Bow tie point, Subaru OB 2005-2007 ?


What are other Subaru Outback owners doing for bow tiedown.

We would be carrying two kayaks on the roof, Yakima rack crossbars onto factory rails. Bow of the kayaks would be mid-hood.

Can bow tiedown be done on this car without paint damage at the leading edge of the hood?

Thanks for your help.


Thule tie-downs
The Thule tie-downs I use have a plastic sleeve that covers the rope where it touches the car - you slide it along the rope length to wherever you need it. I use them on my truck all the time and haven’t had any paint scratches yet.

I do it all the time.
And have never had a problem with rope only. I have a 2005.

Subaru tie-down location
I have followed the suggestion of tying down the bow ropes at the edge of the hood that meets with the windshield. The tie-down locations are at the corners, woven under the hinges of the hood. Some have attached webbing to a bolt in that area and have used that as a tie down anchor spot.

That releases any pressure over the front of the bumper…which is not exactly ‘rock-solid’ on the subarus.

Hope I was clear in my description…


I use 3/16" 95lbs test nylon rope,and hook into the tow hooks underneath on my 05 Outback. The rope only touches the bumper,and some plastic underneath with my set up. I have traveled about 700 miles with the tie downs that way,and no paint wear or scratches. On the rear I have a trailer hitch,and use the safety chain loops. The stern ropes also touch the bumper,and that is the gritty end of the car,and no scratching either.If you use any kind of buckle strap,just make sure the buckle doesn’t touch the car,as strap flutter will cause buckles to gouge the paint.

Happy Paddling billinpa

Yes to hinges
They are the most secure point I had found on my 2005 OB. I also installed webbing loops at a couple of teh fender bolts about 16 inches in front of the hinges. You will have to buy longer bolts and some nylock nuts to do that. I made my loops, but places like Rutabaga and Piragis sell them ready made.


parachute cord?
Reading the thread, I am wondering if anyone uses parachute cord to tie down their boats during transport. If it is actual parachute cord, then it should have a breaking point well above rope with a similar diameter and it is pretty soft to the touch; less likely to scratch maybe?

550 parachute cord
in theory has a breaking strength of 550#. Should be strong enough, but what a pain to knot and unoknot, especially when wet.

And beware the “fake” parachute cord - the stuff that lacks the individual twisted filaments (seven as memory serves) to be found in the real stuff.


garden hose
You could always chop up a bunch of garden hose or big fat tubing and slide it over the rope. works well for protecting climbing ropes from edges, don;t see why it wouldn;t help the paint

concur with hood loops
I use the ready made ones; did not require a longer fender bolt.

The two great advantages of this technique is that no tiedwon rope comes in contact with the paint, and you don’t have to get down on your knees in the mud below the car.


– Last Updated: Mar-15-07 9:29 AM EST –

Clip carabiners thru the tie-down holes. Leave them there. These provide a nice rounded edge that is designed not for be abrasive and fray rope or webbing. You can then reach under your vehicle and find them without getting down on your hands and knees. Cheap, easy, and fast.

Subaru front tiedown
We sell a couple hundred canoes a year - seems about half of them to Subaru owners. We always offer to install fron tie loops, and they are free - the excess web cut off our backbands.

Here’s how.

Acquire 2ea 24-30" sections of webbing.

Prop the hood open

Work the web around the ends of the sub frame supporting the radiator, running from fender to fender. [Varies somewhat year to year.]

Tie an overhand knot in the web.

The loops are pulled up past the hood fopr use, dropped beneath it when boats aren’t being hauled.

We’ll have pics up ob the Pb website soon, and I’ll be glad to forward pics to anyone emailing me at

Subaru tie downs
These are all good answers, but the simplest one is the web strap idea. The ones sold at Rutabaga are called “Top-Ties” and at our house we have them under the hoods of four different vehicles (and on the rear of one.) They only cost $6.95 a package so, while you could make them yourself, it is easier (and probably faster) to just call Rutabaga and have them mail you a pair.

Tie down points
On my Subaru I installed an eye bolt through one of the license plate holes and the bumper. It’s easier than crawling under the car to find a spot to use. I have a good roof rack that I rely on to hold the canoe down and use a bow line only for “piece of mind.” I like parachute chord rather that straps. I can’t stand the wide straps flapping out in front of the windshield - it’s very distracting while driving and are the cause of the scratches on hood. On my wood/canvas canoes that don’t have a painter ring to attach a rope I made trapazoid shaped blocks of 1x4 that fit up under the gunnels to tie to. I should also mention that I use gunnel blocks on the roof rack to keep the canoe from sliding side to side when an 18-wheeler passes me. I highly recommend them for any car topping not just a Subaru.

Hood Loops
Take a look at the hood loops here: