In this article, we will be recommending the best headache racks for your truck.
We have been testing and reviewing vehicle accessories for over a decade, so we know what makes an accessory great. Allow us to help you make a better purchase decision.
Our review encompasses things like the build quality, utility, and the value each headache rack provides. We also consider the design and look of each option before recommending it to you.
With that in mind, our top pick has to be the Backrack Truck Bed Headache Rack. This alloy steel headache rack combines durable construction with a sleek design that looks great and performs outstandingly. It is also universally compatible with most late model trucks.
Keep reading for more information on the Backrack and other top headache racks for trucks.
Backrack Truck Bed Headache Rack
Backrack’s headache rack is one of the best out there thanks to its solid build and easy installation process. It also interfaces nicely with other accessories like tonneau covers.
Build quality is one feature you don’t want to compromise on when it comes to headache racks. Backrack opted for an alloy steel construction and it makes for a more rigid, more durable rack. You won’t have to worry about this rack bending or straining when you need it most.
We were surprised to find that it is still pretty low in weight. At a mere 42 lbs, it is easy to install and mount on your truck cab. Installation can be a pain with some headache racks, but this one might as well have installed itself! You get all the necessary hardware in the box, and the instructions are easy to follow.
No drilling was required, and this rack is also compatible with over and under rail bedliners. In fact, you are spoiled for choice with the installation of this rack.
You can choose one of five different mounting bracket styles: standard no drill, toolbox no drill, or low profile drill, low profile tonneau, and over the rail tonneau installation. That means you won’t have to trade any of your existing accessories to get this rack installed.
This rack leaves the rear glass uncovered. That might seem counterintuitive, but it gives you complete access to the bed via motorized rear glass. And there is a thick lip all around the opening that prevents boxes, coolers, and other large items from crashing into the glass.
We like to have real performance figures when it comes to testing these racks. That is why we installed it on our test vehicle along with a bed full of cargo. Under hard braking, the cargo did not cause any damage to the truck frame or the rack itself. More importantly, we did not have to deal with any annoying creaking noises that inferior headache racks tend to exhibit.
The frame of this rack rises above the cab, giving added protection for the roof. It also has the benefit of not covering your truck’s rear brake light, letting other drivers react more quickly in case of hard braking.
- Alloy steel construction
- Only around 42 lbs
- Works with tonneau covers
- Five different mounting bracket styles available
- Rear glass functionality preserved
- Rear brake light is still visible
- Lip around the rear glass keeps it safe
- No creaking noises at speed
- Simple installation process
- No drilling required
- May not fit older model trucks
Backrack Short Headache Rack
This short headache rack from the same brand borrows a lot of useful features from the larger Backrack, and at a more affordable price. It is well built and easy to set up, while also maintaining the minimalist aesthetic.
Build quality is absolutely stellar with this short rack. It is made from high quality metal and is very rigid. We liked the subtler design that covers vulnerable areas of your truck’s cab without making it look like you’re carrying a wrought iron gate in your bed 24/7.
Another plus point of the shorter design is that you save a good couple dozen pounds of weight compared to larger racks. That makes installing and mounting the racks a whole lot easier (seriously, your back will thank you!).
Speaking of, installation was a piece of cake. One drawback is that you may have to come up with your own mounting hardware for this rack, but it’s nothing a quick trip to the hardware store can’t fix. Overall, the combination of less weight and the convenient bolt-on design made mounting a sub-20 minute process.
You will be happy to find that this rack comes in three different mounting styles to suit your needs: standard no drill, toolbox no drill, or low profile drill installation. This allows you to use the rack with various other accessories such as bed covers, and railings.
The shorter design ensures that you can access cargo through the rear glass. We did not have any issues with the rear glass opening or closing and there was plenty of space to reach through. Another carry over from the larger Backrack is that the rear brake light is not blocked. Infact, there is a metal border around the brake light that covers your roof without covering the brake light.
Finally, we do not have any annoying noises to report. The rack does not creak, grind or bang up against your truck’s bodywork. It does not leave any scratches or dings, and we did not notice any wind noise at speed.
Overall, this rack provides the best bang for your buck of any headache rack, without taking any shortcuts.
- All metal build
- Lighter than the larger headache racks
- Covers most vulnerable parts of the cab
- Does not cover rear brake light
- Light weight makes installation easier
- Three different mounting styles available
- Works with tonneau covers, railings, etc
- Does not bang against the glass or cab
- Sturdy fitment
- Very stable at speed
- Rear glass opens and closes just fine
- Some mounting hardware is not included in the box
Westin Black Headache Rack
Westin’s headache rack is a cut above the rest with its modern design, sturdier fit, and more durable materials.
The construction of this headache rack deserves praise. It is an all aluminium build that covers your truck cab’s entire rear section and protects it from damage. Aluminium has a number of benefits over steel or other metals.
Firstly, it is a lighter build, while also being more rigid and structurally sound. Secondly, it is corrosion and rust free. This is especially important for those trucks that see a lot of off road use in the elements.
Drivers will also like the unique honeycomb design that this rack uses. This is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it is actually more structurally strong than just vertical or horizontal bars. The honeycomb design is also responsible for keeping the whole rack light weight, thanks to all the freed up space.
It also has a raised lip that spans the border of the rack, keeping cargo in its place while also giving the truck a more aggressive look. Rear glass functionality takes a hit as you won’t be able to reach back into the bed with this rack. However, you can still enjoy a nice breeze with the rear glass open.
We actually used this rack on our truck and were quite impressed with the rear mirror visibility. The honeycomb design is to thank for this as it allows you to see your surroundings unobstructed. The same can be said for the rear brake light which is completely visible.
Ease of installation also gets a thumbs up. Everything you need to get the rack onto your truck is provided in the package. Instructions are clear and concise. And the piece de resistance, the proprietary bolting points that can be used to secure ladders, equipment, and whatever else you can think of.
Finally, the look of this rack is a feature unto itself. It takes the functionality of a rack and adds a bit of flair to it. We had a lot of folks coming up to us just to ask where we got ‘that sexy rack’. Definitely invest in one of these if you want to customise your truck with a modern aesthetic.
- Aluminium build
- No corrosion or rusting
- Lightweight design
- Honeycomb design is more rigid
- Easy to install
- All mounting hardware provided
- Allows air to flow through open rear glass
- Modern, aesthetically pleasing look
- Bolting points allow you to secure ladders, and other equipment
- Good rear visibility thanks to the honeycomb design
- Brake light is not covered
- Can’t reach into the truck bed because of the rack