Like any other Subaru, the Outback has never been embarrassed to be the exception. To make your vehicle stand out even in a crowd, we’ve found the best Subaru Outback accessories to set yours apart.
Launched in 1995 as a trim package on the Legacy wagon, the Outback was built to compete in the SUV market, despite not being one. Other quirks came along, such as the Impreza Outback, a similar trim package on a completely different car, and the Outback XT, a turbocharged 250 HP backroads wagon.
Adding a little more heft with every generation, the Outback has grown to be as large as some of the SUVs it was created to be different from. But it still celebrates its baked-in Subaru eccentricity with the new Wilderness package, with additional ground clearance and drive modes making it the most off-roadable station wagon on the market.
Most Outbacks are bought with some kind of outdoor activity in mind. What accessories are out there to help the Subaru Outback accomplish these outdoor missions? Here’s our roundup:
Once you’re at the campsite, you’re thinking about getting on the water, getting a fire going, finding your friends, getting out on the trail. You’re not thinking about what’s falling on with your car while you’re wandering around. Tree sap, pine needles, bird droppings, accumulated dust from access roads – even if your car stays parked for a week, it’s coming out a lot dirtier than it went in. Unless you pack along a Subaru Outback cover.
The CarCovers.com Platinum Shield for the Subaru Outback features double-stitched seams, a UV-reflective silver exterior and a soft fleece interior. Gust straps and an anti-theft cable will keep it secured in inclement weather or dodgy campsites.
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The Subaru Outback with the 2.4L turbo can tow 3,500 pounds, enough for a small-sized camper or a small boat. Accessories to add stability, such as a trailer brake controller, would make towing near that limit safer, but there isn’t much dash space left for a control unit. Fortunately, you don’t need any space for a trailer brake controller.
The Curt Echo moves the control input to your Apple iOS or Android smartphone. Your phone connects via Bluetooth to a controller unit that plugs in between your trailer and a standard seven-pin socket. The app can retain information on multiple vehicles and trailers, and can modulate braking for inclines and descents automatically. In a loss of connection, for example if your phone goes dead, the controller continues to operate on the last settings received.
If you are looking at towing with your vehicle, this is one of the smartest Subaru Outback accessories you can buy.
Roof tents are expensive, and if you plan to bring along accessories such as a canoe or surfboard, you still need your tent to ride inside. And once you have a campsite set up just so, it’s no fun breaking it all down just to go into town for groceries. The Napier SUV tent sets up on the tailgate, turning the cargo space of your Subaru Outback into an attached, secure closet for your 10×10’ tent.
Direct access to your car means easy access to animal-proof storage from inside your tent … or in an emergency, an animal-proof refuge for yourself. A removable screen room provides an optional sitting area or storage space outside the main sleeping area. Or, if your sleeping area is inside the Outback, the tent becomes a wide-open living room with seven feet of clearance. For those of you that like to travel far off the beaten path, this is one of the best Subaru Outback accessories going.
No Outback can be optioned without roof rails and Subaru’s brilliant retractable crossbars, and Subaru advertises the rooftop carrying capacity (176 pounds in motion, 650 stationary). They clearly want you carrying something up there. But how to get up there yourself? You could try balancing on the least wobbly log you can find, you could put your dirty flip-flops on the seat, or you could bring along this simple accessory from Rightline.
With the door open, the Moki hooks into the striker, providing a stable step up. At 8.75” long, it has room to support both feet. When not in use, it’s small enough to fit into your glove box.
The best trips have a way of bringing the outdoors into your car. Pine needles, sand, leaves, crumbs and lids from whatever you ate on the highway, it can all pile up. A car vacuum can help reclaim the interior of your Outback for the trip back to civilization. The Baucatlan vacuum runs on a 16-foot power cord to any of the three 12V outlets in your vehicle, leaving no part of your car or your tent unreachable with the multiple hose attachments and up to 7500 Pa suction. For you neat freaks out there, there are no better Subaru Outback accessories than this.
Subaru’s marketers have noticed a particular concern of Outback drivers – their dogs. A whopping 70% of Subaru drivers bring a dog along. Dogs benefit from the Outback’s flat cargo space, low load height, tinted windows, and D-rings in the cargo space to tie down crates. Subaru engineers are even working with a 55-pound dog-shaped crash test dummy to improve on dog safety.
To make the Outback an even more comfortable space for your dog, the BarksBar liner adds a quilted liner to the cargo area, strapped in place against the rear seats and headrests. The 80”x52” liner can function with the rear seats up or down, and is machine-washable, eliminating hours of cleaning.
Strapping cargo to the bare crossbars of the Outback’s standard roof rack can be done, but to protect both the rails and the cargo, some insulation would be nice.
Heytrip’s crossbar pads add padding along their 31” length to support a canoe, a SUP, or whatever else you’re carrying. They’re designed to fold in the middle, making them quite a bit more portable than their competitors. And they come with a full accessory kit – two heavy-duty tie down straps, bow and stern lines, and quick loop straps to secure lines along body panel gaps. If you like to carry along lots of gear, this is one of the best Subaru Outback accessories on our list.
Subaru’s horizontally-opposed cylinder arrangement allows their engines to have a lower height. This helps Subaru earn excellent crash safety ratings, because in a collision the engines tend to be pushed under the cabin rather than through it.
Toyota owns about 20 per cent of Subaru, and Subaru has a 0.3 per cent stake in Toyota. The two brands partnered on the BRZ and 86 sports car twins, and are working together on electrification.
From 2003 to 2006, there was a pickup version of the Outback called the Baja. Despite the new Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz reviving interest, Subaru has announced no plans to rejoin that market.
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