Question on Yakima

I got a new car with built in rails. (2009 VW Jetta SportWagon TDI) I need to get something to clamp on the rails and am pretty fond of Yakima. Looking on the website they have LowRider and RailGrab base systems for cars with existing rails. Anyone have experience with either? I can’t tell the difference really, other than a bit of rubber on one. Advice?

I sold yakima for a long time…
You want to look at a couple of things when using lowriders or other kinds of adapters that work with factory racks.

  1. What are the dimensional limitations? - That is, how far apart can you mount your accessories? And will that support what you are carrying?

  2. Are there weight limits? Weight limit also includes bars or mounts, not just what you carrying.

  3. Are there accessory limitations? Certain kits cannot be used with all mounts.

    All this stuff can be found in the hard copy Yakima fit lists in REI or a decent bike shop. Sometimes with some cars, I have better luck in the hard copy Yakima fit list than online.

I got a local bike/paddle shop that I’d like to use any excuse to support. Guess this is a good one.

Yakima racks
I used the “C” clamp style rack base (no idea of the actual model name, but it’s like th ones you’re describing)on 4 cars in a row. It just slips over the roof rack rail and tightens down. It takes a bit of twisting to get it good and tight but they work great.

My $0.02.


I have had lowriders on my Xterra
since 2001. No problems.

Lowriders are discontinued
Railgrabbers are their replacement. Railgrabbers also replace two other towers from Yakima so they are more universal and should fit any vehicle with a raised rail. However, Yakima hasn’t shipped them yet. From the photos, the Railgrabbers will be much harder to install and remove as it needs a hex tool whereas the Lowriders do not require a tool for installation. If you are going to remove your rack often, I would recommend Lowriders. If you are going to change you car in the near future, Yakima will no longer warranty the Lowrider on new (2010) vehicles, so you may desire the Railgrabber.

Must have just happened
I bought my lowriders this past fall. I had used Yakima towers with raingutter adaptors for the top of a camper cap on my pickup, and they were ridiculously easy to put on and remove. The low riders took some getting used to, but I can put them on on about 5 minutes or less, and take them off even quicker now. Seem to be pretty solid on the side rails of my Subaru. After reading about the need for a hex wrench for the new rail grabbers, I’m glad I went with the low riders.


if you wish to obtain a set set of Lowrides, I have a brand new set (does not fit my car that I would make you a great deal on.

email me.