Subaru Crosstrek Roof Rack: Essential Features and Product Review

Last updated on February 16, 2024

Dive into this comprehensive review of Subaru Crosstrek roof rack because it not only fuels your adventurous spirit but also accommodates your gear effectively.

Key takeaways:

  • Compatibility with Subaru Crosstrek models: Check manufacturer’s specifications for fit.
  • Installation process: Follow manufacturer’s instructions for a secure fit.
  • Weight capacity: Max weight ranges from 150 to 165 pounds.
  • Choosing between aero and round crossbar sets: Consider priorities.
  • Accessory compatibility: Choose accessories that match the rack system’s design.

Compatibility With Subaru Crosstrek Models

compatibility with subaru crosstrek models

When selecting a roof rack for your Subaru Crosstrek, it’s vitally important to ensure compatibility with your specific vehicle model and year. Most roof racks are designed to match the factory mounting points on your Crosstrek, which may vary slightly from year to year.

Before making a purchase, check the manufacturer’s specifications against your Crosstrek’s production year. Typically, Subaru offers OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) roof racks that are a perfect fit for the Crosstrek models, covering a broad range of years, from the vehicle’s introduction to the latest models on the market.

Additionally, for Crosstreks outfitted with side rails, it’s crucial to select crossbar options that are designed to attach securely to these features. Ensure that the product description explicitly states compatibility with side rails if your vehicle has them.

Keep in mind that aftermarket options are also available and often provide compatibility with a wide array of models; however, confirming the fit with the aftermarket manufacturer or distributor is always recommended to avoid any unwanted surprises post-purchase.

Installation of Subaru Roof Rack Systems

installation of subaru roof rack systems

Installing a roof rack system on a Subaru Crosstrek is a straightforward process that typically requires no drilling or modifications to the vehicle. Here are some points to guide you through the installation:

  • Begin by reading the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to familiarize yourself with the components and tools needed.
  • Open the Crosstrek’s doors to access the roof, as most factory attachment points are located near the door frames.
  • Identify the preset mounting points on the vehicle’s roof, which are designed to ensure a secure fit for the roof rack system.
  • Assemble the components of the roof rack on the ground first. Attach the foot packs and crossbars before lifting the assembly onto the car’s roof.
  • Place the assembled rack onto the mounting points and hand-tighten the clamps or bolts to secure the bars in place without over-torquing.
  • Check all connections for security once the rack is attached, and ensure the system’s alignment is centered and balanced.
  • If your rack includes a locking mechanism, ensure it is engaged to prevent theft or accidental detachment.
  • Finally, it’s advisable to perform a pull test on the rack to certify it’s affixed securely and to re-check the system after the first 50-100 miles of driving to ensure that it remains tightly fastened.

By following these steps, you can install your Subaru Crosstrek roof rack system safely and be ready for your adventure.

Weight Capacity and Load Limitations

Understanding the weight capacity and load limitations of a Subaru Crosstrek roof rack is crucial for safe and efficient use. Each rack system is designed to support a maximum weight, typically ranging between 150 to 165 pounds, which includes the rack itself and the cargo. Overloading can lead to vehicle instability and potential damage to the roof or the items being transported.

It’s important to distribute the weight evenly across the crossbars to maintain the vehicle’s center of gravity. The load should also be securely fastened to prevent shifting, which might affect handling characteristics during transit. Always check the Subaru Crosstrek owner’s manual or with the roof rack manufacturer for the specific weight limits pertinent to your model and roof rack system before loading up for your next adventure.

Choosing Between Aero and Round Cross Bar Sets

When selecting a roof rack for your Subaru Crosstrek, deciding between aero and round crossbar sets hinges on assessing your priorities. Aero bars offer a streamlined shape that reduces drag and wind noise, making them a quiet and fuel-efficient choice for highway driving. They tend to have a modern look that integrates well with the vehicle’s design.

On the other hand, round crossbars may generate more wind noise and resistance but are often less expensive and have a broader compatibility range with various accessories. If you plan to frequently change out attachments or carry uniquely shaped gear, round bars might be the more versatile option.

It’s also worth noting that aero bars are generally built with integrated T-slots, which allow for easy mounting of accessories. Considering these factors will guide you to the roof rack that best suits your needs for utility and performance.

Benefits of the Subaru Crossbar Kit – Hybrid

The Subaru Crossbar Kit – Hybrid offers multiple advantages for Crosstrek owners looking to enhance their vehicle’s cargo-carrying capabilities. Its lightweight design combines aluminum and reinforced nylon components, delivering a sturdy yet sleek addition to your vehicle’s roof.

The hybrid design translates to increased durability, capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions and the rigors of road travel.

These crossbars provide flexibility for the attachment of various accessories, from bike racks to cargo carriers, facilitating a range of outdoor activities.

Thanks to their low-profile construction, they minimize wind resistance, potentially aiding in maintaining fuel efficiency.

Furthermore, the integrated locking system boosts security, ensuring that both the crossbars and your attached gear remain safe.

Impact On Vehicle Performance and Fuel Efficiency

A roof rack can alter your Subaru Crosstrek’s aerodynamics, leading to a modest increase in wind resistance. This can result in a slight decrease in fuel economy, with reports indicating a potential impact of up to 2-8% in highway driving conditions.

The effect is largely dependent on the load carried and how it is secured. To mitigate this, it’s advisable to distribute weight evenly and streamline the setup as much as possible when using the rack. Additionally, when not in use, consider removing the rack to restore your vehicle’s original aerodynamic profile, thus optimizing fuel efficiency.

Regular checks ensure that the rack is securely attached, minimizing drag and any possible impacts on vehicle handling.

Accessory Compatibility With Subaru Crosstrek Roof Racks

Subaru Crosstrek roof racks are designed with versatility in mind, accommodating a range of accessories to tailor the vehicle’s cargo-carrying capabilities to your needs. Whether you’re planning to transport bikes, kayaks, snowboards, or extra luggage, there are specific mounts and carriers you can attach directly to the roof rack.

When selecting accessories, it’s essential to consider the crossbar type—some are best suited for Subaru’s genuine Aero bars, while others fit universal round bars. To ensure secure attachment and compatibility, opt for accessories that match the rack system’s design and are endorsed by Subaru.

It’s also important to take note of the maximum weight capacity indicated by the manufacturer. Overloading accessories may lead to poor vehicle handling and increase the risk of accidents or damage to your vehicle.

Some popular accessory categories include:

  • Bike racks: Available in roof-mounted or hitch-mounted options.
  • Ski and snowboard carriers: Designed to hold several skis or boards securely during transit.
  • Cargo carriers: Including roof boxes and baskets for additional protected storage space.
  • Kayak and canoe carriers: Featuring tie-downs and padding to protect the gear and car roof.

To integrate these accessories seamlessly, many utilize the T-track system built into Subaru Aero bars, allowing for easy adjustment and installation without the need for additional tools.

Remember, it’s important to regularly check the attachment of all accessories to the roof rack, especially prior to long trips or when carrying heavy loads, to ensure everything remains secure and stable.

Maintenance and Care for Subaru Crosstrek Roof Racks

Maintaining your Subaru Crosstrek roof rack ensures its longevity and safety. Regularly inspect for any signs of wear or damage, particularly after extended or heavy use.

Clean the rack with soapy water and avoid harsh chemicals that may corrode the metal or weaken plastic components. Tighten bolts and fasteners periodically, as vibration from driving can cause loosening over time. Lubricate locks and moving parts to keep them functioning smoothly.

When not in use for extended periods, consider removing the roof rack to reduce exposure to environmental elements. Always consult your owner’s manual for specific care instructions tailored to your model’s roof rack system.

Warranty and Manufacturer Support for Subaru Roof Racks

Subaru provides a warranty for its genuine roof rack accessories, ensuring that any defects in material or workmanship are covered under normal use, during the warranty period. This period typically coincides with the vehicle’s standard warranty, though it’s essential to consult your specific model’s documentation for exact terms.

Additionally, Subaru’s customer support offers guidance on installation, use, and care for your roof rack system. Should issues arise, authorized dealers can assist with warranty service or accessory replacement, simplifying the process for Subaru Crosstrek owners.

It’s important to note that third-party racks may not be supported by Subaru’s warranty, underscoring the benefit of opting for OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) equipment. If you’re planning to carry heavy or oversized cargo, checking warranty details beforehand provides peace of mind, ensuring you’re making an informed investment in your vehicle’s cargo management system.

Considerations for Aerodynamics and Noise Reduction

When selecting a roof rack for your Subaru Crosstrek, it’s essential to consider the aerodynamics to avoid drag that can lead to increased fuel consumption. Sleeker designs that align well with the vehicle’s contours can significantly reduce wind resistance. Additionally, noise can be a concern at higher speeds.

Here are some points to help minimize both issues:

  • Opt for Aerodynamic Shapes: Aero bars typically offer better aerodynamics than round or square bars, which can help decrease wind noise while driving.
  • Integrate Wind Deflectors: These devices, when attached in front of your rack setup, can streamline airflow over your vehicle and reduce the likelihood of whistling and buffeting sounds.
  • Consider Rubberized Strips: Many modern roof racks include rubber strips that fill the slots in the bars, reducing wind noise.
  • Proper Installation: Ensure the rack is correctly mounted. An improperly attached rack can contribute to unnecessary noise and drag.
  • Regular Maintenance: Keep the rack and all its components tight and in good repair. Loose parts can vibrate and whistle.

By keeping these considerations in mind, your roof rack can serve its purpose without greatly affecting your driving experience.


Does Crosstrek come with roof rack?

Yes, the Crosstrek does come with a roof rack system.

How much weight can a Crosstrek hold on roof?

The roof of a Crosstrek can hold up to 700 pounds, considering both the tent and its occupants.

What is the weight limit on a Subaru roof rack?

The dynamic weight capacity of a Subaru roof rack is 176 lbs when driving, but this limit increases to 650 lbs when the vehicle is parked.

Is a Subaru Crosstrek a high clearance vehicle?

The Subaru Crosstrek, being a Subaru SUV, has a substantial ground clearance of 8.7 inches.

What are some recommended roof racks for a Subaru Crosstrek?

Some recommended roof racks for a Subaru Crosstrek include the Thule WingBar Evo Crossbars, the CargoLoc Roof Top Aluminum Cross Bars, and the Rhino-Rack Vortex Aero Roof Rack.

How does the installation process of a roof rack on Subaru Crosstrek look like?

The installation process of a roof rack on a Subaru Crosstrek involves positioning the rack on the roof, fastening the clamps to the vehicle’s side rails and tightening securely with a wrench.

Are there specific precautions to take while loading items on a Subaru Crosstrek’s roof rack?

Yes, while loading items on a Subaru Crosstrek’s roof rack, ensure the weight is distributed evenly and does not exceed the maximum load limit of 150 pounds.