Roof Rack

I Have a Subaru Crosstrek with factory crossbars & Rails.

The saddles are from LL Bean.

I loaded my Tempest 165 today & it did not seem too stable.

There was a some give in the cross bars.

I wonder if I should have the rails further apart, or have the saddled position in the middle of the cross bars instead of off to the side.

Any help would be appreciated.


Robert G

Factory cross bars are notoriously …

– Last Updated: Sep-02-15 12:09 PM EST –

... flimsy. Some cars may have good ones, but most do not. Also, the closer together the cross bars are, the more you will see boat movement as a result of whatever "give" there is in the system, largely because closely-spaced cross bars give the boat more leverage (from wind, general shaking) to force them and other rack connections to flex. Most people use aftermarket cross bars, but on some Subarus, there's no user-friendly way of mounting aftermarket bars a decent distance apart. Not knowing anything about what rack you have, it's hard to pin down details any more than that, but the general principles above will be true.

Most reputable saddles will be designed

– Last Updated: Sep-02-15 12:36 PM EST –

to fit onto something either round(Yakima) or rectangular(Thule), but stock bars are usually neither = my guess is that there's going to be some play, just as you observed. Think if you want something to stay, more times than not = might want to take a look at the big two makers' footings(for their bars) and see if either fit the Crosstrek's rails tight. Think I've noticed similar CrossTrek threads somewhere...

my old subaru
had the wing-section crossbars and they gave a little. But not enough to ever lose the boat. Not sure what the new ones look like, or to spencer’s point, how the saddles fit to them.

Thule makes a rack extension, or you can always get an EZ VEE or Goodboy system:

But you should start with crossbars. Thule and Yakima and a few others make crossbars with attachments to fit your rack rails.

2014 Crosstrek
I use Malone square crossbars with two pairs of their Seawing saddles side by side . These are Malone’s universal crossbars and they grab the side rails absolutely rock solid . Very easy on & off too. I carry a Romany and either a Cetus or an Easky and am always amazed at how stable they ride . No movement at all . I do use bow lines down to straps under the hood .

For saddle location, putting them in the middle of the crossbar will give maximum deflection. It’s much better to have them on one side or the other. If you go to a 2-boat carry you’ll have to do that anyway.

And I’ll put in my vote for V-bar type systems, they are very solid and make up for crossbars that are close together, e.g. on a small car.

no idea
what your rig is but u-bolts and custom drilled and cut metal strping for the u-bolts bars may hold the problem to the cross bars.

racking a hull would always use bow/stern/across ropes and/ or across cam straps…

the roping would hold hull down onto the bars.

loop the cam strap over and under cross bars with both leads over hull

an across rope abt 3/16ths", Walmart has cord in black carriers tied to bars then carried around hull 360 with a clove hitch crossover holds a hull securely against cross winds and movement from the larger hull side ie rear loop holds forward movement from vehicle.

I have a Forester and attached Thule crossbars to the factory installed rails - works fine. I went with the Forester since it is bigger and allowed more space between the crossbars, but you should be fine with the Crosstrek.

I will try to find
The instructions on crossbar placement for a crosstrek. I think it’s 1 1/2" from the front and 5" from the back. I’ll try to find it to be sure.