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.
Also, poke holes in dead tennis balls and jam them on the ends of your bars. It will keep your passengers from clonking themselves, not just because they are softer and rounder than factory caps, they are bright. It's easy to lose track of exactly where black-on-black bar ends are in space, even when you're looking for them; it's hard to overlook glowing lime-green spheres. You'll have to replace them each year as they fade; remove the factory caps beforehand so you won't pull them off inside the tennis balls.
Seeing a full-on roof rack bolted to the top of an overlander or SUV shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. For more modest sedans, however, they look a tad out of place. Which is why the Yakima Round Bars make a great alternative. You won’t be carrying fully stocked coolers, kayaks and mountain bikes all at once with your four-door anyway, so there’s no need to go overboard. “We have been using Yakima Load Bars and Storage Boxes for years, both for ski and bike trips, and now even for rooftop storage on our Four Wheel Campers. The Yakima system is proven, classic and adaptable for smaller cars.”
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.
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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 😉 !
The car registration number will normally enable quick identification of the original year of first registration. Please be aware that although this will indicate the approximated date of vehicle registration it will not necessarily be the actual model year of the vehicle. If you are in doubt as to the correct model year, the vehicle’s chassis number should be checked with your garage before placing an order for a roof rack system.
These attach right onto horizontal roof racks and hold the boat on its side to prevent warpng when tied down. It's very stable and makes it easy to lock the kayak to the rack with a standard cable. It can be pretty hard to load after a day of paddling and sometimes requires two people, even on my low roof. May not be the best for tall vehicles, but an economical alternative.
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If your road trips always include skis, snowboards, surfboards, deep sea fishing poles, or other items that often stretch the length of most sedans, the Inno Shadow 16 has you covered. Though it only boasts 11 cubic feet of storage, it can accommodate up to six snowboards, eight skis, or two surfboards. The proprietary Memory Mount System makes it easy to toss the box on and off as needed without fiddling with over-engineered mounting hassles. Its svelte profile and “Diffuser Design” lets it slice through wind to reduce drag and noise, with a three-layer sheet base construction that makes it lighter and stronger than most conventional carbo boxes. As with most models, it opens from both sides and has universal cross bar compatibility.
With a voluminous 22 cubic feet of storage, the Motion XT XXL is Thule’s highest-end box and comes with loads of bells and whistles, including an internal ski carrier, a slide-lock security system, as well as a total load capacity of 165 pounds. The extra-wide PowerClick quick-mounting system (which offers a welcoming “click” sound as you twist the mounting dial to confirm that the box is properly connected) makes for a fast and secure fitting, and it’s built to sit a bit forward on your crossbars to provide full trunk access for hatchbacks.
[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.
Every car model has its own roof shape. There are different racks to fit all roof types so you can find the transportation solution that meets your needs. Most vehicles will have either a normal roof, roof rails, fixing points or integrated roof rails. Some roofs are equipped with a T-nut profile or a rain gutter. If you have a car with roof rails, you only need roof bars (also called crossbars), which run across the car and connect the roof rails on either side. For vehicles with a normal roof, fixing points or integrated roof rails, you will need a vehicle-specific kit.
4. The product information brags about the Smartslide system but installation instructions tell you nothing on how to use it. You can't even find good information on the Thule website. Just be warned that you have to move each foot independently but keeping the same Smartslide number the same on each side so that feet are evenly spaced from the outside of the bar.
Long road trips and overlanding adventures are only done right when you pack until your vehicle is almost overflowing. But if you’re playing Tetris with bags and your truck is bursting at the welds, chances are you won’t be able to see anything out the rear window — and that’s not safe. Roof racks are great for spreading gear to the often unused and underutilized space on the roof, but also for storing gear that won’t fit in your car to begin with. Paddleboards, mountain bikes and kayaks should all ride topside, especially after a long weekend of hard use.
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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.
The sleek, aerodynamic design cuts down on drag and wind noise, and the quick-release hardware makes it easy to mount; it works with most round, square, and aerodynamic bars, with a minimum/maximum cross bar spread between 24 to 42 inches. As with most Yakima boxes, it’s made in the United States with up to 80 percent recycled material, and you can add a cargo net (separate purchase) that attaches to built-in tie-down points and divides the storage space into four-foot squares. The Skybox comes in five sizes, from 12 cubic feet up to a cavernous 21 cubic feet.
To aid you with your rack selection process, The Rack Warehouse lists the most popular selling Thule 460R Rapid Podium 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 460R Rapid Podium Foot Complete Car Roof Racks are designed for vehicles with factory fixed points, rail tracks and bolt through applications. 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.
With such a high number of SUVs on the market, finding a one-size-fits-all roof rack is nearly impossible. But if there is one rack that towers above others in design and usability, it’s Front Runner Outfitters’ Grab-On Slimline. “We have installed several of these Slimline racks on late-model Land Rovers, and their clean, classy look seems well-suited to most SUVs, especially the Land Rover LR4. Front Runner has a ton of bolt-on accessories as well, so you can carry your axe and shovel — or even a slide-out stainless prep table — in secure style.
Always check the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maximum load rating for roof rails. The maximum load rating below is for the cross bars. The load rating for roof rails can vary depending on the vehicles manufacturer. As with all racks, you're going to need to be very aware of your sunroof. On some vehicles there will not be the clearance needed to open the sunroof ie. when the racks are on the roof stays closed.
The rear strap design now requires the strap to go at an angle rather than directly over the wheel (as with previous Thule rack models). Make sure that you twist the strap clasp lock as well so it points to about 2 o’clock. I’m not entirely sure why this aspect of the design was changedm the straight-through strap always seemed fine to me and was more easily stowed away.
When you want to travel fully equipped and leave nothing behind, Thule Motion XT is the perfect companion. This family-sized roof box will safely carry all of your luggage, outdoor gear and bulky loads wherever your travels lead. The range of user-friendly features include quick and secure mounting on the car, smooth opening and closing of the lid, and DualSide opening for easy access.
To be honest I wasn’t expecting to have a system that was super quiet. But this system is. I have never used such a quiet set of bars. I have been using them for the last few months and they have been on the car without boats, with one, two and three boats and each time the noise has been so quiet that it is not really noticeable. There was no need to turn the music up to drown out whistling! Thule reckon there is a 90% reduction in noise compared to the Aero bars. I couldn’t say whether or not it’s 90% but it certainly is virtually silent.
I recently put my Thule J-racks on for their second season of use, only to fine that the mounting hardware is not for its second summer of use. The mounting bars (plastic) are cheap and split easily. There is a bolt inside the mounting bar that is supposed to stay stationary so that the bolt may tighten the rack to the rack. When plastic mounting bar splits, which doesn't take much, the bolt moves around making the hardware useless. Also, the bolts included with the racks rust at the mere mention of water. (Probably not the best thing for a kayak rack). The upside is that the J-rack itself is great, its just the mounting hardware that stinks- which can be replaced. I've yet to do it so I can't speak to how easy that is. Its not a bad rack for $85, just be prepared to replace and be careful witht the mounting hardware aspect of it.
We are a main dealer and stockist for THULE related products in Birmingham and Coventry. We stock the whole variety of THULE products and if you can’t see them we can have them delivered directly to your door by THULE. Our range of THULE bike carriers will take you anywhere you want. We have a good range of cycle carriers and rack at our Catherine de Barnes Shop if you wish to view.
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