The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular pickup trucks on the market. It’s been in production since 1995 with its first-generation debut and continues to be a favorite among car buyers. If you’re driving a Tacoma, there’s no doubt you make use of this pickup’s performance and capabilities, including the cargo space.
Choosing a Bed Rack for Your Tacoma: What You Need To Know
If you’re thinking about adding more space to your truck, a Tacoma bed rack is the perfect add-on. Toyota and many aftermarket brands manufacture bed racks for each generation of Tacoma, so if you’re looking to enhance your vehicle’s utility, you have many options. To help you find the perfect bed rack, we’ve highlighted things to think about before buying.
Bed Racks vs. Bed Rails
Bed racks give drivers more ways to load and secure cargo and can extend to match the height of the cab. Many racks even connect to a roof rack, boosting the overall length of your setup to accommodate your needs. Bed rails, though, are low-profile and have lower dynamic and static weight ratings than most bed rack systems. If your seasonal road trips require extra storage for supplies, gear, or even a pop-up tent, a bed rack can definitely be the optimal choice.
Tacoma Bed Rack Sizes
Tacoma bed racks come in many types and sizes, and some connect to a roof rack for more space. Typically, you’ll find bed rack sizes based on your model trim and year. The bed sizes can vary between regular and long and based on the cab type, so it’s important to get the right fit. Besides the year and bed size, bed racks vary by height. You can have a low-profile rack that extends a few inches from the bed, or you can find options that extend to the height of the cab if you’re pairing with a roof rack.
What To Look For in a Tacoma Bed Rack
Look for bed racks that provide strength and durability for what you plan to carry. The dynamic and static load ratings are extremely important to find options that can handle what you haul. The dynamic load is how much weight you can carry when the vehicle is in motion, and your static load is what you have on the rack while the truck is stationary. So if you’re looking to carry a tent, must-have travel tools, and heavy gear, the load rating of your rack is a critical factor in choosing the right system.
Best Tacoma Bed Rack #1: Hooke Road Tacoma Bed Rack
The Hooke Road Tacoma bed rack system features a roll bar cargo basket and is compatible with 2005-2022 Tacoma models. Other features include:
- Rating of 4.9 out of five stars
- Heavy-duty steel construction
- Five-year corrosion protection
The Hooke Road bed rack fits second- and third-generation Tacomas and is perfect for adding protection and utility with its high-tensile, 10-gauge steel construction roll bar and versatile cargo carriers. Plus, it’s easy to install and carries up to 400 pounds.
Best Tacoma Bed Rack #2: Tidal Tacoma Overland Bed Rack
The Overland Tidal Tacoma bed rack is compatible with 2016-2021 Tacoma models and features:
- Cargo management system
- Heavy-duty steel construction
- Built for short- and long-bed Tacomas
This rack fits most second- and third-generation Tacomas and features a four-star rating for its durability and ease of installation. With dynamic and static weight ratings of 440 pounds and 880 pounds, respectively, this cargo system is the perfect choice for storing what you need for your travels.
Best Tacoma Bed Rack #3: TMS Low-Profile Bed Rack
The TMS Low-Profile Bed Rack fits several truck models, including the Tacoma. Because this kit is a universal setup, you might need additional hardware or mounts to install it on your truck. Other features include:
- Two adjustable options for 18 and 21 inches
- Maximum weight rating of 800 pounds
- Adjustable to accommodate short and long beds
The TMS bed rack is compatible with both the Tacoma and Tundra, as well as most pickups with utility rack systems. With heavy-duty construction and multiple functions, this rack system is the perfect choice for loading bikes, kayaks, cargo boxes, skis, and rooftop tents.
Tacoma Bed Rack FAQ
Will a bed rack cause problems for your Tacoma?
If you fit it to your Tacoma bed properly and choose the appropriate size and weight rating, a rack doesn’t pose a problem for your equipment. If you’re installing a rack yourself, refer to your owner’s manual and the manufacturer’s installation recommendations for the product and your model trim. Many technicians install aftermarket accessories, too, which can save you time and effort.
How hard is it to install a Tacoma bed rack?
Installation requirements vary between rack designs. If you’re installing a lower-profile bed rack, you might only need the included parts and a screwdriver. Some rack kits require more time, and some have built-in assembly mechanisms to make installation even easier.
Are bed racks safe?
Bed racks usually only pose a problem if they’re not installed correctly or if the product doesn’t fit your truck properly. It’s also important to make sure you choose a bed rack that gives you a higher rating for dynamic and static weight. With these factors in mind, adding a bed rack to your ride shouldn’t be an issue.
We carefully review and evaluate vehicles, accessories, and automotive parts — including Tacoma bed racks — to make shopping easier for you. We provide our top recommendations based on the following criteria:
- Customer reviews and ratings
- Ease of installation
To determine which bed racks made our list of top products, we reviewed products based on real customers’ Amazon reviews, comparative prices, and quality ratings. Each of the Tacoma bed racks on our list meets these criteria. With that said, it’s important to look for a bed rack that fits your particular Tacoma and to speak with a qualified technician to determine if your bed rack requires professional installation.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.