3 Best Roof Rack for Jeep Wrangler Soft Top for 2021


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In this article, we are looking into some of the best roof racks you can opt to put on your Jeep Wrangler soft top. This will mainly be for the 4-door variant as the 2-door variants will have a different fitment requirement.

I am a petrol head who loves the automotive industry. And not just for fun, oh no, I am a complete freak who devotes himself to this industry. I own a couple of beasts myself who love to rev and having that adrenaline rush has become like morning coffee for me.

Now, through a combination of extensive research and my own experience, I have put together a list that will help you find the best product for you. So, let’s dive into the world of roof racks, shall we?

For each roof rack, you will get a detailed review along with its pros and cons. With my guide toward the end of this article, you will also be able to tell which products are better for you and which aren’t when shopping for one.

Out of all the roof racks that I have come across, the Trail FX has been my personal favorite. It comes with all the accessories you need in order to install it properly. The quality is very good and the rust protection treatment is top-notch.

The only downside to this roof rack – and indeed most roof racks – is that you will likely need to drill some holes in the soft top, as all roof racks are designed to be fitted with the stock rear bumper, and most of the time, the Overlanding community tends to prefer aftermarket rear bumpers.

Quick Summary

You should always be able to get the best bang for your buck, so the first question that is likely to cross your mind is, “which is the best?” Well, many roof racks have the potential to be the best ones for you.

No single roof rack will be the absolute best for everyone out there. For instance, if you want to remove the soft top without disassembling the roof rack, then the best option in this case would be the Rugged Ridge roof rack.

Here are my top three picks for you to choose from.

Overall BestTrail FX
Easy to Work AroundRugged Ridge
Looks the BestSmittybilt

Who Should Get a Roof Rack?

For many in the Overlanding community, living in the middle of the wilderness is a must. Attaching a roof rack to your Wrangler will allow you to sleep on top of your Jeep, helping you to get the most out of your adventure.

Attach a tent and pack your stuff for your next trip, because these roof racks will never disappoint.

Soft Top Wranglers will require some modifications regardless because they lack the mounting points on the roof which come standard on the Hard Top.

Best Roof Rack for Jeep Wrangler Soft Top in 2021: Detailed Reviews

In this section, we will be looking in detail at some of the most impressive roof racks that will give you the most for your hard-earned money. Make sure to also check the “how to choose” section to get a clearer picture of what makes these products great.

1. Smittybilt 76717 SRC Roof Rack for Jeep JK 4-Door

  • Weight Holding Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Fits: 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler 4 door

The Smittybilt is without a doubt one of the best-looking roof racks on the market. It comes with everything you need to install it, and its modular design makes installation a breeze. It simply attaches to your Wrangler’s front door mounts and rear frame. This roof rack can hold up to 300 lbs. of weight if spread evenly.

While this is the most expensive product on our list, many customers say that it offers great value for money. Many reviews express that this is a strong, sturdy and sleek roof rack, although a number have complained that it has a tendency to rust easily.

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2. Rugged Ridge 11703.02 Sherpa Roof Rack

  • Weight Holding Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Fits: 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler 4 door

This roof rack offers one of the best fitments among any products of its kind. Its simple bolt-on design ensures that installation is easy and straightforward without the need to make any extra modifications. While this model is for 4-door Wranglers, a 2-door model is also available.

This roof rack gets some great customer reviews, with many praising the ease of the installation process. Many also express that the product can hold a good deal of weight, while also being flexible enough to carry a broad range of cargo. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with crossbars, so you would have to have to order them separately. 

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3. Trail FX J029T Roof Rack

  • Weight Holding Capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Fits: 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler 4 door

The weight-bearing capacity of the Trail FX is insane, while the price is very reasonable and the construction is incredibly sturdy. With a stock weight capacity of 350 lbs., this roof rack can support a substantial amount of cargo without any trouble.

User reviews express that the quality of this roof rack is top-notch. Many also said that the installation was easy enough to figure out even without the aid of the instructions. However, some users have noted the unit can rattle a little and produces a significant amount of wind noise when driving at higher speeds.

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How to Choose Best Roof Rack for Jeep Wrangler Soft Top in 2021: Buying Guides

If you are in the market looking to give your Jeep a sturdy roof rack that will not bail on you, then you have to look for certain qualities. If everything tips towards the good side, then go for it. If not, then you’ll want to consider something else.

Rust Prevention Treatment

Some manufacturers apply some really good treatment to their products which offers great rust protection. But you end up with a poorly treated roof rack, then you will likely end up seeing a lot of rust only a few days after installation.

Sturdiness

All of the roof racks reviewed above are sturdy and can hold a lot of weight on them. Whether or not a product will be sturdy depends on the fitment. If the fitment is not done right, there will either be a lot of rattling or that annoying whistling noise.

Budget

The first thing that you should understand is that more money doesn’t always get you better quality, and I can say that for a fact. I have seen people spending thousands of dollars hoping to get better quality and ending up with the same materials that can be found on a budget.

The only difference you’ll see among more expensive products is that they will come in exquisite packing and will feel expensive. On the inside, though, they use the same iron that every other product uses. 

Required Modifications

You should be aware of how much you are willing to drill while putting on your new roof rack. In most cases, you are likely to need to drill some holes to make it fit properly.

You might not have to drill if you still have the stock rear bumper, but even that doesn’t always mean that you will have an OEM-like fitment. Not all manufacturers design their products in a way that allows you to avoid making physical modifications.

Whistling Noise

Some roof racks tend to have some small holes along the length of the pipes, and these are often the cause of rust and whistling. You can easily avoid that rust and noise by putting some covering over those holes.

Roof Rack FAQs

Does a Roof Rack Make a Difference?

Yes, having a roof rack will make a difference. You certainly will not be disappointed, as they provide both utility and freedom in equal measures.

What Is a Good Price for a Jeep Wrangler Roof Rack?

A good price for a roof rack is around $500. The more expensive products will often be a rip-off, while the cheaper ones will not always be up to scratch.

Will a Roof Rack Fit If I Have an Aftermarket Rear Bumper?

Yes, it will fit, but you will have to drill some holes. Most roof racks are designed to fit with a stock rear bumper, but most people attach them to their aftermarket rear bumpers, so it’s not a big deal.

How to Prevent a Roof Rack from Rust

Coat your roof rack with some WD-40 every now and then and try not to leave it dirty for more than 4 days at a time, as moisture from the mud will cause it to rust.

Furthermore, cover all the welds and opening on the rails with silicon or other rubber fillings to make sure that water can’t seep into the pipes.

My Verdict

Out of all of the roof racks we have gone through, the Trail FX is the best choice. It’s also sure to be the lightest on your wallet.

See Also:
How to Clean Jeep Plastic Fenders
Why Do Jeep Wranglers Rust So Much
5 Best Batteries For Jeep Wrangler With Winch

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