Best Roof Racks of 2013

Thule Sonic Alpine gear box (Inga Hendrickson)
Thule Sonic Alpine gear box best roof racks of 2013 summer buyers guide

Thule Sonic Alpine gear box roof rack

The dimples aren’t just for show. Just as they help a golf ball cut through the air more effectively, they cut down on drag (and noise) on the Sonic Alpine. Inside, there was enough room (ten cubic feet) for a weekend’s worth of camping gear (or three pairs of skis, two pairs of boots, and change). And it took us less than five minutes to mount.

Kuat Vagabond X basket roof rack

Kuat Vagabond X basket best roof racks of 2013 summer buyers guide
Kuat Vagabond X basket (Inga Hendrickson)

Unlike sleek rocket boxes, gear baskets like the Vagabond X can accommodate just about anything you don’t want in the car, be it a sack of wet paddling gear, a spare tire, or unwieldy pieces of luggage. Kuat’s is more expensive than other ones out there, but it also comes with more, namely an integrated cable lock and two locking bike mounts.

Yakima Whispbar WB200 fork mount

Yakima Whispbar WB200 fork moun summer buyers guide best roof racks of 2013
Yakima Whispbar WB200 fork mount (Inga Hendrickson)

Taking a cue from the airfoil-shaped Whispbar crossbars Yakima released last year, the WB200’s aerodynamic design cuts down on noise and wind drag (thus saving you fuel). It’s pricey, but it accommodates a nine-millimeter quick-release fork or a 15­millimeter through-axle with the flip of a lockable switch.

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