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Well I dont even trust factory racks because of the loads I often carry and for this reason I bought a Mit. Montero with gutters-could have had a newer Monte but the gutters are gone as with most newer SUV's, the gutters allowed the use of Thule bars attached to gutters and not factory racks with stated capacities of around 100 pounds, since I am often carrying two Brittish boats and a fully loaded Thule box in the middle I felt better ultimately attaching to the gutters...using this system I have traveled to Canada and to Key West and to the OBX with the load listed above (with at least 70 pounds of gear in the Thule Box...and have had no problems (yet!)...I do tie down the kayaks from both stern and bow for these trips of 500-1000 miles and also tie down the boats to the bar...I use a combo of Hully Rollers and H20 Saddles...and at every stop check the boat straps.
Don't get me wrong. I use Thule racks and locks and cradles and locking cable and straps… the whole kit. That's because security and convenience and bicycles and protecting the roof of my car are also important, and because I started with a used Thule rack, gradually accumulating a closet full of proprietary extrapolations and substitutions as needs changed. And it does work. It all works. It's just that every single bit of it is clumsily engineered and imprecisely manufactured, requiring brute force as well as wiggling and finagling to get it just right. Some parts fit loosely, some tightly, some are robust and some flimsy. Every change, every adjustment to a Thule rack is a project and a series of compromises. Admittedly, I change things around a lot, but as familiar as I've become with my rack, I still spend an inordinate amount of time getting all the parts straight and tight and solid before I reach for my boats.
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.”
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At ReRack we only sell racks and parts from top-quality manufacturers like Yakima, Thule and Rhino-Rack. These roof racks are typically able to support more weight and gear than standard factory racks. The price of a base roof rack will depend on if you want new items or not, aerodynamic profile or not, and your vehicle year/make/model. There are complete roof rack setups starting under $150 for a used rack on older vehicles, all the way through $500+ for a new, aerodynamic top-of-the-line setup.
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.

If you’re looking for a serious overland adventure or #vanlife upgrade, the Aluminess Roof Rack is the only way to go. It handles any gear and cargo you can think to throw up there. Moreover, outfits like Main Line Overland can customize it to fit A/C units, solar panels and satellite TV. “A full-length Aluminess Mercedes Sprinter Roof Rack is highly customizable and provides a massive amount of storage capacity. The optional side ladder makes it easy to mount the walk-on roof for strapping on loads and enhancing your perspective at roadside stops. You could probably even host a Bushwick rooftop party on one of them.”
I was given my first Thule system back in 1992 when Thule was a sponsor of mine. I used that basic rack system along with numerous accessories up until the summer of 2015. The load bars were finally rusting [where I had drilled holes in them] and I felt I needed to replace them. My towers and my locks, however, are still my 1992 originals, and they're doing great.
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I already had a fairly sturdy factory rack on the roof of Subaru Outback Sport (the economy Outback) and was looking for cradles I could attach to that. I originally bought the Rollercoaster for the front and hydroglide for the back with the Fat Mouth Factory rack adapters. Regardless of what the salesman said, this didn't work (Fat Mouths only work with ski racks). So, I exchanged these for the Hull-a-ports (for about $120 less).

I use the rapid traverse foot pack and aero blade bars. The foot pack was simple to install and stays rock solid, I check and tighten periodically but they've never been close to loose. The bars are very strong and nearly silent at freeway speeds, which start at 65 in CA. I can easily transport my 2 yaks, I use a cheap j rack bought on Amazon for my smaller lighter kayak and the Yakima even keel for the big heavy one, obviously not a symmetrical setup but they both fit easily in that configuration and I don't have much other choice, my lifetime sportfisher will not fit in J racks. For toting a couple miles to local beaches it's never an issue. I don't bother with nose straps if I'm not going more than 10 miles, but I have for longer trips. In each case there's never been a problem or any movement.
As a wheel-mount bike rack, there is no frame contact made which means it’s one of the best options for transporting bikes with carbon fiber frames. It’s also well-suited for bikes with odd-shaped frame designs or tubing such as downhill mountain bikes with rear suspension systems integrated into the frame or bikes with lots of frame-mounted accessories.
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I should've read the gd item description and reviews before I purchased this because these don't come with the end caps like its pictured. Had I known that, I would just gone to REI to purchase these. Also, the bars look used. I'm sure it'll do the job and it will get dirty eventually, but still.... I paid for a new product. All these mf snakes on this mf plane...
The hull a port system is unpredictable as far as safety goes.the PLASTIC clamp that allen wrenches in underneath your cross bars is not sturdy and should be made of some type of metal to make tis a reliable good system.i was driving 20mphs on a dirt road and i heard a crack and my boat almost completely came loose.can you imagine that situation but on a highway doing 60?tragedy waiting to happen! the closer to you roof you yak is the better.even though i have replacement parts coming and will continue to use the hull a port system.
Thule v. Yakima - few topics bring about more angry debate. I've had my Thule system for about 5 years. I've hauled mountain bikes, skis, and three kayaks on my roof. It has worked flawlessly, albeit noisily. Yes, Yakima fans, the support bars will probably bend if you put three kayaks on them regularly. But if you are hauling that much weight with any frequency, you need a trailer, not a roof top rack system. Normal mortals won't have problems with bicycles, surf/whitewater kayaks, or one touring boat with an occasional second.
In addition to looping the synch down straps around the factory rack, I run them through the rigging on my boat deck and through the bottom part of the "J bend/brackett" of the rack to get to the factory roof rack. I figure that this way if the Thule rack does give away at least it and the boat have a better chance staying with the truck longer until I can pull over. I hope this helps, overall I think the rack is really a good affordable option that requires some added attention and caution when using but overall it is well worth the money.
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.

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.

Part conservationists, part outdoorsman, part storyteller, Matt has devoted much of his life to environmentalism and that crafty, fleeting mistress known as writing. Having worked with over two-dozen brands and lifestyle publications, he’s carried out his passion for all things flora, fauna, and fiction through a litany of written mediums — one adventure, one sentence at a time.

Trunk mounted styles like this one are usually easier to load than roof rack versions, however, this model takes that ease to a whole new level. Bikes simply slot on about a foot of the ground, with a set of well-designed ratchet arms locking them easily into place. It even boasts an integrated cable lock to lock the bikes to the rack for added security.
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.
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.

Fitting the ProRide was pleasingly simple. I’d prepared myself for a long and frustrating afternoon of shouting at the instructions booklet but instead had it all in place in less than 15 minutes. Once the T-screw is in place (in the roof bars) you simply slide the two base plates in to position, feed the T-screw through the holes in the base plate and clamp them down with the cam levers. One of which is locked in place so the whole system can’t be taken off without the provided key.

To save you time, The Rack Warehouse lists the most popular selling Thule 480R Rapid Traverse 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 480R Rapid Traverse Foot Complete Car Roof Racks are designed for vehicles with smooth of naked rooflines (no racks or attachments). 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ironically, after posting my review of the Thule J-racks, I just about lost a kayak this past weekend coming back from Maine, due to the cheap mounting hardware included with the Thule J-rack. One of the plastic mounting bars split- where the bolt is held in place by the recessed nut- and the front rack was only held on by the one remaining mounting bar. It was not pleasant to see my kayak sliding towards the outside of the roof rack, going down I95 in Maine. Unless Thule changes the mounting hardware from plastic to metal, this rack is a dangerous. Cheap mounting seems to be a theme with Thule.
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!
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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