Exploring the Great Outdoors with your Subaru Forester: Adding a Roof Rack for Maximum Adventure!

Subaru Forester owners know that their vehicle is perfectly suited for outdoor adventures – with its all-wheel drive capabilities and spacious cargo capacity. However, if you’re an avid camper, hiker, or biker, you may find that you quickly run out of space in your Forester for all your gear. This is where a roof rack comes in – providing the extra storage you need to make the most of your outdoor activities. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about adding a roof rack to your Subaru Forester.

Types of Roof Racks Compatible with Subaru Forester

There are two main types of roof racks compatible with the Subaru Forester – those that attach to the factory-installed roof rails, and those that fit directly onto the roof. The former is the most common and user-friendly option, as they’re easy to install and remove, and provide a stable base for your gear. However, they may not be suitable for heavy loads or extreme driving conditions. Conversely, direct-to-roof racks provide a more secure attachment, and can handle heavier loads, but may require drilling or modification of the roof.

When choosing a roof rack, consider the type of gear you plan to transport, your driving habits, and how often you’ll be using the rack. Popular brands for Subaru Forester roof racks include Yakima, Thule, and Rhino Rack.

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Advantages of Adding a Roof Rack to a Forester

Adding a roof rack to your Forester can significantly expand your cargo capacity, making it easier to carry items like bikes, kayaks, luggage, or camping gear without sacrificing interior space. This is especially useful for longer trips or family vacations. Additionally, a roof rack can make it easier to access bulky items, as you can simply tie them to the top of your car. It can also give your Forester a more rugged, adventure-ready look.

Installation Process of a Roof Rack on a Subaru Forester

While the installation process may vary slightly depending on the type of roof rack, most models come with detailed instructions and require only basic tools. To install a roof rack that attaches to factory-installed roof rails, you’ll need to remove the end caps on the rails, line up the rack bases, and tighten the bolts securely. For a direct-to-roof rack, you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure proper alignment and prevent damage to your car – this may involve drilling, sealant application, or other modifications. In either case, it’s recommended to have a partner to assist with holding the rack in place as you install it.

Components of a Roof Rack and How They Function

A typical roof rack system consists of several components, including crossbars, towers or feet, and a specific attachment system for your gear. The crossbars are the horizontal bars that span across the roof of your car, while the towers or feet secure the crossbars in place. The attachment system will vary depending on the type of gear you’re transporting – kayaks, bikes, cargo boxes, or other equipment will require different mounting hardware. It’s important to properly adjust and secure each component to ensure maximum stability and safety.

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Best Practices for Using and Maintaining a Subaru Forester Roof Rack

To get the most out of your Subaru Forester roof rack, there are several best practices to keep in mind. Firstly, always follow the weight limits and loading instructions provided by the manufacturer – overloading your roof rack can put stress on your car and compromise safety. Additionally, ensure that your gear is tied down securely using straps, bungee cords, or other suitable materials. Regularly inspect your roof rack for signs of wear or damage, and clean it regularly to prevent buildup of dirt, debris, or rust.


Q: Can I install a roof rack on a Subaru Forester without roof rails?

A: Yes, there are several direct-to-roof rack options available for the Subaru Forester that don’t require existing roof rails. However, these may require drilling or modification of the roof, and should be installed with caution.

Q: Can I leave my roof rack on my Forester when not in use?

A: It’s generally safe to leave your roof rack attached to your car when not in use, although some people prefer to remove it to improve fuel efficiency or prevent theft.

Q: What is the weight limit for a Subaru Forester roof rack?

A: The weight limit will vary depending on the specific roof rack and manufacturer, but typically ranges from 150 to 225 pounds. Always consult the owner’s manual and manufacturer instructions for specific weight limits.

In conclusion, adding a roof rack to your Subaru Forester can open up a whole new world of outdoor adventure possibilities. By selecting the right type of rack, following installation instructions carefully, and practicing proper safety measures, you can make the most of your Forester’s capabilities and enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest!

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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