Toyota 4Runner Roof Rack Cross Bars | The Best Crossbars For 4Runner Owners


Introduced in 1984, the Toyota 4Runner is one of the most trusted car models on the market. This durable, body-on-frame SUV is great for both practical and adventurous use. It makes an excellent family vehicle, and it is also great for off-road adventures. With the right equipment, you can take your 4Runner out of town and into the wilderness. Whether you’re heading out to the mountains, lake, or other scenic areas for a hike, picnic, or camping trip, you can make sure you have everything you need by installing a set of Toyota 4Runner roof rack cross bars.

Because the Toyota 4Runner is one of the most trusted vehicles for outdoor and off-road adventures, there are a variety of great options available for the Toyota 4Runner. There is a wide array of equipment including roof racks, carriers, and boxes that you can use to transport your camping, hiking, and paddling equipment to beautiful scenic destinations.

Finding and purchasing the best Toyota 4Runner cross bars for your next adventure doesn’t have to be a difficult task. To make the process smoother, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite roof rack cross bars. The items on our list are durable, easy to use, and can carry heavy loads easily and efficiently. Keep reading to learn more about the best roof rack cross bars available for your Toyota 4Runner.

Why You Need Roof Rack Cross Bars for Your Toyota 4Runner

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You may be wondering if roof rack cross bars are really necessary for your Toyota 4Runner. Even though the 4Runner is a spacious vehicle, there are a number of instances in which you may need added storage space for your vehicle. The 4Runner’s roof provides you with plenty of room to store a variety of items.

If you enjoy outdoor activities like biking, kayaking, snowboarding, and camping among other things, you’ll need somewhere to store your gear. This is even more important if your 4Runner’s interior will be filled with family or a group of friends. Toyota 4Runner roof rack cross bars are also a great place to store your dirty gear after you’ve spent a fun time in the great outdoors.

Aside from storing your gear, roof rack cross bars can be used to provide extra lighting. You can use roof rack cross bars to mount spotlights, light bars, marker lights, and more. You can also store your extra tires on your roof rack cross bars. If you’ve purchased a larger spare tire that doesn’t fit in the usual spare location, then a set of roof rack cross bars is an excellent space to store it.

A set of Toyota 4Runner roof rack cross bars can be beneficial to you even if you don’t participate in outdoor activities like kayaking, biking, or snowboarding. You can use your roof rack cross bars to transport large family and home-related items like your Christmas tree, large toy items, and appliances and supplies for home improvement projects. You can also use your roof rack cross bars to transport home and furniture items like rugs, chairs, and tables. Having a set of roof rack cross bars on hand is less expensive than renting a truck when you need to bring large items home.

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Knowing Your Vehicle’s Roof Type

The first step towards purchasing a set of roof rack cross bars is to determine your vehicle’s roof type. This will be important to know so that you can find out if you need a particular type of base or tower. This will also affect the installation process. Keep reading to learn more about the four main types of vehicle roofs.

Normal or naked roof

A normal or naked roof is smooth without gutters or rails. Installing a roof rack on a plain roof will require a base that sits on the bare roof that can be clamped to the vehicle’s door.

Fixed points

Some vehicles are designed with an added fixed mounting point. This will require the use of a special fit kit from the roof rack manufacturer to fit your roof rack.

Roof rails

A vehicle with factory fitted raised roof rails is usually the simplest type to attach an aftermarket roof rack to due to the fact that there is already a sturdy based installed on the vehicle. There are also vehicles with low profile roof rails which have a sturdy mounting point.

Rain gutters

Rain gutters are most common on older vehicles. These are bent edges that allow water to flow away from the car’s doors and other openings. To mount roof rack cross bars on a vehicle with rain gutters, you will need a base that can sit in and clamp to the gutters.

Types of Roof Rack Cross Bars for Toyota 4Runners

There are a variety of different types of roof rack cross bars available for your Toyota 4Runner. The type that you choose depends on your needs and the types of equipment that you’ll be carrying with your 4Runner. Let’s take a look at the different types of roof rack cross bars that are available.

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Base Rack Systems

If your 4Runner isn’t outfitted with a built-in rack or if you do not like the one that comes with your vehicles, then a base rack system is a great foundation for establishing your vehicle’s rooftop storage features. Base rack systems usually come with three main components.

  • Cross bars or load bars. The cross bars run across your 4Runner’s roof from the driver’s side to the passenger’s side. Cross bars establish durable mounting points for your equipment and accessories. You can also attach the cross bars to your vehicle’s current roof rails.
  • Mounting points. You can use mounting points to store boxes, tie downs, and more. You can attach mounting towers or feet to the mounting points to add to your 4Runner’s bare roof.
  • Fit kits. If you want to add feet or towers to your 4Runner’s roof, then you’ll also need a fit kit or landing pad. This is a group of parts that have a vehicle-specific design.

Roof Racks

A roof rack is basically a set of multiple cross bars that can be mounted to your vehicle. To secure items to a roof rack, you may need a cargo net or tie downs. There are also some roof rack systems available that have bolt on hardware that allows you to secure items to your roof without tie-downs or cargo nets. This is a great option if you’ll be using your roof rack to transport bikes, canoes, and other recreational equipment on your 4Runner.

Roof Cargo Baskets

A roof cargo basket gives you a little more security than a basic roof rack. Not only do they have multiple tie-down points, but roof cargo baskets also have a boxy frame which provides a higher level of security for your luggage or recreational equipment.  Roof cargo baskets tend to be larger, stronger, and more durably built which makes them a great option if you’ll be carrying an extra-large load.

Roof Cargo Boxes

For even more space and security, you can upgrade to a roof cargo box. This is a versatile rooftop storage option that is usually designed as a hard-shell plastic box with a large capacity. Most roof cargo boxes have between 10-22 cubic feet of storage space. What sets roof cargo boxes apart from roof cargo baskets is the fact that most roof cargo boxes are lockable and built with an aerodynamic design that allows for greater fuel efficiency and less wind noise.

Top Carriers and Roof Cargo Bags

If you want a lighter and softer alternative to a roof cargo box, then you may want to consider a roof cargo bag or top carrier. Roof cargo bags have the same large storage capacity as roof cargo boxes, but they are more versatile and easier to store when you’re not using. The best models are made from waterproof vinyl or nylon and are durable in most weather conditions. A roof cargo bag can be used with or without a roof rack or base rack system. They usually have straps that you can loop through your vehicle’s windows or attach to your door frame for added security and stability.

Kayak Racks and Canoe Carriers

If you’re planning to take your family on a kayaking trip or canoe adventure in your Toyota 4Runner, then a kayak rack or canoe carrier may be the best option for you. A kayak rack or canoe carrier can come in a variety of different forms. You can purchase a simple cushioned pad or a more advanced system with features like hooks, saddles, cradle arms, and intricate tie-downs. There are also models available that have features that help you transport your boat directly from the roof of your 4Runner into position for your paddling position.

Snowboard and Ski Racks

Just like rooftop kayak racks and canoe carriers are great for transporting your watercraft using your 4Runner, there are also roof racks that are designed specifically for transporting your ski and snowboard equipment. These are versatile roof racks that you can use for bikes, skis, kayaks, and snowboards. If you are a very adventurous person who enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, then this is one of the most versatile types of rooftop storage systems. They use holding arms that clamp to securely attach equipment to your 4Runner’s roof.

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What to Look for When Shopping for Toyota 4Runner Roof Rack Cross Bars

Aside from knowing which type of roof rack cross bars you should purchase, you should also know which features and characteristics to look for in the best set for your vehicle. The most important factor that you should search for is the ability to carry a large capacity. Having a large capacity makes packing equipment for a family outdoor adventure easier, safer, and more comfortable.

Along with an increased weight capacity, you’ll also want a set of roof rack cross bars that is versatile. Even if you only plan to carry lightweight equipment, you never know what situations may arise where you’ll need to carry heavier items. A versatile set of roof rack cross bars can be used to transport a variety of items including kayaks, bikes, ladders, and roof boxes.

A design that is good looking and functional is a highly sought-after feature when it comes to Toyota 4Runner roof rack cross bars. An aerodynamic design is also important when it comes to purchasing Toyota 4Runner cross bars. This type of advanced design will cut down on the amount of wind noise that you’ll experience as you enjoy the nice drive down the highway to your scenic destination. You’ll also want a design that is aesthetically pleasing.

If you’ll be installing your roof rack cross bars on your own, then you’ll definitely want a set that is simple to install and uninstall. The best roof rack cross bars for Toyota 4Runners use clamps that can easily attach to your vehicle without tools. If you only plan to utilize your roof rack cross bars occasionally, then a set that is easy to add and remove is essential.

You’ll also want to make sure that the roof rack cross bars that you purchase are safe. You’ll want a set that is easy to install, so you won’t have to worry about an accident occurring due to faulty installations.

Purchase a set that you can confidently install. You will also want to make sure that your roof rack cross bars fit correctly and can withstand the pressure of traveling at high speeds. Height restrictions and total weight are other things that you should keep in mind. If you’ll be hauling large items like kayaks, you’ll need to be able to travel safely under bridges and overpasses. You’ll also want to make sure that your rack doesn’t weigh your vehicle down too much or offset your vehicle’s center of gravity.

The Best Toyota 4Runner Roof Rack Cross Bars: Our Top Picks

Now that you have an idea of the type of roof rack cross bars that you may need for your 4Runner, it’s a good idea to learn more about the top brands and models that are available. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite Toyota 4Runner roof rack cross bars, and you’re sure to find a rooftop storage system that meets your needs on our list.

54” Universal Locking Roof Rack Cross Bars by Vault Cargo Management

Vault Cargo Management is known for its high-quality outdoor adventure equipment. This set of roof rack cross bars is compatible with a variety of vehicles and accessories. Whether you’re carrying bulky outdoor recreational equipment or simple luggage, you’ll appreciate the durability and strength of these roof rack cross bars. You can attach a variety of items to your Toyota 4Runner using these cross bars including cargo baskets, bags and boxes, and bicycle racks. This is one of the best cross bar systems for rooftop storage and hauling.

These versatile bars are compatible with vehicles with side rails, raised designs, and modern solid rail designs. They are made of high-quality aluminum and have a one-size-fits-all universal fit. They are also lightweight at less than 10 pounds.

The outside of this set of roof rack cross bars measures in at 54 inches. They fit well on existing roof rails with a gap of up to 47 inches. These cross bars are intricately designed and aerodynamic. This makes them very efficient, and you won’t notice a lot of drag or wind noise with this set of roof rack cross bars. You’ll notice a reduced amount of whistling even when you’re traveling at highway speeds.

We also appreciate that these roof rack cross bars are easy to install. All you have to do is set the length of the bar over the rail, settle it into the gap, and tighten it. This system has unique locking capabilities, so you won’t have to worry about it becoming detached or being removed without your position.

There are also plenty of contact points on the bar. Each place where the bar will touch your vehicle is covered in protective rubber, so you won’t have to worry about any damage to your 4Runner’s paint job. This is a very important feature if you use your 4Runner for multiple purposes and want to be able to drive it around town and in the wilderness.

Overall, we highly recommend this roof rack cross bar system. 4Runner owners with roof rails that have gaps will especially love Vault Cargo’s 54″ Universal Locking Roof Rack Cross Bars. This set is highly versatile, so it is also great but for people who want to use roof rack cross bars for a variety of purposes. They are also reasonably priced if you’re shopping on a budget.

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Universal Cross Bar (59899) by ROLA

ROLA’s Universal Cross Bar is another great choice if you are looking for high-quality roof rack cross bars for your Toyota 4Runner. This cross bar is made of a variety of durable materials including anodized aluminum, heavy-duty nylon attachments, and steel hardware. This versatile cross bar can haul up to 165 pounds of gear, luggage, and equipment. This is a great pick if you are using your Toyota 4Runner to haul camping supplies, recreational gear, and other heavy-duty items.

These bars are compatible with roof rails between about 41 and 49 inches apart. They have an aerodynamic design that reduces whistling and wind caps that reduce wind noise. The bars stay quiet even while you are traveling at highway speeds. We also love the black and silver design. They look great on vehicles of all colors.

Another great thing about this universal cross bar is the fact that it is easy to install. There are no tools required for installation. All you have to do is position the bars and tighten them. The bars are also very lightweight at only 12.8 pounds. Although they are lightweight, you may need an additional set of hands to tighten the bars simultaneously. Having a person on each side as you tighten the bars will ensure that they can be centered easily.

This universal cross bar will remain secure on the roof of your vehicles. The bars have locks on the end caps and the attachments, so you won’t have to worry about them falling off or being stolen. They are also easy to uninstall if you would like to remove them from time to time. We highly recommend this universal cross bar for anyone who needs Toyota 4Runner roof rack cross bars with a high weight capacity and a high level of versatility.

Silver Roof Rack Cross Bar by LT Sport

LT Sport’s Silver Roof Rack Cross Bar is a durable and versatile roof rack cross bar set for your Toyota 4Runner. This set comes with a set of two heavy-duty aluminum cross bars. These bars are lightweight and easy to use. They only weigh 14.5 pounds which means they won’t weigh down your vehicle. The bars have a sleek design, reduced wind noise, and a look and style that aesthetically match vehicles of all colors. They are also strong and durable with the ability to hold up to 150 pounds.

They are simple and easy to install and remove. The process only takes a few minutes. This roof rack is great for anyone who wants the versatility of having them installed only part-time. You won’t have to worry about modifying, drilling, or cutting the bars to add them to your Toyota 4Runner. They also have adjustable clamps you can adjust to fit your desired length. You can also mount these bars directly on your 4Runner’s roof and window frame. This set has a durable finish that can withstand a variety of weather conditions.

This set has an advanced locking system that comes with a key. This function serves two useful purposes. For one thing, the locking system keeps this roof rack cross bar set securely attached to your vehicle. You won’t have to worry about them becoming detached from your vehicle as you’re traveling. The locking mechanism also ensures that your roof rack cross bar system won’t be easily stolen from your vehicle.

Aluminum Roof Top Cross Bar Set by CargoLoc

With a simplistic and straightforward design, CargoLoc’s aluminum roof rack cross bars offer a durable rooftop storage solution. This set is constructed with high-quality aluminum, and it features a sturdy aluminum body. The sleek design of this rooftop storage system is lightweight and strong. It can hold an overall weight capacity of up to 150 lbs. Vault Cargo’s roof rack cross bars are safe and secure, and we enjoy the fact that they are equipped with a durable clamping function that keeps your cross bars attached to your 4Runner’s side rails. There is also a keyed locking function that ensures that your roof rack cross bars stay put.

This top cross bar set features a simple design that is easy to understand and use. This rack is compatible with raised roof rails. It’s easy to clip to your existing rails, and it has a locking system with an advanced design. This set is simple and easy to install. When you’re ready to use this top cross bar set, all you need to do is place the bars wherever you want them on your 4Runner’s roof, elevate the tension with the easy-to-use tool, and lock the bar in place. The built-in lock ensures that your bar will stay in place. This set comes with a key, so you won’t have to worry about your top cross bar set being stolen from your vehicle.

This affordable cross bar set has plenty of advanced features. We appreciate this set’s aluminum construction which adds to the system’s overall strength and durability. This set can also easily hold up to 150 pounds. You’ll also love the bars’ round edges and their simple design. It looks great on a variety of different vehicles.

Overall, if you’re looking for a top cross bar set that has a simple design, keyed locking capabilities, and an easy fit, then you’ll love CargoLoc’s Aluminum Roof Top Cross Bar Set. This set of roof rack cross bars is also very lightweight at only 8.6 pounds. You’ll also be pleased to know that this set of roof rack cross bars comes with a limited lifetime warranty that keeps all the parts and components covered.


Overall, roof rack cross bars are a great addition to your Toyota 4Runner. You’ll enjoy being able to safely and confidently haul your recreational gear, home improvement equipment, and other heavy loads without compromising your safety or having to dish out extra money to rent a larger truck. With a high-quality roof rack cross bar set, you’ll be able to travel comfortably with your family and friends. Each of the models that made our list is equipped with unique features, durability, and aerodynamic designs. No matter which of our picks you decide to purchase, you’re sure to have a great experience.

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