Rhino-Rack (Pioneer SX Platform) 5th Gen 4Runner

 In 4Runner Mods, 5th Gen 4Runner Mods, Aftermarket Install, Off-Road Accessories, T4R Accessories

5th Gen 4Runner Rhino-Rack Pioneer Roof Rack – CXB & SX

Rhino-Rack Pioneer 5th Gen 4Runner

Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Mount, CXB Mount and the Backbone Mount Roof Rack for 5th Gen 4Runner – Full Review & Roof Rack Comparison Guide

This 5th Gen Mod has been a long time coming. When looking at roof racks, there are a handful of solid options to choose from. Some of my first choices were the Gobi Stealth Rack, BajaRack Utility (Flat) Rack with sunroof cut out, Front Runner Slimline 2 Roof Rack, and the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform Roof Rack. What all of these roof racks have in common is their sleek look.

I wanted a roof rack that would be as slim and sleek as possible with as many options for accessories as possible. We ended up going with the Rhino-Rack for the 2014 Trail 4Runner but we may install the Front Runner Slimline on our other 2016 SR5 4Runner here soon. Below, I wanted to break down why I decided to go with the Rhino-Rack over the others.

  1. The Gobi Stealth Rack
  2. The Baja Flat Utility Roof Rack
  3. Front Runner Slimline 2
  4. Eezi-Awn K9 Expedition Roof Racks
  5. Rhino-Rack Pioneer CXB Leg Kit Platform Roof Rack

#1 & #2 – The Gobi Stealth Rack and The Baja Flat Roof Rack

Although these roof racks are superior in every category, I decided to go another direction for a couple of reasons. The first problem I have with these roof racks is that everyone and their mother with off-road 4Runner ambitions has one. I wanted our rack to be different, unique and something that not everyone has mounted on their 5th Gen. The second and most important reason was the price.

These racks range from $1500-$2000 after tax and freight. Where these racks excel is their load rating and stellar performance in their ability to handle anything you throw at them. This is one area where the Rhino-Rack with the CXB leg kit can improve on.

#3 – The Front Runner Slimline 2 & Eezi-Awn K9 Expedition Roof Rack 

My second choice for a roof rack was the Front Runner Slimline 2 Roof Rack. This rack is incredibly slim with an ability to carry 600lbs of whatever you can throw on top. Front Runner and Rhino-Rack both make full versions and 3/4 versions of their racks for our 5th Gens.

On a side note, the K9 Roof rack was a serious contender as well but it sat a little high off the 4Runner in my opinion. My choice really came down to these Roof Racks; the Front Runner Slimline 2 and the Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform.

#4 – Rhino-Rack Pioneer CXB Leg Kit Platform Roof Rack

Rhino-Rack Pioneer 5th Gen 4Runner

Features and Benifits of the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Tray - 5th Gen 4Runner

The Rhino-Rack came in a bit cheaper $600 and with the mounting brackets at under $800 while the Front Runner is a little over $1000. While the Front Runner Slimline 2 smokes Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform (CXB Leg Kit) in terms of load capacity (175lbs dynamic vs. 600 pounds dynamic), the Rhino-Rack Pioneer is still cheaper with the factory rail mount kit.

Load Ratings with the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Roof Rack

It is important to note that there are two ways to mount the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Tray on your 4Runner that give you totally different load ratings. One option is the factory rail mount kit (175lbs) and the other is with the Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting Kit (700+lbs).

Mounting the Rhino-Rack with the factory rail system (60″ x 49″) will allow you to hold 175 pounds which will be more than enough for most 4Runner owners out there. But, if you want to go a step further and add a rooftop tent to this rack, then you will need to go with the Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting Kit (76″ x 49″).

Rhino-Rack Slim, Sleek and Clean Design

Rhino-Rack Slim, Sleek and Clean Design

The Rhino-Rack is also slimmer, made of the same aluminum material, looks the exact same and is shorter in height when mounted compared to the Front Runner Slimline 2. The Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform is made with lightweight reinforced nylon and aluminum weighing in at only 43 pounds! This is nothing compared to the Gobi Stealth Rack and the Baja Rack (+/- 100 pounds).

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform for 5th Gen 4Runner (Cost)

So Clean!

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Tray - 5th Gen 4Runner

The Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform Roof Rack

Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform 5th Gen 4Runner

The Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform Rack Factory Rail Kit (Legs for Crossbars)

Just a side note: You can mount this rack with these legs below but you will need the crossbars as well. You can also mount the rack straight to another set of legs, which we will be doing our install on.

Rhino-Rack Pioneer 5th Gen 4RunnerRhino-Rack Pioneer 5th Gen 4RunnerRhino-Rack Pioneer 5th Gen 4Runner Factory Leg Kit

The Pioneer CXB Roof Rack Factory Rail Leg Kit 

The CXB Leg Kit mounts directly to the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform. No need for any other crossbars with this leg kit. Also, using this leg kit keeps your roof rack slightly closer to the vehical which limits wind noise.

The Pioneer CXB Platform Rack Factory Rail Kit

Below are the part numbers and prices for this kit on the Rhino-Rack website at their MSRP. Do not buy this rack direct from the Rhino-Rack website (Unless everywhere else is out of stock). The price is much higher than on Amazon as well as some third-party sites. Below is just the MSRP and part numbers for reference on the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform Roof Rack (Specifically for the 5th Gen 4Runner).

Retail Price for the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Roof Rack

  • HALF RACK – Pioneer Platform (60″ x 49″) #44100B $769.00
  • Mounting Option 1: Vortex SX Leg Kit (x4) #SX005 $259.00
  • Mounting Option 2: Heavy Duty CXB Leg Kit (x4) #CXB $151.00
  • Mounting Option 3: Rhino-Rack Backbone 2 Base Mounting System #RT4B1 $369.00

What We Paid for the 5th Gen 4Runner Rhino-Rack (Pioneer)

  • Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform (60″ x 49″) – Check Today’s Price 
  • Mount Option 1: Vortex SX Leg Kit (Factory Rails + Crossbars) – Check Price
  • Mount Option 2: Heavy Duty CXB Leg Kit (Factory System) – Check Today’s Price
  • Mount Option 3: Rhino-Rack Backbone 2 (Base System) – Check the Price (In order to mount the rack to the Backbone System, you need the 76″ x 49″ rack)

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform 4Runner Accessories (Gear)

Another 4Runner with the Rhino-Rack Mounted – So Clean!!!

5th Gen 4Runner Pioneer Roof Rack

Choosing the right roof rack can be challenging but this rack is a solid choice if you are 80% on-road and 20% off-road. The Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform Roof Rack with CXB Leg Kit offers many options and accessories for you to scale your rack as needed with little to no research for parts and materials.

  • Pioneer Accessory Bars
  • Pioneer Rack Rollers (42″)
  • Universal Awning Bracket Kit
  • Sunseeker 2.5m Awning
  • Pioneer Platform Side Rails
  • Pioneer Platform Full Rail Kit
  • Pioneer Platform Front & Side Rails

Rhino-Rack as a company makes it easy for you to pick and choose match made accessories. The only downside to this rack is the ability to mount a roof-top tent. You can do it with the CXB leg kit, but it is not recommended. If you are going to mount a roof-top tent, you should check out the Backbone Kit. All in all, after everything has been mounted and tested on-road and off-road, I am incredibly happy with this roof rack.

Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System – 4Runner Overview

Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System - 5th Gen 4Runner

Rhino-Rack also makes a unique mounting system specifically for the 5th Gen 4Runner that replaces your factory roof rail system. The Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System has a higher load rating than the CXB Leg kit that comes with four legs which use’s the factory rail system.

Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System holds just over 700lbs – that’s more than the Front Runner Slimline 2. The Rhino-Rack Backbone for the 5th Gen 4Runner can carry more weight because the Backbone Mounting System mounts straight to your roof using factory mount location points. The system is designed to carry more static and dynamic weight.

Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System – 4Runner Submission

Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System - 5th Gen 4Runner Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System - 5th Gen 4Runner Rhino-Rack Backbone Mounting System - 5th Gen 4Runner

When we purchased our rack,  everyone was out of stock on the Rhino-Rack Backbone system. We really wanted to go this direction because of the load rating and overall a much better look, over the factory roof rail system. Although I still really like this look of the Rhino-Rack with factory rails, the Rhino-Rack Backbone looks and performs much better as a true utility rack. But at $350, the Backbone mount system will put you just over $1000 instead of under $800 for the Rhino-Rack with CXB Leg kit.


In case you missed the link at the top, check out our full Rhino-Rack Pioneer CXB Leg Kit Install today to get a better idea at just how easy this rack was to install.

If you have any questions, we would love to hear your comments below!

Also, shoot us an email if you have any questions about this product or other products/ installs on the site.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Robert

    Hey Brenan, I’m curious if you know of anyone running the Backbone system with a shorter Pioneer platform? (the 60” vs. the 76”) Rhino Rack’s Backbone install/fitment guide specifically notes the 71” and 76” work, but no mention of the shorter systems. I love the system, just don’t want to cover the sunroof on my TRD Off Road.

    Thanks and love the blog!


    • Brenan - Trail4R

      The shorter platform will not work with the Backbone system. We almost bought one as well but spoke with a company that sells roof racks. They assured us it was not possible. The look of the Backbone system with the Pioneer Platform is much better than how we have it mounted on the factory roof rails. For one, it holds 300 more pounds and for two, it looks better. I also had the same issue with going larger on that rack. I am a huge sunroof fan and would never want to cover our sunroof either. If we didn’t have a sunroof we would for sure have gone with the Backbone system.
      Good luck!!

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