We're an affiliate!
We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page with no extra costs to you. Thank you if you use our links, we really appreciate it!
Have you ever tried shoving your bike into the back of your Subaru Outback?
It’s spacious and shouldn’t be too hard…
That’s why you got the car in the first place. But what about 2, 3, or even more? It’s like trying to fit together a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.
Who’s got the time? I know I don’t and neither do you.
I highly recommend checking out the Thule Pro XT on Amazon! Thule is a top brand and the XT is a top of the product.
Table of Contents
- 1 ★ Our Top Picks At A Glance ★
- 2 Best Bike Rack For Subaru Outback: Our Top Choices For 2020
- 3 Buyers Guide
- 4 Added Benefits of Having a Bike Rack
★ Our Top Picks At A Glance ★
|Thule T2 Pro XT||Check on Amazon|
|SUBARU Genuine SOA567B020||Check on Amazon|
|Hollywood Racks Traveler||Check on Amazon|
|Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe||Check on Amazon|
|Allen Sports Premier||Check on Amazon|
Best Bike Rack For Subaru Outback: Our Top Choices For 2020
- Thule T2 Pro XT– best bike rack for Subaru Outback
- SUBARU Genuine SOA567B020– best roof rack for Subaru Outback
- Hollywood Racks Traveler– best hitch bike rack for Subaru Outback
- Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe– best trunk bike rack for Subaru Outback
- Allen Sports Premier– best affordable bike rack for Subaru Outback
Thule T2 Pro XT
This well built hitch-mounted bike rack accommodates up to 60 pounds for each individual bike. This will allow you to carry heavy models for longer drives.
It has a two-way folding that stops accessibility issues. You can either fold it when not in use or tilt it away from your car while it’s loaded so you can still pop the hatch open.
Although it’s equipped with two slots, you can buy an extension that allows you to carry an extra two bikes.
It’s an awesome perk being able to drop the extra weight if you’re not riding with a big group.
This thing is downright rugged. It’s made with heavier materials to keep your bikes tightly in place for even the craziest drives.
The flimsy lock included with the T2 is a bummer. It might seem like this feature implies security.
But, slender cable locks like the one on this unit are no threat to bike thieves. The Thule T2 is sound, but the lock shouldn’t be a selling point.
Bottom line, this rack is a serious piece of equipment and well worth the investment.
It’s also a perfect fit for the Subaru Outback if you have a hitch rack receiver.
SUBARU Genuine SOA567B020
Coming in at one pound, this light rack is great for getting an amazing fuel economy when driving a car that’s already weighed down with the rest of your stuff.
One thing that had me excited is its locking mechanism. Most of the locks I’ve seen offered with bike racks are cheap wire locks that don’t do much in the way of keeping your bike safe.
The Subaru Genuine has a keyed device that locks your forks into the racks itself, making a difficult task for anyone with the ill intention of stealing your bike.
This one stands out among other roof-mounted racks as being one of the most enduring.
As you can imagine, a bike hoisted upon your roof is more vulnerable to gusts of wind than if it were secured behind the car.
Some roof racks have an issue with holding bikes too loosely, allowing them to rattle around. The Genuine is known for a firm grip that eliminates extra wear and tear.
What if you 2 bikes?
The real weak point of this bike rack is that it only carries a single bike. The bars on the roof of your Outback sedan do have enough room to install 2 bikes if you need to.
But, the cost of many racks would add up. This wouldn’t be the most affordable option if you plan on carrying more than one bike.
Because this was specifically made for the Subaru Outback it’s a perfect fit. And you won’t need to purchase any additional attachments.
Hollywood Racks Traveler
This hitch bike rack makes an easy task of carpooling with its ability to hold up to 4 bikes.
If you have a family or a lot of friends and you need to bring 4 bikes this bike rack is perfect for you!
An unfortunate downside to a hitch rack is the ones worth your time are often in the higher price range.
The cost of this one is comparable to its more affordable trunk-mounted bike rack counterparts.
It’s great for those of us who want the convenience and stability of a hitch-mounted rack without breaking the bank.
It also has an awesome feature that allows you to fold it inward when it’s not being used, so you won’t have to fret with uninstalling it every time you travel without a bike.
The one major con I found with the Hollywood Traveler is that it may not fit every bike you need it to.
Some styles of bicycle frames could need a top-tube adapter to fit. This is a problem if you ride an irregular frame and don’t want to be forced into buying accessories.
Also, the rubber holding straps have a reputation for not being durable. With limited elasticity, there is a chance you’ll soon find yourself needing to replace them.
Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe
Sticking to a budget?
This is the most affordable bike rack and has a great reputation for competitive quality with the more expensive products
Making it a strong contender as a safe investment for your first rack.
I have a lot of frustrated friends that have overpaid for their bike rack and they didn’t last long.
The Tyger Auto seems to hit a sweet spot of low cost and integrity.
The padded contact points on this rack are a forgiving feature that dodges the possibility of scuffing your car’s exterior. Scraping is always a concern.
But, this one does the job without having to resort to modifying the pads with tape.
In combination with the fact that it’s completely assembled at purchase, the quick-install design reduces setup and makes it a breeze to get out and ride.
One shortcoming the stuck out about the Tyger Auto is the metal hardware that holds it together.
The metal isn’t galvanized, which means that it risks developing rust easily. Especially if you live in a humid climate.
If affordability is one of your main concerns, this option is a great way to show mercy to your wallet without having to sacrifice quality.
Allen Sports Premier
This bike rack has the quickest set up on my list. It’s designed to snap into place as soon as you take it out of the box.
I’m a fan because a lot of racks have a complex set up process that requires tools. It’s a bummer to mess around with when you’re itching to get on the road.
A common problem of the trunk-mounted bike rack style is the contact pads.
The bike rack rests against the back of your car and could cause damage if you aren’t careful.
Piling on the weight of a few bicycles is a good way to collect dents.
This rack answers the problem with wider pads that distribute the load. Saving your bumper from any abuse.
I’m impressed with the durability of the holding straps on this product.
Other racks I looked into had issues with straps that would become brittle. Once that happens they are bad at keeping them in place.
This Allen Sports rack holds tight for a long time so you can embark on lengthy road trips with a calm mind.
The wider contact pads aren’t perfect. They’re made of a rough material that can put some nasty scratches in your paint job.
While this is fixed by covering the pads with tape or foam, the possible need to augment may make this rack less than ideal if you want something that functions the moment you receive it.
This bike rack is perfect for just one bike all the way up to 4 bikes!
It’s one of the best racks for transporting mountain bikes.
All in all, this rack is an appealing crossroads of functionality, reliability, and reasonable cost
Before you decide to buy a bike rack its important to answer a few questions. This will make the process much easier.
You will be able to find the perfect rack for your needs. Continue reading to find out how to choose your perfect bike rack!
Do You Need A Bike Rack?
I spent most of my early twenties glued to my bike.
Living in a big city where two wheels got me everywhere made life simple. Sometimes I’d find myself in situations where a friend with a bike rack was a saving grace.
Even though I’d set life up for my bike to be king, it was impossible to avoid situations where it was dead useful.
Whether you’re exploring the hills with your riding buddies or rescued from a flat tire, having a bike rack can open the door.
You have to consider what you want to do with your bike. Are you happy to ride around your neighborhood, or are more distant spots calling your name?
One of the best things about having a hatchback is the ability to fold your rear seats to create open storage.
You can put your bikes in that space. If your trip has two people or more it will make your life easier.
How to Choose the Best Bike Rack for You
You might expect with anything you buy, there is a lot of different features you can find.
What style should you get?
There are three common kinds of racks you’re likely to come across when finding the right fit for your Outback:
- Roof mounted bike racks
- Trunk mounted bike racks
- Hitch mount bike racks
Any of these varieties will have their benefits and downfalls.
For example, roof racks may not be ideal for someone who would have trouble lifting their bike above the car. People with limited mobility like to favor the hitch and trunk mounted racks for this reason.
Hitch Mount Bike Rack
Hitch bike racks are one of the best bike racks for the Subaru Outback. They allow you to still get into you trunk. Which is great because that’s just extra room to bring what you need.
These racks are more heavy duty and can fit larger bikes. They usually require 2 people to install because they are heavier.
If you don’t plan on using the bike rack it conveniently folds up so it’s out the way.
With all the good comes some bad. Because they are so heavy they can hurt your gas mileage just a bit.
Also hitch racks block your license plate and you can get pulled over in some states. Just make sure to check your local laws.
All in all, this style of bike rack is a solid choice and won’t disappoint. Because most of these bike racks are made from heavy duty material you can be sure your bike will be safe.
Roof Bike Racks
Roof bike racks are another great option for transporting your bike. Many people actually prefer to go this route.
The most convenient roof bike racks are the ones that don’t make you take the front wheel off. Roof bike racks are much lighter than hitch bike racks.
But this bike rack can cause you to get worse gas mileage but not as bad as a hitch bike rack.
They are super simple to install and should only take a few minutes.
One major downside of this bike rack is having to lift your bike over your head and onto the roof. If you aren’t strong enough this can be a struggle.
Trunk Mount Bike Racks
Trunk bike racks are the most beginner friendly bike racks you can find. If you are looking for a bike rack that you aren’t going to use often I would go with this option.
They are quick and easy to install. They come pre-assembled and if you don’t want use it, you can easily remove it from your car.
They fold up nicely and can be stored in your garage.
One downside of this bike is that it also blocks your license plate. Also, beware of the cheaper bike racks because they aren’t made of good material.
Will You Be Carrying Multiple Bikes?
How many do you need to carry? Would a single roof rack do the trick? Or are you more likely to carpool with people who’ll need a few extra spots?
Some Are Better For Heavy Lifting
It’s a good idea to consider the weight of the bikes you’ll be carrying. Driving with a couple of light road bikes?
A simple rack with a limit of 60 pounds will hold you over fine.
If you have an electric bike, fat, or beach cruiser, you’ll need something sturdier.
Will Your Tires Fit?
Another thing to think about with the size of your bike….
This isn’t an issue for the slim tires of a road bike. But, any cycle with a chunkier set of rubber will need a rack that will fit your tires.
This won’t stop you from using a trunk mounted rack that hangs a bicycle by its frame.
If you want one that cradles the wheels, you’ll need to make sure the wheel mounts are big enough to hold thicker tires.
Added Benefits of Having a Bike Rack
When you get down to it, a bike rack isn’t about saving space in your car.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to stuff my bike into hatchbacks, trunks, and back seats.
Did it get the job done?
But this isn’t to say the outcome was always awesome.
Every time I jammed my bike into a random space, something was bound to get screwed up when the drive was over.
The derailleur (the device that shifts gears) might skip. The brake pads got thrown out of place.
Not to mention, no one is ever happy to find an imprint of chain grease smeared across their seats.
A good rack can be an effective way to keep your bike and car in good shape.