If you’re the proud owner of a 2012 Subaru Forester and are looking for a way to expand your vehicle’s storage capabilities, cross bars are a great investment. They provide a sturdy base for attaching cargo boxes, bike racks, and other outdoor gear, allowing you to bring everything you need for your next adventure. But with so many types and brands of cross bars available in the market, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your vehicle. This guide will help you identify the best cross bars for your 2012 Subaru Forester based on your needs and preferences.
Types of Cross Bars
Before we dive into specific products, let’s first discuss the different types of cross bars available in the market:
Roof rails are a factory-installed feature on some vehicles, including the 2012 Subaru Forester. They run from front to back along the edges of the roof and provide a base for attaching cross bars. If your Forester is equipped with roof rails, you can purchase compatible cross bars that attach directly to the rails.
Raised Side Rails
Raised side rails are similar to roof rails, but they sit higher up on the roof and have a gap between the rail and the roof. This type of cross bar is compatible with many different vehicles, including the 2012 Subaru Forester. Raised side rail cross bars attach to the rails using a clamp or other attachment method.
If your 2012 Subaru Forester doesn’t have roof rails or raised side rails, you can still install cross bars. Bare roof cross bars attach directly to the roof using brackets or other attachment methods.
Important Features to Consider
When selecting cross bars, there are several features you should consider:
The weight capacity of the cross bars indicates how much weight they can support. This is especially important if you plan to carry heavy equipment or multiple items at once. Make sure to choose cross bars that can handle the weight you plan to carry.
Cross bars should be able to withstand harsh weather conditions and regular use over time. Look for products that are made from high-quality materials such as aluminum or steel.
Ease of Installation
Installation should be straightforward, even for those who aren’t mechanically inclined. Many manufacturers offer cross bars with a simple ‘plug-and-play" system that doesn’t require any special tools or expertise to install.
Top 5 Cross Bars for 2012 Subaru Forester
Based on the above criteria, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 cross bars for 2012 Subaru Forester:
1. Yakima JetStream
The Yakima JetStream cross bars are a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts. They are made from aluminum and have a sleek, aerodynamic design that reduces wind drag and noise. They come in various sizes, with weight capacities ranging from 165 lbs to 220 lbs.
2. Rhino Rack Vortex
The Rhino Rack Vortex cross bars are another excellent option for the 2012 Subaru Forester. They are made from aluminum and have a durable design that can handle heavy loads. They come in various sizes, with weight capacities ranging from 165 lbs to 220 lbs.
3. Thule AeroBlade
The Thule AeroBlade cross bars are a premium option for those who want the best of the best. They are made from lightweight aluminum and have a sleek, aerodynamic design that reduces wind noise and drag. They come in various sizes, with weight capacities ranging from 165 lbs to 220 lbs.
4. RockyMounts JetLine
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the RockyMounts JetLine cross bars are worth considering. They are made from aluminum and have a simple, low-profile design that’s easy to install and use. They have a weight capacity of 165 lbs.
5. Inno Aero Base
The Inno Aero Base cross bars are another budget-friendly option that still offer excellent quality. They are made from lightweight aluminum and have an aerodynamic design that reduces wind noise and drag. They come in various sizes, with weight capacities ranging from 110 lbs to 165 lbs.
Installation and Maintenance
Installing cross bars on your 2012 Subaru Forester is a straightforward process that requires no special tools. The specific steps may vary depending on the type and brand of cross bars, but most manufacturers provide detailed instructions that are easy to follow.
To maintain your cross bars, keep them clean and dry, especially after exposure to harsh weather conditions or dirty roads. You can use a mild detergent and water to clean them, and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives that could damage the surface. Regularly check the attachment points and tighten any loose screws or bolts to ensure the cross bars remain securely in place while driving.
Are cross bars compatible with all types of cargo carriers?
No, it’s essential to check the compatibility of your cross bars with the cargo carrier you plan to use. Many manufacturers provide specific recommendations for compatible carriers with their cross bars.
Can I install cross bars on my 2012 Subaru Forester without roof rails or side rails?
Yes, you can install cross bars directly on the roof of your Forester using bare roof attachment methods. However, it’s important to choose cross bars that are compatible with your vehicle’s specific make and model.
What is the weight capacity of Subaru’s factory-installed roof rails?
The weight capacity of 2012 Subaru Forester’s factory-installed roof rails is 176 lbs.
Whether you’re planning a weekend camping trip, a day at the beach, or a long road trip, having extra storage space can make all the difference. Cross bars are a cost-effective and practical way to expand your 2012 Subaru Forester’s storage capacity. When choosing the best cross bars for your vehicle, consider features like weight capacity, durability, and ease of installation. With the right cross bars, you can bring all your essential gear and enjoy your outdoor adventures to the fullest.