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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think most of the crossbar discussions are from 2018, so I thought I would start a new one.

I just got a 2021 Ascent and am looking to purchase some crossbars for it. It is not clear what the best approach is. The $150 OEM crossbars seem to be compelling (part number: SOA843X040). However the $430 extended OEM set (part number SOA567X010) may be a better option and I can move them between my Ascent and my Impreza if needed. That said, I could also buy the OEM set fit for the Impreza for $150. So that is not a good reason to go with the extended set since the 2 sets would be about $300 - a bit less then the single extended set.

I have also looked at the Yakima Jetsteam and Corebar sets, which will wind up being even more expensive.

So far, it seems like the $150 OEM bars are the best for me. Does anyone have any guidance for me?

I plan to carry a rooftop box and maybe, in the future some kayaks or paddleboards.

Thanks...
 

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It really comes down to how much do you really want to spend. If you don't need any special attachments for the water equipment then OEM bars are probably just fine. Now if you are looking for longevity then go with the Jetstream or core (especially if you plan to hold more weight). Or the Thule alternatives. Meaning you most likely can transfer it to your next vehicle by just changing the feet and if you are lucky you will not have to do anything at all. I didn't think twice about buying Yakima products for our Ascent. But, I've relied on the company since the late 90s.
 

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Obviously...it depends. If you need to carry more than one type of thing on your roof (basket/box and a couple of bikes or a kayak), you're going to need the extended bars. If it's going to be an either/or situation, regular bars will work fine.

For the money, the OEM are a great option and will cover what 90+% of people need. Pick your needs first and your bars 2nd.

Finally, remember that no matter how much load the bars themselves state they can carry, your max load is limited by the roof of the vehicle. So nobody's bars are going to be able to magically increase your payload capacity.
 

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OEM Aero vs OEM Aero Extended (by Thule) is more than just price... the OEM Aero only support 150 pounds, moving, sitting, not matter what or where. The OEM Aero Extended (by Thule) support rooftop tents and as much as 700 pounds when stationary (176 in motion).

If you don't need to have a lot of weight sitting, get the OEM Aero. If you plan on a rooftop tent, do NOT try it with the OEM Aero. People have already bent theirs. If not immediately (upon trying 700 pounds of tent and people), eventually, the bars will fail (as they have for others).
 

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2020, Ascent Limited CWP, 2010 Legacy Limited SWP, 2013 STI Hatchback PBP
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Also the OEM are super short, only one roof box will fit.

you could also get the Thule/Yakima that is not OEM and safe some money, NOT buying the Subaru branded ones.
 

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The OEM ones slide. Almost any roof box fits.
 

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Anybody know if you place two+ sets of crossbar and turn into a rack, will there be a flat surface?
 

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OEM Aero crossbars are not flat, but I use a rack on them to create a flat surface. Aero Extended crossbars are flat.
 

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Also the OEM are super short, only one roof box will fit.

you could also get the Thule/Yakima that is not OEM and safe some money, NOT buying the Subaru branded ones.
The OEM ones slide. Almost any roof box fits.
I'm guessing @Hangman meant fitting side-by-side, which is true for most sizes of cargo box.

Also, thanks for correcting me about the OEM bars static load limits.
 

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@pdxeca @Hangman oh!!! Yeah, they'd have to be pretty narrow boxes to fit side by side. The Thule or Yakima flat bars would be a FAR better option, and almost all their flat bar options will add a few extra pounds of "in motion" weight capabilities.
 

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Anybody know if you place two+ sets of crossbar and turn into a rack, will there be a flat surface?
I wouldn’t see why not. However, some OEMs tend to be curved. For my old Xterra, I had Yakima tubular bars that sat high and the OEMs sat low between. Creating a basket effect. Depending on positioning, I could have placed stuff on the OEM bar. My Jetstreams are 2.75 inches wide, your surface would only be less that a foot. That would be an expensive foot.
 

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I'd asked about using a soft roof bag, and was told to use two sets of bars to support it.. I asked when at my dealer and they too said, two sets can work, so will be looking into getting a 2nd set sometime before november.
 

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I opted for a basket instead, because it allows other options when not using a bag...

...and then I never got around to buying a roof bag.
 

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I opted for a basket instead, because it allows other options when not using a bag...

...and then I never got around to buying a roof bag.
We already have one so figured might as well keep using it. It gets stuffed with dog beds, dog food and the 1000's of other dog things we think we need on a trip..LOL Was very easy to use on the Outback which is already scratched up on the roof so wasn't an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey all...

Thanks for you comments. I think I have ruled out the SOA843X040 bars and will look into either getting the extended ones (SOA567X010) or something comparable by Thule or Yakima. However I am not sure what exact Thule bars the OEM ones are.

As for pricing, the OEM bars seem to be the cheapest option since the come with the bars, towers, and locks. I found Yakima Corebar crossbars with Timberline towers and no locks for $390 (https://www.etrailer.com/multi-product.aspx?pc1=Y00422&pc2=Y00147). If I add the locks I am not sure there will be much cost difference.
 

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Anybody know if you place two+ sets of crossbar and turn into a rack, will there be a flat surface?
Most definately not. The roof rails on the Ascent curve considerably from front to back so the surface defined by more than two identical crossbars will be curved front to pack.
 

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I found that the Yakima rail grabbers I had on my 2011 Forester would work with my 2019 Ascent. Just had to adjust the width a bit. My bars are 72" with gunwale holders for two canoes and tie-down straps.
 

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FWIW, i personally like the sleek look of the OEM aerobars, so went with them and am using the $ saved to splurge on the new Yakima EXO system. Exo Haven't purchased that yet, just got the hitch installed, but I personally like the potential versatility and not having to put as much on the roof other than a box.
 

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Also the OEM are super short, only one roof box will fit.

you could also get the Thule/Yakima that is not OEM and safe some money, NOT buying the Subaru branded ones.
Ok you have my attention. Does anyone have any examples of multiple roof boxes on our roofs?

Two roof boxes is worth the price of admission!
 

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Ok you have my attention. Does anyone have any examples of multiple roof boxes on our roofs?

Two roof boxes is worth the price of admission!
I've seen multiple Subies (not Ascents) with extended bars and 2 boxes. The thing is, they're not huge boxes, they're the narrow ones. I think you could get the same cargo capacity with something like the Thule ForceXT XXL, but it's more difficult to manage off the car.

I think the best use of extended bars (other than rooftop tent) is cargo box + some other thing. Even something like a narrow cargo basket (Kuat Mini Skinny or Yakima Skinny Warrior).
 
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