There are many improved elements, however, and one of them is the Outback's unique roof rack system that returns for a third generation. As before, the roof rails swing inward to be their own cross bars. There's therefore no need to mount and remove separate crossbars, or alternatively, keep them on the car where they'll create noise and hurt fuel economy. Considering that so many Subaru owners mount things to the roofs of their cars (bikes, kayaks, gear boxes, skis, tents, etc.), this is one of those things than can really make the Outback stand out from the hordes of compact SUVs out there, including the Forester. The fact that the Outback's roof is lower, and therefore easier to lift thing upon, certainly helps.
Again, the swing-in roof rails were there before. For the 2020 Outback, Subaru added sturdy arches at the edge of the roof rail assembly. Besides looking cooler than the rather bulky old set-up, these serve as large, easily accessed tie-down points for especially large items like kayaks. It seems like a simple thing, but it can actually make a difference in the way people actually use their cars.