At ReRack we only sell racks and parts from top-quality manufacturers like Yakima, Thule and Rhino-Rack. These roof racks are typically able to support more weight and gear than standard factory racks. The price of a base roof rack will depend on if you want new items or not, aerodynamic profile or not, and your vehicle year/make/model. There are complete roof rack setups starting under $150 for a used rack on older vehicles, all the way through $500+ for a new, aerodynamic top-of-the-line setup.
Generally speaking, you are going to see an increase in costs with the more features that you want on your rack. Here are some of the key features to keep an eye out for, you’ll find that some will be available on most models, whilst the Thule, as the truly premium item, comes closest to packing them all into one feature heavy bike rack – albeit with that premium price tag we mentioned!
I can't comment on J carriers because I don't use them, but perhaps I should. The design weakness with Thule is the square bars, which only becomes a problem on curved roofs, but as the roof curves so must cradles cant away from each other, reducing contact between boat hull and cradle to inside edges. The cradle faces are absurdly small to start with; this rotational deviation from level makes it even smaller. Couple that with Thule's comically inadequate détente angle fixing clamp (for holding the saddle in the shape of your boat hull) and for support you are probably better off using foam blocks. So J carriers may work better on a curved roof, if I can lift that high. I've seen some people use them for composite boats so it might be OK.
For those in need of some serious hauling capability, this roof cargo bag from Rightline has an hefty capacity of 18 cubic feet and is rated as being 100 percent waterproof. Beware with any fabric roof cargo bags — if not completely filled, leaving the bag to flap in the wind can definitely lead to premature failure. But if you're looking for an affordable option and don't have crossbars, this will do the trick.
Now, just to complicate matters the Thule Wing bar system is available in two different flavours. You can go for the Thule Rapid system which involves purchasing the bars, a foot pack and clamp system to fit your car. Alternatively the Wing bar can also be purchased in the Wing Bar Edge format which gives an even lower profile and comes complete, but does narrow the amount of carrying space. I therefore went for the Rapid system to maximise the width of the bars.
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.
The rear strap design now requires the strap to go at an angle rather than directly over the wheel (as with previous Thule rack models). Make sure that you twist the strap clasp lock as well so it points to about 2 o’clock. I’m not entirely sure why this aspect of the design was changed as the straight-through strap always seemed fine to me and was more easily stowed away.
However I am going to comment on some of the installation steps and things to watch out for as it is a little daunting to open the ProRide 598 and find the bags of various components. Once you’ve installed the ProRide all of the steps you took will be ‘obvious…in hindsight‘. In the future, mounting and unmounting the BIKE RACK will then only take about 5 minutes per bike rack.
This is an excellent value single bike rack. The only issue I had was that it took up more space on the roof bars than anticipated meaning the roof box had to be sacrificed due to it's width, and my "budget" Lidl roof bars have a 13mm channel therefore the T-bar fittings couldn't be used. However, the universal fitting kit is very secure. Once on the vehicle, the rack excels...one quick turn of the knob while supporting the bike with the other hand on top of a 4x4 was simple and every aspect of the design has been thought about.