One of the many reasons behind the Subaru Outback’s popularity is its spaciousness. Most quantities of cargo can be fit easily into the crossover vehicle’s trunk.
However, if you’ve ever tried fitting a road/mountain bike back there, you’ve probably failed or succeeded after wasting way too much time and effort.
If your family is the adventurous type, not bringing your bike along on outdoor excursions is inconceivable. Accordingly, you need to find the best bike rack for Subaru Outback, especially if you need to carry multiple bikes at once.
With all the different types and builds of bike racks out there, choosing one can be difficult.
Not to worry! Find our top 10 picks below and a comprehensive buying guide.
Best Bike Racks for Subaru Outback Reviews
Keeping a number of important factors in mind, here are our top 10 picks. We have attempted to cover all the relevant types currently available on the market, so you’ll hopefully find the right fit.
1. KAC Overdrive Sport 2-Bike Hitch Mounted Rack
- Strong powder-coated steel tubing construction
- Able to accommodate 2 bikes of up to 60 pounds
- Comes with a locking hitch pin and key for security
- The effective anti-wobble system further enables you to keep your bikes in check
This highly-rated hitch-mounted bike rack from KAC Overdrive is our first pick. Able to carry up to 2 bikes at once (of 60lbs each), attaching or removing your bikes from this rack is a walk in the park thanks to the convenient sliding ratchet hooks.
You can expect your bikes to stay securely in place with these racks, thanks to the included padded clamps. The wheel holders each measure 5 inches in width but can be adjusted to fit the dimensions of your bike’s wheels. So most bikes are compatible with this hitch rack.
And this thing is built to be durable, too: the surface of the sturdy steel tubing is reinforced with protective powder coating. Furthermore, there’s a rear reflector to help with visibility as well.
If you’re looking to conveniently transport one or two heavy-duty bikes on your Subaru Outback without hindering rear access, then this is undoubtedly one of the best bike rack hitches you’ll come across.
2. Allen Sports Premier Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
- Easy set-up and disassembly thanks to the quick-snap design
- Carry arms are each 12 inches long and accommodate 70lbs of bike weight
- Lower straps and tie-down cradles work together to keep the bicycle securely in place
- Large car pads allow for even bike weight distribution
- Available in 2-bike and 3-bike variations
Our next pick is a trunk-mounted bike rack, available from Allen Sports, a brand that has been producing reliable and well-built sporting equipment for nearly half a century. Available in 2-bike and 3-bike variations, this bike rack is super convenient and easy to use.
Installing this thing is a walk in the park; it only takes seconds thanks to the innovative quick-snap set-up. Its narrow-set carry arms are each 12 inches long and are able to accommodate bikes of up to 70 pounds each. Most bike sizes and types are supported by this rack.
With this rack, you’ll be able to rest easy about the safety of your bikes as you carry them along with you; the dual-compound cradles work in a tie-down system to keep your bikes securely in place. Inside, sizeable car pads do the work of distributing your bikes’ weight.
It’s worth noting that some users report issues with the carrying capacity of the straps; we would recommend checking the combined weight of your bikes before loading them onto this rack.
3. Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe Trunk Mount Bicycle Carrier Rack
- Padded lower frames and safety straps keep your bike securely in place
- The frame extends at an angle to reduce contact with car body
- Integrated durable rubber bumpers keep car body surface safe
- Rust-resistant thanks to OE standard black E-coating
If the best bike rack for Subaru Forester is what you’re after rather than for an Outback, then you need a trunk bike rack that is able to fit a smaller SUV. And this one from Tyger Auto pretty much fits the bill.
This thing comes fully assembled, so setting it up will take no time at all. Despite its relatively lightweight construction, this rack is very sturdily built. And no matter whether you purchase the 1-, 2- or 3-bike variation, the padded frame, and safety straps together promise to keep your bikes safe.
On that note, you’ll also appreciate the individual soft cradles which further ensure that your bike(s) will remain unscathed while precluding any damage to your car’s finish. This is also facilitated by the spacing of the frame, which keeps the bicycled at a distance.
And when you’re done, you can stow this thing away with ease: the carry arms of the rack are foldable, allowing for hassle-free storage when not in use. And finally, it’s also worth noting that this is one of the more affordable trunk hitch racks you’ll come across!
4. Hollywood Racks Traveler Hitch Mounted Bike Rack
- Variations available for 3, 4 and 5 bikes
- Cradles are equipped with soft rubber parts to keep bikes safe
- Anti-sway bike cradles ensure your bikes stay securely in place
- Accommodates up to 35 pounds of weight for each bike
Now that we’ve looked at so many trunk-mounted bike racks, it’s time to move on to a hitch-mounted one. If you have multiple regular-sized bikes that you need to carry, then this rack from Hollywood Racks is a good fit.
You can pretty much tell just by looking at this thing that it will stay in place while carrying your bikes. It’s compatible with both 2″ and 1-1/4″ hitches and can be tilted out of the way when you need rear access.
One downside of this rack is its weight capacity: each bike must not be heavier than 35 pounds, which means you won’t be able to carry heavy-duty mountain or road bikes on this thing.
However, if you’re looking to carry kids’ bikes along with one of your own, you can expect this rack to do its job. With the rack’s sturdy construction and secure straps, you won’t have to worry about keeping your bikes in a row. If you’re looking for a long-term rack with heavy-duty capabilities, however, we would recommend looking elsewhere.
5. Genuine Subaru Accessories SOA567B020
- Automatic self-adjusting jaws wrap around the downtube for a precise fit
- Ratcheting straps attach to the rear and front wheels
- Fits most bike wheels measuring between 20" and 29"
- Comes with a lock to secure the bike to the rack
Since we’re dealing with Subaru vehicles here, it only makes sense for our review list to include a bike rack directly endorsed by Subaru. Manufactured by the renowned brand Thule, this roof-mounted bike rack is meant for use with not only the Outback, but also the Crosstrek, Ascent, Impreza, Forester, STI, and WRX.
So what can you expect from this bike rack? That’s easy: everything! Equipped with impressive self-adjusting “jaws,” this bike rack adjusts itself to fit the downtube for an accurate securing of your bike’s frame.
To further help keep the bike in place, you can make use of the ratcheting straps, which will keep a hold of the rear and front wheels. And since the mounting clamps are adjustable as well, you can change vehicles with ease.
Most bike models and makes are supported by this rack, as it can accommodate bike wheels measuring between 20″ and 29″ and wheels measuring 2.6″ in width. One drawback, however, is that you can only carry one bike on this rack; so if you have multiple bikes, you might want to consider other options.
6. Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
- Easily and quickly secures the bike with no contact with car body
- Bikes stand 12.5 inches apart from one another when locked in place
- The rack can be tilted down for rear access
- Available in silver and black color options
On the subject of Thule, the T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack is undoubtedly one of the most reliable hitch-mounted bike racks you’ll come across. However, it is expensive, so proceed accordingly.
Measuring 54″x15″x43″, this premium bike rack is able to carry up to 2 bikes with ease. Installing and removing it is super quick and easy, thanks to the auto-attach system that does not require any tools.
You can depend on this rack to transport your bikes safely without damaging the finish of your Outback, as the ratcheting arm is frame-free. Your bikes will be securely held with the 24″ integrated cable locks.
Worried about getting rear access into the trunk when this guy is attached? Don’t be! Simply tilt it. And once you’ve reached your destination, folding the rack down for storage will take no time at all.
The weight capacity for each bike is 60 pounds, with the total load capacity being 100 pounds. So no matter whether you have a carbon-frame mountain, downhill or ebike, as long as it’s within 20″ and 29″, this rack can handle it.
7. Leader Accessories Hitch Mounted 2 Bike Rack Bicycle Carrier Rack
- Sturdy and thick frame construction promises longevity and performance
- Thick 2.5mm tube carry arms can take 2 bikes of up to 80 pounds each
- Foldable carrier arms make for easy storage when not in use
- Equipped with dual-arm mounting design with adjustable mounting saddles
Phew! We know, it’s really starting to seem like good bike racks don’t come cheap. This hitch-mounted bike rack from Leader Accessories, however, is here to prove you wrong.
Compatible with standard 2-inch hitch receivers, this bike rack is equipped with a dual-arm system that combines with the mounting saddles to keep your bike in place. Most bike models and makes will be supported by this thing, and you can expect to fit at least 2 bikes on it. The per-bike 80-pound weight capacity is bound to impress you, as well.
And don’t worry about your bikes wobbling around on this rack; secure bolts and dual-compound tie-down cradles promise to keep your bike safely in place during transit.
Convenience is an important theme of this bike rack, with its easy tilt-down mechanism that allows you to access the rear with ease. The arms fold down easily and quickly to allow for convenient storage.
8. IKURAM 2 Bike Rack Bicycle Carrier Rack
- The dual-arm design allows for easy mounting
- Accommodates up to 2 bikes of various makes and models
- The tilt-down mechanism allows easy rear access
- Arms fold down for easy storage when not in use
Next up, we have another hitch-mounted bike rack that is perfect for a large variety of SUVs and minivans, including, of course, your Subaru Outback. Constructed fully from high-quality steel and furnished with a protective powder coating, durability and performance are both promised by Ikuram R in this bike rack.
Built to transport up to 2 bikes at once, this bike rack is equipped with a dual-arm mounting design that has been optimized for spacing. Not only will your bikes stay safe, but your car, as well.
And thanks to the rack’s downward-tilting mechanism, getting rear access won’t be an issue at all. Plus, the arms fold down with ease to allow for easy storage and transport, as well. All in all, this bike rack offers all of the most important features you might require, and at a reasonable price, too!
9. XCAR 2-Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Carrier Rack Heavy Duty
- The tilt-down mechanism allows for easy access to the trunk of the car
- Carrier arms can be folded down with ease for convenient storage
- Durable and sturdy rubber straps can be adjusted to fit bike dimensions
- Mounting saddles are also adjustable
Our penultimate pick is from XCAR, and it’s ideal for those of you who are looking for an affordable yet safe way to transport your heavy-duty bikes. Able to accommodate up to 2 bikes, this hitch-mounted rack is compatible with 2″ hitch receivers and equipped with solid and durable steel construction.
The carry arms of this bike rack are made from thick 2.5mm steel tubes, which allows them to withstand up to 80 pounds of weight for each bike. Your bikes will be held securely in place until your destination with the help of dual-compound tie-down cradles and convenient, quick-set straps.
The tilt-down mechanism afforded to this bike allows for easy and quick rear access. Furthermore, folding it up and putting it away is also super easy once you’ve reached your destination. Oh, and the mounting straps are adjustable, so almost any bike can be carried by this rack. The 7.87″ clearance between the rack and the car also eliminates the possibility of damage to the bikes or your Outback.
10. Rhino Rack 2 Bike Hitch Carrier
- Durable and strong steel frame construction allows heavy-duty performance
- Able to accommodate up to 2 large/heavy bikes at once
- Foam padding provides protection for bike parts
- Pull-latch and foldable top arms allow easy rear access
- Sturdy rubber straps keep your bikes firmly in place
Our final selection today for the best Subaru Outback bike racks is this highly-rated hitch carrier from Rhino Rack. Compatible with 2″ hitches, this heavy-duty bike rack is built to accommodate up to 2 heavy bikes at once.
What makes this bike rack so sturdy and capable of handling big bikes? Its durable steel frame. Not only does this mean your bikes will be carried with ease, but the long-term functionality of the thing is also ensured.
Thanks to the padded cradles, your bikes will stay safe from any sort of denting or scratching. The strong rubber straps promise to keep your bikes firmly in place with enough clearance between them.
And since the carrier arms of this rack swing away with ease, you can easily access the rear cargo when you need to. Storage will be a breeze thanks to the arms’ folding-down ability.
Buying Guide for Bike Racks for Subaru Outback
In order to get the most out of your bike rack, you need to first be able to assess your options. Keep the following factors in mind before choosing one.
Your new bike rack would be no good if you came to discover that it’s not compatible with your vehicle (whether or not it’s a Subaru Outback). Especially when it comes to hitch-mounted bike racks (as you will read below), you will first have to ascertain whether the hitching system is the right measurement. Also, unless your vehicle is an Outback, remember to check that its roof is compatible with a roof-mounted bike rack.
Bike racks can be categorized in 3 different ways according to where on your car they can be attached: roof, hitch, and trunk. Have a look at each type, in turn, to determine which one suits your needs best.
We've all seen it at least once or twice: a road bike being carried smoothly along on the roof of an SUV. Roof-mounted bike racks offer a simple and straightforward solution for carrying your bike on your Subaru Outback as they are relatively quite lightweight and easy to install.
However, roof-mounted racks are typically only able to carry one bike. And if your destination requires you to take a route with a low-height tunnel, or if you need to utilize a car park with height restrictions, it's obviously not the right choice.
Furthermore, if you're short and/or not very strong, lifting your bike over your head and onto the Outback's roof will be difficult. All that being said, many people consider roof-mounted racks to be the safest way to transport their bikes.
If you have multiple bikes, or if your bike is particularly large and heavy, then the hitch-mounted bike rack will be the best match for you. As the name suggests, such a rack is "hitched" to your car, meaning it'll be mounted to the back. These types of racks are also easy to fold up and stow away when not in use.
However, hitch-mounted racks take much more time and effort to install. Furthermore, because of their weight, they can increase your mileage; and since they block the license plate, you might run into trouble with the law. Ultimately, however, they offer a great solution for bringing along multiple bikes at once.
As you can tell from the name, a truck-mounted bike rack hooks up to the trunk of your car with straps to secure it. They're super easy to install and are ideal if you're looking to transport just one bike. And because they tend to be adjustable, they're compatible with the vast majority of cars. However, although they can carry multiple bikes, they don't have a very high weight capacity.
If you own a good-quality road or mountain bike, it probably didn't come cheap. So the last thing you want is to be worrying about whether your bike(s) will get stolen while in transit.
Accordingly, you need to check the security features of your selected bike rack. The vast majority of bike racks come with a locking mechanism; however, the efficacy of the system can vary.
Choosing a bike rack of good-quality construction is particularly important for those who will be using it frequently. Not only should your bike rack be strong and sturdy, but it should also be weatherproof, rust- and corrosion-resistant. Hours of exposure to sunlight is also a concern, so look for OE standard protective coatings.
FAQs for Bike Racks for Subaru Outback
How can I install a bike rack on my Subaru Outback’s roof?
Your Outback already comes with roof rails that can be used as crossbars, so you don't have to worry about installing them separately. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install.
I need to carry more than 2 bikes on my Outback. What kind of bike rack should I get?
A hitched or trunk-mounted bike rack will work best for you since they are able to carry larger numbers of bikes. These are also ideal for carrying bikes with large and heavy tires.
How does a roof-mounted bike rack keep a bike in place? Is it safe?
Your bike will be kept stable by securing its wheels. This provides security from the bottom up. Make use of locks for extra security.
Are bike racks for SUVs expensive?
They can be, but they aren’t always. Trunk-mounted racks are the most affordable, with an approximate price range of $50-$200. Hitch-mounted and roof-mounted racks can go up to $500 apiece depending on capacity and features.
What is the most affordable bike rack for Subaru Outback?
The Leader Accessories Hitch Mounted Bike Rack is a great option if you’re on a budget!
Only you can decide what the best bike rack for Subaru Outback is. That being said, the KAC Overdrive Sport 2-Bike Hitch Mounted Rack and Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack are two that stand out for their performance and features.Can’t spend that much? Then you can consider the Leader Accessories Hitch Mounted Bike Rack. Good luck, and happy travels!