Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review and installation of the Kargo Master Congo Pro Kit, fitting all 2-door 2007 and up JKs. Today we're gonna talk through the installation of this roof rack, which is a very simple one-out-of-three wrench installation. As with most after-market roof racks, this is designed to bolt directly onto your Jeep without the need to drill anything, so this is going to be an easy install that you can get done in about two hours, but we'll talk more about the install in just a second. We're also gonna be talking about the construction, and a few of the features of this rack.
A roof rack is for those of you who need some additional space to haul additional cargo. The interior of your JK is a little bit small, and if you have some larger objects or just a lot of things you need to haul around, a roof rack is a really nice option. Now, if you do some hardcore off-roading where you put yourself in a lot of off-camber situations, I wouldn't recommend a roof rack necessarily. It can raise your center of gravity, make you a little bit top-heavy, so that plus off-camber, obviously not a good thing. However, if you keep your Jeep on the road, if you do more of an over-land style off-roading, or if you're just looking to haul some gear down a fire trail to your campsite for the weekend, a roof rack is an excellent option.
Now, this roof rack in particular is one that I really like, because it's almost a modular-style system. You're able to get a lot of different Kargo Master products that you can attach onto this cage, and really customize it and build it exactly how you want to, and this is an incredibly well-built cage. This isn't gonna rattle, this isn't gonna rust. This is gonna hold anything you wanna put on it. Now, all of that also means that this is a little bit more of an expensive roof rack than some of the others on the market. However, if you are looking for a roof rack that's going to last a very long time, you're gonna put it through some punishment, and you're willing to spend a little bit more money on something that is of a higher quality, I would definitely recommend taking a look at this kit.
As it says in the name, this is a kit. What you're seeing on the table here are the front-to-back roof rack rails, and this Congo Pro Kit also includes the front and the rear hoops for your JK, which make up the roof rack in total. Now, you can also get different front and rear hoops or different cross bars, and really custom-build a Congo Pro cage, but this is a great kit to get you started. Again, has the front and rear hoops and the cross bars, and it's ready to add some additional Kargo Master accessories onto.
Now, what is the difference between the Congo Pro Kit and the Classic Congo cage that's also available from Kargo Master? This is going to be a stronger set-up, this is a larger bars, and this is a lot more modular. These cross bars attach to the front and rear hoop with CNC-cut clamps so, again, this is a modular set-up. You can move these bars, you can remove them, you can add a lot more accessories. This is really built as more of a modular system, where the Classic cage is more of just that, a classic roof rack, goes together in one way. You can get accessories that bolt onto it, but there isn't a lot of customization for the rack itself.
Now, as I said, this is going to be stronger than that Classic Congo cage as well. This is 2"-diameter, 0.12" wall thickness steel, so this is a very strong roof rack. It's gonna be one of the stronger roof racks you're going to be able to get on the market today. And something else that makes this very different from a lot of the other ones on the market is the coating system. This is a premium powder-coat system. This rack has a lifetime warranty, because it is not going to rust and it is not going to corrode, which is a really, really nice feature. Your roof rack does take a lot of abuse when it's on your Jeep year-round, so having a coating, having that lifetime warranty all means that you can feel a little bit more secure about paying the slightly higher price for a premium cage like this one.
Now, once you do have this roof rack installed on your Jeep, it still does give you complete access to remove both the freedom panels in the front. You can also remove the entire hard top without having to take a lot of the cage apart or remove it, and the cage also flips back to allow you to work your soft top, whether it be a factory or an after-market soft top. You can put that top up and down, all with the cage in place or, at least, without it needing to be completely disassembled or completely removed from the Jeep, which is a really nice feature. That's one of the things that we really like about our Jeeps is the ability to take the top off, and we don't want our roof racks to get in the way of that.
As for the install, as I said before, very simple one-out-of-three wrench installation in about two hours. This will attach to your windshield frame hinges in the front and onto the frame of your Jeep in the rear, so it is a very traditional roof rack-style installation. So the first step is going to be removing a couple of bolts from those windshield hinges, and attaching that front hoop onto the Jeep. From there, you can move to the back, attaching the rear hoop. From there, you can attach these cross bars with the CNC-machine clamps, and all the hardware that's included. And, when you're done, you will have a roof rack. However, as I said before, this system is designed to be modular, to add things to, so you can shop around. Kargo Master does offer a lot of accessories that can be bolted onto this rack, and a lot of pieces that can be made to replace the main hoops or the cross bars here for really custom applications.
You're not gonna need any specialty tools to get this job done. However, you are going to need some traditional hand tools and, of course, some torque bits to remove those windshield hinge bolts, and as I said before, about two hours of time. Having an extra set of hands around can come in handy. Some of these pieces are a little bit larger and a little bit heavier, and you certainly don't want to scratch your paint.
This kit that includes the front and rear hoop and these cross bars is around $1,100, so this is not an inexpensive roof rack. However, there are roof racks on the market that are significantly less expensive but they're going to end up rusting because they don't have this same high-quality coating on it, or they're gonna end up rattling because they're not put together well, they're not tight enough. So it really comes down to what you want and, also, what your budget is. If you're looking for, as I said before, a really high-quality roof rack that is modular, that has a lifetime warranty, it's not gonna rattle, it's not gonna rust, you are going to have to spend a little bit more money, and I think that this rack is really appropriately priced for the quality that you're getting. However, if you're somebody who's just looking for a roof rack for a shorter period of time - you're gonna take it off in the winter, you're only gonna run it a few times a year, you're okay with a few rattles; you don't mind a little rust, you'll just paint it - you can certainly save some money and get one of the less expensive racks that are available.
So, if you're looking for a roof rack for your JK that's going to allow you to haul a lot more gear, that's going to be very well-built and have a really solid coating on it, this is going to be an excellent option. However, it is going to be a little more expensive than those lower-quality racks that are available. So that's my review of the Kargo Master Congo Pro Kit, fitting all 2007 and up JKs, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.