Why a Roof Rack is a Must-Have for Subaru Outback Owners -:Complete Guide

Are you looking to get the most out of your Subaru Outback? Look no further than a roof rack! This helpful guide will explain why it’s essential, and how to choose the right fit for your car.

With a roof rack, you can take all the gear you need wherever your Subaru takes you. So, ready to take your Outback on an adventure? Let’s get started!

The Subaru Outback is one of the most popular vehicles for outdoor adventurers, capable of taking you where few other cars dare to go. But in order to make full use of the car’s off-road capabilities, it demands an accessory that not every vehicle does: a roof rack.

A roof rack allows your Subaru Outback to expand its already-substantial cargo capacity so you can take all the gear you need for your next adventure. In this guide, we’ll explore why a roof rack is a must-have for Subaru Outback owners and how to choose the right one for your needs. With this knowledge, you can make sure that your Subaru Outback is prepared for whatever journey awaits it!

Factors to consider when choosing a roof rack for Subaru Outback

When choosing the perfect roof rack for your Subara Outback, there are a few essential factors to consider in order to make sure you select the most suitable product for your vehicle. Check out the following points to get you started:

  1. Dimensions: The first factor when selecting a roof rack for Subaru Outback is size. Make sure you measure both inside and outside of your car’s roof dimensions so that you select a rack which fits properly.
  2. Weight Capacity: Keep your car’s weight capacity in mind when selecting a roof rack –– overweight racks are dangerous and can cause serious damage to your car over time. Ensure you pick something that is strong enough to carry your gear without putting too much strain on the vehicle itself.
  3. Durability: Investing in a quality and well-made roof rack prevents any possible structural failure or damage caused by long-term exposure to outdoor elements such as wind, rain and snow. Choose one which is designed using strong, quality materials that can withstand wet weather or harsh climates well –– this will increase its longevity considerably!
  4. Mounting System Compatibility: It’s also important to make sure that the mounting system of the roof rack matches up with the type of mounting system used on your Subaru Outback (i.e., if it has crossbars or tracks). Ensure it meets all necessary safety standards before making any final decisions!

Weight capacity

When selecting the right roof rack for your vehicle, it’s important to understand its weight capacity. Depending on the year and model of your Subaru Outback, the manufacturer-specified roof rack will include a maximum dynamic load capacity ranging anywhere from 75 to 90 kg or 165 to 198 lbs. When adding items to your roof rack, make sure that its total weight does not exceed this specified limit. With a higher dynamic load capacity, you will have more flexibility when it comes to carrying items on top of your Subaru Outback.

It is also important to check your Subaru model’s individual roof rails for potential strength limitations since roof rail strength may vary between manufacturers. In general, look for cross bars that are manufactured with aluminum or steel construction and are adjustable in order to fit various types of cargo carriers and accessories. Some features look out for include an integrated T-slot system design, adjustable rubberized feet or vinyl/urethane coating.


A roof rack can provide better aerodynamic performance by streamlining the shape of your car. It is designed to attach to predesignated points on the exterior of your vehicle, creating a low profile and reducing air drag. This can help you save fuel and reduce interior noise levels for an overall quieter ride.

In addition, it also helps protect your vehicle from dirt, sediment, and other airborne debris. Plus, it helps keep your car clean when driving through rain or snow conditions with its water-resistant material.

Overall, these factors combine to make a roof rack great for improving aerodynamics when compared to conventional roof top carriers.


Roof racks are designed to be rugged and durable, particularly when they’re used on a heavy-duty vehicle like the Subaru Outback. Many roof racks can be adjusted and customized to fit most common roof sizes, so you’re sure to find an option that fits your particular make and model.

The heavy-duty construction of many racks feature metal framing that is bendable and expandable, allowing you to create the perfect rooftop oasis for whatever adventure you have planned. This makes them an ideal choice for transporting large items like kayaks or bikes, as the materials will provide support and stability during long-distance hauls or other activities.

Additionally, many recent models include rubber strips on the underside of the frame that reduce noise levels while driving down the highway or through neighborhoods.

 Installation of roof racks for Subaru Outback

Installing a roof rack on your Subaru Outback is easy and can be done in just a few steps. Before you begin, ensure that all mounting hardware is present; it should come with the rack. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which often include recommendations on securing different components based on the weight of the objects you’re carrying. In most cases, Subaru Outback vehicles have enough space between the roof panel and door frames to prevent interference with installation.

Begin by bolting or attaching the crossbars to your vehicle using either mounting hardware or adhesive strips suggested by manufacturers of specific racks. Most vehicles have fixed points for increasing rubbing accuracy and convenience; locate these as necessary for your installation steps. After ensuring a snug fit, test it to confirm security before loading anything onto your roof rack. Make sure that all fasteners are tightened securely after finding equilibrium points between all connection pieces without over-tightening them else they could strip or break-off from their positions resulting in damaged components of the car.

It’s advisable to use anti-seize lubrications at contact surfaces to prevent corrosion buildup over time, but avoid getting any lubricant on plastic material as this may damage it in some way such as fading its color or causing it to wear off more quickly than usual. Add weather stripping around any separated pieces if needed for added protection against water getting into any metal joints due to bad weather conditions when driving.

Steps for installing a roof-mounted rack

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a roof-mounted rack for your Subaru Outback can be a tremendous asset. With the right model, you can transport bikes, luggage, kayaks and other supplies with ease. Plus, unlike trailer hitches and other types of racks, roof-mounted models free up cargo space in your vehicle. Installing this type of rack is not as difficult as it might seem — if you follow the steps outlined below, you’ll have it installed in no time.

  1. Steps for installing a roof-mounted rack
  2. Start by locating the thread insert points on the sides of your Outback’s roof – each side should have two inserts designated for use with racks or other attachments. If needed, consult your owner’s manual for more detailed instructions on finding them.
  3. Once these points have been located, unscrew and remove the plastic covers from each insert point and then feed the corresponding cross arms through each insert point before securing them tightly with nuts or bolts (depending on your vehicle’s specific model).
  4. Next, make sure that both crossarms are centered over your car before drilling holes into the roof to mount any additional pieces that may be required (such as a mast or bracket).
  5. After all of the necessary pieces are securely fastened onto the car’s roof (consult your product manual), attach any desired accessories such as bike Racks or kayak carriers directly to these mounting components; do not loosen any of these elements when attaching accessories! Although these steps may vary slightly depending on what type of rack you purchased and what type of car you own, following this basic process will help ensure an easy installation process that produces satisfying results!

Steps for installing a hitch-mounted rack

Installing a hitch-mounted rack for your Subaru Outback is relatively simple and quick. The process can be completed in four steps, depending on the type of rack you decide to install:

  1. Position the rack: Before installing your hitch-mounted rack, make sure to locate the pin holes on your car. These holes are usually located near the rear bumper and are used to secure the hitch mount rails. Once you’ve identified these holes, attach them with bolts or pins and tighten accordingly.
  2. Place the mounting plate: Place the mounting plate on top of your car’s hitch receiver opening and secure it with nuts and bolts that come with your rack package. Make sure to take extra care when tightening this step so that you don’t compromise any of its parts or damage any surrounding components within your car.
  3. Insert arms into brackets: Once you’ve attached and secured the mounting plate over your car’s trailer hitch receiver opening, it’s time to attach arms into brackets on each end of your Subaru Outback’s roof rail system using bolts included in the package. Make sure arms are tightly secured by double checking each bolt prior to installation; if necessary add more force or amount of bolts needed for securing action windshield washer jets if any were blocked or diverted during installation process so they can operate properly again; if applicable, check wrench tension settings, if too loose may need to be tightened further for safety reasons, please refer further instructions provided along with hitch-mounting kit accessories upon purchase which should include detailed illustrations for steps mentioned herein as a visual demo aid throughout installation process).
  4. Attach any additional accessories/straps: After successfully attaching arms into brackets around roof rail system in step 3., hang or place additional accessories or straps such as RockyMounts LowRider tray attachment onto already installed roof tracks then secure firmly with nuts & bolts provided additionally allowing a snug fit atmosphere that allows no loose parts at all when packing goods onto trunk without compromises in weight & cargo stability changing behavior due wind movement alterations while driving & preventing unneeded hassles during roadtrips; additional protective corner guards may optionally come along on kit addendum replacements instead per consumer preference when packing mountainbikes horizontally across roof racks tight enough not to shift out of position while conquering offroad terrain without leaving marks over vehicle surface paint (please kindly note additional questions must be asked towards salesperson team at products store concerning said specific consumer needs as explained here).

Steps for installing a trunk-mounted rack

Installing a trunk-mounted roof rack to your Subaru Outback is a straightforward process, and it requires only basic tools. You will also need some rubber strips, padding or foam balls to prevent damage to your car while the rack is in place. The following are the steps for installing a trunk-mounted rack:

  1. Select an appropriate roof rack that you can comfortably fit onto your vehicle. Carefully measure the distance between the two sides of the roof and make sure that you leave some room for any additional accessories such as luggage baskets or bike racks.
  2. Place an anti-skid material such as rubber strips, padding, or foam balls on both sides of the vehicle’s body and mount the roof racks using four bolts per side on each side of the car’s body. Tighten them securely with a tensioner wrench and make sure that they are properly seated before proceeding further.
  3. Attach velcro straps along both sides of the body to secure the rack firmly in place when driving over rough terrain. Make sure that all straps are firmly secured before doing so as well as ensuring that all components are firmly attached so that they don’t move around while on your vehicle during travel time.
  4. Place any additional items such as bike racks or luggage baskets onto the top part of your Rack before mounting them securely with appropriate hardware kits provided with most racks manufacturers provide these kits when purchasing their respective products). Finally, reattach any cover separating parts of your rooftop cargo pack if applicable before driving off safely with your new cargo solution mounted atop your Subaru Outback!

Maintenance and Care of a roof rack

Maintaining and caring for your roof rack will extend its lifespan and ensure it lasts for many years to come. Here’s what you should follow for a perfect care of your Subaru Outback’s roof rack:

-Be sure to periodically check your mounting hardware and bolts. Make sure everything is secure and tightened properly.

-Regularly clean the tracks, guard, feet, and other metal parts with warm water and mild soap to prevent corrosion.

-Inspect the cup mount components often for wear or damage and replace when necessary.

-Use a silicone lubricant to tread corrosion on metal surfaces. This helps keep parts operating smoothly and prevents rusting in wet climates.

-Periodically inspect all mounting brackets, fasteners, locks, runners, cross bars, load supports, front end plates, side rails, tracks and attachments for any sign of cracking or wear due to use or general weathering conditions. If found broken or worn parts should be replaced immediately as it compromises safety can cause injury or property damage.

-Protect Roof Rack with Tarpaulins in winter season to protect from dew condensation caused by cold temperature .

Cleaning and maintenance

When it comes to keeping your roof rack in good condition, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential. Before you clean your roof rack, clear off any dirt or debris such as leaves or branches. Then, use a soft cloth or brush and a mild detergent solution to wipe down the top and sides of the rack. If there is any stubborn dirt that won’t come off, consider using an all-purpose cleaner—but make sure it’s mild enough so it won’t scratch the surface or tarnish the hardware.

Once you’ve wiped down your roof rack, rinse it off with clean water and dry it using a cotton towel. After you’ve finished cleaning the top and sides of your roof rack, use a Q-tip to check for any corrosion inside the components. If present, rinse the corrosion away with clean water before applying a thin layer of car wax to further protect your roof rack from wear and tear. Don’t forget to lubricate any moving parts like hinges or levers with a silicone based lubricant for smooth operation when installing accessories on your Subaru Outback’s rooftop!

Inspection and repair

Before using a roof rack on your Subaru Outback, be sure to conduct a thorough inspection of the rack itself, as well as attendant hardware, clamps and straps. Any sign of corrosion or rust should be addressed immediately, precluding the use of the rack until it is corrected. Be sure all nuts and bolts are checked for tightness, that moving parts move smoothly and that no sharp edges present themselves.

All straps and clamps must meet the load rating for all items loaded onto the rack for safe travel. All clamps and straps must also be firmly affixed to ensure secure mounting before leaving.

Regular checks and maintenance can add years of service life to your roof rack system.

Proper usage and storage

It’s essential that you adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations when installing and maintaining your roof rack. As Subaru Outback owners, you should also take special care in making sure that your roof rack is in proper working order before each use.

Many roof racks come with a Fit-Kit that contains stabilizing plates for better load distribution and wind resistance. The stabilizing plates should be securely attached and regulated based on the size of the load you are carrying.

Once secured to the top of your car, ensure that nothing is falling off or unreliable before driving. Excessive weight can damage the roof, as well as decrease fuel efficiency, so it is important to have an accurate estimate of how much weight your vehicle and rack can support. If possible, look for racks designed specifically for Subarus, then leave no extra space anywhere on the bed of your car when loading items into it; this helps create a tight fit and overall more secure long-distance transport.

You may want to consider adding additional accessories such as protective padding or matting to reduce wind noise and impact from outside objects or terrain while driving. Always double check with customer service representatives or manufacturers when purchasing potential accessories to be certain they are compatible with your model of Subarus Outback as certain accessories may only be compatible with specific models/years produced.

Finally, store your rooftop rack in a dry location when not in use (even out of season). Poor storage conditions can lead to premature rusting or material fatigue over time, requiring additional maintenance before use again in future seasons.


In conclusion, a roof rack can be a great addition to any Subaru Outback. It can be used to haul large items that would otherwise be impossible to transport on the Outback, such as canoes and kayaks. Additionally, it provides a great way to carry extra cargo without taking up valuable real estate inside your vehicle.

Whether you are an avid outdoorsman or just need somewhere to securely store items, a roof rack for your Subaru Outback could be just what you need.


Why would I need a roof rack? 

You would need a roof rack if you need extra storage space for items that can’t fit inside your vehicle, such as luggage, sports equipment, or large items like furniture.

What is the advantage of a roof rack on a car? 

The advantage of a roof rack on a car is that it provides additional storage space for items that can’t fit inside the vehicle. This can be especially useful for long trips or for transporting large items like bicycles or kayaks.

Do Subaru Outbacks have roof racks? 

Yes, many Subaru Outbacks come equipped with roof racks as standard or optional equipment.

Do I need a roof rack for my car? 

You only need a roof rack for your car if you require extra storage space for items that won’t fit inside the vehicle.

Is a Subaru Outback considered an SUV or car? 

The Subaru Outback is often referred to as a crossover SUV, as it combines elements of both cars and SUVs.

Do all Subarus have roof racks? 

No, not all Subarus come equipped with roof racks. It depends on the specific model and trim level.

Does roof rack affect sunroof? 

A roof rack can potentially interfere with the operation of a sunroof, making it more difficult to open or close. It’s important to ensure that the roof rack does not block the sunroof or affect its operation.

Why should a roof rack be removed when not in use? 

A roof rack should be removed when not in use because it can increase wind resistance and reduce fuel efficiency, even when empty. Removing it can help to improve fuel efficiency and reduce wind noise.

Does a roof rack affect mileage? 

Yes, a roof rack can increase wind resistance and drag, which can reduce fuel efficiency and affect mileage.

What are the disadvantages of having a roof rack? 

The disadvantages of having a roof rack include decreased fuel efficiency, increased wind noise, potential damage to the roof of the car, and added expense for purchase and installation. Additionally, roof racks can add extra weight to the vehicle, which can affect handling and performance.

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