Thule Jeep Wrangler Roof Rack

Thule Jeep Wrangler Roof Rack – Ultimate Guide

Looking to increase your Jeep’s carrying capacity for your next outing? We tested the Thule Jeep Wrangler roof rack system and demonstrate its ease in boosting your Jeep’s load capability.

This system has been atop our Jeep for several years and has performed admirably. It has supported a rooftop carrier and secured two kayaks while traversing Texas highways for camping and fishing trips. As of 2024, it has been flawless, save for considerations regarding the vehicle’s height. To address this, I’ve incorporated a lever-bar system into my setup—details to follow.

Thule Roof Rack System

When it comes to adding a roof rack to your Jeep Wrangler, there are many choices. From full cage systems to bolt on kits and gutter mounts.

Since my mission is mostly hauling a car top carrier and a kayak and with easy removal and ease of installation (no drilling), I chose to go with the Thule Roof Rack system.

While I like the looks and features of some of the full cage systems, I wanted to avoid the added weight and noise I’ve heard can happen.

Roof Rack Mission

My Mission:

  • Skiing Gear
  • Roof Top Carrier
  • Bike Carrier
  • Kayak
  • Misc stuff (sometimes boards/lumber tied down)

The Thule roof rack system does a fantastic job at safely carrying any of those items while freeing up precious cargo space in the rear. (Please watch the bikes and car topper when driving through places with any low clearance!)

We found the Thule system to be extremely easy to install, easy to remove, and very capable of carrying the loads we haul around. The rooftop carrier freed up the often overpacked trunk and limited interior space.

Before we dive into the Thule rack system, let’s make sure we cover the ever-important weight rating of Jeep’s. Always understand the limitations of your gear and how to operate it safely and make sure your gear fits your mission.

Thule Jeep Wrangler Roof Rack Roof rating

There are two ratings you should be aware of before you install and load any equipment on your Jeep: Static Weight Rating and Dynamic Weight Rating.

Dynamic Weight Rating – the most amount of weight that can be safely carried by the roof rack system while the vehicle is in motion.

Static Weight Rating – the most amount of weight that can be carried by the roof rack system.

On the Jeep Wrangler, the only rating I have been able to find any manufacturer supports that is the Dynamic Weight rating of 165 lbs. The dynamic weight rating means the roof rack system can safely carry only 165 lbs. of kayak, gear, bikes, skiing, or any equipment while the vehicle is in motion.

If you “know your mission” and know that you will be just carrying light activity gear, a moderately heavy kayak, or a rooftop carrier system then any rack system will work as 165 lbs. of equipment is a lot of gear.

If your mission is to carry a rooftop tent or something substantial permanently mounted to your vehicle, then you should be aware of the 165lb dynamic weight rating and the fact that Jeep doesn’t establish a static weight rating. We installed our rooftop tent on our overland trailer because we didn’t want to install a roll cage set up to get the weight rating necessary for 2-4 people to be sleeping in a heavy tent. With the 165lb dynamic rating you can certainly drive around with most tents on the roof, but I didn’t want to push my luck with a non-rated static rating.

Roof Rack

For my 2017 Jeep Sahara Unlimited, the recommendation for a Thule Jeep Wrangler roof rack is:

  • ARB60 – 60″ Aerobars (must be 60″ kit!)
  • Thule Rapid Gutter Foot Pack (4 feet) – Model # 300R

This should fit any JKU or JLU Jeep Wrangler.

Thule 300R Rapid Gutter Low Foot Pack, One Color, One Size
  • Gutter Foot Pack that is compatible with Thule AeroBlade and Rapid Aero load bars
  • Available in 5″ clearance
  • Additional sport carriers and rack accessories can be mounted to integrated front and rear upper t-track channels
  • Sold 4 feet per pack
  • Secures to roof with Thule One Key locks (sold separately)

Affiliate links & Product Images are from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Thule Jeep Wrangler roof rack packaging

What’s in the Thule Rapid Gutter box?

The Thule rapid gutter box comes with a bunch of components that need some assembly.

The instructions were straightforward, but we’ll cover some of the trickier pieces in a video below.

All the parts look well-made and durable. Nothing sticks out as a potential failure point or bad design. The adage applies here, “You get what you pay for.”  You should be able to get many years of use from this roof rack system without worry of rust or component failure. If you have any issues, all parts are available to order online and have spares.

Thule Rapid Gutter Parts

Assembling ARB60 Thule AeroBlade

Assembly of the ARB60 AeroBlade is quick – insert the rubber track in the channel and push it in with your fingers as you work down the length of the blade.  I would recommend sitting the far end of the Aeroblade bar on a box, as these suckers cost a lot to scratch up as you work the non-slip strip down the AeroBlade.

Thule Aeroblade Jeep Roof Rack rubber grip install

Once you have installed the non-slip rubber channel, set the AeroBlade aside – Do NOT put the end caps on just yet.

Thule Rapid Gutter Foot Pack Assembly

In your Rapid Gutter Foot box, you should have four sets of the pieces below. All these parts are used to build one foot as pictured below.

Thule Rapid Gutter Jeep Roof Rack

Here is a quick YouTube video showing how to assemble the foot:

The plastic part on top was slightly challenging to get into the ARB insert, but I found that if you push on the flat side of the rivet/bolt and then push on the rounded side, it snapped in slightly easier.

Do NOT overtighten the hand nut. You want this loose so you can install the Roof Rack assembly easily.

Installing Thule AeroBlades

This part was the most hassle of the entire setup. When you slide the feet into the AeroBlade track, it doesn’t like to slide very well. I had to wiggle it back and forth to get it to push in and if it got stuck, I used a screwdriver to reach into the channel and move the black piece around to jostle it lose.

Thule Rapid Gutter Aeroblade install Jeep Roof Rack

Once you get your feet on a bit, you will see there is a black slider that you can adjust (see picture below). This adjustment helps you get the feet set equal distant apart and helps it match your roof evenly, so the bars don’t hang off one side or another any further than the other.

On my 2018 JKU Sport, the rear roof rack assembly was marked at “59” on each side for the rear rack (over the back seat). On the front Roof Rack assembly – over the removable Freedom Top (front seat) the sliders were right around “57” – so a slightly smaller distance between feet.

Thule Rapid Gutter Aeroblade install Jeep Wrangler Roof Rack

Now that you have the assemblies adjusted, you’re about ready to install the rack on your roof. At this point, I would recommend that you have all doors open, so you don’t pinch any of your doors rubber seals.

If you have two people, it’s not too hard to lift over the rack and install. Otherwise, gently rest the opposite end of the assembly on the roof and insert into your jeeps rain gutters and work around to all 4 feet.

The Aeroblade should look like a wing with the thicker end towards your engine. Once the roof rack is resting in the gutters, gently tighten the hand nut until firm. Picture below shows how the feet should align with your rain gutter.

The larger foot should be on the inside, and the outer clamp should fit right over the bottom of the rain gutter.

Thule Jeep Wrangler roof rack

With the feet and bars on your roof, you want to insert the outer edge strip by sliding it in the empty channel with grooves up. I just used scissors to cut off the excess right at the end of the AeroBlade. You want to do this to all ends. This will keep your bars from whistling and causing too much wind resistance.

Thule Jeep Wrangler roof rack install

When you slide end caps on, be sure that the clip that faces down slides over the rubber channels that you installed on the lower section. If the rubber pinches out, you can usually push it back in or pull the cap off and try again.

The cap will help hold the lower rubber channel in, and when locked, it will hold the upper resistance strip in too.

Installed Caps

Thule Jeep Wrangler roof rack end cap install

“Locked” caps

Thule Jeep Wrangler roof rack end cap locked in

Mounted Thule Roof Rack

The Thule jeep wrangler roof rack doesn’t look bad and feels sturdy. With everything connected and sized well removal and re-installation is a snap.

Update: We’ve had the roof rack for a couple of years now, and it has been effortless to add and remove. It just takes a couple of minutes to lift over the vehicle and re-attach to gutters.

Jeep wrangler roof rack installed on a 2018 JKU


I have hooks in the garage to hang them when not in use to keep them out of the way. When storing, I never need to separate the feet or adjust them.

Thule Accessories

The Thule Aeroblade bars and a universal mounting system capable of carrier many Thule and 3rd party roof rack components. This includes J-Bars – Great for carrying Kayaks to Bike Mounts, Roof Top Carriers for Skiing and Luggage and many other accessories.


Installing the Jeep Wrangler roof rack wasn’t too difficult or time-consuming. The most difficult part was getting the feet attached to the Aeroblade and adjusting them for the right dimension across the roof.

Other than that, no pieces were missing, and no problems found during installation.

Thule Jeep Wrangler roof rack luggage carrier

Be sure to keep your bars within load limits. Thule Recommends 165 lb max load and Jeep has no real stance on roof racks.

Check your vehicle fit –

Order Online

Please consider supporting our blog and purchasing your Thule Roof Rack through our links! Thank you!

Thule 300R Rapid Gutter Low Foot Pack, One Color, One Size
  • Gutter Foot Pack that is compatible with Thule AeroBlade and Rapid Aero load bars
  • Available in 5″ clearance
  • Additional sport carriers and rack accessories can be mounted to integrated front and rear upper t-track channels
  • Sold 4 feet per pack
  • Secures to roof with Thule One Key locks (sold separately)

Affiliate links & Product Images are from Amazon Product Advertising API.


Thule SnowPack Extender Ski/Snowboard Rack (6pr/4 Boards), Black Extender(6 Pr/4 Boards) Black
  • Aerodynamic slide-out rooftop rack for all types of skis and snowboards
  • Slide-out design extends from vehicle for easy loading and unloading
  • Fits up to 6 pairs of skis/4 snowboards
  • Ultra-soft rubber arms grip without scratching
  • Oversized push button to easily open while wearing gloves
Thule Hull-a-Port Aero Rooftop Kayak Rack – Carries 1 Kayak – Anti-Theft Design – Foldable Design – Rubber Padding mounting Surface – Easy Strap Management – 75lb Weight Capacity
  • Versatile water sport carrier that can transport kayaks or stand up paddleboards
  • Multiple carry options: Single kayak in J-style or saddle mode, and up to two SUPs in saddle mode
  • Thick rubber saddles and padded upright for maximum protection
  • Integrated StrapCatch helps to easily manage straps while loading
  • Folds down flat when not in use

Affiliate links & Product Images are from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Update June 2020

The roof rack still works like a charm! I’ve used it for car top carrier and kayaks. No issues to report. Haven’t seen any damage to the roof, gutters, or rack system. Just be sure not to pinch the rubber gasket around your windows when you install your feet! Not the most affordable solution but easy to set up, carries my kayak, roof top and other loads and comes off quick.

Update November 2021

Still going strong! I’ve since added a Thule Hull-a-port kayak carrier to the cross bars and use that to carry around two large kayaks. (Only one shown in photo below, but you can see how they stack). I love that the Hull-A-Port can be set up to carry one or two kayaks at the same time and locks to the aero blades. Be sure to buy matching long spindles for all four feet and the two Hull-A-Ports.

Thule Jeep Wrangler roof rack with kayak mounted on roof using thule J bars

Update September 2023

The roof rack still works great. The aero-bar rails themselves are showing some sign of wear – the rubber nonslip grip is getting a bit beat up but that is also because I have a heavy pedal kayak I load up. I’m still happy with this set up and have had no problems to report.

Update April 2024

Maybe i’m getting old and tired, but lifting kayaks at a lifted Jeep height can be tirring – especially after a long day on the water. We’ve added a “cheater bar” system to the setup that extends out from one of the roof racks and allows me to lift up one end of the kayak up and then the other. I haven’t seen these for sale, I got it from the a friend but basically it’s an extension from the arero bar where I can lift one end of my kayak up and onto the bar and then I can walk over to other end and lift on top of Jeep – saves me from having to super-man lift a kayak over my head.

If you have a roof rack system that you use or recommend, we’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below!


Does the Thule Roof Rack fit on a two door Jeep Wrangler?

No, the Thule Roof Rack is only for four-door Jeep Wranglers (JKU/JLU).

What is the max weight the Thule roof rack can carry?

The Max dynamic load weight of the Thule Roof Rack is 165lbs.

Can I carry a Rooftop Tent on my Jeep Wrangler with Thule Roof Rack?

While many tents are available that can fit the dynamic roof rating, Chrysler doesn’t rate the Jeep Roof loads for static loads. I wouldn’t recommend an RTT with this rack system.

Is there a no-drill roof rack for Jeep Wrangler?

The Thule gutter-foot based roof rack requires no drilling!

Does Jeep Wrangler have a roof rack?

There is no factory Roof Rack option rack on Jeep Wranglers, however the Thule Roof Rack is available as an aftermarket roof rack system.

11 thoughts on “Thule Jeep Wrangler Roof Rack – Ultimate Guide”

  1. I’m looking at getting the exact same setup. I’m concerned about garage clearance with adding attachments I already have. Could you tell me how tall this setup is off of the hardtop (inches between top of hardtop and the top of aerobar)?

    1. I’ll measure it up and update the post. Good info to share. My jeep is on 33″ tires with 1″ body lift now, so not factory spec but i’ll share my info shortly and update the post.

  2. Avatar
    David Stidham

    Thank you for sharing the details for this roof top cargo solution and your experiences with it. After finding this posting and reading it through (twice) I ordered the parts for our 2013 JKU. Instead of the Aeroblade, I went with the Wingbar Evo 150 (60”). It has a slightly different assembly instruction, but, basically the same crossbar in functionality. I also added SportRack Replacement Foam 18-Inch Kayak Blocks for the crossbars. The system worked great for me; I tied down an Ocean Kayak Venus kayak and transported it from Florida to Virginia without any issues at all. Traveling through high winds and rain. Yes, I felt that the Wrangler had more height, but, aside from that it only affected my MPG by about 1-1.5 from what I normally get on the highway. Once again, thank you for taking the time to document your installation and experiences with the Thule system.

    1. Glad you got a rack system that works! Always happy to see fellow Jeep owners able to carry around their cargo and kayaks. Keep us posted on how it works out and feel free to leave a user review in our forums (community). Thanks David!

  3. Thank you very much for your detailed guide. I recently changed my car to a jeep. Now, I know very little to nothing about the jeep. I only bought it because it looked cool. So the thing is now I have to carry two bikes every day for my son and my daughter. I thought I would get a rack for the back of the car but I have a spare tire there. Now I think I will get a rooftop mount rack. Thanks for this post. Been really helpful.

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