roof racks or crossbars for Subaru Forester

5 Best Roof Racks or Crossbars For Subaru Forester

It is time to equip your Subaru Forester with roof racks or crossbars to increase the roof loading capacity and transport what you need on road trips or other outdoor adventures. If you are new to roof racks or crossbars, you may be confused about these things and the process of adding these accessories to your Subaru Forester. We are here to solve your confusion with the most accurate answers and solutions.

First, you may want to know what roof racks or crossbars are anthe relationship between car roof rails, roof racks, cargo carriers, and crossbars to better understand how to build up a rooftop cargo management system on the Subaru Forester. After reading some informational articles, you can confidently choose a suitable rooftop cargo carrier for your Subaru Forester and stow stuff on the car roof.

Second, Subaru Forester models have two types of car roofs: bare roof or roof with factory roof rails; consequently, you need to observe your Subaru Forester and decide to follow which combination of items below to assemble roof racks or crossbars for your vehicle.

Third, before choosing roof racks or crossbars for Subaru Forester, most people have concerns about whether these external car accessories damage the car or what are the most suitable rooftop cargo carriers for their outdoor life.

Fourth, we have answers to some popular questions about roof racks or crossbars for people who want to know more before buying action. For example, most people wonder if roof racks or crossbars are universal to all vehiclesthe differences between OEM roof racks and aftermarket items, the potential problem of overloading roof racks or crossbars, and the recommended speed limit for driving with roof racks. More questions and answers are on the FAQ page.

With enough knowledge about roof racks, you can start to pick a set of suitable items that create a platform on your Subaru Forester for mounting all types of roof-mounted cargo carriers like cargo boxes, soft cargo bags, roof-mounted cargo baskets, ski or snowboard carriers, kayak carriers, rooftop bike carriers, or a rooftop tent.

type of Subaru Forester roofs - bare roof and roof with factory raised roof rails

Quick-Pick List Of 5 Roof Racks or Crossbars For Subaru Forester

Roof Racks For Subaru Forester with Factory-installed Raised Roof Rials

616qXvuqyHL. AC SL1500 2024Rhino-Rack Vortex Aluminum 49-inch Roof Racks with lockable EndCaps and wind diffusion strips on the top channelCheck Price on Amazon
2024Rhino-Rack SX100 mounting feet work with Vortex bars and are compatible with Subaru Forester factory raised roof railsCheck Price on Amazon
61fkRY1+aJL. AC SL1500 2024 CURT 18118 53.375 inches long aluminum crossbars with integrated mounting feet to work with Subaru Forester with factory raised roof railsCheck Price on Amazon
51VgmAzQklL. AC SL1100 2024Malone AirFlow2  Aluminum Black Or Silver 50-inch roof bars with integrated mounting legs to work with Subaru Forester with raised roof railsCheck Price on Amazon

Roof Racks or Crossbars and accessories for Subaru Forester with a bare roof

61kzwPaCd0L. AC SL1500 2024 48-inch Alloy Steel Yakima RoundBar CrossbarsCheck Price on Amazon
41jnB WvQaL. AC SL1500 2024Yakima SkyLine Mounting Legs with universal bar bedsCheck Price on Amazon
61gZc4Pa 4L. AC SL1500 2024Yakima RoundBar Adapter For SkyLine TowersCheck Price on Amazon
51ASIeVv+1L. AC SL1500 2024Yakima Landing Pads 22 Check Price on Amazon
61UM51rh1AL. AC SL1500 2024 Yakima JetStream Aluminum Roof Racks 50-inch Check Price on Amazon
41jnB WvQaL. AC SL1500 2024Yakima SkyLine Towers with integrated locking systemCheck Price on Amazon
51ASIeVv+1L. AC SL1500 2024Yakima Landing Pads 22 work with Subaru Forester with a bare roofCheck Price on Amazon

Detail of 5 Roof Racks or Crossbars For Subaru Forester

Curt 18118 53.3/8-inch aluminum rooftop crossbars

Curt uses aluminum to construct ultra-light and element resistant 18118 roof racks to ensure easy installation and better durability. You can use it on the Subaru Forester with factory-raised roof rails.

Curt 18118 crossbars can hold up to 150 pounds, which means you can load up to 68kg of items on the roof racks, but you should always follow the Subaru Forester’s roof loading limit to pack things on the car roof and never overload any kinds of rooftop cargo carriers.

Curt roof racks in package box

The elegant and moon-shaped Curt 18118 crossbars can clamp on your Subaru Forester’s factory-installed raised roof rails and support most rooftop cargo carriers. You can adjust the distance between two crossbars to fit the specific requirement of a particular cargo carrier, and most manufacturers identify the distance between roof bars as bar spread. The maximum bar spread of the Curt 18118 crossbars is 50 inches. Each Curt 18118 roof bar has a locking system to prevent theft when you are away from the vehicle.

The simple installation process does not require a tool, and we believe you can finish it in 15 minutes with proper measurements. Before installation, you need to measure the length of the car roof and choose two locations to set two roof bars with accurate bar spreads to fit specific cargo carriers. You can refer to an article to get information about finding the perfect position for rooftop cargo carriers.

Rhino-Rack Vortex Aerodynamic 49-inch Roof Racks or Crossbars

It is the second option we pick for your Subaru Forester with factory-installed raised roof rails. Rhino-Rack Vortex crossbars are popular because of their durability, sturdiness, anti-corrosion, waterproof, and aerodynamic designs.

Vortex bars have multiple size options, but you should choose the 49-inch option to fit on your Subaru Forester. The Vortex crossbars are one of the most low-profile aftermarket roof racks you can use on Forester with compatible Rhino-Rack mounting legs. Each Vortex bar has an oval-shaped body to cut the airflow when the car is in motion, and you won’t hear unbearable wind noise with Vortex crossbars on your vehicle.

Each Rhino-Rack Vortex bar has top and bottom channels, and there are rubberized strips with wave-shaped tracks on the upside channel to increase the efficiency of reducing wind drag.

Rhino-Rack Vortex crossbars or roof racks for Subaru Forester with raised roof rails

The internal hollow H-shaped construction reduces the overall weight of each Vortex bar, but the advanced Box Beam structure provides a strong loading capacity to support loads up to 165 pounds. On the bottom channel, you can find ruler marks, which help you to evenly locate the mounting legs when assembling two mounting feet on each Vortex bar.

You can find two lockable head caps on each Rhino-Rack Vortex bar, and they are polypropylene-made with lock cores and a universal fitting key; however, if you feel that the PP materials are not strong enough for security, you can find a metal replacement (Rhino-Rack Made) to replace the original endcaps.

After choosing Rhino-Rack Vortex crossbars for your Subaru Forester, you must get a set of 4 SX100 mounting legs to build up a complete roof rack system.

These SX100 mounting feet can perfectly lock on Subaru Forester factory-installed raised roof rails and hold two Vortex crossbars in place for carrying roof-mounted cargo carriers. Rhino-Rack SX100 mounting legs have rubber clamps to protect the roof rails from scratch.

What you need

Rhino-Rack Vortex Aerodynamic Roof Racks or Crossbars

Rhino-Rack SX100 Mounting Legs For Vortex Bars

Malone AirFlow2 Universal 50-inch Roof Racks or Crossbars

It is the third option for people who need compatible roof racks or crossbars for Subaru Forester with OEM-raised roof rails. If you find your Subaru Forester has existing roof rails that run from front to back, the Malone AirFlow2 50-inch model is what you need to build up a versatile rooftop cargo management system.

Malone AirFlow2 roof racks for Subaru Forester with raised roof rails

The Malone AirFlow2 crossbars are aluminum-made aerodynamic oval-shaped roof racks, which won’t cause significant wind drag; as a result, you won’t hear too much wind noise and find noticeable waste on gas mileage.

It is easy to install a pair of AirFlow2 crossbars on your Subaru Forester, and the entire process costs less than 20 minutes; however, you should have the correct measurement to adjust the bar spreads to fit the use of your existing rooftop cargo carriers.

Yakima RoundBar Roof Rack System

If your Subaru Forester has a bare roof without existing roof rails, you can choose the Yakima RoundBar crossbars as the roof rack system on your Subaru Forester. Yakima RoundBar has multiple size options: 48-inch, 58-inch, 66-inch, and 78-inch. You can use the 48-inch model to fit your Subaru Forester’s roof size. Most rooftop cargo carriers are compatible with factory, round, square, or aerodynamic crossbars.

Yakima use galvanized steel to build the RoundBar roof racks, so they are a perfect choice for heavy-duty jobs because most steel roof racks are heavier and sturdier than aluminum crossbars. Yakima use vinyl to coat the RoundBar to make these bars anti-corrosion.

Yakima RoundBar roof racks for Subaru Forester with bare roof

Yakima regulates users not to load more than 165 lbs or 75 kg of items on the RoundBar roof racks, but you should always follow the Subaru Forester’s roof loading limit to understand how much weight you can pack on your car. The 48-inch model’s dimensions are 48 x 1.125 inches (diameter) or 121 x 2.85 cm.

You need four Yakima SkyLine towers to support the RoundBar crossbars with the Yakima RoundBar SL Adapter. Consequently, when adding Yakima RoundBar roof racks or crossbars to your Subaru Forester with a bare roof, you may face challenging installation steps, including combining a pair of bars, four mounting towers, and four RoundBar adapters; furthermore, you need to attach four Landing Pads on the car roof’s fixed points to support the mounting legs. Therefore, we believe you may spend at least 60 minutes on installation.

What you need

Yakima RoundBar 48-inch Model

Yakima SkyLine Towers

Yakima RoundBar SL Adapter

Yakima 22 Landing Pad

Yakima JetStream Aerodynamic Roof Racks

It is another option for Subaru Forester with a bare roof. As the Yakima RoundBar, the Yakima JetStream crossbars have multiple size selections: 50, 60, and 70 inches. However, you better choose the 50-inch model to suit the width of your Subaru Forester’s roof.

It is another aerodynamic option that can decrease the effect of wind drag and minimize the waste of gas consumption, and there is no notable difference between modern aerodynamic roof racks, even not detectable. Therefore, when shopping for roof racks or crossbars, you don’t need to take the wind noise or the effect on gas mileage as two must-know issues to study and compare.

Yakima JetStream Roof Racks For Subaru Forester

The Yakima JetStream bars have egg-shaped bodies to cut the airflow and minimize the effect of wind drag, so you don’t need to add faring accessories against the wind force. It is another aluminum-made cargo supporter that can carry up to 165 pounds or 75 kg. You can consider utilizing both roof-mounted or hitch-mounted carriers to bring enough belongings on the roads if you feel the roof-loading limit is insufficient for your outdoor needs. However, when choosing a hitch cargo carrier, you must know if it is compatible with the existing hitch receiver head at the rear of your Forester.

It is not hard to assemble the SkeLine Towers with two JetStream bars, and the process may take you under 10 minutes. On each SkyLine tower, you can find a barbed to match the JetStream bars’ aero-shape and grasp the bar with a bolt.

Finally, you can use four Yakima Landing Pads 22 to create four fixed points on your Subaru Forester’s roof. When four Landing Pads are ready in positions, you can use a torque tool to lock the SkyLine Towers on those Landing Pads to finish building up a complete Yakima roof rack system on your Subaru Forester with a bare roof.

What you need

Yakima JetStream Aerodynamic Roof Racks or Crossbars

Yakima SkyLine Mounting Towers

Yakima Landing Pads 22


Dear Subaru Forester Owners:

         We spend our time discovering some compatible roof racks or crossbars that you can consider using on your vehicle to create a rooftop platform to support the use of most roof-mounted cargo carriers like hardshell cargo boxes, soft cargo bags, cargo baskets, roof-mounted bike racks, kayak carriers, ski or snowboard racks, or a rooftop tent.

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