The Rav4 is another iteration of Toyota’s prominence in the auto market.
A reliable car you can count on for years and something perfect for those of us with growing families.
With side rails on most Rav4’s it makes adding a roof rack an easy upgrade.
A quality rack that clamps over your rails can be found at a great price.
Let’s take a look at the 5 best roof racks for Rav4’s:
1. BRIGHTLINES Cross Bars Roof Racks Luggage Rack Replacement for 2013-2018 Toyota Rav4
Brightlines is known for making quality aftermarket cross racks.
This set meets that call at a great price if your car is between a 2013-2018 with raised side rails.
If it isn’t we have options for other years in this guide, and even one choice for those of you without side rails.
This rack can hold up to 100 lbs and will grip to your existing side rails.
That’s pretty great for these being made out of aluminum. Aluminum is perfect for roof racks since you won’t have to worry about it rusting. The included key and locking mechanisms mean you can secure this in place once you get it right.
Mounting hardware and installation is included. You won’t have to drill anything, and this should take you under an hour to get together. If it takes longer, please spare us!
This isn’t a purely metal construction. The end caps are plastic. In the majority of models they do seem to have plastic in that area.
2. CargoLoc 2-Piece 52" Aluminum Roof Top Cross Bar Set – Fits Maximum 46” Span Across Existing Raised Side Rails with Gap – Features Keyed Locking Mechanism
The CargoLoc roof rack is an incredibly affordable option made for any vehicle with raised side rails.
In our humble opinion, it’s the best value for an over rails rack we’ve seen.
Customers tend to agree, this is one of the best selling pieces of hardware for roof racks.
This does use plastic end caps to clamp over your existing side rails. But the cross bar itself is made of aluminum and this has a carrying capacity of up to 150 lbs. You’ll get a key to lock it into place, and the company offers a lifetime-limited warranty.
This is a one person install, the rack altogether is only about 9 lbs. Since the ends are plastic you won’t have to worry about scratching your paint if you drop a side.
3. Kingcher 2 Pieces Cross Bars Fit for Toyota RAV4 2019 2020 Black Crossbars Roof Rack Baggage Luggage Lockable
For those of you with a newer Rav4 from 2019-2020, this Kingcher product comes highly recommended.
It’s pricier than most options on this list, but that’s because your vehicle is newer and this is specialized for your vehicle.
This is a very good imitation of the genuine Toyota rack.
Grab these and take your kayaks out on the water!
4. Car Top Luggage Cross Bars Roof Rack Lockable Anti-Theft Design Fit 2014-2018 Toyota RAV4
Autoxrun has an aftermarket design for Rav4’s that will light up your day.
While the shiny aluminum might reflect a lot of light, you could always add a quick coat of paint to match your SUV.
These will hold up to 100lbs. At first glance, it looks like an all-metal design. But alas, the end caps are plastic.
They have a low profile and less curvature than some other options. So you’ll hardly notice these when on the road.
5. Seah Hardware Universal Roof Rack Cross-Bars 2 PC. 48 Inches
We know some of you don’t have side rails on your Rav4 and have been feeling left out.
But fear not! The Seah Hardware Roof Rack will fill the void in your soul and hold anything you need.
This rack is a universal design with a price that will make you smile. Easy to adjust and secure.
You’ll be able to make sure it’s tight and see that whenever you want. Because the straps for this rack will slide under your cabin. Just a quick glance and you’ll be able to tell.
The actual rack itself is made of steel, but it’s powder-coated to hold up to water. When it comes to a universal rack, this option along with the CargoLoc are excellent choices.
What are the most common uses for roof racks?
Once you get a roof rack you’re able to mount nearly any equipment you’d need for an outdoor adventure. Most racks hold around 100 lbs. So that could mean bikes, kayaks, or snowboard.
Another common use is to add some additional space to your vehicle for a camping trip, or any trip! That’s achieved by adding a roof box. We even wrote a guide for roof boxes that would work with your Rav4 here.
If you don’t want to commit to a roof box but still think you’d need extra cargo space, consider getting a cargo bag! They’re made of fabric and most are waterproof. A much more affordable alternative to a hard shell box.
My Rav4 doesn’t have side rails, should I get them?
You can use a universal roof rack that attaches under your roof and in that case you wouldn’t need side rails. But if you do want them, there are plenty of aftermarket options for a good price. This link will give you a good idea.
Will my roof rack rust over time?
Most roof racks are powder-coated. One of the uses of paint besides looking good is to insulate metal from the elements. If you have a steel rack, make sure to periodically check it from chips and scratches and try to touch up that area.
If your rack is made of aluminum, you won’t have to worry about any of that. But aluminum tends to have a lower carrying capacity than steel due to the inherent properties of the metal.
Adding a roof rack is a great upgrade to any vehicle. It unlocks a world of new possibilities for you and your family to go on adventures. Hopefully, this guide has helped you make an informed choice on some of the best options available for your Rav4.
Whatever you choose, let us know how it worked out! We love hearing from our readers and 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.