Subaru Outback Bike Rack Review: 10 Best Cycle Racks for Subaru Outback

For some, biking isn’t just a means of transportation. Biking has been a big part of their lives especially for car owners. The biking community is alive and booming thanks to bike racks which enable us to bring our bikes wherever our adventures take us. The Subaru Outback is one of the cars capable of carrying your pedaled toys. We will be taking a look at the best Subaru Outback bike rack for you to choose from.

An excellent Subaru Outback bike rack for you may come in different types and sizes. Those options should be great in transporting either single or multiple bikes at a time. Therefore, bike racks for the Outback must be ready for your next biking expedition.

You may like to read: Top 10 Bike Racks for Honda Civic Review + Buyer’s Guide


subaru outback bike rack


In this article, we will be showcasing some of the most-reviewed Subaru Outback bike racks packed with great features, benefits, and customer satisfaction. But first, let’s have a look at the different types of bike racks available.

If you are interested in getting a bike rack from Saris, you might want to check out this: Saris SuperClamp Review

Different Types of Subaru Outback Bike Racks

With all these bike racks available, it can be a handful to pick out what’s right for your Outback. Nonetheless, you will still need one whether you are just a casual biker or a really avid cyclist. There are 4 basic types of bike rack that would fit the Subaru Outback.

Roof Racks

Rhino Rack Roof Top Hybrid Bike Carrier with Ratchet Arm and Multiple Locking Systems to Avoid Theft, Black, Medium (Model: RBC050)


This type of bike rack has 3 other subtypes. Bike racks can be a complete roof rack that are installed on the roof of your car using clamps and bolts, as they were made for. Secondly, tray style roof racks attach to the side rails or default crossbars of the car. Lastly, there’s what we call suction cup roof racks which, for obvious reasons, creates an attachment on the roof by means of suctions to produce a good vacuum seal.

Some roof racks would require you to remove the front wheels while others don’t at all. It really depends on the brand and the rack type. Although there is one thing to watch out for. You might sometimes lose track of the bike on your roof. Likewise, you have to be sure as well that you can carry your bike over your head every time you load it up.

Hitch Racks

Kuat NV Base 2.0 Bike Rack, Matte Black, 2" Hitch Size

Hitch racks are the most common and most preferred type of bike rack especially for sedans and compact SUVs. This is mainly because of the convenience of placing it just behind the car without heavy lifting needed. Hitch bike racks attach directly to the receiving hitch of the car. Nowadays, newer models of the hitch racks are more ergonomically-designed.

Most hitch racks also have built-in locks to safely secure the bikes while traveling. One major concern to look out for is the increase in the overall length of the car, thus reducing the rear and ground clearance. LIkewise, it would also create some parking problems especially for back and parallel parking. This will depend on how many bikes you would be carrying with you.

Trunk Racks

Saris Bones Car Trunk Bike Rack, 2 Bikes , Black


Trunk racks, meanwhile, are much like hitch racks which are attached at the back of the car. The difference is that trunk racks are attached by means of straps and hooks together with a foot support to stabilize the rack system. You double check first if your car is compatible with the trunk rack since cars may have varying attachment points at the rear.

You should also be cautious for possible scuffs and scratches on the paint of your car since bike pedals and wheels aren’t that stable on trunk racks. On the flip side, trunk racks are very convenient to remove and store in a small space. The main concern for trunk racks are the irregularities in its shape. Spoiler and other car accessories may hinder good attachment.

Tailgate Pads

Himal Outdoors Tailgate Pad for Mountain Bike, Tailgate Protection Pad with Tool Pockets, Fits Most Truck Carries Up to 5 Bikes

Tailgate pads are bike racks commonly used  used by pick up trucks. For one, they are the easiest to install because they don’t require any tools. Both sides of the tailgate of the truck are covered to let you carry multiple bikes at a time. Multiple straps and hooks are attaches the pad over the tailgate securely.

The linings of the tailgate pad also serve as a rear wheel tray for your bike. In essence, they are the least expensive option for bike racks. Do not be too reliant on durability since tailgate pads are only made out of soft, tear-prone material such as polyester fabric, foam, and soft fleece inner lining.

The Best of the Best Subaru Outback Bike Rack

Thule T2 Pro XTR

Thule Pro XTR 2 Hitch Bike Rack - E-Bike Compatible, Tool-Free Install, No Frame Contact, Tilts for Trunk Access, Fully Locking, Integrated Wheels, 120lb Capacity


It’s no surprise that the Thule T2 Pro XTR is the first on this list as it is on other bike rack reviews as well. For one, Thule has been in the game since 1942. Overall, this hitch bike rack has offered the best performance for the Subaru Outback and value for money. The built-in wheel makes installation and storage easy as ever. Also you won’t be needing any tools in the process.

One of the T2 PRO XTR’s key features is its foldability so it doesn’t hang over too far from the car, and it doesn’t obstruct your rear view. At 60 lbs, it isn’t exactly lightweight, but this hitch-mounted bike rack is guaranteed to be heavy-duty. It has built in locks as well, so won’t worry about security.

Thanks to its universal design, the Thule T2 Pro XTR is the most versatile hitch bike rack out there. It doesn’t matter what type of bike you have or how heavy it is with T2 Pro XTR.

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Saris Freedom Bike Rack

Saris Freedom Bike Hitch Car Rack, 2-Bicycle Carrier, Black

Coming from the Sari SuperClamp line is the Saris Freedom hitch bike rack. The Freedom bike rack is both convenient and budget-friendly. The built-in straps provide security and stability while protecting your bike with its padding. It is capable of fitting two heavy bikes on the Subaru Outback that can be of different sizes. Not to mention, it’s super lightweight at 27 pounds.

The Freedom bike rack features adjustable wheel trays of up to 48 inches. This way, the bike handles will line up perfectly. Also, the bike rack also keeps your bike’s safety in mind by preventing it from scuffs and scratches. All you have to do is mount your Freedom Bike Rack on the hitch because this rack is already pre assembled.

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Genuine Subaru SOA567B020 Thule Bike Rack

Subaru 2008-2024 Subaru Forester Outback Ascent Crosstrek STi Solterra Crosstrek Impreza Roof Bike Rack OEM Thule

The Subaru Genuine is the only custom-made roof bike rack built especially for the Subaru Outback. This roof bike rack is ultra lightweight – the lightest featured on this list. Given this, expect improved fuel economy since this bike rack is unnoticeable up on your roof. Keep in mind that it can carry only one bike.

Moreover, the built-in locks are top-notch which has a premium feel to it. The Subaru Genuine has added security thanks to a keyed device that will make theft almost impossible. In addition, your bike doesn’t sway around that much. On the other hand, the only real downside for this Subaru Outback bike rack is that it can only carry one bike.

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Swagman Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack , Black, 2-Inch Receiver

Next on the list is the most versatile Subaru Outback bike rack available in the market right now – Swagman Hitch Mount Bike Rack. This bike rack is carefully engineered to fit all hitch sizes. A super flexible ratcheting system is included for increased stability of the rack. Also, this Swagman bike rack boasts a complete steel construction making it very heavy-duty at an attractive price.

Furthermore, the Swagman hitch bike rack features an excellent locking system. You won’t have to worry about extensive wobbles while on the go. This rack has an integrated anti-swaying system for a comfortable ride. Additionally, rubber straps for the wheels function as a good protection accessory to carry up to two bikes (35b lbs each).

Access to the rear of the Subaru Outback is possible because the Swagman hitch bike rack is collapsible – meaning it can be folded and unfolded. This bike rack can be installed in as quick as a few minutes. If you’re looking for all of a well-engineered, steady, strong bike rack, then this will fit just fine.

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Yakima Highroad Roof Mounted Bike Rack

YAKIMA, HighRoad Wheel-On Upright Bike Mount for Rooftop Racks for Cars, SUVs and More, Carries 1 Bike

As expected from Yakima, the Yakima Highroad roof mounted bike rack delivers high quality features that are long lasting and dependable. This Subaru Outback bike rack is assembled without having the need of other tools. The installation is pretty easy to follow. Also, the Yakima Highroad takes the cake when it comes to security and flexibility.

It boasts a no contact feature between the bike rack and the car surface. This is why it’s perfect if you own a custom-painted bike or carbon-fiber frame. In addition, the ratcheting hitch firmly attaches the wheels on the rack. As an added security feature, the Highroad comes with double same key system locks (SKS).

You will, likewise, get an easy access to the trunk of your vehicle because of the faraway lever. In this matter, your trunk is freed up for added storage – perfect for those long roadtrips. On the flip side, this roof bike can still be folded when not in use.

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Thule Helium Pro Bike Rack

Thule Helium Pro Hanging Bike Rack - Carries 2 Bikes - Lightweight Hitch Bike Rack - Fits 2' and 1.25' receivers - Quick Tool-Free Installation - Tilts for Trunk Access - 75lb Load Capacity


Another from Thule, the Thule Helium Pro Bike Rack is the only 3-bike hitch rack featured in this list. This bike rack is best fit for the Subaru Outback for a number of reasons. THe Helium Pro has an easy-installing hanging hitch system and is ultra lightweight. With a frame adapter such as the Thule 982XT, you can even load up smaller children’s bikes.

Anti-wobbling features are also included in the hitch bike rack for a steady ride. Additionally, its constructed with high-grade aluminum which makes this rack greatly strong. Thule has also incorporated a HideAway feature that will give increased stability with the use of an anti-oscillating effect.

Talk about no frame contract. The Helium Pro allows a 7-inch allowance in between bikes which is very impressive. To add to the list is the folding and unfolding system because of the HitchSwitch. The HitchSwitch also allows a very convenient access to the trunk of the Subaru Outback anytime.

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Thule ProRide XT Roof Bike Rack

Thule ProRide XT Roof Bike Rack


The Thule Proride XT roof bike rack has a uniquely designed frame holder as well as wheel trays to secure your bike instantly in position. Big yet soft claw pads adapt to the frame of the bike to minimize the risk of scratches and other major damages by spreading pressure evenly.

Likewise, the extendable jaw of the claw will make sure your bike won’t fall off during loading and unloading. A torque limiter dial controls how much force goes into the bike to ensure mounting without unwanted damages. In addition to the frame holder and wheel trays, smartly designed wheel holders ensure the wheels are firmly in place.

The quick-release straps will get rid of your worries. 2 lock cylinders, separately sold, lock the bike/s to bike to carrier and vice versa. The Proride XT is compatible with Thule rack systems as well as with most factory racks.

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KAC S4 2” Hitch Mounted Rack

KAC Ride S4 Hitch Mounted 4-Bike Suspension Rack, Quick Release Handle, Double Folding, Smart Tilting Design, RV Use Prohibited, 2' Hitch

KAC S4 2-inch hitch mounted bike rack is great for the Subaru Outback to make some room for adventure. The dual quick release levers allow the carrying arms to collapse when not in use. Likewise, this Subaru Outback bike rack can be tilted away from the car to access the trunk and your rear cargo as well.

Don’t stress about security because this Subaru Outback bike rack comes with a built-in locking hitch pin. Not to mention, an anti-wobble system ensures a very smooth and sturdy adventure. Rear reflectors improve visibility. Also, rubber bike holder straps are made of ultra stretchable and UV-resistant materials to secure any bike frame size.

There’s no problem if you own a step-through bike. You just have to buy an adapter for a secure and snug fit for that low frame. Keep in mind the Safety Strap included for added protection during your travels. The KAC S4 hitch mount can fit up to 4 bikes easily.

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Allen Sports Premier Trunk Bike Rack

Allen Sports Premier Locking Quick Release 4-Bike Carrier for 2 Inch Hitch on Vehicles with Spare Tire, Model 400QR, Black


It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a budget-friendly bike rack or if your car does have a hitch, the Allen Sports Premier trunk bike rack is just for you. This trunk rack offers a wide range of car compatibility and bike versatility as well. That’s why the Allen Sports Premier is one of Amazon’s best-selling products especially for bike racks.

The Allen Sports Premier is designed to attach to the trunk and easily fits the Subaru Outback which doesn’t have a receiving hitch. It can carry up to 2 bikes easily. In addition, the rack is attached by five adjustable straps and has 2 sets of feet support with rubber protectors.

Accompanied by it’s small and lightweight frame, the Allen Sports Premier folds up into a small, and storage-friendly rack. Be mindful because this trunk rack is perfect for smaller bike and have some trouble fitting extra large bikes.

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Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe 3-Bike Trunk Rack

Tyger Auto Deluxe 3-Bike Trunk Mount Bicycle Rack. (Compatible with Vehicles Without Rear Spoilers) | TG-RK3B203S


The Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe 3-bike rack is another great trunk bike rack option in this list. This rack has a sturdy build because of its steel frame construction which can carry up to 55 pounds of bike, 3 times. The Tyger Auto is one of the highly-rated trunk racks also because of its compatibility with many bigger bikes.

One thing buyers would appreciate is the Tyger Auto TG comes completely assembled, and all you need is a few minutes to install it. In addition, the padded lower frames will give enough room between your bikes and the Subaru Outback. The individual soft cradles as well as safety straps give superb protection and security to at least 3 bikes. Don’t forget to ratchet buckles for added stability.

To add to the list, the Tyger Auto TG trunk bike rack is incredibly rust-resistant because of its patented E-coating technology. Moreover, the foldable arms are very convenient as well for easy trunk access and more rear clearance. This trunk will surely not disappoint for its reliability and longevity.

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Things You Should Consider Before You Buy

What’s your budget?

Well, it goes without saying that you should have the money to afford the best bike rack for you. Different bikes have different features included, their prices may also vary. Usually, the known brands are much more expensive than others solely because they offer quality and performance.

For a premium car like the Subaru Outback, it is recommended to buy a premium bike rack as well. This way, you can ensure that your Subaru Outback bike can keep up with you all the way.

Do You Need A Bike Rack?

Bike racks are sometimes a necessity when you often travel by pedal. Bike goers usually have their bikes with them all the time. This means that they should have a carrier for their bikes for a hassle-free and secure experience. There are single bike racks and multiple ones as well. This is why it depends also on how many bikes you own and how many you regularly use.

Consider first your lifestyle whether you’re a casual bike or an avid biking enthusiast. Also, it is also beneficial to have a bike rack with you when you want to travel long distances whilst enjoying the fresh air.

What Type of Bike Do You Have?

This is one to keep in mind. You should know what type of bike you have. Let’s say you have an expensive carbon fiber frame bike. You wouldn’t want your bike frame to have sufficient contact, would you? Some bike racks, particularly roof racks, don’t have any frame contact at all.

For heavier bikes, it is recommended to have a platform hitch bike rack. Hitch rack will not require much heavy lifting since they are located only at the rear of the car. For smaller bikes, even trunk racks can handle the load.

Low Profile Design

It is important to consider a low-profile design because it will make loading and unloading easy as a breeze. As such, it also gives a better experience with low-height parking garages and greatly reduces drag and wind noise. As a result, all of these factors will maximize fuel efficiency.

Sometimes, the simpler the design, the better-looking it is. A roof rack that is low profile is a major plus because it goes well with almost any type of car particularly a strong SUV like the Subaru Outback. A low-profile appearance will give your Outback that additional accent that will make it look better.

Installing a Subaru Outback Bike Rack

Here’s a quick installation video of  the Thule Hitching Post Pro Hitch Bike Rack on the Subaru Outback.

This should give you an overview on how you mount hitch bike racks on the Outback.

Wrapping It Up

In conclusion, the best Subaru Outback bike rack should be hassle-free, super sturdy and steady, and has other excellent features at a very reasonable price. For a premium car brand like Subaru, we highly recommend getting bike racks from trusted brands as well. We already did the part for you, and even gave an overview for each one.

Also, kindly spend some time reading this article because we featured some of the bike racks that would go nicely with the Subaru Outback. We really hope you would land on one of our top picks. Make sure to consider all important factors such as rear clearance, installation, weight, capacity, and many more.

Happy cycling!

FAQs On Subaru Outback Bike Rack

Which type of bike rack works best with the Subaru Outback?

Typically hitch mount are often used for bigger cars such as SUVs because they are incredibly stable. This type is usually the more expensive option since they are heavy duty and can hold up to 4 bikes depending on the model.

How many bikes can I carry on the Subaru Outback?

It really depends on the bike rack you have. Some can carry up to 2 while others can go as much as 4 bikes, easy. For Subaru Outback, you would have no problems carrying a maximum of 4 bikes although you have to be cautious of your rear end clearance.

Which type of Subaru Outback bike rack is better for off road?

For rocky adventures, a platform hitch rack will be your best option. Hitch bike racks are usually more stable and more robust compared to other types. Roof racks are also okay since they can only carry one bike which is manageable.

Can you go through a car wash with bike rack?

PSA: Do not take your bike rack through an automatic car wash. This type of car wash will damage your rack. Likewise, it can greatly damage your Subaru Outback as well. You can simply the rack first before heading over the car wash.