Best Trailer Hitch for a Subaru Outback

For many years, the Subaru Outback has been one of the most popular Asian made sports utility vehicles sold in North America. It’s been a top choice for lovers of the great outdoors and families, with its versatility and dependable performance.

Many people buy SUVs for the extra weight and space they offer, but the reality is this vehicle can handle so much more. If you want to tow with your Subaru Outback though, you are going to need a quality trailer hitch. Choosing the best trailer hitch for your Subaru Outback can be a challenge if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Know Your Weight Class

The Subaru Outback falls into either class I or class II category of towing vehicles. The maximum towing weight of the 2.5i Outback is 2700 pounds so you’re going to struggle if you want to pull a trailer camper which averages out at about 5000 pounds. Even the 3.6R outback can’t tow that much, with a maximum capacity of 3000 pounds.

In the following YouTube video, a Subaru Outback is put to the test towing.

But they are pretty decent weights if you want to pull a small boat or are considering hauling trailers, dirt bikes or even heavy-duty cargo. A good trailer hitch is essential to prevent straining the Subaru’s towing capability, but not all hitches are made the same.

Our Top 4 Options for The Best Trailer Hitch for a Subaru Outback

If you’re looking for a towing hitch for the Subaru Outback, then you fit into the class I or class II hitch range. Try to go for more than you need. You can always use a higher class hitch for lighter goods. But unfortunately, it doesn’t work the other way.

You never know when you may need that extra capacity, so ensure you don’t go over the Subaru’s maximum capacity. Just because your hitch says it can handle 6000 pounds, doesn’t mean the Outback can.

Here are our top options for the best trailer hitch for the Subaru Outback to help make your decision much easier.

1. Reese Towpower 44581 Class III Custom-Fit Hitch

This trailer hitch from Reese uses a solid welded construction for optimum strength. Designed with a computer, it has been tested for stress to ensure a durable hitch that will last you many years. The hitch features a 400-pound rated tongue weight, with a maximum towing capacity of 4,000 pounds putting it firmly in the class III/IV category–just remember your Subaru is only a class II.

Unlike other high capacity hitches, this one doesn’t hit in you in the wallet for that extra grunt. The hitch features a 2-inch receiver opening, which allows you to use a variety of different ball and mounting options, depending on your requirements. Also included are all the parts you need to install this solid hitch.

Top Points

  • Rated with 400-pound tongue weight and gross towing weight of 4000 pounds.
  • Solid welded design.
  • Meets and exceeds by 20 percent the V-5, CSA and SAE J684 safety standards.
PROSCONS
Inexpensive for a class III trailer hitchYou may have to move the exhaust on some models to install
2-inch square receiver is more robust than smaller hitchesHangs pretty low under the bumper and reduces ground clearance when not towing

2. Draw-Tite 75673 Max-Frame Receiver

This trailer hitch from Reese uses a solid welded construction for optimum strength. Designed with a computer, it has been tested for stress to ensure a durable hitch that will last you many years. The hitch features a 400-pound rated tongue weight, with a maximum towing capacity of 4,000 pounds putting it firmly in the class III/IV category–just remember your Subaru is only a class II.

Unlike other high capacity hitches, this one doesn’t hit in you in the wallet for that extra grunt. The hitch features a 2-inch receiver opening, which allows you to use a variety of different ball and mounting options, depending on your requirements. Also included are all the parts you need to install this solid hitch.

Top Points

  • Rated with 400-pound tongue weight and gross towing weight of 4000 pounds.
  • Solid welded design.
  • Meets and exceeds by 20 percent the V-5, CSA and SAE J684 safety standards.
PROSCONS
Solid all-steel construction is designed to withstand all terrainsFrame may not be wide enough or fit all models of Subaru Outback, check with manufacturer before ordering
Easy to assemble with complete kit suppliedHoles don’t align properly and may need extra holes to be drilled

3. CURT 13390 Class 3 Trailer Hitch

What we really liked about this class III hitch was how unobtrusive it was. Easy to install, the sleek main body has round tubes which remain almost invisible when it’s mounted. But that doesn’t stop it from doing a great job, with a gross trailer weight capacity of 4000 pounds and an impressive 600-pound tongue rating–just be careful not to exceed your vehicle’s maximum capacity.

The 2-inch by 2-inch receiver tube opening of this hitch can be used with most bike carriers, cargo carrying systems or a ball mount, to carry most standard sized trailers including horse boxes and small campers. The solid frame is finished with two coatings of liquid Bonderite and a high-gloss black powder coat to protect against rusting, scratching UV damage and general wear and tear.

Top Points

  • Gross towing weight of 4000 pounds and rated tongue weight of 600 pounds.
  • 2-inch receiver tube opening
  • Lifetime warranty and one-year finish warranty
PROSCONS
Unobtrusive sleek tubular designDifficult installation requires removal of the bumper or drilling of holes–not for the fainthearted
Incredibly durable with two protective coatingsFits lower under the bumper than other hitches and may require longer ball extension

4. CURT 12136 Class 2 Trailer Hitch

Sometimes you may only need a trailer hitch for lighter towing duties. Remember your Subaru is only rated for a maximum of 3000 pounds if you have the 2.6i. This class II trailer hitch from Curt Manufacturing includes every basic component needed for installation, including the hitch pin and clip.

With a 1¼ inch tube receiver opening, it’s ideal for smaller single axle trailers, small boat trailers or some recreational vehicle carriers. Just because it’s a lower class than some other hitches we looked at doesn’t mean it compromises on quality. It has a bonderite coating, providing maximum anti-corrosion, chip and UV resistance. It’s also covered by a limited lifetime warranty and a one-year finish warranty like all other Curt trailer hitches.

Top Points

  • Class II trailer hitch with 3,500-pound gross trailer weight capacity and rated tongue weight of 350 pounds
  • 1¼ inch receiver opening
  • Rust-resistant Bonderite coating
PROSCONS
Comes complete with everything needed to install including a hitch pin and clipInstallation can be difficult with holes on Subaru needing enlarging
Covered by a lifetime warrantyNot weight distribution compatible

Our Choice - Look NO Further

If you intend to use your Subaru Outback for towing, you’re going to need a good quality trailer hitch to help carry that load. Whether it’s for a camping trip with the family or just a day out on the dirt bikes, you want to make sure your cargo gets there safe.

In our opinion, the Reese Towpower 44581 Class III Custom-Fit Hitch is the best trailer hitch for a Subaru Outback. The hitch uses a computer-designed welded steel construction for maximum strength and is easy to bolt on for a secure installation. Safety should be one of your main concerns when towing, and Reece claim this hitch exceeds industry safety standards by 20 percent.

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