When someone buys a Subaru Crosstrek, they don’t get it to only get to & from work. They get it because they’re going out camping, kayaking, and just being nomads in general. They fully intend on hauling their gear on every adventure they can dream up, and in order to do so they have to add a few aftermarket parts to their rides. With all the options out there, it can be downright impossible to determine what products are good, which are bad, and which are simply overpriced. For that reason we came up a list of the best roof rack crossbars for Subaru Crosstreks.
Best Roof Rack Crossbars for Subaru Crosstreks
If you’re looking for a combination of quality & a reasonable price, these crossbars from Vault Cargo Management are about as good as it gets. Intended to be a universal crossbar solution for vehicles with raised rails, these are an absolute perfect fit for the Subaru Crosstrek. We actually gave these to our buddy that let us borrow his Crosstrek for testing purposes, and he absolutely loved them.
To be clear, these aren’t intended to go head-to-head with the super high end solutions like Thule & Yakima. However with that being said your really don’t lose much at all for functionality, and you save yourself around $200. Seems like a pretty easy choice for us!
Vault Cargo Management has proven to be a great company over the years, earning recognition as one of the fastest growing companies in the industry. Our buddy actually went ahead and bought a set of Vault’s folding kayak carriers to put on these, along with their metal roof rack (obviously not on the vehicle at the same time). He’s been very happy with their customer service, and he also mentioned that their shipping is always free.
You can also purchase directly through Vault’s website here. Note: Vault appears to have their prices set lowest on their own site, so it’s worth checking out.
There are a couple of mindsets around crossbars. The first is to go with something that is a solid overall crossbar that is removable, but doesn’t break the bank since you realistically will only use them a small fraction of the time. The second is to go with a super high quality, more permanent crossbar that’s obviously going to come with a bit more of a price tag.
The Thule AeroBlade Edge 7503 definitely falls into the latter category. With a price tag for a single crossbar (you’ll obviously need two) of almost double Vault’s crossbars, these are certainly a high end option from a very reputable company in Thule. Widely considered one of the top automotive accessories brands in the world next to Yakima & Vault Cargo Management, Thule has developed an almost cult-like following over the years.
For the Subaru Crosstrek you will want to go with a size “Large” AeroBlade Edge crossbar. Many buyers have noted that these crossbars are very easy to install & solid once on their vehicle. Note: The Thule AeroBlade Edge is for use with the raised style rails on your Subaru Crosstrek. If your vehicle did not come with these rails, you would need to get some installed in order for these to fit.
If you’re looking to upgrade from Vault’s crossbars (these are an additional $130 while I’m writing this article) but not quite go all the way to Yakima or Thule’s price point, these Rola crossbars work with Subaru Crosstrek quite well. They have the same general look as Vault’s, but the crossbar itself is streamlined a bit more. We didn’t notice a huge difference in wind noise between these & the other ones on this list, but they are a bit more quite than a few of the options.
Rola does have multiple size options, and from testing we found that the 47.25″ version of these roof rack cross bars seem to fit the Subaru Crosstrek the best. Aside from squeezing into a price range that’s between Vault Cargo Management’s crossbars & the options from Thule & Yakima, there really isn’t too much more to say about this set from Rola.
The Vault Cargo Management & Rola crossbars are meant to be more temporary crossbars that can be removed when they aren’t needed so you can decrease wind noise & increase gas mileage. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution that stays in place at all times, you should definitely look into the Brightlines roof rack crossbars for Subaru Crosstreks. While Vault & Rola’s crossbars mount outside of your existing side rails, these Brightlines crossbars actually mount between them.
Many people have speculated that this style of crossbar actually causes less wind noise & creates better gas mileage. I would like to note that we didn’t necessarily find the wind noise portion to be true, and the gas mileage came out so close after 100 miles that it is really up in the air. The reality is that if you are mounting something horizontal across the roof of your car you should expect some wind noise. I’m sure there are certain cases & vehicle models where there is absolutely zero wind noise, but those are likely few and far between.
All told we did like the Brightlines roof rack crossbars for Subaru Crosstreks, assuming you want to keep them on your vehicle. If you don’t mind spending a few extra minutes to pop your crossbars on & off, we’d suggest going with a different style like Vault’s.