If you're into kayaking, chances are you dream about living in a beach house, dragging your kayak through the fine sand to the water with ease. It will then be just a matter of minutes until you can start paddling away into the beautiful paradise. Now, let's wake up and face reality, most of us are not lucky enough to own such a place. In fact, you probably have to drive miles in order to enjoy this experience. Therefore, finding the best kayak roof rack is a must.
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.
It can be nice to just get out and ride from your front door but there’s no doubt that at some point you’re going to want to take your bike further afield. There are a few options for transporting your bike but if you don’t want the faff of taking the train and you want to keep the inside of your car clean then a bike rack has to be the obvious choice.
Whispbar made a name for itself by introducing some of the industry’s most aerodynamic and sleek cross bars before moving onto sport-specific mounts for things such as bikes and kayaks. This attention to design-forward aerodynamics continues with their Aero Compact Cargo Carrier. Available in either black or silver high-gloss finish, this box has been intentionally designed for smaller, more compact vehicles, proffering 10.8 cubic feet of storage that can accommodate skis up to 155 centimeters in length.
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.
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.
Thule Stacker Kayak Carrier Reviewed by Lisa J (Osceola, WI) — 2011-08-24 13:05:08 We were able to easily mount two sets of the Thule Stacker on the factory roof racks on our mini van, and easily carried our three kayaks that way. The tie down straps worked very well, and getting the kayaks on and off was easy. VIEW MORE REVIEWSShop Thule Stacker Kayak Carrier | Shop Thule
Thule Rack mounted to factory rack on a VW station wagon. H2go Saddles in front, Hydroglides in back. Likes: Strength of system. Dislikes: All the saddles. Hydroglides can easily scratch the boat while you are getting the end on them, I need to set an ensolite pad on them to keep them open. The spring on one pad has broken in less that 10 kayak carrying days. I would much rather have used covers on standard saddles, see yakrackbooties.com (paddling.com sponsor). Also need to permanently fix a pad to the bar between the saddles. The H2go pads do not conform as well as they could. I bet the old ones with the three position locking tabs were better. They need more springiness. If Thule made the saddles as well as they make the bars and towers I would be a lot happier with the product. If they do not improve, I am not sure whether I would buy them again regardless of their superior strength. I have no affiliation with any paddling industry company.
You really don't want these on your car at eye/head level without end caps. First, I suspect they'll rust quickly (my old ones rusted even with end caps). Secondly, it's steel that's been cut with a saw- the ends are not jagged but neither are they gently rounded and the covering is shy of the ends by 1/8 inch or so. You hit your head/face on these things and there's a good chance you're coming away bleeding. Third, the ends are ugly without end caps.
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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.
As expected. Installation was a little tricky. First I got the wrong 'foot kit' for my vehicle on accident. Once that was corrected, the measurements in the included instructions were wrong for my vehicle. I looked up my kit online, found that there was a new version of the manual with new measurements for my vehicle. This turned out to be a closer fit but still not quite right. I had to 'widen' the measurements slightly... in order to allow the "doors" on the "feet" to close (these are the doors where you use the tool to crank down the brackets to your vehicle body to ensure a snug fit). Once completed, I'm happy with the product, just wish the installation instructions were a little easier to follow. There is an online video available through the 'thule fit guide' which was helpful but also not entirely accurate. I like this product because it is "modular" in the sense that when ski season is over, I can remove the attached ski racks and replace with bike/kayak racks.
As cities grow denser, and the need for compact vehicles becomes more prevalent, the need for clever storage rapidly becomes essential. Over the years, many YouTube fail videos have shown us what can go wrong when your gear isn't properly strapped down. Thankfully, mainstay brands like Yakima and Thule continue to offer us smart and easy to use roof storage systems to prevent your next outdoor excursion from accidentally going viral. With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite roof racks and storage systems. We've compared more than 25 different storage solutions to help you find the most affordable, reliable, and easiest ones to install.
I can't comment on J carriers because I don't use them, but perhaps I should. The design weakness with Thule is the square bars, which only becomes a problem on curved roofs, but as the roof curves so must cradles cant away from each other, reducing contact between boat hull and cradle to inside edges. The cradle faces are absurdly small to start with; this rotational deviation from level makes it even smaller. Couple that with Thule's comically inadequate détente angle fixing clamp (for holding the saddle in the shape of your boat hull) and for support you are probably better off using foam blocks. So J carriers may work better on a curved roof, if I can lift that high. I've seen some people use them for composite boats so it might be OK.
For sale is a Thule roof rack. It has 4 x 754 rapid system foot for cars with normal roof ( without bars ) and 2 x 120 cm square load bars. It is lockable and comes with 2 keys and original packaging. The bars have scruffs and scratches from use but are in good working order. I hade this on my 2007 Saab 95. Please make sure this model fits you’re vehicle. I can deliver to most U.K mainland post codes for £10. Thanks for viewing.