The 4 Best Roof Racks for Subaru Foresters

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You there! With your shiny, outdoorsy Forester. 

You’ve got a problem don’t you? Adventure is teeming in your heart, you want STORAGE. 

Things need to be ON YOUR ROOF. We get it, you get it, someone gets it. 

So what are your roof racky options?

Let’s take a look at the best roof racks for your Subaru Forester:

1. CargoLoc 2-Piece 52" Aluminum Roof Top Cross Bar Set – Fits Maximum 46” Span Across Existing Raised Side Rails with Gap

Most Forester’s have side rails, and if yours does – you can save some money with a product that pleases the masses.

The CargoLoc is one of those items that people glance at at first and wonder..”why is this so affordable?”

And it really is a steal, there is nothing of comparable value and functionality in it’s price range. Which is probably why it sells like hot cakes. 

Our one knock on it is aesthetics, the two-tone color scheme isn’t our thing – but that’s more of a quip than something you should take to heart.

If you want something simple, affordable, and a great overall value then it’s a great idea to grab one of these. Even if it doesn’t work out, you’re not out much money in the end!

2 .BRIGHTLINES Aero Cross Bars Roof Racks Luggage Rack Replacement for 2014-2018 Subaru Forester

Brightlines is one of the most reputable aftermarket makers of roof racks.

A lot of companies will quickly pop up online in this space, and fester out when the bad reviews pour in. 

But, this product has been available since 2015 and maintains a positive rating. And if it’s not the year of your Subaru – they make other models. We recommend typing “year of your subaru + brightlines roof rack” into the search bar on amazon if this doesn’t fit. 

Back to the product, this is a streamlined cross bar setup that while affordable, manages to look great as well. It’s made of aluminum and can hold up to 150lbs of gear. For a custom option, this is our favorite pick when it comes to the overall package of getting a quality part at a great value. 

A quick tip is if you want to add something like a roof box to this, make sure to account for that weight of the mount you’ve added. So if a roof box is 10 lbs, you can only load on 140 lbs.

3. YITAMOTOR Roof Rack Cross Bars Compatible for 2014-2021 Subaru Forester

Yitamotor has a roof rack that’s been on the market since 2018 and manages to have a lot of great feedback. 

And it covers seven years of Forester Models. 

It’s a little more affordable than the Brightlines rack, and still looks pretty good in our opinion. 

The plastic molded edges have a slightly bigger profile compared to the Brightlines rack as well. But that’s really just splitting hairs. Overall this is a solid buy that can also hold up to 150 lbs and it manages to be a bit cheaper at the time of this writing. Not a bad pick!

4. Seah Hardware Universal Roof Rack Cross-Bars 2 PC. 48 Inches Black

If you’re Forester doesn’t have side rails, then you need another option. 

And Seah Hardware makes a universal rack to fit your needs.

They work by securing a strap under your roof, and this clever application adds a good deal of strength at up to 150 lbs. 

They’re also pretty darn affordable like our other options on this list. And the installation is going to be the fastest out of everything here. Just tighten the straps after you get these adjusted on your roof, and you’re good to go.

There are many customers out there using this as a long term solution that don’t have side rails. We think it can be a decent option for some!

FAQ Section

How do I know which rack is best for me?

Well, there are two main things you want to consider.

Are you going to be using it long term or just intermittently for trips and such? If this is an everyday use type of thing, you should probably skip on the universal options and go for one specifically made for your Forester.

But, if you’re just strapping on snowboards for a weekend adventure – we think a universal option is pretty great for that. 

Alright alright fair points. But what should I put on my roof rack?

Well, the cool part about getting a roof rack is it allows you to add all types of mounts to really open up what you’re able to do. We take it that if you own a Subaru and want a rack – you are most likely an adventure type of person.

So after you get one of your choice, you can add a kayak mount, roof box, snowboard mounts, and even a bike rack mount if you don’t mind it sitting upright over your roof. Just watch for those height clearances. We recently found out about this multi-purpose mount that seems to have a lot of fans.

We have a bike rack guide and roof box guide for Forester’s if you wanted to find some accessories after getting your rack. 

Conclusion Section

We hope that this guide has helped shift you towards an informed decision. There are plenty of options out there for roof racks when it comes to a Forester, and we did our best to narrow down the choices for you.

Did you find the rack you liked? Come back here and follow up with us about how it worked out! We appreciate our readers and thank you for stopping by. 


I'm the owner of Beast Auto. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I love anything automotive related, and taking road trips all across my beautiful state.