Top 5 Best Headache Racks For F150, Tacoma, Ram 3500, Tundra

Naomi O'Colman

Updated on:

Best Headache Racks

Are you in search of the perfect headache rack for your truck? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of headache racks, providing you with valuable insights and expert recommendations to help you make an informed decision. Whether you own an F150, Tacoma, Ram 3500, Tundra, or any other truck model, we’ve got you covered.

Headache racks, also known as truck racks or cab guards, are essential accessories that not only add a touch of rugged style to your truck but also serve a crucial function: protecting the cab and rear window from potential damage caused by shifting cargo. They act as a barrier, preventing tools, equipment, or other items from intruding into the cab during sudden stops or collisions. Additionally, headache racks often come with additional features like mounting points for lights, toolboxes, or other accessories, enhancing the functionality of your truck.

With a wide range of headache rack options available on the market, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. That’s where our guide comes in. We have extensively researched and analyzed various headache racks to identify the top contenders for different truck models, including the F150, Tacoma, Ram 3500, and Tundra. Our goal is to provide you with the best recommendations to suit your specific needs, ensuring both optimal protection and a stylish appearance.

Throughout this guide, we will delve into crucial factors to consider when selecting a headache rack, such as mounting types, materials (including the steel vs. aluminum debate), durability, fitment, installation ease, price range, and more. We’ll explore different headache rack styles, evaluate their quality and customer reviews, and present the top brands renowned for their exceptional reputation in the industry.

Whether you’re a truck enthusiast, a professional driver, or someone who wants to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of their truck, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and insights to make a confident and well-informed decision when choosing the best headache rack for your specific truck model.

So, let’s dive in and discover the top headache racks that will not only protect your truck and cargo but also elevate its style and performance. Get ready to make an investment that brings both functionality and flair to your beloved truck!

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Top 5 Best Headache Racks 

#1 Best For Trucks: Steelcraft 90001 Headache Rack

Steelcraft 90001 Headache Rack...
  • 2000-2020 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2000-2020 Toyota Tundra
  • 2000-2010 Dodge Ram 1500/2500/3500

To increase protection for your vehicle, headache racks and the best backracks are essential factors. If you are looking for one for your truck, you should check out the Steelcraft 90001.

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Steelcraft 90001 is an indispensable companion for those who carry loads over long distances. If you invest in headache pain, you are making the right decision.

The massive construction of the Steelcraft 90001 gives it outstanding durability. The manufacturer uses unique tubular steel to help you store more items.

Besides, the Steelcraft 90001 is also made from stainless steel model T304. Its appearance is very modern and usually uplifting, almost resembling the wind doors. Therefore, it can also provide ventilation and regulation of temperature.


  • Outstanding durability
  • Stainless steel material
  • Outstanding appearance


  • There is no handlebar on either side.

With its advantages, Steelcraft 90001 can satisfy any demanding user. Would you like to explore it right away?

#2 Best For F150: Backrack 15004 Headache Rack

BACKRACK Original Rack Frame...
  • FITMENT | Fits 2007-2018 Chevrolet/GMC...
  • SECURE YOUR CARGO QUICKLY | The rack’s simple...

Backrack 15004 Headache Rack is one of the best headache racks available today for F150. This model comes with many outstanding advantages to help the user most effectively.

One particular thing is that this product has received a patent. Therefore, users can easily see its difference from some other headache support models. Besides, you can attach this bracket to your car securely. It offers overwhelming power that you will enjoy.

Backrack 15004 is painted with a black powder coating. You will not have to worry about it getting scratched or rusted. The flexible size allows you to use it more easily. Carrying accessories is also not too difficult.


  • Outstanding strength
  • Not easy to be scratched or corroded
  • Durable


  • Does not come with mounting hardware

The impressive advantages of the Backrack 15004 have made it a priority for many people. Why don’t you give it a try?

#3 Best For Tacoma: Dee Zee Aluminum Rack

Dee Zee DZ95050RB Gloss Black...
  • Rugged Protection From 2. 75" Hexagonal Aluminum...
  • Heavy-Duty Aluminum Ultra Mesh Offers More...
  • Protective Gloss Black Powder Coat Finish

Dee Zee Aluminum Rack completely satisfies this requirement, especially for Tacoma. This cabin rack is made entirely of aluminum with a sturdy structure. Its aluminum profiles are octagonal.

Thanks to this heavy construction, Dee Zee Aluminum Rack has a long lifespan and can work over long periods. Its super mesh system also ensures better safety.

Alternatively, you can detach the Dee Zee Aluminum Rack’s two braces. Its appearance is very energetic. One particular thing is that you will not have to drill when installing this device.

Best Headache Rack #3 DeeZee


  • Solid design
  • No drilling is required when installing
  • Long service life


  • May not be suitable for some vehicles

The convenience of Dee Zee Aluminum Rack is entirely based on the features it offers. It is these beautiful things that have made its reputation in the market.

#4 Best For Ram 3500: ARIES Classic Headache Rack

ARIES 111000 Classic...
  • Fit Type: Vehicle Specific

Despite its classic design, the ARIES Classic Headache Rack still has outstanding power. Thanks to this design, it can bring perfect stability without less safety.

The manufacturer uses bearing stainless steel material to make the ARIES Classic. Therefore, it is extremely suitable for those who carry a lot of belongings over long distances.

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It can be said that this item is suitable for most types of trucks. The steel construction is resistant to dust, snow, or other forces from nature.

On the outside of the ARIES Classic is a weather-resistant powder coating. Another advantage is that this headache holder also minimizes damage and high temperatures.

Although you will have to drill some space during installation, it is not as difficult as you might imagine.

Best Headache Rack #4 ARIES Classic Headache Rack


  • High protection
  • Outstanding durability
  • Brings stability


  • Could be scratched

ARIES Classic will help you to relieve the confusion when you are searching for perfection.

#5 Best For Tundra: Backrack 12400 Headache Rack

BACKRACK Back Rack 12400 Truck...
  • Backrack 12400 Louvered Headache Rack Frame;...

Backrack 12400 Headache Rack will be the perfect choice for those looking for a headache rack for Tundra, particularly in all vehicles in general. The first reason this product is so popular is its roof.

Thanks to this design, it can perfectly protect your car in difficult situations. The outer coating is done in a double process, including powder coating and multi-stage immersion. So Backrack 12400 can resist damage.

Also, the installation process does not take much time as you do not have to drill anything. It also does not take much effort if you want to add some additional accessories.


  • Fast installation process
  • Outstanding protection mechanism with roof
  • Outer coating adds durability


  • There is no hardware in the box included

With its versatility and durability, the Backrack 12400 is what you are looking for. It will not disappoint you.

Top 3 Backrack Types

1. Bed Mounted 

This type seems to be the most stylish, among others. It is perfect for those who want to optimize the truck bed space to transport loads of cargo. The bed mounted rack can double or triple the truck room, so you can store more cargo and keep them safe simultaneously. 

However, it is only used for smaller trucks. And it is ideal to select those that are made of steel as this material is strong enough to support the cargo you intend to store. 

2. Roof Mounted 

The roof mounted racks are suitable for trucks that do not have truck beds as they give you extra storage space. As the name says it all, these racks will be mounted on your vehicle roof. 

Smaller car owners might be interested in this type as it is genuinely useful in lighter material transportation. That is why the roof mounted ones are usually made of aluminum. 

3. Cab Mounted 

Although the cab mounted racks are the least stylish, they are still beneficial to handle a great deal of weight. Another feature of this type is its fiberglass material, which will not add more weight to your truck. So, it appears to be the most suitable option for owners who often carry lots of cargo. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Headache Rack

When choosing a headache rack for your truck, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure that you select the right rack that meets your specific needs. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Compatibility and Fit: Ensure that the headache rack you choose is compatible with your truck’s make, model, and bed size. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to determine if the rack will properly fit your truck. Consider factors such as the mounting system and adjustability options to ensure a secure and proper fit.
  • Material Construction: Headache racks are commonly made from steel or aluminum. Each material has its own advantages. Steel racks are typically stronger and more durable, offering robust protection, but they can be heavier. Aluminum racks are lighter, corrosion-resistant, and can provide adequate protection while offering better fuel efficiency. Consider the pros and cons of each material based on your specific needs.
  • Style and Design: Headache racks come in various styles and designs. Consider the overall aesthetic appeal and compatibility with your truck’s appearance. Choose a style that complements your truck’s design and reflects your personal preferences. Additionally, consider the design features such as integrated toolboxes, lights, or tie-down points based on your specific cargo management requirements.
  • Ease of Installation: Look for headache racks that offer easy and straightforward installation. Some racks may require drilling or modification of your truck bed, while others offer no-drill installation options. Consider your own skill level and available tools when assessing the ease of installation.
  • Durability and Quality: Evaluate the build quality and durability of the headache rack. Look for racks that are well-constructed with strong welds, reinforced joints, and quality finishes. Consider reading customer reviews and feedback to gauge the rack’s durability and long-term performance.
  • Warranty: Check the warranty provided by the manufacturer. A longer warranty period indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in their product’s quality. It also provides you with peace of mind knowing that you are covered in case of any manufacturing defects or issues.
  • Price: Consider your budget and compare the prices of different headache racks. While it’s important to find a rack within your budget, prioritize quality, durability, and functionality over price alone. Investing in a higher-quality headache rack may be cost-effective in the long run.
  • Customer Reviews and Recommendations: Read customer reviews and ratings to gain insights into the experiences of other truck owners who have used the headache rack you are considering. Pay attention to feedback related to fit, durability, ease of installation, and overall satisfaction.
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By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose a headache rack that fits your truck, offers the desired features, and meets your specific requirements for durability, style, and functionality.

Importance of Proper Fitment for Your Truck Model

Proper fitment is of utmost importance when selecting a headache rack for your specific truck model. Here’s why it’s crucial:

  • Optimal Performance: A headache rack that is specifically designed for your truck model will provide optimal performance. It will align with the contours of your truck’s bed and cab, ensuring a seamless fit. This ensures that the rack functions as intended, providing maximum protection for the cab and cargo area, as well as proper load management capabilities.
  • Secure Mounting: Proper fitment ensures secure and reliable mounting of the headache rack to your truck. A rack that fits correctly will have mounting points that align with your truck’s existing anchor points or bed rail system. This promotes stability and minimizes the risk of the rack coming loose or shifting during transportation. It also helps distribute the load evenly, reducing stress on the rack and the truck’s structure.
  • Enhanced Safety: Choosing a headache rack that fits your truck model accurately enhances safety for both the driver and passengers. A well-fitted rack acts as a protective barrier between the truck’s cab and the cargo area. It prevents cargo from shifting forward and potentially causing harm to the occupants during sudden stops or accidents. With proper fitment, you can have peace of mind knowing that your headache rack offers optimal safety features.
  • Avoidance of Damage: Using a headache rack that is specifically designed for your truck model helps prevent damage to your vehicle. A poorly fitting rack can cause scratches, dents, or other damage to the truck’s cab or bed due to excessive movement or inadequate attachment points. By ensuring proper fitment, you can minimize the risk of such damage and maintain the integrity of your truck.
  • Aesthetics and Resale Value: Proper fitment contributes to the overall aesthetics of your truck. A headache rack that seamlessly integrates with your truck’s design enhances its appearance, giving it a polished and professional look. Additionally, when it comes time to sell or trade your truck, having a headache rack that fits properly can increase its resale value. Potential buyers appreciate a truck that has been well-maintained and equipped with accessories that fit correctly.
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To ensure proper fitment, refer to the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines for your specific truck model. Take accurate measurements of your truck bed and cab, and consult with experts or customer service representatives if needed. Investing in a headache rack that fits your truck model precisely will provide optimal performance, safety, and aesthetic appeal, enhancing your overall truck ownership experience.

Headache Rack Mounting Types

When it comes to headache racks, there are different mounting types available to ensure secure installation on your truck. Understanding these mounting types will help you choose the right headache rack for your specific needs. Here are the main mounting types:

Bed Mounted

  • Bed-mounted headache racks attach directly to the truck bed, utilizing the existing bed rail system or anchor points. They typically require drilling into the bed for installation.
  • These racks offer a secure and stable mounting solution. They provide a solid connection between the headache rack and the truck, ensuring stability during transportation.
  • Bed-mounted headache racks are versatile and can be compatible with various truck models and bed sizes.

Roof Mounted

  • Roof-mounted headache racks are installed on the roof of the truck’s cab. They typically require drilling into the roof or roof supports for secure attachment.
  • These racks offer additional cargo carrying capacity on the roof, allowing you to transport longer items like ladders or kayaks.
  • Roof-mounted racks are commonly used in conjunction with a bed-mounted headache rack to provide comprehensive cargo management solutions.

Cab Mounted

  • Cab-mounted headache racks are installed at the back of the truck’s cab, between the cab and the bed. They utilize mounting brackets or clamps that attach to the truck’s cab without requiring drilling.
  • These racks provide a secure attachment point and act as a protective barrier for the rear window of the cab.
  • Cab-mounted headache racks are popular for their ease of installation and compatibility with various truck models.

No-Drill Mounting

  • Some headache racks offer a no-drill mounting option, which eliminates the need to drill holes in the truck bed, roof, or cab.
  • No-drill mounting systems often utilize clamp-on or bolt-on installation methods, which securely attach the rack without any modifications to the truck.
  • This type of mounting is popular among truck owners who want to avoid permanent modifications to their vehicles.

It’s important to consider your specific truck model, bed size, and personal preferences when choosing a mounting type for your headache rack. Ensure that the rack you select is compatible with your truck’s mounting system and offers the desired level of security and stability.

If you’re unsure about the mounting type or installation process, consult the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional assistance to ensure proper installation and functionality of the headache rack.

Top Brands for Headache Racks and Their Reputation

When it comes to headache racks, several brands have established a reputation for producing high-quality and durable products.


  • Backrack is a well-known brand specializing in headache racks and truck accessories. They offer a wide range of headache racks designed for various truck models and applications.
  • Backrack headache racks are renowned for their robust construction, durability, and compatibility with different truck bed sizes.
    The brand has a strong reputation for producing reliable and functional headache racks that provide protection for the truck’s cab and rear window.
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  • Steelcraft is a trusted brand that manufactures a variety of truck accessories, including headache racks.
  • Steelcraft headache racks are known for their sturdy steel construction, providing excellent protection and durability.
  • The brand has a reputation for producing high-quality products that are designed to withstand heavy-duty use and harsh weather conditions.


  • ARIES is a popular brand that offers a wide range of truck accessories, including headache racks.
  • ARIES headache racks are recognized for their solid construction, durability, and innovative designs.
  • The brand focuses on creating functional and stylish headache racks that provide protection while adding a customized look to the truck.

Dee Zee

  • Dee Zee is a well-established brand known for its truck accessories, including headache racks.
  • Dee Zee headache racks are praised for their quality construction and durability.
  • The brand offers a range of headache racks designed to fit specific truck models and provide reliable protection.

Ranch Hand

  • Ranch Hand is a reputable brand known for its heavy-duty truck accessories, including headache racks.
  • Ranch Hand headache racks are recognized for their rugged construction, providing maximum protection for the truck’s cab and rear window.
  • The brand has a strong reputation for producing durable and reliable products that are favored by truck owners in demanding work environments.

It’s worth noting that reputation and product quality can vary over time, so it’s always recommended to research and read customer reviews and feedback before making a purchase. Additionally, other brands and manufacturers may also offer headache racks that meet specific needs and requirements. Consider factors such as compatibility with your truck model, materials used, warranty coverage, and customer satisfaction when choosing a headache rack from any brand.

Headache Racks – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a semi headache rack?

A semi headache rack is a protective structure installed on the back of a semi-truck cab. It is typically made of sturdy materials like steel or aluminum and serves to protect the truck’s cab and rear window from potential damage caused by shifting cargo.

Why is a headache rack called a headache rack?

The term “headache rack” is believed to have originated from the notion that the rack helps prevent headaches for truck drivers. By providing a barrier between the truck’s cab and the cargo being transported, it reduces the risk of objects shifting forward during sudden stops or collisions, potentially causing harm to the driver.

What material is best for a headache rack?

The choice of material for a headache rack depends on individual preferences and requirements. Two common materials used are steel and aluminum.

  • Steel headache racks are known for their strength, durability, and ability to handle heavy-duty applications. They are typically more robust and offer excellent protection but may be heavier.
  • Aluminum headache racks are lighter in weight, corrosion-resistant, and provide adequate strength for most trucking needs. They are favored for their lighter weight, which can contribute to improved fuel efficiency.

The best material for a headache rack depends on factors such as the intended use, budget, desired strength, weight considerations, and personal preferences.

Can I install a headache rack on any truck?

Headache racks are designed to fit specific truck models or have adjustable features to accommodate various truck bed sizes. It’s important to check the compatibility of the headache rack with your truck before purchasing. Ensure that the dimensions, mounting options, and installation instructions provided by the manufacturer align with your specific truck model.

Do headache racks affect rear visibility?

While headache racks are designed to provide protection for the truck’s cab and rear window, they may impact rear visibility to some extent. The obstruction can vary depending on the design and height of the rack. It’s recommended to choose a headache rack that minimizes obstruction and consider additional safety measures such as using rearview cameras or adjusting mirrors to compensate for any reduced visibility.

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Are headache racks removable?

The removability of a headache rack depends on the specific model and installation method. Some headache racks are designed to be easily installed and removed, allowing flexibility based on the truck owner’s needs.

These removable options often utilize clamping systems or quick-release mechanisms, enabling the headache rack to be taken off when not needed or for specific cargo requirements.

Can I customize or paint my headache rack?

Many headache racks offer customization options or are available in different finishes. Some manufacturers provide paintable headache racks, allowing you to match your truck’s color or add a personal touch. However, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for customization and paint application to ensure durability, avoid damage, and maintain any warranty coverage.

Can a headache rack be used with a tonneau cover or truck bed cover?

Compatibility between a headache rack and a tonneau cover or truck bed cover depends on the specific models and designs. Some headache racks are designed to work in conjunction with certain tonneau covers or offer integrated compatibility options. It’s recommended to check with the manufacturer or consult the product specifications to ensure compatibility and proper installation.

Are headache racks covered by a warranty?

Warranty coverage for headache racks can vary depending on the manufacturer and specific product. Many reputable brands offer warranties that cover manufacturing defects or structural failures.

The duration and specific terms of the warranty can also vary. It’s advisable to review the warranty information provided by the manufacturer before making a purchase to understand what is covered and any necessary steps for warranty claims.

Remember, it’s always essential to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, guidelines, and warranty information specific to the headache rack you choose for accurate and up-to-date information.

In conclusion, selecting the best headache rack for your truck is a decision that involves considering several important factors. Throughout this guide, we have explored various aspects of headache racks, including different mounting types, material options, styles, durability, price range, customer reviews, and top brands. By understanding these factors and making an informed choice, you can enhance the protection, functionality, and style of your truck.

Recapping the key points, it’s crucial to prioritize proper fitment for your specific truck model to ensure a secure and seamless installation. Additionally, the choice between steel and aluminum headache racks depends on your preferences for strength, weight, and corrosion resistance.

Considering the different mounting types and styles of headache racks, you can find the one that best suits your needs and complements your truck’s design. Evaluating durability and quality ensures that your headache rack can withstand the demands of your trucking activities and provide long-lasting protection.

Price range and value for money considerations are also vital, as they help you find a headache rack that fits your budget while delivering the desired features and performance. Customer reviews offer valuable insights into the experiences of other truck owners and can guide you in making an informed decision.

Based on our research, we have provided a list of the top headache racks for trucks, including the Steelcraft 90001 Headache Rack, Backrack 15004 Headache Rack (ideal for F150), Dee Zee Aluminum Rack (great for Tacoma), ARIES Classic Headache Rack (suitable for Ram 3500), and Backrack 12400 Headache Rack (recommended for Tundra).

Ultimately, the best headache rack for you depends on your specific truck model, preferences, and intended use. We recommend carefully considering the factors discussed in this guide and choosing a headache rack that provides optimal protection, fits your budget, and aligns with your desired style.

By investing in a high-quality headache rack, you can safeguard your truck’s cab and rear window, enhance safety during transportation, and add functionality and aesthetic appeal to your vehicle. So, take the next step and select the headache rack that will elevate your trucking experience to new heights.