Cross Bars

I just bought a Subaru Crosstrek & had them install there aero crossbars.

I put my Tempest 165 on the croosbars & it looked like the weight might be too much.

I saw a lot of give in the crossbars, so I am thinfing maybe I have to put the saddles further or closer together.Or intall the saddles more in the center of the rook rack.

I know it is trial & error on my part, but does anyone have suggestions or have had the same experience.


Robert G

no bars
I tried crossbars on my Jeep, but didnt like how they handled the canoe. My canoe fits nicely between the rails, so I did away with the crossbars and position the canoe between the rails. I use foam blocks on the gunwales.

This way, the canoe cant slide from side to side.

Factory crossbars
I recently bought a Subaru Forester, but I skipped the factory crossbars and use Thule crossbars on the factory rails instead. I get a lot more wind noise, but the crossbars are more substantial.

Having said that, I’ve had my canoe on the factory crossbars of a friend’s Rav4 several times for some pretty long trips, and never have any trouble. Bow and stern lines were a must since they kept the boat form bouncing up and down.

With the factory crossbars, I’d keep the bars as far apart as possible, and use bow and stern lines to keep the boat from moving. If it really doesn’t feel stable, get some Thule or Yakima crossbars to add to the existing rails.

What is the weight they give?
When we got our Subaru we went right to third part cross-bars because we checked the weight on the factory ones and it was not enough to handle two boats. But I don’t remember now what that number was, and it might have changed.

As far as wind noise, it’s a Subaru, The only thing that will really help with the wind noise in my experience is getting the fairing in front. Never had to do it with any other station wagon or hatch, but something about the Subies is particularly noisy.

I don’t use the factory bars
My 2002 Outback has factory crossbars but I don’t trust them. I’ve always used Thule 450 clamps on the factory side rails of my cars and then mounted the standard Thule square bars above the factory bars. Having Thule bars also enables attaching fittings like j-racks and stacker bars.

Yeah, nothing you can do about Subaru wind noise. Even with no rack at all they are noisy, particularly around the windows. Even a fairing won’t help that. It is just bad design. And one reason I am getting rid of the Subaru. The incessant roar of the wind in the cabin is just too exhausting on long road trips.

I recommend Yakima RailGrab towers and
round bars. Much stronger than the Subaru factory cross bars. Maybe you can return the cross bars and get a refund.

Yes, there is wind noise. There are various suggestions on the message boards for cutting wind noise, such as using pool swim noodles or pipe insulation, or wrapping twine around the bars. I haven’t tried them. I don’t mind the noise since I always have a music CD on when I drive. Also, when my 16-foot sea kayak is on the car the noise is much less.