Let me begin here by saying that I’m a weekend warrior. Now that I’m self employed I get to venture out more during the week…but then that tends to keep me here in front of the computer on the weekend. I miss the crowds…but I also miss all my 9-5 friends.
I’ve spent the better half of my life tying and strapping different toys to the roof of mine and my friends’s vehicles. Snowboards, surfboards, stand up paddle boards, cargo boxes, kayaks, ladders and sometimes more bizarre things that I won’t get into on this post.
Let’s just say that I’ve personally owned two different brand of roof racks. Of course a number of my friends have owned other kinds that I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of utilizing.
So in my opinion, if you know a good welder and trust them make you a good rack for your pickup that’s cool. Problem is finding accessories to attach to your rack. Also, it may not look as sleek and pretty…especially if you have a newer vehicle or anything non beater style.
My first rack that i ever owned and still use to this day is the Yakima roundbar rack. It’s been around for years and has pretty much stood the test of time.
I won’t get into the attachments at this point because right now i just want to discuss the base rack itself.
The round bar Yakima rack isn’t quiet. It just isn’t. Nothing round can be made aerodynamic so with any round bar you’re going to get some wind and road noise out of.
Most people don’t notice a great deal and there are some wind deflectors that can help alleviate SOME of the noise generated.
The durability of the roundbars are pretty good. You may notice a little peeling of the black coating over time but overall these bars are very durable.
One thing I don’t like about them is that they tend to spin when attachments are added to them. My kayak stackers always wanted to roll with the bars. Yakima may have newer designs and newer attachment methods that has addressed this problem.
I’ve had mine for quite some time. In fact, I’ve moved them over to a utility trailer. Now i can haul really long boats and other things on my 5×8 trailer thanks to the Yakima attachments that have allowed me to place the roundbars on top of my trailer.
But back in 2012 I purchased a brand new Chevy Tahoe LTZ. Loaded…everything including my life savings. Dumb move on my part but we won’t go there today.
So I wanted a rack for my new ride that was sleek, quiet and functional. I researched other brands like Thule and their different shaped roof rack bar applications. I reviewed wind noise tests and aerodynamic analysis of everything under the sun.
That’s when I discovered Whispbar. They are on the cutting edge of this kind of technology for sure. Not to mention they look REALLY sharp on my new ride.
They are super quiet, although sometimes with certain attachments I can here some whistling up there. That’s not really the fault of the base rack system though. I don’t even notice they are up there. Even when my sunroof open i can’t even hear them. Maybe at higher speeds but then again it’s hard to differentiate between what the crossbars are making and what’s just noise coming through the sunroof opening alone.
Because they are a newer design and concept the attachment to an assortment of vehicles isn’t quite available. So you may have trouble finding a fit kit that works for your vehicle.
I’d say that over time this will improve as they decided to accommodate more and more makes and models of vehicles.
Another issue with Whispbar is the lack of attachments for their integrated system. It appears as though they have a pretty good new concept with the T-Bar installation but not too many accessories have hit the market yet.
They do have you basic ones and to be honest I’ve not checked their site in a while to see what they’ve added.
In their defense, many other attachments from other manufacturers will fit on their bars without a problem. Almost anything Yakima or Thule will fit the Whispbar system. I do have some trouble mounting my yakima kayak stackers on them. I’m sure that’s pretty much user error and perhaps I should call Yakima’s brilliant customer service department to discuss.
In addition, Whispbar has be acquired now by Yakima. So now we have two great companies with an array of concepts all bundled into one.
I’ve never dealt with Whispbar directly before Yakima took over so I can’t say much about their customer service or lack thereof. i have dealt with Yakima over the years and I can give them nothing but praise for the way they’ve handled any issues I’ve encountered over the years.
So I’ve also had some experience with Thule just because some of my buddies have their racks on their cars. I don’t have anything against them. The square bars LOUD but great for mounting things.
They have some sleeker and newer shapes and designs and I’m sure there are some improvements there. One thing I will say about Thule and that is their quality is superb! I do own some attachments made by Thule and I will say that they are well built and user friendly. Comparing what I’ve used accessory wise with Thule and Yakima I’ll have to give Thule the upper hand here….sorry Yakima…you know I love you <3
So if you want a cutting edge, state of the art, light, sleek, shape and quiet design I say go with Whispbar if you can get the fit.
I was originally leery about trying a new company but once Yakima acquired them my worries went out the window. Top notch customer service backed by some pretty interesting aerodynamic technology.
Click the link below to be taken to Amazon where can you can shop around and see if there’s a fit kit for your vehicle.
Good luck and happy weekend warrioring!!