Here at Modula we stock not only our house brand (Modula, in case that wasn't clear) racks, but Rhino-Rack as well. On top of that, we can special order in Thule and Yakima.
The reason we stock Rhino over the other two is many, and I will get into them below.
The whole point of a roof rack is to be able to carry things, and there’s a balance between strength, durability, and lightweight construction that you want to strike. You want to look for something aluminum that you don’t have to worry about rusting, and strikes that balance between strength and lightweight. Aluminum bars also almost always come in an aerodynamic shape that splits the air as you drive, whisper quiet so you can enjoy your Taylor Swift in peace.
Thule and Yakima offer competitively priced roof racks made of steel, with bar shapes that lead to whistling over the top of your vehicle as you drive. You can of course upgrade to their aluminum aerodynamic bars, typically for $100-$200 more than Rhino-Rack’s offering.
Rhino-Rack’s legs as well, are made of glass-reinforced nylon, which gives it almost the same tensile strength as aluminum as well as UV and impact resistance. This stuff is used in professional industrial tools, so you know they’re tough!
Rhino-Rack also uses stainless steel and hardened steel hardware. Stainless is great for things like the lock core, where you absolutely don’t want rust building up, but it’s brittle. Hardened steel is much stronger, and when coated with sealing varnish, still quite unlikely to pick up rust. Rhino uses hardened steel for the parts like the clamps that hold the bare roof kits on the roof.
Even the rubber used in their construction is engineered for longevity. Rhino-Rack uses a proprietary rubber called Santoprene to ensure the non-marking pads on its fit kits stay soft and pliable in all temperatures and conditions. As someone who has installed these rails outside in a Canadian winter, I can confirm that the Santoprene was much happier than my frozen fingers.
If you can strap it to the roof of a vehicle, chances are Rhino makes it. Bike racks, cargo baskets, kayak carriers, clamshell ski racks, the possibilities go on! Matching the logos looks pretty slick too.
A fully-featured bar is aluminum, aerodynamic, t-track for accessories, and locking capabilities to secure the rack itself to your roof.
Rhino’s Vortex 2500 bars have all of the above features included in their listed pricing, no extra charges.
For the same aluminum construction, aerodynamics, and t-track, Thule and Yakima are on average $100-$200 more expensive, then charge an additional fee for locking. A four pack of Thule keys will run you $89.95 + tax, and the same from Yakima runs $99.99.
The 2020s have messed up supply chains for everyone, but some suppliers seem to have found better ways to cope with circumstances than others.
Rhino comes out of Australia, and despite being so far flung, they’ve been the most solid in terms of availability. We keep quite a bit of Rhino inventory on hand to be able to meet as much demand as we can.
Thule has started to catch up; their cargo boxes and roof rack components are typically available within 3-10 business days.
Unfortunately Yakima has been struggling. We have some customers who have waited for over a year for replacement parts, as they’re prioritizing their US market and leaving Canada high and dry with access only to what’s leftover.
No matter what roof rack you go with, it’s worth getting a full picture, and making sure you get what’s going to best suit your needs. Give us a call, we’d be more than happy to help you out!