What car racks do you recommend for kayaks? - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
Scaling New Heights
 
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Default What car racks do you recommend for kayaks?

Right now, my wife and I have this for our two kayaks:

http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Paddli...ck-adapter.jsp

It works okay, but is somewhat of a hassle to get the kayaks tied down. When you are getting eaten alive by mosquitoes / black flies, it's kind of nice to have something that will secure the kayaks quickly. Oh, and something that can either be removed relatively quickly, or locked onto the crossbars.

The kayaks, btw, are 14.5' light touring models. The car is a Subaru Impreza. My crossbars are the square Thules. We kayak in fresh water lakes and rivers.

I was looking at various different models of racks, such as the Malone. They're affordable, but are they good? Will they last? http://maloneautoracks.com/j-style-kayak-carriers.php

Is there a rack that doesn't use straps at all, but rather some sort of mechanical clamp?


Am I better sticking with the big names (Thule, Yakima). Is there any advantage to having a flat rack http://www.thule.com/en-US/CA/Produc...s/881-Top-Deck versus one like the Malone that will keep the boats tilted on their sides?


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 10:30 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
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We have feathercrafts which are less strong than a plastic boat. We tie them directly on the racks with 1/4" polypropylene rope. The manufacturer does not recommend fancy racks or even foam blocks. I drive on freeways and race for ferries without any problems. The only trick is not to drag the rope over a corner of the boat when tying or untying - the friction can melt a hole in the deck.

Here is a launch from the seawall near MEC.


However, if you have too much money and you are bored with cocaine, Thule makes some very nice racks. The "Hullavator" in particular looks interesting. I am sure it would save a few minutes loading and unloading (for the price of another kayak).
http://atlantickayaktours.com/pages/...llivator.shtml
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 10:50 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Hey Jessie

I have started to use the J stacker as it allows me side loading solo. But the strap over the top does required climbing up and looping it around the top. But i would never dream of driving my vehicle with out bow and aft lines.

Quote:
quote:something that can either be removed relatively quickly, or locked onto the crossbars
None of the cheap ones (malone) will have locks or promote easy removal. The sport rack J stacker does have the slotted lower attachment bar. Allowing quick removal off the roof rack bars..

Quote:
quote:Malone. They're affordable, but are they good? Will they last?
As the saying goes, you pay for what you get, anything you buy from MEC will be covered by them if it breaks etc

Quote:
quote:Is there a rack that doesn't use straps at all, but rather some sort of mechanical clamp?
I do not know of any such system, if it exists it would be huge dollars and would have to be custom made to fit each boat.

Quote:
quote: Is there any advantage to having a flat rack versus one like the Malone that will keep the boats tilted on their sides?
Flat rack restricts the amount of boats you can carry unless you had a huge as wide cross bar.

Quote:
quote:Am I better sticking with the big names (Thule, Yakima
As I said above you pay for what you get, unless you know the knock off brands are just copies of more expensive ones. buyer beware


http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/comm...5396&view=next

I have the http://www.thule.com/en-US/CA/Produc...s/881-Top-Deck from mec

as well the http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Paddli...ck-adapter.jsp

I picked some of these up last year for 22.00 a pair a costco clone of the http://www.sportrack.com/abr511/ .

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 11:16 PM
Summit Master
 
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a/I use 2x4s & 2x6s on my Trailer cut out into the shape I want, for my canoe.
b/Thules with plumber's pipe-foam and tough-fiber wrap tape for my auto. + Serious ratchet straps.

Should be able to do the same for a kayak.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 12:19 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
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Location: Salmon Arm, BC, Canada.
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Jessie, I bought 2 pairs of those Malones folding J racks for my Mazda Tribute. They're easy to use--I can do everything from the ground, no climbing up like Camshaft suggests, as long as you keep the tiedown straps long enough to flip around the kayak ends (our kayaks are similar size as yours).

They're identical to the Yakima model and very similar to Thule. I bought them on internet from the US (I did not see them available in Canada when I searched), at $130 + shipping they were a good $100 cheaper than either Yakima or Thule (whose Canadian prices are a ripoff - $249 vs $169-189 in the States - but they WILL NOT ship across the border).

We needed fold-down style to park in the garage. As for removal, it takes only about 30 seconds each. But why remove them if you can fold them down?

I haven't googled around to see if locks are available as accessories, we just use bike cables hooked into a U-bolt on the kayak deck.

I think they're every bit as sturdy as Thule/Yakima and will last as long.
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