Thule vs. Yakima – What’s the Best Sport Rack?

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Summer is leaving us soon.

And that has got us all thinking about our last chance to head out of the city for a few care-free days.

Your perfect vacation may be a road trip with the family. Or it may be a fun day driving off the road with your buddies.

Whatever the case, you need the right accessory to have the best experience.


And by the right accessory, we mean the prefect sport rack.

Sport racks are versatile enough to give you complete freedom of use on your next exploring adventure.

And that makes them a worthwhile investment.



There are a few factors you need to consider before choosing the perfect sport rack:

    • Where do I want to mount the rack? The most common mounting points for sport racks are on a vehicle’s roof or hitch.
    • How much cargo space do I need? Sport racks will vary in their size. And fitting your canoe, kayaks, or bikes will strictly depend on the size you decide to go with.
  • How much functionality am I willing to pay for? Many racks have secondary uses that may be exactly what you need for enhancing your vehicle.

Of course, each style comes with its own list of pros and cons.

Hitch-mounted racks are suitable for you if you prioritize ease of use. Your cargo will be easy to reach at all times. So if you’re packing and unpacking frequently, this option might be best.

Your cargo will be kept away from your vehicle.

And if your trips take you to more remote areas with lower overhead clearances, you will be happy to have packed behind, and not on top.

Roof-mounted racks will keep your cargo safer – after all, it will be harder to reach.

These racks won’t make your vehicle longer, so parking will be just as easy as it ever was.

But the best part is that roof-mounted racks give you the most versatility. You can attach your bikes, or a kayak – the choice is yours.


The Thule brand is probably the most recognized brand for carrier products. The company was founded more than 50 years ago and offers a truly wide range of bike carriers and racks.

But what are the best carriers for you?

Thule Apex Swing 4 Bike Carrier


Thule Apex Swing Away Bike Racks combine convenience with security!

The bike racks will cradle your bikes using the innovative Road Dampening Technology. This means that your bikes won’t feel the bumps of the road.

And their increased ground clearance will ensure your equipment arrives in perfect condition.

The racks feature the patented No-Sway cages with rubber bumpers which will protect your bike's frames by preventing any bike-to-bike contact. An integrated heavy-duty cable allows you to lock your backs to the rack for added security.

The rack’s arms can be folded away when not in use.

And when you need to access your vehicle’s rear? Simply tilt the arms.

While this carrier does come at a higher price, the lifetime warranty guarantees years of reliable service.

Thule Big Mouth Bike Carrier


The Thule Big Mouth Bike Carrier offers secure and economical transportation for your bike.

It features unique self-adjusting jaws for optimized clamping pressure on your bike's frame. These jaws will work with any bike frame with a diameter of up to 3 3/8” and a tire width of up to 2.6”. This makes it perfect for mountain bikers, racers, and professional cyclists.

These carriers are specially designed to work with Thule square bars, round bars, and Thule AeroBlade bars.

But before committing to this carrier, be sure that you’re ok with the limiting carrying capacity of 1 bike.

Thule Insta-Gater Truck Bed Bike Carrier


And if you drive a pickup, the bed-mounted Thule Insta-Gater is just what you need.

If you’re in a hurry, don’t worry.

The carrier's design allows it to be loaded quickly. This means you can be on your way in no time.

The installation requires no drilling or bolting, so you won’t have to make any changes to your truck bed. It can accommodate bikes with wheel diameters from 20" to 29" and tires up to 3" wide.

This rack will turn your bed into a versatile carrier. And it comes with an optional one-key locking cylinder for additional security.


Yakima has been manufacturing rack systems since 1973. They are the first company to offer roof rack systems for hauling commercial-grade equipment like ladders and pruning equipment. Their high quality products are preferred by professionals and amateurs alike.

And here is what they have to offer you.

Yakima Strap Rack


The Strap Rack is hitch-mounted and offers an intelligent design and high functionality.

The rack’s sturdy, trunk-mounted steel construction will fit perfectly on your hatchback, minivan, or SUV.

Its feet are triple padded for maximum cushioning to protect your vehicle's finish. The strong and durable metal buckles, part of an integrated StableCradles system, will hold your bikes securely in place.

They also have a thick layer of padding to safeguard your paintjob.

And when you’re not using the rack? Its arms will simply fold away for easy storage.

These all sound great, but I have a budget to consider

Yakima BOA Bike Rack


If you’re on a tighter budget, this bike rack may be perfect for you.

The BOA bike rack mounts on your vehicle’s roof. Its construction allows you to easily load and unload a tandem bike.

This rack weighs in at 1.6 lbs. and comes at a price that can’t be beaten. It’s also compatible with a wide range of aftermarket roof racks, if you ever decide you want to upgrade.

And the installation requires almost no effort.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

If you still haven’t found the perfect rack, drop me a comment below and we’ll figure it out together!

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