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Rear mounted bike racks / Thule BackPac 973 Tailgate bicycle carrier in test

Thule BackPac 973 Tailgate bicycle carrier in test

Thule BackPac 973 Tailgate bicycle carrier in test

Thule bike carrier BackPac 973Those who want to transport bicycles to the vehicle, requires a suitable support on which the bikes are fixed.Such portable systems are produced by different companies. A producer of bicycle carriers is the renowned company Thule , which was founded in 1942 in Sweden.The Scandinavian company has been able to make in the past with high-quality transport systems a good name.

To the current range of Thule includes not only roof boxes and rails , but also different bike carriers , with which several bikes can be transported. The company currently sells from Sweden among other BackPac 973 Tailgate bicycle carrier which is to be suitable for the safe transportation of bicycles.

We have the support of Thule by an extensive test to check. We discovered many strengths and few weaknesses, which we explain with this review. We also reveal whether the purchase of the Scandinavian transport system worth, which is currently around 200 euros is expensive.

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Functional Overview

  • vehicle-specific adapter
  • Weight: 14 kg
  • 60 kg payload
  • electrical lighting elements

Back to comparison chart rear carrier test in 2016


  • very robust steel linkage
  • with electric tail lights
  • high quality
  • Quick fasteners for bicycles
  • low air resistance
  • very quiet


  • suitable for E-Bikes
  • 2 people required for assembly
  • any additional kit necessary

Delivery and packaging

In the past century, the Thule products mainly via the were local retailers sold. In range of hardware stores and auto dealers can be found up to now, the products of specialists from Scandinavia. The products of Thule are now also on the Internet sold. So renowned is online retailer Amazon received many porters in its range.

We ordered our BackPac 973 Tailgate bicycle carrier also on the Internet. So we saved ourselves the transport of heavy product which in a 15 kg is sold heavy packaging to the consumer.

The safe packaging protects from knocks and shocks. Thus, there is no fear that the transport system for the bicycle will be damaged before delivery.Inside the package there are many individual components , which are also packed safely. Supplied with different nuts and bolts. In the package there are other fasteners. Here you will find the future users, auser guide , the assembly discussed the bicycle rack.

Manual and InstallationTailgate carrier side view

The operations manual , which is located in the envelope, clarifies, through commissioning of the transport system. At sixteen pages not only the first assembly will be explained.Here are also important safety . There is, for example, explained with what speed the car can be moved if it is transported bicycles.

Large graphics illustrate each handle, which is required for installation. We needed about 60 minutes until we had put together the carrier.

We have found that the system of Thule best of two people should be mounted. A single person can not make up the bicycle carrier.

After assembling the individual components of the carrier may be attached to the corresponding vehicle.However, the user needs an additional kit, which fits to the automobile. Thule offers the correspondingconnectors on through its website. With the right kit can almost any vehicle are connected to the bike rack.

Thule offers, among other connectors for station wagons from Volkswagen, Volvo and Opel . All other known car are also supported. Thus, the carrier is very easy to connect to the appropriate vehicle.

The bicycle carrier in a general overview

The BackPac 973 Tailgate bicycle carrier consists largely of solid steel , which ensures the necessary support. The massive metal was light compounds from aluminum combined, on which up to two bicycles can be placed. All metal compounds are well made. There is a protective plastic on the ends.

Thus, there is no danger that the metal for scratch makes on the vehicle, when it gets to the body when attaching.

On the carrier can two bicycles to be attached. With other components, which the manufacturer, can even up to four wire donkeys are fixed to the carrier. The scope of the treadmills but should not be higher than 70 centimeters, so that they actually fit the 1.02 meter high metal structure, which was mostly painted black. Who an electric bike would transport, should look for another carrier. The 14-kilogram BackPac 973 Tailgate support can unfortunately only conventional bicycles record.

The BackPac 973 Tailgate bicycle carrier is fitted to the vehicle, that neither the taillights nor the license plate are covered. Therefore, the carrier is also the German TÜV certificate been and approved for road traffic in the Federal Republic. With the right kit, the system can attach to many station wagons. We tested the support at different test vehicles . It was revealed that the number plate and the rear lights are not obscured by the carrier. All other results see the next section.

Practical test of the tail boom

After mounting the carrier is easily connected to the vehicle. The appropriate kit which must be purchased separately, provides the necessary support of the transport system. There is no danger that the automobile is damaged by the carrier. With two people , the transportation facility is very easy to install on each vehicle.

Thereafter, the support can be fitted with the treadmills that wants to transport the user. In our practical test showed that the wheels can be fixed very safe.

The support of Thule has practical quick release through which the bicycles are secured.

There is no danger that the bicycle of the Transport opportunity fall when the vehicle in high speed is moved.Thule BackPac in the assembled stateBecause the carrier is at the rear of the car, caused hardly any noise . At full speed the transport system therefore remains very quiet. The driver is the carrier hardly notice when he moved the car. Of which we saw evidence during our practical tests. We moved the support for many kilometers. We were the bikes transported very safe.

Next, the support can be dismounted as needed. It can befolded . Then the system will find even in the trunk space.Who on the dismantling waived, still reach the trunk.

The tailgate can be opened even when the carrier is mounted on the vehicle.

Practical holder for many bikes

The BackPac 973 Tailgate bicycle carrier Thule can in our test fully convince . He scores with good workmanship. The required initial installation can be performed by two people within one hour. All handles are through the manual explains, included in the delivery. Thus, the transport system is built quickly.

For attachment to the vehicle, however, is a further kit is required, which includes the corresponding compounds.

Then the Scandinavian carrier can very securely attached to the automobile. Practical rubber endsreduce the risk that the paint of the vehicle is damaged. The safe quick release almost all Fährräder can be transported. With the appropriate adapters even be able to move up to four bikes.Therefore, we can support almost entirely fully recommend . However, the user needs the appropriate kit to connect the transportation system with his bike. However, this is the only drawback that we could find. Otherwise the BackPac convinced 973 Tailgate bicycle carrier by good workmanship, attractive design and its high functionality.

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test result

carrier assembly
bicycle assembly

1st place

Summary: Unless a helping hand is available for the installation are available, this rear carrier absolutely recommendable.

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One comment

  1. Hi. I have a 973 rack with fitting kit 15. I’m moving rack to another vehicle which requires fitting kit 16. I know the rubber mounting pads in the kit 16 are different to kit 15 but wonder if you can advise me if the straight and bent pipes that come with both kits the same, and I can therefore save money by just buying the correct mounting pads and not the complete kit? Your help would be appreciated.

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