Car Racks


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Crossbars, boxes, and other roof systems can turn even the smallest vehicle into a full-on adventuremobile

Outside biking experts Aaron Gulley and Jen Judge run through the features of their favorite, most versatile bike rack.

RockyMounts won us over with its BackStage Swing Away rack and the WestSlope 2 is no different. This hitch rack carries two bikes up to 40 pounds each and is designed to make loading bikes a breeze with its wheel hook holding style. It also tilts…

Stop lying to yourself: you won't remember that you put your wallet, coffee, and phone on the roof of your car before you drive away.

Gear editor Ben Fox takes a drive up to Ski Santa Fe with the new Küat Grip 4 Ski Rack ($349)

Free up some space inside your car by storing your gear on top

From tips from professional #vanlifers to how to not to tie a surfboard on your roof.

Or, in other words, an exercise in decluttering and organization necessitated by a 200-square-foot living space

A custom tailgate made just for hauling mountain bikes

A blow-up bike rack that fits on your seatpost and fits on almost any car

Whispbar makes gorgeous, finely honed bike and gear carriers. But are they worth the premium price?

Perfect your roof-rack skills, and keep your gear and ride in perfect condition.

The Slimline II isn’t your average roof rack. Rather, it’s a multifunction platform with more accessories than you’ll know what to do with.

Turn your campsite into a first-rate base camp

Limited-edition cargo storage from Thule means a stylish, smooth ride for both you and your gear.

Dimples cut down on drag and noise, and there's plenty of room inside.

Rooftop cargo carrier's have a nickname: rocket boxes.

New technologies and improved designs make it easier than ever to get all of your gear to the trailhead. This year, we reviewed Yakima’s all-new blade-slim crossbars, which reduce drag over traditional round bars, and the Sylvan Sport Go, an extremely well made 840-pound trailer that swallows up all your weekend toys.

I'm putting a ski/bike rack on my new Subaru, and I'm wondering what to get: Thule, Yakima, or factory?

A new roof rack that is small on sound and big on gas mileage

A budget roof rack that is small on sound and big on gas mileage

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Saris Bike Porter Trunk 3 bike rack.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Yakima SkyBox Pro 12 Onyx rocket box.

Why It’s CoolA pickup is great for hauling many kinds of things—kayaks, lumber, muddy mountain bikers—but is surprisingly ill-suited to bicycles. Even trucks with pre-drilled fork mounts in the bed leave you with a wheel to tie down and no storage room. The Rec-Rac changes all that. Twin C-shaped clamps,…

Why It’s CoolFully a third of new vehicles sold today come with factory-installed roof rails. This is good. But far fewer come with bars. Not so good. Happily, there’s now the Crossroad system, for adding crossbars to any existing rails. » The installation is straightforward—if you can’t work one of…

Why It’s CoolThe sleek new Platinum Pro holds up to 21 cubic feet of gear and opens from either side, but here’s the important part: I got this sucker out of the box and locked on the roof in less than two minutes, all by my lonesome. » The arched…

Tired of storing a rooftop box that hogs garage space like a boat? This soft-sided carrier manages a vanishing act when not in use, thanks to a hybrid design that employs individual molded supports. The water-resistant Ranger attaches securely to your rack and delivers 12 cubic feet of space,…

The HighRoller’s universal attachment accommodates all wheel sizes from a 29-inch downhiller to Junior’s 20-inch Huffy. Bonus: The tire clamp eliminates contact with your bike’s frame, preventing ugly rub marks on that candy-coat paint job. yakima.com…

Sure, you can manhandle your 17-foot sea kayak onto the roof and ding your car in the process—or you can load it effortlessly and dent-free with the SlipStream. It incorporates a roof-long base-and-roller system that attaches to most racks. The movable cradles eliminate boat-car contact, make solo loading easy,…

From car to curb to camp, this seven-cubic-foot soft-sided carrier does it all. With integrated straps and a nonabrasive quilted bottom, it attaches securely to side rails or crossbars. Tuck-away shoulder straps make it easy to schlep an expedition’s worth of gear through airports. Water-resistant construction keeps rain out.

This easy-loading hitch rack keeps two bikes—of any shape or size—secure and separated. And it folds out of the way for hatchback access. thule.com…

Why It’s CoolNot everyone can reach a rooftop storage box, and even those who can might not be in the mood to clean-and-jerk gear into place after an epic outing. Enter this hard-shell hatchback add-on. » Mounting is easy—the Terrapin connects with your trailer hitch and has its own taillights.

Mobile Repair Stand This is a pretty smart add-on. By using one of the four adapters (price includes one), you can easily turn your Saris, Yakima, Thule, or, of course, Kuat hitch-mount rack into a bike stand. The clamp is totally serviceable if a bit finicky, and you can adjust…

Aigle Shems – Midweight Jackets: Reviews   With a soft fleece interior and warm, durable merino wool/nylon exterior, this jacket combines our favorite fabrics in one versatile top. 1.9 lbs; aigleusa.com         Patagonia Pau – Footwear: Reviews (Terry Heffernan) The coolest mocs we’ve ever laid eyes…

The Trunk Rack, Evolved I’ve never been a big fan of trunk-mount racks—the clips and straps loosen and need to be tightened or, worse, scratch your car. The brand-new Raceway is different; it attaches via an easy-to-adjust ratcheting cable system that (so far, anyway) has yet to loosen or scratch…

Why It RulesBeing on top isn’t always best. Here’s a rugged, functional, and—dare we say it?—elegant rack that totes gear behind your vehicle. » Finally, a hitch-mounted rack that doesn’t ask you to correctly sequence a half-dozen knobs when you want to get inside your car. Forget a water bottle…

Top Box It’s pricey, yes, but it’s also the Rolls-Royce of rocket boxes. The sleek design helps decrease wind drag and preserve gas mileage, yet its 15 cubic feet of storage still easily fits five pairs of skis. And the solar-powered internal light that automatically comes on when you open…

There's the gear you want, and there's the gear you need. After much internal debate, we present the 25 products every guy should own.

Overlooked mountain ranges, river beer, running album, gear of all time, and 47 other big ideas, accidental winners, and awesome things about the world outside we've come to love over the past 33 years. Introducing our first annual Editors' Choice Awards...

Gear Guru- I'm looking for a bike rack that is easy to use and easy to put on the car and take off. I've been looking at the Thule Jaws rack, but on a recent trip to Moab, I noticed almost every car out there was equipped with a fork-lock rack. Do these people know something I don't? Chris Eau Claire, WI

I had to give up my truck, so now I’m looking for a bike rack for my car (for three bikes). I very short, so a roof rack probably won’t work. Do you recommend a hitch rack? Janice House Springs, Missouri

We are planning to buy a tandem bike, but we’re concerned about how to transport this big, long bike on the back of our small fifth wheel. We don’t have a hitch receiver on the back of the RV. Is it possible to add one on? Any other ideas? Jean Cpbellsport, Wisconsin

1. BROOKS INFINITI JACKET The billboard-size logo on the back will make you feel like a pro during warm-ups, while reflective touches make it great for chilly dusk workouts. $100; brooksrunning.com The Goods: Road-Race Day 2. TRIGGER POINT PLANTAR FASCIITIS KIT The antidote to…

I need a racking system for snowboards and skis that will also work for surfboards and bikes. I’m open to a trailer hitch system for the bikes, because I’m not sure I can lift my bike onto the car. I have a 2002 BMW 530. What do you recommend? Ann Culver City, California

I need to transport two adult bikes from Ohio to Vermont on a 1996 Honda Civic Sedan. One bike is an old-fashioned cruiser style that doesn’t have a detachable front wheel. I’d prefer not to spend a fortune on a rack. Any suggestions? Sarah Columbus, Ohio

What roof rack do you recommend for a Porsche Cayenne if I buy a Trek tandem? Are there any rear-mounted racks for tandems? Rich San Diego, California

I’m looking for a hitch-mounted bike rack. Any stand-outs? And does the anti-sway device on the new version of the Thule Expressway work as well as the old zip-stick method? John New York, NY

I looking for a bike rack to transport four bikes from L.A. to the Sierras on my Ford Expedition SUV. One bicycle is an oddly fred full-suspension Diondback XSL Comp, one a standard mountain bike, and the last two kids' bikes. I figure a roof rack is too high off the ground to be practical so I thinking hitch-mounted. My dilemma is that it seems you must choose between a fre clp (works for all but the full-suspension rig) or a tray type that secures the wheels (not sure if it will take a kid-sized bike). I would prefer something that does not require tools or steroids to remove. Sean Los Angeles, California

It's climbing season again on Everest. And as hundreds of summit hopefuls converge at Base Camp, the great debate persists: Has the Big E become the Big Easy? Alpinists Greg Child and Dave Hahn take sides.