Mounting Points will allow you to store your necessary items neatly and safely.
Type of Gear
Before you consider purchasing an overland bed rack, it is essential to know exactly what type of gear you will be transporting. I encourage guys to pack all their equipment out on the garage floor.
Once everything is out, you should make a list of each item and the dimensions and weight (I find a digital bathroom scale works well). Once you have completed this task and physically touched and handled each item, it will help you immensely when choosing your overland bed rack.
When loading your gear, it is advisable to always pack your heavy gear at the bottom or in your vehicle. Pack the lighter items on top of the heavy items. It will help keep the mass centered and will improve the handling and drive of your truck.
Will you need to transport large items in the bed?
This is important because once the overland bed rack is secured to your truck, it will be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to transport large items on the bed.
You could always remove the bed rack and reattach it when you are done, but it may be worth your while to find an option to suit your needs better if you are transporting large items regularly.
Weight Capacity of Truck Bed Rack
Weight capacity is, unfortunately, something that numerous overlanders do not pay enough attention to. Every piece of your gear has weight, and every overland bed rack has a specified loading capacity.
Simple physics teaches us that if we exceed the load capacity, the bed rack could fail. Now that you have a detailed list of each item of your gear, ensuring this doesn’t happen should be easy.
Calculate the weight of your equipment, add fifteen percent for unforeseen items and ensure that you purchase an overland bed rack that can comfortably handle this weight.
Keep your list in your glove compartment and each time to add gear to your arsenal or upgrade an item, make the necessary adjustments so that you always know exactly how heavy your cargo is.
Weight of the Truck Bed Rack
This is important, particularly if you have a pick-up truck that might be low on horsepower. Bed Racks that are manufactured from heavy-duty steel can become quite heavy.
When factoring in the loading capacity of your pick-up truck, it is important to know the weight of your bed rack and include the weight in the calculation.
Bed racks manufactured from aluminum are lightweight and super strong. Having a lighter bed rack can reduce your fuel consumption if you happen to be traveling long distances.
My favorite overland bed rack is the Overland Vehicle Systems Discovery Rack. It is so versatile and is full of convenient features.
Apart from the excellent design, quality, and market-leading warranty, I like the most removable shelf and side plates. The side plates allow for expert storage of critical and survival items, and the removable shelf allows quick access to essential things like compressors or propane tanks.
No matter your choice, always remember to adhere to the loading limits. I recommend that you always store your heavier gear as low to the ground as possible, with lighter items loaded on top.