A roof rack system opens up the possibilities of being able to use your car to haul everything from bikes, cargo boxes, to kayaks.
In this review lineup, we’ll compare both products side by side so you can determine which one will work best for you and your lifestyle.
Our Best Pick
|#2. Yakima Jetstream
How’s The Quality And Design?
The Jetstream crossbars have a clean and simple appearance to them.
While they are lightweight, they feel solid in your hands and feel like they would last for years despite being exposed to the outdoor elements.
Made from a light-weight aluminum and powder coating finish, they are resistant to corrosion or rust, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking a few months/years down the road, or the rust potentially damaging your car’s paint job.
The short squat stance of these crossbars is ideal for aerodynamics and reduces road drag and noise. Few consumers complained about any wind noise being noticeable.
The Whispbar is made from a satin chrome finish that not only looks good but is resistant to corrosion or rust.
Other than that, there were no noticeable differences other than installation, but more on that below.
What About Installation?
Cross rails are designed specifically for vehicles with side rails already installed(whether it’s factory installed or aftermarket), installation is not a project to be undertaken lightly.
Especially with the Jetstream.
Actually, putting the whole thing together is quite the pain. You’ll need a couple of tools like scissors, screwdriver, a measuring tape (none of which is supplied), and some time on your hands in order to install it.
This is not a project I would attempt without a detailed YouTube video or if you can follow instructions well.
Once you have everything assembled, it’s time to mount it to your car. This requires you to measure and then adjust the Jetstream to where you want it. We recommend using a measuring tape to make sure everything is lined up and parallel with each. Don’t tighten the screws until you’re happy with the fit.
Repeat that entire process for the next crossbar.
Then it’s a matter of just tightening the screw and popping the endcaps into place. They’ll click when they’ve been installed properly.
The good news is that after the tricky installation, your bikes or the rack won’t be going anywhere…
Please keep in mind that you will need to purchase compatible towers separately in order to complete the installation of these crossbars. Check out the table above to see which towers are compatible with the Yakima Jetstream.
With the Whispbar system, everything you need is included in the kit so you can install it straight out of the box. You’ll get an allen key (inside one of the rail legs), a set of keys and of course the two bars.
Installation is noticeably easier.
With the Jetstream, it requires you to remove the weather stripping, measure and then cut it to the proper length. With the Whispbar, there is no cutting or removing the weather stripping.
It’s pretty much to ready to use as is but you could exchange the lock and key system for any other Yakima compatible system, but the SKS system (same key system) comes stock.
To equip it to your car’s rails, you’ll remove the cover and use the allen key to loosen the bolt which will either tighten or lower the clamps on the side. Then just slide the bars onto your side rails and then tighten the bolts with the allen key till everything is secure.
Once you’re finished, use a measuring tape to make sure everything is lined up properly and that both cross rails are parallel with each other.
The allen key can go back inside one of the rail legs for safe keeping.
Check Thule FootPacks (480 & 480R)
If you have no experience with installing cross rails or don’t feel comfortable with a lengthy and complicated installation process, we suggest the Whispbar system.
With the Whispbar system, you can be ready to go in less than 30 minutes and you get the same security/features without the extra frustration.