Looking for the best low profile roof rack? Look no further, Jeep Runner has tested more than 10 low profile roof racks on our off-road Jeep, and in this article, we are going to recommend the 3 best low profile roof racks available in the market today.
Low profile roof rack is one of the best things you can mount on your Jeep to make it easier for you to store, carry, and transport your Camping or other items that don’t fit in your Jeep cabin space.
If you haven’t purchased a low profile roof rack before, you might be confused about the type and process of choosing the best roof rack for your Jeep/Car. We wrote this article with you in mind to help you through it and make the purchase easier.
After owning our fair share of low-quality low profile roof rack in the past, we realized why a good low profile roof rack is one of the best things we can mount in our Jeep, the biggest issue with bad low quality roof racks we have encountered is the support on what to fit in your rack sucks, you can’t get your items to fit in the roof rack and not enough mounting points for your cargo.
Looking to enhance your off-roading adventures even more? Check out our related guides on the 5 Tire Jeep Rotation – Complete Guide
Things To Look For When Buying Low Profile Roof Rack
Don’t rush yet to purchase a low profile roof rack, there are two questions you need to ask yourself first.
- What is the primary use of the low profile roof rack?
- How are you going to install the low profile roof rack?
Here are some few pointers we consider when choosing a low profile roof rack that properly meets our needs, to help you make an informed decision when purchasing your low profile roof rack.
Material: When it comes to materials for your roof rack there are only two options, steel or aluminum – It might not sound like a major consideration when choosing the best low profile roof rack, but the type of materials used to build the low profile roof rack can determine how much of cargo you can carry.
Installing your low profile roof rack: Installing a roof rack seems like a low difficulty task, but the options your vehicle offers you will make a big difference on the type of low profile roof rack to purchase, if you are happy with a permanent low profile roof rack, we recommend drilling holes in your car roof to hold strong the roof rack and your cargo, if you want a flexible low profile roof rack, you will need to buy a low profile roof rack that offers flexible mounting options.
Best Low Profile Roof Rack
Rhino Rack — Pioneer Platform
The Rhino low profile roof rack is ideal for Jeep owners who need to load a lot of gear onto the roof of their Jeep. The Rhino-Rack low profile roof rack is known for its durability and strength. The Rhine low profile roof rack is made of non-corrosive aluminum, which provides all of the strength while being lighter.
Why we dislike the Rhino-Rack — Pioneer Platform
Unfortunately, the Rhino low profile roof rack is not well designed for dynamic stability, and incorrect installation will lead to the low profile roof rack falling off, this has nothing to do with the strength of the Rhine low profile roof rack but the design of the low profile roof rack. Roof load limits on most 4×4 are typically 75-100kgs, the Rhino low profile roof rack weighs in at 27kgs, leaving 48 kgs for cargo. When off-roading you have to knock off a further 1/3 of the roof load limits, leaving the low rack ability to only load 32 kgs.
Why we like the Rhino-Rack — Pioneer Platform
The Rhine low profile rack platform comes in different dimensions to fit every kind of roof base, the Rhine low profile roof rack is made from durable lightweight aluminum extrusions, that feature a slightly black textured finish, along with fiberglass reinforced fiberglass corners. Rhine low profile racks are packed with a torque-limiting tool that makes sure that every fastener is torqued to the appropriate specification during the installation process.
We also love the fact that the Rhino low profile rack has a ruler printed on the side extrusions of the roof rack making sure you are able to read and understand the fitting of the crossbar’s instructions provided in the packaging.
The Rhino low profile roof rack also contains mounting feet that can be used to mount the low profile rack into the roof of your 4×4, you have the option to choose the low profile mounting feet that will guarantee that the Rhino rack fits closely to the roof of you 4×4 at 3 to 3 and a quarter inch over the highest point of your roof.
We also like Rhino low profile roof rack mounting points that give us mounting points for bolting different types of cargo, recovery pieces of equipment, and lighting requirements that we need on our off-roading adventures.
ARB 4×4 Accessories — Flat Roof Rack
The ARB 44 Accessories aluminum flat roof rack can support up to 330 pounds of static weight, and the alloy version does include an Amplimesh floor with numerous cargo mounting points to make it possible for you to personalize your load-carrying configuration. The flat rack is finished with a millennium powder coat and comes preloaded with a zinc-rich primer.
Why we dislike the ARB 4×4 Accessories — Flat Roof Rack
The ARB low profile roof rack is nosier than the Rhino and the Yakima roof rack, to combat this we have to install a wind deflector to stop the noise. The mounting points are not so well designed since the ARB has T-Slot mounting pints hence they are limiting when you have third-party accessories that don’t support T Slots and you still have to mount them on the roof rack.
Why we like the ARB 4×4 Accessories — Flat Roof Rack
ARB has not changed its roof rack design in the last 20 years, The ARB low profile has a solid welded one-piece design so that it doesn’t rattle around when installed in your SUVs. The only pieces attached to the solid base are the end caps. In case we need to wire up our electronics on the roof rack we can wire through the roof stem interiors. The roof rack weighs about 50 pounds and is lighter than most aftermarket roof racks. The base-level unit is also very solid.
The accessories packed with the ARB low profile roof rack include a high lift jack holder, T-Slot adapters, quick release brackets, ratchet straps, spring-loaded tie-downs, recovery track holders, Gas bottle holder for two jerry cans that can be mounted in a horizontal position, roof rack light bars that work seamlessness with the base rack.
Yakima — LockNLoad System
Yakima’s popular LockNLoad low profile roof rack is meant to be heavy-duty. It neatly mounts on the system’s available crossbars, and the relatively low profile base can support up to 330 pounds, depending on the configuration. There are also different sizes to accommodate different types of vehicles and Jeeps.
How to fit a low profile roof rack?
There are usually three types of vehicle roofs, the first one is a vehicle with a bare roof, a vehicle with fixed points, and finally a vehicle with raised roof fittings. A roof rack that fits close to the car roof is much stronger than a rack that sits much higher than the roof rack, you should not do this before installing your low profile roof rack.
Installing a low profile roof rack in a bare roof vehicle.
On a bare roof, you should buy a low profile roof rack with clip-fit kits, the Clip fit kits consist of metal brackets and rubber pads. You will then go ahead and use the clip-fit kits to fit the low profile rack on the roof of your car.
You should also consider the height of the low profile brackets as this will lower and increase the height of your low profile roof rack to the roof of your car. You will also need to purchase roof bars that run across your car roof, the height of the roof bars also determines how close or how high the low profile roof rack is to the roof of your car.
Installing a low profile roof rack in a vehicle with mounting fixed points.
Most vehicles especially SUVs come with roof rack mounting points built into the roof, if you have this, your will not need to purchase roof bars or clip fit kits, you just have to install your low profile roof rack through the use of the base tower. However, if you decide to add roof bars to your vehicle, you should not that the height of the roof bars will determine how close to the roof your low profile roof rack will be.
Installing a low profile roof rack in a vehicle with raised roof fittings.
A car with raised roof fittings already has roof rack running bars already fitted in the roof of your vehicle, you can fit your roof rack on the parallel bars that are running across your vehicle or if you don’t have them, get them installed, you will also need a base tower that will support your low profile roof rack for maximum strength.
Once you have purchased the best low profile roof rack for your car, you can install the roof rack yourself or get it fitted in the nearest reputable garage. We have also included a video below detailing the process of fitting a low profile roof rack in your Jeep;
We prefer low profile roof racks because of how close they are to the roof of our car, the closer the low profile roof rack is to the roof of the car, the closer the force of gravity. This makes low profile roof racks the safest and most secure way of carrying and traveling with items in your car without having to worry about your cargo falling off a bumpy ride.
As we have seen in the installation process, the type of your car roof, and the items you want to carry in your car, there are various resources you might need to properly install a low profile roof rack in your car. Some custom-made low profile roof racks already come with all the accessories you will need to mount the low profile roof rack; we recommend you check with the seller what kind of mounting accessories come packed with the roof rack or whether they are compatible with your car roof mounting points.
Last update on 2024-02-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API