4 Excellent Swing-Away Bike Racks

If you are looking after the best swing-away bike carrier so you can have access to the rear of your SUV but still keep the bicycles secure, you have come to the right place. These swingers are specific to hitch bike racks and present a great advantage to provide access to the hatch or tailgate while not removing bikes. Note that the swing mechanism must be strong and sturdy to support the heavy, loaded hitch rack. That is why you need the upper class of it. So we put together a list which we think, is what you need to make a decision. The Backstage from RockyMounts continues to be one impressive swing-away carrier in 2022, too.

Before anything else, what is a swing-away bike rack?

A swing-away bike rack has the capability to be swinged out of the way so you can have the access to cargo area of your SUV or car, while bikes remain loaded on the rack. Often happens that you need access to the trunk of your car and you don’t want to unload all the bicycles from the carrier. That’s where swing-away option comes to save the day.

4 Great Swing-Away Bike Racks in 2022

  1. Best Overall: RockyMounts Backstage
  2. Yakima FullSwing 4-bike
  3. SportRack Ridge
  4. Thule Apex XT

1. Best Overall: Backstage Swing Away Platform Hitch Rack from RockyMounts

RockyMounts Backstage is the industry’s first 180 degree swing away platform hitch rack. It is a well built carrier, heavy-duty, durable, functional and can carry everything from the lightest road bike to the fattest bike. The swing away feature allows the rack to be swung out towards the passenger side for enhanced access to the rear of SUV. Based around the Monorail platform, the Backstage carries 2 bikes up to 60 lbs per tray. Tray can be adjusted 2” side-to-side to avoid bike interference. No contact with frame, secures bicycle by front wheel. Carries road tires up to 5. 0” wide fat bike tires, and diameters from 20” to 29”. Compatible with bicycles’ wheelbases from 34” to 49”. Folds flat against the vehicle, and tilts down 30 degrees to allow for hatch access. BackStage is one of the best ebike racks, too, due to its versatility and capability of carrying a variety of bike sizes and styles.

2. FullSwing 4-bike Rack from Yakima

FullSwing is among one of the most revolutionary products from Yakima. It’s an easy to assemble hitch rack that swings away from your car with bikes loaded. Installation is tool-free; all it takes is sliding the rack into the hitch and tightening it by turning on the SpeedKnob- located on the end of the mast. The swing function is a one-touch button, adding to the appeal of an already trusted brand. The rack also comes with ZipStrips for securing the bikes to the rack. For additional security, the straps can only be unfastened by pressing a release button. The FullSwing weighs 56 lbs and can carry up to 4 bikes with a total weight of 150 lbs. During use, the model allows bike protection by incorporating fully paddled arms- which can be folded down when not in use.

3. Ridge Swing-Away Bike Rack from SportRack


SportRack Ridge is a hitch mounted rack that carries up to 4 bikes with a total weight capacity of 140 lbs. The swing function operates with bikes fully loaded allowing easy access to the cargo area. It comes with dual arms for holding bikes with a folding down mechanism for when not in use. To prevent contact between bikes and between bikes and the car, the model has anti-sway cradles that hold each bike in 3 places- 1 by the seat post and the other 2 by the top tubes. The cradles also move along the arms to enable strapping your bikes at proper spacing. The unique placement of arms and cradles can prove disadvantageous for some bikes. Such include small children’s bicycles, alternative frame bikes, and dual-suspension bikes. In such cases you may have to buy a bike adapter bar– sold separately.

4. Apex XT Swing Carrier from Thule

The Thule Apex XT is a premium hanging hitch bike rack for 4 bikes compatible with 2″ receivers. A unique design allows the bike carrier to swing out away from the vehicle, fully loaded. It features superior bike stability and fit with anti-sway cradles. Integrated cable lock keeps bike safe and secure (locking knob secures rack to vehicle). Quickly attach and secure bikes with ratcheting cradle strap. Ideal for a wide variety of bike sizes/frame styles. Bikes are safe and secure during transport thanks to 7” of spacing between each bike. Easily fold down bike arms when rack is not in use. Convenient access to the rear of the vehicle using the HitchSwitch lever to tilt the rack down.

Best Seller from Kuat: Sherpa 2.0

Inspired from Himalayan sherpas who are known for being strong enough to carry everything you need, Sherpa 2.0 can carry any bike with wheelbases up to 47″ and tires as large as 3″. It promotes a lightweight platform rack design as low as 32 lbs being made of aluminum all over the pace. Sherpa 2.0 is available in both 2″ and 1.25″ hitch sizes and can carry up to 2 bikes with up to 40 lbs per bike. It features an increased spacing between bikes to 14″, pivot lever with optional foot assist, bike lock with matching hitch lock, front tire hook design with intuitive release, adjustable ratchet arm.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Swing-Away Carriers

Hitch Type – Among the carriers that you will come across are platform and hanging racks. For swing away racks, the hanging models are more advisable. Such are kept upright by a mast that is secured onto the vehicle’s hitch receiver.

Hitches are classed according to the weight (Tongue Weight) that they can support. For example Class I can hold up to 200 lbs while Class II holds up to 300 lbs. The size of the hitch also matters with the most common sizes being the 1¼” and 2″- these are the sizes you should expect on your SUV.

Load Capacity – The number of bikes that you can carry on a rack depends on the Tongue Weight Capacity. This is defined as the maximum vertical weight that your car’s frame can support during normal driving conditions. This is usually calculated as ten percent of the total towing capacity.

So how much weight can a rack carry? For a hitch rack, this is the difference between the Tongue Weight and the Weight of Unloaded Rack. 

Accessories / Extras – Some swing away bike racks may require additional equipment for security and added functionality. Such include extra straps to hold the frames and adapter bars for securing non-conventional bikes.  

Swing away bike racks are the solution for hassle-free access to your vehicle’s cargo area. Most of the models are easy to carry and install, hence no technical know-how is required. Each rack, however, comes with specifications and features that bring out unique functionalities. We hope the above options are exactly what you are looking for.

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