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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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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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2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 6 speed manual
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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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2010 3.6R Limited
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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.
4 cords of oak would weigh over 20,000 lbs, plus where did you put it all? :
 

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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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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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2007 Outback 3.0
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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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Smeric, tx for the insight. I picked up my 58" crossbars w/ some Railgrabbers today used, but in what appears great condition. My box should be coming soon. I removed the factory crossbars today as well. I will mount the bars tomorrow, contingent on forecast. Anyhow, Smeric, sounds like based on what you said that it works to place the crossbars in the most forward small holes/openings on the siderails. But, with the rear cross bar, you are saying that it didn't work to have it all the back on the siderails? Do I have to wait for the Skybox 16s to get here before I mount the rear crossbar in order to determine the best positioning without the liftgate rubbing the box? Thanks.
 

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" But, with the rear cross bar, you are saying that it didn't work to have it all the back on the siderails? "
It worked fine for bikes racks, but I had to move it forward for the box to clear the open liftgate. I just measured mine, and my rear cross bar is mounted about 8" forward of the small hole at the rear of the roof rail. That, plus adjusting the clamps inside the box to position the box forward, gave me clearance on the liftgate.
You can probably go ahead and mount the rear bar before you get the box. Once the cross bar is on the car, you can easily loosen the railgrabbers and slide it forward/backward as needed.
I think I remember that when I set up the box, one set of the clamps was adjusted all the way against the rear stop, and the other set still had some room left, but I can't remember if it was the front or rear clamps.
 

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Tx Smeric. I'll play around with mine when I have some time. The box will coming soon to REI, then I will pick it up. I want to mount it at REI, but hopefully I am not sitting there for an hour trying to get it adjusted so that there are not problems with the lift gate.
 

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I have an old Thule silver painted box which seems to be longer than most of the boxes sold today which don't seem to be made to handle proper snow skis ie too short length wise.

When the old box is on the stock 2010 cross bars it rubs the hatch some when you open the hatch. I put some heavy clear tape in one little spot where it rubs. I don't run around with the box on the car unless we are using the box which is like 5-7 times a year. When I put my old yakima gear on with the rail grabs it raises my rack gear up off the roof line about 3 inches which case the box clears the hatch just fine.

Width needed for your gear is a different story I have two bar sets. I run the fairly standard 54 inch bars for the box and two bikes snug fit but they fit. I run the 66 inch bars for the box + canoe or three bikes with the box. Or the 66 bars for my 12ft sailboat if I car top it.
 

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I've carried an awful lot using a combo of the factory rails and a Yakima system on all my Subarus. This photo was from one of the WRX's I've owned with two 16' sea kayaks and 2 mountain bikes.

 

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:2cents:

i carry close to 100# on my OEM rack few times a year and so far no bend or other issues.
 

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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.
i use the thule feet and bar setup on my 07 OB. 4 pairs of ski's and poles in bags, tire chains, box of travel tools and simple repair supplies in a Thule Frontier box. ski trips throughout the west and western can. no worries.

in general pack the lightest stuff up top lest you get a bad center of gravity happening. loaded up I can feel the difference...

you really should do an aftermarket crossbar system for safety
 

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My Outback handles up-top weight fine. I have a roof top tent with yakima railgrabbers and 58" bars. Total static weight is probably 160lbs. When I sleep up-top with all my gear it must weigh 500lbs or so. It has been absolutely fine with no worries.

I posted a picture somewhere on this site but I forget which thread. Here is another pic -
 

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I lost a wide 14' kayak that was on Thule J-bars on the factory crossbars. The kayak weighs less than 70 lbs. so I was under the weight limit, but there was a strong crosswind. It just ripped the crossbars off the rails and twisted the J-bars. This was on I-94 in Michigan. Since then I've gone to Thule crossbars and feet with the kayak horizontal and haven't had any problems.
The kayak survived with just some scratches and a broken rudder keeper. Luckily it sailed off to the shoulder and there wasn't any traffic nearby.
 
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