RRP: $529 HoldUp; $421 HoldUp +2

WE SAY: Durable and easy to use.

BEING a keen mountain biker I was in need of a bike rack after selling my VW Amarok and buying a two-door Jeep Wrangler. The Amarok was great for carrying my bike as it had tray Ė a two-door JK doesnít have anywhere near the same amount of space.

For transporting my bike (and often my kidsí rigs), the question was, what to do? It was a straightforward answer: get a tow hitch-mounted bike rack. Enter the Yakima HoldUp which, as well as being a top-end bike carrier from the US brand, allayed my fears of scratching the frame of my just-acquired (and expensive) carbonfibre Yeti SB6 mountain bike. Thanks to the HoldUpís StrongArm design, it secures bikes by clamping down and locking said Ďarmsí over the front wheel of the bikes carried, thus thereís no contact with any part of the bikeís frame (the rear wheel is secured via a ratchet strap).

The HoldUp is not lightweight (22kg), but the over-engineered build means it can carry two bikes, each of 27.3kg, so my svelte Yeti SB6 is no problem, and it can cater for wheel sizes ranging from 20- to 29-inch, plus thereís an optional fat bike attachment if needed. It has side-to-side adjustability as well, which means you can avoid any handlebar/frame contact between loaded bikes.

Most of the time Iím carrying just the one bike, but I also have to carry Ė along with their smelly helmets Ė my sonsí two bikes. Thankfully, Yakima produces the HoldUp +2 that, as the name suggests, ups the capacity of the HoldUp from two to four bikes. It cleverly slots into the existing Holdup rack and can be removed just as easily when you donít need it.

While the rack spends most of the time on the back of my Jeep, Iíve also had a chance to try it out on a couple of other off-roaders: a Ford Everest and a Nissan Patrol. It is super-easy to attach and has built-in locks so you can secure bikes to the rack.

As well as easy fitment to a variety of vehicles, the HoldUpís other nifty trick is that it folds up and out of the way when the bikes are off. This is great when parked and unloaded and you need space. It also seems to sit high enough on the car, so that if you are off-roading the rack will not bottom out. Like all Yakima racks it has an inbuilt bottle opener Ė perfect for post-ride drinks.

The only negative is that, as mentioned before, itís heavy. So it can be a bit of a struggle when youíre attaching it to the car or storing it. Apart from the weight, it has been awesome; it does a great job, is easy to use and, best of all, is durable.