Submitted: 07-27-2011 by StephenB
I've happily used the Thule Slipstream 887XT for about a month now on my 2010 Subaru Outback, which has narrow/close factory racks (only 24" separation). I really like the fact the 887XT provides much more support for my 17' fiberglass kayak.
However, if one looks at parts 9 and 10 of the instruction manual (available for download at various vendor web sites) it suggests sliding the frame and roller as far back as possible, and it shows a user resting the bow of the kayak on the rear felt rollers while the stern is on the ground.
In reality, the rollers of the 887XT can't extend this far out from the rear of a vehicle like the Outback because such an extension would interfere with the rear door opening upwards. So, in practice, I lift the kayak onto the rear rollers (with or without assistance) and slide it forward while supporting the kayak in an elevated horizontal position about shoulder height. The 887XT would be well suited to a vehicle which has a rear door which opens sideways. If your vehicle has a rear door, like the Outback which opens upwards, then this should be a consideration.
As mentioned, I've used the 887XT for about a month when I noticed some rusty water on the Outback roof under a coupling nut. The nut was rusty. I suspect water/rain was getting in somewhere and running to the nut/hole where it was draining. I emailed photos and a copy of the invoice to Thule on a Saturday and a replacement 887XT rack was at my door on Tuesday entirely under warranty. I am impressed with Thule customer service!
In conclusion, I give high marks to the 887XT as a very useful kayak rack.