Without a fairing, the round Yakima bars on my Impreza literally roar, making it difficult to talk over 45mph.
With the stock fairing, that covers both the bar and part of the front towers, noise is minimal and I can hear and talk normally, even up to highway speeds (as fast as I dare to drive).
While I'm sure the aero bars are a major improvement, anything that breaks the flow over the bars often helps with noise. I prefer a fairing but I have friends who have had good luck with the small Yakima "wing" (that snaps on the bar) or just wrapping shock cord around the bars.
While I will probably purchase a new rack with aero bars when my rack system finally dies, it's probably more environmentally friendly to keep my current rack out of the city dump for as long as possible versus buying a new rack.
One feature that I demand is a rapid disconnect. Unlike the clip system, the control towers on my Yakima rack allow me to remove the rack painlessly in seconds. Of course, a bare roof is quieter than any rack, aero or otherwise.
EZ-Dock modular docks
The Kayak Wing
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