The Bearmach alloy slimline roof rack is it any good? It is modelled on the Frontrunner slimline roof rack so looks wise it definitely looks the part but that’s about where the similarities end. It looks like Bearmach no longer sell it which I guess tells us quite a lot about it’s success for them.
Cost wise it was on a par with Flatdog’s version (which is also similar to the Frontrunner version) if not a bit cheaper at approximately £600.
The fundamental issue with this roof rack is that the design was not thought through, it’s as if they copied the outline design of the frontrunner but with no understanding of how a roof rack is actually used. It has the profile of the frontrunner or flatdog’s roof rack but none of the utility, I wonder if they ever tried to use their own roof rack and attach anything to it? My guess is they didn’t.
Let’s take the Flatdog slimline it has 13 slats across (on a Defender 110 version), there is a single channel down the middle of each slat that fits an 8mm bolt, this slat slot allows all the peripherals to attach to the rack. The Bearmach version has two slots down the edge of each side, I am not sure the size of the slot but can tell you an 8mm or 7mm bolt will not fit but a 6mm does but still spins around. Where as the Flatdog one is an exact fit for an 8mm bolt which means it doesn’t spin, this is really important when trying to bolt things to it.
Since you need to use the slots to attach anything to the rack you therefore need to be able to slide a bolt in. With flatdog they have a 8mm gap in the middle of the slat so you can drop a bolt in and slide it along. Bearmach didn’t think of that so each slat has to be removed to get the bolt in by undoing the two bolts at the end to then lift it out and slide your bolt in (not a quick job).
My solution to the slot access problem was to drill a hole in each slot big enough to fit the 6mm bolt head, so you can drop a bolt in without having to take the slat off.
As far as I can tell Bearmach never sold anything helpful for attaching things to the roof rack. Everyone else has accessories for their racks that help with this task but not Bearmach. For example I have a roof tent but no way of attaching it from Bearmach, but lucky for us Flatdog does a bunch of accessories for theirs that just about fit onto the Bearmach rack.
Is it recommended?
In a word NO. If you don’t mind doing lots of alterations to fit things then maybe it would work for you but for those that want to be able to just bolt things to it then this is not the rack for you.