Review: Rhino Racks Backbone system (3.5 out of 5)
Much as I would like to start off by putting better tyres, a lift, bullbar etc on the Jeep the first thing that I really need to get sorted out is a roof rack. With the Wrangler there’s a lot to consider. With the hard top, soft top and no top you really need to think about how you are going to use the vehicle. I carry surf/sup boards on average 2-3 times/week so a roof rack is essential. Trying to find a rack that works for both soft and hard tops is quite difficult. There are a few options around but none of them was practical for me. These are the exo-skeleton style racks which have support bars running up the outside of the vehicle to the roof. Taking the hard top off typically requires uncoupling the front and then lifting the bars back on rear hinges leaving the rack bars pointing quite high up into the air. I have a pulley setup in my garage which I intend to use to lift the hardtop off but the roof in the garage is too low to allow these exo-skeleton racks to be lifted back inside the garage.
The best option that I have found to-date and installed is the Rhino Rack backbone system. It has a decent carrying load supported by reinforcement bars mounted inside the jeep to the hard top (see pictures). The only problem is I don’t have a rack for the soft top and am still looking for one. The Rhino Rack system seems to have heaps of accessories for carrying a range of different types of cargo. So far I am pretty happy with it. Rate it at 3.5 stars (out of 5). Only loses points because it can’t work with the soft top. It does tend to whistle a bit at times as well.