Yakima CoreBar vs JetStream

In Gear by Tanner V.

Yakima Corebar
Best for the Money

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Yakima JetStream

Top Pick

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About the Author
Hi Everyone! My name is Tanner, and I am the founder of kayamping.net. I started this website as an outlet to pursue my hobby of kayaking, camping, and exploring the world at large. Every post here is written and curated by me so stop-in, have a read, leave a comment, and most importantly, get going on your next adventure!

Needing crossbars for your vehicle but can’t decide which of Yakima’s aerobars are perfect for you? In this article, we breakdown the Yakima JetStream vs Yakima CoreBar across the most important features and performance metrics for making a buying decision. These two seemingly similar products have more differences than you may expect.

Article in a Glance

Bottom Line: The Yakima Corebar is the budget friendly version of the Jetstream. It offers good aerodynamics and heavy duty steel construction that simply gets the job done. The Jetsteam has a better overall finish and functionality. It performs better in aerodynamics tests and features rail channels for compatibility with the latest bike and kayak racks.

YAKIMA - CoreBar Aerodynamic Crossbars for Roof Rack Systems
YAKIMA - Jetstream Bar Aerodynamic Crossbars for Roof Rack Systems, Set of 2
Product
Yakima Corebar
Yakima JetStream
Overall Score
87%
88%
Star Rating
Pros
Durable, Handles heavy loads, Low Wind Noise
Lightweight aluminum, Very Low Wind Noise, T-Slots with QuickFill, Premium Look
Cons
No T-Slots, Standard crossbar look, wing bars may not work with all accessories
Premium Quality means Premium Price
Aerodynamics 20%
90%
95%
Ease of Installation 10%
85%
80%
Value 30%
85%
80%
Construction 20%
95%
85%
Accessory Compatibility 20%
80%
100%
Carrying Capacity
220 lb. / 99.8 kg.
165 lb. / 74.8 kg.
Crossbar Weight
SM-9lb M-11lb LG-12lb XL-14lb
SM-8.5lb M-10.5lb LG-12.5lb
Length
SM-50in M-60in LG-70in XL-80in
SM-50in M-60in LG-70in
Height
1.10 in.
2.75 in.
Width
2.75 in.
1.10 in.
Colors
Black
Black/Silver
Material
Roll Formed Steel with Vinyl Wrap
Aluminum
YAKIMA - CoreBar Aerodynamic Crossbars for Roof Rack Systems
Product
Yakima Corebar
Overall Score
87%
Star Rating
Pros
Durable, Handles heavy loads, Low Wind Noise
Cons
No T-Slots, Standard crossbar look, wing bars may not work with all accessories
Aerodynamics 20%
90%
Ease of Installation 10%
85%
Value 30%
85%
Construction 20%
95%
Accessory Compatibility 20%
80%
Carrying Capacity
220 lb. / 99.8 kg.
Crossbar Weight
SM-9lb M-11lb LG-12lb XL-14lb
Length
SM-50in M-60in LG-70in XL-80in
Height
1.10 in.
Width
2.75 in.
Colors
Black
Material
Roll Formed Steel with Vinyl Wrap
YAKIMA - Jetstream Bar Aerodynamic Crossbars for Roof Rack Systems, Set of 2
Product
Yakima JetStream
Overall Score
88%
Star Rating
Pros
Lightweight aluminum, Very Low Wind Noise, T-Slots with QuickFill, Premium Look
Cons
Premium Quality means Premium Price
Aerodynamics 20%
95%
Ease of Installation 10%
80%
Value 30%
80%
Construction 20%
85%
Accessory Compatibility 20%
100%
Carrying Capacity
165 lb. / 74.8 kg.
Crossbar Weight
SM-8.5lb M-10.5lb LG-12.5lb
Length
SM-50in M-60in LG-70in
Height
2.75 in.
Width
1.10 in.
Colors
Black/Silver
Material
Aluminum

Check out our comparison of the Thule Aeroblade vs. Whispbar

Corebar Review

Yakima CoreBar

The Yakima Corebar combined old school muscle with new age aerodynamics

    Specification:

    • Dimensions: (50, 60, 70, 80)"L x 2.75"W x 1.1"H
    • Material: Galvanized Steel with vinyl wrap coating

    • Compatible with all StreamLine System towers
    • Colors: Black

    Pros & Cons

    • Carrying Capacity: 220 lb./99.8 kg.
    • Aerodynamic teardrop shape
    • Limited Lifetime Warranty
    • No T-Slots

    Our Thoughts

    The Yakima CoreBar maybe viewed as the JetStream's uglier little brother, but that would be a mistake. The CoreBar's rugged roll-formed steel and teardrop shape create a tough aerobar for a fraction of the price. Coated with vinyl wrap over galvanized steel, the bars will outlast even the toughest beatings from loads up to 220 pounds. This hulk-like carrying capacity is dashed with elegance as the aerodynamic shape is not lost on it.

    Available four sizes (50, 60, 70, 80 inches) and black exclusively, the CoreBar blends well with street automobiles and off-road capable vehicles.  It is compatible with all four Yakima's StreamLine System towers: BaseLine, TimberLine, SkyLine, or RidgeLine. Lacking a T-Slot channel improves the installation time, but does remove the ability to purchase certain T-Slot exclusive accessories.

    Appropriately named as the COREbar, it is a simple yet effective foundation to any roof rack setup. The CoreBar represents a practical purchase that even the stingiest of Father's would approve. Its aerodynamic shape and sturdy steel construction provide all the major benefits of a premium crossbar without all the extra grits and glamour.


    JetStream Review

    Yakima JetStream


    Specification:

    • Dimensions: (50, 60, 70)"L x 2.75"W x 1.1"H
    • Material: Aluminum
    • Compatible with all StreamLine System towers
    • Colors: Black or Silver

    Pros & Cons

    • Carrying Capacity: 165 lb./74.8 kg.
    • Precision Aerodynamic Shape
    • T-Slot with SmartFill technology
    • Limited Lifetime Warranty

    Our Thoughts

    The Yakima Jetstream headlines the StreamLine System of roof racks launched in 2016. The JetFlow (teardrop shaped) aerobar silently cuts through the air with almost zero drag, improving fuel efficiency for its owners. The lightweight all aluminum construction features multiple inner chambers coined JetStruss technology to withstand loads up to 165 pounds. Offered in two colors (silver or black), this stylish crossbar set boosts the appeal of most modern vehicles while adding functionality to boot.

    Along the top and bottom of the JetStream runs T-Slot channels manufactured to accommodate lightning fast attachment and removal of accessories like kayak racks, bike racks, and cargo boxes. To maintain the aerodynamics of the bar, the T-Slots are covered by a rubber stripping that slips down into the channel when in use and pops back into place when not. Known as SmartFill,  this seamless transition is adored by consumers for removing the need to custom trim the rubber stripping for each new accessory.

    The JetStream is compatible with any of the towers available in the SteamLine System: The BaseLine, TimberLine, SkyLine, or RidgeLine tower means any roof style can be fitted for a pair of JetStreams. The three sizes of, 50, 60, and 70 inches length will fit the majority of popular manufacturer's vehicles on the market today.

    Compared to the CoreBar, the JetStream has more features and cleaner overall appearance. You will pay more for these luxuaries but crossbars should be treated as a long term investment. The price difference stretched over 5-10 years is menial and worth the increase if the added features are a necessity. Viewed holistically, the JetStream makes a great addition to any vehicles. Produced by a trusted company, Yakima ensures these bars will outlast their vehicles with a Limited Lifetime guarantee.

    Key Features


    Years of roof rack experience has given us keen insight into the best buying practices of crossbars. We put this knowledge to work for you by compiling the a feature comparison guide below. We dove into the product’s characteristics in-depth and summarized our finds below.

    Aerodynamics

    Aerodynamics is always a big consideration when it comes to purchasing a crossbar system because it affects your fuel efficiency and cabin noise. It comes down to whether the crossbar is shaped so air passes easily over the surface of the crossbar while the car is at speed.

    As you may have guessed, the JetStream was designed with wind noise in mind. The wing or tear-drop shaped crossbars mimic plane wings. Air cleanly passes over the front surface of the bar and comes together gently on the back end. Yakima precision crafted the JetStream for just this purpose and it works.

    Something you may not have guessed is the CoreBar is also an aero-bar. Its shape is eerily similar to the JetStream so it reaps all the same aerodynamic rewards.

    A Scientific Look at Wind Noise

    Wind drag comparison chart of the Yakima Corebar and Yakima JetStream

    The charts above show the relative wind resistance of each crossbars cross-section. The color scale represents air turbulence from red the highest disturbance to dark blue, the lowest disturbance.

    A side by side view shows although both bars have similar shapes, the JetStream creates less drag and less wind noise. This particularly  noticeable in the red areas and the overall area of the blue tail.

    Ease of Installation

    The installation difficulty and time between the JetStream and CoreBar is minimal. In fact, the crossbars themselves only account for a small portion of the total install. The installation of the towers is what makes up the majority of the work.

    Crossbar Install Differences

    The JetStream attaches to the towers via the T-Slot. This requires the rubber stripping to be removed then trimmed once the towers are inserted. Overall not a large headache, but it will add 15 minutes over the CoreBar’s install.

    Since the CoreBar has no T-Slots, Yakima provides ring adapters that simply slide onto the bar and attach to the towers. This considerably quicker than the JetStream T-Slot trimming, but it takes away from the aerodynamics of the system overall.

    The SteamLine System Install

    The CoreBar and JetStream can use anyone of the towers within Yakima’s StreamLine System. The towers have similar installation but differ in some processes and parts.

    To find the proper tower and accessories for your vehicle visit Yakima’s Fit Guide.

    BaseLine Towers

    The Showdown and the Hullavator have the same loading process except for the amount of power you, the loader, must supply. For that reason, the Hullavator is the superior system for those prioritizing safe and easy kayak loading/unloading.

    If you’re like me, your next question is: Well don’t the gas struts wear out? It can’t be that easy.

    SkyLine Towers

    The Showdown and the Hullavator have the same loading process except for the amount of power you, the loader, must supply. For that reason, the Hullavator is the superior system for those prioritizing safe and easy kayak loading/unloading.

    If you’re like me, your next question is: Well don’t the gas struts wear out? It can’t be that easy.

    RidgeLine Towers

    The Showdown and the Hullavator have the same loading process except for the amount of power you, the loader, must supply. For that reason, the Hullavator is the superior system for those prioritizing safe and easy kayak loading/unloading.

    If you’re like me, your next question is: Well don’t the gas struts wear out? It can’t be that easy.

    TimberLine Towers

    The Showdown and the Hullavator have the same loading process except for the amount of power you, the loader, must supply. For that reason, the Hullavator is the superior system for those prioritizing safe and easy kayak loading/unloading.

    If you’re like me, your next question is: Well don’t the gas struts wear out? It can’t be that easy.

    Value

    The JetStream is the premium version of the Corebar. It has cleaner lines, t-slot channels, and works with more of today’s kayak racks, bike racks, and towers. The cheaper Corebar, however is strong as an ox with a crude teardrop shape. It works with fewer accessories due to no T-slots but gets the job done nonetheless.

    Yakima tacked on 40% above the Corebar's price tag to add these bells and whistles. The situation is similar to buying a T-shirt at Wal-mart vs. a designer store. Functionally the shirts are the same. The Wal-mart shirt is even made out of a stronger material, but it only comes in one color and has no special features. The designed shirt (JetStream) comes in two colors, a weaker yet more flashy material, and pairs well with other clothes.

    The Corebar is a better value in terms of functionality. It is a better bang for your buck.
    The JetStream is still a good value, but the additional cost outweighs the additional features in comparison.

    Crossbar Construction

    Different manufacturing processes and different materials give different characteristics to each crossbar. Take a look at a cross section of each bar to see how different the bars' construction are.

    Side by side comparison of the cross-sections of the corebar and jetstream.

    The Corebar is made from roll formed steel and coated in vinyl wrap. The steel provides the muscle and the vinyl gives it a nice finish and prevents rust. So much muscle that even with a hollow interior, the Corebar can carry 220lbs. of weight.

    The JetStream is all aluminum with interior chambers to accommodate the T-slot channels and provide additional support.Yakima's smart JetStruss design grants the JetStream a lesser but still respectable 165lbs of carrying capacity.

    Fundamentally, steel is much stronger than aluminum, but it is heavy and it rusts. Aluminum is considered a premium material for these reasons and found its place on the luxury bar.

    The Corebar is better suited for carrying larger, heavier kayaks. Hauling 3 or 4 kayaks is not beyond the scope of this bar. Alternatively, the JetStream’s 165lb capacity is plenty to haul one large kayak or two normal kayaks.

    Carrier Accessory Compatibility

    Crossbars themselves are of little use if the products that bind to them to hold gear don’t play nice. Once installed crossbars will likely remain for the life of the vehicle so make sure they work well kayak racks, bike racks, and cargo boxes.

    JetStream T-Slots with SmartFill

    The JetStream is the first Yakima bar to feature T-Slots. These are channels that run along the top of the crossbar so attachments can be quickly inserted and locked into place. They are a safety improvement from clamping mechanisms that tend to yaw and roll and speed improvement over attachments requiring screws and bolts.

    JetStream T-slot QuickFill technology on display.

    The T-slots are covered by a rubber stripping to maintain the bars aerodynamic properties while not in use. Thanks to Yakima’s SmartFill technology to attach a carrier the rubber stripping can simply be pressed into the bar. When you are done the rubber will pop out to regain its original shape.

    The Future of the Industry

    The Corebar does not have a T-slot so no products that have this requirement are compatible. Current industry trends point to all carriers moving to T-Slots, but this is years out. You can still find plenty of carriers to work with the wing bar shape on the Corebar.

    Towers

    The entire StreamLine System is the only compatible towers for the CoreBar and JetStream. These towers are Yakima’s latest product line which consists of four tower sets:

    1. BaseLine - Best for naked roof
    2. SkyLine - Best for fixed points or tracks
    3. RidgeLine - Best for flush mounted roof rails
    4. TimberLine - Best for raised roof rails

    The tower best for you is the one that fits your current roof setup. The only difference between the towers are the way it attaches to your roof. For example, a roof with no roof rails and no slots for screws will need to use a clamp that goes into the door opening. A vehicle with roof rails will have the tower attach directly to the rail.

    Protect your Investment with SKS Locks

    All the towers come with the option to install SKS locks. These should come standard in my opinion, but they are sold separately. A lock core is required for each tower so be prepared to purchase a pack of four. The lock core are incredibly simple to install so don’t let that be a deterrent.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Yakima End Caps - What's the Deal?

    Each crossbar requires two end caps to seal the crossbar opening at the end of the bar after installation. They are included with the purchase of the towers not the crossbar themselves. Customers hate these end caps because they are very difficult to remove. Foregoing the end caps will result in water entering and rusting the crossbar and an irritating howling to occur.

    Yakima End Cap Alternatives

    Unfortunately, there is no easy alternative to the end caps for the JetStream or CoreBar. The cheapest route for replacements is to buy them from the Yakima site again.

    How to Remove Yakima End Caps

    The caps that come standard are hard to remove. If you don’t want to use them afterward, then drill a hole through the middle and pry it out with a screwdriver. Otherwise, drive a flathead screw driver into the gap between the end cap and bar. Pry it out with all your might because it is not easy.