I have a set of Yakima Lowriders and crossbars mounted on my 2003 Explorer. I use the Yakima hullraisers (j cradles) with it, usually just have one set mounted for my boat. As I’m sure everyone else has experienced on the highway those bars sound like I’m trapped in a wind tunnel. I made a trip this past weekend with the rack removed, and the difference was amazing.

So I decided to invest in a Yakima fairing, in hopes it will reduce the wind noise while driving with the rack on. Can anyone tell me their experience with the fairing? Is it really worth the cost and effort? I put it on last night and found it interferes with mounting my Hullraisers, and will have to flip the bases on my Hullraisers around to make mounting them with the fairing easier.

I bought it at REI, so if I don’t like it, I can return it for a full refund at anytime.

So any experience you have using the fairing, and thoughts on whether it is worth the hassle or not are appreciated.


I’ve got one
on my Yakima rack. Not sure if it cuts down on the noise or not, but it sure looks good! :slight_smile:

it worked for me

– Last Updated: Aug-02-07 9:34 AM EST –

I have a Yakima rack on a 4 door cavalier and the rack noise was almost unbearable. I've had a fairing for a couple months now and I don't even notice the noise anymore. Plus, it looks sexy with my paddling.net sticker on it.

def. works! no noise. love it!

Works! And even better backwards…
On mine at least, the design and the mounting holes were symmetrical. If you don’t want to give Yakima the extra advertising, you can install it backwards so the decal is to the rear.


Soured on fairings, somewhat, after
trying them on both our cars.

People have posted on pnet to say that fairings improve gas mileage by 2-3 mpg when the boat is NOT on the car, but by little or none when the boat is on the car. I tend to believe that. And the fairings do cut out the moaning.

However, when I’m carrying a canoe, the fairing is throwing air up under the boat, air that might otherwise find a quieter and easier path. When air is forced up into the boat by the fairing, that air has to find its way around saddles, float bags, whatever.

I have removed the fairing from our Accord, and have gone back to using Yakima Windjammers, the plastic things with streamlined cross section that one clamps onto the bar. Two or three Windjammers cut moan effectively, and they almost certainly streamline the round bar. They do not force air up into the canoe, and they probably aid passage of air beloe the canoe. The price of a Windjammer is excessive, but you can buy three or four for the price of one fairing.

Another warning: Owners of standard tandem canoes may find that Yakima fairing struts interfere with use of the Yakima gunwale clamps. Windjammers can be slid out of the way or cut to fit.

Much cheaper, work almost as well, allow more items to be easily mounted om bars.

Works for me.


I have fairings on both racks (Thule) on my Honda and on my wife’s Jeep. I don’t notice any wind noise on either vehicle, even when the sunroof on the Jeep is open.

With boats on top, it’s not been an issue, either. We have a tandem canoe, and the fairing brackets do not interfere with the canoe carrier brackets. I still get 30mpg in the Honda with the canoe on top, so I can’t complain too much.

bungee cord
I am using a simple and cheap method recommended to me by an aeronautical engineer. You get two (inexpensive) bungee cords with hooks on the ends. Take each one and wrap it around the cross bar and hook the ends on. If should not completely cover the cross bar - just go around it 5-10 times. What it does is break up the air stream and cause enough interference to prevent the harmonics that you hear as howling. Works very well for me on my Subaru Outback.


Thanks everyone
for your input, I appreciate the feedback. I hadn’t thought of the windjammers bc I didn’t realize how short they, figured there was no way to attach my cradles while using them.

Good news is with a lil work I’ve made using the fairing and my Jcradles very doable. I replaced the plastic wingnuts that came with the fairing with plain SS nuts with nylon lock rings to secure the fairing. Then I reversed the plastic base brackets on my J cradle by removing the 4 bolts and turning them around. Now the plastic wingnuts/bolts for securing the back mount on the J cradle is on the opposite side of the bar from the fairing bracket. And Voila! no more interference.

Gonna be giving the fairing a test run on the PA Turnpike this weekend, so we’ll see how it does for wind noise and howl.

Thanks again!