James Owen is well known around these parts for his stunning cat scratching post so when I found out he designed something as utilitarian as a trunk mounted bike rack for Yakima, my cat ears perked up. I’m not an avid bicycler but as the owner of a smaller car, a removable portable rack is perfect to getting me to and from trails around Los Angeles. Hit the jump for my review of the Yakima QuickBack.
The QuickBack is the fastest installing truck mounted bike rack. Other racks require tugging on 8, sometimes 12 straps to securely mount. The QuickBack has 6, each clearly labeled top, bottom, and sides. The straps lock in place via metal clamps and Yakima was smart enough to include strap gatherers to keep extra cabling neat and tidy. Hooks at the end of each cable “hook” into the joints and seams around the trunk and that’s pretty much the installation. There’s also a modified attachment for glass trunk or gate mounts.
The c-shape design is a departure from most other trunk mounted racks which are u-shaped or l-shaped. The overall aesthetic is cleaner without sacrificing stability. Any part that makes contact with the vehicle is covered in thickly padded non-slip rubber. The shape also facilitates the adjustable arm which effortlessly swings with the simple turn of a knob. When not in use, you can collapse the entire arm and at its full extension – holds 3 full size bikes. The design also seems to distribute weight evenly and one feature I LOVE is what Yakima calls SwitchBlade which eliminates bike-to-bike contact and swing.
I tested the QuickBack on several vehicles and it performed admirably on all but I did find an issue. I have to preface by saying this problem only appeared when mounted on a Toyota Prius and Yakima doesn’t say it’s compatible with the eco-friendly hatchback. It seems when the rack is fully loaded and used throughout the day, the metal clamps holding the straps taught would slightly slip. It was never enough to cause a major catastrophe but still, I couldn’t help but constantly re-adjust the straps before every trip. Again, this issue didn’t come up on a Subaru Forester or Honda Accord. If you really want to be sure, Yakima’s site has a great tool that tells you if the QuickBack will fit your vehicle.
I am thoroughly satisfied with my QuickBack. I can’t always leave it mounted on my car so I love how easy and fast it is to put away. I also love that it only takes one person to do it. To James’ credit – I might even say it makes the rear end of my car sexy. I admit, at one point I left it on with no bikes just because it made my Prius “tougher” but perhaps the best compliment I could give to the QuickBack is that it’s so easy to use, I’ve been riding a lot more than usual.
What we loved:
- Easy to install, easy to uninstall
- Clean and compact
- Holds 3 full size bikes
- Swing arm is easy to adjust and folds down
- Only 6 straps to contend with
- Extremely durable, high-grade construction
- No rattling when driving
- Clearly labeled straps with organizers
- Integrated bottle opener
What could be improved:
- Compatibility with more vehicles
- A bit expensive at $199
Designer: James Owen (Buy it here)