Battle For The Quietest Roof Rack

Yakima Whispbar roof rack

It is no secret that roof racks increase the tiresome wind noise you hear from inside the car. Both Yakima and Thule are looking to address this issue with their recently released aerodynamic roof racks that claim to not only cut down on noise, but improve your gas mileage as well. Whether you are hauling your bikes, kayaks, skis, or camping gear, these roof racks will deliver a quieter, more fuel efficient ride.

The new Whispbar by Yakima claims to reduce wind drag by up to 70% over normal roof racks. Designed by a Rolls Royce aircraft engineer, the aerofoil wing shape heavily reduces any wind noise or vibration.

The Yakima Whispbar comes in four styles. The FlushBar System ($389) is a compact, low profile unit broad enough to carry tons of cargo. The Through Bar System ($389) load bars extend through the attachment towers for more gear storage space.

The Whispbar Rail Bar System ($349) requires no additional mounting hardware and is meant for those cars, such as the Subaru, that already have parallel rails running down the roof. Finally, the HD Roof Bar System ($439) is a heavy duty roof rack with built-in tie down points and an exposed t-slot for ever ready use.

Yakima’s Smartfoot technology enables you to transfer the roof rack to pretty much any vehicle, meaning you don’t have to buy a new rack each time you get a new car or want to drive a different one already in the garage.

Thule Aeroblade roof rack

A huge improvement on their current Aero Bar roof rack, The new AeroBlade from Thule uses a textured surface on the t-slot cover to disturb airflow and greatly reduce wind noise (a supposed 90% lower sound energy than current offerings). The roof rack blade design features a Kamm-tail or Kammback used in car design, promoting clean air flow release and reducing drag by up to 55%.

The AeroBlade is offered in three sizes and will work with the existing Thule Rapid Aero Foot Packs and Thule Accessories. The new rack retails for only $150, making it an affordable noise reducing upgrade for those of you who already own a Thule roof rack.

The Yakima Whispbar is available now and the Thule AeroBlade will start shipping in September.

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