(Last Updated On: January 21, 2019)
Safety is the most important part of any vehicle. This is true if you only use your car for commuting to and from work, but it’s especially true if you like to push the limits of your car. Whether you hit the turns hard on the back roads, test out the acceleration on any given straight stretch, or hit the track for some racing and autocrossing on the weekends, safety is paramount for anyone who likes to have fun behind the wheel.
Racing around with RC cars is much safer, but if you drive your car the way we like to drive our car, then it’s wise to extend your safety precautions. Your seat belt and airbags will help you out, but you can always go further. That’s why roll bars are a great idea. Roll bars provide stability to the top of your vehicle, and help keep your head and shoulders protected should your car flip or roll. This is a great safety precaution for any car, but especially a car that’s being whipped around turns at high speeds. Rolls happen when you push the limits of your vehicle, and it’s imperative that you have the proper safety to help you out should that happen.
If you partake in autocrossing or organized amateur racing, then it’s possible that a roll bar will be required, and you won’t be allowed to compete without one. Long story short: if you’re at all interested in racing, or if you just want to be safer while having fun with your car on the weekends, then you should think about investing in a roll bar. They’re not the cheapest things on the market, but certainly not the most exorbitant either. And given that they can save you from severe brain damage, it’s safe to say that they’re worth every penny.
There are a lot of roll bars available on the market, so you have a lot of options to choose from. To help you out, we’ve laid out some of our favorite roll bars. A few of them are Mazda Miata specific, because Miata roll bars are incredibly popular. Why? Partly because Miatas are very popular cars for autocrossing and amateur racing, because of how small and light they are, and how well they handle. And partly because they’re so tiny and structurally not strong that they can be dangerous everyday vehicles if you like to have a little fun on the turns, which we do! Purchasing a roll bar for a Miata, even if you don’t race or autocross, is a really smart idea if you value your safety (which we think we should). You can’t go wrong with any roll bar, but here are a few options that we think might be perfect for you.
AJP Distributors Dual Twin Double Roll Bar
Any time you purchase a roll bar, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting. With the AJP Distributors Dual Twin Double Roll Bar, you’re not getting a safety item that’s ideal for racing or autocrossing. You are, however, getting a terrific safety addition for road driving. This model, which is designed for a Miata, offers mid-level support: less than you would want in a racer, but far more than a standard vehicle comes with.
Unlike some roll bars, the AJP Distributors Dual Twin Double Roll Bar is incredibly easy (and quick) to install. It simply bolts on, with no fancy installation required. Furthermore, since this roll bar is meant for street vehicles, it looks really, really good; you’ll definitely get a lot of looks. The T-304 stainless steel is top quality, and has an excellent, modern look.
All things considered, if you have a Miata that you like to push the limits of on the road, and you want some added safety and style for a low price, this is a great model for you.
You can buy the AJP Distributors Dual Twin Double Roll Bar here:
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Competition Engineering 10-Point Hoop Roll Cage
On the other side of things is the Competition Engineering 10-Point Hoop Roll Cage. This roll cage is emphatically not meant for your street car: this is for your weekend racer, or your autocross ride.
A 10-point hoop roll cage is inherently very serious and very safe. And if you think this Competition Engineering model looks ready for business in the picture, you should see what it looks like in person (it looks pretty cool, and very intense, if you ask us).
This roll cage isn’t the easiest model to install, but it’s not nearly as difficult as you would think given how big it is. It’s quite heavy, so you definitely want a friend to help you with the installation, but the actual process was surprisingly straightforward.
Ultimately, however, this roll cage is all about the safety, and it grades out very positively in that regard. Competition Engineering is a premier brand for racing safety equipment, and their roll cages have all earned high marks (as you’ll see later on in this article, when another one makes an appearance!). If you’re serious enough about racing or autocrossing to buy a 10-point hoop roll cage, then this model will make you and your car very happy.
You can buy the Competition Engineering 10-Point Hoop Roll Cage here:
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Rock Hard 4×4 Straight Across the Rear Bar
While roll bars and cages are primarily used for sports cars, they’re incredibly helpful for trucks as well. This Rock Hard 4×4 model is our favorite for anyone who has a Jeep Wrangler. Wranglers come with a fair amount of support and safety, but there’s definitely room for more. This roll bar goes across the rear of the vehicle, and helps provide added safety for anyone in the back seat. Furthermore, in the event of a roll over, it can help a boulder or a tree from reaching the driver through the rear of the car.
We loved how easy this roll bar was to install, and how much added protection it gave without being at all intrusive; we didn’t even notice that it was there. However, we do recommend purchasing roll bar padding for this, in case you happen to bonk yourself when climbing into the back seat (it also just looks better, in our opinion, as this across the rear roll bar is a bit bland).
Our only serious complaint is the price, which is a bit steep considering that this is a one-piece bar. Still, safety carries a price tag, and it’s better to be safe than to be sorry. If you’re serious about off-roading in your Jeep (or simply like to test the limits on some dusty back roads), then this is a terrific addition to your vehicle.
You can buy the Rock Hard 4×4 Straight Across the Rear Bar here:
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OXB Racing Sports 4-Point Roll Bar
This is about as serious of a roll bar as you can get. And yet, despite that, it’s one of the best-looking roll bars that we’ve ever experienced. Made for Miatas, the OXB Racing Sports 4-Point Roll Bar offers exceptional safety for racers and daily drivers alike, while also offering the practicality of still being able to fully move and tilt the driver’s and passenger’s seats. Furthermore, you can fully use your Miata’s hard or soft top. Elite practicality and safety? That’s what makes this an upper-echelon roll bar in our books.
Installation is not the simplest process, but it’s relatively straightforward. The hardware kit is a little extensive, as should be expected, but we were able to get to get it all put together pretty quickly.
The most impressive part of this bar was quite simply the bar itself. The double diagonal construction and top-quality alloy make this bar remarkably strong. The mounting is laser cut, and is a testament to just how well made this OXB Racing Sports product is. The two optional colors (black and polished silver) both look fabulous, and between the two you can find a good match for any color Miata.
If there’s one downside, it’s the price. The OXB Racing Sports 4-Point Roll Bar costs a pretty penny. We’re big proponents of spending more to get high quality and top safety, but everyone’s mileage is different here. If you’re willing to spend this much for a Miata roll bar, you’ll be pleased, but if you’re not, there are other great options out there as well.
You can buy the OXB Racing Sports 4-Point Roll Bar here.
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Competition Engineering 8-Point Hoop Roll Cage
Competition Engineering made our list twice, because they simply make terrific items. Their 8-point cage is not quite as serious as the earlier listed model, but the upside is that it’s only a small fraction of the price. If you’re on a budget, or simply don’t need something as extreme as a 10-point roll cage, then this is the perfect model for your vehicle.
For as big and serious as the Competition Engineering 8-Point Hoop Roll Cage is, it’s rather easy to install. The hardware is very straightforward, and at only 22.9 pounds, it’s not too difficult to maneuver, despite the large and awkward size and shape.
Of course, as is the case with its big brother, this Competition Engineering model is all about performance and safety. If you’re getting into weekend racing or autocrossing, it’s hard to go wrong with this 8-point hoop roll cage. Competition Engineering makes excellent safety equipment for racers, and this model is certainly no exception. We love it, and it’s hard to beat the price. Plus, it looks absolutely terrific.
You can buy the Competition Engineering 8-Point Hoop Roll Cage here:
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Black Horse RB001 Roll Bar
If you have a truck and need a roll bar, then this is the model for you. The Black Horse RB001 Roll Bar is one of the most popular Chevy Silverado roll bars, and one of the most popular Ford F-150 roll bars, and it’s not hard to see why. This model is an absolute beast, in size, strength, durability, and safety.
Not everyone wants a roll bar for their truck, but they can provide a lot of help, and we’re big fans. This particular model is excellent for anyone who pushes the limits of their trucks when off road, or simply someone who regularly drives on rough terrain. Even if you keep your truck on the highway, the Black Horse RB001 roll bar can be highly helpful, as it helps maintain the structure of the vehicle and prevent back seat passengers from being damaged in the event of an accident. On top of all of that, this roll bar simply adds a level of aggression and meanness to your truck, which looks pretty spectacular if you’re into your truck’s aesthetics (we think this model is about as good looking as it gets for a Toyota Tacoma roll bar).
Despite being very big, this was a relatively easy roll bar to install., especially as far as roll bars for trucks go. Like a few other models on this list, however, the prize may make you double take. You have to be pretty invested in your truck, your truck’s aesthetics, or off road driving if you want to pony up the money for this roll bar. However, it’s as close to perfect as a truck roll bar gets, and very diverse: it’s one of the best Ford Ranger roll bars on the market, and one of the best Dodge Dakota roll bars on the market. Whatever your big vehicle, this roll bar will make it safer, stronger, and more stylish.
You can buy the Black Horse RB001 Roll Bar here:
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Hard Dog M2 Hard Core
When it comes to Miatas, no one is as well trusted as Hard Dog is. Hard Dog roll bars are respected and loved by Mazda enthusiasts across the globe. Naturally, we had to see what the fuss was all about and . . .well, yeah, Hard Dog makes some spectacular products.
The M2 Hard Core model is one of our favorites, but really, you can’t go wrong with anything from the Hard Dog stable. These alloy drawn and mandrel tubed roll bars are about as safe and durable as you could hope for, and the black powdercoat finish makes them immensely stylish. The installation isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it.
Despite the excellent safety and coverage, we were shocked at how much head space was still provided with the Hard Dog M2 Hard Core. It’s easy to not even notice this roll bar – until you need it most, at which point you’re very, very thankful that it’s there.
Hard Dog has made us love Miatas even more than we did before, and that’s saying something. If you’re a hardcore Miata fan, you have to check this model out, as well as the other roll bars that Hard Dog offers. There’s something for everyone, and they’re all close to perfect.
You can buy the Hard Dog M2 Hard Core here:
View on Amazon.com
Things to consider before purchasing a roll bar or cage
Roll bars and cages are awesome. They make your vehicle a lot safer, whether you’re driving on the freeway, whipping through cones at an autocrossing meet, trying your hand at racing, or testing your truck’s limits on a dirt path. The safety provided by roll bars and cages is incredibly important, and the good looks that they offer are pretty great too.
Before buying a roll bar or cage, it’s important to think about what you need one for. How serious are you about racing or autocrossing? How long do you intend to have this car, or do you think you’ll move on to a new vehicle soon? And how much money are you willing to spend? There’s definitely a roll bar or cage for everyone, every car, and every scenario, you just have to find it.
We love to drive. We love to drive hard, fast, and competitively. So it only follows that we love roll bars and cages. If you love driving in the same ways that we do, then you’re probably interested in roll bars and cages, and should look into some of the models on this list. On top of the safety and looks that roll bars and cages provide, there’s another benefit: you can use them with a GoPro roll bar mount, so that you can better capture all of your driving and racing footage. Really, what could be better?