How do you like the factory cross bars? Any issues with loading more than one kayak/canoe? I read up on it in some paddling forums, mixed messages.
So far I've only driven it from the dealership to home and haven't explored it too much. With the large new display, it's more like learning to use a new phone than a new car! My insurance policy includes a discount for using snow tires but my snow tires are the wrong size for the new car, and it seems silly to rush to buy and install them now. I'm going to limit my driving until spring, which is next Friday.
The cross bars look similar to my previous model. We never loaded two boats on my car; there wasn't room. We have a Yakima rack on 'Bent's van that extends wider than the vehicle and it holds two canoes or kayaks without much room to spare. Is that what they're talking about in the forums? I've never looked into a separate rack for my car.
I could attach our wide cross bars on the Subaru factory rack I believe.
There was concern with the sturdiness of the cross bars even at the allowed weight (not sure how representative that is though). I would prefer to keep using my Yakima setup but from their site it doesn't look like they have a tower system that would work with the newer Outbacks.
I am trying to decide between Outback vs Forester and of course all I am looking at is cargo space and ease of loading stuff (I like the load assist kayak mount :).
Enjoy your new adventure car!!
As I remember it, the maximum weight on the cross bars isn't too high (70-80 kg?) but it's enough for anything I carry on it. I'm not sure if there may be some difference between all the different Outback models. Mine is 2nd from the bottom, the Touring model.
I like the Forester too. It's not a big difference but I like being able to put my big 29er bike in the back with the seats folded flat, and the Outback cargo area is 2" longer. On the other hand, the Forester hatch opening is wider and the cargo area is taller, so it probably evens out. It's not one of those things you can test in a show room! The fancier Forester models have smaller cargo capacity so I'd avoid them.