We’d love to hear from you to learn how we can make Outside better. Tell us what you think.

The Best Car Racks of 2014

Haul more gear, have more fun.

—Whitney James

(Inga Hendrickson)

Haul more gear, have more fun.

—Whitney James

RockyMounts Brass Knuckles

BEST FOR: Versatility

Downhill mountain bike, dirt bike, or beach cruiser? This roof rack ($200) takes all comers. And the sleek profile makes it more aerodynamic than the competition (read: it won’t drag down your gas mileage as much). 

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)

Yakima FullSwing

BEST FOR: Ease of Use

One bolt is all it takes to install this hanging hitch-mount rack ($499). And with the touch of a button it swings away, so you can get into the back of your car. The sacrifice for that easy access is twofold: bikes with step-through or nonstandard frames require an adaptor to carry, and even with the anti-sway cradles, bikes are more likely to get jostled or scratched than on a platform hitch like the Thule. 

Thule EasyFold

BEST FOR: Strange Cargo

If you’ve got heavy, pricey, or oddly shaped bikes, or if you’re storage-space challenged, the EasyFold ($700) is the ticket. Folded up, this platform-style hitch rack is about the size of a suitcase. The base unit is rock solid, which, combined with the wobble-free hitch mechanism, keeps bikes from knocking into one another. There’s even a removable ramp for loading and unloading heftier rigs. 

Küat Skinny

BEST FOR: Fun Hogs

Long and lean, the Skinny ($389) allows you to maximize roof space by lashing down various odds and ends—fishing poles, waterproof duffels, tents—on either side of the integrated bike rack. Smart: a table-leaf-like midsection lets you increase carrying capacity by 30 percent. Bummer: assembly is easy but not quick, and the bike mount takes standard forks only. 

More Gear
Pinterest Icon