Reviews On 7 Top-Rated Roof Racks For Subaru Outback

WVDOT Automotive is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The Subaru Outback is made for thrilling experiences, and you are an adventurous person, the perfect combination. But there is a catch! You may be missing out on all the fun if you avoid taking advantage of its wonderful features.

What might that be exactly? The Subaru Outback and most of its models come equipped with side rails that must be played with to have the best traveling experiences.

Planning to go on a trip but facing trouble in making sure all your gear fits in the car? What you need is a roof rack to make your life easier. Check out this article to find out the best roof rack for Subaru Outback.

7 Top Best Subaru Outback Roof Racks & Cargo Baskets Comparisons

IMAGE PRODUCT EDITOR’S RATING PRICE
TOP PICK

BRIGHTLINES Steel Cross Bars With Lock System

BRIGHTLINES Steel Cross Bars With Lock System

9.7
CHECK ON AMAZON
Direct Aftermarket Universal Roof Rack Cargo Carrier Direct Aftermarket Universal Roof Rack Cargo Carrier

9.5
CHECK ON AMAZON
BEST BUDGET

CargoLoc 2 Piece 52” Aluminum Roof Top Cross Bar Set

CargoLoc 2 Piece 52” Aluminum Roof Top Cross Bar Set

9.1
CHECK ON AMAZON
Mockins Roof Rack Cargo Carrier With Bag & Bungee Net Mockins Roof Rack Cargo Carrier With Bag & Bungee Net

8.8
CHECK ON AMAZON
CURT 18115 Universal Black Steel Roof Rack Cargo Carrier CURT 18115 Universal Black Steel Roof Rack Cargo Carrier

8.6
CHECK ON AMAZON
XCAR Black Roof Rack Cargo Carrier XCAR Black Roof Rack Cargo Carrier

8.2
CHECK ON AMAZON
AVENN Skinny Rooftop Cargo Carrier Basket AVENN Skinny Rooftop Cargo Carrier Basket

8
CHECK ON AMAZON

1. BRIGHTLINES Steel Cross Bars With Lock System

If you own a model of Subaru Outback between the years 1995 – 2009, then this BRIGHTLINES Steel Cross Bars With Lock System is especially for you.

One of the great things about these steel crossbars is that they offer a universal fit, which means that you will be able to adjust this item on most factory-raised side rails. Still, it is also possible to mount the crossbars if you got the side rails raised aftermarket purchase of your car.

On the other hand, this requires you to get the side rails raised to utilize and install this particular item on your Outback’s roof.

Nevertheless, I would recommend this steel crossbar from BRIGHTLINES since it is a widely trusted brand that will satisfy you at the end of the day. Many people who bought from this brand were particularly sold on it given the convenience of providing trusted warranties. That is right.

This product comes coupled with a limited warranty of one year so that you can get any issues resolved by the manufacturers themselves.

In addition to that, these steel crossbars are also coated with a heavy-duty rubber coating that helps prevent them from getting damaged from scratches and blemishes, unlike most other roof rack products. It is no secret that loading heavy cargo items such as a kayak or a bike makes it quite easy to damage a metal surface.

Therefore the rubber coating is a great feature. Furthermore, unlike many other roof racks that rarely come with the proper installation hardware, the steel crossbars from BRIGHTLINES come in a compote kit that includes a lock system with full instructions guide.

Besides that, besides expecting a pair of crossbars, you can also look forward to four mounting towers. In terms of product specifications, the dimensions of the crossbars are 47.2 x 1.25 x 7 inches.

When it comes to the maximum weight capacity you can haul on top of these bars, you can benefit by storing your equipment that weighs no more than 150 pounds.

However, for appropriate weight management, make sure the equipment and its weight are evenly distributed on the roof of your car.

However, a considerable part of the clamps is made of plastic, which can be seen as a relatively weak material.
PROS
  • Locking system for optimum security
  • 1 year warranty
  • Rubber coating for rust protection
  • Heavy-duty steel construction
CONS
  • Plastic made clamps

Overall, if you own a model of the Subaru Outback, then this is a great option for you since finding a compatible roof rack may not be so easy.

TOP PICK
BRIGHTLINES Steel Cross Bars With Lock System
$95.99
CHECK ON AMAZON
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/22/2022 12:25 am GMT

2. Direct Aftermarket Universal Roof Rack Cargo Carrier

The next roof rack in my list comes from Direct Aftermarket that delivers a premiums roof rack carrier that is nothing short of a necessity if you are looking to haul additional cargo items most conveniently and safely.

This Direct Aftermarket Universal Roof Rack Cargo Carrier is a great option that allows you to store cargo equipment such as tools, luggage, camping tools, and what have you.

In addition to that, if you are wondering about the maximum weight capacity this cargo carrier can withstand, then you will be excited to find out that cargo weighing up to 150 pounds should be nothing close to an issue for you.

It is constructed with factory-grade heavy-duty tubular steel that provides long-term usage with minimum chances of damage or breakage.

Not only that, but the construction of the steel has also incorporated an epoxy powder coating that is extremely resilient against inevitable and harsh weather conditions such as rain.

This means that you can toss out the worry of getting rust and corrosion built upon these roof racks that would have cost you the longevity and overall strength of the item.

Furthermore, it is yet another universal fit roof rack that can easily be attached with square crossbars that are 4 inches wide x 2 1/2 inches thick.

As for the rounded-shaped crossbars, these racks can accommodate ones that are 2 ½ inches in diameter. The racks measure roughly 36 inches wide and 41 inches long in dimensions.

In addition to that, it also has a high railing that is 5 inches in height which offer lots of tie-down spots to keep your equipment safe and secure.

Another great feature is a wind-fairing plate to keep down noises caused by wind resistance and provide a peaceful drive.

However, the product does not come with a warranty, so users will be solely liable in case of damage or mishap with the racks.
PROS
  • Easy to install
  • Wind fairing
  • High quality steel construction
  • Epoxy powder coating
CONS
  • No warranty

In conclusion, this is one of the ideal roof racks options if you are looking for equally convenient and easy to use. You can install it yourself in no time and just as easily uninstall when not needed.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/22/2022 12:27 am GMT

3. CargoLoc 2 Piece 52” Aluminum Roof Top Cross Bar Set

Continuing with my list of the best roof racks for your Subaru Outback, we have the CargoLoc 2 Piece 52” Aluminum Roof Top Cross Bar Set.

As its name suggests, it is constructed with high-quality aluminum metal that simultaneously delivers high strength durability along with a relatively lightweight to allow for more items to be hauled for your road trips.

The bars themselves weigh roughly 8.6 pounds, which is immensely lighter than many other similar products offered on the market. As per the dimensions of the crossbars, it measures 3 x 52.5 x 5.75 inches and can fit side rails that span up to 46 inches hence allowing a spacious room for your luggage.

Furthermore, with a weight capacity of around 150 pounds, you can effortlessly load all your fun toys, whether that pertains to kayaks, bikes, fishing equipment, and so on.

So rest assured that there is room for everything. And as far as the safety of your equipment is concerned, the bars provide a safety clamping system to guarantee that they will remain sturdy and attached to the side rails.

Not only that, another added safety feature is the keyed locking mechanism which ensures that everything stays firm and together for the entirety of the journey, so you can enjoy a stress-free drive and focus solely on the road ahead.

The manufacturer of these crossbars, CargoLoc, has been in the industry for a considerable amount of time. They are a vertically integrated company that is well knowledgeable and experienced in terms of its first to the last stage.

Whether the quality of materials or the quality control at the final stage, customers can expect a trustworthy and reliable cargo transportation module.

To add to that, buyers of these crossbars can expect a limited lifetime warranty so that they can rid themselves of the worry of replacing a damaged crossbar with a new one. They can request for manufacturer’s warranty by simply contacting the customer service, which is a quick and easy process.

On the contrary, the lack of rust and corrosion protection on the crossbars has led to serious problems and complaints among existing users, so you may want to avoid leaving it in the rain or any moisture in general.
PROS
  • Easy to lock
  • Easy to assemble
  • Strong and sturdy
  • Lightweight
CONS
  • Not rust resistant
  • Makes wind noise

In general, CargoLoc delivers a great option for individuals that frequently go on road trips and require plenty of cargo to be transported along.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/22/2022 12:29 am GMT

4. Mockins Roof Rack Cargo Carrier With Bag & Bungee Net

Moving on with my list, let us look at the next roof rack to alleviate your traveling issues related to luggage transportation.

The Mockins Roof Rack Cargo Carrier With Bag & Bungee Net will help you figure out how to fit all the necessary cargo you need to haul on your car in no time.

Long gone are the days of squishing all your equipment and tools into the interior of your car as this roof rack will not only adjust on the roof of your Subaru Outback but also protect it specially.

You will no longer have to be embarrassed about driving in comfort while the passengers sit uncomfortably with luggage and other items on their laps.

This roof rack is relatively more versatile as it can be extended in size to meet your needs. Simply choose from a length of 43 inches or 64 inches, whatever feels right to you.

Another great aspect of this rack is that it is covered in a rust and corrosion protective coating and is constructed using heavy-duty steel for optimum strength and integrity.

Not only that, but users will be quick to notice the 6 inches high side rails that are extremely beneficial and can be used as many tie-down points for even better security to your precious equipment.

Furthermore, it also includes a waterproof cargo bag that is made of abrasion-resistant vinyl along with a cargo net to allow for extra space to load up more items on the roof of your car.

Users will also be delighted to know that this roof rack is one of the easier ones to install and can be adjusted on factory-built side rails as well as crossbars.

However, despite advertising a rust protective coating, many users have pointed out how quickly it begins to accumulate rust and even leak rusty water on the roof of their cars.
PROS
  • Easy to assemble
  • Extendable
  • Waterproof cargo set
  • Heavy-duty steel construction
CONS
  • Easily rusted

All in all, if you are looking for a roof rack that offers more space when needed and can be extended as well as a rack that protects your luggage from water during rain, then this right here is a great option for you.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/22/2022 12:31 am GMT

5. CURT 18115 Universal Black Steel Roof Rack Cargo Carrier

Regardless of how roomy and spacious your Subaru Outback may be, the chances are that you will at some point face the dilemma of either squeezing in luggage inside the vehicle or just frustratingly leaving some of it behind.

Therefore, if you are in desperate need of an effective solution to maximize your car’s storage space, then what you need is the CURT 18115 Universal Black Steel Roof Rack Cargo Carrier.

This roof rack successfully combines a design that is lightweight, roomy, and sturdy. It simply checks all the boxes that a good quality car-top rack should. It is also very user-friendly as one of the great things is that it is relatively easy to install.

That is because it comes with a two-piece assembly feature and can be comfortably attached to most styles of crossbars on the roof of vehicles.

When it comes to the quality of construction, get ready to be increased by its strong steel frame covered with a durable black powder coating and E-coat that helps protect it from the rigid and harsh road conditions that it will face.

In addition to that, one of the most exciting features about this roof rack is that it can easily be extended to enjoy a much large storage space whenever and wherever the necessity occurs.

Simply choose from 10 square feet of storage to the tremendous 16 Square feet option, perfect for catering to extra large storage items that need more space.

And it does not stop there. This roof rack provides the ultimate security to your cargo with its 4 inch high walls that keep it safe, along with a windshield in the front to offer protection from high-speed winds.

Moreover, you may also be glad to know that these roof racks can be coupled with CURT’s waterproof cargo bags, come in multiple sizes, are made of UV resistant vinyl, have built-in tie-down straps for optimum security and of your cargo.

On the other hand, there have been many complaints by existing users that claim the screws and bolts do not make the installation process easy, so this is worth keeping in mind.
PROS
  • 4” tall sides
  • Extendable storage space
  • Universal mounting
  • Rust-resistant coating
CONS
  • Problematic screws and bolts

In conclusion, this is a great module kit for your Toyota Subaru that allows you to travel with much more comfort and safety for your cargo. It offers extendable storage space and 4-inch high side walls to provide added protection, which not many other roof racks provide.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/22/2022 12:33 am GMT

6. XCAR Black Roof Rack Cargo Carrier

The next roof rack on my list is the XCAR Black Roof Rack Cargo Carrier, one of the market’s highest-rated racks.

Suppose you are planning to go on a road trip without worrying about compromising your Subaru Outback’s interior space. In that case, you should undoubtedly consider this rack as well.

It is one of the best on the market owing to its vast functionality and so much more. You will surely be pleased with what this rack has to offer. To begin with, this rack provides a universal fitting for crossbars that are both square-shaped and round.

For the former, make sure they are no more than 4.6 inches wide and 1.35 inches in thickness. As for the round-shaped crossbars, ones with a diameter of up to 1.35 inches will be compatible with this roof rack.

Thanks to the universal 4 U bolts that make it easy to use this roof rack on a wide range of vehicles. As far as the specifications of the roof rack are concerned, its dimensions measure roughly 40.7 x 25.3 x 7.6 inches while its weight counts up to 41.7 pounds, which is somewhat lighter than most other roof racks.

This allows almost anyone to easily install it onto their vehicle, coupled with the fact that the entire package comes with a hardware set necessary for installation purposes. It can also be slightly extended to allow greater storage space.

However, this requires a distance of about more than 29.7 inches for the crossbars. In terms of the weight capacity of these roof racks, it is much similar to many other good quality roofs, with a maximum weight capacity of no more than150 pounds.

You can comfortably store your kayaks, luggage, bicycles, surfboards, and what not without leaving a single item behind.

However, to use this roof rack, users need to have crossbars installed onto the roof of their cars which can seem like a drawback to most people. Moreover, several user complaints suggest that the nuts and bolts don’t line up with the panels.
PROS
  • Easy to assemble
  • Weatherproof
  • Many tie-down points
  • Mesh squares prevent things from falling out
CONS
  • Improper quality control

This roof rack is one of the highly acclaimed on the market, and that is for a good reason. It is lightweight and easy to install, not to mention that it comes with all the hardware required. It supports a weight limit of 150 pounds, which only the highest quality roof racks offer.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/22/2022 07:04 am GMT

7. AVENN Skinny Rooftop Cargo Carrier Basket

Last but surely not least, we have the AVENN Skinny Rooftop Cargo Carrier Basket, which comes in the form of a carrier basket.

If you are about to go on an adventure with plenty of cargo with you, then you must check out this roof rack. Trust me; you will not regret it. It is the perfect add-on for a vehicle of any category, whether a sedan, SUV, pick up, or especially a Toyota Subaru.

This roof rack will not only provide the ultimate protection for your equipment and keep it sturdy on the journey, but more importantly, it will free up the much-needed interior space that is essential for the passengers to enjoy their travel experience just as much as the driver.

With a maximum weight capacity of yet again 150 pounds, you will be relieved to realize that you can bring along all the things you need for the trip without sacrificing anything.

The dimensions of this roof rack are something to be proud of, measuring approximately 64 inches long x 23 inches wide x 6 inches tall. The storage space offered by this roof rack is not to be taken lightly.

In addition to that, this cargo carrier is exceptionally weather-resistant because it is covered with a black powder coating that can withstand any harsh weather conditions.

Whether that is rain or snow, you do not need to worry. It is also very easy to install and comes with a user-friendly instructions guide and all the tools required assembling the roof rack.

Subsequently, the users will also appreciate the roof rack’s extension module to extend the carrier and enjoy more storage space.

Not only that, the 6 inches tall sidewalls along with the front fairing will allow you to secure your important cargo with plenty of tie-down points and by protecting it from strong winds.

However, due to the poor coating at the welding points, some of the spots are exposed to the possibility of rust.
PROS
  • Strong and sturdy
  • Extendable
  • Tall sidewalls
  • Front fairing
CONS
  • Weak welding points

To sum it all up, this cargo carrier comes equipped with several important functions that will make you feel satisfied. If you are looking for a well-crafted, strong and long-lasting, highly safe, and secure roof rack for your Subaru Outback, then do consider this option.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/21/2022 12:34 pm GMT

FAQs

What Is The Maximum Weight A Subaru Outback Roof Rack Can Support?

The Subaru Outback roof racks have a weight capacity of roughly 165 pounds, which is about 15 pounds more than most other roof racks on the market today.

Because of this, the user can enjoy a bit more freedom when it comes to hauling their favorite equipment onto their Outbacks for a safe, fun, and convenient driving experience.

How Do I Put A Roof Rack On A Subaru Outback?

The Subaru Outback is the only model that requires a certain way of installing a roof rack. The crossbars on the car roof have a few flaps that come out after applying a little pressure from the ends.

These flaps can be found on the factory-built roof rails that come with the vehicle. Once unlocked, you can then use the rails as crossbars to install a roof rack.

Does A Roof Rack Increase The Fuel Consumption Of My Subaru Outback?

Unfortunately, yes. Mounting anything on the Subaru outback roof rack that has a significant weight will ultimately affect the miles per gallon of your vehicle.

In other words, having a roof rack on your outback will indeed increase the fuel consumption of your car. This is a universal problem with most vehicles that have a roof rack installed on them.

How Do I Stop My Roof Rack On A Subaru Outback From Whistling?

The whistling sound coming from the roof rack on a Subaru outback while driving is closely related to the gaps between the top and bottom rubber grips that hold equipment such as a snowboard, etc.

The gap is almost 1/8 inches. So for better aerodynamics, you can use rubber weather stripping to fill the gaps, which should significantly reduce the whistling noise.

Conclusion

To tie it all up, investing in a good quality roof rack for Subaru Outback will only be in your best interest. You will be able to enjoy far more interior space in your car, which allows a much comfortable adventure of a road trip for friends and family members.

Not only is it a great way to make sure you bring all the necessary equipment and supplies along for your trip but you can also rest assured that those things will remain safe, sturdy, and protected from harsh climates.

As for my personal favorite, I would recommend the BRIGHTLINES Steel Cross Bars With Lock System as it checks all the boxes of the best roof rack for Subaru outback.