Will My Subaru Outback Roof Rack Make Much Noise?


If you own a Subaru Outback, you know how useful and adaptable it is for outdoor activities. Whether you like camping, skiing, kayaking, or riding, the Subaru Outback has enough room and is sturdy enough to carry your gear.

Yet, you might be concerned about how much noise your Subaru Outback roof rack or any other item will make when driving.

In this article, we'll look at what causes noise over your Subaru Outback, why it happens, and whether any roof racks are noisier than others.

Subaru Roof Rack


Why And What Makes Noise Over My Subaru Outback?

You are changing the aerodynamics of your Subaru Outback when you attach a roof rack or any other object on the roof.

Designing a car's body to reduce wind resistance and drag requires knowledge of aerodynamics, which studies how air interacts with objects.

A Subaru Outback's roof is made to be as aerodynamically efficient as possible to reduce wind resistance and drag, which lowers cabin noise.

The smooth airflow over the car's body is obstructed when a roof rack or other object is installed on top of the roof, increasing wind resistance and drag.

As a result of the wind having to work harder to maneuver around the object due to the added resistance, there is more turbulence and noise produced.

The amount of noise produced also heavily depends on the dimensions of the object. For instance, bulky, heavy goods like luggage boxes, kayaks, or bikes increase drag and produce more noise.

Likewise, the more wind resistance you feel when driving, the more noise is produced.

High wind speeds cause more turbulence and noise because the wind has to work harder to maneuver around the item.

The material used to construct the roof rack or other objects also impacts noise levels. For example, plastic makes more noise compared to materials like aluminum or steel.

So, for instance, a roof rack with a sleeker form will be quieter than one with an angular and bulky shape.


Are There Racks That Aren’t As Noisy? 

Roof Rack

There are two main roof racks: platform roof racks and cross bars. Even though both will make some noise, some are quieter than others.


Cross Bars

The most popular roof rack design, cross bars, are frequently included as a standard component on numerous automobiles. They attach to the factory roof rails on your Outback and are usually constructed of steel, aluminium, plastic, or another strong material.

Cross bars provide several benefits, one of which is that they take up less room on your vehicle's roof than platform roof racks.

Being much smaller in dimensions and not as close to the front side of the car’s roof, they consequently generate less wind resistance and are typically quieter.

Crossbars also have the financial benefit of being less expensive than platform roof racks. However, utilizing cross bars has significant drawbacks.

They feature few auxiliary mounts and limited baggage-carrying capacity, one of their greatest shortcomings.


Platform Roof Racks

Platform roof racks, unlike cross bars, are made with a reduced profile and a flat surface that can hold a greater variety of accessories and goods.

In addition, with less wind resistance and drag, there is less noise and higher fuel efficiency due to this design.

There are many brands of platform roof racks, but currently the best-known brands are Front Runner, Sherpa and Prinsu. These racks are lower profiled, more aerodynamic and as a result quieter than most of the other brands.

They are built with high-quality materials like aluminium or stainless steel, and are surprisingly lightweight while providing strength and durability. These racks also offer an aerodynamically superior, low-profile design that lessens wind noise.

A platform roof rack with a wind deflector can further lessen noise. A wind deflector directs airflow over the top of the rack. As a result, less turbulence is caused as air passes over the rack, which lowers noise.

In addition, platform roof racks have the benefit of being able to hold a variety of accessories and goods without making as much noise as when you add accessories to cross bars.



In conclusion, even though adding something to your Subaru Outback's roof will make some noise, certain roof racks are quieter than others.

Although frequently utilized, cross bars still make some noise and have a lower capacity for transporting luggage and mounting accessories.

Platform Roof Racks, like the Front Runner or Prinsu, are still a bit noisy but more aerodynamic, plus they can carry much larger weights.

It is important to note that there are other considerations to address when selecting a roof rack besides noise. It is also necessary to consider other aspects, like cargo carrying capacity, weight, and installation convenience.

Moreover, regular roof rack maintenance might aid in lowering noise levels. The rack's condition should be frequently checked, loose bolts should be tightened, and dirt and debris should be removed.

Choosing the best Subaru Outback roof rack ultimately boils down to personal style and requirements. Noise will always be present, but a good quality and aerodynamic rack will lower the noise levels while continuing to be able to carry all of your gear and accessories with ease.

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