Article at a Glance
Key Feature Comparison
- Ease of Installation
- Road Noise
- Weight Rating
Related Reading: Compare the Thule Aeroblade and Yakima JetStream
Ease of Installation
- Tools Needed
- Installation Time Required
- How to Do It
Both crossbars come with all the tools you need to fit the crossbars onto your roof. A tape measure maybe necessary to center the bars on your roof. Otherwise the fit included fit guides will have everything you need.
The Whispbar and Aeroblade Edge have very similar installation processes. Both units come with two boxes when purchased - the crossbars and a fit guide. To find the fit guide, you must enter your Make and Model information into the Yakima or Thule website.
30 minutes is plenty of time to install either set of crossbars. This is a generous estimate too. We are talking from box arriving at your door to car is ready to go = 30 minutes. It will take the majority of people far less time.
How to Install the Thule Aeroblade Edge
How to Install the Yakima/Whispbar Flushbar
WOW! Watch this video below to see the difference between round, square, and wing shape crossbars. The mind boggling results prove wing shaped crossbar produce far less drag and noise than conventional bars.
The second take away is that not all wing bars are created equal. Whispbar absolutely blows the aeroblade out of the water. It's truly a night and day difference.
The Overall Look
It is not too often you look at the roof tops of cars when you're driving on the road. A crossbar set shouldn't be a distraction from the style of your car. It should either not draw attention or add a subtle feel of adventurism. Like a good pair of pants should add to your outfit style without distracting unless that is what you are intending.
Rugged vs. Sleek
Depends on variation
Depends on variation
Height Above Roof
Usable Crossbar Space
2-4 in. less than crossbar length
2-4 in. less than crossbar length
The results: The Monkey in the Mirror
How much weight can my car's roof carry?
What are T-Slots?
Both the Aeroblade and Whispbars have a channel that runs the length of the crossbars called T-slots. These channels are used to attach different types of carriers to the bars quickly and seamlessly.
T-slots are an improvement over old carrier attachments because they lock the carrier to the inside of the bar without the need for screws and brackets. Rather than wrapping around the bar like a hand holding a pull-up bar, the T-slot channel lets a piece of metal enter the crossbar then rotate so it cannot be lifted out.
The Drawback of T-Slots
The channel necessary for T-slots presents a drag problem that both companies addressed in a similar fashion. They implemented a rubber lining to fill the channel and prevent drag. Thule calls their rubber liner WindDiffuser technology while, Whispbar has no special name for it.
Aeroblade vs. Whispbar T-Slot Stripping
Despite Whispbar missing a branding opportunity to give their liner a fancy engineering name, their liner is better in form and function. To use Whispbar's T'slots you simple push the rubber down into the channel and attach your carrier. Thule's WindDiffuser requires you to cut their liner to make room for the t-slot inserts. This isn't terribly difficult to do but it becomes cumbersome if you have multiple attachments. Additionally, cutting the liner will eventually create the need to purchase more stripping at some point in the future. A pain you won't feel with Whispbar.
T-slots mean no tools are required to attach and remove things like kayak carriers or cargo boxes. Whispbar took advantage of this by creating QuickDock technology which allows Whispbar products to be attached in under 30 seconds. Thule carriers have yet to embrace anything like this, but that is beyond the scope of this article.
Fitting Kayak Carriers
The quick dock technology is easier than the Aeroblades because of the design of the weather stripping on each. Whispbar's strip gets pressed down by the quick dock pegs. When the carriers are removed the pegs lift out of the channel and the weather stripping fills the gap again. This could potentially be a long-term issue for the whispbar has the stripping loses its springy-ness and fails to cover the gap with age.
Check out the Best Kayak Carriers to go with your crossbars!
If you car has a sunroof, make sure you buy the crossbar system with at least 2 inches of clearance. Note this is only a rule of thumb and you should check your sunroof height for yourself. 90% of people install crossbars and never take them off. Chances are you won't either so make sure the crossbar you choose will fit ALL of your needs.
Dimensions: 49.6" - 60"L x 6.7"W x 5.9"H
Weight Capacity: 165 lb./75 kg.
Colors: Steel or Black
Pros & Cons
The Whispbar is quite simply, the greatest crossbar ever designed. It does everything of the Thule Aeroblade with almost no drawbacks.
Whispbar represents someone looking at the complaints of users and answering the call. The blades are so quiet you won't even know they are there.
The value on these bars is astonishing. The price point puts them in the premium category of crossbars but not by much. Crossbars are an investment and should be treated as such.
The sturdy 165 lb. weight capability gives it the strength to handle any load you throw at it. Your getting a sleek, light weight crossbar capable of carrying any load you hand it.
Whispbar and Thule Variations
Thule 750x vs 760x series
- 750x series are attached to pre-existing raised roof rails.
- 760x series are attached directly to the roof of the vehicle either clamped to the roof or screwed to a roof mount bracket.
The last number in the series (denoted by an "x" above) is the size of the crossbar. Different sized roofs need either longer or shorter crossbars.
Finally you may see the letter "b" added to the end of the series code such as 7601b. The "b" indicates the color of the bar is black. Series without the "b" are the default color of aluminum (silver).
Whispbar S series and Yakima Sizing
Yakima changed the sizing names of the Whispbar when they ended the Whispbar line and began the Yakima Flushbar/Railbar series.
- If you find true Whispbars online they are sized S1 - S42
- Yakima simplified the S1 - S42 sizing code to range between 3x Small and 3x Large
The only difference between the sizes are the lengths of the bars and their weight.
As with the original Whispbar the only thing that changes is the length and weight of the bar.
The Company Behind the Crossbar - Sweden vs. New Zealand