The city dweller’s fear of an air conditioning window unit falling to the sidewalk is the same as a highway driver’s fear of an item flying off the car and onto the road. So don’t make that nightmare a reality, and get a sturdy bike rack that latches correctly onto your vehicle.

Trunk-mounted racks are easy to install and remove to get your bikes from place to place, keeping the bikes within reach (as opposed to the roof) and secured through a system of straps, latches, and bracing. But not all racks are made for all cars — or all cyclists. So here’s what to consider when picking a trunk-mounted bike rack.

  • What type of vehicle do you drive? Just as cars vary greatly by make and model, so do bike racks. Certain racks only mount onto the trunks of hatchbacks, vans, and SUVS—and others only onto sedans and compact cars. Some models are adjustable to a range of cars, but checking (and double-checking) the fit for the car you plan to use to transport your bikes from place to place is priority number one in picking a bike rack.
  • How many bikes will you generally be moving? Trunk-mounted bike racks are generally made to carry one, two, or three bikes, corresponding to a weight capacity. You can only hook one rack up at a time, so even if you usually bike alone, but sometimes bike with a companion—a larger size rack will better serve you.
  • Where do you store your car, and where will you be storing the rack when not in use? Consider how frequently you’ll have the bike rack on your car—and where you park your car. If you park outdoors, you’ll need to account for the additional wear and tear on the rack. If you park in a garage, you’ll need to make sure your vehicle will fit with the added length of whichever bike rack you choose. For when the rack is off the car: Do you have garage or basement storage? The trunk? A closet? Knowing where you’ll be storing it can help you choose, so it’s not a source of madness.

Our Picks for the Best Trunk-Mounted Bike Racks on Amazon

Top Pick Overall: Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack, Model 102DN-R , Black

Quick, Secure Set-Up

Designed for a passenger car, this effective, affordable choice has side straps for additional stability. Allen Sports

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Best for SUVs: Premier Trunk Mounted Bike Rack

Ready to Go

It ships fully assembled, is available in models that hold two or three bicycles, and has compound tie-down cradles and lateral straps for all-around stability. Allen Sports

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Premium Pick: Saris Bones EX Trunk Bike Rack Carrier, Mount 3 Bikes

Sturdy and Highly Adjustable

A high-end option with ratchet straps and clamping holds, if you’re in cycling for the long run, it’s a worthy investment—and fits most cars on the market. Saris

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Small but Effective: Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack

Lightweight, For All Vehicles

Available for one or two bicycles, this light, agile option folds down to fit in a small, included backpack, and fits on most cars, from sedans to SUVs. Allen Sports

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