Is A Yakima Truck Rack Right For Me?
Who Makes Yakima Truck Rack Systems?
Yakima got its start as Yakima Industries, and it was founded in Yakima, Washington. They began making small sports accessories and roof racks for ladders and agricultural equipment.
However, they have been making products in Mexico for years, and were purchased by Kemflo International in 2010. The Kemflo Group is based in Pingtung, Taiwan. As the owners of Yakima, Prorack, and Whispbar (the latter 2 being New Zealand-based companies), Kemflo controls a growing portion of the sports rack market on several continents.
How Does A Yakima Truck Rack Work?
Most Yakima truck racks mount on rails or directly to the kind of rack receivers which have been standard on cars, trucks, and SUVs in the US for years. Quite a few truck caps not only have mounts for such racks as well, but are also sufficiently reinforced to carry quite a load that way as well.
Depending on the model, most Yakima truck rack designs use crossbars that measure between 47 and 54 inches. Many of Yakima’s latest truck rack models feature streamlining, which not only reduces your wind resistance (improving your mileage), but also makes a great deal less noise when traveling at highway speeds.
You then attach your cargo to those rails, using solutions specific to your cargo types. A large cargo box might clamp directly to the rails, while a kayak or canoe might require a cradle-and-strap arrangement to transport safely.
Will A Yakima Truck Rack Be Any Good?
Most people think very highly of the Yakima brand, and despite the change of ownership to a Taiwanese company, the way Yakima truck racks are made really hasn’t changed. Overall, you can expect to be happy with a Yakima truck rack product, provided you buy the right design for your vehicle, cargo, and lifestyle. This guide is designed to help you make that choice.
What Kind Of Yakima Truck Racks Are Available?
Most Yakima truck racks fall into one or more of the following categories: truck bed racks, bike racks, kayak racks, cab racks, snowboard racks, and truck topper racks. Some would put “adjustable racks” into their own category, but all of the Yakima adjustable truck racks we’ll see today fall neatly into one of the first set of categories already.
Category: Yakima Truck Bed Rack
Yakima truck bed racks like the Yakima Outpost HD and the Yakima Bedrock HD attach to the rails on the side of a pickup truck’s bed. They may be hog profile, low profile, or adjustable, allowing you to see where your cargo sits on the vehicle. Low profile truck bed racks are ideal for off-roading, as they do not raise the vehicle’s center of gravity dangerously.
Yakima OutPost HD Truck Bed Rack
The Yakima OutPost HD truck bed rack is perfect for pickups with lower cab designs, or for high cab pickups hauling bed-length cargoes. The Outpost HD is fully compatible with Yakima’s SideBar mounts, allowing you to attach even more cargo to the sides.
Yakima Bedrock HD Low Profile Truck Bed Rack
The Bedrock HD Yakima truck rack is perhaps their lowest-profile truck bed rack option. It consists of 4 pylons and 2 rails, which might be spaced at 55 inches, 60 inches, 68 inches or 78 inches, depending on the size of your truck’s bed. With a 300 pound on-road rating and 180 pound off-road rating, it is quite sturdy as well.
Category: Yakima Truck Bed Bike Rack
Yakima has few dedicated truck bed bike racks, instead choosing to focus on trailer hitch-mounted bike transport systems. However, most of their “goalpost” style truck bed rack systems can be used as a truck bed bike rack. The OutPost HD below is a prime example.
Yakima OutPost HD Truck Bed Bike Rack
The Yakima OutPost HD is a medium height truck bed rack which can hold a great deal more than a few bikes – it is also ideal as a base for tents, lumber, ladders, or anything else long and difficult to make with other rack systems. It is fully rated for offroad use, but don’t forget how high those bikes ride over your cab!
Yakima ForkLift Truck Bed Bike Rack
The Yakima ForkLift installs without tools, and fits all Yakima brand round, square, or aerodynamic rack bars. The wheel tray slides to suit your bike size, and the front fork secures to the ForkLift easily after the front wheel is removed. It can hold a single bike of up to 35 pounds. Several ForkLifts can typically be mounted in a Yakima truck rack.
Category: Yakima Truck Kayak Rack
There are several Yakima truck kayak rack solutions available. Most are fairly rack-agnostic, and designed to attach to any set of Yakima rack rails easily. Though it is not mentioned, this means they will generally work well with competing truck rack brands as well.
Yakima ShowDown Load-Assist Kayak Rack
The Yakima ShowDown accommodates both kayaks and SUPs. It provides lift assistance as well, taking up to 45% of the boat’s weight off your shoulders. This makes it possible to load and secure a kayak single-handed, when necessary. It extends more than 24 inches down from the rack for loading.
Yakima ShowBoat 66 Kayak Rack
Yakima’s ShowBoat 66 kayak rack fits all Yakima brand crossbars, as well as those of many competitors. The system is padded to protect delicate boats, and works with both kayaks and canoes. It can hold boats up to 80 pounds.
Category: Yakima Truck Cab Rack
Yakima is best known for car-based rack systems, so it is no surprise that they offer a wide range of cab-mounted truck rack systems as well. After all, a Yakima truck cab rack is just a car roof rack mounted on a pickup.
SkyLine Yakima Truck Cab Rack System
The Yakima Skyline works on the roof or cab of any vehicle with tracks or fixed mounting points. The pitch can be adjusted for heavily curved cab roofs. This system accommodates all Yakima brand 55-inch to 78-inch crossbars, as well as those of most competitors.
LockNLoad HD Yakima Truck Rack
The most prominent feature of the LockNLoad Yakima truck rack system is the reinforced aluminum perimeter rails. These rails not only add strength to the entire rack, but they also provide convenient tie-down points to support any kind of load. They are also compatible with any of Yakima’s T-Slot based accessories. It can be attached directly to your existing crossbars or to a set of roof rack towers.
Category: Yakima Ski and Snowboard Rack
A good example of a ski or snowboard-friendly Yakima truck rack is the FreshTrack 4 below.
Yakima FreshTrack 4 - Ski And Board Carrier
Yakima’s FreshTrak 4 is an easy and secure way to transport both skis and snowboards. It mounts without any tools, and is quite robust. It is relatively inexpensive, and can easily be operated wearing gloves – very important in snowboard country.
Category: Yakima Truck Topper Rack
There are several models of Yakima truck rack which are specifically designed for use in SUVs or on truck caps which have been reinforced to carry a load on the roof. These systems can also be used with the DECKED Drawer System, as that fits entirely within the truck bed.
Yakima LightenUp Truck Topper Rack
The Yakima LightenUp comes with a T-slot mounted lightbar which has been tested in the Australian Outback for durability and function. You can also mount a pair of spotlights of up to 9 pounds each. They are made of steel, with a black zinc coating.
Yakima Truck Rack Alternatives
A Yakima truck rack is not the only way to increase the cargo capacity of a pickup, SUV, or working truck. There are many other reputable brands out there, most notably internationally known ones like Thule and Rhino. Ether offers a wide range of competitor products to the Yakima truck rack, and indeed most Thule products can be combined with Yakima products to create a custom truck rack system that suits your needs and the way you want to haul cargo. For example:
Thule Truck Bed Racks
Thule truck racks such as the Thule Xsporter, Thule Xsporter Pro, and the Thule TracRac SR are designed specifically for pickup trucks, and mount directly to the bed rails. No drilling is needed to install these racks, and the height of each is adjustable to suit the height of your cab.
How Much Do Thule Truck Bed Racks Cost?
A Thule truck bed rack like the Thule Xsporter Pro costs around $900 online.
Thule Kayak Racks
There are several Thule kayak and canoe racks available online and in truck accessories stores. Great examples include the Thule Hull-A-Port, Hull-A-Port Aero, Hullavator Pro, and Hull-A-Port XT. None of these are bed-mounted racks, so you’ll need to look into a cab-top rack or a truck cap rack. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from mounting a Thule kayak rack on a set of Yakima truck rack crossbars.
Thule Kayak Rack Prices
Prices range from the top-end Hullavator pro at $800 to the lower end Hullaport at $200.
What Can Enhance A Yakima Truck Rack? We’re Glad You Asked
The DECKED Drawer System Can Give You Secure Tool And Gear Storage Without Interfering With Your Yakima Truck Rack
The DECKED Drawer System adds a great deal of utility to a truck fitted with a Yakima truck rack system. While a Yakima truck rack is a great way to haul canoes, kayaks, bikes, or even cargo boxes around, it is not a convenient place to keep the tools or equipment you might need along your journey. There is also no place to keep anything expensive or difficult to replace.
Better still, the DECKED Drawer System acts something like a tonneau cover. It makes the open bed of your pickup much more aerodynamic, and the fuel savings you’ll see with it will be substantial. Heck, your carbon footprint will even shrink.
The DECKED Drawer System is named after the pair of bed-length underbed drawers it sports. Each drawer can easily handle up to 1,000 pounds of heavy tools or equipment, and puts it all at convenient waist height – much more convenient than a roof-mounted cargo box or climbing up into the bed to access the top of your goalpost rack.
The DECKED Tool Box – Mobile, Low-Profile Tool And Gear Storage That Fits Under Most Yakima Truck Rack Systems
The DECKED Tool Box mounts behind the cab of any modern working truck or pickup, and its low profile design barely extends above the bed rails. The fact that it is bed-level is a huge advantage compared to rack-mounted cargo boxes. After all, why would you want to have to climb up to the top of the vehicle – or to dismount an awkward cargo box – just to access your gear? With the DECKED Tool Box, you can transport all of your tools and supplies in a weatherproof container that is literally armored against intrusion.
The DECKED Tool Box is also a big part of the DECKED tool and gear organization ecosystem. It comes packed with accessories like the Snack Tray small parts container and a DECKED D-Box inside, but that’s not all. The DECKED Tool Box can use all of the accessories designed for the DECKED Drawer System as well.
You can order the DECKED Tool Box with a fold-away ladder mounted inside, as well. This not only lets you access the Tool Box easily, but it can also help you make better use of most Yakima Truck rack systems as well. The ladder height can be customized to the height of your side rails, and it folds away easily inside the DECKED Tool Box.
We hope you learned a little about the Yakima truck rack systems on the market today, the Yakima company, and some of the extra accessories that DECKED has to offer. If you need convenience, security, and value for money, then you need DECKED.