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After a lot of looking and web browsing we came on Oak Orchard Canoe's Deluxe "J" cradles. It's a couple of hours to thier store and we went up and bought two pairs. They are nearly 3/16" thick brushed stainless steel and very well padded. The cradle is wider than the Thule. At 22" high they're 4" taller then the Thule and since they are, essentially, vertical they double as kayak stackers. They are even padded on the back. They come with straps that have sewn on buckle pads. The mounting bracket fits Thule or Yakima bars and some other racks. All-in-all, these are a little more money than the Thule but they appear to be as close to "bombproof" as any accessory I've seen. I'll post a review as soon as we've used them enough to do a fair appraisal.


I put these on a 2012 VW Tiguan (using the Thule Rapid Crossroad Foot Pack) and probably should have gone with the 53" version for 2 kayaks. I only anticipated 1 kayak at time of purchase but the collection grew. Ended up getting a Takima J-Low to mount one on its side and one flat on the bars. Very tight squeeze (the J-Lows max weight for 2 kayaks isn't high enough if they are fishing kayaks - 110lbs). The J-Lows are VERY noisy and whistle when empty (gotta break out some duct tape and work on that...) but the bars - you won't notice they are there unless actively listening for them when unloaded.

Usually two bars that run across the width of the vehicle roof, which you then mount your activity-specific racks to; whether it’s ski racks, bike racks, cargo boxes, kayak racks, etc. Crossbars support the weight of all the gear you’re adding to the roof and transfer the weight to the towers/feet. The major crossbar types include: round (Yakima), square (Thule, Inno), aerodynamic (Thule, Yakima, Whispbar, others), and factory. 
There are a few other things that are important to me, and no doubt many of you will have your own requirements depending on car and lifestyle. I for example like a rack that won’t take up much space when off the car – which pretty much rules out boot or tow bar mounted racks. I’d also rather leave it in situ for most of the time due to the amount of use.
No, really, these things are seriously quiet while driving. They aren't inaudible but probably the closest you're gonna get without flat out removing them. I can't imagine any other cross bars being this quiet. And they give you rubber stripping to cover any holes (well, troughs actually) that might otherwise upset the laminar flow and cause unnecessary noise. Very nicely done.
Less physically strong riders may find its heft a bit much. There are wheels to roll it on flat surfaces, but you wouldn't want to carry it very far. It locks securely to your tow hitch and carries up to three bikes. The bikes are held in place with ratchet straps round the bottom of the wheels and a clamp for the top tube or, for carbon bikes, one of Thule's 982 frame adapters.
Also have two of the cheaper thule bike racks (maybe they dont even make them any more) ,and again these are mostly fine, the only complaint I have about these is that they are the clamp on type, and the T bolt siezes in the clamp, which most of the time is not a problem, as you should never need to adjust the clamp size. However If I want to use my rack on a friends roof bars (not thule), the clamp size needs altering, but is difficult to do as the T bolt has siezed in the clamp.

They seem solid and well made. I'm just surprised at the way that the coating ends on the bars and the bare steel is open to the elements. I guess I assumed these would come with the end caps, as it doesn't specify that they don't and the photo includes the end caps, while graying out the feet - which I knew weren't included. Seems kinda skimpy to leave that little piece out.
Two areas of caution: These boats on their sides create a high profile and resistance. If your speed is 70 and you have a head wind of 20-30 (as we did) that's the same as 90-100...a bit much; I'd keep air resistance to 75 or so combined maximum. If the wind is to the side you'll feel strong buffeting at times, slow it down. Without wind we felt comfortable at 70. Kayaks were strapped according to instructions around J and under factory cross bars. Also had bow and stern tie downs to prevent sliding forward or aft.
Generally speaking, you are going to see an increase in costs with the more features that you want on your rack. Here are some of the key features to keep an eye out for, you’ll find that some will be available on most models, whilst the Thule, as the truly premium item, comes closest to packing them all into one feature heavy bike rack – albeit with that premium price tag we mentioned!

I need to get some external bike carrying thingy for my car. A rear rack won’t fit because of the spoiler, unless I fit a tow bar. I don’t have roof rails or those clever recessed fittings. Can I get a couple of roof bars and bike carriers that will clamp on and off in a few minutes with minimal hassle? Or is fitting a roof rack whenever we go away going to be a pain?

Thule roof boxes are regularly voted “best-in-test” for safety, security and ease of use by leading testing agencies and driver associations. It’s proof that we’re living up to our concern for the safety of you and others on the road, and that our hard work at the Thule Test Center™ has paid off. We only approve our roof boxes when they’ve passed every test in the book – including a few we’ve written ourselves!
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I need to get some external bike carrying thingy for my car. A rear rack won’t fit because of the spoiler, unless I fit a tow bar. I don’t have roof rails or those clever recessed fittings. Can I get a couple of roof bars and bike carriers that will clamp on and off in a few minutes with minimal hassle? Or is fitting a roof rack whenever we go away going to be a pain?

The biggest criticism of the Tandem Carrier is a slight lack of stability due to the rack not having side stabilizer arms as found on competing tandem bike roof racks. To overcome this, one reviewer recommends securing the bike with an additional ratcheting tie down strap—check with your local hardware store—on the bike’s crossbar for extra stability.
To make your rack selection process easier, The Rack Warehouse lists the most popular selling Thule 450r Rapid AeroBlade Crossroad Foot Complete Car Roof Rack fits alphabetically by Auto Manufacturer. You'll find perfect fitting roof racks for most of today's top selling vehicles on this list. Thule 450r Rapid AeroBlade Crossroad Foot Complete Car Roof Racks are designed for vehicles with raised railings. If you don't see your vehicle on this list, simply click on the Thule Fit Guide at the top of the page, enter your vehicle information and the Thule Fit Guide will do the rest.
I managed to install one UpRide and 3 of the older style Thule bike racks simultaneously on one car (ie 4 bike racks). A total of 3 is relatively easy but adding the fourth bike required the pedals to be removed from the bikes and was quite a squeeze. If you are going to install 3 or 4 bike racks then you will need to alternate the direction in which they face (forward-back-forward-back) and you will need to ensure that the various closing mechanisms on each of the bike racks are relatively easily accessible. Good luck 😉 !
As a final consideration, even though the UpRide will hold practically any bike you can hoist into its ratcheting hook arm, it really shines when securing bikes with wider tires inflated to lower pressures—i.e. mountain bikes, hybrids, cruisers, and fat bikes. Simply put, the hook can grip the bigger, softer tires easier than with the skinny, high-pressure tires found on road bikes.
On your car roof, one these 3 alternatives will most likely be possible: a bracket specific to your roof shape that clips into the door frame: attachments for a dealer installed roof rail; OR a T-track. This review assumes that you have already figured out how to get two roof bars on your car roof – and that can be somewhat convoluted if you have an unusual car, good luck!
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However I am going to comment on some of the installation steps and things to watch out for as it is a little daunting to open the UpRide 599 and find the bags of various components. Once you’ve installed the UpRide all of the steps you took will be ‘obvious…in hindsight‘. In the future, mounting and unmounting the BIKE RACK will then only take about 5 minutes per bike rack.
Grip-friendly outer handles and supporting lid-lifters make it easy to open from either side of the vehicle even when wearing gloves, with a clever slide-lock system with separate locking and opening functions to let you know when the lid’s in place and closed securely. It marries nicely with most after-market bar kits ​and comes in black, gray, and white.
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[Update] - there are two channels along the bottom of these bars. Having narrowed the whistling noise down to the bar, I tried running 2.5inch wide vinyl tape the entire bottom of the bar, making the two channels flush. Noise stopped immediately. It's a poor design by Thule (noise-wise). If you're ok with masking off the bottom of the bar, that is a viable solution for stopping the noise.
Based on its versatility, strength and durability, it’s hard to beat the Pioneer Platform range. “We’re running Pioneer Platforms on our Defender 110 and third-gen Tacoma builds, and we have found their system to be durable, affordable, easy to assemble and highly adaptable to a range of uses,” Henwood tells us. “We’ve loaded them with fat bikes, road bikes, camping cargo and with the Rhino Rack Batwing Awning set-up. They do what we ask of them with minimal added weight.”

This is an excellent value single bike rack. The only issue I had was that it took up more space on the roof bars than anticipated meaning the roof box had to be sacrificed due to it's width, and my "budget" Lidl roof bars have a 13mm channel therefore the T-bar fittings couldn't be used. However, the universal fitting kit is very secure. Once on the vehicle, the rack excels...one quick turn of the knob while supporting the bike with the other hand on top of a 4x4 was simple and every aspect of the design has been thought about.
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