Not too long ago, Overland Journal did a comprehensive test of aftermarket roof racks including a Yakima system. Since that review, Yakima has brought an entirely new base rack system to market, and in the process redefined the metrics by which all rack systems are measured. In a word, the Whispbar system is–brilliant.
Designed over the course of decades by a Rolls Royce engineer, the Whispbar is a quantum leap forward in rack design. The most noticeable improvement over previous racks is in the aerodynamic shape of the cross bars. Not only is the Whispbar system dead quiet at highway speeds, it slices through the wind to save precious fuel. For the overlander punching a square box of a vehicle into the air, this may not seem like a proper benefit, and who knows maybe it isn’t. What overlanders will instantly appreciate is the stout construction of the Whispbar system and its ability to shoulder heavy loads.
During the installation of our Whispbar rack, we were instantly impressed by the complexity and execution of the design. Every component is well built and crafted with exacting precision. Installation of the Whispbar on the factory rails of our test Jeep was straightforward and resulted in a system capable of carrying 165 pounds with ease. Yakima’s 165 pound recommended maximum load seems extremely conservative, but well noted all the same. To say it’s solid is a gross understatement. With a few turns of an allen key, it becomes an unyielding part of the vehicle’s exterior, incapable of so much as a hint of flex or slight wiggle.
The Whispbar base rack comes in a variety of formats. Our test rack features captive crossbar ends for a sleek, efficient appearance with no excess bar overhang. There is also a through-bar variant for people needing to maximize overall bar length. The HD system is designed to provide maximum utility with standard tie down points. These are systems that make traditional round and square bar systems seem archaic.
When we first inspected the Whispbar system it seemed like an obvious compliment to a more pavement biased automobile. It does look fantastic on a sport wagon, and even atop most sports cars. Having now used it to haul various loads on our test Jeep, we now see the full potential of the Whispbar…