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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to get a set of crossbars for my 2023 Crosstrek Sport. They will be used mostly to carry 1-2 paddleboards (12'6" to 14'). I was looking at some aftermarket crossbars to save a few bucks but the OEM ones look to fit the best. I bought cheap aftermarket racks for my 2012 Prius and was always a bit worried about the durability. I can get the OEM crossbars from a Boston area Subaru dealer for $203.69 with tax.


But I'm curious to get any opinions on this as far as OEM versus a well built and reviewed aftermarket crossbars.
 

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I have the OEM crossbars and i don't think they're particularly great. You can get some cheaper copies on Amazon for closer to $100 that are probably just as good. I think that's what I'd do if I had to buy some today.

It also depends on what you'll use them for. You can buy a roof rack for about a grand that replaces your whole roof rails if you really want to be able to max out your roof load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have the OEM crossbars and i don't think they're particularly great. You can get some cheaper copies on Amazon for closer to $100 that are probably just as good. I think that's what I'd do if I had to buy some today.

It also depends on what you'll use them for. You can buy a roof rack for about a grand that replaces your whole roof rails if you really want to be able to max out your roof load.
Thanks for your thoughts! Two paddleboards are relatively light at about 65-70 lbs. so the OEM roof rack will be fine. It seems the Brightlines crossbars look very similar to the OEM ones at half the cost. They are well rated on Amazon.

 

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If you want a nice set of crossbars that will hold weight and last years, look at the Yakima setup. You will need their crossbars and the timberline towers (they attach to your roof rails). I have had mine since 2008. They will run you about $450.00. Rock solid set up.
 

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Just reinstalled my factory crossbars. Took off since not getting used.
Buying a set of the factory bars is money well spent. The clamping to the roof rails is very secure. The forces on two paddle boards may be substantial at highways speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you want a nice set of crossbars that will hold weight and last years, look at the Yakima setup. You will need their crossbars and the timberline towers (they attach to your roof rails). I have had mine since 2008. They will run you about $450.00. Rock solid set up.
Thanks. I'll check out the Yakima setup. Although I think that would be overkill for my needs.
Just reinstalled my factory crossbars. Took off since not getting used.
Buying a set of the factory bars is money well spent. The clamping to the roof rails is very secure. The forces on two paddle boards may be substantial at highways speeds.
Thanks. That's good to know. The force on two paddleboards is substantial without a doubt. If I was traveling on the highway with my Prius I always added a ratcheting strap over the boards and through the rear door opening. That way if one of the racks or straps failed the boards would be secured to the car.

One can never be too careful. Some thought it was overkill. But I didn't want one of my boards airborne on the highway hurting someone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Get some Yakima, Thule or Rhino-Rack cross bars. Those are the only brands I would trust.

Buy once, cry once. Your future self will thank you.
Thanks! Tried searching for crossbars on the Thule and Yamika sites. Both sites are horrible and are difficult to navigate. For the prices both companies charge you'd think they'd have decent websites. The Rhino Vortex are over $500 and they don't even list the load limit. You have to calculate that with their "load rating calculator".

Looks like I'll go with the OEM crossbars and call it a day.
 

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I had originally ordered the Subaru crossbars, but changed my mind and went with Thule instead. The bars are wider and sit a little higher, which was a plus for me.

The trick to the Thule website is to input your car make and model right away. Once you do that, there are only a few options and they鈥檙e laid out clearly.
 

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I had originally ordered the Subaru crossbars, but changed my mind and went with Thule instead. The bars are wider and sit a little higher, which was a plus for me.

The trick to the Thule website is to input your car make and model right away. Once you do that, there are only a few options and they鈥檙e laid out clearly.
Are they the same ones that you can buy directly from Subaru as the "Extended Crossbars"?
 

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Are they the same ones that you can buy directly from Subaru as the "Extended Crossbars"?
I鈥檓 in Canada, so things might be different up here. The optional crossbars you can get from Subaru are actually sold and listed as Thule on the website here.

I bought mine on sale at a Thule store. They were several hundred $ cheaper than the same bars bought through Subaru.
 

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Thanks! Tried searching for crossbars on the Thule and Yamika sites. Both sites are horrible and are difficult to navigate. For the prices both companies charge you'd think they'd have decent websites. The Rhino Vortex are over $500 and they don't even list the load limit. You have to calculate that with their "load rating calculator".

Looks like I'll go with the OEM crossbars and call it a day.
Yes, Thule's website is pretty horrendous. But they should all have the ability for you to punch in your vehicle details and it will then outline everything you need and additional options that fit your vehicle exactly.

I'm fairly positive all Subarus OEM racks are made by Thule. I know the integrated bars on my Outback are. However I highly dislike them when compared to my Yakima cross bars and wind fairing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, Thule's website is pretty horrendous. But they should all have the ability for you to punch in your vehicle details and it will then outline everything you need and additional options that fit your vehicle exactly.

I'm fairly positive all Subarus OEM racks are made by Thule. I know the integrated bars on my Outback are. However I highly dislike them when compared to my Yakima cross bars and wind fairing.
Thanks! I was able to figure out how to correctly figure out the configuration of the Thule Wingbar EVO. It irks me that at the cost of Thule racks you have to pay extra for locks.


What did you not like about the OEM Subaru crossbars?

As much as the majority here suggest Thule and Yakima. The costs are an issue when compared to similar crossbars. I came across the below crossbars and feet from Malone. They are well rated on Amazon and eTrailer. I watched an installation video and they look very similar to the Thule Wingbar EVO.

 

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I don't like how high they sit. I prefer the lower profile crossbars that have a slight overhang. Its extremely practical for certain applications and overall better for MPG's.

I'm sure the Malone racks would serve you well. I just personally like Yakimas customer service, as I have had great experience with their product and over the phone support. I also know that they test all their products under load and they stand by it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't like how high they sit. I prefer the lower profile crossbars that have a slight overhang. Its extremely practical for certain applications and overall better for MPG's.

I'm sure the Malone racks would serve you well. I just personally like Yakimas customer service, as I have had great experience with their product and over the phone support. I also know that they test all their products under load and they stand by it.
Thanks for your thoughts!
 

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The Subaru OEM crossbars were in a box inside the car when I bought it. They have never come out of the box. I have Thule kayak folding j-hooks which need to use the Thule crossbars.
 
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