Attaching a trunk bike rack to your car is a simple and easy method of transporting your bikes. Compared against a roof rack, there is no height restrictions or difficulty in loading the bikes and it doesn’t require a hitch unlike a hitch bike rack alternative.
The best trunk bike rack is the Thule Passage Trunk Mount, which has various features to prevent bike to bike contact and is available as a 2 or 3 bike rack.
Unlike many of the alternative styles of bike racks, the trunk mounted option has many benefits. Not only are they relatively cheap but they are portable, easier to load or remove and can be mounted to a variety of different cars.
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Trunk Bike Rack Comparison
|Trunk Bike Rack||Bike Capacity||Anti-Sway|
|Thule Passage||2 or 3||Yes|
|Yakima FullBack||2 or 3||Yes|
|Allen Sports DELUXE X2||2, 3 or 4||No|
|Hollywood Racks Over-The-Top||2 or 3||Yes|
|Saris Bones 801||3||Yes|
|Thule Raceway Pro||2 or 3||Yes|
|Hollywood Racks Express||2 or 3||Yes|
|Tyger Auto Deluxe||2 or 3||No|
The bikes themselves are placed on the carrier support arms and securely fastened with neoprene rubber straps. Cheaper racks usually don’t have an option to lock the bike to the vehicle. This is worrying because they can easily be stolen whilst the car is parked up.
High quality trunk bike racks are often lightweight and can connect to the trunk of your vehicle in a range of ways that are safe for the bodywork. If you budget allows, it’s highly recommended spending slightly extra for an improved design.
Below is a list of the best trunk bike racks that secure the bikes with limited bike to bike contact and provide safe transportation.
The Best Trunk Bike Rack
1. Thule Passage Bike Trunk Mount Rack
Thule are a premium brand that are well-known for producing high quality roof cargo carriers as well as bike racks. The Thule Passage range is available in the choice of a 2 or 3 bike carrier and uses a patented “FitDial” hub for a perfect fit to your car’s trunk.
The brand also offer a range of different trunk bike racks but the Passage model is the best option in terms of usability and value for the money.
Other features of the Thule Passage Mount Carrier include:
- Narrow cradle support arms that work with most bikes
- Protective cushion pads to prevent paintwork damage
- Six straps for improved stability
- Anti-sway cage to prevent bike-to-bike contact
- 105 LBS load capacity
- Limited lifetime warranty
The Passage trunk bike rack is the best option for those looking for a high quality rack that’s designed to reduce bike-to-bike contact. It does come with a premium price tag but it has the reputable Thule brand backing it up with a lifetime warranty.Check it Out
2. Yakima FullBack 2 Trunk Bike Rack
Yakima is the main alternative to the Thule brand and this trunk bike rack is the latest model they produce. It’s known as the Fullback, which features an interlocking hub that makes the installation far easier than the competition.
In order to prevent the bikes swaying, the Fullback uses a patented SuperCush ZipStrip cradle, which secures to the bike to the rack with ease.
Other features of the Yakima Fullback Trunk Mount include:
- Improved 4 strap design
- SKS locking package
- Suitable for 2 or 3 bikes
- Padded arms for protection
- 30 LBS load capacity per bike
Overall, the Yakima Fullback is an excellent all-round trunk bike rack but it does come with an expensive price tag. However, when you consider the clever installation, additional padding and 4 strap design, it’s a great investment that won’t disappoint.Check it Out
3. Allen Sports Deluxe Rack For Car Trunk
If the above trunk bike racks don’t offer the bike capacity you require, then the Allen Sports is the best alternative. It can carry up to 4 bikes and is compatible with the majority of sedans, SUV’s, minivans and hatchbacks.
According to the brand, you can install their trunk bike rack in a matter of seconds using the patented tie-down system, which individually secures the bikes.
Other features of the Allen Sports Deluxe Rack include:
- Single configuration
- Patented tie-down system
- Arrives fully assembled
- Lifetime warranty
- 2, 3 or 4 bike capacity option
- Side straps for extra stability
- Arched tubing to prevent paintwork damage
The Allen Sports trunk bike rack is the best option for those requiring the additional bike capacity. It also offers the best value for money when compared against the alternatives and comes with a lifetime warranty for peace of mind.Check it Out
4. Hollywood Racks Over-The-Top Trunk Rack
An alternative to the standard trunk bike rack is the “Over The Top” style. It benefits from a high risen frame that prevents strap damage to the vehicles bodywork. It works by using the roof rack as an anchor over the top of the trunk.
If your car has a spoiler, this would be the best option as it wouldn’t come into contact with it or cause any damage if installed correctly.
Other features of the Hollywood Racks Over-The-Top Rack include:
- Compatible with most bikes
- Includes rubber anti-sway bike cradles
- 2 or 3 bike capacity options
- Max capacity of 30 LBS per bike
- Folds flat for easy storage
- Includes additional straps
Another benefit of the “Over The Top” design is that it allows for the majority of car trunks to open, which is highly desirable. It’s an excellent alternative to the standard trunk bike rack and the brand offer a lifetime warranty for complete peace of mind.Check it Out
5. Saris Bones 801 Trunk Mount Bike Rack
The Saris Bones brand claim that the 801 trunk bike rack is the best looking rack available, which is highly debatable. However, with a range of color options available and a curvy design, it certainly looks better than some of the alternatives.
A great benefit of this trunk bike rack is that the molded arms are made completely of 100% recyclables in the USA. This is a great way of being environmentally friendly and making the most of recyclable materials that offer the same qualities.
Other features of the Saris Bones 801 Rack include:
- Capacity of 35 LBS per bike
- Soft rubber feet for protection of your car
- Arc-based design that fits over most spoilers
- Injection molded arms that are strong and will not corrode
- Retractable straps with one-touch adjustability
- Made in the USA with a lifetime warranty
The 801 model by Saris Bones is capable of carrying up to 3 bikes with ease but there are other models they produce that are smaller. The choice of black, grey, pink or yellow also allows you to choose a design that best suits your personal or vehicle requirements.
Overall, it’s a high quality trunk bike rack that’s made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty for complete peace of mind.Check it Out
6. Thule Raceway Pro Platform Trunk Rack
Another trunk bike rack by Thule is their Raceway Pro model. It’s a platform style rack that uses a convenient tray mount that’s capable of holding up to 2 bikes that weigh less than 35 LBS each.
According to Thule, this trunk mounted bike rack works with most OEM spoilers but not any aftermarket alternatives that differ in size.
Other features of the Thule Raceway Pro Platform include:
- Desirable platform rack for low level loading
- Capable of holding up to 2 bikes
- Molded rubber pads for protection
- Pivoting lock cover
- Lockable bike clamps
- Folds flat for easy storage
- Compatible with most OEM spoilers
- Sure-Tight ratcheting cables for a secure fit
Although this trunk mount bike rack by Thule does come with a premium price, it’s a worthwhile investment. If you require a platform rack for your trunk, there are limited options available. However, the Raceway Pro is the best option that’s built to the highest of standards and developed by the reputable Thule brand.Check it Out
7. Hollywood Racks Express Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
Another trunk mounted bike rack by the popular Hollywood Racks brand is their Express model. It’s targeted towards those looking for a cheap option and it’s available as either a 2 or 3 bike model to best suit your requirements.
The brand state that it fits the majority of vehicles using its clever adjustment system and it also features six attachment straps to provide the best possible fit.
Other features of the Hollywood Racks Express include:
- 2 or 3 bike capacity options (35 LBS per bike)
- Rubber cradles and EPDM rubber straps
- User friendly hub adjustment system
- Additional adapter available for mountain bikes
- Pre-assembled ready for use
- Folds flat for easy storage
- Limited lifetime warranty
The Hollywood Racks Express is an excellent all-round trunk mounted bike rack that won’t disappoint. The brand even provide a lifetime warranty against any defects for peace of mind.Check it Out
8. Tyger Auto Deluxe Trunk Mount Bicycle Rack
By far one of the cheapest trunk mount bike racks is the Tyger Auto Deluxe, which is available as a 2 or 3 bike capacity model. It’s designed to fit most sedans, hatchbacks, minivans or SUV’s but only if there is no spoiler installed.
It’s important to note that if your bike doesn’t have a top frame bar, you will need the adapter bar to use this rack.
Other features of the Tyger Auto Deluxe include:
- Fully assembled and ready to use
- Available as a 2 or 3 bike capacity
- Easy to install and remove
- Includes safety straps
- Adjustable protective cradles
- Coated hooks to avoid paintwork damage
- Limited lifetime warranty
Considering the low price tag of the Tyger Auto Deluxe rack, it’s a great choice for those that may only use it once or twice a year. A trunk bike rack can require a sizable investment but the brand have done a great job to produce this affordable option.Check it Out
Trunk Bike Rack Buying Guide
A trunk mount bike rack is one of the cheapest options to safely transport your bikes. They are portable and loading bikes on or off is far easier than the roof bike rack alternative.
They do come with some drawbacks as some cheap trunk bike racks are known to scratch the trunk. However, making sure that they are installed correctly as well as having plenty of rubber/foam padding will help to prevent any damage.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding trunk mount bike racks.
Unlike the hitch mounted bike racks, you don’t need to install a trailer hitch to your car. This means that the trunk mount bike rack is already more cost effective and it’s also compatible with most SUV’s, sedans, trucks and other vehicles.
This is because it simply sits on the back of the vehicles trunk and then uses straps to attach to the top of the trunk and the lower lip or bumper. Therefore, it’s the most compatible bike rack you can buy that’s also easy to use.
As you drive at high speeds, the bike may begin to sway with the drag from the passing air. This may become an issue as the bikes may start to move with the potential for them to hit each other and cause damage. On top of this, it can cause the car to swerve slightly, which may cause additional stress to the driver.
Many of the more expensive trunk bike racks include anti-sway cradles and additional straps to ensure that this doesn’t occur whilst driving.
How To Install A Trunk Bike Rack
A trunk bike rack can usually hold up to 4 bikes without any modifications to your car. The installation is fairly straightforward and most brand’s will provide detailed instructions. If not, below is a brief guide to installing the rack.
- Place the upper support bars on the top of the trunk lid and lower support bars below the license plate. Instructions for your particular trunk bike rack will show the best location for your vehicle type i.e. sedan or SUV.
- Connect hooks to the top edge of the trunk that attach to the upper straps. To secure the carrier, tighten the straps whilst holding it in place.
- Connect hooks to the bottom edge of the trunk that attach to the lower straps. Once the straps have been tightened for the lower straps, the bike rack shouldn’t be able to move.
- Connect hooks for the side straps to the side of the trunk depending on your vehicle type. Ensure these are tightened fully and the rack still doesn’t move at all.
- Place your bikes onto the carrier and check the rack isn’t moving with weight added. Before your journey, ensure you go for a short drive to and check for movement.
In order to ensure minimal damage is caused to your bikes, there must be good padding to the arms and space between the bikes. As soon as the bikes collide, damage is more than likely going to occur and it defeats the object of safely transporting your bikes. As stated by RidersVibe, you want to remove any parts that may cause damage such as BMX pegs or even handle bars.
If you own expensive bikes, it’s advise that you stick to the bigger brands such as Saris, Yakima and Thule. The reason for this is they would have done thousands of hours of research and development to ensure maximum safety.
Of course, you could opt for a platform hitch mount bike rack, which is considered as one of the safest in terms of bike damage.
Trunk mounted bicycle racks offer compatibility and affordability with the option to transport up to 4 bikes safely. Our trunk bike rack recommendations above are all highly rated and popular throughout the USA.
In terms of installation, we highly recommend that you take your time because the last thing you will want to do is cause any damage.