Are you tired of trying to fit square pegs in round holes when transporting your bikes on your Toyota Highlander? Then you need a bike rack! It’s like the missing puzzle piece to your outdoor adventure transportation needs.
We are here to help you in searching for the missing puzzle piece. We tested 13 models and compiled our list of the 6 best bike racks for Toyota Highlander, with the Saris Superclamp Bike Hitch Car Rack being our favorite. We included hitch and roof mount bike racks as the former often comes with a tilting mechanism, making loading and unloading easy, and the latter doesn’t interfere with the back view. Both are compatible with different bike models like women’s or kids’ bikes.
More features: foldable, integrated locks, allows hatch access when loaded, reflectoes
The Saris SuperClamp EX 2 is our Editor’s Choice among the best bike racks for Toyota Highlander. It fits almost all bikes, including men’s, women’s, kids’, and even e-bikes. Due to its exceptional way of fastening with SuperClamp’s dual shepherd’s hooks, it doesn’t matter what frame your bike has, it will be securely fastened to its wheels. With a tilting function, you still have easy access to the hatch of your car with no need to unload the rack. Plus, it can be folded down when not in use. The hitch is compatible with universal receivers (1¼” and 2”). Its locking cable and hitch prevent thefts. It also comes with reflectors on wheel trays to make it visible to other vehicles at night.
The Saris SuperClamp EX 2 belongs to the Superclamp series, and just like its other family members, it’s built with incredible quality and intriguing versatility to handle whatever kind of bike you want to use it for. More so, it offers more improvements compared to the Saris Freedom 2-Bike, for it can handle up to 4″ tires folds when not in use, and features integrated locks.
More features: integrated wheels, locking knob, cables
The Thule T2 Pro XT/XTR can be rated as a Premium Pick rack as it is made of sturdy alloy steel that can withstand a heavy load (up to 60 lbs. each) for years to come. The bikes are attached to the rack with wheels, so bikes with any frame can fit on the rack. The 20-29″ wheels and up to 5″ tires will sit nicely on the rack. There is enough space (12.5″) between bikes that can be easily adjusted side to side and prevent bike interference. With auto attach system, it is easy to install and remove the rack without using any tools. When off the vehicle, the rack can be easily maneuvered with wheels attached to it. You can unload it with no hassle when using the HitchSwitch lever.
The Thule T2 Pro XT/XTR has much in common with the Saris SuperClamp. They both have a lifetime limited warranty, a 1.25” or 2″ hitch receiver size, the capacity to carry a total of 120 lbs, and are both hitch mounts. However, this Thule rack is made of aluminum, while the SuperClamp is made of alloy steel. Also, it’s a bit expensive and heavier than the Saris SuperClamp EX 2.
More features: requires a roof rack with a crossbar spread between 18″ and 35″, TorqueRight tightening knob
The Yakima Highroad rack is one of the Best Roof Mount racks that can hold up to 4 bikes of 40 lbs. each, making it perfect for larger cycling gatherings. Its universal mounting hardware fits most roof racks with a crossbar spread between 18″ and 35″. It features the TorqueRight tightening knob that can secure almost all bikes with 26″ to 29″ wheels and up to 4″ wide tires. Its low-profile tray reduces hatch interference. When loading the bikes, there is no need to remove the wheels, so you don’t have to waste time on it and have a stress-free ride.
The Yakima HighRoad is one of the unique bike racks featured on this list as it’s the only one that is roof-mounted. Although it has a condition, it can also provide a lifetime limited warranty like the Thule T2 and the Saris SuperClamp. More interestingly, it can carry up to four bikes, and it’s significantly more affordable than the Thule T2 and the Saris SuperClamp.
More features: trunk access, quick release tire hoops, locking hitch pin, security cable
Next on the list, we put the Swagman XTC4 rack which is a hitch mount rack and it can carry up to 4 bikes at once, 35 lbs. each. It is made of quality alloy steel to withstand high loads for years. The bikes are attached to the rack with a soft frame-friendly grip and adjustable wheel holders, providing the most security even on rough roads. Its center arm can be folded down to access the trunk of your car with no need to disassemble the rack. It fits 20″ – 29″ wheel sizes. The package also includes security cables and a locking hitch pin to prevent thefts.
The Swagman XTC4 comes with the swag to join the likes of Yakima HighRoad, Thule T2 Pro XT/XTR, and Saris SuperClamp EX 2 that comes with a lifetime limited warranty. And even though it can carry up to four bikes like the Yakima HighRoad, it can only take on 35 lbs. per bike, compared to Yakima’s 40 lbs. per bike.
More features: carrier hitch, anti-rattle hitch pin, support strap, built-in reflectors, tapered dual arms, tilting mast
The Curt Premium 18065 rack offers the Best Load Capacity of 5 bikes, one of which can be up to 25 lbs. with a maximum overall load of 225 lbs. The bikes are securely fastened to the rack with adjustable rubber cradles that fit different bike frames and don’t scratch them. Plus, a support strap and an anti-rattle hitch pin can be used to improve the stability of bikes. The rack can be tilted away to get access to the rear vehicle. The built-in reflectors provide visibility in low-light conditions. The rack is black powder coated to protect it from corrosion.
The Curt Premium 18065 is another unique option on this list as it is the only bike rack with the capacity to carry five bikes, compared to others on this list that can only take on two to four bikes. And what it lacks in terms of lifetime limited warranty, it compensates with its intriguing affordable price, as it’s pegged at a price lower than the first four featured racks on this list.
More features: quick fold carry arms, quick secure straps, dual compound tie-down cradles, rapid tilt-away mast, dual compound spine shield, integrated locking loop
The Allen Sports Premier 4 rack offers security and quality at an affordable price. It features tie-down cradles and quick-set straps that won’t leave scratches on the bikes and tightly keep them in place. The dual compound spine shield snaps over the vertical mast on your rack and provides a landing pad to protect the bike. No wobble bolts reduce the movement of bikes on uneven terrains. With an internal tilt-away release, you can load and unload the rack quickly. When not in use, the rack can be folded down and takes little space.
The Allen Sports Premier 4 will appeal more to users who are on a tight budget and cannot splurge on getting a high-priced rack like the Thule T2 Pro XT/XTR and Saris SuperClamp EX 2, which are also built to carry 2 bikes. The Allen Sports Premier 4 is the only rack on this list without any warranty but its weight of 23.5 lbs, which makes it the lightest on this list, makes it worth giving a try.
You can find three main types of bike racks on the market, and these are hitch, roof, and trunk mount racks; each has its benefits and drawbacks.
The first thing that comes to mind is the car and compatibility. Make sure it fits your hitch, roof, or trunk. You can look for this information on the official website of your car brand. If you’re also looking for bike racks for other models, check out our reviews of the best BMW X3 bike racks and the best bike racks for Jeep Wrangler.
Usually, bike racks can accommodate two to three bikes. Some can carry four or even five bikes, but they cost a bit more.
As we mentioned above, roof-top bike racks can accommodate more bikes which are perfect for a family of cyclists. Hitch bike racks in a platform style can carry 4 to 5 bikes, so pay attention to them as well.
Note that the more bikes a rack can accommodate, the heavier and bulkier it will be.
The weight coincides with the number of bikes a rack can handle. Manufacturers provide the overall weight capacity of a rack or per bike. Don’t exceed prescribed measurements and overload the rack; otherwise, it won’t last long.
Most bike racks are made to work with standard-size adult bikes as they have a so-called diamond frame, and the rack can be fastened to it. While women’s bike requires additional equipment (adaptors) due to their step-through frame. For this reason, there is another way of fastening a bike to the rack with a platform hitch or roof rack. These ones come with adjustable straps and can fit different-sized wheels and tires. In addition, the wheelbase size is important to check as it determines the distance between the front and rear wheels.
If you have an e-bike and want to make sure you have a proper-sized rack, it is worth checking our prepared compilation of the best bike racks for e-bikes.
Of course, you want the installation of a bike rack to be a breeze. Look for bike racks with clear step-by-step instructions and all the necessary hardware or tools. You can also ask for help at your local bike shop if you want so.
Not only want your bikes securely fastened but also locked with keys so that no one could thieve them. That’s why we recommend you pay extra attention to whether a bike rack has not only straps and tightening knobs but also security cables, locks, and keys.
Our Editor’s Choice is the Saris SuperClamp EX 2 which has a robust construction and can hold two bikes making it a nice bargain for couples. It fits most bikes and comes with a tilting mechanism for easy access. Its reflectors come in handy at night.
We awarded the Thule T2 Pro XT/XTR model with the Premium Pick nomination. Though it can hold only two bikes at once, it has an alloy steel construction and built-in wheels for off-car transport. There is 12 ″ spacing between the bikes to prevent bikes from scratching.
Lastly, we have the Yakima Highroad rack which is the Best Roof Mount rack. It can accommodate 4 bikes at once with 40 lbs. weight capacity each. It fits bikes with 26-29” wheels and up to 4” wide tires. You don’t have to remove the wheels to load the rack.
We hope you’ll find the best bike racks for Toyota Highlander.