Submitted: 05-30-2006 by Brian Newhook
I purchased this system last year to carry 2 kayaks, coupled with the Hullraisers to carry them (see my review of Hullraisers above). I drive a 2002 Chev Malibu, which, in my opinion is not meant to have a roof rack. I don't think that Yakima should even sell roof racks for this vehicle due to its roof/door frame design. I almost lost 2 kayaks of the roof of my car while travelling on the highway in long weekend traffic, very scary. I had to get new Q-clips and transfer the rack to my fiance's Grand Am, which works much better for us. I don't think we'll have a problem now.
Now to actually review the product. We did alot of driving last year, carry 2 kayaks (over 4000kms) and we didn't have a hitch. The loud humming of the wind passing over the bars is annoying, but it can be taken care of with the "Windjammer" that yakima makes. They can be a pain to set up (It took 3 hrs for a professional installer to get mine set up properly) But when in place they are pretty solid. The plastic tabs for clamping the rack to the roof are poorly designed tho, and 2 of mine broke this year. You have to be very careful when clamping then down not to torque it too hard and press evenly over the surface or you could do like I did and snap them. In my opinion something like that should be made a little stronger.
I have no experience with Thule Racks, but overall I find this pretty good and would recommend them for any vehicle other than the 2002 Chev Malibu.