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Reviews for Yakima Bowdown


Rated: 4.43/10 Based On: 7 Reviews

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See Products from Yakima in the Buyers' Guide!
Yakima in the Buyers' Guide:
  • Heavy Duty Straps
  • Bow/Stern Tiedown
  • BigStack
  • MultiMounts
  • BoatLoader
  • Mako Saddles
  • SweetRoll
  • HullRaiser
  • Mako Aero Saddles
  • Kayak Stacker



07-30-2013
Submitted by: Steve CSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     Bought Yakima Bowdowns, followed the instructions for mounting them to the roof rack, loaded the kayaks and left for a long weekend. 15 mi. on the highway, the mounting bracket on the front j-rack broke, the boat caught the wind and snapped the rear j-rack. The safety straps held, slamming the boat into the side of my car. The boat then slid out of the straps and was dragged on the highway by the front tie-down (the rear tie-down also snapped) until we could stop the car. The brand new Pungo was completely trashed, but Yakima's warranty states that only the racks are covered for defect, NOT THE CARGO OR VEHICLE. The Yakima racks were responsible for almost $3500 damage, but I'm left holding the bag. DO NOT BUY THE BOWDOWNS. THE MOUNTING BRACKETS ARE A JOKE!!!
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07-30-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I used the Yakima Bowdowns for carrying my Hobie Pursuit on my 4 door sedan. While I experienced many of the complaints that others mentioned in the review, the rack was still satisfactory to my needs. The bowdowns allowed me to fit two kayaks on the roof of my small sedan. My sit-in kayak was flat on Mako Aero saddles (highly recommended) and then my sit-on-top was on its side using the bowdowns.

First, I'll address the road noise. These racks will whistle at speeds of 40mph or higher. I just turned on the radio and didn't really worry about it much. But then I also sold the car and bought a truck... so I guess I didn't deal with the whistling for long.

Second is the spinning. The racks are easy enough to install, and even get tight. The issue I noticed is that the weight of the rack with a little push of sliding the kayak would actually spin the round crossbars. However, the loaded kayak acts as a brace between the two and prevents them from rolling when in route. So really as long as you strap the kayak securely to both bowdowns, you shouldn't have an issue.

I felt comfortable driving with this rack at highway speeds without using the bow or stern straps. I recommend this rack with the exception of the road noise.

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04-24-2013
Submitted by: BillSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     I bought this product along with yakima cross bars and towers. The whole system was a nightmare. Another reviewer mentioned that they would move when trying to put the kayak on, I found this as well. That aside, the worst part was that on the highway, they will very slowly tilt, then turn, then move... then your kayak will almost fly off your car... Thank goodness for the straps! Do NOT buy this product.
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04-23-2013
Submitted by: JDCSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     The Bowdowns worked well except the optional locks didn't work. When I returned them, the sales rep mentioned this was a known issue that the locks were "finicky". I did try a replacement pair but had to return those for the same issue. I simply cannot rate a product higher than a three with a known material defect.
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06-20-2012
Submitted by: PKSend Email
Rating: 2 of 10

     Horrible. Made putting on a kayak by yourself impossible. Every time I would try to get my kayak on the Bowdowns they would roll to one side to another. I even tightened them so much that they stripped the Yakima rails and still rolled over. Tried it with two people trying to put the kayak on the roof... same problem. Returned them and got a cheaper Malone which works much better. The store didn't seem too surprised I brought them back, seems like it is a real problem they are having and have had many returns.
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01-15-2011
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Allows me to carry two 14' kayaks on a Nissan Murano. I am very happy with my Bowdown as I can store my SUV inside the garage with them folded down. Wind noise is not a problem, minor noise if there is a 40+ wind howling outside but at that point it doesn't make a difference.

Lesson learned with 2 kayaks mounted, a strong crosswind broke the hinge part on one of the Bowdowns. I call Yakima and asked they send me a replacement part which they agreed to immediately. Yakima customer service is superb. In two days I had, not the broken part, but a new set of Bowdowns delivered to my front door. I took a another users advice and when carrying two kayaks always tie the kayaks together. If only carrying one kayak tie the kayak to the opposite side rail as a preventive measure. Wind gusts are unpredictable and no matter what you use the automobile speed and wind combination can shear anything if it hits it just right.

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08-05-2008
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I had to replace the Thule Hullaports that I had for 6 years. They worked fine, but they wouldn't clear large sections of the garage where I park at work, and they took too long to put on or take off the rack for me to go through that hassle every weekend. With hardly any reviews of the Bowdown out there, I took a chance...

Yes, they fold down, but the wind noise at highway speeds is unacceptable in that position. The Hullaports added a little noise when the moonroof was open, but nothing like the howling and whistling from the Bowdowns, even with all the windows and the moonroof closed (they don't make noise when the kayaks are loaded onto them). On the other hand, they go on and off with ease. So now I take them off when I'm not using them to transport our kayaks. Not what I expected when I bought them, but they did solve my problems -- the open moonroof is quiet and I can park anywhere in the garage at work.

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