Thule stuff on Yakima bars?

I currently have a Honda with a Thule rack/bars, plus a whole bunch of Thule accessories. I am going to look at a Subaru tomorrow, and the only rack Thule makes for this car has 50" fixed bars. Because I’d like longer bars for hauling two boats, I am thinking about the Yakima option, which allows for longer bars. But will all of my Thule gear (box, canoe brackets, kayak saddles, etc.) fit securely on the Yakima bars?

Thanks for any help!

I think the answer is yes
But Yakima has live people you can call for support questions, which you should do.

Since you have all Thule, you might want to consider something I did (although with Yakima). I had my factory roof rack removed and replaced with a Yakima track setup installed by a rack specialist. I think that Thule has a similar type of track that can be installed, and then you can use the bars you want to. I get three fulls size kayaks on top now (all 16-18 feet, all 22-23 inches wide.)

Here is a link to the type of product that might work.

Most attachments should fit but all attachments rotate on Yakima’s round bars. Thule attachments while rotate more than Yakima’s but I find that they rotate to a position that cradles my kayaks better than if it did not rotate…

I have a subaru, but I don’t understand your question, why would thule only make 50" crossbars for the subaru? Thule crossbars, AFAIK, are the same for any model car, they make a rectangular cross section in 2 lengths, 50" and 58". I have the 58" bar which sticks out from my Outback but they were the same price as the 50" so I figured, if I wanted to, I could always cut them to the size i wanted.

I don’t see why a subaru or any car would prevent you from using 50" or 58" bars, unless your car was sooo wide, the 50" wouldn’t reach the feet. But that wouldn’t be a problem from your Honda or the Subaru.

An Outback comes with their own OEM crossbars but to use the thule crossbars, get the 450 Crossroads, which will allow you to use any length bar you want.

And I use Yakima Makos on my Thule crossbars fine. I also have a set of Thule J-carriers (old style) and some thule fork mounted bike carriers. The caveot with Yakima stuff is you have to remove a part of the mount to mount on Thule bars so once you do that, they will only work for Thule crossbars, unless you buy more feet. I think thule makes feet that will work with both out of the box, something to consider if you have both kinds and expect to use the carrier on both kinds.


The only difference
is the black rings that circle the bars and clamp on when you tighten the bolts. You can buy packages of rings for either style of bar. I trade my stuff back and forth all the time since I have Yakima on one Subaru and Thule on the other Subaru.

Older Versions

– Last Updated: Apr-02-08 1:28 PM EST –

I have the older versions of the Thule H2Go Saddles and HydroGlides and they will not fit on the round bars. Thule has designed the newer versions of these with different mounting brackets to fit the round bars but you cannot put new parts on the older versions to make them fit.

450 will not work.
Not all Subaru’s have an elevated longitudinal rail. Several of them are molded to the car roof which doesn’t allow the strap of the 450 Crossroads to pass through anything. I bet the Yakima fit is calling for the Locking EZ Rider and Thule only has a specialty kit, the 440, for this style of factory rack attachment.

Will they fit? Yes and no. Your gunnel brackets will not work. Your kayak saddles will attach to the bars, but rotate horribly. I’ve tried to use the Thule Hydro-Glide on Yakima bars, but the kayak wouldn’t glide across the saddle. It caused the saddle to rotate on the bar. I switched to Yakima Hully Rollers in the back and kept my Set to Gos in front. I have never cared for Yakima’s Mako saddles. You’ll have better success if you are using Thule “J” cradles. Your box will definitely work. No issues there. Some Thule bike accessories work on Yakima, but depends on age and style.

only applicable for yakima accessories
Ranger has Thule accessories. Only Yakima accessories are transplantable with different Snap Arounds.

Thule J-Cradles
I have two sets of J-Cradles for transporting kayaks on their side, that are used on the car’s Thule racks.

But, they also work fine on my truck, which has Yakima bars. As others have pointed out, they will rotate on the round bars, but not when a boat is strapped to them. I imagine the same thing could be true for canoe brackets, if you can get them around the bar.

Here’s an idea…take your accessories to the local mall, look for a vehicle with Yakima racks, check for any onlookers, and then try them on for a fit. If they fit, you know you can get the Yakima bars with no worries.


You could have fooled me
Here I’ve been swapping both and didn’t know it couldn’t be done.


Yes for newer Thule parts
We are living mostly Yakima again at this point, having gone back to the old style stackers. But have a box of saddles etc from Thule that also fit on the Yakima rails. The longer Yakima rails do make life much easier.