14 Best Rock Sliders For 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

Lifted MGM 3rd Gen Tacoma With Bronze GFC Platform Topper, Prinsu Roof Rack, RRW RR7-H Wheels & True North Fabrications Bolt-On Rock Sliders

Most Popular Rock Slider Options By Style, Design & Types

If you’re in the market for sliders you might be overwhelmed with the different types and options available.

Kickout or no kickout, DOM or HREW, with or without fill plates, the list goes on and on. Once you’ve nailed down what you want, you now have to begin the process of choosing from a long list of companies. To help you with this process, I will explain the options and terms you need to know and list the top brands to help you narrow in on what’s right for you.

Ultimately, the right set will depend on your usage…

  • Do you need them mainly for protection or will you need it to function as a step as well?
  • How much abuse will they get, once a week or a few times a year?

All of these are questions you should answer before your search to help you determine the perfect set up for your vehicle.

What Are Sliders?

Lifted Super White 3rd Gen Tacoma on 34s with Relations Race Wheels Bolt-On Rock Sliders

If you want an in-depth guide on what they are, you should check out the Trail4Runner “everything you need to know” post.

Most sliders are made of steel (DOM or HREW) and play the role of protecting your rocker panels and doors while out on the trail. The term slider means exactly what you would imagine. They allow your truck to “slide” over big rocks, trees, and steep hills.

The rocker panels are one of the most likely areas to take damage due to the large distance between the wheels, especially on a longer wheelbase truck like the Tacoma. They’re typically installed to take the brunt of any impact from rocks, trees, etc., while off the beaten path.

While their primary purpose is for protection, they can also be used as a step to enter or exit your vehicle or to allow easier access to your roof rack and the items you may have mounted to it.

Do You Need Them?

Lifted 2nd Gen Tacoma With All-Pro Rock Sliders

Well, that depends.

Sliders are crucial if you’re going to spend a lot of time on technical roads/trails. If you expect to push your truck more and more, you’ll definitely want to start with this type of armor. If you’re more of a forest road overlander, the likelihood of damage to your rock panels or doors is much, much lower.

If you’re going to be sticking to paved roads and easy dirt roads, they are probably not necessary. They give the truck a rugged look, but that rugged look might not be worth $500-1,000+ to you.

Strength

C4 Fabrication Rock Sliders

Two types of steel are typically used for sliders, HREW and DOM.

  • Hot Rolled Electric Welded steel (HREW) is the basic model. It has a tensile strength of around 40 KSI (kilopound per square inch), so a breaking point of roughly 40,000 lbs/in².
  • Drawn Over Mandrel steel (DOM) is the upgraded version with a tensile strength of around 70 KSI. That’s a breaking point of 70,000 lbs/in².

If you don’t actually plan on sliding over rocks, but you might find yourself on a trail a little tighter than you anticipated, then HREW will provide plenty of strength when you need it. If you know there is a very good chance your sliders will frequently be up close and personal with rocks and logs, go ahead and upgrade to a DOM slider to get maximum protection.

If you want to learn more about these two different steel options, check out our complete guide – DOM vs HREW.

Design

Relations Race Wheels Bolt-On DOM Steel Rock Sliders for 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

There are several options that you can pick from to customize the look and function of your sliders. Almost every company that sells them provides options for kickouts and fill plates. The angle will typically vary from company to company, but some do offer to make them custom as well.

#1. Kickout

A kickout is an extended or wider portion at the end of the slider closest to the rear wheels. The purpose of a kickout is to push your vehicle away from the obstacle it is riding on so that the obstacle doesn’t hit your wheel/tire or the body. I recommend you go with this option, if possible.

#2. Fill Plates

If you plan to use them as a step, fill plates provide a larger and safer surface for your feet. Without fill plates, the only surface is a less than 2” wide tube. Not the best for stability, especially when wet or muddy.

#3. Angle

Most commonly offered with an angle between 0° and 25°. To function as a step as well as protection, the 0° slider is the best option as it will be a level surface. As the angle goes up, the more the slider will tuck up to the side of the vehicle. If you frequently off-road and travel down tighter trails then a higher angle slider, such as 15°-25°, might be better suited for your needs.

#4. Length

When purchasing, something simple but important is to ensure you are getting the right size and setup. There are typically two sizes that I’ve come across for 3rd Gen Tacomas. One size is shorter and fits double-cab short beds (DCSB) as well as access-cab long beds (ACLB). The other size is longer so that it fits double-cab long beds (DCLB). Longer options take more materials which means a higher price.

Coatings

Long Travel Tacoma on 37" Tires Rock Crawling

Since sliders are built out of bare steel, most people apply some type of coating put on them to protect them from rust and deterioration.

A good coating will also provide traction when using them as a step, especially in inclement weather. The most common options are powder coating, Line-X or some kind of bed liner. All the options will likely add a couple of hundred dollars to the total but will protect from rust and minor dings. However, if you do put them to good use out on the trails, you will end up with scuffs and chips in the coating that will at some point need to be touched up.

The third option for coating is doing it on your own at home. We have a solid post on how to prepare and paint bare metal parts. I chose to go this route for my own for the savings and because I can touch it up whenever I need to without going back for a professional coating. If you follow the right steps, a DIY coating will keep yours in good condition, looking great, and won’t break the bank.

Before I get into the list, I want to preface this by saying, I only have first-hand experience with one brand.

1. Cali Raised LED

 Making The Complex Simple, Quality Products, Solid Team

Cali Raised LED has been around now for close to a decade. Many enthusiasts in our space trust these guys for quality products. Cali Raised LED does much, much more than just LED lights. Although they sell quality lights, they also have a strong presence in the armor category.

One really rad thing about Cali Raised – they come in two different versions.

  • Trail Edition
    • Tucked close to the body and set at a 25 degree angle
  • Step Edition
    • Set at 0 degrees, same tough construction, more emphasis on use as a step

These are completely bolt-on, can come with or without a kickout, they have three different finishes (raw, power coated, bed-lined), fit every Tacoma bed and cab size, and the step edition has four options for a filler plate. Made standard with American sourced 1.75″ DOM tubing – these should definitely take a beating.

With a crazy amount of configurations and options, all while coming in at a great price point, you can’t go wrong with Cali Raised LED. Oh, and you can’t forget the two year warranty and consistently low lead times!

PROS

  • Established company
  • Loads of options and configurations
  • Low lead times
  • Good warranty
  • 100% bolt-on
  • DOM tubing standard
  • Long and short bed choices

CONS

  • No weld on options

2. All-Pro

“Toyota Rock Crawling Specialist”, Quality Aftermarket Products

Find It Online

Another well established company, the team at All-Pro has been around since the mid-90s. In recent months, we’ve seen them testing some new long travel kits and have been told they are continuing to expand their product lines.

All-Pro makes theirs from 1.75″ x .120 DOM tubing. Another neat offering, All-Pro also has several lengths of universal Toyota weld-on options that are SUPER affordable. Running around $300-400, a great deal – especially if you have access to a welder.

Products from All-Pro come with a 1-year limited warranty and have a ton of attention to details.

PROS

  • Established company
  • Lots of options
  • Low lead times (many products in stock)
  • Solid warranty
  • Bolt-on and weld-on options
  • DOM tubing standard
  • Long and short bed choices

CONS

  • None that we can find

3. CBI Offroad Fabrication

CBI Off-Road Fabrication Bolt-On Rock Sliders for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

Well-Known, Trail Proven, Adventure-Ready

CBI Offroad is based out of Idaho and sells products for Toyota and Lexus vehicles as well as Jeep, Subaru, Dodge, Ford, and Chevy. If you’ve been around Toyota off-road, you’ve likely heard of them. Another neat note, they acquired Prinsu roof rack not too long ago and have continued to do the iconic name justice.

If you’re looking for a reputable brand that gives you all of the options, CBI should be towards the top of your list. They offer both types of steel (DOM + HREW), both lengths, kickouts or non-kickouts, angled or flat, and with or without powder-coating. Tons of customization. Long and short bed available.

The only thing to note is that they offer different version. The Classic Series, the Overland Series, and the Trail Series. All different from each other and for a variety of applications and tastes.

PROS

  • Well established
  • Strong design
  • Many options to choose from
  • No cutting or welding required
  • Choices for long and short beds

CONS

  • Potentially high shipping costs
  • No weld-on version

4. True North Fabrications

TNF Bolt-On Rock Sliders For 3rd Gen Tacoma With Satin Black Powder Coat

Precise Fabrication, Functional Design, Passionate Team

True North Fabrications (TNF) is based out of Sarasota, Florida. They have a pretty wide product range, covering many Toyotas, Lexus, and even the new 6th Gen Bronco. They focus on attention to detail, and are driven to create quality designs.

The neat thing about TNF is that they offer not only a bolt-on version, but also a weld-on one. This is one of the only options on the market that has a welded option. Regardless of the option you choose, you have the choice of getting them in raw steel or satin black powder coat. Both offer a primary square tube with ERW round tubing and beefy mounting plates.

TNF offers prices on the lower end of the spectrum, especially if you option for raw version that is welded to the frame. Shipping seems to be reasonable as well. A up and coming armor company, keep your eyes on this team. Lead times are a little on the longer side. They are currently only available for the 3rd Gen Tacoma. No option for long beds.

Check out Kenny’s install and review.

PROS

  • Beefy design
  • Bolt-on and weld-on options
  • Raw steel and powder coat available
  • Reasonable shipping costs

CONS

  • Long lead times
  • No 2nd Gen or long bed option

5. C4 Fabrication

KC Cyclone Lights wired as brake lights, reverse lights, and turn signals

USA Sourced Materials & Components, Innovative Design, Industry Standard

C4 Fab, based in South Dakota, is a well-known brand in the Toyota off-roading community. They are at the forefront of innovation with Toyota armor, continuously tweaking or developing their products to better serve the community.

C4’s come standard with DOM steel. They provide only one length, which works with short beds and access cabs. They are built with an angle so they tuck up nicely for plenty of clearance. Step plates are now standard, and they are bolted to the slider.

Kickouts are also a standard feature, which again, helps to protect your truck when maneuvering around obstacles. One thing that C4 doesn’t provide is powder coating. These ship to the customer in bare steel and it is your responsibility to have it coated. Their pricing is a little higher than most other companies on the list when you factor in the cost of coating.

PROS

  • Well established
  • Strong design
  • 100% bolt-on
  • Removable step plates
  • No cutting or welding required
  • DOM tubing standard

CONS

  • Longer lead times
  • No coating service, come bare steel
  • No long bed option

    6. RCI Offroad

    RCI Off-Road Bolt-on Rock Sliders for 2nd & 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

    Precision Engineering, Made to Impress, Quality Protection

    RCI is another Colorado-based company and the first company on the list that serves vehicles outside of the Toyota world. RCI fabricates their own bed racks, sliders, skid plates, and bumpers for Toyotas. They also provide bed racks, some skid plates, and mounting brackets for several makes and models.

    RCI builds all of these with DOM steel standard, with no option for HREW. Both lengths are available, with an upcharge for the longer double cab long bed (DCLB) model. They offer two different angles, 5°, and 20°. RCI recommends the 5° if you opt for the step plates, as that will offer a more stable surface. All come standard with a kickout and you do have the option of powder coating through RCI.

    PROS

    • Well established
    • DOM tubing standard
    • Strong design
    • Option for top tread plates
    • In-house powder coating
    • Main slider rail is square tubing
    • Long bed option

    CONS

    • Potentially high shipping costs
    • No weld-on option

    7. RSG Offroad

    RSG Off-Road Bolt-On Rock Sliders on Blazing Blue Pearl 3rd Gen Tacoma

    Established, Experienced, Short Lead Times

    RSG Offroad is based out of Lakewood, CO. They provide everything from recovery gear to superchargers for multiple Toyota models and even a couple of Lexus models. They are a one-stop-shop for all you need to get off-road.

    RSG offers these in both DOM and HREW steel. If you drive a double cab long bed (DCLB), unfortunately, you don’t have an option available from RSG. According to their site, all of their sliders are for access cab long bed (ACLB) and double cab short bed (DCSB) only. They do offer both an angled and flat version if you’re looking for a sturdier step.

    One cool thing that RSG provides is a grip top plate along with a top plate. Their grip top plate has extra texture to give better traction when stepping into your vehicle. RSG sliders are available in both kickout or non-kickout versions. You do have the option of having these powder coated, and you can also choose whether the RSG logo is stainless or blacked out.

    PROS

    • Well established
    • Strong design
    • Larger main tube
    • Many versions to choose from

    CONS

    • No option for DCLB trucks
    • No weld-on option

        8. Westcott Designs

        Lifted Lunar Rock 3rd Gen Tacoma with Jeff Westcott Designs Bolt-On Rock Sliders

        If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Doesn’t Change You

        Westcott Designs is kind of the new kid on the block. However, they’ve been in the automotive game for a very long time. It’s a mom and pop business based in Phoenix, Arizona, started by Jeff Westcott, who brings 20 years of experience working for Toyota, and a lifetime of being around car manufacturing thanks to his father, who worked for GM.

        They are slowly growing their product base, but their claim to fame is the hitch receiver rack/carrier and TRD Pro model lift kits. They pride themselves in providing the absolute highest quality parts on the market made with the very best craftsmanship. These rock slides offer a ton of customization. From coating options, to steel choices and top plates, you should be able to find something you like. There are no 2nd Gen sliders available. A unique option, you can choose between MIG and TIG welding.

        PROS

        • DOM tubing standard
        • Strong design
        • No cutting or welding required
        • Long bed choice
        • Unique customization

        CONS

        • No 2nd Gen option
        • No weld-on choice

          9. White Knuckle Offroad

          White Knuckle Offroad Bolt-On Steel Rock Sliders on Quicksand 3rd Gen Tacoma

          Heavy-Duty Armor for 4X4 Enthusiasts

          White Knuckle Offroad is another California based fabricator.

          White Knuckle offers both HREW and DOM steel. They do provide options for a double cab long bed (DCLB), and it looks like they might customize the slider depending on if it is a double cab or access cab. Kickouts are standard and they do offer diamond top plates on either the entire slider or just at the rear. The default option is for 15° but you can choose to have it flat at 0°. White Knuckle does provide powder coating to keep them protected from the shop.

          PROS

          • Well established
          • Strong design
          • No cutting or welding required
          • Customizable
          • Main slider rail constructed from square tubing

          CONS

          • No weld-on options

          10. Demello Off-Road

          Toyota Truck Specialist, Premier SoCal Installer

          Demello is another company that sticks to the Toyota/Lexus family and is based out of Riverside, CA. Aside from fabricating armor, they also offer suspension, lighting, wheels, and other accessories. Demello has the most variety of choices when it comes to their sliders. They have 2-3 different variations of the traditional slider along with a few more unique designs as well.

          Demello only uses DOM steel. They make specific kickout and non-kickout models. They also have some step plate options, and what seems to be a good amount of choices. All Demello sliders have the option to have them powder coated. If you want to have solid option that stick out in the crowd, this brand would be one to look at with their many different styles. They’re a dependable company with a good reputation so you can’t go wrong with Demello.

          PROS

          • DOM steel standard
          • Well established
          • No welding or cutting required
          • Multiple unique designs
          • Main slider rail constructed from square tubing

          CONS

          • Kickout is only available on shorter length

          11. 4x Innovations

          3rd Gen Tacoma with 4XInnovations Bolt-On Steel Rock Sliders on 3rd Gen Tacoma

          Hardcore Toyota Rock Crawling Armor

          4x Innovations was started by one guy in Wisconsin who felt that the parts and designs he needed weren’t available on the market. He took his background in mechanical engineering and used that to learn and develop his skills as a fabricator. Over the years 4XInnovations has grown quite a bit and now offers bumpers, sliders, skid plates, and even roll cages for hardcore Toyota wheelers.

          The only options available are the model of truck and a few different types of step plates. All of their options are made with DOM tubing, come with a 2″ kickout, are angled to provide better clearance, and are only offered in bare steel. There are a few options for step plates though, and you can also choose to include a TRD logo on the plate.

          PROS

          • Well established
          • Built with hard wheeling in mind
          • DOM tubing standard
          • Shorter lead times

          CONS

          • No long bed option
          • No coating service; comes bare steel
          • No weld-on choice

          12. Victory 4×4

          Victory 4X4 Bolt-On Steel Rock Sliders for 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

          Experienced, Off-Road Pedigree

          The next company on the list comes from Portage, Michigan. They only sell Toyota products but their sister company, JcrOffroad has been in the Jeep community for 15+ years.

          Victory, for the most part, look like any other non-kickout slider, but a closer look reveals that they have their own unique design. Victory’s website doesn’t actually say DOM or HREW steel. We are going to assume they use HREW. They do offer their slider in both lengths, but it comes standard at 0° with no option for an angle. Although it doesn’t have an option for step plates, you’ll notice that step plates are naturally part of their design while still leaving a lot of the slider open. Victory does offer powder coating.

          PROS

          • Well established
          • Unique design
          • Main slider rail constructed from square tubing
          • No cutting or welding required

          CONS

          • Not very customizable
          • DOM tubing seemingly not available

          13. Bay Area Metal Fabrication (BAMF)

          Bay Area Metal Fabrication (BAMF) Bolt-On Steel Rock Sliders for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

          Passionate Team, Quality Affordable Toyota Offroad Products

          BAMF was started in 2011 by Jerry Lee in a 600 sq ft garage in the San Francisco Bay Area. In less than 10 years they have grown so much they now occupy a large warehouse where they fabricate armor for Tacomas as well as almost any other metal fabrication work. They even have their own in house powder coating.

          To cut down wait times, BAMF provides a pretty standard slider that they build in batches. They are available for 2005+ Tacoma, both access cab long bed/double cab short bed and double cab long bed. They come standard with a kickout and mounted with a 20° but no step plates. You get to choose between HREW and DOM outer tubing and whether or not to have powder coating.

          PROS

          • Well established
          • Strong design
          • Customizable
          • No cutting or welding required

          CONS

          • Very long lead times, especially if you want more options
          • Non-kickout is not available

          14. TJM USA

          TJM USA Bolt-On Steel Rock Sliders on 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

          Take The Lead, Overlanding Accessories

          TJM USA is the American branch of TJM, a company that has been developing off-road products to survive in the Australian Outback for decades. Started by three friends, Taylor, Jones, and Mollenhauer, in 1973 (two years before ARB), they were the first offroad equipment manufacturer in Australia. They design and build their own bumpers, sliders, suspension, and locker systems. TJM ventured into the US market in 2011 and currently has almost 70 distributors across the country.

          These are a very simple product with no options or changes available. Their sliders are made of 5/32″ thick steel tubing with a 1/8″ thick skid plate that spans the entire length to help you slide over obstacles. The skid plate is engineered with four T-slots which are designed for a hi-lift jack, ensuring an extremely secure lift point in those treacherous situations.

          It also has an additional mounting point that mounts to a cross-member on the frame. These do come powder coated standard as well.

          PROS

          • Well established
          • Strong design
          • Specific hi-lift jack points
          • No cutting or welding required

          CONS

          • No options available
          • Not designed for double cab LB

          Review

          Below, I created a table comparing all of the different brands and the options they offer.

          Just as a reminder, all brands offer sliders in the Access Cab Long Bed and  Double Cab Short Bed length. I’ve also noted with an asterisk (*) the brands that offer a 0° option on their site. If you really like a brand that doesn’t offer the 0° on their site, I recommend reaching out to them!

          Most of these are made to order so they might just make a special set just for you. I hope you find this table helpful in quickly reviewing the ten brands mentioned above.

          Options By Brand

          Available OptionsC4 FabRSGRCICBITrue North FabWestcottWhite KnuckleDemello Offroad4X InnovationsVictory 4x4BayAreaMetalFab (BAMF)TJM USACali RaisedAll-Pro
          DOM Steel✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
          HREW Steel✔️✔️✔️✔️
          Double Cab LB✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
          Angled✔️*✔️*✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️*✔️✔️*✔️*✔️✔️✔️✔️
          Step Plates
          ✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
          Kickout✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
          Powder Coat✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
          Line-X/Bedliner✔️✔️

          Final Thoughts

          Shrockworks Bolt-On Rock Sliders on Lifted Super White 3rd Gen Tacoma

          With so many available, choosing one for your truck can seem like a daunting task. Hopefully, this article will help you determine which slider is the right fit for your needs.

          All of the sliders on this list are great options and have been put to the test by many off-road rigs. If you think seeing them in person would help you decide, then try attending a local truck or off-road meet. There’s a good chance a few of these brands will be on someone’s truck and that could be an easy way to get an up-close look at the product.

          Another thing to consider, especially if your main function is a step, is that sliders are much more expensive than running boards. It might not be worth the investment if you never plan on leaving the pavement. On the flip side, if your purpose is mainly a step, but you do plan to hit some trails, running boards will not hold up as well and the loss of clearance could be an issue.

          If you do think you need some, don’t procrastinate! Many of these companies don’t keep many in stock, but instead, build to order, so it can take anywhere from 4-8+ weeks depending on how busy that company is at that time. No matter what brand or style you choose, you can be sure your truck will look great and have the protection it needs!

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          Terry
          Terry
          11 months ago

          Looking for rocker panel protection for my double cab long bed taco.I could see getting out of truck and bumping my foot or leg on slider ? I want enough protection for as simple as a shopping cart or log or rock on a modest trail. Also My dog sometimes travels with me. Would a top plate help. I do not need it as a step.Going to be putting on a camper and thought about extra protection Thanks

          Jack
          Jack
          1 year ago

          Does it matter if I get a short box set of sliders if I have a long box?

          richard b
          richard b
          1 year ago

          Why doesnt anyone do a double kickout for those situations where youre reversing back out of a tight spot?

          Peter
          Peter
          2 years ago

          Superb write up! The only key piece of information missing is weights of each of these sets. Only a couple of the brands openly list weight. Any weight info added into that handy table you have there would be truly uber! Also, one of these companies will make a sale because of this article…. 😀

          Scout
          2 years ago
          Reply to  Peter

          Thanks Peter! Weight, as you said, can be tougher to come by. I would say they’re roughly the same, unless there is some major design difference. Personally, I got sliders based upon how I would use them, and how much I like the design. For me, the difference in 5-20 (ish) pounds per set didn’t affect me too much.

          Alex
          Alex
          3 years ago

          I made a similar matrix when shopping for sliders. One of the main things I looked at that wasn’t mentioned here was the install process. For example, some of them require plastic cutting, significant brake line bending, etc. It’s also a good idea to look for discounts. I got 10% off when I ordered mine, but there are even bigger holiday sales from some of these companies.

          William Smith
          William Smith
          3 years ago
          Reply to  Alex

          Alex, great point regard install mods – who did you decide to go with? thanks!

          Alex
          Alex
          3 years ago
          Reply to  William Smith

          I went with RCI. They bolted on very securely. The common complaint people have with them is that they’re a bit short, not covering all the way to the wheel wells. That hasn’t been a problem for me.

          William Smith
          William Smith
          3 years ago
          Reply to  Alex

          Thx!

          Joe
          Joe
          3 years ago

          Another great article by you guys! I also agree with Nick that Mobtown should have been included as their sliders are as stout as any other. Keep these informative articles coming!

          Gerald
          Gerald
          3 years ago

          FabZone Armor in San Diego is also worth a mention as well.

          Nick Jacquez
          Nomad
          3 years ago

          Great write up! I think that Mobtown Offroad should definitely be in the conversation though, their sliders are arguably the most secure bolt on that is offered.

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