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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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