I'm thinking about getting a Yakima Whispbar to carry kayaks on my 2012 VW Golf 2.5L. Wind noise and gas mileage are important issues for me, and the Whispbar supposedly has the least wind resistance/noise and little effect on gas mileage. It's worth paying extra for me, if the claims are true. Anyone here have first-hand experience with Whispbars?
Specifically, I'm wondering:
- Are they truly as quiet as claimed?
- Have you noticed any effect on gas mileage?
- Do you have flush or through mount version? Do you recommend one over the other?
- It is possible to carry two kayaks with both flush and through versions. Does the extra width of the through version make a big difference if carrying two kayaks?
- What type of mount do you attach to the Whispbar to rest your kayak on? Any recommendations? I currently have Yakima Mako and Hully Rollers, but may change to something less conspicuous and/or easier to remove.
Deck Rigging Gear
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Posted by: jsmarch on May-05-13 8:31 PM (EST)
Posted by: tarwheel on May-05-13 9:20 PM (EST)
Thanks, that helps a lot. Are you able to carry two kayaks on your Whispbar? If so, do they have to be turned on their sides? I prefer the look and size of the flush mount version, but thinking I might need the additional bar length of the through mount to carry two kayaks.
Posted by: jsmarch on May-08-13 5:36 PM (EST)
I carry one with j cradles and one with saddles/rollers w/o a problem. I think that two 21" kayaks would be fine, but not the tandem + 1, on their hulls.
I have through bars|
Posted by: gnarlydog on May-06-13 2:34 AM (EST)
after a few brands and different types of cars I now have Whispbar. Previous "aero" type bars (brand not available in USA) were noisy and a real pain on long distance drives. With the Whispbar there is no noise but I can't tell about gas mileage as I drive to aggressively to make a make that really count.
Posted by: Tarwheel on May-06-13 9:07 AM (EST)
Nice review, Gnarly. What kind of vehicle do you have your rack attached to? Mine is a VW Golf, so space is probably more limited.
it's a Rukus|
Posted by: gnarlydog on May-06-13 6:26 PM (EST)
the white car in the review is a Rukus : a left hand drive (steering on the right) Australian version of the Scion XB (USA), also known in Japan as Corolla Rumion
Posted by: Kocho on May-06-13 3:36 PM (EST)
I can't quite figure out if the stud is part of the base, the rack tower, or removable and just connects the two... How does the stud work? Do you need to tighten it up with a tool every time you install/remove the rack?
Posted by: gnarlydog on May-06-13 6:22 PM (EST)
the stud is a stainless steel "grub screw" (6mm bolt with no head) that is fastened to the base (riveted) with an Allen key. The stud is removable but an Allen key is needed, or just left in place when the tower is removed. The tower is attached by a thumb wheel and no tools are needed. One can remove/attach the rack with no tools but the stud stays in place.
Posted by: Kocho on May-08-13 6:04 PM (EST)
That "removable" stud looks like the only fly in an otherwise very good soup...
Supposed wind tunnel test video|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on May-06-13 1:14 PM (EST)
Posted by: Andy_Szymczak on May-06-13 6:41 PM (EST)
Posted by: jsmarch on May-08-13 5:40 PM (EST)
say, i notice that your a neighbor--we live in durham and i do some paddling with CKC. if you'd like we could meet up at beaver dam in a couple of weeks and paddle a bit plus you could see the system?
Posted by: Tarwheel on May-10-13 4:24 PM (EST)
[say, i notice that your a neighbor--we live in durham and i do some paddling with CKC. if you'd like we could meet up at beaver dam in a couple of weeks and paddle a bit plus you could see the system?]
Posted by: Ted_from_Crockett_CA on May-12-13 3:28 AM (EST)
Depends on the car|
Posted by: Kocho on May-12-13 9:26 AM (EST)
Big non-aerodynamic vehicles with powerful engines barely see a dip in their already abysmal gas mileage if you add a kayak. Small cars, on the other hand, see a significant dip. For my Prius and Insight, the dip is about what you mention, gets worse if I try to go faster than 70mph, and no impact in the city, obviously.
Posted by: gnarlydog on May-12-13 10:14 PM (EST)
"Yakima sells aerodynamic plastic pieces that achieve similar effect that comes naturally to the Whispbar..."
Posted by: gstamer on May-13-13 12:51 PM (EST)
Without a fairing, the round Yakima bars on my Impreza literally roar, making it difficult to talk over 45mph.
Posted by: Kocho on May-13-13 2:05 PM (EST)
You are right - they will not slim-down the bars' thickness, but they will make the bars more aerodynamic. The control towers that I have on my Yakima with Landing Pads mounted on my roof I think are not any bigger than the ones on the Whispbar (I've seen old ones that are rather chunky, mine are pretty slim when seen from the front).
Posted by: Tarwheel on May-16-13 2:43 PM (EST)
The real advantage of the Whispbar, for me, will be when I am NOT using it to carry kayaks. I don't want to install and remove the rack each time I use it, so plan to leave it on my car. That is why I want a quiet, fuel-efficient rack -- because most of the time I will be riding around with an empty rack. When a kayak is loaded on any car or truck, it will greatly reduce gas mileage and increase noise -- no what what brand of rack you use.
Can you use standard accessories?|
Posted by: rpg51 on Jul-31-13 7:21 AM (EST)
I have accumulated a garage full of round bar yakima accessories. Will they work with the whispbar rack?