Forester racks

I just purchased an '05 Subaru Forester.

Although there are kayak carriers that will fit the factory bars, they are not what I want.

They don’t fit well at all. Universal units that don’t fit anything well.

In the accessories brochure from the the dealer

there is a set of square bars listed, #E36ESA100.

I am trying to get some cross section measurements, width, and thickness.

The bars with towers are $105, Thules locally are $250.

I sent emails to a couple of vendors.

The replies I got were “approximately 1 3/8 wide”

“about an 1 1/2 wide”.

A lot of help. Am I dealing with moron city?

I have two carrying attachments that are Thule, H2GO, and a J frame. I just would lke to know if they will fit. There are no local dealers that have them in stock, or know what the measurements are.

I sure would appreciate any help!



i’m not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but thule’s web site has an excellent step by step fit guide for any vehicle

i have an 04 forester and decided to use the Yakima Forester system. Simply remove the stock bars from the vehicle and the towers will attached to the rails on the roof.

Forester roof rack
Thule now makes a direct fit foot for the Subaru roof racks and shops can get them by ordering the #440 Specialty Railing Rack and the #SR 1 kit. Four feet and two square bars included.

mounting to cargo basket
I have an 05 forester as well and have the large yakima basket on top, mounted to the factory crossbars,very sturdy, however, I wondering about the following:

I have two yakima viper fork mounts for my bikes mounted to the round bars on the basket…

Can I mount the kayak carriers to basket in the same fashion? Will there be too much force applied to the cargo basket on my roof?


Forester racks
Again, thanks for the replies.

I ordered the Thule 440 set today from my local dealer. Subaru’s square rack set is made in Europe, Belgium I think.

They are not compatible with Thule or Yakima carriers unless you want to fool around with shims.

As far as putting a kayak carrier on a basket, I think I would address this question to either a local dealer that is savvy, and that you trust, or Thule customer service.

Another wealth of knowledge is at

Subie Square Bar = Thule
I have the square bar forester racks and all my Thule accesories fit really well. I use Thule H2Go cradles for my kayaks and they fit excellent.

The Subie Square bar racks are made by Mont Blanc and have proven reliable. They are very easy to install and remove - one flip of a lever on each bracket. They lock, are cheaper and do the job at least as well as the Thule’s I have had on prior vehicles.

Forester Rack
I have a 2004 Forester and purchased the Thule towers for it. I use the kayak cradles for my two sea kayaks, and just the square bars for a canoe.

The canoe stays firmly on the square bars and the rack stays firmly attached to the factory base (Ialso use the Thule lateral stabilizer “clamps” at the gunwales).

When using the kayak cradles, check the tightness of the clamps from the cradle to the square bar. They loosened up on me. Once snugged down the second time, they stayed tight. Worth checking on a regular basis (I usually drive at or above the speed limit).


Forester racks
Forgot to mention, the Thule racks I ordered, I’m told, are new this year.

They are called “Subaru speciality carrier”, model 440.


Forester Towers
If anyone is in need of two sets of Forester towers, I will sell/ship them for $60. They are “like new” in the box. Only used one summer and then bought a 4Runner.

Forester Towers
If anyone is in need of two sets of Forester towers, I will sell/ship them for $60. They are “like new” in the box. Only used one summer and then bought a 4Runner.

I’m interested
I’m interested in your offer. Are they the beefy aluminum towers that screw onto the fixed side rails? I own an '03 Forester and have been looking for the Yakima towers that are affixed to the rail with the bolt clamping mechasim. Unfortunately, they can’t be locked but they are bomber. You can email at