2013 Subaru Impreza - roof rack

I’m considering a 2013 Subaru Impreza hatchback. it has fixed points for a roof rack. should I get the roof rails from Subaru and attach the feet and crossbars from either Thule or yakima? Have looked at the Thule site and several setups are offered depending on what is or is not on the roof already. would like to do the smartest (most cost effective)thing, considering the sticker shock on what these things cost.


Roof rack
Check out Rockauto.com

You can order stock cheaper than the dealer

foam blocks
Unless you are traveling long distance with the kayak on the roof (think multi state - frequent travel, then all you need is the foam rubber blocks and some straps (5)

If you do decide to get a car top rack, be sure it has the kayak up on its side and not flat, otherwise, you are right back to the foam block method

Bargain for them with the car
The Subaru racks used to be made by Yakima but these don’t seem to match the current Yakima line.

The Subaru cross bars are the Aero style and easy enough to buy Thule or Yakima kayak, bike, cargo boxes, etc to fit them – the price may be a bit higher than the carriers that just fit the round or square bars but not much more.

One advantage of “buying” the dealer Subaru crossbars is that you can use that as a bargain chip at the end. I was able to get some for free that way. I think Edmunds can show the actual price of the crossbars, which is probably a little over $100. If at the end of the deal making you just ask for them for free and you will install, they will probably agree to make the sale. No idea what the quality is, you should check for reviews.

There are usually 20% sales on Thule and Yakima around the various summer holidays. A number of online vendors usually sell lower all year but also match the 20% off sales or do even better. Good idea to wait for the sales.

You would want to find out the load limit of the various bars you are considering to see if that matters. If you are only taking a single kayak it probably will not matter.

One downside of the Subaru design or any of the fixed end designs is not being able to get a bar longer than the recommended, which can help if you want to carry two kayaks on saddles or a cargo box and maybe a bike or two.

Also, my 2009 Forester roof metal seems very thin. Not sure I would want to go with the foam blocks on a bare roof with that car.