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I am in the process of purchasing a used '07 element and am looking for feedback on yakima racks - does anyone have input on the different types of bars (round vs. more aerodynamic), towers, etc.? I have a rack system already so am wondering if it's worth re-using some of the parts I already have or just upgrading to the newer parts. Any advice on setup/configuration is appreciated. Looking to haul whitewater kayaks on the top of the car.
 

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I am in the process of purchasing a used '07 element and am looking for feedback on yakima racks - does anyone have input on the different types of bars (round vs. more aerodynamic), towers, etc.? I have a rack system already so am wondering if it's worth re-using some of the parts I already have or just upgrading to the newer parts. Any advice on setup/configuration is appreciated. Looking to haul whitewater kayaks on the top of the car.
I've used Yakima racks for years, both on my E and on several other cars I have previously owned (Yakima was founded in my town and they used to make them here locally until they got huge and outsourced manufacturing to Mexico and move the offices to Portland). In general they work great as racks and really no complaints over the years, other than their ever increasing prices on the racks and accessories (take a look at how much they charge for hitch-mounted bike racks these days...sheesh).

I've only previously used the round bars - functionally they work great but they do create a bit of noise, which I assume is alleviated somewhat with the more aerodynamic bars they now also offer - your choice on price vs noise. As for the towers, they make tons of different options to fit different cars and hence I have a pile of them for past cars I no longer own. I'm not sure if the towers differ for the round vs aerodynamic bars but if you plug the specifics of your E into the Yakima website, it will show you all of the options and corresponding prices. You will want to spend the extra $$ for the locks for each tower.

My second E came with the OEM roof rack - I haven't bought any accessories yet for it but looks like Yakima has accessories that will fit the OEM racks as well (I was looking at canoe mounts in particular). The OEM rack is more aerodynamic and it is quieter than the round bar Yakima rack, but I'm pretty sure the load capacity for the OEM rack is less than Yakima. I tend to put bulky stuff up there rather than heavy stuff, so don't really care but worth checking for your specific needs.

I also own a Load Warrior basket and a roof box, both from Yakima and they work great and are fairly easy to put on and take off.
 

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I have the round bars and they were quite noisy with a howling sound when driving over like 35mph. I found a fairing on craigslist and now they are quiet as can be. I have read that some people have put things on the bare bars to quiet them down but I didn't try that as I like the looks of the fairing and I got one very cheap. if it was me I would use what you can that you already have as their stuff is not cheap at all. keep an eye out for used stuff and upgrade as you find it.
 

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I have the round bars and they were quite noisy with a howling sound when driving over like 35mph. I found a fairing on craigslist and now they are quiet as can be. I have read that some people have put things on the bare bars to quiet them down but I didn't try that as I like the looks of the fairing and I got one very cheap. if it was me I would use what you can that you already have as their stuff is not cheap at all. keep an eye out for used stuff and upgrade as you find it.
Now that I think about it, my Load Warrior basket has a fairing on it - I forgot about that and they do sell a fairing you can just mount on the front bar as well. I suppose if I was going to buy new at this point, I would go with the newer aerodynamic bars unless they are substantially more expensive or something like that. But, yes, definitely watch Craigslist as Yakima stuff shows up used fairly regularly, at least around me. The bars themselves are pretty universal, other than they come if different widths so have an idea of what width range will work for you. The towers are fairly vehicle specific, so that may be more of a need in a haystack to find for your E depending on how active your Craigslist is.
 
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