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Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform: Adventure Roof-Rack Tested [Review]

The Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform is a Rugged And Refined Adventure Roof-Rack Worth Considering

Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX platform rack on Mitsubishi Pajero 2

The latest rack system from Rhino-Rack looked worthy of a long term test. So, we fitted the Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform rack to our little Pajero and hit the open road, thousands of miles of varied terrain and climates. Here’s what we discovered about this adventure rack.


Australian-based Rhino-Rack has been offering high-quality and innovative products since 1992. Specializing in roof racks, cargo-carrying attachments, and various other accessories, they cover the entire gamut of adventure vehicles. They have sizes that can fit large runabouts like adventure vans to smaller 4x4s like our right-hand-drive JDM Mitsubishi Pajero.

Pioneer SX Platform Rack


Pioneer SX Platform Specs

The Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform 60”x49” rack fits atop our Pajero perfectly. This rack system easily clamped onto our factory OE side rails for a secure tight fit. Its low profile minimizes road noise and wind drag at highway speeds—especially helpful when we competed in a 5,000 mile Arctic winter rally in February with it. Blizzard conditions or teeth-chattering sub-zero temps didn’t phase this rack system. The rack is made from heavy-duty aluminum and reinforced nylon so it won’t rust or fade. This is a winning combination in our book, as we travel from salty ocean air to massive mountains quite regularly.

This Rhino-Rack system is not only severe-duty ready, it’s sleek appearance looks modern and intentional. Its two-inch profile lends itself well to match any vehicle’s body style, even our little JDM rally rig. The rack’s all-black construction and iconic metal Rhino-Rack badge are simple, understated, and sleek-looking.

Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX platform rack on Mitsubishi Pajero
Photo by: Mercedes Lilienthal

Carry All The Gear

Right now the Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX platform rack carries our MAXTRAX and DMOS Delta shovel. But, this rack could carry so much more.

Looking to store a couple of jerry cans? No problem. How about hauling some lumber or a spare tire? That’s a cinch, too. The Pioneer SX system boasts several accessory options, like a shovel or Hi-Lift jack provision, spare tire mount, various ratchet straps, and tie-down eyelets, or even awning attachments.

Rhino-Rack also offers heavy-duty ladder racks, trays, conduits, and more. All of which makes it easy to carry a wide variety of gear — from camping packs to slalom skis. This rugged rack system will make your vehicle adventure-ready.

Pioneer SX Platform RackIs the Pioneer SX Platform Easy to Use?

The Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX platform rack is very easy to use. Simply slide your cargo onto the rack and tie it down directly to the oversized sturdy bars, or use any of the many attachment accessories.

We never thought that the added weight of heavy cargo we’ve put on this rack was too much for the system to handle, and have never had a failure.

The rack system can also be removed easily, perfect for cleaning your vehicle, or just rolling around town without the added weight and wind resistance on the roof. Its aluminum construction is lighter than steel-constructed competitors, so removing it from your vehicle’s roof is less taxing on your back as well.

Rhino-Rack didn’t skimp on its design, materials, or even their warranty. Each rack comes with a five-year warranty, should an issue arise.

Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX platform rack
Photo by: Mercedes Lilienthal

Arctic Awesomeness

The Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX held up extremely well during the 2020 Alcan 5000 Rally in the Arctic, our big test for the rack. As we piloted our Pajero over thousands of snow- and ice-covered roads, the platform rack created minimal noise or noticeable fuel efficiently loses. It also had no plastic or metal fatigue with temps plummeting to -40 degrees — critical when hauling gear so far North that any mishap could be a critical one.

The Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX platform rack held up admirably well during harsh Arctic winter conditions, and we have no doubt it will continue to do so. Since we’ve had our rack, we’ve been happy with its overall performance, design, and lack of apparent wear.

Mercedes Lilienthal
About Mercedes Lilienthal

Mercedes is an Oregon-based freelancer who specializes in vehicular adventure travel. She and her husband have three right-hand-drive turbo-diesel Mitsubishi 4x4s and two customized subcompact daily drivers. Mercedes enjoys automotive adventure competitions, having competed in the 2018 Rebelle Rally and the 2020 Alcan 5000 Rally. Her freelance work includes writing, editing, photography, social media management, event coverage, and marketing services.