Best Honda Element Roof Racks – 2021 Complete Review

| Last Updated: June 27, 2021

Winch Central is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Honda Element is a crossover SUV for anyone who craves outdoor adventure, and a roof rack is a must-have for any camping, off-road, or cycling expedition.

There are many options to choose from for your Honda Element, and if you are an avid cyclist, we have you covered with the best options on the market.

Here are the best Honda Element roof racks based on reviews and research from Honda Element and cycling enthusiasts:

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Holds bikes of up to 35 pounds easily
  • It is made from strong and durable materials
  • Keeps bike securely strapped down in place
View Latest Price →
  • This rack can be installed on almost any vehicle
  • Made with a lightweight but durable construction
  • Will easily store in a small place when not in use
View Latest Price →
  • Best Honda Element Yakima Roof Rack
  • No bike frame contact while in use
  • You can easily load your bike fully assembled on the rack
View Latest Price →
  • Best Honda Element Thule Roof Rack
  • Ratchet wheel strap included to keep bike secured
  • Improved protection option with no bike contact
View Latest Price →

What Makes a Roof Rack Great for the Honda Element? 

Safety

A good roof rack has safety and security in mind. Choose a roof rack that securely mounts your bike and will not dismount regardless of the distance or off-road driving conditions you take on. 

Ease of Installation

You will also want a bike mount with a locking system for anti-theft protection. If you are a solo cyclist, you should keep in mind that you will need a product that is easy to load and unload by yourself. Other key features that make an ideal bike rack include high-quality materials, ergonomic design, and a universal fit so you can interchange easily between vehicles if you are sharing the roof rack with a family member. 

Style

The look and style of your bike rack is a personal preference, but if you are all about your Element's look and style, then some very unique products on the market will surely get you noticed. 

Review of the Best Roof Racks for Honda Element

We have compiled the best roof racks based on feedback from customers and our research about performance and durability. Our criteria for functionality included safety, ease of use, price, and quality. These products range in design, price-point, and features, so there is a roof rack for all needs and usage requirements. 

Best Overall:
Swagman UPRIGHT Roof Mount Bike Rack

Swagman UPRIGHT Roof Mount Bike Rack

PROS

  • Low price-point
  • Well made for the price
  • Accommodates most frame sizes
  • Tie-down straps for front and rear wheels included
  • Easily get your bike on the roof rack without having to take off any wheels

CONS

  • Maximum capacity is only 15kg (35lbs)
  • Not a good model for leaving the bike on the rack for extended periods

What Recent Buyers Report

Most users are satisfied to find a decent quality bike rack at a price-point that is significantly lower than competitors. They enjoy the ease of installation and the fact that the tie-down straps are included. However, some users report that the bike wobbles, and this makes them feel unsafe when they are traveling long distances. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Swagman UPRIGHT stands out because of the price. If this is your first rack, you are new to the hobby, or you don’t travel far or often, why spend more than you have to on a reliable product for a great price? The Swagman is easy to load and unload the bike and accommodates most frame sizes, so unless you have a hefty mountain bike, this one will likely work for most users. 

Bottom Line

This roof rack is a well-made product at a reasonable price. You can have many of the same features of pricier products for a fraction of the cost. This bike rack is ideal for a first-timer or occasional cyclist. 

Runner-up:
SeaSucker Talon

SeaSucker Talon Single Bike Rack for Cars - USA Made Racks - SUV, Sedan, Hatchback, RV, BMW, Honda, Tesla, Mazda and Every Other Car – No Hitch Mount, 100% Safe, Zero Damage, Travel-Friendly Carrier

PROS

  • Promises no-damage
  • The SeaSucker is universal
  • Extremely safe and strong and offers peace of mind
  • Each talon in the set has a pull rating of over 210 pounds
  • Entire roof rack set can fit into your carry-on or a backpack

CONS

  • There have been a few reports of suction cup failure
  • May not fit every vehicle. For example, the Mini Cooper S

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers enjoy the ease of use and that they can have this bike rack installed in seconds, and that the product does not damage the vehicle. Customers like that this bike rack can go on any vehicle, so this one is ideal for sharing between household vehicles. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love this rack for the unique design and portability. We feel if you like to discuss your toys, this one will get people asking questions. It is a very different-looking product from anything else on the market and a definite conversation starter. The idea that you can take this on vacation and stick it on a rented car makes us want to plan a cycling expedition. In addition to seeing this bike rack on Honda Elements, you may also see it on anything from Teslas to sports cars, so it is great to share with family, especially with its ease of installation. 

Bottom Line

This bike rack has a cool design that will surely get you noticed. Customers love that the bike rack is essentially suction cups, which makes installation easy, ergonomic, and fast. This product is on the pricey side, but it is well worth it. It is also the only American-Made rack at The Tour De France.

Best Honda Element Yakima Roof Rack:
Yakima FrontLoader Wheel-On Mount

YAKIMA - FrontLoader Wheel-On Mount Upright Bike Carrier for Roof Racks, 1 Bike Capacity

PROS

  • Fits a wide range of tire sizes
  • No tools are required for a quick and easy installation
  • Carries the complete bike with no front wheel removal
  • Bike will not budge at all, even after miles of driving
  • Fits on to OEM and aftermarket crossbars and roof racks

CONS

  • The back of the front loader is adjustable, but the front is not
  • Locks are sold separately, and you will want them to prevent theft

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers love the look of this product and the ease of installation. It is a bolt-and-go with no frame contact. However, customers feel it is tricky to load their bikes onto this rack and that the locks should be included with the purchase. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rack has all that cyclists need, including no frame contact to keep their bike in pristine condition, easy installation, well made, and no wobbling. We recommend this product to anyone who already has the crossbars. Many vehicles come with OEM installation, and this product works for anyone who wants to use it rather than remove it, changing the look of their vehicle. It fits most bikes, even kid's bikes, which is an ideal feature for users who want to take their child to a park and still have room in the trunk for a day trip. 

Bottom Line

This bike rack has a decent number of features. If you already have the crossbars and do not want to tamper with them, then The Yamika roof rack is a good option for cyclists who don’t mind a bit of extra work to load and unload.  

Best Honda Element Thule Roof Rack:
Thule UpRide Roof Bike Rack

Thule UpRide Roof Bike Rack, Black

PROS

  • Comes fully assembled
  • Maximum frame protection
  • Recognized brand in roof racks
  • Maximum weight capacity is 18.1kg (40lbs)
  • Easy to install and take on and off with only one person

CONS

  • The wheel arm is not lockable
  • Some customers say the rack is a bit wobbly

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers warn that if you have a large vehicle, you may need a stepping stool to load and unload your bike, which could reduce trunk space when adventuring. Customers also dislike that the locks are sold separately.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

Thule is a go-to brand for roof racks, and they are known for their durability throughout all conditions and seasons. So, if you are an all-seasons cyclist and have your bike on the roof rack overnight in the winter months, it holds up to the elements. We also like that you can purchase an adapter for larger wheels, which appeases the mountain bike enthusiasts with chunky tires as we know it is difficult to find a rack to accommodate tire sizes over 29 inches. It is also suitable for all different frame designs, so cycling enthusiasts with cutting edge products can be assured this product will work for them regardless of shape, material, and attached water bottle cages. 

Bottom Line

Thule is a trusted brand, and if there is a problem, they will go above and beyond to keep their customers satisfied. This product is the ideal rack for anyone with large tires or non-conventional bike designs, and it will keep the bike in perfect condition with its no-contact design. 

5. Rhino Rack Roof Top Carrier

Rhino Rack Roof Top Hybrid Bike Carrier with Ratchet Arm and Multiple Locking Systems to Avoid Theft, Black, Medium

PROS

  • Release trigger
  • Locking systems
  • Ergonomic handle on the ratchet arm
  • Installation only takes approximately fifteen minutes
  • It will not move around once it is installed and in-place

CONS

  • Difficult arm switch-out
  • No cushion between mount bar and backplate to prevent crossbar wear

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report that the product is easy to assemble and configure for the left or right side of the vehicle. However, the strap and latching system are two separate pieces, so the user needs to move both and align them on both sides to ensure that the strap is secure. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bike rack is a well made, premium aluminum product that has multiple features at a reasonable price point, including MasterKey compatible locks, which many others do not include with the purchase. It also comes with straps to add to the security of the bike, which for bicyclists is of paramount importance. The Rhino brand is known for high quality and reliable products and is a trusted name for driving, cycling, and outdoor enthusiasts alike.  

Bottom Line

This bike rack is a trusted and recognizable brand that is sleek, versatile, and has many features included. It's an ideal investment for any cyclist, from hobby to professional. 

Can You Really Find a Quality Honda Element Roof Rack That’s Affordable? 

The short answer is yes, especially if you are using your roof rack to get your bike from home to the local trail or do not use it that often. The more costly roof racks may be constructed using premium aluminum or have more evolved locking systems, but the price reflects the brand name. If you are looking for a roof rack that is safe, easy to install and looks good, then you should not have a problem finding a bike rack at a reasonable price-point. 

Why Did These Roof Racks for Honda Element Make Our List? 

We have selected the best options based on price, quality, and style. Some of the features that earned these products our top spots include Universal fit, not requiring front wheel removal, and ergonomic design.

Universal Fit

It is ideal not to have to measure dimensions before selecting a product and even better for sharing bike racks between family member's vehicles. Universal fit ensures that the roof rack fits most vehicle designs.

SeaSucker Talon

Front Wheel Removal Not Required 

Most cycling enthusiasts want to load and go without taking off their wheel to get their bike on the roof rack and then to put the tire back on upon arrival. We thought it was important that load and unload times were fast and convenient and selected only the racks that get cyclists where they want to go fast. 

Ergonomic Design 

It should not be painful to load or unload your bike. Bike racks designed with ergonomics in mind make the process easy and comfortable, which is especially important if customers plan to load the bike by themselves. Overall, this ensures a hassle-free experience that anyone can do on their own without any stress on the body.  

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying a Honda Element Roof Rack? 

Ideally, you want to know how you are going to use your roof rack and what features matter. Some key considerations include bike size and weight, anti-theft requirements, and price.

Bike Size and Weight

If you ride a standard bike, any bike rack option should work, but if you ride a mountain bike or skinny and light racing bike, then you should look into the specs of the rack to ensure it can accommodate it. 

All racks also come with a maximum weight capacity, and it is recommended not to surpass that limit. Know your bike weight and if it fits under the maximum.

Yakima FrontLoader Wheel-On Mount

Anti-Theft Requirements

Most racks come with locking mechanisms, but many models do not come with locks. Some people see this as a con, as they live in a location where a lock is necessary. Other users live in small towns or rarely leave their bikes unattended, and this feature doesn't matter as much. If anti-theft is high on your list, it is essential to check for its inclusion or be prepared to shell out the extra $30-40. 

Price

There is the saying, you get what you pay for, but often you are paying for brand and reputation. If appearances are not important, then balance quality materials, safety, and ease of use with the price. 

What Kinds Of Roof Racks For Honda Element?

Most of the roof racks featured here are upright and no wheel removal, but there are different subsections of these racks types of bike racks, such as complete mounting systems, suction, and those that install over factory installed crossbars.

Complete Mounting Systems 

Most products in this review are complete mounting systems, which means the product is installed on a bare roof (no crossbars) and has everything included to install and begin using the rack. Typically, there is installation required with a minimum of fifteen minutes, but usually, you can expect to spend more time completing this process. These racks are generally secure, come with straps, locking systems, and come in a wide array of designs. 

Thule UpRide Roof Bike Rack (Source)

Suction Mounting Systems 

These mounting systems are head-turners for their unique look. The suction system is what it sounds like – a set of suction cups with high pull ratings. A benefit to this style of product is the installation simplicity as it is installed literally within seconds, just as you would place suction cups to hang an item in the home or car. Other than being a bit pricey, the only downside is the idea of even one cup failing. 

Mounting Systems for Existing Crossbars

Finally, there are mounting systems to go over existing OEM installed crossbars or even ones you have already placed yourself. This system is ideal for people who use their crossbars for transporting camping gear or even products from the hardware store but still want the option to place an upright roof rack for a weekend getaway.

Honda Element Roof Rack Install 

Following this process, you should easily have your roof rack installed in approximately eighteen minutes:

  1. Install the front skirt on the front roof rack.

  2. Install the rear skirt on the rear roof rack. These two steps may take a bit of wiggling to get them on, but it should not be too difficult.

  3. Remove the covers from the roof trim. These are toward the back of the roof, and there are seam lines, so you should be able to find them easily. Gently pry them off with a screwdriver and put them somewhere safe in case you regularly take off your rack and want the trim handy for re-installation.

  4. Attack the rubber seals inside the trim. 

  5. Position the racks in place. They should fit in the trim snugly. Use the included bolts and loosely secure the roof rack in place. 

  6. Torque the bolts to 7lb-ft. A socket set and torque screwdriver will be useful at this point in the installation process.

  7. Install the four end covers, and you are all done.

Be sure to check out the video for visuals to help you get your roof rack installed quickly and safely. 

Conclusion 

A high-quality bike rack is essential for cycling anywhere outside of your neighborhood. Depending on your needs and style, there is a rack for every look, function, and design. There are so many fantastic options here that we can barely decide which to choose for ourselves, so we hope you find one that fits your bike and lifestyle to enjoy your Honda Element ownership even more.

People Also Ask

If you are considering a bike rack for your Honda Element, and you are wondering about vehicle specs to make the right purchasing decision, check out these answers to commonly asked questions to help you decide on the best bike rack for your needs and lifestyle. 

How Much Weight Can Honda Element Roof Rack Support?

The Honda Element accessory guide states that the roof rack limit is 75lbs, so if you have a heavier bike or also enjoy kayaking, canoeing, or have multiple bikes, then you should get an aftermarket rack. Yakima and Thule are both popular aftermarket brands for bike racks, and with one of their products, your weight limit can significantly increase and have you at 125lb maximum capacity. 

How Do I Safely Carry My Kayak on My Honda Element Roof Rack?

If you kayak, you may want to get a rack designed to carry your kayak safely to your destination. There are even racks that allow you to carry up to four kayaks at a time. Yakima, Sportrack, Thule, and Swagman all have models that carry kayaks. 

How Big is the Honda Element Roof Rack Cross Bars?

The OEM Honda crossbars are designed to be used with the factory rails. The product dimensions are 152.4 x 12.7 x 27.94 cm; 5.9 Kilograms (13lbs). There is a 66lb weight capacity with this product.

How Many Bikes Can the Honda Element Carry?

The Honda Element has a very spacious interior. You can fit a mountain bike or two inside the vehicle upright using an internal bike rack in addition to one on the roof using one of the bike mounts and one or even two on the back using a trunk or hitch mount.

I used to work in construction and landscaping, so I've seen my fair share of ratchet straps, winches, and similar rigging gear. I started Winch Central because I've seen some nasty accidents due to crappy rigging or poor practice. I wanted to be able to recommend good equipment that's SAFE and also provide resources for how its used. I handle the research side of things here as well as product selection for gear reviews.