ARB Base Rack: The Best Roof Rack for your SUV
One of the most meaningful upgrades that drivers can make to their SUV is a new roof rack. The roof rack that comes standard on your vehicle from the factory is limited by the weight that it can carry and the crossbars available to strap loads onto. Drivers dream of piling tents, bikes, and other overland gear up on the roof without realising that most vehicles have a roof rack weight limit of just 165 lbs.
ARB Base Rack
ARB has been exporting rugged 4×4 parts out of Australia since 1975 and this year they are reinventing the roof rack with their revolutionary ARB Base Rack system. Instead of taking incremental steps forward, ARB has leapt into the lead on roof rack system with an innovative approach to rooftop storage that lets drivers haul more and worry less. Adventurers do not travel as light as they used to, and with the inside of the truck full there is more gear than ever to be stowed safely and easily to the roof. Enter the ARB BASE Rack.
The strength of the Base Rack comes from its body, made of extruded aluminum and fully welded with a cross beam design. The frame pieces are each seamless, extruded aluminum box pieces with bracing added internally for strength. Most roof racks orient themselves with lateral beams, but the BASE rack runs its beams horizontally for maximum rigidity. The beams also have additional aluminum bracing along the length of the perimeter. ARB delivers a strong platform rack made of one-piece and fully welded.
Low Profile Mount
The ARB Base Rack delivers unparalleled storage configurations, simplicity, and a streamlined look all with a strong frame. The result of this super strong frame is that the BASE Rack exerts no flex when under load. Since the rack does not flex it can be mounted with a very low profile. This roof rack mounts closer to the vehicle’s roofline than any of its competitors, but it avoids flexing and hitting against the roof because it is so strong. Drivers will love the look of this sleek, low profile mount.
ARB focused on packing gear easily and stowing it safely with this roof rack. The system uses a dovetail design to clip connectors and mount attachments to it. The dovetail is an extrusion that runs along the entire perimeter of the rack and also on the edge of each internal beam. Placing the dovetail on the side allows for uninterrupted space along the top of each beam, which makes it easier for drivers to load and unload. Dirt and debris has a harder time collecting on the dovetail than on the channel mount systems used by competitors. The dovetail system also makes it easier for drivers to unpack individual items from the roof without disturbing all of the cargo.
Clamp mounts and tie downs are just some of the mounting accessories available for the BASE rack. ARB also makes compatible holders for jerry cans, gas bottles, hi-lift jacks, canopies, and recovery boards. These mounts let users personalize their BASE rack with only the accessories they want and need for the system. Ratchet straps for the roof rack incorporate the same dovetail design to make it easy to tie down overland gear, and a y-strap is available for drivers that want to mount a spare wheel. Drivers that carry unwieldy or heavier gear can mount a roller kit to the roof rack to make loading and unloading easier.
Perhaps the most important pieces of optional equipment for the BASE Rack mount on the very front – the light bar and the wind deflector. Noise is the enemy of any roof rack system and especially at higher speeds drivers are often surprised at how loud the wind can be. Cabin noise is minimized in this system by attaching a special wind deflector to the underside of the frame. The deflector is made of 1.6mm press-formed aluminum and has a powder-coat finish to match the rack. Slots on the deflector help virtually eliminate wind noise and also aid in fitting the front light bar.
LED Light Bar
The light bar on the BASE Rack is 36” wide and mounts easily and quickly. It can mount either in front of the rack to extend it forward or underneath the rack to tuck it in. The light uses 130W power to effectively output 8,552 lumens. The led lights provide a run time in excess of 50,000 hours and have a virtually indestructible polycarbonate lens. A cover for the light bar is also available in clear, amber, or solid black. This custom fitted light bar is one of the best light bars available for ARB roof racks. Conveniently, the roof rack also has the ability to hide the electrical cable by feeding it through the hollow beams using removable corner end caps.
The BASE Rack is sold as a platform rack in six convenient sizes ranging from a large 84 in x 51 in to the smallest 49 in x 45 in rack. Each of the six sizes basically just drops a single horizontal beam that runs internally, so customers can have up to six internal beams or as few as three. Racks range in weight from about 28 lbs to just over 50 lbs for the largest model. The carrying capacity on the racks similarly ranges from 275 lbs all the way up to 440 lbs (vehicle depending).
Guard rails for the base rack are uniquely sold as individual kits so that drivers can personalize how they want it to look. Full rails are available and easily mounted along the entire perimeter of the rack, but ¾ rails and ¼ rail options are also available. The trade rails option removes the front and rear bars so that long materials like lumber can be placed on top.
Conclusion: ARB BASE Rack review
As overland vehicles become more of a place to play, ARB helps you bring more to the party with a versatile roof rack system ready to securely hold all of your gear. Creative, dovetail extrusions make it easy to clamp holders on tight and tie down all sorts of loads. A front and or rear mounted led light tucks in easily and wires seamlessly with accessible, hollow channels. Ultimately this roof rack gives the driver everything they need to haul their gear whatever it is and wherever it is going.