Roof racks for Canoe - 05 Outback


Experienced canoeist/owner looking for experienced feedback on good canoe roof racks. 2005 Outback, so it has the factory Subaru side rails. I’m not flush right now but got to get something good up there to carry 16 footers coz I’m going nuts to get on the water. For many years had a Thule with the “canoe ends” on my old Soob. Starting from scratch now.

Round bars (Yakima) make no sense to me - tell me if I’m wrong. Just wanting to know what works well for those of you Outback folks. Will have to look secondhand – am on a low budget. Thanks - az

Funny thing about roof racks
I have had a few Thule and Yakima Racks. Round bars work just fine and if you use stackers or j cradles the Round bars let you rotate them to fit the boat rocker better or even rotate them down to fit in a parking garage. With square bars you cannot do this.

For a canoe I have used both and saw no different except that Yakima has been better to me about supporting old products with spare parts when they have been lost.

We have round bars
On the 07 Subaru Outback and the 03 Sable wagon. Haven’t experienced any problem due to their roundness carrying up to four kayaks, a canoe, kayaks and bike using rollers and saddles, stackers or just a lot of strapping (the canoe since I never got the blocks). (with bow lines) It might expand your list of available setups to consider it.

Yakima Rail Grab System
Thanks all.

Question: is the Yakima Rail Grab System car-specific? Or is there (1) version that fits pretty much most cars with the factory side rails? I’m looking for used ones, which is why I’m asking.

Yakima Rail Grab

– Last Updated: Jul-22-13 9:32 AM EST –

They are made to fit pretty much all rails. I have them on my '08 Outback and they work great. The set comes with several different size hooks to fit rails of different thicknesses (three sizes, if I remember correctly). Mine came with the smallest ones attached and they fit my rails perfectly.

Yakima Rail Grabbers

– Last Updated: Jul-22-13 12:05 PM EST –

We don't have a Subaru but have the older version of Rail Grabbers on our 2010 Dodge Journey. I know ours would fit anything except the extra large bars like the Nissan Exterra.

I had Thule racks for years and switched to Yakima to fit the Journey a little cheaper. Ended up getting Yakima for the truck too. Have been very happy with Yakima. Recently I broke a bolt on the truck's Yakima. Called them and spoke with someone right away who spoke English. They sent me the whole piece with 4 new bolts for FREE. I didn't ask for it for free, but the Yakima rep said "We don't sell the bolts separately but that's not your fault so I'll just send you the whole attachment." Very impressed with them!

Here's a pic of the Rail Grabbers we have. We actually found the older, discontinued model at a discount on E-bay from a bike shop in Iron Mountain, Michigan. We can leisurely take them off in a few minutes.

Hook sizes
So if I buying them 2nd hand from someone - who likely will not have my car model - would I be able to get the correct “hook size” from Yakima - do ya think?

Hook sizes and Bar length
Don’t know if I replied incorrectly but hope that someone will answer my “hook size” question above (I think.)

And: on the Yakima site, they list 48" bars for my Outback. Is that the only size that y’all would recommend? thank you!

Hook sizes and bars

– Last Updated: Jul-23-13 10:24 PM EST –

I think you can probably get replacement parts from Yakima if the original owner lost the rest of the set. I believe Yakima is pretty good about that. Check out their website.

As far as bar length, I have 48" bars on my Outback and they are a good fit for me. The bar length is all about what you need to carry. I can carry a sea kayak on saddles and a solo canoe side by side. If you want to carry two wide tandem canoes, you will need longer bars. They will stick out pretty far, though. My 48s look pretty wide on that narrow roof, but it's not bad.