Weight limits on roof racks - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Weight limits on roof racks

I see that my 07 OB 2.5 has a limit of 100lbs on the roof. I was thinking of buying a Thule carrier, but it alone weighs 40+ lbs, which would leave not much for the cargo. A few questions:

1) Does anyone know what the Subaru stock roof rails and cross bars can really handle in terms of weight? Is 150 lbs ok?

2) Is it the rails or the cross-pieces that are the limiting factor in terms of weight?

3) If it is just the cross bars, then can someone recommend a few aftermarket cross bars that look decent and are not too expensive.

Thanks!

D.

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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 01:02 PM
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I think your stock bars are 100lbs - an after market system I think almost all of them have 150lb limit as long as the feet are sitting on the hard bits ie roof frame and not the flimsy sheet metal your issue is cross bar strength.

What exactly do you plan on hauling that has you concerned about weight? I've car topped 140lb laser sailboats on jetta's - honda civics with no issues when properly loaded and tied down.

My legacy GT has had 130-140lbs on the roof also with no issues even during a wicked bad rain and wind storm with freeway speeds. Again using non stock cross bars and Yakima rack system

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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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What exactly do you plan on hauling that has you concerned about weight? I've car topped 140lb laser sailboats on jetta's - honda civics with no issues when properly loaded and tied down.
I am just planning to put luggage etc in a Thule carrier, but since the carrier weighs 42 by itself, I can easily imagine a total load on the roof of 140-150 including Thule + cargo.
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 01:20 PM
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150lb's is the bar and foot capability not the roof. The stock bars on the outback are 100lbs then they start getting bendy and unhappy. The Thule and yakima racks 150lbs and the bars get bendy and unhappy.

Luggage you should always pack as much of the heavy luggage in the car for all kinds of reasons milege - weather - security of your luggage etc. Then the smaller lighter stuff on the roof. I'm only a fan of baskets for items like fire wood- gas can's spare tires etc soft and small items like sleeping bags - folding chairs - pillows - small duffel bags I like using the roof box keeps it dry secure and out of sight. 150lbs is lots of weight and gear.
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 01:23 PM
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We pack the heavy stuff on the floor of the trunk even the ice chest then toss the dog bed on top and the dog rides atop of that though I always set it up so he's at or below the level of the rear seat head rests when they are raised some this keeps him firmly planted in the back of the car - a seat belt ie harness attached to a back corner tie down point is also a good idea we do that too.
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-24-2010, 12:18 AM
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i used my Thule MOAB this weekend, threw
1 full cooler
2 camp chairs
1 camp table
4 cords of wod
1 coleman stove
1 lantern
1 box of Duraflame Logs
1 box of instant noodles
and a few other things.

probably very close to the load weight, and it was fine.
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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-24-2010, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by dieselraver View Post
i used my Thule MOAB this weekend, threw
1 full cooler
2 camp chairs
1 camp table
4 cords of wod
1 coleman stove
1 lantern
1 box of Duraflame Logs
1 box of instant noodles
and a few other things.

probably very close to the load weight, and it was fine.
4 cords of oak would weigh over 20,000 lbs, plus where did you put it all? :

Chris
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:48 PM
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Thumbs up 2006 Subaru Roof Rack

We were concerned about the 100# limit on the Subaru Outback as well. We removed the factor cross bars and installed two 58" Yakima bars that attach directly to the factory roof rails. Tightened everything down where so that the Yakima bars would not move when pushing and pulling on them. Then installed a Yakima Rocket Box 16 cubic foot model. The box itself is limited to 165# of cargo. We loaded it with 125# and took off to the Gulf Coast for a weekend trip and the box, cross bars and factory roof rails held up perfectly. Then loaded it to 155# (yep we weighed everything) on the trip back and again the factory roof rails held up fine as did all the other Yakima equipment. We're now in northern Utah after a 28 hour drive from Mississippi and again carried 155# of gear on top of the Subaru with absolutely no issues. So the factory rails held 155# of gear plus the 12# Yakimal bars/rail clamps plus the 40# Rocket Box. That's 207# atop the Subaru and with no problems. So carrying two canoes, or whitewater kayaks or even several bikes should not be a problem for the factory rails as long as you attach the Yakima bars and clamps tightly to the factory rails.
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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-16-2012, 05:56 PM
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Exceeding OEM crossbar weight limit; Yakima bar install question

I have an 09 OBW with OEM rails and crossbars. The limit shows 100#. I just purchased a Yakima Skybox Pro 16s cargo box, with weight of 47#. I have thought about eventually upgrading to Yakima 48" or 58" crossbars (most likely will get the 58" for more versatility) but for the time being will use the factory bars. Has any had any issues/problems exceeding the 100# limit on the OEM bars? Also, if I did remove the OEM crossbars and install the Yakima 48" or 58", where place them on the rail system? Are they placed in the smaller holes in the roof rails, or the larger open area? Are they placed more toward the front or the rear? I understand that cargo attachments will determine the spread. For example, it appears that the Skybox Pro 16s has min/max spread of 24"-36". Any help/insight would be appreciated. Thanks.
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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 10:07 PM
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...Also, if I did remove the OEM crossbars and install the Yakima 48" or 58", where place them on the rail system? Are they placed in the smaller holes in the roof rails, or the larger open area? Are they placed more toward the front or the rear? I understand that cargo attachments will determine the spread. For example, it appears that the Skybox Pro 16s has min/max spread of 24"-36". Any help/insight would be appreciated. Thanks.
I went through this with my 07, which I think has the same rails as your 09. I originally had 58" cross bars mounted in the small holes at the far ends of the rails. Great for carrying bike trays and canoes because the wide spread made the load very stable. When I got a Yakima 16s box and installed it, the rear hatch would bump into the box when fully opened, even with the box adjusted as far forward as possible. I ended up moving the rear crossbar forward about 5 inches, and that gave me enough clearance on the rear hatch. In that position I can still leave the bike trays permanently installed on the sides and have enough room in the middle for the box or a large canoe.

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