Your #1 source for kayaking and canoeing information.               FREE Newsletter!
my Profile
Product Reviews > Accessories > Riverside Cartop Carrier Add Your Review Now!

Reviews for Riverside Cartop Carrier


Rated: 7.9/10 Based On: 10 Reviews

Research Roof Racks and Trailers in the Buyers' Guide!
Roof Racks and Trailers
View Roof Racks and Trailers in Buyers' Guide



03-16-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     If you are looking for a quick-fix to get your kayak from A to B without installing an expensive rack, here it is. I used it to strap a 16' kayak to the top of my PT Cruiser and had no problem. It comes with two stiff foam blocks for the kayak to rest on that protect your roof, and plenty of straps for the front middle and rear. Once I got it strapped down, it wasn't going anywhere. I had to apply the brakes pretty hard when someone pulled out in front of me, and the kayak didn't budge. I even got out on the interstate for a time. Not sure if it is intended for long distances, but if you have a vehicle without a roof rack and need to move a kayak, this is your ticket. And I am sure the straps could be used for carrying other things as well.
Submit your own review!

06-17-2008
Submitted by: WayneSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     Expensive for what they are! I have a '99 Tahoe, and the foam blocks fit, albeit super tight to get on. Once on, the straps work OK, but you could by nice ratchet straps for 15 bucks at Wal-Mart (or elsewhere if you hate Wally world). I'd say buy some foam blocks separately and then buy some ratchet straps, and for half price you'd have a nicer setup. For one Kayak you can maybe justify this, but I have 2 and $120 for 2 sets was WAY too much, when 3 long ratchet straps and 4 foam blocks was all I needed.
Submit your own review!

04-02-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Yes $50 is a little expensive for a couple hunks of foam some straps and "S" hooks. But it keeps my yak in place. I opt for ratchet tie downs over the ones that come with the kit. I have a 2007 toyota tacoma double cab & it works really well with the factory rack.
Submit your own review!

06-08-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We use Riverside 18" universal blocks to carry two Necky Chathams side by side on our Mazda Protege 5 factory bars. The bars are only 32' apart and thus just bracket the cockpits. We haul either a 16' & 17' poly or two 18' composites. With bow and stern tie downs we have had zero problem with the boats moving around.

On one hot day I did get some hull deformation on the 16' poly because I had the bow line cranked down too tightly. I keep the bow and stern lines looser now.

TIP: I put the 16" poly Chatham on saw horses and poured a couple of gallons of hot tap water into the cockpit. After a few minutes I was able to push the deformation out with a block of wood. I then dumped the hot water out and let it cool.

Submit your own review!

08-02-2005
Submitted by: CBSend Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     I bought the $50 Universal kit at REI, which was quite a bit cheaper than other options from Thule or Yakima. However, to keep my yak from sliding around the top of my car at highway speeds, I have to really tighten those straps down; ultimately, I have warped the bottom of the boat. I have tried setting the boat in the sun to counteract the oilcanning effect, but so far I still have a warped boat. I think this economic product is great for short trips, but if you want to maintain the quality of your boat, buy a better rack system.
Submit your own review!

05-13-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     These things are poorly shaped and ridiculously overpriced. Paying over $50 for foam blocks is absurd. I bought the universal kayak carrier when I was in a jam, and I equate it to highway robbery. Not only are they overpriced and poorly profiled to fit most hulls, they tore the first time I tried to fit them on my factory rack.

That said, they get the job done. However, not much more than that can be said about them. If you anticipate the need for foam carriers, give yourself a few days to order a superior product for half the price (as can easily be done online) rather than being railroaded into spending waaay too much money for a mediocre product.

Submit your own review!

04-27-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 7 of 10

     Update from first review...
Just had a less then happy time...10 knot winds, with 15 knot gusts...add that to 60mph and a 14 foot tandem kayak with a huge open cockpit. I had to stop a lot to retighten the straps. I still think this would work well if you had a kayak that you can get a cockpit cover for...and less wind.

Submit your own review!

03-20-2005
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I'd also rather have the high $$ racks w/ rollers, since I'm very short and have a hard time reaching my factory racks.... However, I've used this foam block and tie-down system and a step ladder now for a couple of years and have traveled from WV to FL carrying fiberglass and plastic kayak(s). No, it's not recommended, but so far so good.
Submit your own review!

09-21-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     The first reviewer was right...my advisors at the local shops said they are fine, so that's what I use. Sure I'd love to have hully-rollers/mako kayak racks, but not a chance spending that much right now. Pretty solid, not my first choice to drive 1000 miles with, but for short hops its great.
Submit your own review!

07-18-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Those of you who are getting into kayaking know how quickly the money flies away as you begin outfitting. You walk into a store, look at the pretty boats, and say to yourself, "mmm, that's a nice chunk of change, but the budget wouldn't be stretched completely to the breaking point." Then you look at paddles, PFDs, skirts, bilge pumps, & paddle floats, and your budgetary camel is begging to go to the chiropractor before it's too late!

What made my wallet groan was the realization that I'd have to cart this seventeen foot leviathan from place to place on my car. I walked into R.E.I.(Requires Extra Income), and asked the nice kid what it would cost to get a trick Yakima or Thule rack set-up like all the 'cool' Yakkers have. He got out his catalogs & we started looking at this and that, and the upshot was that it would cost three benjamins and a couple of Andies! Yargh- the Pirate Queen must be at the root of this evil! I walked out of Yuppie Sports Ltd a humbler & much less bouncy Tigger, indeed.

However, back at my local 'yak emporium, hanging on the wall, was a mesh bag marked 'Riverside Universal Cartop Carrier', and it listed for only $59 and change. My alternative was to have all this fancy gear & no boat, so out came the wallet, and an impassioned plea to the yak clerk to pretty please, w/sugar & a cherry on top, show me how this contraption works.

Your sixty bucks & sales tax nets you two foam blocks, tie down for fore & aft, and an athwartships (side to side) tie down. Now I have an old clunky LBMM (Hi, Fools!) '92 Ford Explorer, which DID have a pretty useless factory rack; but this product does NOT require a factory rack to be in place. The foam block slid over my side bars ( if you have no fact. rack, you need to buy some extra straps & run 'em over the roof & inside the car, & slam the doors on 'em. These are secure, easy to use, come off when not in use (no unnecessary drag), & best of all, cost way less than THREE HUNDRED & SOME-ODD BUCKS!

I've used mine for a month or so, now, and while the couples with two brand new Kevlar Ocean Queens perched high & dry on their Ultima Thule mega-rack, bolted on top of their Caddy Escalade may sniff and snicker as I chug by, I get to the put-in just as secure, and without the need for those little individual locks that keep envious people from stealing their racks (and which, by the way, cost $20 or more apiece, and you'll probably need four!).

OK, rant over. Suffice it to say that it's a great product, at an acceptable price, that does what it's billed as doing. SYOR

Submit your own review!

Don't Miss the Paddling.net Weekly Newsletter!
Free Newsletter120,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!














Kayak & Bicycle Trips
Food Wine Kayak
2-6 DAY TOURS
www.crystalseas.com/Orcas

Follow us on:
Free Newsletter | About Us | Site Map | Advertising Info | Contact Us

©2014 Paddling.net Inc.
Sweepstakes Shirt Sale