In addition to our house brand, Modula, we are primarily a Rhino Rack dealer with a pinch of Yakima and a dusting of Thule. This is to say, we think Rhino Rack is the best vehicle cargo carrying solution for most people. We can order in Thule and Yakima, but we specifically carry extensive Rhino-Rack inventory at all times.
It matters what your car roof rack is made of. Steel is heavy and it rusts. All Rhino Rack cross bars are made from aluminum and coated to further increase their resistance to corrosion. Basically, the bars can’t rust. These cross-bars will easily outlive your vehicle and then likely go on to outlive you and maybe another generation or two. Yakima and Thule also offer aluminum bars, but you will generally find you pay a premium for their aluminum kits. Their competitively priced options are generally steel bars.
Next, the legs attached to Rhino-Rack cross bars are made of glass reinforced nylon. When it comes to plastics, it doesn't get much better than this. With the strength of aluminum, UV resistance, and the ability to take incredible impacts; you want glass reinforced nylon carrying your cargo. This material is often seen in professional industrial tools.
Rhino Rack also uses stainless steel hardware… Except where it uses hardened steel. Where rust-proofing is paramount, stainless steel is a great material. But, Stainless is a soft and brittle form of steel. When you need strength, it’s far better to use a hardened steel (like on the clamping hardware in a Rhino Rack leg), because hardened steel isn’t as weather resistant These parts are coated in a sealing varnish. These parts are also extra-chunky to ensure that they are up to the task even under extreme conditions. Accidents happen, the last thing you want to see in a bad situation is your cargo sailing into traffic.
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.
Most cargo carrying accessories are universal, but the flawless fit of Rhino Rack parts on Rhino Rack bars is uniquely satisfying. The sheer variety of Rhino Rack options is also staggering. From Bikes and Paddleboards to Awnings and Axes, Rhino Rack has an accessory for almost everything.
Rhino Rack integrates track mounts into all but their introductory euro bar (which is still made from premium aluminium). Most bars also feature Vortex strips for sound damping and include locks or security fasteners. Factory adjustment slots are covered with special strips during setup to keep the bars from whistling. Tools and keys for installation are included in every set, another piece that you must pay extra for when it comes to Yakima or Thule.
Rhino Rack is Often 30% to 40% less expensive than Yakima or Thule. We honestly can’t figure out why. Our best guess is: As a new brand in North America (Originally from New Zealand & Australia) they are being extra competitive. I don’t know how long it will last, but right now, you will get an excellent product at a great price.