Submitted: 08-03-2004 by Rob
Just bought these after talking to Bill of "Oak Orchard" about the refinements of these cradles over others. I am very pleased with the purchase. Firstly, they are competitively priced with Thule and Yakima cradles. Second, they are superbly strong, and completely span the beam of my 22" sea kayak. This is valuable in that you can comfortably reach over the boat for the straps, which stay put when not in use. Also, the kayak will securely free-stand up against the cradle and won't fall over while you fiddle with the straps. Finally, the cradles attach easily to square or round bars with the same brackets.
The only reason I did not give them a 10 is that they are only barely adequately padded in the bottom of the cradle. My solution was to add a layer of 1/2 inch minicell foam to the bottom with zip-ties. The factory rubber gaskets get so sqwashed under the weight of the kayak that the hull makes contact with the factory plastic edge protection. You're still not making contact with the stainless steel of the cradle, but you will hit hard plastic instead of rubber. The quick fix is the minicell, and it works perfectly. I can't compare directly with the bigger brand names, but I can't see what could be improved on (save the padding issue). Very solid, holds the kayak extremely well, easy to use (comes with straps). I'd buy them again.