Best Headache Racks

Top 10 Best Headache Racks on the Market in 2022

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Headache racks are a necessary add-on to a lot of truck owners especially for those that often carry heavy cargo. They’re meant to protect you and other passengers from your heavy payload especially during sudden stops that may cause a busted rear window. Equipping your truck with a headache rack saves you a lot of money from repairs in the long run as well as offers you additional lighting and shade due to its customization options. We’ve provided 10 of the best headache racks you can get right now so that you’ll have an unbreakable barrier between your truck and its bed.

MaxxHaul 50257 Truck Bed Headache Rack

MAXXHAUL 50257 Truck Bed Steel Adjustable Headache Rack
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The 50257 truck bed headache rack by MaxxHaul is made from heavy-duty commercial-grade steel to protect you and your passengers from shifting cargo without obstructing your view. It has a grid-style screen of 2” between wires to provide full visibility and fits most truck models without any problems. The length of the headache rack is fully adjustable from 63” to 73” to fit different bed widths with a no-drill bolt-on installation for trucks with stake pockets so there is no drilling required to install the headache rack.

You can also get the 50366 (middle rack section – sold separately) for full window protection if you’re hauling in larger cargo at the back of your truck. The two together is the perfect protection for your truck you can conveniently install or remove for different projects with ease.

TMS Universal Headache Rack

TMS Steel Universal Headache Rack for Construction Truck Pickup Truck Single Bar Set(Patent Pending)...
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The TMS Universal headache rack is the ideal companion to protect the back of your track when hauling large cargo such as motorcycles, bikes, lumber, furniture, and more. The rack is made from heavy-duty steel and provides a new hook design to fit any heavy-duty tie-down job in which strength and security are the priority. The width of the headache rack is fully adjustable and has a minimum of 5 ft. or up to 7 ft. max to where the rack attaches to your truck bed.

This universal headache rack is available in 5 designs. The A-Rack comes with a hook design, the B-Rack is equipped with a window protector, the C-Rack has 2 bars in the middle, the D-Rack comes with a window protector as well as a HI-intensity LED light bar, while the E-Rack is a 2-bar set with a window protector upfront and the hook-design at the rear.

Westin 57-8025 Headache Rack

Westin 57-8025 Black HD Headache Rack fits 88-00 C/K 1500 2500 3500, 99-18 Silverado Sierra 1500...
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The Westin 57-8025 headache rack protects your truck’s rear window from shifting luggage or cargo without obstructing your view when driving for long hours. The headache rack is equipped with angled louvers to additionally add shade to the interior. There’s a 2” round upper body tube for easy cargo adjustment as well as 4 welded light tabs if you want to mount an LED light bar or work utility LED lights.

The headache rack is constructed from durable alloy steel. It’s coated with a black powder finish to prevent rust and corrosion due to weather effects. Unlike other headache racks, the 57-8025 needs to be drilled to install it on your truck and you’ll have to check the fit specifications as it’s vehicle specific. The product dimensions of the Westin headache rack are 5 x 72 x 33.

BACKRACK 30511 Truck Bed Headache Rack

BACKRACK | 30511 | Truck Bed Headache Rack Standard Hardware Kit | Fits '04-'15 Nissan Titan
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The 30511 truck bed headache rack by BACKRACK has an innovative design to allow truck owners the look they desire while also protecting the back when hauling large cargo. The rack consists of a rail mount bracket and rail plate to add strength to the metal bed rail. The rail plate meanwhile provides a solid base to secure a cab guard assembly to ensure it stays in place even when under duress due to heavy cargo.

This headache rack is ideal for trucks that don’t need a cross-bed toolbox as it doesn’t require any drilling to make for an easy installation. The fit is vehicle specific so it’s recommended to check the dimensions of the rack with your vehicle to know its compatibility.

ARIES 1110114 Switchback Truck Headache Rack

ARIES 1110114 Switchback Black Aluminum Truck Headache Rack Cab Protector, Select Toyota Tacoma
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The ARIES 1110114 switchback truck headache rack adds an aggressive and stylish look on the back of your pickup truck transforming it into a hybrid of style and functional customization. It has an angular design with custom contours on each application with a stamped grid center section without obstructing your view when driving. You can also remove the center section for more window access adding to its versatility.

The rack is made from powder-coated aluminum making it lighter compared to other headache racks to keep your truck fuel-efficient and agile while on the trail. The sleek carbide black powder-coat finish provides maximum resistance during all weather conditions making it the perfect companion when driving off-road. It’s also LED compatible so you can install LED lights and light bars for functional lighting for your adventures.

TMS Low Profile Truck Bed Rack

TMS 800 LB Low Profile Extendable Non-Drilling Steel Pickup Truck Bed Rack Sport Bar Rooftop Tent 2...
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The TSM low-profile headache rack is designed to haul bigger and longer items than your average pickup truck bed. This low-profile truck bed rack utilizes a 2-set heavy-duty sports utility bar that’s perfect for carrying bikes, skis, cargo boxes, rooftop tents, and more. The sturdy frame is made from durable alloy steel and has a weight capacity of up to 800 lbs. It installs easily as it doesn’t require any drilling or modifications, unlike other headache racks you’ll find online.

The top crossbar can be adjusted from 5 ft. to 7 ft. to provide the best fit during your projects or other application. This low-profile truck bed rack is durable and should fit exactly how you want it. The only drawback of this bed rack is it doesn’t offer additional shade at the back as it doesn’t have any mesh unlike other headache racks on the list.

BACKRACK 30126 Headache Rack

BACKRACK Back Rack 30126 Headache Rack Accessories
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The 30126 headache rack is the second BACKRACK item on our list and with good reason. It’s also designed to offer full window protection as well as minimal shade when driving during the daytime. The headache rack is made from high-quality steel and is coated with black powder coating for rust and corrosion resistance in all weather conditions. This headache rack is very easy to install and should take an hour even if you take your time.

The 30126 is an ideal custom fit for every truck and is made to last a long time. Don’t be surprised if this rack outlives your truck so when the time comes and you decide to upgrade, you can definitely re-install this same headache rack onto your new one as long as compatibility fits.

Go Industries 20752B Headache Rack

Go Industries 20752B Black Flat Iron Headache Rack
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The Go Industries 20752B headache rack has a robust design to offer maximum protection at the back of your truck bed. It’s designed to suit all kinds of trucks to prevent large cargo from damaging your rear window during sudden stops while also providing a minimal amount of shade to keep you and your passengers cool and relaxed even when driving for long hours in the sunlight.

The headache rack is made from durable alloy steel and comes with built-in tie-down points on the feet. It’s available in a white or black powder coat finish to fit the color of your vehicle. The coating provides all-weather resistance to ensure protection from rust and corrosion. This headache rack is also compatible with cross bed tool boxes making it the ideal companion for truck owners who bring a lot of cargo during their trips.

APEX LEGENDS Adjustable Headache Rack

Apex HA-RACK-ALUM Adjustable Headache Rack
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This adjustable headache rack by APEX LEGENDS is another great accessory for protecting the rear window of your truck as well as adding extra carrying capacity to your truck bed without obstructing your view. You’ll be able to easily haul in ladders, pipes, furniture, or other bulky loads while leaving it spacious for additional cargo. This is due to the removable ladder rack extension you can use alongside the headache rack.

Buying this product includes all the installation hardware required as well as two tie-down cleats and Allen bolts for tightening the adjustable rack. It fits most pickup truck beds from 53” to 71” wide making it the ideal companion for all your needs. The only drawback of this adjustable headache rack is that it requires additional drilling into the truck bed unlike other headache racks on the list.

Westin 57-8005 HDX Headache Rack

Westin 57-8005 HDX Headache Rack , Black
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Last on our list of the best headache racks available right now is another product from Westin. It’s their second headache rack on this list due to its high ratings and customer reviews. The 57-8005 is constructed from durable alloy steel with angled louvers to provide shade to the interior to keep your passengers cool and relaxed during long drives.

The 57-8005 also comes fitted with a 2” round upper body tube so that you can easily adjust your cargo, as well as 4 welded light tabs. The light tabs allow you to mount an optional LED light bar or work utility LED lights depending on your need, preference, and budget. The 57-8005 also accommodates most major brand toolboxes up to 70” wide giving you a lot of versatility.

Buying Guide

Protection

The primary purpose of installing a headache rack at the back of your truck is to prevent damage in the rear window as well as protect you and other passengers from your heavy cargo. Headache racks also increase the appeal of your truck adding a touch of style and class without much effort. Having a rack installed enables you to haul longer items in your truck bed without any issues. They also act as shade from direct sunlight to keep you more relaxed and comfortable when driving for long hours.

Price

The price of headache racks wildly varies from different models and brands. It’s recommended to check out reviews and advice from experts to identify the best headache rack within your price range to ensure that you get the most out of your budget. A headache rack with a lot of additional bells and whistles is usually more expensive than a standard rack so comparing the functionality and specifications of the models to streamline your choices on specific brands is important.

Compatibility

Headache racks are usually comprised of custom-made ones as well as the universal types. Universal headache racks offer a lot of compatibilities as they can be installed in a lot of trucks. Custom-made headache racks meanwhile are made for specific brands of trucks and they are usually the more expensive ones between the two. If budget is not an issue, custom-made racks are definitely flashier and add more style to your truck compared to universal headache racks.

Longevity

It’s recommended to look for headache racks made from sturdy steel as they last longer and will not break down quickly over time. However, if you carry lighter loads and just want to add another layer of protection at the back of your truck, then a rack made with lighter materials should do the trick.

FAQs

How do you install a headache rack?

Trucks usually have stake pockets already provided by auto manufacturers for individual owners to install headache racks to protect damage in your vehicle in the event of an accident. Some headache racks do not require any drilling while some do. Other models also need to be mounted on the sidewalls of your truck bed so keep this in mind when choosing the right headache rack for your truck.

How did back racks get the name headache rack?

There are two popular theories as to how back racks became known as headache racks. The first theory is back racks prevent headaches from accidents as it protects the window from your tools and equipment from breaking through. The second one is the common occurrence of truck owners being unaware of their existence while in the bed of their truck Their heads get smacked onto the beams causing a headache.