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The best crossbars

Reading time 3 min.

the best crossbars

Camping, biking and kayaking season is finally here, but do you have everything you need to go on an outdoor adventure? Crossbars are essential equipment for any sporting activity or outdoor getaway. They’ll hold your sports and outdoor equipment and free up space in the vehicule. Our team has come together to choose for you, the key features to look for when buying roof racks and the best crossbars tested with the MOS UpLift™.

the best crossbars

How to choose crossbars ?

Load capacity

To begin with, the most important criteria when buying crossbars is load capacity. The weight supported by your roof bars should reflect your intended use. For example, if you’re looking to fit four bikes and a kayak vs. just 2 bikes, you won’t need the same capacity. Ideally, your crossbars are lightweight and have a high load capacity, to carry the maximum amount of sports and outdoor equipment. Don’t forget to factor the weight of the MOS UpLift™ 33 lb (15kg) into your calculations. To properly accommodate the MOS UpLift™ as well as your sports equipment, we ask for a minimum load capacity for your roof bars of 165 lb (75kg). In all cases, please respect the maximum load authorized by your crossbars and your vehicle’s roof.

The material

Material can be another factor to consider: will you opt for steel or aluminum crossbars? In terms of safety, the two are quite similar. However, they differ in price and fuel consumption. Steel roof bars are often less expensive than aluminum ones. On the other hand, aluminum has the advantage of being lighter, will have less impact on fuel consumption and will be less noisy than steel. Steel has the advantage of accommodating a greater load than aluminum. 

The mounting system

The mounting system is another important feature when it comes to buying crossbars, but it depends very much on the configuration of your vehicle. For example, if you have a panoramic roof or a hardtop, you won’t go for the same configuration. If your vehicle is fitted with side bars, or even side rails, you can choose transverse crossbars and fit them over the side bars. Furthermore, your car may have anchoring points. If so, you can attach the crossbars directly. It is also possible to attach the system to the doors. On another note, it’s important to choose your system according to its intended use, is it for occasional or frequent use? Crossbars increase fuel consumption, even if you opt for a lightweight, aerodynamic model. We therefore advise you to go for a removable system for less frequent use, instead of a fixed system.

The locking system

This is an important aspect to consider when purchasing crossbars. We strongly recommend that you choose crossbars with an anti-theft locking system, so you can be sure that your sports and outdoor equipment is safe from theft.

The maximum width of your car roof

The final factor is the maximum width allowed by your vehicle. Depending on the type of car you own (sedan, SUV, city car), the maximum allowed dimensions of your roof may vary, and therefore do not guarantee universal compatibility from one car to another. Furthermore, the highway code in Québec stipulates that roof-mounted equipment must not exceed your vehicle’s mirrors. So keep this information in mind when shopping.

What about the MOS UpLift™ ?

Thanks to its assist system, the MOS UpLift™ supports up to 85 lbs and lowers your equipment 2 feet (61 cm). This means loading and unloading your equipment will be done safely. These are two strong arms that extend your crossbars.

The best crossbars tested with the MOS UpLift™*

These roof bars can be found at retailers nearby, discover our MOS UpLift™ retailers and the best roof bars all at once.

In short, the key factors when buying roof bars are: 

  • The maximum load supported by your vehicle’s roof
  • Material (steel or aluminum)
  • Mounting system
  • Locking system (a plus)
  • Vehicle width

Want to know more about the equipment you need to enjoy your outdoor activities? Check out our articles on the best roof boxes, bike racks, kayak racks and the best ski and snowboard racks.

*The models selected are not the only ones compatible with the MOS UpLift™, but a selection of well-known and proven brands.