Versatility’s a tough commodity to come by sometimes with bike racks.  The rack on your small car that’s perfect for a quick 60-minute hammer before work isn’t necessarily suited for loading up the family shuttle for a trip to the mountains.  Yakima’s Quickback 3 is a very attractive middle ground between convenience for everyday use and reliability for big excursions.

Yakima QuickBack 3 Features:

  • Weight: 14.8 lbs
  • Dimensions when folded: 20” W x 12.5” H x 24.5”
  • Arm width, inside to inside: 8.75”
  • Arm width, center to center: 10.25”
  • Capacity: 3 bikes, 105 lbs total
  • Labeled strap system
  • Padded metal buckles
  • SwitchBlade anti-sway cradles
  • Glass hatch hooks included
  • Steel-reinforced strap for anti-theft security
  • Integrated bottle openers
  • MSRP: $199

QuickBack 3 on Honda Odyssey minivan

Yakima QuickBack 3 Review

Everything you need to know about this bike rack is right there in the name: it sets up quickly.  It gets you back home very efficiently after your ride is done.  And it holds three bikes.   Setup takes a bit longer on my minivan than it does on my sedan, but once you get the hang of it, setup is fairly speedy on the larger car as well.

Two adjustment knobs; top for center bars, side for support arms

Even without reading the instructions – I’m a dude, after all – setup of the rack is fairly intuitive with two large, bright red adjustment knobs on the top and side.  The center knob customizes the length of the center support beams, and the side knob with interlocking teeth positions the cradle arms at the desired angle.  When you’re not using the rack, the arms and center beams compress down to a pretty compact shape that’s easily stored in the trunk of your car.

Compacts easily for trunk storage

The QuickBack 3 secures to the vehicle with six labeled straps that make placement a fairly idiot-proof process.  Your paint job is protected by padded feet which can be rotated to sit flush against flat or gently contoured surfaces, and by a plastic coating over each of the metal buckles and hooks.

Idiot-proof straps

This rack can be affixed to the rear of a car without opening the trunk – unless, of course, you’re using Yakima’s convenient steel-reinforced security strap which gets dropped into the trunk before setup.  (This is a cool feature to give you some peace of mind if you’re leaving it briefly unattended.)  On a liftback minivan, the glass hatch hooks are threaded through the open door prior to mounting the rack.

QuickBack 3 on Toyota Camry; lower padded feet rotated flush with sloped bumper

One minor issue I had with setup is that the plastic coating over the side hooks is somewhat thick, and doesn’t always fit into the narrower seams between the trunk and car body.  A little elbow grease usually gets them in place, but sometimes I have to pop the latch on the trunk to help them fit.

Having six separate points of attachment makes for a very stable ride, although there is still a tiny bit of sway on sharp curves or bumpy roads.  The large padded feet generally maintain good contact with the car, but the top ones need some readjustment (by loosening the center knob) once the bikes are set on the arms.  Stability is further enhanced by the lock-solid SwitchBlade cradles and stem straps, which eliminate any movement of bikes on the arms.

SwitchBlade cradles and secure straps eliminate sway

The QuickBack 3 easily holds road bikes and most mountain bike frames, but I was unable to fit my daughter’s junior (24” wheel) mountain bike with a downward-angled top tube onto the arms.  This same bike fits on my old Hollywood trunk rack, so it was a bit of a disappointment that Yakima’s rack couldn’t accommodate it.  The company website recommends that if you have an unusually shaped bike frame, you should test the fit at a local bike shop before buying – it’s certainly good advice to keep in mind.

Rear view; side straps visible, top and bottom straps obscured by body of rack

Good Quickback 3

  • Easy and fast setup and collapse
  • Nicely customizable with various car sizes
  • Compatible with hatchbacks, liftbacks, and minivans
  • Secure and stable ride
  • Not just one, but TWO bottle openers!

Bad Quickback 3

  • Covered hooks slightly too thick
  • May not fit small or unusually shaped frames
  • The security strap locks the rack to the car, but a separate lock is needed to secure the bikes to the rack.

Bottom Line: Yakima QuickBack 3

Yakima’s QuickBack 3 is a super versatile, extremely user friendly rear-mounted rack that’s ideal for Mom or Dad to use for a quick solo outing, then load up the family for longer adventures later in the day.

Buy Now: Find Yakima Trunk Racks at REI

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

5 Comments

  1. Hi, thanks for the review. I have an Odyssey, and I am looking for a bike rack. You posted a picture of Odyssey with two bicycles attached, and I would like to hear little bit more experiences of yours with the rack. Have you had any issues with this configuration? I see the top straps are over the plastic tail wing, and it is made of plastic as far as I know, and I saw some complains that it broke the plastic tail wing off with this setup (with different bicycle rack I believe). So I would like to hear your experience with the rack on an Odyssey. Please let me know. Thank you.
    Won.

  2. Won: the plastic straps on top of the Odyssey are actually anchored by the glass hatch hooks inside the car rather than clipping onto the plastic on top. However, there are some versions of the Odyssey that are not included on Yakima’s recommended list for this rack, which you can find on the company website. I’ve used the rack on my Odyssey without incident, but I wouldn’t advise trying it if it’s not specified on the company’s list.

  3. Thanks Donald once again. I went to the Yakima website, and it seems 2004 or earlier Odyssey are okay. What year is your Odyssey. I have 2007. Thanks.

    • Won what did you end up doing. I’m wondering the same thing. I have a 2008 Odyssey and have the same concerns. I had a 2002 and used a strap on rear and never broke off the plasic fin. However, the newer Odyssey foolishly seems to have a flimsier fin.

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