The 3 Best Car Racks of Summer 2012

Yakima Whispbar roof rack (Courtesy of Yakima)
Yakima Whispbar roof rack

Yakima Whispbar Roof Rack

Yakima’s all-new blade-slim crossbars reduce drag between 40 and 70 percent over traditional round bars. More impressive is how quiet they are, even at 65 miles per hour. Pro: compatible with nearly 75 percent of Yakima's current attachments. Con: costs roughly 20 percent more than classic bars.

Thule Apex Swing bike rack

Thule Apex Swing bike rack
Thule Apex Swing bike rack (Courtesy of Thule)

Like Yakima, Thule also introduced a more aerodynamic roof-bar design this year, called Aeroblade. But we were just as excited by the Apex Swing, the sturdiest, easiest-to-use swing-away hitch-mount bike rack we’ve ever tested. Smart: one integrated lock joins the trailer to your car; the other secures your bikes.

Sylvan Sport Go Trailer-Camper

Sylvan Sport Go trailer-camper
Sylvan Sport Go trailer-camper (Courtesy of Sylvan Sport)

Trust us: it’s worth the price. Extremely well made, this 840-pound trailer swallows up all your weekend toys (it includes a weathertight gear box) and is compatible with Yakima and Thule racks. Pop the ABS plastic top and it morphs into a base of operations. It comes with two sleeping pads, and an optional panel lets you fit four in minutes.

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