How to Install a Roof Basket on a Subaru Forester for Maximum Cargo Capacity?

March 19, 2024

Whether you’re planning a road trip or a weekend getaway, it’s crucial to pack everything you need securely. With the right roof rack, your Subaru Forester can accommodate more cargo than you might think. The roof basket isn’t just a simple storage solution, it’s an upgrade that can transform your vehicle, creating extra space for your adventures.

In this guide, we will walk you through how to install a roof basket on your Subaru Forester. We will review some of the best products in the market, including Thule and Yakima racks, and provide helpful tips on how to choose the right rack for your needs.

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Selecting the Right Roof Rack for Your Subaru Forester

Before we delve into the installation process, it’s essential to first understand how to choose the right roof rack for your Subaru Forester. There are several products available on the market, each with its own unique features. When selecting a roof rack, you’ll need to consider factors such as the size of the rack, its weight capacity, and how it will attach to your car.

Thule and Yakima are two leading brands in the roof rack market. Thule products are known for their quality, durability, and ease of installation. They offer a variety of roof racks designed for different needs, including the Thule Pulse, a rooftop cargo box that provides ample storage space.

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Similarly, Yakima offers a range of roof racks and cargo boxes. Their SkyBox Carbonite is a customer favorite, featuring a sleek black design and a spacious interior. Both brands offer racks that will fit your Subaru Forester perfectly.

It’s also important to note that your Subaru Forester has raised roof rails, making it compatible with a wide range of roof racks. These rails are designed to support the weight of a roof basket, ensuring your cargo remains secure during your journey.

Installing the Roof Bars

The first step in installing a roof basket on your Subaru Forester is to install the roof bars. These bars serve as the foundation for your roof basket. They are attached to the raised rails of your vehicle and will support the weight of your cargo.

Start by measuring the distance between the raised rails on your car. This will determine the length of the roof bars you’ll need. Both Thule and Yakima offer roof bars in various lengths, so you can find the perfect fit for your Subaru Forester.

Once the roof bars are aligned with the raised rails, secure them in place using the provided hardware. Make sure the bars are evenly spaced and parallel to each other. A secure and level installation will ensure the roof basket sits properly on the bars.

Mounting the Roof Basket

After the roof bars are securely installed, the next step is to mount the roof basket. Whether you’re using a Thule or Yakima basket, the installation process is generally the same.

Position the roof basket on top of the roof bars, ensuring it’s centered on the bars. Most roof baskets come with clamps or brackets that secure the basket to the bars. Attach these as per the manufacturer’s instructions, making sure they’re tight and secure.

It’s essential to regularly check the security of your roof basket, especially before long trips. Additionally, remember to always distribute weight evenly in the roof basket to maintain your vehicle’s balance on the road.

Adding Cargo to Your Roof Basket

With the roof basket installed, you’re ready to start loading up your cargo. When packing your roof basket, always consider the weight limit of your rack and basket. Overloading can compromise the safety and handling of your vehicle.

Place heavier items at the bottom and lighter ones on top. This will help maintain the vehicle’s center of gravity. Remember to secure all items with cargo nets or straps to prevent them from moving during transit.

Review of Roof Baskets: Thule vs. Yakima

Finally, let’s take a closer look at two of the most popular roof baskets in the market: Thule and Yakima. Both brands offer high-quality, durable products that can withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures.

Thule’s roof baskets are designed with a focus on aerodynamics, reducing wind resistance and noise while driving. The Thule Pulse, for example, has a slanting front that cuts through the wind, making your journey smoother and more enjoyable.

On the other hand, Yakima products are praised for their excellent storage capacity. The Yakima SkyBox Carbonite, for instance, provides a whopping 21 cubic feet of storage space. That’s enough to carry all your camping gear, sports equipment, and even a couple of large suitcases.

Both brands are great choices for your Subaru Forester. However, the final decision will depend on your personal needs and preferences. Whether you choose Thule or Yakima, you can be assured of a reliable and durable roof basket for your vehicle.

Maintenance Tips for Your Roof Basket

After successfully setting up your roof basket on your Subaru Forester, the next important step is to care for the rack setup. Regular maintenance is key to ensure the longevity and durability of your roof basket.

Roof basket maintenance begins with regular cleaning. Wipe down the roof rack and cargo box after every use to remove dirt or grime that may build up over time, leading to rust. Thorough cleaning also helps to maintain the aesthetics of your rooftop cargo system.

In addition to cleaning, regular inspection of the roof rack setup should be performed. Check for any signs of wear and tear, such as scratches or dents on the rack. Look out for any loose or missing parts, especially after long trips.

The Thule Pack lock is a useful accessory that can secure your roof basket when not in use. It provides an extra layer of security, preventing theft or accidental loss of your cargo carrier. Using this lock set can give you peace of mind when leaving your vehicle unattended.

Thule Evo Raised Black Pair is another product worth considering for your Subaru Forester. These roof bars are designed to perfectly fit the raised rails of your car, providing a sturdy foundation for your roof basket.

Your roof rack setup products have weight limits. Exceeding these limits can cause damage to your vehicle and the cargo box. Always adhere to the weight restrictions specified by the manufacturer for safe use.


Installing a roof rack on your Subaru Forester can greatly enhance its cargo capacity. Whether you choose a Thule or Yakima product, both brands offer high-quality and reliable options for your needs.

Remember, the key to a successful rack setup is careful selection of the roof rack, proper installation, and regular maintenance. Always consider factors such as weight capacity, size, and the attachment method when choosing a roof rack.

By following this guide, you can securely install a roof basket on your vehicle and pack your cargo safely. Whether you’re planning a camping trip or a weekend getaway, the added cargo space can make your journey more convenient and enjoyable.

Remember to pack your items with care, distributing the weight evenly and securing all items to ensure safe transportation. Regularly check your setup before each trip and always adhere to the manufacturer’s weight limits to maintain the safety and integrity of your vehicle.

An investment in a roof basket like the Thule Motion, Thule Evo or the Yakima cargo carriers will not only give you more storage space but also contribute to a more enjoyable and worry-free travel experience. Happy travels!