5 Best Bike Rack For Subaru Outback In 2020:[Ultimate Guide]

by Bryan Ray | Last Updated: April 21, 2019

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Best Bike Rack For Subaru Outback

Have you ever tried shoving your bike into the back of your Subaru Outback?

It’s spacious and shouldn’t be too hard…

…right?  

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 spent a week researching bike racks that would work perfectly for the Subaru Outback

If your in a rush…

I highly recommend checking out the Thule Pro XT on Amazon! Thule is a top brand and the XT is the perfect solution for the Subaru Outback.

That’s not your only option:

In this article I breakdown 5 bike racks that will making traveling with a bike so much easier!

Keep reading so you can make traveling with a bike a breeze!

★ Our Top Picks At A Glance ★

Image Product Details
sample-table__image★ OUR #1 PICK ★Thule T2 Pro XT
  • Attaches to the car without using tools.
  • Has a built-in lock so your bike can't get stolen.
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sample-table__imageSUBARU Genuine SOA567B020
  • Made specifically for the Subaru! Super lightweight to help with fuel economy!
  • Keep bikes secured to the roof even during long cross country road trips.
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sample-table__imageFamily ChoiceHollywood Racks Traveler
  • Great for the family! Can easily hold up to 5 bikes!
  • The rack tilts down for easy access to your trunk.
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sample-table__imageAllen Sports Premier
  • The patented quick snap design makes the set up quick and easy!
  • The extra-large car pad will help protect your paint job and prevent dents by evenly distributing the weight of your bike.
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sample-table__imageBudget WinnerTyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe
  • Comes 100% assembled! Very easy to install!
  • The padded bars and hooks will protect your paint job around your trunk.
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Best Bike Rack For Subaru Outback: Our Top Choices For 2020

  1. Thule T2 Pro XT– best bike rack for Subaru Outback
  2. SUBARU Genuine SOA567B020– best roof rack for Subaru Outback
  3. Hollywood Racks Traveler– best hitch bike rack for Subaru Outback
  4. Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe– best trunk bike rack for Subaru Outback
  5. Allen Sports Premier– best affordable bike rack for Subaru Outback

1. Thule T2 Pro XT

Our #1 Pick
Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
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When you talk about the top dog of bike racks you won’t find anything better than the Thule T2 Pro XT!

Thule’s been doing this since 1942 so you can trust you’re in good hands.

Have you ever put your bikes on the rack and realized you forgot to pack up the trunk.

I can’t even repeat the words that have come out my mouth when that happens.

This will never happen with the Thule T2 Pro XT.

The whole rack can sway away while your bikes are on it. I love the fact that you can still get into the trunk.

The bike rack also folds up while its on your car. This is great for two reasons:

  1. You don’t have take it off your car when you aren’t using it.
  2. Cars are less likely to hit your new Thule.

This hitch-mounted bike rack is heavy-duty and long-lasting! It holds up to 60 pounds for each bike.

The Thule is great for long road trips too!

It comes with two spots for your bikes but don’t worry if you need more check out the extension on Amazon!

The extension lets you take two more bikes with you on your trip.

If you don’t need the extension for your trip is super easy to just drop the extra weight.  

This thing is downright solid!

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 real bummer. You would be better off buying a separate lock

Bottom line, this rack is a serious piece of equipment and worth it!

It’s also a perfect fit for the Subaru Outback if you have a hitch rack receiver.

 Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. SUBARU Genuine SOA567B020

Genuine Subaru SOA567B020
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The SUBARU Genuine is the only bike rack I found that was made specifically for the Outback.

You won’t find a roof rack lighter than the Genuine. This rack weighs 1 pound! Find a rack lighter I’ll wait.

It’s so light you won’t have any problem putting it on your roof. Plus it won’t weigh your car down so you’ll get your normal gas mileage.

According to www.markelinsurance.com/, 188,500 bikes get stolen each year in the U.S. Words can’t describe how mad I would be if my bike was stolen.

I was super excited to see just how good the locks were on the Subaru Genuine. Most locks that come with bike racks are cheap wire locks that don’t do much to keep your bike safe.

The Subaru Genuine has a keyed device that locks your forks into the racks itself, making it almost impossible for anyone trying to steal your bike.

Talk about a sense of security….

…Imagine a bike taking flight on the road because of you know what bike rack. Now you’ve lost a bike and damaged another car…

Man what a day.

The Genuine is known for security while driving. Your bikes aren’t going anywhere.

What if you 2 bikes?

The only real downside is that it only carries a single bike. Fortunately, the roof of your Outback sedan has enough room to put 2 bikes if you need to.

But, the cost of many racks would add up.

Because this was specifically made for the Subaru Outback it’s a perfect fit. And you won’t need to purchase any additional attachments.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Hollywood Racks Traveler

#1 Family Choice
Hollywood Racks Traveler Hitch Mounted Bike Rack
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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.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. Allen Sports Premier

Allen Sports Premier 2-Bike Trunk Rack
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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 but…

…no tools are are required for this set up.

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.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe

Budget winner
Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe 3-Bike Trunk Mount Bicycle Rack
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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.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Ultimate Buyers Guide: Things You Should Consider Before You Buy

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?  

Subaru Outback

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:

  1. Roof mounted bike racks
  2. Trunk mounted bike racks
  3. 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….  

Tire size!  

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?  

Yep.  

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.

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