Submitted: 06-11-2009 by marshal
I'm new to kayaking and needed a good way to carry one or more kayaks safely on my '93 Toyota Pickup. Investigated all reasonable alternatives I could find. Decided to go with the NEW X-Sporter by Thule, even though it costs more than I originally wanted to spend, especially being new to the sport. It's easy to install (just take your time) and you only need one tool, a 17mm wrench. I suggest a tape measure too. I had to pull my bedliner to do this, but I may trim it and put it back in the bed, minus the portions that cover the bed's side rail tops.
This is the NEW model, the 422XT, which is designed for both compact and full size pickups.
Has 5 height adjustments instead of two. Four Thule locks are included, so the uprights can be locked onto the bases.
It's a very sturdy rack. Looks good too.
When I have no plans to carry a kayak, I plan to slide both the front and rear upright/crossbar sets out of the bases and put them in my garage.
Comments have been posted here about the wind noise these make. The included rubber strips that can be installed in the top and bottom slots on both crossbars will eliminate the noise.
For my truck, there are two height positions that will put the crossbars above my cab's roof line. I think each of the 5 positions are about 4.5 inches apart from each other. I cannot use the lowest position, as the uprights will hit the floor in my bed, preventing this.