Mini Cooper Clubman Factory Roof Rack VS. Yakima Thule Rack

2 06 2009

Mini Cooper Factory Rack

Mini Factory Crossbars require cutting rubber trim above doors.

Decisions, decisions……. Mini installed factory crossbars or Yakima, Thule brand crossbars.    Let Rack Attack give some insight on a call we take daily.   “I’m thinking about purchasing this _________ vehicle and need to carry ___________ “.    You fill in the blanks but you get the general idea.  If your like most people that live an active lifestyle your almost always better purchasing Yakima or Thule racks after the fact.   That way your years of Rack Accumulation in the garage can be re-used, recycled.    Anything made by Yakima and Thule will attach to their own crossbars made today or 25 yrs ago.  This is not always so for most factory installed racks.

Mini Cooper Thule 400xt Aero Crossbars and Yakima Load Warrior Basket

Mini Cooper Thule 400xt Aero Crossbars and Yakima Load Warrior Basket

See above for the Thule 400xt Aero Rack – It attached to the vehicle very similar to the Factory Style Crossbars – unfortunately it’s limited to the doors which puts the bars at 24″ apart.  The ideal distance for most accessories is 30 – 36″.

Parts needed below for this fit -

Thule 400xt Aero Towers

Thule LB50 Crossbars

Thule 4 Pack Locks

Thule Fit Kit 2145

Thule 430 Tracker Towers and Tk14 Kit

Thule 430 Tracker Towers and Tk14 Kit

Here at Rack Attack this is one preferred option for Crossbars as it’s gives you flexibility to mount anywhere on the flat surface of the roof.  It is a bolted option – but easily removed when unlocked leaving only the 4 bases (the tracker kit) attached to the vehicle.

Here the parts you will need for Thule Tracker Option (100lbs or less evenly distributed over both bars)

Thule 430 Tracker Towers / or 430R

Thule Tracker Kit #14

Thule 4 Pack Locks

Thule LB 50″ Crossbars

Thule 430 Quick Disconnect from the TK bases

Thule 430 Quick Disconnect from the TK bases

If you add the Thule lock cores to the 430 Tracker towers it will prevent anyone from just popping off your bars and accessories.  Security is always a good idea.

Yakima Control Towers and Landing Pads on Clubman

Yakima Control Towers and Landing Pads on Clubman

The Yakima Control Towers and Landing Pad #7 are the prefered fit here at Rack Attack for the Clubman for the reasons mentioned above (if your without the raised factory rail).  You can mount these wherever you choose and re-use all your Yakima Accessories.

Yakima Parts used in this application (100lbs or less evenly spread over both bars)

Yakima Control Towers

Yakima Landing Pad #7

Yakima 4 Lock Pack

Yakima 48″ Crossbars

Mini Cooper with Yakima Tracks and Control Towers

Mini Cooper with Yakima Tracks and Control Towers

For the largest load carrying capacity and flexibility of being able to adjust your load bars installing Yakima or Thule Tracks is the best option for the Cooper.

Parts for this application same as above – changing only the Yakima Landing Pad # and adding the Yakima Tracks -

Yakima Landing Pad #1

Yakima 54″ Tracks w/Plusnuts

Mini Cooper with Yakima Tracks and Kayak Carrier

Mini Cooper with Yakima Tracks and Kayak Carrier

Tiny Car – BIG Kayak.  Notice the bow and stern lines – very important!  The Yakima tracks allow a good distance between the bars and disperse that load nicely over the length of the roof.

Quick Disconnect for Thule 430 Tracker or Yakima Control Towers

Quick Disconnect for Thule 430 Tracker or Yakima Control Towers

If you have any other questions for the experts here at Rack Attack please call 888-399-7225 or EMAIL US

Enjoy your Mini!

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8 responses

23 03 2010

I have a 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman and a Yakima system of crossbars,bike racks, kayak rack, etc. that I purchased for our now gone 99 Volvo wagon. I am looking to buy a small Yakima box (someone recommended a Space Cadet Cargo Box) and some new mounting brackets. When I looked at the sizing chart, it says there are no brackets made for the 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman! Is this the case-do I need to buy Thule or go back to a dealer for the mounting hardware?

25 03 2010


We now have several options for the Clubman, most of them custom. If you are local to one of our shops, of course we can get an installation set up for you. Otherwise, some of the custom mounts you can do yourself. There is the standard Thule setup available; it clips to that little black trim strip along the top of your windows…not the greatest way to hold a rack on, but it does work.

Feel free to give us a call to discuss–any of our installers can talk to you in depth about the custom options, or if you want to go with the Thule clip-on setup we can get you set up with that as well.


10 09 2010


I have a 2010 clubman s and a bunch of Yakima parts I want to use (mainly rocket box). My roof has no tracks or rails on it at all, it looks like the picture above (4 pictures) in the “Yakima Control Towers and L” picture. It has the little angled area above the doors so the roof is not totally flat across from door to door. Is the track the best approach? it seems like it gives you the most flexible options. The factory option seems way too high and a bit spendy. Any new parts that I should know about?

18 09 2010

Tracks give you the most flexibility – check. They do fit perfectly between the glass moonroof and the ridge along the length of the roof. That’s about it for Yakima on that car. Thule does have a ‘clip’ fit, but it is much less versatile.

Hope that answers your questions.

8 01 2011

Help!! I have a full Yakima setup and recently bought a 2011 BMW 328i x drive touring with a low profile rail. I’m hoping I can use the Yakima rail grab towers and the rest of my setup will work. Email me if you need a photo of the rails. There is no space between the roof and the rail.


10 01 2011

Good news Brian–Yakima lists the ’11 3-series wagon as a Railgrab fit! The Railgrab has a ‘hook’ that reaches around the back side of the flush rail and hooks into the groove.

Check them out here: If you have existing Yakima gear, it should be an easy change. Here are the specific limitations:

Note #: 54
When open, sunroof will interfere with accessories.

Note #: 81
Any load extending over the windshield must be secured to both the front and rear bumpers in addition to the rack. The total weight of the racks and loads must not exceed Yakima’s weight limit for that vehicles factory rack.

Note #: 191
StrapThang limited to 2 surf/sail boards. Boards must be stacked – DO NOT carry side by side.

Note #: 192
Heavy Duty Straps (#5006) with Crossbar Pads (#4008) recommended for paddleboards. Boards must be stacked – DO NOT carry side by side.

23 06 2013

Hi – Are there any of the new Yakima Whispbar options available to use on a 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman?

28 06 2013


There currently is not a Whispbar fit for your car…but that could always change. We do have custom Whispbar options available in our stores, give us a call if you’d like further details.

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