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Is A Thule Truck Rack Right For Me?

Is A Thule Truck Rack Right For Me?


Who Makes The Thule Truck Rack?

The Thule Group AB is a Swedish company who makes a range of car and truck accessories, but they are best known in America for their roof rack systems. The Thule company was founded in 1942 by Erik Thulin. However, they did not produce the first Thule truck rack until 1962. The original Thule company was bought by Eldon in 1979, and then by EQT in 1999. A UK-based private equity company called Candover bought the brand in 2004, and applied it to a much wider range of products. It was fully acquired by Nordic Capital in 2010.


Truck with Thule kayak rack


How Does A Thule Truck Rack Work?

The average Thule truck rack works with any flush-mounted rail receivers, which are common on cars and SUVs sold in America. Many reinforced truck caps or toppers also have mounts suitable for a Thule truck rack.


Will A Thule Truck Rack Be Any Good?

Thule is a brand known for good quality, and most Thule truck rack products come with a limited lifetime warranty if purchased new. That means you’ll probably be happy with the quality you get, even if the prices might be higher than those of most of their competitors.


What Kind Of Thule Truck Racks Are Available?

Let’s take a look at a few examples of the Thule truck rack and even a few DECKED brand alternatives for people who prefer the security and protection of a fully enclosed cargo system.  



Thule cargo sled for skiing


The Thule Truck Rack Generally

Most models of Thule truck rack are based on a pair of 47 inch crossbars. This is smaller than the standard 54 inches for Rhine-Rack, but still plenty to do the job. The Thule truck rack is known to be relatively quiet on the road, compared to most of its competitors. The Thule truck rack generally has features like top-notch clamping system for cargo boxes and easy release foot packs that make it easier to use than most other roof rack brands as well.


Thule Truck Bed Rack

Thule cartop cargo rack

Thule truck racks like the Thule Xsporter Truck Rack, Thule Xsporter Pro Truck Rack, and the Thule TracRac SR Truck Rack are designed specifically for pickup trucks, and mount directly to the bed rails. No drilling is needed, and the height is adjustable to suit the height of your cab.

Thule Truck Bed Rack Prices

A Thule truck bed rack like the Thule Xsporter Pro costs around $900 online. You may be able to purchase this in person, and of course those prices will vary somewhat.



Thule Truck Bed Bike Rack

Thule bike rack


A Thule truck bike rack like the Thule Bed Rider is a great way to transport several full-sized bicycles in the bed of your pickup safely. The front bike wheel is removed, and the bike fork is clamped directly to the rack.

The rack itself is mostly aluminum, and it is attached to the bed without drilling or bolting. Similar products include the Thule Insta Gater Truck Bike Rack 501.

Thule Truck Bed Bike Rack Prices

Depending on the year and model of your truck, you can expect to pay around $250 for a new Thule Truck Bed Bike Rack. If a mounting is needed, that might cost extra.



Thule Kayak Rack For Trucks

There are several Thule truck kayak racks and Thule canoe racks for trucks on the market today, including the Thule Hull-A-Port, the Thule Hull-A-Port Aero, the Thule Hullavator Pro, and the Thule Hull-A-Port XT. Note that all of these models are primarily designed for cars, so you’ll need to mount the rack to the roof of your cab or to a reinforced truck cap. They are not bed-mounted.



Thule Kayak Rack For Trucks Prices

Prices range from the top-end Hullavator pro at $800 to the lower end Hullaport Thule kayak rack for trucks at $200.


Thule Adjustable Truck Rack

Many of Thule’s truck rack systems are adjustable, including the Insta-Gater Pro, GateMate Pro, and TracRac Contractor Steel Ladder rack. However, we’ll look at the Thule Xsporter Pro Multi-Height Aluminum Truck Rack 500xt. This is a specially made pickup style Thule truck rack, and you can adjust its height to make sure your cargo clears the roof of the cab. It comes in silver aluminum or black finish.


Thule Xsporter Pro Multi-Height Aluminum Truck Rack 500xt Prices

These are fairly expensive at nearly $900. However, they are very well-made and should last a lifetime.  


Thule Truck Cap Roof Rack

A good example of a Thule rack for truck toppers would be the Thule TracRac Cap. It is essentially a pair of aerodynamically singed roof rack rails which mount to hardpoints on many truck caps. It is a lightweight system which is particularly easy to install on a suitable truck cap or topper.


Thule Truck Cap Roof Rack Prices

A Thule rack for truck toppers like TracRac Cap can be had for around $500 new. Accessories like Aero Load Stops, TracRac cargo buckles, or the like will cost extra, of course.



Thule Goalpost Truck Rack

There are several models of Thule truck rack which can be called “goalpost racks.” These are designed for open-bed pickup trucks, and mount to the rails of the bed. They look like a pair of goalposts, because they are designed to hold cargo up over the cab. This means they can also be used with the  DECKED Drawer System, which we’ll talk about later.  

Thule Goalpost Truck Rack Prices

A Thule goalpost truck rack like the Thule TracRac SR can be bought directly from the Thule website for a little under $800.


Thule Universal Steel Truck Rack

The Thule TracRac Universal Steel Rack is a large scale overhead rack designed for pickup trucks. It keeps your cargo up above cab level, and really gives you a large footprint. It is limited to around 1,000 pounds of cargo, though, and fits only full-sized pickups.

Thule Universal Steel Truck Rack Prices

These are one of the more expensive Thule truck rack models, and can rarely be found for less than $800.




Where Can I Find Thule Truck Rack Products Near Me?

All of the Thule truck rack models we’ve looked at above and many more can be bought at auto accessories shops all over the country. Most major auto parts stores and specialty truck accessory centers do carry Thule truck racks as well, at least in their online shops. Finally, you can order directly from Thule’s own website.


Thule Truck Rack Alternatives


DECKED Drawer System installed under a truck cap

A Thule truck rack is not the only way to increase the cargo capacity of a pickup, SUV, or working truck. Many truck owners prefer to mount a hard shell truck cap over the bed to protect and enclose their load, for example. This gives the truck a more aerodynamic profile and perhaps more importantly protects your cargo from the intense wind at highway speeds. Many pickups come from the factory with truck toppers already installed, and many of these toppers can themselves accept accessories like the Thule truck rack.  

Let’s look at a few such toppers, and see what they have to offer.


Leer 100XR Truck Topper

The Leer 100XR gives your truck bed a watertight and somewhat secure cover. It provides a large volume of internal storage space, and even has windows which can provide ventilation – very important if you use the truck for transporting pets or camping. This model comes with side window and rear door tinting, and it can be ordered in many different colors of automotive grade paint. It even has roof insulation.


Leer DCC-MT3 Truck Topper With Tool Storage

This truck topper must be installed by a Leer Authorized Dealer, because it is a fairly big job. It comes with an adjustable shelf as well as several lockable side hatches, making it perfect for tool and supply access. If this sounds similar to the DECKED Drawer System, that’s because it is. Note, though, that it lacks flexibility and security compared to the DECKED solution, and has a smaller cargo capacity.



What Could Be Better Than A Thule Truck Rack? We’re Glad You Asked

The DECKED Drawer System Can Give You Secure Tool And Gear Storage While Increasing The Effective Size Of Your Truck Bed

DECKED drawer system with heavy load


The DECKED Drawer System adds a great deal of utility to a great truck. It not only allows you to carry more equipment than the average Thule truck rack, but it also does so with a great deal more security, and aerodynamics. Roof rack systems increase the drag on your vehicle, making it less fuel efficient, especially when you get up to speed. The DECKED Drawer System acts something like a tonneau cover to make your open bed more aerodynamic, not less. The fuel savings will be substantial, and your carbon footprint will even shrink a little.


DECKED Drawer System in a white pickup

The DECKED Drawer System’s most relevant features, though, are the two full-size underbed drawers. Each drawer boasts 1,000 pounds of capacity, and lets you access your tools or equipment at a convenient waist height – no more struggling to detach cargo boxes or climbing up into the bed to access a Thule truck rack.


DECKED drawer system


The DECKED Drawer System is tough as well. Not only does it protect your bed from damage, but it can also carry anything your bed could before. Its steel and aluminum reinforcing is more than up to the task.

DECKED drawer system



The DECKED Tool Box – Mobile, Low-Profile Tool And Gear Storage




The DECKED Tool Box mounts quickly and easily to the bed rails behind the cab of any modern working truck or pickup. It can be used with the DECKED Drawer System as well, if you really need a lot of secure storage but want to be able to use your bed at the same time. After all, why use a rickety roof-rack mounted cargo box that literally slows you down when you can transport all of your tools and supplies in a weatherproof container that is low slung and armored against intrusion?

It gets better, though, The DECKED Tool Box is a part of the DECKED tool organization ecosystem. Not only does it ship with extras like a DECKED D-Box and Snack Tray small parts container inside, it can use all of the organizational extras designed for the DECKED Drawer System. If you have a particularly tall truck bed, you can even order the DECKED Tool Box with a fold-away ladder mounted inside for easy access. The ladder height can be customized to the height of your side rails, and it folds away for storage inside the Tool Box.



How Green Are Your Truck Accessories?

It isn’t really difficult to make sure that the materials you use are either reusable or recyclable, so why don’t more manufacturers do it? Thule truck racks aren’t terrible in this regard, but they are not particularly eco-friendly either.

At least you know that DECKED products are ecologically responsible. Most have only 3 chief materials – steel, aluminum, and an advanced polymer resin. The steel and aluminum are almost infinitely recyclable, of course. But the resin? Isn’t plastic “bad for the planet?”

Not ours. DECKED polymer resin is easy and economical to recycle. In fact, it is already much more economical to recycle our own plastic waste than to send it out for recycling. We take the cut-offs, mis-cast pieces, etc., and melt them down. We add that to the next batch, and save material. In fact, every product that leaves DECKED’s factory in Ohio is composed of a high percentage of already recycled material.

What that all means is that DECKED products are extremely green, even when they are blue or gray.


We hope you learned a little about Thule truck racks, the Thule company, and some of the alternatives to roof racks that DECKED has to offer. You need more than convenience; you also need security and value for money. You need DECKED.