One of the best investments that you can make as an outdoor adventurer is that of a bike rack. It allows you to carry your bicycle efficiently and effortlessly while on the go. When looking at the Thule vs Yakima bike rack though, it’s tough to decide which option works best because they’re both really good.
That’s because both brands are known in the industry as some of the best bike rack manufacturers around so you know you’re getting a good product either way. But there are still nuances to both that are worth considering.
Read on for a Yakima versus Thule battle where we compare both brands to bring you a helpful buying guide that’ll help you to make an informed purchasing decision.
Thule vs Yakima Hitch Bike Racks
As promised, this is a Thule vs Yakima bicycle rack comparison and we hope that we’ll have put this debate to rest by the end of this article. Read on for more.
Best Thule Bike Racks
To start off our Thule vs Yakima bike rack comparison, we’ve picked our top three selections from each manufacturer.
This took a lot of research and testing to narrow it down to just three each. But we did it for you because we know how overwhelming it is to shop for a new bicycle rack.
1. Thule EasyFold XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack
What’s better and more fun than biking up a mountain trail on your own? Going on the journey with your family so that you can enjoy the view from the top together.
This EasyFold hitch mount bike carrier from Thule makes this dream a reality. It has a weight carrying capacity of up to 130 pounds. That’s enough to carry the whole family’s bikes.
The best part is that this bike rack is easy to mount and store and it’s completely foldable as well. It’s designed to handle electronic and mountain bikes, as evidenced by the lockable torque limiter which comes in an upright position.
What does this mean for you? That your bikes will be safe and secure in this bike rack.
- It comes with an uptight torque limiter
- Foldable and easy to mount and dismount
- Comes with an anti-theft feature
- Makes it easy to access the trunk
- Features an ergonomic design
- It comes with small straps that may not be suitable for e-bikes
2. Thule T2 Pro XT Bike Rack
First in our Thule vs Yakima bike rack we’ve got the T2 Pro XT bike rack from Thule which comes with a lot of useful features. This includes a knob that you can automatically attach from your van for easy use.
However, the customization abilities of this bike rack don’t stop there. The space in the mounts is adjustable by up to 197mm. You may also increase this rack’s load capacity.
It means that you can use this rack to bring the whole family’s bikes on the trip with you without worrying about how to carry and store them on the road. Also included in this carrier is an arm that’s designed to keep the bikes secure.
Speaking of security, this rack also comes with a 24-inch lock. This will help keep your bikes in place and makes it practically impossible to steal them.
All in all, this bike rack from Thule is secure, reliable, and easy to use. What more could you ask for?
- It’s not damaging to your bicycle
- Super easy to attach and no tools needed
- It features a HitchSwitch lever
- Offers superb bike clearance
- Available in two colors
- It’ll fasten multiple bikes with ease
- 100 pound load capacity
- The installation instructions are a bit complex
3. Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack
The Thule Apex XT is a bike hitch rack that’s designed to help you take your bikes with you no matter where you plan to go. It comes in different sizes for all the bikes in your family, from the kiddos to the head of the household.
This is the perfect bike hitch rack for the traveling family. It comes with a cable lock that will keep your bikes safe as you go around sightseeing, while the anti-sway cradle is designed to keep everything stable.
The great thing about this bike rack is that it’s detachable. This means that you can store it away from the car when you’re not using it.
Plus, it’s super easy to install thanks to the built-in SnugTite Stinger which will prevent the bikes from moving around or jangling when you’re going through rough terrain.
You can also space this feature by up to 7 inches which is the amount of space that will be between the bikes you place on it to avoid dings and scratches.
- It offers generous spacing between bikes
- It’s super stable
- Features dual folding arms
- Keeps your bikes safe and secure
- No special tools are required for assembly
- It’s very time consuming to get the complicated strapping mechanism in place
Best Yakima Bike Racks
Any Thule vs Yakima bicycle rack comparison should give Yakima a fair shake and that’s exactly what we plan to do by providing you with a selection of their most impressive models.
1. YAKIMA HighRoad Upright Bike Carrier
When looking at Thule vs Yakima hitch bike racks, it’s clear that the latter is an expert when it comes to manufacturing equipment that looks as good as it works. This has never been more evident than with this sleek and highly functional bike carrier known as the HighRoad model.
This is perfect for any two-wheeler, with a capacity to handle wheels that measure 26 to 19 inches. – no adjustments needed! You can mount a road bike or a mountain bike on this rack and enjoy the same level of convenience, protection, and safety. All this thanks to the low hatch interference offered by the low-profile tray.
It’s important to note that it’s not necessary to remove your bike wheels when mounting it onto this bike rack and you don’t have to worry about any damage to the bike frame.
You’ll definitely appreciate how easy it is to handle this rack in general, due to the adjustable TorqueRight tightening knob that’ll keep your bike securely in place as you drive around with it.
With that said, all of these features come at a price as this isn’t the cheapest bike rack around, but it’s well worth it for what you get for the money.
- It’s super easy to use
- You don’t need any tools to install it
- It’s suitable for bikes of different sizes
- It provides streamlined protection
- Because of its upright position, it’s susceptible to more air drag
- It’s pricier than most models
2. YAKIMA ShowDown SUP Rack
Yakima bike racks reviews often speak of the ShowDown, one of Yakima’s most versatile racks. You can use this to carry your bike, your SUP, and your kayak thanks to its unique design and generous carrying capacity of up to 80 pounds.
There’s a clearance of up to 26 inches from the top of the roof rack to the bottom. You’ll find that it’s super easy to load and unload your gear onto this bike rack.
It’s just really easy to use and handle thanks to the universal mounting hardware that offers a crossbar spread of up to 24 inches.
It’s worth noting that the cradles on this bike rack are padded to prevent any dings and scratches from happening to your equipment and there are ample tie-down straps to help keep everything in place while you’re driving.
- Offers handy weight assistance
- Padded protection to prevent dings and scratches
- Quick and easy to install
- Fits on most crossbars
- Easy to mount and dismount
- You have to purchase the locking mechanism separately
3. YAKIMA RidgeBack Tilt-Away Hitch Bike Rack
What better way to improve the safety and fun of your outdoor activities than with a premium quality bike rack.
The Yakima RidgeBack comes in the form of a hanging carrier that’s hitch-mounted for your convenience.
It’s suitable for use in long-distance trips because of its durable construction and it features handy Zip-Strips which are practically a removable tie-down system. These are unique tie-downs that work differently from traditional tie-downs in that they’re really easy to use and they work quickly.
It’s worth noting that this carrier offers different carrying capacities from 2, 4, to 5 bikes and it can handle up to 150 pounds at the same time.
There will be a space of up to 4.88 inches in between each bike which can be a challenge when you actually want to load five bikes total onto the bike cradle but it’s not impossible.
- Ideal for long-distance trips and short trail rides
- It’s made from high-quality materials
- Nice and compact
- Lightweight and doesn’t take up a lot of space when stored
- Quick and easy to mount and dismount
- The Zip-Strips could be more flexible
- Cradles are too close to one another
Thule vs Yakima Hitch Bike Rack Comparison
We’ve come to the stage in our comparison of Yakima vs Thule bike rack hitch where we now arm you with the different features that you must consider in order to make your final decision.
As you may have noticed, there are vast style discrepancies between Yakima and Thule bike racks. Thule’s model is typically a hitch mount, a truck bed, roof rack mount, and bike wheel carrier to keep your spare tire.
Whereas, Yakima typically offers a roof rack mount, truck mount, and hitch mount and spare tire.
Once you’ve bought a bike rack, you’re going to notice that certain accessories are needed to make the most of them.
Yakima offers accessories like a roof rack wind fairing and locks whereas Thule doesn’t currently offer any accessories.
You’re obviously going to have a budget in place and a price in mind when shopping for any product and the same goes for your bike rack for SUV.
To conclude our Thule vs Yakima bike rack duel, we’d like to recommend the Thule EasyFold XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack as the best out of all the options mentioned here.
It’s well-made, easy to use with no tools needed to attach it and it helps to protect your bike from theft as well as dings and scratches.