Choosing The Right Truck Bed Rack Height


Arguably one of the most important factors in determining which bed rack to get is the height. The important thing to remember is there is no such thing as the perfect bed rack, but rather a bed rack that meets your needs perfectly.

Think about what kind of gear and equipment you usually haul and if it is bulky or light, do you have or plan on getting a rooftop tent, etc., as these are all important factors in determining which bed rack height is suitable for you?

Of course, people always like to know that they have made the best choice regarding anything; therefore, if you have thought about what you usually bring when overlanding, before the end of this article you will undoubtedly know which bed rack height to get.


Truck Bed Rack Heights


Primarily, there are 4 main bed rack heights and each has its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at them.


Bed Bars

bed bars rack
Bed bars are the simplest form of racks and they lie directly on the bed of the truck, in other words, they feature the lowest height available. You cannot go wrong with them as a lot of bed bars have decent weight ratings and are used by seasoned and beginner overlanders alike as they can be used to mount a rooftop tent, which is a popular reason for getting a bed rack among other reasons.


 On the other hand, they will unable you to store bulky equipment such as small motors in your truck’s bed because of the low height, but you will still able to use it for other medium and smaller gear. They are typically lower in cost, so you can save the extra money that you would have spent on bed racks for other truck mods such as skid plates, sliders, etc.





mid height bed rack
Mid-Height bed racks are racks that range from 8’’- 13’’ in height. As with every rack, RTTs can be mounted on them. Since they are higher they provide storage space for items to be stored inside and outside the rack, including larger items such as gas tanks that can fit inside the bed. Another great feature is that you can additionally get a compatible tonneau cover since the rack will enable the cover to roll up under.


On the downside, mounting objects that go above the truck’s cab will make the truck less aerodynamic and you will slightly lose some mpg. The height of the rack will also limit your rear vision. Moreover, since it is not a full cab or roof rack height, mounting and centering long objects such as kayaks may be troublesome and they will likely stick out.




Full Cab

full cab height bed rack
Full cab height bed racks typically range from 14’’-18’’ in height. Like the previous rack height, you can store a lot of bulky and tall equipment both outside and inside the rack, and due to its height, you will even have more space for bikes, if biking is your thing. Of course, adding a tonneau cover is also an option, but be sure to check if it is compatible or not first.


With a full cab, you will have full use of the rearview window and won’t have to worry about blind spots. Moreover, you can start thinking about mounting longer items such as kayaks depending on riser equipment and racking options. Of course, it has its drawbacks. Every item that you mount on top of the rack will exceed the height of the cab which leads to a higher center of gravity and may lead to a loss of mpg.



Roof Rack Height

roof rack height bed rack
When talking about height, these racks range from 18''-20''. These bed racks provide the most storage space under them, so you will be able to haul almost anything regardless of height and size. Like with the last two heights, they provide the option of installing a tonneau cover. Blind spots won't be an issue and you will have a full view from the rearview window.


Finally, long items such as ladders, kayaks, surfboards, etc. can be easily mounted and centered on top, and mount equipment and accessories on the sides. Its main disadvantages are that items on top will exceed the height of the cab, you will feel its top heavyweight when turning, mounting items on top can prove to be exhausting due to the height and you will have an additional strain on the supports.




Adjustable Truck Bed Rack 

Why make up your mind and choose only one bed rack height or width when you can get an adjustable truck bed rack and have more than one height or width at your disposal? Yes, that option is available as well. Take a look at our top adjustable truck bed racks.


Thule Adjustable Bed Rack

Thule TracRacTracOne Pickup Truck Bed Rack System

 The ideal rack for hauling all sorts of cargo and equipment weighing up to 800lbs and evenly distributed. In other words, you will be able to carry heavy items, from kayaks, surfboards, and even rooftop tents.Ultra-durable materials have been utilized in the design of this Thule bed rack, so quality is guaranteed.

Furthermore, this bed rack includes aluminum load stops, which can come in handy in a variety of situations, such as off-roading or overlanding. For a quiet journey, Thule has added wind deflectors to this rack. Finally, it is easy to install and requires no drilling.


Pickup Truck Bed Rack

Rapid Switch System Truck Rack Pro HD

The Truck Rack Pro HD, with its increased carrying capacity load, is one of the best truck bed racks on the market. This aerodynamic crossbar from Rapid Rack System Includes additional sidebars for added rigidity and strength with a weight capacity of 800lbs and is ideal for hauling large equipment and gear.

The massive Truck Rack Pro HD has an adjustable crossbar that can be adjusted to your desired height and spacing position. One of the key features of this car accessory is its simple installation mechanism. This bed rack can be easily installed without any drilling and quickly removed when not in use.


OVS Freedom Adjustable Bed Rack

Overland Vehicle System Freedom Rack

Some days, you want a high-mounted truck bed rack for your off-road truck, while other days, a mid-level bed rack will suffice. Therefore, this fully modifiable roof rack that can be adjusted according to your height, width, and length preference might be just what you’re looking for.

OVS Freedom Rack provides the best performance a truck bed rack can provide. This bed rack system has a static weight rating of up to 1350 pounds and a dynamic weight rating of 450 pounds. Additionally, side panels are included for additional mounting options, so mounting accessories and equipment won’t be an issue.



There are a lot of factors that make up the right bed rack to meet your requirements and height is one of them. As with anything worth getting, research is required, so make a list of the gear and equipment that you usually haul and intend to haul in the future to have a better idea of which bed rack height to choose. We hope this article will make your search easier.

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