How Much Weight Can The Subaru Forester Roof Rack Hold

If you want to travel with heavy items on your roof rack, you may have discovered that cars are limited at how much weight can be carried on their roof rails.

It will be very dangerous if you carry too much weight because it may cause the car to lose balance. That is why it is very important to know how much load your car’s roof rack can carry.

How much weight can the Subaru Forester roof rack hold?

The answer depends on which model year you have.

In general, Subaru Forester has weight limitations between 150 pounds to 176 pounds.

After spending hours researching, here is the blog about the Subaru Forester roof rack weight limit to save you the hassle of searching for your owner manual.

Finding out the weight a Subaru Forester roof rail can hold

How much weight can the Subaru Forester roof rail hold?

The weight limit will vary depending on the year model; the newer models can hold a greater weight than the older ones.

According to the Subaru Forester owner manualsthe maximum total load on the roof rail(including roof rack, crossbars, carrying attachments, and cargo)

  • Subaru Forester 2000-2009: must not exceed 150 lbs (68 kg).
  • Subaru Forester 2010-2021: must not exceed 176 lbs (80 kg).

Subaru recommends the total load on any roof rack system should not exceed 150 lbs (68 kg) for Forester vehicles produced during 2000-2009; whereas, it is recommended that vehicle owners do not exceed 176 lbs (80 kg) when using a Subaru Forester roof rack system on 2010-2021 models. Also, note that you risk causing damage to your vehicle or other property if you exceed the max load limits. 

Note: The sum of individual parts must not exceed the stated weight limit. When transporting large or heavy objects with your Subaru Forester, be careful not to overload your roof racks.

If you need to transport more than one item, place heavy items as low as possible on your Subaru Forester roof rack and stack other items above them. Be sure to secure heavier objects with tie-down straps and load smaller items on top of heavier ones. 

If you have accessories installed (e.g., ski holder), please verify their maximum weight capacity before loading them onto your Forester. It is important to remember that overloading a Subaru Forester roof rack can damage your vehicle and/or cause injury.

Things to consider before putting a load on a Subaru Forester roof

Something you should consider before loading up your roof racks.

You need to consider the balance.

When you have a roof rack on your vehicle, the center of gravity is higher. This can make it more likely that your car may sway when you are driving at high speeds.

When the weight of your vehicle becomes unbalanced, it can be unintentionally turned in one direction while at high speeds or making sharp turns.

It is very dangerous because it could mean having an accident with other vehicles.

How do you pack your items?

You should also keep this in mind: a balanced weight on both sides of the vehicle will reduce the chances of swaying while turning or at high speed.

  • The heavier things should be placed as low as possible on your Forester roof racks, whereas the lighter ones should be higher.
  • When loading the roof, always fasten them firmly to avoid the items slip and shift forward while driving and braking.
  • You should always fasten the roof rack items with tie-downs and straps to prevent them from falling off while driving.
  • If your vehicle is loaded with weighty items, you should test drive it at low speeds first to see if the vehicle will sway.
  • Always think about what is safe for your car and yourself first before considering how much weight can this Subaru Forester roof rack hold!

The most important thing is safety!

Consider the height

SUVs and MPVs are raised higher than sedans.

You need to think about how much weight this Subaru Forester roof rack can hold and how much height you are adding on top of the vehicle. In addition, it gives a higher center of gravity, making it more likely that your car will tip over from speed bumps or driveways.

If you have tall items in your Subaru Forester roof racks, such as bicycles, you must pay attention to the roads you drive through. You should find out the maximum height allowed on the road, especially crossing an overpass, flyover, bridge, pedestrian bridge, wire, or tree.

You should try your best to reduce the height of the items on your Subaru Forester roof racks.

Don’t forget to consider the laws of the locations where you’ll be driving or parking.

It is quite dangerous and illegal to drive with roof rack items that exceed the height limit on roadways.

You need to be extra careful!

Consider the weight

You should be able to determine if your load is within acceptable limits. Always secure heavier objects as low as possible on the roof racks.

You should not exceed the maximum load limit of your roof racks.

For Subaru Forester, you should not pack your roof racks exceed 150 lbs (68 kg) and 176 lbs (80 kg) for the 2010-2021 Forester.

Be sure to check and double-check if you can really hold all that weight! It’s better to be safe than sorry!

You must always be aware of what will happen if a heavy load suddenly shifts forward while driving or braking! So always make sure you have properly secured them with straps and tie-downs!

Consider the ease of accessibility.

It would help if you considered how to get your items on and off your Subaru Forester roof racks.

You should always pack the heavier items on the lower side of your roof racks, making them easier to load and unload.

Always take into account how easy or difficult your items will be accessible while traveling.

Also, remember that you should not overload your rooftop rack with items that are hard to reach and pack, as this also becomes a safety issue.

You can consider packing the things you will not often need at the top of your Subaru Forester roof racks.

Things like tents or other bulky objects are best placed on the top of your Subaru Forester roof rack.

Of course, never put anything important out of reach!

Consider removing all the liquids from the Subaru roof rack items.

Make sure that you are packing your Subaru roof racks with non-liquid items only!

You need to ensure that the weight of your vehicle remains balanced at all times and do not tip over while braking or speeding up!

If you pack liquids on the roof rack, the liquids will shift while the car is moving, creating a risk of losing balance. This can result in losing control of the Subaru Forester!

If the container is damaged or leaking, spilling liquids while driving or braking, it can also leave the Subaru Forester with a slippery surface, creating an accident.

So, make sure to load liquids in the trunk of the car!

How to Choose a Subaru Forester Roof Rack

Does it fit your car?

Before purchasing any Subaru roof rack, the most important thing is to ensure that it fits your car well.

You can do this by carefully measuring both the width and length of your vehicle’s rooftop surface, where you intend to install the racks.

Does it look good?

You want something that’s going to fit nicely on your Subaru Forester.

Do not go for cheap, flimsy, or ugly-looking racks! That will only make you regret the decision!

Always consider how it will look on your roof, especially if it’s visible from the outside.

The best thing is always to buy a rack from a reputable company offering high-quality products.

That way, you get to have quality and good looks at an affordable price!

Consider your needs and budget.

You need to consider what you intend to carry on the roof rack before buying one.

If you are planning to carry bicycles, you’ll need strong and sturdy Subaru Forester roof racks. It should be able to hold anything from 40 lbs (18 kg) all the way up to 150 lbs (68 kg).

If you want it for your camping or fishing gear, make sure that the rooftop rack can accommodate skis, tents, sleds, and other bulky objects weighing 55-100 lbs (25-45.5 kg).

The best thing is always to make a list of what you will be transporting in your Subaru Forester—this will help you decide what kind of vehicle rooftop rack is suitable for your needs.

Consider the roof rack weight.

You want to buy a strong roof rack, but not a heavy one. Don’t forget your maximum weight limit is included roof rack weight. Also, avoid heavy materials like steel! You are better off with aluminum or fiberglass.

Moreover, select a model that’s not too complicated and has no unnecessary add-ons. They can always be added later if you plan to use them for another purpose!

You may want to consider buying one of the roof racks with integrated locks of security products for your peace of mind.

Consider the accessory lineup.

You should find a rack you can use for multiple purposes. For example, if you want to carry a kayak, ensure there are accessories to support it. Likewise, if you have an inflatable boat or rafts, ensure that your roof racks are suitable for holding them.

You have to ensure the rack you buy will have the accessories when you need them. You may have difficulty putting in the accessories from another brand.

Consider the durability

If you are thinking of buying a heavy-duty rack, make sure it will last for years to come.

You do not want to end up with a Subaru Forester roof rack that is destroyed after several uses!

Regarding durability, it seems that Subaru roof racks made from aluminum or fiberglass are the best option. It’s lightweight, stable, and durable can last for a long time.

Consider less plastic components or all metal.

Metal components are much more durable, have less chance of failure, and reduce noise. On the other hand, plastic becomes brittle with the cold or sun exposure and ultimately breaks down.

It will be very dangerous if the plastic components break down while you are traveling.

How to install a Subaru Forester Roof Rack?


The Subaru Forester is a great car capable of carrying lots of items on the roof rack. But, you need to consider how much weight can this Subaru Forester roof rack hold before loading your rooftop! 

Always keep safety in mind and follow these guidelines for measuring the weight capacity rating and height limit!

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