Guide To Buying a Subaru Outback + Best Accessories for Adventures


Having a reliable vehicle in the backcountry is so important. It is no wonder Subaru has an outdoorsy cult following. The brand cultivates and inspires adventure travel and road-tripping, which we are all about at The Happiness Function.

If you don’t have a Subaru Outback and want to hear more about our experience and ways to make buying a car more pleasant for yourself, you’re in the right place.

If you have a Subaru Outback, and are curious about some of the road trip essentials we use, keep reading. We share the best Subaru Outback accessories we have for recreating outdoors.

This contains affiliate links, which means we’ll receive a commission if you purchase through our links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

Are You Considering a Subaru for Road Trips?

We road trip a lot; road-tripping and exploring the U.S. are a massive part of our lives and the blog. In fact, this is one of the main reasons we purchased a Subaru Outback.

Buying a car can be stressful. There are so many options. We wanted to share our personal experience to help others with their car buying endeavors.

Subaru Outback Owner Review  

As owners of the 2019 Outback, we are in awe of the quality of adventure it offers us. To name a few perks, our wagon has:

  • AWD
  • Beautiful and functional black interior/exterior
  • Top of the line safety features
  • Moonroof
  • A trunk that automatically lifts with the push of a button
  • It rides so smooth

My husband geeks out over all the excellent tech features. The Outback has quite a bit of tech, such as:

  • Proximity sensors – front, back, sides – tells you how close you are to objects and other cars
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane keep assist and sway warning
  • Pre-collision braking
  • Pre-collision throttle management
  • EyeSight ® driver assist
  • Great sound system

But most importantly, the engine is powerful and fast. We have the 3.6R engine. The car goes up steep hills NO PROBLEM.

Of course, this article is all from my perspective. I’m sure if my husband was writing this article, he would have more car lingo to add.

The Outback is plenty large enough inside to store all our gear as well as creature comforts for road trips and car camping.

Keep reading to hear more about some of the Subaru Outback accessories you might want for your rig.

Best Subaru Outback Accessories for Adventures

1. Curt Hitch

We had a CURT hitch (link to Amazon) professionally installed for our Thule bike rack (link to REI).

CURT class II trailer hitch with ball mount 1 1/4″ receiver

2. Thule Helium Pro 2-Bike Hitch Rack

Here is the two-person bike rack we have (from REI).

The model lays back so you can still get in the trunk without having to take the rack off.

That’s why we purchased it.

3. The Perfect Inflatable Mattress

The Outback is even large enough to sleep in the back if you want.

The Exped Megamat Duo 10 medium wide (link to REI) inflatable mattress is in the photos below. The mattress fits perfect in the back.

Read our gear review on the Exped Megamat if you would like to sleep in the back of your Subaru.

4. Cargo Net

I had to have an envelope cargo net (link to Amazon) to keep things from sliding around while roading tripping.

Outback Safety Review

I feel safe in the Outback. Safety is one of the reasons we love Subaru.

After owning our vehicle for a few years, we can tell Subaru did not sacrifice comfort for safety. Our vehicle has state-of-the-art safety features. These safety features include blind-spot and nearby vehicle notifications.

It has a rear camera for backing up and parking.

Every time I get inside, I thank it for being so safe due to a 5-star safety rating. It is crucial to have a car that makes you feel safe, especially when road-tripping across the country.

The Outback is fantastic for buzzing around town running errands and has proven itself in all types of weather events (pouring rain, crazy wind, ice, snow).

Our Buying Experience

My husband and I moved from Colorado to Oklahoma. We knew we wanted a Subaru coming from the adverse weather conditions of Colorado.

We purchased our 2019 Subaru Outback from a knowledgeable and welcoming team at a dealership in Edmond, Oklahoma. The team made our car buying process comfortable and easy. They treated us well; they were patient, kind, and made the experience easy.

Car buying advice: Find a salesperson that treats you with respect and is friendly. If a sales associate makes you uncomfortable leave.

More car buying advice: Buy last year’s model or a demo that has low mileage. It will be super nice and cost less money. That is what we did!

Know your budget and price point.

Take your time, test drive, go to lunch, test drive again and make a decision.

Final Thoughts

Our Subaru Outback allows us to go anywhere in the U.S. to travel and recreate outdoors.

The accessories we have enable us to take our bikes and sleep in the back of the wagon quickly.

There is so much room for all our gear.

We are so happy we got ours.

Good luck buying a car and finding the perfect equipment to compliment your adventures.

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car accessories in subaru outback include best car camping mattress and curt hitch
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Ashlee Fechino

Ashlee Fechino is an outdoor recreation and travel writer sharing the best-kept secrets that aren’t in your typical guidebook. Her goal is to inspire people to travel with a sense of adventure by sharing hidden gems across the U.S. and beyond. She is married to an expat Argentine, Pablo. They camp in their Aliner often and love wandering the world. Follow their latest adventures on Instagram @thehappinessfxn.


  1. Jeffrey Tunick on May 25, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Glad to hear you and Pablo have not experienced the drained battery with the Key FOB left in the car….its amazing how many Subaru owners have reported the problem. We’ll explore it with our Subaru dealer and other Subie friends. We are headed out on the road on June 1st and really looking forward to our trip…we have our Megamat in the OB and off we go! Thanks again!

    • Ashlee Fechino on May 25, 2021 at 3:13 pm

      Awesome! Hope you have a GREAT time! I think we will call Subaru too just for future reference. Thanks for bringing it up 🙂 Happy travels. Enjoy the mattress.

  2. Jeffrey Tunick on May 25, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Thanks! Another question about your Subaru Outback…..I’ve read that if the Keyless Entry FOB is in the car overnight, it can drain the car’s battery. So how do you guys lock the car with the key FOB inside and avoid this problem?

    • Ashlee Fechino on May 25, 2021 at 11:56 am

      Hi Jeffrey! Thanks for your comment. We actually haven’t had this problem before! I would check with Subaru and see what they say. We have slept in our Subaru at least 5 times over the last year and have not drained the battery. We also have tent camped a lot more and I would say the keys are always in the car in one of our bags. We make sure all the doors are closed. You can crack your windows or open the sunroof. Definitely call Subaru and see what they say. Thanks for bringing this up – Pablo and I will pay attention for future trips!

  3. Jeffrey Tunick on May 19, 2021 at 8:52 pm

    Can you comment on how comfortable you both find it sleeping in the OB or is the narrow 41″ an issue??? Obviously more narrow than a typical full size of queen size mattress. The Exped Megamat looks terrific but we are hesitant due to concerns about the space being a bit too narrow. Thanks for any feedback you can provide.

    • Ashlee Fechino on May 22, 2021 at 7:18 pm

      Hi Jeffrey! We stuff our duffle bags on the sides for extra shoulder room. That helps a lot when both of us are sleeping in the back of the Outback. We have used this mattress to sleep in the tent together, and it was a little narrow without having the door “wings” to stuff like in the car. It would be an excellent mattress for solo tent camping; it works well for us in the car. I hope this helps you! It is pretty comfortable! We love it.

  4. Cristina Sala on November 21, 2020 at 6:48 am

    Ashlee y Pablo.
    Miro esta pagina y digo que maravilla todo el equipamiento con el que cuentan .
    Es la unica manera de poder viajar como Ustedes lo han hecho.

    • Ashlee Fechino on November 21, 2020 at 9:00 am

      ¡Hola Cristina! Gracias por leer nuestra publicación y comentar. ¡Te enviamos amor desde EE. UU.! Abrazos

      Hi Cristina! Thanks for reading our post and commenting. Sending you love from the US! Hugs

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