Top 5 Best Roof Racks for Prius | 2020 Reviews

If you are a Prius owner and a frequent land traveler and bring so much stuff, where to place them is often the most annoying thing. Your car can carry only a handful of things inside, and if you usually travel with many people, storage is quite a headache. With the help of roof racks, you can carry and store your luggage safely on the roof of your car.

In case you want to purchase a roof rack for your Prius, this post will give you a complete guide to choosing the best quality roof racks in the market right now.

Top 5 Best Roof Racks for Prius in Review

Toyota Prius is a hybrid electric sedan that can hold up to seven seats. Its eco-friendly features are some of the reasons why many people love it. With the value that it gives to its users, Prius is one of the best cars to drive, especially in long distances.

Since the Prius is only a sedan, owners would usually install roof racks so it can hold a bigger space for luggage. With roof racks, cars like the Prius can take up more people inside than luggage. It is an essential asset for any car owner, especially for those who love to travel by land and bring much stuff with them.

It is sometimes difficult to know which ones are the best for your Prius with the many brands for roof racks. However, to make your buying choices more manageable, we have a list of the best roof racks.

  1. Rhino Rack Vortex Aero Bar Roof Rack
  2. Yakima Jetstream Roof Rack
  3. Vault Roof Rack Bar Set
  4. Thule AeroBlade Roof Rack Bar Set
  5. SportRack Complete Roof Rack System

#1. Rhino Rack Vortex Aero Bar Roof Rack – Best Overall Roof Rack for Prius

Rhino Rack Vortex Aero Bar Roof Rack

Specifications:

  • Quantity: 2 Bars
  • Weight Capacity: 165 lbs
  • Dimensions: 49″ long x 3-1/8″ wide x 1-3/16″ tall
  • Warranty: Lifetime

The Rhino Rack roof rack system is known for the aerodynamic design of its Vortex Aero crossbars. The slim and elliptical shape of the crossbars helps create the aerodynamic system. The crossbars have four Rhino Rack legs and have a custom fit kit that will mount to your car’s roof. The bars are also long enough to extend past the roof rack legs and maximize the space for the carriers and accessories.

With the top channel on each bar, you can conveniently add channel-mounted carriers and accessories. The rubberized vortex strips on the top channels also help reduce the drag and wind noise whenever you are driving. It also keeps dirt and grime out of your crossbars and provides cushioning and slip-resistance to the cargo.

The bottom channels of the crossbar allow easy installation of the roof rack legs. The channels also have rulers to make sure that you installed it right at the center of your roof.

Since the bars are lightweight, you can easily lift and drag it into your roof. You don’t also have to worry about your crossbars getting wet and rusty since it is built with a structural-grade anodized aluminum. Furthermore, the internal H-shape extrusion of the bars provides quite the amount of strength while being lightweight.

You don’t have to worry about your roof rack being stolen since it has plastic lock cores with universal keys that can be upgraded to all-metal locks for added security.

Other inclusions of your Rhino Rack roof rack system are the 2500 Series durable four nylon legs with built-in locks to help mount the vortex onto your car roof. The legs are UV-stabilized, and the nylon is glass-reinforced and durable enough to withstand extreme weather.

With the custom fit kit included in your roof rack system, you can easily mount the nylon legs to the roof of the Prius. The clamps are padded so that it can securely grip your door jambs without any scratches and abrasions.

The pads are rubber molded and are custom designed to fit the roof of your Prius.

ProsCons
Rack has an integrated C-channel to mount other channel-mounted accessories easilyCompatibility with arch-shaped car rails can create loud whistling noise with high speeds
H-shaped internal extrusions are strong
Roof rack system has a lifetime warranty

#2. Yakima Jetstream Roof Rack – Best Lightweight Roof Rack for Prius

YAKIMA - Jetstream Bar, Aerodynamic Bar for Roof Rack Systems, Black, 50'

Specifications:

  • Quantity: 2 bars
  • Weight capacity: 165 lbs
  • Dimensions: 50″ long x 3-1/8″ wide x 1″ tall
  • T-slot Channel Dimensions: 7/8″ wide x 7/16″ deep
  • Weight: 9 lbs
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime

The Yakima Jetstream crossbar roof rack has extremely quiet and low-profile crossbars that will build a great roof rack for your Prius. The asymmetrical JetFlow shape of the bars creates the aerodynamic flow system of the roof rack. The built-in WindRidges helps in the control of the airflow to reduce wind noise and vibrations. The bars’ aero style also reduces the drag.

The bars of the Yakima Jetstream roof rack is long enough to maximize the space for carriers and accessories. The bars are also versatile to accommodate different accessories like bike racks or cargo carriers.

The rubber SmartFill strips in the T-slots allow the easy installation of the channel-mounted accessories. You just have to push down the SmartFill strips to slide the accessories.

The bottom channels also allow the easy installation of the Yakima towers. Since the bars are made with lightweight aluminum, you can easily drag and lift it onto the roof of your Prius. Furthermore, the bars are rustproof and durable with internal JetTruss extrusions for exceptional bar strength. Thanks to the clear anodized alloy finish of the bars, you don’t have to worry about any rust and corrosion.

Along with your Yakima crossbar roof rack system are the baseline towers that can hold up to 220 lbs. The heavy-duty towers allow you to mount the crossbars safely and securely into the Prius’ roof. The tower pitch can also adjust to six degrees forward and six degrees backward to level into your crossbars.

The towers’ pivoting bases can also be adjusted upon installation to make sure that it is securely seated. Furthermore, the BarBeds are versatile enough to accommodate the Yakima CoreBar and Jetstream crossbars.

With the DropHook system, you can safely and efficiently install the towers unto the crossbars. The DropHook also has a clip holder that can adjust to three axes to find that perfect fit for the roof of your Prius.

The towers are also weather-resistant with its stainless steel, glass-reinforced plastic, and elastomer construction.

The BaseClip fit kit of your Yakima JetStream lets you mount your towers to the Prius roof. The clips and pads are custom-fit, and the clips are padded to provide a secure grip into your door jambs. The pads also have molded rubber to fit the roof’s contour while protecting it from scratches and scuffs.

ProsCons
JetTruss gives additional strength while still being lightNot too easy to install
Shape keeps Prius from drags and reduces noiseHas too many parts
Roof rack system has a lifetime warranty

#3. Vault Roof Rack Bar Set – Best Value for Money Roof Rack for Prius

Roof Rack Crossbars 54” Universal Locking Crossbars by Vault - Carry Your Canoe, Kayak, Cargo Safely with Aerodynamic Design - Mounts to The Rooftop of Your Car or SUV

Specifications:

  • Quantity: 2 bars
  • Weight capacity: 150 lbs
  • Dimensions: 54” long x 6” wide x 4 inches tall
  • Weight: 8.78 lbs

From the Vault Cargo Management comes the most versatile roof rack yet. The Vault roof rack bar set stands among the rest with its long crossbar, which can accommodate canoes, kayaks, and cargo safely and securely. The Vault Cargo system only promises to deliver a roof rack with no restrictions on what you want to bring along on your next trip.

The crossbars are meticulously designed with high-quality aluminum that was fine-tuned to get those aerodynamics for less drag and noise from the wind. Furthermore, with the aluminum material, the bars become lightweight and durable to withstand up to 150 lbs of cargo weight.  The crossbars’ strips are made with the best-molded rubber that can run to 53″ in length, and ensuring the safety of your cargo and Prius.

The bar features padded clamps that protect your Prius from scratches and scuffs. It also helps in securely fitting the crossbar to the Prius’ roof while too convenient to remove. The clamps are also covered with black powder finish for that rust free bar set.

Another feature of the Vault roof rack is the end cap design, where each has rubber fittings to ensure that the crossbars are well protected. Furthermore, the secured end cap of the crossbar also protects your cargo from scratches.

The clamps have a 1.2″ clearance from the roof, and the crossbars have raised profile to ensure that your canoes and other camping equipment will not touch or scratch your car’s roof. You don’t have to worry about your Vault roof rack being stolen because the crossbars have a built-in locking mechanism to help keep your Vault roof rack safe from theft.

ProsCons
Can hold canoes and kayaksLittle noisy at higher speeds
Long enough to hold large cargo
Easy to install and remove
Affordable price

#4. Thule AeroBlade Edge Roof Rack – Best Quality Roof Rack for Prius

Thule AeroBlade Edge Raised Rail L (1-Bar)

Specifications:

  • Quantity: 2 bars
  • Weight capacity: 165 lbs
  • Dimensions: 47” long x 3” wide x 5 inches tall
  • Weight: 6.7 lbs

Thule boasts one of its most aerodynamic designs – the Thule AeroBlade Edge. The AeroBlade Edge has low-profile and aerodynamic crossbars that mount to the roof of your Prius to create that ultra-quiet and robust roof rack.

The Kammback-like crossbars have an aerodynamic system that provides less drag to your Prius for lesser fuel consumption. The WindDiffuser strips of the Thule AeroBlade Edge have T-slots inside that disrupt the airflow and reduce the wind noise and drag. It also keeps the grime and dirt out of the crossbars. Furthermore, the WindDiffuser provides cushioning and slip-resistance to your cargo.

The crossbars are very versatile that it can accommodate T-track-mounted accessories. The crossbars are also lightweight and made of anodized aluminum for a durable and rust-free roof rack system. With the BoxBeam design of the interior, the rack has more strength and becomes more rigid. With this, the bar can withstand up to 800 lbs of cargo, while still being lightweight.

If you are worried about your Thule AeroBlade Edge being stolen, you can purchase the One-Key System lock cylinders to lock your rack to the side rails of your Prius.

ProsCons
WindDiffuser feature creates a quiet roof rack load barsExpensive for a roof rack system
Bars can take up to 800 lbs because of BoxBeam

#5. SportsRack Complete Roof Rack System – Best Budget Roof Rack

SportRack SR1010 Complete Roof Rack System, Black

Specifications:

  • Quantity: 2 bars
  • Weight capacity: 130 lbs
  • Dimensions: 50” long x 1 ¼ ” wide x 7/8 inches tall
  • Weight: 9.5 lbs
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime

The Sports Rack roof rack system is one of the most affordable rack systems in the market. As cheap as it seems, Sports Rack still upholds its standards to bring you a lightweight roof rack without burning holes in your pocket.

The Sports Rack roof rack is an easy-to-install roof rack system that mounts into your car’s naked roof. The footpads of your Sports Rack roof rack is adjustable and can rotate easily. Furthermore, the footpads are combined with the easy-to-use numbering system for that aligned and centered fit to your roof and aid in the installation.

With the unique numbering system of the Sports-Rack, you can easily install your roof rack to the roof of your Prius. The numbers are noted in the easy-to-read application guide of the roof rack. You only need to find the number indicated for your car and easily slide the crossbar’s feet to the roof until it lines up with the number in the car. Then, you can tighten the grip of the rack by using an Allen wrench.

For sedans like the Prius, the Sports Rack roof rack needs a short roof-adapter to enable the roof rack’s best fit. Also, with the square crossbars design of the roof rack, it can support other racks like bike racks, ski carriers, and kayaks. Furthermore, the bars are made of sturdy steel with black coating for a rust-resistant and UV-resistant roof rack. The feet also have rubber pads at the bottom to prevent scratches on your roof upon installation.

Don’t worry about your roof rack being stolen since the Sports Rack has an integrated locking system to secure your rack to the car’s roof.

ProsCons
The steel body of crossbar assures a heavy-duty and reliable carry of luggageThe black coating does not last
Built-in clamps are sturdy yet easy to remove for that added safety
Can only hold up to 130 lbs
No need for side rails when installing

Top Pick – Best Roof Rack for Your Prius

The best roof rack for your Prius has to have all the required elements in one roof rack. Aside from the value of money, the best roof rack must also support enough capacity and, at the same time, have the highest quality.

Our top pick from all the roof racks reviewed above is the Rhino Rack Vortex Aero Bar Roof rack. Besides the reasonable price that the Rhino Rack has, it is also known to build robust and reliable roof racks. Furthermore, the cost of the Rhino Rack is competitive enough that it does not come too expensive for its high-quality roof rack, and not too cheap for its weight capacity.


Getting the Best Roof Rack for Prius – Ultimate Buyers Guide

If you want to pick the best roof rack for your Prius, you must know what features make the best overall roof rack. The market offers plenty of options that might overwhelm or intimidate you. However, with our ultimate buyers’ guide, you will be more informed of what to look for on a roof rack and give you the best value for your money.

Weight capacity

Since the Prius is a sedan that can accommodate up to seven passengers, there is only a limited weight that the car can carry aside from its passengers. Therefore, you must research the best roof rack that can bring the right amount of luggage that will not exceed the capacity of the car.

Be careful, however, when exceeding the limit of the weight capacity of your roof rack since it can drag your car more and leave you with higher fuel consumption.

Design

Roof racks have specific designs that can reduce or even eliminate the wind noise while you are driving. To know what is best for your Prius, pick the roof rack with a crossbar that has aerodynamics and can resist wind steadily.

Installation and Removal

No one would ever want to buy a roof rack that is hard to install and remove. Remember that a waste of time is a waste of money. Therefore, when choosing the best roof rack, pick the one which has a system that can easily be installed and can be quickly removed from the roof.

Versatility

When considering the things that you want to bring while traveling, consider the things that your roof rack is allowed to carry. The best roof racks are versatile enough to accommodate several pieces of equipment like bikes, kayaks, and even canoes. The more versatile your roof rack is, the more value there is for your money.

Appearance

The aesthetic will always be the first thing that can lure you into noticing the best roof rack. Even with all the features of a roof rack, the appearance will always have that room in your buying decision. Therefore, when choosing the best roof rack for your Prius, pick the one which is most compatible in appearance.


Conclusion

Roof racks are one of the essential parts of a car. When choosing the best roof rack for your Prius, you must consider durability, capacity, and reliability. Also, the best roof racks are easy to install and remove and are light enough to carry.

With the many options available on the market, you will know the best roof rack once you have read our detailed review and buying guide. Before buying the best roof racks for Prius, make sure to know what is ideal for you and your car’s needs without sacrificing your budget. Furthermore, the quality and durability of the best roof rack may come at a price, but make sure that it has the best value for your money. Therefore, with all the options given to you, you should be able to decide which the best roof rack is for your Prius.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Will any of the roof racks fit my car?

Unfortunately, no, not all roof racks have a universal fitting for any car. Crossbars have many sizes and fittings that can accommodate different vehicle types, so you have to know which one is the most compatible with your vehicle.

Can I install the roof rack by myself?

Many of the roof racks nowadays already have instructional manuals included in every roof rack package so you can install them yourself. However, you may come across manuals that are a little confusing, so you might want to research more about how to install your roof rack. You can also search on Youtube for the video instructions.

Do I need to buy other tools to install the roof rack on my car?

Most of the roof racks nowadays already have their mounting tools, and as long as your rails are intact with your crossbars, you are good to go.

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