Kuat Highline Trunk Mount 3 Bike Rack Review

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Review of the Kuat Highline Trunk Mount 3 Bike Rack

Speaker 1: Today we're gonna be taking a look at the Kuat Highline Three Bike Trunk Mounted Rack. This is part number HIT3B. This is also available in silver, part number HIT3S.Our Kuat Highline is a three bike trunk mounted rack. This is an aluminum design, so not only is it gonna be lightweight, but it's also gonna be durable and corrosion resistant. Our bike rack does work with different frame bikes from women's, children's, or road bikes. However, like with most hanging style bike racks, it might be easier to get them in place with the use of a bike adapter bar.

Kuat does offer one, and you can pick it up here at etrailer.com.Now as far as security, our Kuat Highline doesn't offer a cable lock or anything else to secure our bikes to the rack. However, you can find a lot of cable locks and other types locks here at etrailer.com as well.The dual arms are designed with an elevated arc. That's intended to promote better clearance between our bikes and our vehicle, as well as between the bikes themselves. As is typical with most bike racks, we're gonna have three points of contact. Two straps are gonna go over our cross tube, and then one goes on the down tube.

This third one is gonna serve as our anti sway cradle, which prevents bike to bike contact. Now this one does a pretty good job of preventing that sway as opposed to some other ones out there. The straps themselves are a vinyl and are relatively stiff, so they're gonna keep your bike in place nicely and still wear well over time.When it comes time to load up our bikes, we just want to make sure that both our arms are sitting level to the ground or slightly angled up. You don't want them too far up to where the bikes would be making contact or too far down. Once that's done, undo the straps and load up your bike.To start off, we'll adjust our anti sway cradle.

So we want the down tube to fit nicely in there. You'll just want to adjust your bike so that it's far enough forward to make good contact with that. Once it's in place, you'll take the end of the strap and place it through the clamp and pull it tight. The top straps will work the same way. Stick the end, put it through the slot and pull it tight.Now we'll just repeat that same process for the next two bikes.A common issue with trunk mounted bike racks is our front wheel has a tendency to turn, especially as we're going down the road.

Now this doesn't come with any straps to secure that, but we do have a lot available here at etrailer.com if you'd like to pick one up.Our bikes will sit in these rubber cradles, which will provide a little bit of shock absorption and also protect the finish on our bike. These are a rather stiff rubber, so it's not as road dampening as some other bike racks out there, but it'll still do a good job of protecting our bike. The straps are just gonna be a flexible plastic, so these are gonna be flexible enough to wrap around the shape of your bike's frame, but also durable enough to hold it in place.To make our Highline more compact, we're just gonna come to the button tab and pull that back to lower the arm down. And then we'll just repeat that for the second arm. This is gonna help whenever we're in close quarters parking or whenever you want to store this away.Another feature of our Highline that's common to a lot of trunk mounts are the three straps to keep it in place. These are just gonna be a regular strap with a hook on the end that is rubber coated to protect your vehicle's finish. A unique feature to the Highline are the vinyl strips that come with it. We get four in total, one to go at each contact point on our trunk mount, so two at the top, and then two at the bottom. This helps to protect our vehicles finish from any damage.Another little added bonus we have on our straps are these strap holders. These just keep the excess up and out of the way, so you can just wrap those up, and then wrap this strip around to keep everything nice and tidy.Our Highline is an extruded aluminum construction, which means it's gonna be very durable but still lightweight, so it's gonna hold our bikes well, but also stand up to the elements over time. With that, it also has this nice black powder coat finish.So now let's compare the Kuat Highline to some other typical trunk mounted bike racks to see how it lines up. The Hollywood Racks Over the Top bike rack is gonna be pretty similar in a lot of ways. The way they're gonna differ is in how the straps work and in the contact points on our vehicle. The Kuat Highline has the vinyl stickers to put in place on those contact points to protect your vehicle's finish, whereas the Hollywood Racks Over the Top has rubber and foam rollers to protect that finish. And that's something that I would give to the Hollywood Racks as an advantage, because you're not limited to using this with one vehicle or having to pick up additional vinyl strips to protect that vehicle finish.On the other hand, I really do like the simple and sleek design of the Kuat Highline, and I think that that has an advantage over the Hollywood Racks Over the Top. Now when it comes to something a little bit more high end, like the Thule Raceway, I think that has some advantages, but it also is gonna cost a little bit more. We don't have the option to lock our bikes to our Kuat rack, nor do we have the option to lock the rack to the vehicle itself, which is something that you can get with the Thule Raceway. I also like the way that the Thule Raceway only has two straps on each side to worry about, so it's a little less of a hassle to get it installed. And they ratchet down instead of having just the cam buckle straps to deal with.So that'll give you an idea of how this stacks up against other typical bike racks, to help you make your buying decision a little bit easier. It's important to note with your Highline, as with most trunk bike racks that you can not access your trunk once it's installed. Another important note with our Highline is that with the three bike configuration like we have here, you are limited to 30 pounds per bike, so that's 90 pounds total, so just make sure not to exceed that.Now as far as the dimensions of our highline, we are gonna have a little bit of added space that we here with the arms folded out. So going from the end of the arm to the rack itself, we've added about 21 and a half inches. As far as the total distance that will have added to our vehicle, that's gonna depend on your setup and how the Highline fits your vehicle.As far as the distance between the arms themselves, we have about 10 and a quarter inches. If we go from this folded up cradle, that makes it more like 12 and three quarters. That just helps you to figure out how much space you need in your bike's frame to get it over the arms. On some vehicles, you might not be able to get this upper hook in place. If that's the case with your vehicle, you can pick up the glass pack anchor point, which is sold from Kuat separately.Now that we've gone over the features, let's show you how it did on our test course with all the bikes loaded. First we went through the bumps course. This simulates going over rough pavement like potholes or ruts and shows the side to side movement as well as the up and down movement.Next we went through the slalom, which shows the side to side movement. This simulates evasive maneuvers or tight cornering.So now let's talk about how to get your Highline installed on your vehicle. One thing to note before you start your installation is to check Kuat's vehicle specific fit guide for any notes for your specific vehicle.The first thing you want to do is find the right angle to have it on your trunk. So you want to bring it up and sort of gently set it in place for now, making sure that it's centered on the top of your trunk. Now you'll need to adjust the angle of the Highline. And to do that, there's a lever on each side that will allow us to make that adjustment. So press those in to find our best angle. Now the trick to finding the right angle for your vehicle is to find one where the top leg and the bottom leg sit nice and secure.So right here we're a little bit too wide, because if we get it all secured down, that top leg is gonna start sliding up towards our glass, and we don't want that. So I'm gonna actually make this a little bit more acute or narrow to sit on our trunk correctly. This might take a little bit of patience to get the right angle, but once you find it, it should sit on there pretty nice and secure. So that's gonna be a good angle for us.Our next step is to mark the points of contact between our Highline and our vehicle. So there's gonna be two on the top and two on the bottom. To make it a little easier, they provided four stickers, one for each point of contact. Kuat recommends to go from the center of the contact point, measure two and a half inches out, and then place your sticker dots there. Once you have all the points of contact marked, then we can remove our rack.Now for demonstration purposes, we're not gonna use our sticker dots or our film today, but the way this would work is once that sticker dot is in place, you would just get your vinyl strip in place with that corner going over the dot. You want to make sure to remove the sticker dot first and then seal this down.Once you have those vinyl protective coverings in place at all points of contact, it's time to actually get our Highline installed. But this is gonna vary vehicle to vehicle, but I'll show you how I found it's best to get this installed. We'll have three hooks for each side, one that goes on the upper part of our trunk lid, the side and the lower part, so you want to make sure that you have enough clearance on all those points to get those in place. For this vehicle, it's easiest to start with opening the trunk to get the lower and side hooks in place.So now I've got my trunk open and I'm just resting the bottom leg of the Highline on the top tier of the bumper. And the idea here is to get the side and lower hooks in place. So I've got those nice and loose. So put my side hook right there. You just want to find a nice spot that's not gonna do any damage to your rear lights, but that's also thin enough to allow that hook to get in place. And we'll do the same thing with the lower hook. And you'll just want to hold onto those for now, and then repeat the same process on the other side.Once we have all those hooks underneath our trunk lid, we can go ahead and gently get it closed, while still keeping tension on all those hooks. So to make sure that the Highline lower leg is out of the way so you don't cause any damage. So now that the trunk is shut, we can adjust those hooks to where we need them to be. Even with the lid closed, you should still be able to slide your hook along the edge so that you can get it adjusted where you need it. And now you can put the upper hook in place to help hold the Highline, we get everything adjusted and snugged down.To get everything tight, it's just a little lever here to release the strap, and you can pull it tight. You just want to make sure that you do that evenly on each side so that it's not pulling to one side or the other. And to start, you just want to get everything snug, but then when it comes to actually tightening everything down, you want to start from the lower straps, then work to the side, and finally end with the upper straps.Just want to go back and forth so you get an even pull across all of those hooks and straps. With the Highline tight, we can roll up the excess strap and secure it with that little strap saver. And then we'll just tuck that strap behind with the hook and loop strap around, and it'll secure it to itself. And we'll just repeat that for the remaining straps.Now it's time to load up our bikes. To do that, we're just gonna pull down on the button tab on each arm and get those to the appropriate height. Now the trick here is that you want to make sure that it's at an elevated arc, so you want it about as close to level as possible, if not going a little bit up. You don't want it to go too far, like here, where it's starting to shoot off into space, and you don't want it too low to our bikes are gonna be angled down. So wherever it clicks into place that's closest to level is gonna be right for us. And then you'll just repeat that for the other arm. And now we can load our bike.You want to have your straps undone to make it a little easier to get your bike in place. And if you're just transporting one bike, you always want to have it on the cradle that's closest to your vehicle. The other anti sway cradles we'll have flipped up out of the way to make it also easier to load our bike.So now we'll just bring it over our arms. Want to make sure that the side with our seat is on the same side as that anti sway cradle, and they do alternate so that you'll have the seat here, a seat here and it here, so that your handlebars don't interfere. Then you'll just want to bring the strap around and you want to make sure that that anti sway cradle is sitting nice and flush against your down tube, and then just pull the straps tight. And then you can repeat that for your other two bikes.We have a weight limit of 30 pounds per bike, so 90 pounds total. So make sure that you don't exceed that so you don't cause any damage to the Highline or to your vehicle. The Highline is designed to fit over most spoilers, so keep that in mind whenever you're fitting it to your vehicle.So with that, that's gonna do it for our look at the Kuat Highline Trunk Mounted Bike Racks. This is part number HIT3B.

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