The LabRak sports enough innovation to catch the bigger players with their pants down. Innovations like a rigid aluminum extrusion frame with full-length T-slotting on all sides; CNC cut Logic Track-style quick-release tie-down rails along the top; CNC cut hardware drop-in slots for easy accessory installation and removal. Each rail features Logic Track-style quick-release tie-down rails CNC cut right into the top, and the roof mounts are fully boxed. Everything from Hi-Lifts jacks to LED light bars mount below the top of the rack to retain the OEM rack height. This design allows roof top tents to unfold without accessory interference. The awning mounts work with LabRak, Thule or Yakima crossbars. The Quik-Fist mounts cleverly bolt onto the Hi-Lift. And all the accessory mounts are also compatible with competitors’ racks.
LabRak uses only the best materials
Everything is American-made, locally sourced, stainless steel or aluminum, and powder coated satin black. All the hardware is stainless steel or custom yellow zinc coated. Even the Hi-Lift mount is 3/16”, powder coated & stainless steel. It makes other Hi-Lift mounts look like a downright liability.
The rack arrived well packed in several “Made in the USA” labeled boxes. Some of the hardware was missing, but Shane overnighted the missing bolts. Two hours, 36 bolts and some text messaged directions, and I was standing on top of my new roof rack. Despite the “some assembly required,” everything stayed tight, and corrosion-free over thousands of miles.
With a diffuser or fairing, the rack’s thin 1.5-inch profile is nearly silent and barely noticeable at the gas pump. But the rack's modular design will have you scouring the garage for things to bolt to it. In “Full Expo-mode" with a Hi-Lift, axe, shovel, 8-ft awning, 40-in. light bar and 50-in. fairing, my mileage dropped substantially.
Nothing short of a trailer will provide as much cargo room and as many mounting options as the LabRak. It looks like it was built to FAA crash standards and makes competitors’ racks feel flimsy by comparison. But this mil-spec construction comes at a price other than its high price. The 100-Series Roof Rack weighs 75lbs--half the factory recommended roof load. Add a few accessories, and it’ll easily tip into the triple digits. All that weight makes you wonder just how strong a roof rack needs to be.
So is the LabRak’s top-notch quality worth its top-notch price? Yes. If you want the best of the best, this is it. Whether you actually need the best is another question entirely.
● Modular design allows custom setup for each trip.
● Corrosion proof, corrosion proof, corrosion proof.
● Nuclear reactor proof hardware.
● 1.5-in low profile.
● Retains stock rack height.
● Complete range of accessories.
● Manual assembly insures a perfect fit for every roof.
● Expensive. $1,250 for base frame.
● Heavy. 75-lbs before accessories and crossbars.
● Installation is labor intensive and time consuming.
● Possibly more rack than you need.
Adam owns a 2000 100-Series Land Cruiser and hails from Santa Monica, CA. You can find him at AdamAceino.com or “KlausVanWinkle” on IH8MUD.com