Trucks are heavy-duty hauling machines.
And if you use yours to take things from A to B, there has probably been at least one instance where you came to a stop quickly and got a scare when your cargo made a thump!
A great way to protect the rear of your truck from any unfortunate instances is by getting a headache rack.
There are many tough steel options that look great and help you have some peace of mind.
Let’s take a look at the 5 Best Headache Racks for Trucks:
1. AA-Racks Model X35-A-W Adjustable Headache Rack Single Bar Extendable Pick-up Truck Rack with Protective Screen Set (Black)
The AA-Raacks X35 Model is one of the best sellers in this category.
It’s an affordable option that is adjustable, and you can extend it to suit your fit a wide range of truck beds.
The adjustable width will fit inner beds from 51″ to 71″.
Painted steel tubing gives this a strong base. This drills into the side rails of your pickup. And the screen in the middle should shield you from most things. It’s not a “full-shield” design and there are some gaps. But for most this works just fine.
If you’re hauling a ladder they have an option for that, or you can just go for the rack. It also comes in two colors. In addition to the standard black, you can pick white.
Like we said earlier, you will have to drill into your truck to secure this. And they’ve included all installation hardware.
Its versatility, price, and quality make it the best value in our eyes.
2. Apex Pickup Truck Utility & Headache Rack Bundle
The Apex Headache Rack Bundle is a great set for contractors. With its main competitor being AA Racks.
This can handle up to 500 lbs of gear. The mesh steel protection is a bit more encompassing than other styles we’ve seen.
There is a tiny amount of space between the protective mesh, with a strong crossbar for added support.
They’ve even included tie-offs for you to hold your goods securely. This is another adjustable option and the headache rack will fit inner width beds from 52″ to 68″. This weighs a lot all together and you’ll probably need some help with install. It’s 99 lbs.
This is constructed from powder-coated steel.
3. MaxxHaul 70234 Adjustable Black Headache Rack
This is adjustable as well. With a range varying from 62″ to 74″ wide. It’ll fit most pickup trucks, but double check before ordering.
This is one of the only non-drill options and attaches to your stake pockets. It’s made of steel and comes in at about 50 lbs.
If you’re looking for a bargain and want something simple, it’s one of the better choices.
4. Westin 57-8025 HDX Headache Rack
The finishing on the welds and the steel is a thing of beauty. Along with a lovely paint job. If you want your truck to haul things, but look really good doing it then you may want to pay a little more for this.
The angled fins also deflect sunlight and they have tie off points for you to add accessories.
5. ARIES 111000 Classic Heavy-Duty Black Steel Truck Headache Rack Cab Protector for Select Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, GMC
Aries has a classic design headache rack. This is in the same price range as the higher end models but really the difference comes down to style.
It has painted steel and will fit most models of truck. This only fits standard bed width trucks.
What are other ways to protect the rear of my truck?
Common ways to protect your trucks cargo bed include getting a bed mat, spray-on bedliner, roll-on bedliners, or a custom fit bedliner! All of these options will offer you increased protection and stop things from shifting. Rubber bed mats especially can offer a slight amount of grip that might make the difference of something banging against your truck bed wall on a sharp turn.
We wrote an article on universal bed mats that you can check out here.
Are there other ways to stop my cargo from sliding around in my truck bed?
You could opt for a cargo bar in addition to the headache rack. Some cargo bars have straps to hold back the big stuff and the little stuff. There are some good options with the Heininger being the most popular.
That one has rubber feet that offer some more grip protection. Make sure you get the right size for your truck bed. They have a compact option and a full-size.
There are also more affordable ones out there, but build quality varies.
A lot of brands in this category have employed a bit of a trick to make you think their product is cheaper. At the top be sure to read before you buy or you may miss “installation kit sold separately”.
In this guide, every product here comes with the installation hardware. And we hope that we’ve helped you make an informed decision. There are options for those of you that need ladder support, and options for those who don’t need that. We have a range of choices and we’re sure you’ll find one you like.
If you do end up finding a good one, let us know how it went. We like to add feedback from our users. Thanks for stopping by!
I'm the owner of Beast Auto. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I love anything automotive related, and taking road trips all across my beautiful state.