Kargo Master Congo Cage Reviews, Ratings, Specs & Prices
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Roof Racks & Cargo Areas Next Product

Kargo Master Congo Cage

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Product Information

MSRP: $600.00
Average Price: $328.48
Manufacturer: Kargo Master
Yes: 27 / No: 2

Unmatched quality, hightech design and superior durability. The Congo Cage features easy installation with common tools.The high-strength steel Congo Cage is constructed from round 1.625 diameter tubing and can support up to 500 pounds. Hinged rear mounts & easy-release front mounts provide convenient soft top removal and installation. Great for hauling canoes, kayaks, lumber and pipes when used with the optional Congo Cage Utility Crossbars. Supertough black polyester powder coat finish provides lasting protection.


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Registered User
RFletcher's Reviews
09-29-2015, 08:28 PM
Price: $1.00
Pros: very strong
Cons: paint or powder coat
Recommended? Yes

Comments: the paint weathered poorly at the seams, also the rear tubes held rain water inside the frame, a drain hole should be drilled and re-painted above the bushing to keep water out.


Registered User
JFM626's Reviews
04-17-2015, 11:30 AM
Price: $600.00
Pros: Simple installation, well constructed
Cons: For me the
Recommended? Yes

Comments: Relatively easy to install. But found the cross bars to be a little too long. They stuck out from the sides too far and would occasionaly hit limbs etc. I shortened each one 14ins. And they are now flush with the sides of the jeep.

Registered User
og73's Reviews
12-27-2014, 03:36 PM
Price: $100.00
Pros: very stout
Cons: non yet
Recommended? Yes

Comments: used unit, adapted to LJ. Mounted and used for roof top tent.

Registered User
DeathDealer11's Reviews

05-05-2014, 12:10 AM
Price: $309.00
Pros: Price, Sturdy, looks great, easy to install, kargo master also has great customer support (very courteous)
Cons: Wind noise with soft top, need to prime inside of tubes to prevent rust, nit powdercoated as advertised.
Recommended? Yes

Comments: I needed a roof rack system so I can transport my surfboards and standup paddle board to the beach. I had a rollbar roof rack for the summer time and when the winter came around I needed something while to soft top was on so I ordered the Congo cage from realtruck.com for $309 shipped. They advertise it as being powder coated but it's definitely just sprayed black with normal paint. All the parts and hardware were in the package and the tubing is very solid. I sprayed the inside of the tubes with primer to prevent interior rust in the future. The install went smooth and only took about 40 minutes to complete the install by myself using an air ratchet. I haven't removed the soft top with it installed yet but I plan on buying a summer top with a wind stopper and tonneau cover for easy top removal.



Registered User
SandyBottoms's Reviews
09-23-2013, 09:56 AM
Price: $330.00
Pros: Super heavy duty
Cons: Slight wind noise, nothing worth complaining about. Less noise than expected.
Recommended? Yes

Comments: This cage was super easy to install, took around two hours to get on. It's incredibly sturdy and didn't create as much wind noise as I thought it would.

Registered User
WolfgangGullich's Reviews

04-24-2013, 01:30 PM
Price: $1,000.00
Pros: Very well made, great hardware, high weight capacity, very sturdy.
Cons: Poor instructions, need to purchase extra washers
Recommended? Yes

Comments: The Congo Cage is extremely well made and heavy-duty. Make sure you look through the directions first. Also, make sure you buy extra 5/16" stainless washers for the rear mounts as the ones that come in the kit do not fit the bolts. Also, buy some extra contoured washers for the rack fittings themselves.

I would also suggest building the rack onto the Jeep starting at the front and not assembling it separate. I laid a couple thick old blankets on my hardtop to keep it from getting marked. Finally, keep all mount bolts loose until you have the whole thing together...the instructions say to tighten as you go. If you do that it'll be a bear to get it together. My rack was for a JKU and requires no drilling. The Safari basket itself takes no time at all to assemble, but you may want a helper to raise it up on the rack as it weighs a good 50 lbs.

Once it's all together, it's extraordinarily study! I bought it together with the 60" Safari basket from RealTruck.com and it was just a touch over $1000 with free shipping!

Also, it seems that Kargo Master has slowly improved this rack based on Jeep owner's reviews. Both the Safari basket and Congo Cage came with a giant tube of RTV silicone sealant for the tubing and the windshield mount bolts are now stainless.

It does have a bit of wind noise at speed and starts around 40 mph. I have noticed that the noise is at a constant level between 40-70 and you can still have a conversation or listen to the radio just fine.

Registered User
db8's Reviews

09-01-2012, 08:44 PM
Price: $460.00
Pros: solid, heavy duty
Cons: Not quickly taken on/off. If put it on, leave it on.
Recommended? Yes

Comments: Got one with the 4 door wrangler unlimited we purchased a while back. Great for canoes, small boats or really anyting you need to carry/haul. I have a truck with a rack so if anybody is interested in purchasing mine, let me know. It is just like this one: http://www.quadratec.com/products/12138_006_07.htm They really are excellent and very sturdy. Thanks. Jeffersonville, IN Dave

Registered User
newsociety's Reviews

08-16-2011, 01:38 AM
Price: $175.00
Pros: Bought it used, repowder coated it for $150 good as new. Built like a brick sh house. You'll shake the whole rig when you pull on it (impressive). Took this rack camping with friends and had no problems hauling all of my gear. Added a Thule streach cargo net and it was a peice of cake to load and unload. Was offering to throw my friends stuff up on the Jeep on the way back as he tried to figure out how to load his SUV.
Cons: Nosy but gonna shim it with washers to remove cage from making contact with soft top.
Recommended? Yes

Comments: Bought it used, repowder coated it for $150 good as new. Built like a brick sh house. You'll shake the whole rig when you pull on it (impressive). Took this rack camping with friends and had no problems hauling all of my gear. Added a Thule streach cargo net and it was a peice of cake to load and unload. Was offering to throw my friends stuff up on the Jeep on the way back as he tried to figure out how to load his SUV.
Nosy but gonna shim it with washers to remove cage from making contact with soft top.


Senior Member
sdjp's Reviews

05-07-2011, 01:44 PM
Price: $250.00
Pros: Best Weight Capacity, Strong and Durable, doesn't add width to Jeep
Cons: None
Recommended? No

Comments: Did a lot of research before purchasing, has the best weight rating of all racks (500 lbs.) I also like that it didn't add any width to the vehicle which helps when you have to squeeze through narrow spots. Drilling rear holes in no big deal, just measure twice and drill once. I used silicon to seal the bolts and have had no problem with leaks inside the Jeep. The rack is sturdy as all hell.

I use the rack to carry kayaks, long-board surfboards (at times 4 at once), lumber, and anything else to big to fit inside. Have gotten a ton of use out of it. I wanted to keep the profile lower up top and don't have any crossbars, I put Velcro foam surfboard pads on (basically foam pipe insulation) and attached some U bolts from Home Depot and use strong bungee to hook into the U bolts, quick and easy! For carrying real heavy stuff (lumber), I use ratchet straps which is easy too.

Life is maintenance, that being said: front rubber bushing have cracked after a few years from drying out, re-applying Mother's Milk helped extend their life. Some of the joints have some signs of rust (I have have rusty water pour on my soft top, required a good scrubbing to get out). I touched spots up with touch up paint for awhile then just rhino-lined the whole thing. I live near the coast, rust is always a problem with everything.

Some added noise, I guess, can't really tell over the tires, soft top, my banks exhaust, etc.


Registered User
Burlbook48's Reviews

12-05-2010, 07:50 PM
Price: $279.00
Pros: Plenty strong enough for its rated 500 pound weight limit, easy to install and remove from my YJ by myself, straightforward assembly
Cons: Hardware is a little cheap, needs more seam sealer than the kit provides in order to insure a watertight seal between cage pieces, could do without the bump in the crossbars because the cage still needs to be raised to drop my soft top.
Recommended? Yes

Comments: Bought the Kargo Master Congo Cage a couple months ago, and have used it repeatedly to carry our kayaks by adding the Kargo Master mounting kit for my Yakima Crossbars. This provides an easy way to load long cargo on top of my YJ. Installation of the cage requires drilling two holes above the tail lights for the rear support mounts, the front supports simply utilize existing bolts on the windshield frame. The cage comes with a pair of supports that will lift the front of the cage about 18" so you can raise or lower the soft top, just unscrew the two 3/4" bolts. In order to install my hardtop, the cage pivots to the rear, and complete removal of the cage is accomplished in less than two minutes by removing the pivot bolts on the rear support mounts.

The cage has an extremely solid connection to the jeep. Grabbing the cage to shake it moves the entire jeep without any feeling of the cage coming loose. All in all, a very useful addition to my YJ.

The Mounting Kit for my Yakima bars leaves a lot to be desired, however. While strong enough, the cap nuts stick up above the mounting bracket so much that sliding kayaks and /or cargo off the bars becomes a real hassle. They need a better way for customers to use their own Yakima-style bars without having to purchase Kargo Master's overly expensive crossbars ($150!!!).

Registered User
Redbeardpa's Reviews
09-24-2010, 10:07 AM
Price: $200.00
Pros: Heavy duty steel!
Cons: Fit isnt 100%, heavy!
Recommended? Yes

Comments: Bought it used. Great heavy duty rack bars, heavy being the key word. Seems to add alot of weight to the jeep. Doesnt have as much oomph as before. Had to adjust fit as my gas cap door wasnt able to open, adjustment holes were there though! Will need 4 people to take it off without disassembly. It will be great for hauling stuff on trips, ladders, canoes, etc.... Not worried about it breaking or bending!

Registered User
chesapeakesoja's Reviews
07-17-2010, 10:30 AM
Price: $150.00
Pros: Durable
Cons: Prop bars don't hold cage high enough to raise/lower soft top without SunRider feater
Recommended? Yes

Comments: Does the job. Strong enough for my needs

Registered User
TR26's Reviews
06-24-2010, 03:33 PM
Price: $350.00
Pros: Tough as nails, full coverage, and you can allegedly drop your soft top with it on - it has hinges and supports to make dropping the top a one-man job.
Cons: Heavy, rusts despite promises to the contrary, included hardware not stainless and not correct, instructions included did not match hardware (but neither did online instructions). You also need to drill the tub for full strength. Tubes are too large for mounting most accessories.
Recommended? Yes

Comments: It's big. It's heavy. It will impact your fuel economy and increase wind noise. But boy, if you need something to haul lumber or a boat on your Wrangler, this thing does the trick.

It has some huge cons, but mostly due to them not shipping what they promise and then never responding to phone calls or email. Their warranty is worthless due to their lack of responsiveness.

Mine rusted on the inside and dripped rusty water on my soft top. Many of the bolts were too long for the rack and I had to buy new ones. It did not ship with stainless hardware as promised, so I bought new ones. It did not come with appropriate supports to lift it for dropping the soft top, so that was a 2 man job. The angled parts in the long bars were a nuisance and I was tempted to rotate them 90 degrees.

The tubing is massive and strong, but that also means that no accessories fit, not even 'fits almost any crossbar' kayak mounts and the like. I ended up selling my rack and going with something more flexible and more easily removed.


Registered User
potatorider's Reviews

05-17-2010, 04:45 PM
Price: $289.00
Pros: very well built strong tubing.
Cons: crappy zinc galvanized hardware and some shipping scratches
Recommended? Yes

Comments: I would consider a five star rating if not for the zinc hardware included in the kit. The nuts and bolts provided were also not complete to what the build sheet called for. Kargo Master provides free replacements to fill what may be missing from your kit... but they have to be shipped and who wants to wait for that? I simply replaced all the zinc with stainless steel from a local supplier. Cost about $25 and three trips to the store to get what I needed. Much happier with the appearance and quality now. Also, Quadratec/UPS was a bit rough on the product, but any marks are unnoticeable when installed. Besides, if you can't stand a couple little scratches then you Sir should buy a Lexus.

Kargo Master claims that there is no drilling required, however, there are two 3/8" bolts included as "optional" for the rear attachment points. Not being a fan of rust (D*mn Idaho winters) I took three days to consider drilling the holes in my tub for these bolts. I finally decided to go big or go home and sank two 1/2"er's through the rear brackets, backed with large custom plates. I also included rubber washers and a very healthy dose of silicone in the holes. Hopefully this is a rust deterrent. This "optional" point of attachment made a night and day difference in what WOULD HAVE BEEN the weakest point on the cage. I would tell any potential buyers to highly consider using this 4th bolt... you'll have far more faith in your rack's cargo capacity.

I also ordered the Kargo Master Wind Deflector Front Bar Wind Deflector For Full Size Truck for Kargo Master Ladder Rack for the front tube. I did test drives with just the cage, then added the deflector and it made a difference in sound level below 55mph. Every effort to silence the rack above 55mph has been in vane... except the volume button on my stereo. Turn it up and be happy!

If installed correctly I think this is the most rugged commercial rack base available. If you want something more stout you're going to have to fabricate it yourself. I have a TJ w/ 33s on 15s with a 4" lift, The tallest point of the cage is 6'10" from the ground. Meaning it will fit in your 7' residential garage door and most parking garages. I would recommend the cage despite the MPG hit (only 1 or 2 per gal w/safari rack too) and the noise at freeway speeds (not a bother around town) to anyone who needs the space. Ha, probably all of us!


Registered User
SavannahJeep's Reviews
03-10-2010, 03:19 PM
Price: $280.00
Pros: It does what the ad says it does
Cons: Read Review...Got a few cons
Recommended? Yes

Comments: Take a good look before you impulse buy this unit, there are plenty of options out there these days. The install was pretty simple, you need two people at the mounting stage to avoid damaging your paint job. The Bars that mount on the front are a B**** to install and bolt down... I've heard this from everyone that bought this rack. You most likely will have to buy the components from Kargo Master's brand to put on baskets and such, unless you rig it like me and it just looks cheap that way. Takes two people to comfortably take the soft top down with the cage installed. Like I said, the ad is good, it does it's job, but the application and using different brand parts to fit the rack is pretty tough to do.

Registered User
Stefan's Reviews
02-15-2010, 10:07 AM
Price: $300.00
Pros: has the best weight rating out of all, it keeps your COG down too
Cons: none
Recommended? Yes

Comments: This is the best rack you can get for your jeep...very strong and looks cool

Sia Bani
Registered User
Sia Bani's Reviews
01-08-2010, 12:22 PM
Price: $350.00
Pros: Utility, look,
Cons: Rattle, wind noise, extra weight, mileage drop
Recommended? Yes

Comments: I've had it for about a year. I love it and would do it again.

Registered User
stewie's Reviews
11-17-2009, 11:02 PM
Price: $1.00
Pros: Holds 2 canoes easily with the long yakima bars attached - exactly what I need to take the whole family on the water
Cons: Heavy to lift on and off.
Recommended? Yes

Comments: Needed a bombproof means of carrying 2 16+ ft canoes into the bush. This is it! Works well with either top.

I only put it on when I need to use it for the canoes so while it produces significant wind noise, so do 2 canoes! Appears well made so far (4 months). Awkward (heavy) to lift on and off, but I rigged some supports in the garage roof and this helped.

Bonus feature - $5 bicycle mirrors attach easily to the windshield brackets when going doorless!! sweet!


Vintage Member
grymsr's Reviews

07-08-2009, 10:18 PM
Price: $650.00
Pros: strong and good looking. can be tilted back and held with a supplied rod to allow raising or lowering the soft top.
Cons: rattles with age, some rust leaks.
Recommended? Yes

Comments: I got my Congo cage and Safari rack as a combo, so the price includes both. The install was fairly easy but I got the rear hinges wrong the first time because the instruction sheet was so lousy. I tried to seal the joints of the tubing to keep water out, but over time water gets in anyway. When tilting the rack to raise or lower the soft top, watch out for a gush of rusty water. The rack is very strong - when my swing-away broke off the pintel I was able to put it, the spare, and two full jerry cans up top without any worry.
It has begun to rattle and squeak a bit after three years and it does make a lot of wind noise, but that is to be expected. And the paint had held up very well for its age.


Registered User
Nicho's Reviews
06-10-2009, 07:49 PM
Price: $300.00
Pros: storage, nice fit, easy install
Cons: non yet
Recommended? Yes

Comments: very sturdy

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