To be honest, I couldn’t find a full back or a half back, so I went searching high and low and found these two, the Yakima FullBack and the Yakima Halfback, that were worth reviewing. Much to my surprise, I discovered that many of my friends and colleagues have been curious about the difference between the Yakima FullBack and the Yakima Halfback.
There have been so many times when I answered the question the same way to everyone, but it seems like every day, there is someone new who asks me the same question once again. So, if you’re here to find out which one is better between the two, then you’ve come to the right place.
Two trunk mounted racks and my run with them
If you would like to know more about the carriers before I begin to talk about the similarities and differences between them, then it would be wise if you took the time to learn more about them before I go on with my discussion.
Let me take you on a tour inside my head and show you guys my experience with the carriers so that you can get a better feel for how they work. So, what are we waiting for? Let me take you guys down my rabbit hole and show you guys what I experienced.
Yakima FullBack Trunk Strap Bike Rack
On my old 2017 Lexus NX300, I had installed roof crossbars that allowed me to use racks like the Thule UpRide and Yakima HighRoad on the roof, while on my Subaru XV Crosstrek, I used a hitch to use carriers like the Yakima HoldUp and HoldUp EVO on the roof.
It would seem that since I have defiled all my old SUVs and cars, I did not want to put anything on my hatchback. However, I was in a bind since I had already defiled all my old SUVs and cars.
I wanted to take my bikes with me, but I didn’t want to ruin the cleverness of my hatchback, so it was only one option left for me if I didn’t want to ruin the ingenuity of my hatchback. So, in the end, I had to purchase a rack that was mounted to my trunk.
For now, I will stick with the Yakima FullBack as I am going to describe the Yakima HalfBack later. For now, I will discuss the Yakima HalfBack. Spoiler Alert: After using and being satisfied with the HalfBack, I found out about the newer model named Yakima FullBack.
This led to me having both the HalfBack and FullBack, so I ended up owning both of them. But enough about the story, let me get down to the point. The Yakima FullBack is a compact, trunk-mounted bike rack, weighing only 23.5 pounds, so moving it around was not even an issue.
As for the bike carrier, I got the FullBack 2, which has two bike slots on it. In order to carry more bicycles, you will have to upgrade to the FullBack 3, which has three bike slots.
There are a total of four strap attachments and an interlocking hub that makes it easy to install the straps on your harness. The installation process was a little tricky at first, but with a little practice it got easier with time.
It is recommended that you attach two of these straps to the top of the hatchback door, and the remaining two will be mounted on the bottom. The straps are padded and labeled, so you should be able to figure out which ones go on top and which ones go on the bottom pretty easily.
This rack comes with rubber padding on the base and on the hand that connect to the bottom of your vehicle and to the rear window. I never had to worry about the rack scratching up the surface of my new hatchback due to the rubber padding on the base and the hand.
There are a total of two arms on the carrier, and each of them can hold a bike weighing up to 35lbs. I took two bikes with me on my first ride, the Yeti SB130 and the Giant Contend SL 1. Each had a 35lb weight capacity.
Due to the fact that the former has a slanted top tube, I had to use a TubeTop adapter to fit the former. The adapter didn’t come with the package, so I had to purchase it separately.
As we move on to the cradles, we should mention that they have rubber padding that prevents the cradles from scratching your precious bicycle frame and that the padding is both on the inside and outside of the cradles.
Using these cradles is pretty easy as they feature ZipStrips and do not have ratcheting straps on them; as a result, it is very easy to load and secure them on the rack. The bike slots also come with an anti-sway feature, which is something that you always want to see on your carrier.
My favorite thing about the Yakima FullBack bike rack is its stylish black color and design, as well as its integrated SKS locking system so you don’t have to worry about your bikes getting stolen.
In addition to the safety leash, the FullBack has a few extra features, such as a cinch strap and a safety leash. Overall, it is a great bike rack, and it can be easily folded away when not in use.
Things I Like About the Rack
- It has an amazing black paint finish
- The carrier is foldable, and it weighs only 23.5lbs
- Securing the bikes to the carrier was effortless due to the Zip Strips
- The cradles came with rubber padding to keep my bicycles safe from scratches
- The integrated locking system kept me from worrying about bike theft
What I Think Could be Better
- The rack covers up the rear license plate, and in some areas, it’s a problem
Yakima HalfBack Trunk Strap Bike Rack
In continuation of where we left off, I bought a new hatchback — and I didn’t want to ruin the beauty of its natural design with a crossbar — so I started looking into trunk-mounted bike racks. But why did I begin with the Yakima Halfback? Well, that’s an interesting story.
As I was uncertain about what I was going to get, I sought the advice of a friend. My friend was using a trunk strap carrier made by Thule at the time; I apologize in advance for not remembering the exact model name, but he was using it. While we were chatting, he talked to me about the rack he was using and about the carrier that he was considering buying next.
As you might guess, the rack he had in mind was the Yakima HalfBack. I suggested he should buy it for himself first, and then I would be able to tell you whether or not it is good or bad. So, we agreed I would buy it myself first, and then if I was pleased, we would help him decide later.
It wasn’t that long ago that I had the Yakima HalfBack sitting inside my garage. It had been just a few days since the carrier arrived. To be honest, I was impressed with the sleek gray color and the durable outlook it had. It weighs about the same as the Yakima FullBack.
Thus, we can safely assume that it won’t be too difficult for the driver to carry it or lift it up onto the trunk of the car.
I haven’t actually tried the Halfback 3, as it comes with one additional cradle, but from what I’ve heard, it’s the same as the Halfback 2 and has only two bike slots. I haven’t tried the Halfback 2, but from what I’ve heard, it’s the same as the Halfback 2.
The rack comes with two gray dials that rotate for folding and unfolding the carrying arms, and after folding and unfolding the arms, you can start putting the bikes into the cradles. Similar to FullBack, the cradles have rubber padding on the top and bottom of them.
Whether your bicycles are new or old, you don’t have to worry about scratches or streaks on your bikes.
There are two kinds of cradles for your bicycle, one that features Zip Trips and the other one that does not. I think Zip Trips are very convenient, and even a beginner could use them without any trouble. Apart from that, you will also find anti-sway on the cradles, so that your bicycles will not collide with each other.
In addition to the rubber pads that are located in the cradles, you will also find them at the base and on the arm that sticks to the rear window of your vehicle. The rubber pads were designed to protect your vehicle from accidental scratches.
The trunk-mounted rack tends to move a little when you take it out for a spin and you go through bumpy roads. Therefore, you need to be alert to scratches on the window or even on the bottom of your vehicle when you take it out for a spin.
When you have the Yakima HalfBack on your back, you will be the last person to have to worry about it.
With the FullBack, there are four strap attachments that are covered in rubber padding and have labels attached to them. The rubber padding protects your vehicle from being damaged while the labels let you know where to install the strap attachments.
It is also a compact, lightweight carrier that can be folded, which means you are able to store it in the trunk whenever you are not using it. Whenever you are not using the carrier, you can easily fold it and store it inside when not in use.
However, one of the downsides of this carrier is that it does not come with an integrated locking system, so you need to be extra cautious when driving or keeping it unchecked while you are driving.
The bike rack still stands out from most trunk-mounted carriers since it offers a much higher capacity than most trunk-mounted carriers. Moreover, before I forget to mention, there is a bottle opener provided in the arms of the bike, which you can use whenever you feel like having a drink.
Things I Like About the Rack
- The carrier is durable and long-lasting
- It is lightweight and compact, plus it can be folded for easy storage
- The rubber pads on the bottom and secure arm keep the paint and rear window safe
- I really like the integrated bottle opener
- It is cheaper compared to the FullBack
What I Think Could Be Better
- There is no integrated locking system, so I had to be very careful with the rack and my bikes
There are certain things that both trunk strap bike racks have in common
Having gathered all the information we need, let’s move forward and start connecting the dots. If you have gone through the details, then you need to know that both racks are almost identical. The only difference between them is that they have different sizes.
There are a total of four strap attachments on the FullBack, and guess what, it’s the same on the HalfBack as well. So, the first thing I saw that was similar between them was their design. They are almost identical except that all the colors are different. They both have four strap attachments, and guess what, that’s not any different from the FullBack.
It’s easy to use. There are two arms that can be folded and unfolded using two gray dials. There are four cradles (six if you get the other model), and each of them features rubber padding. There are also two anti-sway mechanisms (one on each arm), and there are two of them on both racks.
Despite the differences in weight and weight capacity, these two racks have a similar weight capacity and a similar weight capacity capacity. Both racks have integrated bottle openers and rubber padding on the secure arm and at the base of the racks.
There are two types of rack that can be folded and unfolded in the same manner. The way you have to mount these carriers to a hatchback or the trunk of a car is also the same; even when it comes to mounting a bicycle to both racks.
It was really surprising to see how much there is actually no difference between the two carriers while I was testing them out. Typically, when you use two individual racks, there is a great deal of difference between them. To be honest, even I was surprised by how much these carriers resemble each other when I was using them.
The Differences Between the Yakima FullBack and HalfBack
It’s time to have a conversation about the elephant in the room-the differences between the two carriers. With all the details out of the picture, and the similarities out of the way, we can finally focus on what matters most.
It is first important for me to admit that there are only a handful of differences between the Yakima FullBack and the Yakima HalfBack when it comes to features.
However, I think they are still well worth noting, and I would advise you to take a moment to look at them before making any decisions.
Integrated Locking System
The biggest difference between the FullBack and the HalfBack is that the FullBack comes with integrated locking rods and cores that act as an anti-theft device, ensuring that your bicycles remain safe and secure on the rack at all times.
A lock is not provided in the latter, on the other hand. This means that your bike will be susceptible to theft if you don’t take steps to prevent it. However, it isn’t the end of the world. The Halfback can be fitted with external locks that will secure your bicycles, so you can use thThere are many reasons as to why people prefer an integrated locking system rather than an external lock for small items. The most common reason is because it’s a hassle to go shopping for small items over and over again.system over external locks.
There is no doubt that with the FullBack, you will be able to keep your bikes from robbery right from the box. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do the same with the HalfBack. You can keep your bikes safe with the latter if you obtain external locks before leaving on your journey.
A Cinch Strap
You will not receive a cinch strap with the Halfback, which is something you are going to have to deal with if you purchase the FullBack. The FullBack includes a cinch strap as part of the package.
In case you do not know what cinch straps are used for, then I will provide you with an explanation. This strap is a thing that you wrap around your bicycles to keep them secure and tight. Generally, people use such straps when they plan to drive at high speed or go on long journeys. As a result, your bikes will stay close and secure to the carrier during long journeys, which will prevent them from falling off during those long journeys.
A cinch strap is the best way to prevent your bicycles from falling from the rack when you are traveling at high speeds. Your bicycles will lose their grip when you are traveling at high speeds, which can cause them to fall down from the rack.
There is also a safety leash which comes with the FullBack rack that does not feature on the HalfBack. This is a backup system that keeps the rack secured to your vehicle if you forget to install the four attachment straps properly or if you are unable to do so.
The use of a safety leash is a very useful tool for beginners or people who have difficulty setting up trunk-mounted carriers. I also prefer to use a safety leash as I don’t want my rack and bikes to be lying around on the ground without any protection.
Black or Gray
As a reminder, these racks are only available in one color. You do not have the option to choose from a variety of colors. So, what color do you prefer between black and gray?
A FullBack from Yakima comes with a black painted finish, while a HalfBack from Yakima comes with a gray painted finish. So, it’s up to you to decide what color you want for your carrier based on your personal preference.
In terms of features, it is pretty clear that the Yakima FullBack includes more features than the HalfBack. The latter does not include an integrated locking system, a cinch strap, or even a safety leash.
As for why people would choose the latter over the former, it’s primarily because of the cost. The HalfBack offers fewer features than the FullBack, so it comes at a lower cost compared to the FullBack.
The Yakima HalfBack is one of the best choices for those who already own an external lock and do not want to spend more money on an additional lock.
It’s time to wrap things up!
As far as I am concerned, both the Yakima FullBack and HalfBack are great bike racks; however, if you were to ask me which one to pick out, I would probably lean slightly towards the former.
My budget problem isn’t as great as I thought it would be, and frankly, I enjoy the extra features. Nevertheless, the situation may not be the same for you. You may not need the extra features, and I am not saying that it is wrong. In other words, if you are running low on money and don’t require any extra features, it’s quite understandable that you will opt for the latter option.
Hopefully, I was able to satisfy your curiosity regarding the difference between a Fullback and a Halfback from Yakima. Now that you know what the differences are between them, what’s your next move?
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