roof racks for subaru forester

How Much Weight The Subaru Forester Roof Rack Can Hold

You are here to discover how much weight the Subaru Forester roof rack can hold, and you are so close to the answers. After reading this article, you can confidently pack the roof racks of your Subaru Forester without a hassle.

We know that you want to use your Subaru Forester to carry extra weight on its roof racks, and you don’t know your vehicle’s roof loading limit. 

how much weight your can load on top of the roof racks on your Subaru Forester
what you must know before packing things on the roof racks of your Subaru Forester

You understand the potential risks of overloading the roof racks, so you want to learn before action. 

According to the Subaru official statistics, the Subaru Forester’s roof loading limit is between 150 lbs and 175 lbs. You must follow the weight limits when loading things on the roof racks. You also require to know your Subaru Forester belongs to which year.

Where do we get these numbers?

We read through the Subaru Forester’s manual brochure in hours and find the numbers between lines. If you don’t trust us, you can read the Subaru Forester owner manual to dig for accuracy.

Roof Rails’ weight limit

Roof rails are underneath the roof racks, and they are the “floor” of your rooftop cargo management; consequently, you should know its loading limit. 

Roof rails’ loading limit includes everything above it (crossbars, luggage, gear and cargo carriers).

After reading through the manual brochure, we get two roof loading limits for Subaru Forester in two different periods of years (2000-2009 and 2010-2022).

If your Subaru Forester is between 2000-2009, its roof loading limit is 150 lbs (68kg); furthermore, if you have a Subaru Forester of 2010-2022, you cannot put more than 175 lbs (80kg) of items on its roof.

The Subaru manufacturer suggests that overloading the roof racks is prohibited for safety concerns because overloading the roof racks can make the driving of your Subaru Forester harder. When you turning, you must use a larger angle to avoid turning over. When braking, you should step the panel gently and slowly.

Whatever outdoor dreams you have out there, never overload the roof racks!

If you want to use a cargo carrier with a bigger loading capacity than the Subaru Forester’s roof can hold, please follow the vehicle’s roof loading limit to pack the cargo carrier. You can use big cargo carriers on the Subaru Forester, but you cannot overload it to exceed the stated roof loading weight of the Subaru Forester

When you use roof racks, cargo boxes, cargo baskets, or other roof-mounted cargo carriers, you should pay attention to its weight. Thus, you can calculate the actual cargo weight with a formula like (the stated car roof loading limit minus the roof accessories’ total weight equals the actual cargo weight).

Before Loading Anything On The Roof Of Your Subaru Forester

You have to know something before putting any load on the roof of your Subaru Forester. These tips can help you to pack your roof racks safely and effectively.


The center of gravity is higher when you have a roof rack on your vehicle. It makes it more likely that your car will sway while driving fast or turning.

A vehicle is considered out of balance when its weight distribution is not equal on each side. It can lead to a few different issues, one of which is that the vehicle will be unintentionally turned in one direction while at high speeds or making sharp turns. You don’t drive too fast with a car rooftop carrier, and you should follow a guide to control the speed, especially on the highways.

It is dangerous to over speed with a roof-mounted cargo carrier because it could cause a collision with other vehicles and severe injury to your family.


A well-balanced roof loading can reduce the chance of swaying when your car is in high-speed motion. 

It is best to place heavier items lower on your Subaru Forester roof racks. Lighter items should be higher up because they will help balance the weight of the heavier ones. You can refer to another post to learn more info about packing a cargo carrier like a pro.

You have to use straps or bungee to tighten the items to prevent sliding and shifting when braking or turning the car.

You have to fasten items tightly to the roof racks to avoid falling off while the car is moving at high-speed. An accurate installation of the roof racks is another vital element to security, so you need to double-check if the installation process is well-preformed.

When you prepare to load heavy things, you can use test-driving before going out for real situations. During the testing drive, you pay attention to the roof-loaded stuff to see if they can easily fall or slip.

Always put safety at the first position on your list before thinking about how much weight your new roof racks can hold.


In general, SUVs, Vans, and MPVs are higher than sedans. You have to know what type of car you have in the garage. 

How much weight do you plan to load on top of your Subaru Forester’s roof racks? Your Subaru Forester’s gravity center goes higher after holding the extra weight, so you pay more attention to drive through bumps or rough terrains. If you drive carelessly, the car can turn over and hurt you and your family.

If you plan to mount high gear or equipment on the roof racks of your Subaru Forester, you have to drive with attention to trees, bridges, overpasses, and other places that have height limits.

If you can, you should try your best to reduce the height of your items because of potential risks on the roads. When you have no choice, you should use flag-like stuff (red color) to mark on the tip of the loaded items as an attention grabber on the roads. 

Don’t load extra height gear or stuff on top of the roof racks on your Subaru Forester, and it is super risky to both you and other drivers on the highways.


You better keep in mind the Subaru Forester’s roof loading limit and never exceed the maximum weight that your car’s roof can hold.

Overloading the car roof is super dangerous to anyone, even an experienced driver.

If your Subaru Forester is between 2000-2009, its roof loading limit is 150 lbs(68kg); besides, 175 lbs (80kg) is a roof weight limit for 2010-2022 Subaru Forester cars.

You have to clearly understand what can happen after loading things on top of your Subaru Forester, so you can use long-braking and large-angle turning to avoid unexpected incidents on the roads.

You never gamble on overloading because you don’t have the superpower to make things back to what it was on minutes ago.


When you pack things into the cargo carriers, you better put the heaviest and less important stuff at the bottom of the container; moreover, you can put some often-used items at the top for convenience. 

You have to create convenience for yourself, not waiting for luck. 

Don’t forget to use straps or bungee to tighten your belongings to the bottom of the roof racks to avoid falling, slipping, swaying, and damaging. 

Your Subaru Forester is not high like those SUVs or Vans are, so it is not a big problem for loading and unloading. 

You can use dual-side opening cargo boxes on your Subaru Forester to make packing and unloading as easy as possible. 

You don’t pile up your items on the roof racks for difficult unloading, and you better make your stuff evenly separated in the container. If you put something on the roof racks too high, you cannot reach it except climbing up to the roof of your car; thus, you should keep in mind think, before and after, twice when it is a plan.

Avoid Loading Liquid on Roof Racks

You cannot pack any liquid on the roof racks of your Subaru Forester.

You must pay attention to the weight balance and make it evenly distributed on the roof racks, and it is vital, whatever the situation is.

What can happen if you put the liquid on the roof racks of your Subaru Forester?

The liquid can sway while the car is moving, so the gravity force pushes to different directions all the time; furthermore, the swaying gravity force can cause your Subaru Forester to lose control when the car is in motion, especially on highways. However, a bottle of Coca-Cola is fine. 

If the liquid on the roof racks stays there without causing any further troubles, it may leak and wet your luggage or electronic devices. Therefore, the liquid is not a helper to be on top of any roof racks on your Subaru Forester.

How to Choose a compatible Roof Rack For Your Subaru Forester?

Compatibility is the first concern for most buyers. You have to learn and compare many different roof racks to decide which ones are fit your Subaru Forester.

Before thinking about buying roof racks for your Subaru Forester, you have to measure out the length and width of Forester’s roof size. Then, you can use these numbers to communicate with the manufacturer for a compatibility check. 

Fancy-Looking Roof Racks

We have too many different choices on the market, so we want something that looks cool and fashionable.

You have to avoid getting those cheap options because they are not sturdy enough to hold the weight, and they can cause severe damages to your car and your belongings. Don’t buy cheap ones!

Roof racks are significant, and they stand on the roof rails of the Subaru Forester to hold other cargo carriers; therefore, roof racks are the base of the cargo management system. If you choose flimsy(cheap) roof racks, they can ruin your outdoor dreams.

Products from big brands are the best choice for you because they have high-quality, premium features, affordable price tags, trustable customer reviews; thus, you put the big brand roof racks on your consideration list.

Needs and Budget

What are you going to carry with roof racks?

It is a very personal question, and everyone has different answers. 

For example, if you want to carry luggage for a family road trip, you choose roof racks that provide enough loading space and large carrying capacity like cargo boxes.

Otherwise, if you plan to carry bikes, you can use bike racks for that purpose. You also can use cargo baskets to transport fishing rods for fishing vacations.

You even can combine a cargo basket, a cargo box, and a kayak carrier to become a multi-function cargo carrier that can hold luggage, bikes, fishing rods, and a kayak at the same time. 

Although you have many different combinations when using cargo carriers, you cannot overload the roof-mounted cargo carriers to exceed your Subaru Forester’s roof loading limit

What is your budget?

How much money do you plan to invest in roof racks for your Subaru Forester? Money makes differences, and it is reality. If you have a tight budget, you have to learn and compare a lot of roof racks for final decisions that you pick out from those cheap ones. If you have enough investment for the roof racks, you can choose big brand products without further concerns and time-wasting. 

We cannot say which is right or wrong. Every coin has two sides. If you trust us, you can follow our guide to make decisions; besides, you won’t make huge mistakes with our guidebooks. 

A list of universal roof racks for all vehicles – you can use this buyer guide to discover some high-quality and univeral fitting roof arcks for your Subaru Forester.

Weight of Roof Racks

You have to use light and sturdy aluminum roof racks on your Subaru Forester. You don’t buy those steel roof racks because they are heavy. Your Subaru Forester’s roof loading limit has the roof racks’ weight as a part, don’t forget. 

We recommend those roof racks with easy installation and universal compatibilities, and you can use the Thule or Yakima’s roof racks without worries. 

Roof racks are safe to use because they have locks that connect to the roof rails on your Subaru Forester, so you don’t worry about thefts. 

We also recommend you contact your local Subaru dealer to order OEM roof racks for your car without concerns about compatibility and quality.

Whatever roof racks you will use, you cannot overload them for any reason. 

Types of Car Racks

After learning about roof racks for your Subaru Forester, it is time to get familiar with other types of car racks. How many car racks do you know? If you don’t know many, we will let you open your eyes to the world of car racks. In general, car racks are car accessories that carry gear or items on a car; besides, there are two mounting types: roof-mounted or rear-mounted. 

Roof-mounted car racks can carry kayaks, bikes, cargo boxes, cargo baskets, roof bags, fishing rods, skis, snowboards, golf clubs, and roof tents. Rear-mounted car racks can carry bikes, baskets, cargo boxes, cargo bags.

You can choose a suitable car rack for your outdoor lifestyle, and it is very personal. 

Other car rooftop or rear cargo carriers for bikes, kayaks, luggage, and more. – A list of car racks that help drivers to transport biks, luggage, skis, and more.


It is vital to check the durability of your targeted roof racks because you don’t want your Subaru Forester to get damaged after using the roof racks for a while. Roof racks work for heavy-duty jobs, so quality and durability are top concerns when buying one.

You never buy cheap and poor-quality roof racks, and they can seriously damage your Subaru Forester. 


You can know your Subaru Forester’s roof loading limit and generate some knowledge about adding roof racks to your car’s roof and using cargo carriers to transport items on the Subaru Forester.

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