In search of a good-looking, do-everything roof rack that won’t break the bank? Front Runner might have an answer for your gear-hauling needs.
The company recently announced the latest addition to its line of roof racks, the Front Runner Slimsport Roof Rack Kit. The brand says this roof rack is designed to be the perfect fit for an “active outdoor lifestyle” with its lower profile and versatile accessory integrations.
It’s designed to haul your gear whether you’re heading out camping, biking, surfing, or shredding the pow. The Slimsport offers similar versatility as Front Runner’s other popular platform-style roof racks — with a few design changes.
Front Runner Slimsport Roof Rack Kit Details
For starters, the Slimsport comes with integrated mounting feet in the side rails, eliminating the need for added mounting towers. This should make installation even faster and easier.
These integrated mounting points also help give the Slimsport a lower profile. By comparison, once mounted, the Slimsport sits about an inch lower than the Front Runner Slimline II.
This, along with the integrated rubber-trimmed wind fairing, should aid in aerodynamic efficiency and help reduce wind noise on the road. The Front Runner Slimsport also offers a slightly less noticeable, more aesthetically pleasing outline atop your adventure rig if you don’t want your roof rack to be the most noticeable accessory on your vehicle.
So far, Front Runner has already released a handful of integrated accessories specific to the Slimsport, like the 40-inch Light Bar Wind Fairing (MSRP $102-143) and Side Mount Accessory Bracket (MSRP $64). The idea is that drivers can customize their Slimsport for their preferred adventures.
Slimsport vs. Slimline II: What’s the Difference?
At first glance, the Slimsport looks very similar to Front Runner’s popular Slimline II. But a closer look reveals a few key differences. For one, the Slimline II is currently compatible with more vehicles, though Front Runner promises more fitments coming soon for the Slimsport.
The main difference then seems to lie in the functionality and intended use of the rack. The Slimline II is geared toward more hardcore overlanders. The Slimsport appeals to active, outdoorsy people whose lifestyle has them regularly hitting up the trails but sticking a bit closer to home.
Put another way, if you want to get (far) off the grid and your weekend arsenal involves items like Maxtrax, Rotopax, and Hi-Lift jacks, the Slimline II offers more functionality and additional accessory attachment points for your expedition-style overland build.
Note that you can still mount these items on a Slimsport rack — you just have to mount them to the top. The Slimsport’s side-mount brackets are designed for lighter-weight accessories.
All of Front Runner’s top-mounted accessories will work with both racks. However, the side-mounted brackets are specific to each rack, as the Slimsport doesn’t feature the same perimeter T channels as the burlier Slimline II.
Still Durable, Now More Affordable
On the other hand, if crushing a quick ride on your MTB after work or catching some waves on the weekends is more your speed, the Slimsport might be a better fit for your lifestyle and your vehicle.
The Slimsport benefits from the same high-strength steel design as the Slimline II — just with a slimmed-down profile. And it still features Front Runner’s platform rack style whose T-track crossbars we found to be more versatile than more traditional crossbar-based roof racks. Depending on what gear you’re hauling, the Slimsport appears to be a versatile platform you can adapt to your needs.
The biggest difference might just come down to the price. By comparison, for a Toyota 4Runner, the Slimsport has a $919 price tag compared to $1,545 for the Slimline II. It’s readily apparent which roof rack kit is easier on your wallet.
The Slimsport ranges from $625 to $919 MSRP depending on your vehicle. Though that’s admittedly not cheap, the Slimsport is more budget-friendly than Front Runner’s premium offerings.
Slimsport: Sporty Enough?
If you have all the toys to get out and play but aren’t necessarily planning to go overlanding to reach your destination, the Front Runner Slimsport roof rack might be plenty sporty to get the job done.
This versatile platform might be your one-stop shop for a Front Runner rack that can haul all your gear. And it offers a more affordable price than its more overlanding-oriented big brother.