The Best hitch bike rack for 4 bikes in 2022

Published by Bike Scientist on

Planning a biking adventure with friends or family? We understand how selecting a bike rack can be a daunting task but finding a hitch bike rack for 4 bikes is even tougher. There are a lot of factors to consider such as the load capacity of the rack and vehicle, the safety of bike frames, and the convenient installation and loading of bikes. But the primary question is if the rack is even recommended for carrying 4 bikes in a car. This article focuses on 4-bike hitch racks because hitch mount racks have a higher load capacity and are available in multi-bike versions.

List of the best hitch bike racks for 4 bikes

Before we move on to all possible queries related to traveling with 4 bikes, it is important to understand that there is no one best bike rack for all. The finest rack for you is the one that satisfies your conditions and is completely compatible with your vehicle. Apart from that it is safe, strong, and made of good quality material. Let’s start with some of our recommendations on the best hitch mount rack for 4 bikes

Hitch bike rackBest for?Load carrying capacity
Thule Apex XTBest overall-Premium 150lb (37.5lb/bike)
Hollywood Racks DestinationPopular 4-bike hitch rack140lb (35lb/bike)
Allen Sports bike rackEconomical hitch 4-bike rack140lb (35lb/bike)
Yakima RidgebackBest 4-bike SUV and minivan hitch rack150lb (40lb/bike)
Yakima HangoverBest 4-bike vertical hitch rack for suspension forks150lb (37.5lb/bike)
Saris SuperClamp EXHitch bike rack for 4 E-bikes190 lb
Thule RangeRV-compatible hitch 4-bikes rack150lb (37.5lb/bike)
Yakima FullSwingSwing away hitch 4 bike rack for SUVs160lb (40lb/bike)
Yakima HangTightBest vertical hitch bike rack 4 mountain bikes 150lb (37.5lb/bike)
Thule CamberAffordable Thule 4-bike hitch rack150lb (37.5lb/bike)
INNO tire hold platformVersatile hitch bike rack for 4 bikes160lb (60lb/bike)

Thule Apex XT (Swing 4 Bike) – Premium Hitch Hanging Multi-bike rack

  • Features
  • Price
  • CSat
  • Brand
  • Looks
  • Security
  • Capacity
  • 8.0
  • 9.5
  • 8.8
  • 9.0
  • 9.0
  • 10
  • 9.0
  • Prevents sway
  • Swing-away design
  • High quality
  • Expensive

We believe the number one factor in considering a bike rack should be safe and safety is only possible if the product is high quality and durable. This is even more important if you carry multiple bikes on your bike rack.

What makes Thule Apex XT premium, is the superior quality and features. Thule is definitely the leading brand in bike racks and is known for its quality. Specifically, this hitch bike rack for 4 bikes offers you features such as bike anti-sway, a patented design that allows complete access to your rear door or trunk, a security lock for your bike, and one key system compatibility.

Apart from the claim that the rack ensures a distance of 7 inches between each bike, it is also carbon frame compatible. This means you can trust it for your valuable and expensive bikes. But make sure your bikes do not weigh more than 37.5lb each because the total load-carrying capacity of this rack is 150 lb. You can use the swing-away version for 4 bikes if your vehicle has a 2″ hitch receiver or you can get it installed.

Yakima FullSwing – Swing away hitch 4 bike rack for SUVs

Yakima FullSwing – Swing away hitch 4 bike rack for SUVs

The rack fits Class 3, 2” hitch receiver

  • Pros Swing away feature, padded arms, quick assembly, tool-free, Same Key System for locking
  • Cons
  • Rating 4.4/5
  • Price Starts at $400
  • Hitch receiver 2 inches

If you need to open the hatch of your SUV frequently during a road trip, we recommend you get the Yakima FullSwing hitch bike rack for 4 bikes. But before you get it make sure your vehicle has a 2” hitch receiver or if it doesn’t, you should have an estimate of how much you would be spending on the rack and hitch receiver.

This rack has a maximum bike loading capacity of 160 lbs and each bike should be a maximum of 40 lbs and not more. Just take care of the weight limit, other than that FullSwing is compatible with many bike types.

The swing-away feature would let you open the hatch even when the rack is loaded with bikes. You can also rely on this rack for securing the bikes to the rack by SpeedKnob and for securing itself on the vehicle thanks to the AutoPin.

Hollywood Destination – Multi-bike Platform

  • 4 Bike
  • Hitch
  • Features
  • Price
  • CSat
  • Brand
  • Looks
  • Security
  • Capacity
  • 8.0
  • 8.0
  • 9.5
  • 8.0
  • 8.0
  • 10
  • 8.0
  • Can accommodate multiple bikes 
  • Foldable 
  • Compatible with many bike types 
  • Wobble-free
  • Bikes are secure due to the locking hitch pin
  • Reasonable price 
  • Easy to assemble 
  • No rattling noise
  • Loading and adjusting bikes on the wheel tray might take extra time

The Hollywood bike rack 4 bikes (destination) is an excellent economical option amongst the platform hitch bike racks. At the price it comes, it does an outstanding job of securing up to 4 bikes (140 pounds max) with its moveable tray and ratchet straps for bike wheels.

This hitch bike rack for 4 bikes is fairly lightweight at 42 pounds for the number of bikes it carries. It only works with a 2″ hitch receiver. The limitations of the rack are the missing features that you get on premium racks i.e., the security lock for bikes, the swing away option which allows you to access the trunk, and convenient bike latching. Find out more about Hollywood Racks Destination.

Allen sports bike rack 4 bikes – Budget Hanging hitch 4-bike rack

One of the most economical hanging and Amazon’s choice for the best hitch mount rack for 4 bikes from Allen

  • Pros Affordable, No wobble, Options, Tilt away
  • Cons No security (locking) feature for bikes
  • Rating 4.6 out of 5
  • Price Starts at $100
  • Hitch receiver 2 inches

Apart from the pricing, the best thing we like about Allen sports hitch bike rack for 4 bikes is that they come with so many options. On different pricing increments, you can find options that include tilt away mast, quick secure straps and cradles, quick install hitch, and quick install locking hitch.

Moreover, the rack can be installed very quickly, and it comes with a no-wobble hitch installation. One important thing to note is that Allen recommends only class 3 and above hitch receivers for the bike rack. 

In limitation, we see that while this rack comes with a locking mechanism for the rack but there isn’t one for the bike and you have to get that separately. This rack from Allen Sports has the same load-carrying capacity as Hollywood Racks Destination but comes at a much lower price indicating a high value for money.

Yakima Ridgeback 4 bike hitch rack – Popular Hanging 4-bike rack for SUVs and minivans

One of the most popular hanging choices for the best hitch mount for 4 bikes from Hollywood

  • Pros Tilt feature, Tool-free installation, and offered in 11/4 inch hitch
  • Cons Immovable parts which make it difficult to fit bikes
  • Rating 4.4 out of 5
  • Price Around $340
  • Hitch receiver 11/4 & 2 inches

The Yakima Ridgeback 4 bike hitch rack covers a lot of features one would want from a bike rack. The tilt away feature gives you access to the rear of the vehicle, the rack holds most types of bikes, and has tool-free installation.

Also, the rack is compatible with a 1 ¼ hitch receiver which is not common among 4 bike racks. You can get this hitch bike rack for 4 bikes if you own 4 bikes with a total weight of 150 lbs.

Apart from quality issues reported by some old customers, the only thing we don’t like about the rack is the immovable parts on it which make it difficult to load all the bikes. Some customers have complained that it’s difficult to fit all 4 bikes.

Bottom line: This rack covers all essentials and some of the premium features as well. As for the reported quality issues, we expect Yakima (the leading brand) to resolve them.

Yakima Hangover 4 bike hitch rack – Popular Vertical Hitch for suspension forks

One of the most popular vertical choices for the best hitch mount rack for 4 bikes from Yakima

  • Pros Brand and Quality
  • Cons Price, Only for MTB
  • Rating 4.4 out of 5
  • Price Close to $750
  • The hitch receiver is 2 inches only

Yakima is a leading and reliable brand for bike racks. They have marketed the Hangover for the precise niche it is built for. Bikers or tour operators who need to carry suspension fork mountain bikes along with other passengers may benefit from this hitch bike rack for 4 bikes.

They have not confused the rack with any of the other racks meant for road biking or weekend riders who seldom use their racks. For that, they have a completely different variety of racks. This vertical loading style uses minimum space for maximum bikes and can fit vehicles with 2″ hitch receivers only.

We like the approach of keeping it simple and focusing on quality rather than offering multiple features. The only extra they have thrown in there is a built-in bottle opener. Nice touch! Read the full review.

Find reviews about other vertical hitch bike racks for multiple bikes.

Saris Superclamp EX 4 hitch mount rack for 4 E-bikes

  • 4 Bike
  • Hitch
  • Features…. 9
  • Price………. 8.5
  • Feedback…. 8.5
  • Brand……… 8
  • Looks……… 8
  • Security…… 9
  • Capacity…… 9
  • Carries multiple bikes
  • Easy to store- foldable
  • Works with a variety of bike types
  • Does not wobble
  • Locking hitch pin
  • Economical
  • Bikes loaded too close
  • Difficulty adjusting different bikes together

Saris SuperClamp EX is another 4-bike rack, but it provides more value due to its high load-carrying capacity. It can carry 4 bikes with a total weight of 190 lbs but on the condition that the outer two bikes do not weigh more than 35lb.

Even after this, you can load two e-bikes weighing no more than 60 lbs. This rack ranks high on our rating system with an R score of 8.55. This rack is recommended for families who want to carry adult as well as kids’ bikes on a road trip.

You can get it if you have to carry your bikes around frequently and keep it installed on the hitch of your car. Want to know more about the security features, compatibility with vehicles, and customer response? Read the full review on Saris Superclamp EX 4.

Thule Range – RV compatible hitch 4 bikes rack 

Thule Range Hitch Bike Rack | Hitch Rack for 4 bikes | Hanging RV bike rack
Thule Range Hitch Bike Rack | Hitch Rack for 4 bikes | Hanging RV bike rack

The rack fits Class 3, 2” hitch receiver

RV Approved

  • Pros Hitch supported, Security pin and lock (Included), 4 bikes
  • Cons No security (locking) feature for bikes
  • Rating 4.1 out of 5
  • Price Starts at $400
  • Hitch receiver 2 inches

If you’re an RV owner, hitch bike racks would be compatible but still, not all of them are RV-approved. Thule Range is a hanging-style hitch bike rack with 4 bikes designed for an RV. The most common problem faced with RV bike racks is that the bikes get unstable.

Thule Range ensures the stability of the rack and stops bikes from moving thanks to the anti-sway cradles. Also, there’s a safe distance of 7″ between the bikes that protects the bike frames from damage.

You can carry 4 bikes with a weight of no more than 37.5 lbs each to reach a total load capacity of 150 lbs. you can get this rack for less than $500 and enjoy the integrated locking system. But unlike Thule Apex, this rack does not tilt or swing so you will not be able to access the rear door of your RV. Like most 4-bike racks, Thule Range also fits only the 2” hitch receiver.

Other options for hitch bike rack for 4 bikes

Apart from the hitch bike racks mentioned above, there are certain other racks that you can consider. Yakima HangTight is just like Yakima Hangover except that the bikes are loaded from the handlebars instead of the crown. You can also load 4 mountain bikes on this rack and you can buy it for around $900. 

Thule Camber is also a good bike rack for four bikes and especially if you’re looking for a rack to be installed on a 1 ¼” hitch although it also fits a 2” receiver. As compared to the other Thule hitch racks mentioned above, it costs less but lacks most features. For example, the locks for bikes and racks are not included in the price. But the rack tilts so you can buy it as long as you can sort out a way to lock the bikes on the rack. 

Another option is the Modular Hitch System Base by Saris. This is a unique system for transporting bikes on the back of a car. But it is built for 1-3 bikes and for loading 4 bikes, you will have to get an add-on separately. A good thing is that even after getting the add-on tray, it still costs less than some hitch bike racks for 4 bikes. You can buy this rack if you have a 2” hitch receiver. 

Other than Saris SuperClamp, you can also consider INNO tire hold platform hitch mount rack for your electric bikes. This rack fits both 1 ¼” and 2” hitch receivers and has separate trays each with a capacity of 60 lbs. You should buy this rack if you own 4 bikes of different geometries. 

Thule apex xt swing 4 vs Yakima fullswing

What is the difference between Apex and Yakima FullSwing hitch mount racks?

Yakima Fullswing and Thule Apex, both are priced at around 550 USD on amazon and are hanging-style hitch bike racks competing in the same category. Both racks are equally priced and rated as well. Also, they come with a similar built-in security system. Not RV-approved Yakima Fullswing can perhaps hold 10 more pounds of weight.

Thule ensures 7 inches of space between bikes while Yakima has allowed the cradles to be adjusted (more flexibility). Thule Apex itself is a lighter bike rack but that’s not much of a deciding factor once the bike rack is installed on your vehicle.

Important considerations before buying a hitch bike rack for 4 bikes

Since you have already decided that you want to go for a hitch bike rack, we will not go on to other bike rack types. But even within hitch bike racks, there are multiple considerations to account for before purchasing a bike rack for 4 bikes.

Platform or Hanging hitch bike rack for 4 bikes?

Platform hitch bike racks: If you have very expensive carbon frame bikes or generally do not want any physical connection between the bike and the rack (avoid scratches). The platform hitch bike racks are the best type for you. The way they work is that you place your bike on the top of the platform or the tray and then you simply anchor it using an anchor arm or any other accessory as per the rack. Generally, they are pricier and can hold up to 4 bikes. Most platform bike racks will allow you to access your cargo area without taking them off. Platform hitch bike racks also prevent swaying of bikes. 

Hanging hitch bike racks: Also known as the frame-mounted hitch bike rack, a hanging style rack is generally a more economical option. On a hanging bike, the top tube of the bike is placed on the rack arm and different straps are used to lock it into position. It’s generally easy to install a bike on a hanging-style bike rack and the rack folds to make it more compact. Some reasons to not go for this type of bike rack include that you have a very expensive frame, your frame has open wires below the top tube or your bike’s top tube is not straight. In case your top tube is not straight you might have to use an adapter to adjust it. Most hanging-style bike racks will NOT allow you to access your cargo area without taking them off.

Does the hitch receiver support require weight for four bike racks?

You might already be aware of the opening size of your vehicle’s hitch. If not it’s best to confirm the size of your vehicle’s hitch receiver before you get a hitch bike rack for 4 bikes. Just take a measuring rule or tape and check one side of the opening. A 1 ¼ hitch would have a 1 ¼ inch side. Both the width and height would be 1 ¼ inch (1 ¼″ x 1 ¼″). Similarly, a 2-inch receiver would have all sizes individually 2 inches long. Normally the bigger hitches can carry/pull more weight.

Similarly, hitch classes determine the amount of weight they can pull. Class 1 normally carries a maximum of 2000 pounds while class 2 has a maximum weight rating of 3500 pounds. While class 1 products will fit class 2 hitches (since class 1 has a lower weight rating than class 2), class 2 products would not fit in class 1 hitches. The shank on class 2 accessories is longer and the space in class 1 is less hence the hitch pin holes would not match.

You must determine the compatibility between your vehicle, hitch receiver, and the bike rack you intend to purchase before making the transaction. Most hitch bike racks 4 bikes operate on a 2-inch hitch receiver since they allow more weight as compared to a 1 ¼-inch hitch. 

Why is it recommended to use a hitch bike rack for 4 bikes as compared to trunk bike racks?

Hitch bike racks usually have a higher load-carrying capacity which allows you to mount 4 bikes at a time. But you will also find trunk bike racks for 4 bikes. The reason a hitch mount rack is recommended over a trunk mount is that, in the case of a platform hitch rack, there is no frame contact. This means that you will not have to worry about the safety of bike frames and paint. 

Secondly, most hitch-mount racks would allow you to access the rear of the car which is not possible with trunk bike racks. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to open the hatch or trunk, you will have to remove the 4 bikes one by one and then the trunk mount rack. Whereas, a hitch bike rack for 4 bikes would have tilting or swing-away features for easily accessing the rear of the vehicle. 

Would there be a lot of swaying with 4 bikes on a hitch bike rack?

Probably. More bikes mean more weight. Additional weight on the rear end of the vehicle will probably add more sway as compared to less. 4 Bikes are almost 100 plus pounds. But there are ways to manage sway on your bike rack.

Some of the possible reasons causing the sway

  • Space in the hitching spot.
  • Friction between the rack and receiver can lead to wear and tear with time.
  • No compatibility between the rack and hitch receiver.
  • Windy weather can also cause sway.
  • Driving on rugged terrain or driving recklessly can lead to the wobbling of the bike rack.

Should you consider dividing 2 bikes on the roof and 2 on the hitch bike rack?

Certainly. It is clichéd in the biking world but still worth saying, never put all your bikes on a single rack. Dividing bikes between 2 racks would have multiple advantages. Firstly in case of a rack or hitch failure, not all your expensive bikes would get damaged. Secondly, you distribute weight on your vehicle and lastly, you will not be overburdening a single rack.

In case you are not sure if you want to go ahead with a hitch bike rack and want to consider other bike rack types as well. We would recommend you start your research by initially understanding the type of bike racks out there in the market. For your understanding, we have listed the main types below but if you want to go through a longer guide with pictures click here

How to install a hitch bike rack for four bikes

The video below helps you with the steps required for installing a 4-bike hitch rack- Yakima RidgeBack

Installing Yakima RidgeBack
Categories: Uncategorized

Bike Scientist

S Chaudhry is the founder and the first writer for BikesRacks. He covers almost all the bike reviews after doing a lot of secondary and primary (hands on) research on the products. Apart from that he is the author of a number of how to do articles as well on the website. He is an avid road bike cyclists who is dealing in a lot of areas related to biking. Currently he has gained experience fixing bikes to retailing accessories related to them as well. His eventual goal is to build an authority site on cycling and also become a profession bike fitter.


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