I've been back and forth between icon and Carli. I know the stage 2 icon kit uses reservoir shocks in the front but not in the rear. I would also do carli leaf springs with the icon kit. I guess the big thing is am
I going to be able to tell the difference between a $100 bilstein/icon shock in the rear vs. a $500 king reservoir shock?
The long and short of it is that in the world of 8,500lb trucks, the bigger you go on the shocks, the better the ride you have the potential to achieve out of proper tuning. On a tacoma, grab 2.5" front and 2.0 rears. On a truck this heavy, you're going to want 2.5" on all four corners as the Balance or running the same shock with the same tune has been proven by our users over and over again. These trucks aren't light in the rear like the 1/4 and 1/2 ton trucks. Also, they're designed to be loaded. Smaller shocks won't like that at all. The $500 rear shocks are worth their weight in gold, as are the fronts.
Honestly, if you plan to stay on road, snag the commuter. It rides awesome on road; if you're off-road, or just prefer to have a ton of control and a plush ride, do yourself a favor and run the pintop kit with the full leafs. Your truck and wife will thank you!
Nice thing about icon is that the kits can be orderd in anyway you want. They have several shock options etc.
Just because a shock has a rezzie does not mean it will ride better. Usually all that means is that it holds more fluid and can cool the fluid more efficiently. For everyday road use a smooth body vs a rezzie will not ride any different. If your out running the baja 1000 then by all means bigger and rezzies will be of much benefit.
I would go with the Icon 2.5 You can do their Smooth Body 2.0 Shocks, Smooth Body 2.5, or Piggy Back Resevoir 2.5 Shocks. You can also mix match them to fit your budget and style preference.
Piston flow and shock tuning is what makes it ride better. Remote reservoir means the nitrogen chamber has been relocated to allow the shaft and piston to travel the full length of the body of the shock. More travel, all other things held constant, would provide a better ride; thus, remote reservoir typically does mean a better ride.
Try to run the Baja 1000 in these trucks and you'll be severely disappointed. We ran the 500 course in my truck and Sage's truck and definitely could've used 3x the travel. Reservoir shocks mean more oil so longer life, cooler operation temperatures and more travel. All of which are beneficial on every-day rigs, not just race trucks.