7 Best Bike Rack For Subaru Outback In 2021:[Ultimate Guide]

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

Best Bike Rack For 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 spent a week researching bike racks that would work perfectly for the Subaru Outback

If you’re in a rush…

…the best bike rack for Subaru Outback is the Thule Pro XTR and you can check it out by clicking here! Thule is a top brand and the XTR is the perfect bike rack for the Subaru Outback.

That’s not your only option:

In this article I breakdown 7 bike racks that will make traveling with a bike so much easier!

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

What's In This Guide?

      ★ Our Top Picks At A Glance ★

      Image Product Details
      sample-table__image★ OUR #1 PICK ★Thule T2 Pro XTR
      • 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.
      Check on Amazon
      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.
      Check on Amazon
      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.
      Check on Amazon

      Subaru Outback Bike Rack Reviews

      1. Thule T2 Pro XTR

      When you talk about the top dog of bike racks you won’t find anything better than the Thule T2 Pro XTR!

      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 XTR.

      The Thule T2 Pro XTR has wheels so you can easily roll it up to your car before you put it on. Once you take it off it’s not a pain in the back lugging it into your garage.

      The installation is simple and quick. It only takes a couple of minutes if it’s your first time and you don’t need any tools. You can check out how to install the T2 Pro XTR in the video below

      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 it’s 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’s made with heavier materials to keep your bikes tightly in place for even the craziest drives.    

      You never have to worry about someone stealing your bike rack. The T2 Pro XTR locks to your hitch with a key!

      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.

      2. Saris Freedom Bike Rack

      Saris Freedom Bike Rack
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      The Saris Freedom is the only hitch-mounted bike rack that’s convenient, adjustable, and affordable.

      The Universal Hitch means you can buy this one piece of steel and worry less about finding a converter or adapter to fit your specific needs.

      The rack straps provide low profile security with padding to protect your bike frame.

      This hitch rack is made for two bikes (60 lbs each) that can fit on either side of it, and they don’t even need to be the same size.

      Slide them in no matter what shape or size you have. And there are special wheel trays that adjust between 48in (or lower) to ensure your bike handles will always line up correctly.

      Rather than digging into your bike’s finish like traditional racks do, this model cradles its downtube without damaging it at all!

      It was designed specifically for our active family where there are kids’ bikes as well as adult ones; take comfort knowing this would work for any of them!

      3. 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 a cheap bike rack. Now you’ve lost a bike and damaged another car…

      Man, what a day.

      The Genuine is known for its 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.

      4. Thule ProRide XT Roof Bike Rack

      Thule ProRide XT Bike Rack
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      Park your bike on the Thule ProRide XT easily and securely the next time you go on a trip.

      The Thule ProRide XT will fit any bike you throw at it, is quick and easy to install whether you own a sedan or SUV.

      But, Thule still hasn’t figured out how to make good instruction. The directions make the installation confusing and harder than it needs to be.

      Watch this youtube video below that tells you exactly how to install the ProRide without the horrible instructions


      You can lock your bike to the bike rack and the roof rack to your Subaru. The only downfall is the locks don’t come with the bike rack. But, I highly recommend getting the locks for your own peace of mind.

      It’s even easy enough for you to slide the roof rack to either side of the car without breaking a sweat.

      This makes adding extra roof racks easy. You won’t have to do the extra work of taking the entire roof rack off just add another one.

      5. KAC S4 2” Hitch Mounted Rack

      KAC S4 2” Hitch Mounted Rack 4-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 mess with uninstalling it every time you travel without a bike.

      Do you need to get into your trunk?

      The KAC S4 folds down so any things you have to put into the trunk no matter how big can still fit without you needing to take off the entire bike rack.

      The one major con I found with the KAC S4 is that the lock core isn’t exactly what it says it is. It doesn’t lock the rack to your car it’s just the locking pin that goes into the hitch.

      6. Allen Sports Premier

      Allen Sports Premier 2-Bike Trunk Rack, Model S102, Black
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      The Allen Sports Premier bike rack has the quickest setup 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 Premier bike 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 on 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.

      7. 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 tons of frustrated friends that have overpaid for their bike rack and they didn’t last long either.  

      The Tyger Auto seems to hit a sweet spot of low cost and high 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.

      Ultimate Buyers Guide: Things You Should Consider Before You Buy

      Before you decide to buy a bike rack it’s 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 being 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 your trunk. This 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 to 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?  


      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.


      Can you put a bike rack on a Subaru Outback?

      Yes, you can put any type of bike rack on a Subaru Outback. Roof, trunk, hitch racks all will work with your Subaru Outback.

      What size is a Subaru Outback Hitch?

      Hitch sizes that work for the Subaru Outback are either 1.25 inches or 2 inches. It just depends on what kind of bike rack you get.

      How Many Bikes Can Fit In A Subaru Outback?

      It depends on what type of bike rack you buy. If you only plan on bringing one bike then a roof rack will work because most roof racks only fit one bike. If you are bringing multiple bikes then you’ll need either a hitch or trunk bike rack.

      Can you fit a bike in a Subaru Outback?

      You can fit 2 bikes inside the Subaru Outback if you put the seats down. But, that means you won’t be able to take anything or anyone else with you that can’t fit in the front seat.

      The Bottom Line

      Having that extra room in the car is a major win. Being able to take the family to enjoy a bike in the mountains or having a friend’s day on the bike trails after a cold one after riding makes for amazing memories.

      The Thule T2 Pro XTR is perfect for taking your bikes wherever you plan on going. Your bikes will get there safely and undamaged. And when you aren’t using it you don’t have to worry about taking it off your car.

      Have fun riding and making memories!

      Photo of author
      Bryan Ray is the Co-Founder of The Biking Apex. He's a cyclist and a trainer who loves fitness and loves to teach people how to ride and maintain their bikes and bike accessories.

      The Biking Apex

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