Just about every roof rack company offers a standard bike mount for their racks, but not many offer a storage combo setup like the folks at Küat. The Skinny is designed to allow for a combination of a single bike mount and space for up to 160 pounds of gear, leaving the second half of the roof open for anything else you might want to pack on your adventure.
Thule simply makes the best-engineered accessories (with the possible exception of the wheels that Yakima makes for kayaks). If you use square Thule bars, your kayak will not push the saddles forward (unlike Yakima, with its round bars). Thule bike trays have improved (the old ones had junky, tricky mounting hardware), and their new kayak saddles are elegant and attach with only one screw and can be removed quickly (unlike Yak's ugly, plastic saddles that are high, noisy, and have two difficult to turn thumbscrews on the bottom). Compare them and you'll see what I mean.
On the other hand, it is very easy to use, with a pair of ratchet arms that securely lock the bike during transit, and are very simple to use – they also have a pretty wide loading range, and can accommodate up to 59cm frames. They also have a good load capacity of up to 35 pounds per bike position, which should be more than ample for the vast majority of bike types.
Thule v. Yakima - few topics bring about more angry debate. I've had my Thule system for about 5 years. I've hauled mountain bikes, skis, and three kayaks on my roof. It has worked flawlessly, albeit noisily. Yes, Yakima fans, the support bars will probably bend if you put three kayaks on them regularly. But if you are hauling that much weight with any frequency, you need a trailer, not a roof top rack system. Normal mortals won't have problems with bicycles, surf/whitewater kayaks, or one touring boat with an occasional second.
4. The product information brags about the Smartslide system but installation instructions tell you nothing on how to use it. You can't even find good information on the Thule website. Just be warned that you have to move each foot independently but keeping the same Smartslide number the same on each side so that feet are evenly spaced from the outside of the bar.
These are working great so far for a Cargo Box and Canoe mounts on top of our 2017 Subaru Forester. I was leery about these as they sit up a bit higher than the factory crossbars, but the AeroBlades live up to their namesake. Without a load on top, I don't hear any extra noise with them installed and our mileage appears to be spot on with what it was without any cross bars installed. The vehicle's computer calculated ~35.2 MPG doing 70 on the interstate with some front and tail end driving on the streets with a local commute. That's is right around what the vehicle gets without cross bars. If there is a difference, we're talking a difference of decimal points. I had thought for sure that the MPGs would take a beating at highway speeds in particular with cross bars. The only con that comes to mind is that with the Cargo Box (Thule Atlantis 1600) on top, we can't pull into our garage door as it's just a bit too tall. The factory bars, which would sit lower by about an inch or two would likely allow for it, but then we would lose the ability to mount the canoe as the width of the mounting space on the aluminum is significantly reduced with those. With these, you can use the full top of the bar for mounting with the T bolts as well as wraparound accessories. The factory Subaru cross bars only accommodate wraparound accessories as there is no slot/channel for T bolts. For our vehicle, at the foremost mounting point on the roof rails, the spacing between them is 39". The foot packs underneath the bars do come inward a bit, but the usable space between the foot packs for wraparound accessories on the front bar is right around 36" (less on the rear bar), which is more spacious than what the Subaru cross bars would allow for. So far, we are very pleased with this setup!
These attach right onto horizontal roof racks and hold the boat on its side to prevent warpng when tied down. It's very stable and makes it easy to lock the kayak to the rack with a standard cable. It can be pretty hard to load after a day of paddling and sometimes requires two people, even on my low roof. May not be the best for tall vehicles, but an economical alternative.
If you’re looking for a serious overland adventure or #vanlife upgrade, the Aluminess Roof Rack is the only way to go. It handles any gear and cargo you can think to throw up there. Moreover, outfits like Main Line Overland can customize it to fit A/C units, solar panels and satellite TV. “A full-length Aluminess Mercedes Sprinter Roof Rack is highly customizable and provides a massive amount of storage capacity. The optional side ladder makes it easy to mount the walk-on roof for strapping on loads and enhancing your perspective at roadside stops. You could probably even host a Bushwick rooftop party on one of them.”
Six years ago I went here to have Thule cycle racks mounted on my car. I think they are also called Roof Rack World, in Dickson Street, Artarmon. Wasn't cheap, but you don't go here if you want the cheaper stuff. The reason for posting the review is this. I noticed a bit of squeaking occasionally, so I phoned them up. They invited me to come along at my leisure. They checked it out, tightened things up, oiled this and that, gave me some spare parts and charged me nothing. Said it was all part of the service. How good is that? Thanks guys.
If you want a cheap and easy roof rack solution for short trips look no further than this affordable option from Highland. Although they're rated for a capacity of up to 400 pound, we'd recommend them for lighter items like ladders, kayaks, skis or snowboards. You may want to add a couple extra straps for a bit more security, but if your usual paddling spot or local hill are just a few miles away, this option do the job just fine.
Originally I bought them because our car didn't have the width for two boats to sit side-by-side. But they support our plastic touring boats (Necky, Looksha IV), very nicely. The fear of oil-canning the hulls by supporting them in traditional saddles is all but gone. The hull-a-ports hold the boats vertically and in even the strongest cross winds, the two straps (provided, with buckle bumpers) are enough to hold the boats in place with ease...and not so much pressure that you'll bend the hulls.
Caveat: I was thinking of replacing the Js with a rail rider or something that I could put an extended crossbar on in order to lay the boats flat. Figured less wind resistance would equal better gas mileage. I was surprised to find on this trip my mileage was better than expected (19+ with a big hemi V8, not great but hey, it goes!)I attribute this to mainly reduced speeds on many of the non interstate highways where we were running 60-65.
Rather than going for a pack put together by a roof rack shop or supplier I decided to visit the Thule website, find the make, model and year of my car to create a shopping list of the parts required. This is a simple but crucial process as the different possible combinations of bars, foot pack and fitting kit is enormous. Once checked I sourced each of the parts from different suppliers on Amazon. This saved around 20% and as I have Amazon Prime included free delivery.
This is a well-made bike rack with an unusual-looking design. The design works better than the FreeRide and ProRide models when it comes to loading on your bike. It also offers better inbuilt security for your bike and furthermore does not touch the frame and so cannot damage the frame. It’s quite a bit more expensive than the FreeRide model and a little bit heavier BUT it is selling at about the same price as the ProRide…it IS better than the ProRide; I guess people don’t buy it because of the looks and the weight.
I originally purchased my Thule rack system in 1985 (for use on a Land Cruiser) and ‘upgraded’ in 1990 to the new style Thule racks (for a 4Runner), so I have a fair amount of experience with these racks. Although I have not purchased much new Thule gear lately, all of my 15-20 year old accessories work great. I use the 58” bars in the winter to hold my ski carrier and box. In the summer I use 78” bars to hold 2-3 canoes or kayaks, plus bikes. Given that most of my gear is so old, it is made of solid aluminum and steel and hasn’t given me one failure. Sure, I broke a fairing when I hit a flying rock at 60mph. And, I’ve lost a few of the nuts and nylon bar ends but these were easily replaced. But never have I had a fear of the rack coming off my truck. I’ve even caught a tree with one of my 78” bars, which bent the roof of my 4Runner pretty good. Still, the rack did not budge. My rack has spent a lot of time in Alaska and Minnesota winters and rust has never been much of a problem, either.
Aluminium bars include T-track slots which allow you to use the full length of the bars for load carrying. The WingBar not only looks good but more importantly includes a device which reduces wind noise to the minimum, as well as reducing drag. Many customers leave their Thule WingBars in place from week to week, especially if they are taller vehicles and fitting is awkward.