Yakima Whispbar rack system

Anyone have actual experience with this rack system. Are you happy with it? Will my old yakima round bar accessories fit this rack?

Thinking about doing the same
I have saddles up front and they look like they will fit on the airfoil, hulley rollers wont!

Afte a lot of reading and talking
with the local dealer - Onion River Sports - I am beginning to think that the Whispbar system is not for me. It is nice for sure, but it is expensive and from what I am told not as versatile as the old standby round bars. I think it is aimed at the BMW and Lexus crowd with the emphasis on styling rather than function. Also, my sense is that the Whispbar racks do not come on and off the roof as easily as the round bar system and that is a factor for me.

I’m still thinking on it - love to hear from some folks that have experience with Whispbar.

Thule and Yakima
I have had both Yakima and Thule systems - round/square and Areo

Aero Blades (Thule) and or Whisbars (Yakima) are great for the right reason. As to what you are holding and or how far you travel… there are lots of options - I will say - they are A LOT Quieter.

As to how they come on and off of your car… I would not say that they are any different - alot has to do with what car and what system.

The expense “$$” will come when you buy adapters for the areo system from you exciting round bar parts.

I’ve had 20+ years of experience with Thule and Yakima bars with all manner of attachments, and they are fine for their intended purpose. That said, I have Whispbar racks on my Lexus CT200h: Lexus’ version of the Prius, which I bought because it fits me better than the Prius. Compared to the Yakima racks, the Whispbars are more solidly attached to the car; cause very little wind noise; don’t require a fairing; and keep J cradles, saddles and rollers stably attached w/o rotating. IMO, they are a meaningful improvement over round bars but not so much so that if I was on a budget I’d feel compelled to go with the Whispbar system. You’ll be happy with either one, but the Whispbar is a better mousetrap.

user review of Whispbar
I used to sell Yakima and Thule round/square bars and I always thought they were rather agricultural set ups.

Noise was certainly a problem and never liked them that much.

Then I discovered Whispbar (that’s before Yakima bought the company) and have been very satisfied since.

There is NO noise and the T slot is way better than having to bolt on accessories to transport kayaks.

For a full review with images: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/review-best-roof-rack.html

Do you guys leave
the whispbars on the roof full time? If you wanted to take the cross bars off during the week and put them on for the weekends - would the whispbars be as easy as the round bar clamp system to come on and off?

I leave them on all the time. Since there negligible noise and/or impact on gas mileage, no reason to take them off…

Current setups are: J cradles, stackers, saddles and hully rollers, foam blocks, and Thule cargo box. They all go on and off without much fuss but the bars stay put…

leave on car
I leave my Whispbar on the car all the time as I don’t hear no noise at all.

It was one of the reason I went for Whispbar as I didn’t want the hassle of taking them off when not transporting kayaks. I also leave my cradles on since I mainly (slow) drive in the city during the working week but take the cradles off if I go on long (300 miles+) journey.

Again, no noise from the cradles.

My previous “aero” bars (Rola, on a different car) where rather noisy at highway speed.

If you were to take the bars
off and on - is it a screwdriver type of activity or is it just a matter of opening and closing a clamp by hand like the round bar system.

removing Whispbar
removing Whispbar roof racks from the car varies on the set up used.

As Whispbar (through-bar) is modular and one set of bars will work on all cars (of approx same width) the bars are typically held on the roof by door clips.

I am not a fan of those flimsy clips (regardless of brand) and prefer a permanent “bolt-on” style (see my write up in earlier post) where there is no chance of roof rack coming off the roof accidentally.

Whispbar offers the best low profile (unobtrusive) “landing pad” in the industry that is permanently bolted onto the sheet metal of the roof of my car.

The pad is about the size of two dimes!

To remove my rack I need to open the little locked security cover and with my thumb spin the thumb wheel to free the tower/bar set up.

I guess it would take me about a minute per tower.

No screwdrivers and no tools, just the key to unlock the security flap.

Other styles are available for factory mounted roof rails or roof bars. I don’t know the specifics of those but I am sure you can find install details in the web and make your own decision/conclusion.

Video of noise test

Permanent mount

– Last Updated: Jan-11-14 9:02 AM EST –

is interesting and I have been considering that. I do not have the skill to do the mount myself and I have no clue who might be able to do it in my area. I know a good body shop - maybe I'll check and see if they have done it before. Not sure I want mine to be the car they experiment on.

Remove Bar
It is basically the same as the Yakima system: you have to loosen a tensioning bolt and then remove the clip, but IMO there’s no reason to do so. I like the idea of a permanent attachment and considered it, but the system is so solid–much better than my Yakima bar–that I’ve just left it on and don’t worry about it…