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
For those in need of some serious hauling capability, this roof cargo bag from Rightline has an hefty capacity of 18 cubic feet and is rated as being 100 percent waterproof. Beware with any fabric roof cargo bags — if not completely filled, leaving the bag to flap in the wind can definitely lead to premature failure. But if you're looking for an affordable option and don't have crossbars, this will do the trick.
This is a well-made bike rack with an unusual-looking design. The design works better than the FreeRide and ProRide models when it comes to loading on your bike. It also offers better inbuilt security for your bike and furthermore does not touch the frame and so cannot damage the frame. It’s quite a bit more expensive than the FreeRide model and a little bit heavier BUT it is selling at about the same price as the ProRide…it IS better than the ProRide; I guess people don’t buy it because of the looks and the weight.
The Thule VeloCompact 92501 is one of the Swedish company's most affordable towball racks and it's really easy to use. It has a wide range of adjustment to suit different types of bikes, and it's very solid and secure. When it's fitted you can still get into your car boot, and it folds flat for storage. It's a good investment for anyone who regularly transports bicycles on a car.
The WBT31 comes fully built and ready to use. Optional extras include a wall storage hook (£10) if you want to keep it off the floor, a dust/rain cover (£20), good for storing in a hostile environment, and a ramp (£35) for loading heavy bikes or if you aren't happy lifting them vertically onto the rack. The ramp fits all four bike positions on either side and stows securely in a holder on the rack, ready to use at your destination. I always used the ramp for getting our 30kg (plus whatever's in the panniers) Workcycles FR8 Dutch bike on and off the rack – it's fast to use and minimises the risk of slipping and dropping a very heavy bike.
The roof rack instructions are difficult to interpret. Here are tips from a sales person: The picture with the hand sqeezing does not mean completely secure, just means somewhat set in place. You completely secure,and hear the click, when on the car and screwing with the bolt/handle. Also, get the bolt/handle threaded properly into the foot before you shimmy it into the final position on your car, then tighten down. Also, Thule said that front and rear tie downs must be used on a verticle system because the wind force on long boats will tear almost anything off. Still, that piece of plastic is a crummy and dangerous attachment and needs replacing with something far more secure. Fyi Walden also makes a similar J system for kayaks but I haven't seen one up close.
I bought my hull-a-ports along with the Aero-Bars from the Rack Warehouse in the spring (2002). Five weeks after I put them on my car, I had the lower plastic brackets snap on one of them on the freeway which was very disconcerting at 70 mph. Thule sent me new plastic brackets but after reading postings on this and other sites about kayaks flying off cars all over the country - I decided not to risk it. I commonly have to drive 500 x-way miles to paddle. I sent the hull-a-port back to the Rack Warehouse asking for a refund. They said Thule looked at it and because it was "used" (mangled is a better word after the product failure) they couldn't give me a refund. They admit that the plastic brackets are prone to failure and because of that - they are re-engineering them in steel and will send me my hull-a-port and new brackets when they are available. It is now almost November and I have not had the use of it all summer. Apparently it's sitting in moth balls at the Rack Warehouse until God knows when??? If only I would of bought them at REI or some other retailer that stands behind what they sell and will wrestle with the manufacturer for the consumer. Live and learn...
The one addition I’d like to see made to this is a clip to hold the wheel straps out of the way when putting the bike in place. You can tuck them behind the wheel mount, but I found they would often flip back over and get in between the tyre and the mount meaning you had to put the bike down, tuck the strap out of the way again before picking the bike up to put in place. Not a big deal, just mildly annoying.
The Thule system is not as stylish-looking, and makes slightly more wind noise, but it stays on the car much better! I experienced catastrophic failure of my Yakima Q-tower system flying off my 2008 Honda Civic, and my wife's 2000 Honda CRV. So far, I've heard the same story fron eleven other people who drive low-profile, sleek vehicles without factory racks. Yakima's Q-clip system attempts to fit multiple cars with common clips that just don't work. Their tower system gradually loosens itself over time. Yakima will also put you through hell trying to warranty their product. Thule makes a custom clip for every car, with all metal (ugly but functional) tower pieces- if you like your gear in one peice, avoid Yakima at all cost!
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.”
I've had the J racks since getting our two Old Town Dirigo's a few years ago. They have performed perfectly. Just completed 4200 mile trip with them with no problems, but you should be aware of a few things and use common sense. I had concerns about stability and wind resistance for the long trip. The Dirigos are beamy and not super light (45# +). The Js held up to the task just fine and at hwy speeds.