Kayak rooftop carriers
Posted by: old_user on Jun-29-13 8:40 PM (EST) Category: Kayaks
I have 2 kayaks I wish to transport on my 2012 Subaru Forester. I already have factory side rails and cross bars on the roof. What system would you recommend? Two cradles or one multi-kayak carrier? Any recommendations on the brand?
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- Kayak rooftop carriers - old_user - Jun-29-13 8:40 PM
If you bike and ski along with paddling|
Posted by: jackl on Jun-30-13 5:43 AM (EST)
Get Yakama, Thule, or Malone .
The various interchanging parts they have for each sport change out in a matter of minutes.
Cradles, (saddles) are easier on the boats then J cradles.
If you are only paddling once a month, just get el-cheapo foam blocks
My preference is Yakama, and I have saddles, J cradles, bike carriers/ bike wheel carriers, gunnel brackets and ski holders. Makes carrying all the toys very easy.
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Posted by: Celia on Jun-30-13 5:59 AM (EST)
The factory cross bars may not be rated to carry the weight of two kayaks if they are heavier, say plastic and longer length. You need to check that.
That said, Jack speaks above of the more extensive options you have by investing in a third party system of towers and cross bars. Any of the major manufacturers he lists will use cross bars that likely have a higher bearing weight limit than your factory cross bars, and you can get more length, so the whole situation is better secured.
All of the listed manufacturers are good and have fit information on their web sites, to tell you what components you need by make and model of car. The one thing you may want to consider as to specifics is that J-racks can be more challenging to slide a boat into on a taller roof than something that can be approached from wider angles, like stackers or saddles.
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Posted by: ShadyClip on Jul-02-13 5:38 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jul-02-13 5:41 PM EST --
I have the 2009 Forester. In general I find the roof (as all the metal) to be very lightweight on the car that I am unsure I would ever go the foam blocks on the roof approach with the newer model of the Forester.
I initially had the factory crossbars and did have at least two 50-60 lbs kayaks on it with two J racks. It seems to hold alright but the real issue I had with it was the curve of the bars. It made it harder to position Js, bike racks, and cargo boxes on it due to the curve. I view their factory bar as being more for looks and the occasional load then a functional rack choice.
For base crossbars I prefer the Thule bars mainly as the square bars hold all kayak rack systems in place without twisting. If you ever go to place kayakers hang out -- lakes, kayak shows, etc -- you will see that any kayak rack on the round bars is twisting on the bar. Seems like some kayakers think this is ideal to have your rack twist down out of place but I view it as the grip wore out and you are one bump away from some roof damage. The round bars are great if you are attaching racks which secure to both bars, like bikes racks and cargo boxes, but with only a single attach point for kayak racks they will twist eventually.
I may have Thule cross bars but everything else I have is Yakima -- J, bike racks, and cargo boxes. Mainly because they offered locks on the Bowdowns and I had a good deal for a pack of locks. Both make great products overall.
I don't have a problem solo lifting at 60-70 lbs kayak over my head and then almost throwing it into the J rack. At 5'8" the J rack is bit higher than me on a Forester and I can just barely, with me on my toes and with a toss get it into the Js. Your height, ability to lift the weight and if you are going to have help are all going to matter. Js are the worse on a tall car and/or weak person. The stackers are bit easier assuming you have pretty short kayaks. The cradles and sliders are so much easier on a tall car or with a long kayak as you can just slide on from the back but you may not be able to get two kayaks on the roof that way.
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