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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Yakkers!

I've got a question regarding car top rack systems. I'm looking down the road and trying to decide between the Yakima system vs. the Thule system. I hope I'm not opening up some Pandora's box similar to the Chevy vs. Ford or Nikon vs. Canon debates, but hey...what the hell. Speak your mind freely the exchange of info is always a good thing in my mind.

So, if I'm looking ahead to make the investment, what's your preference and why??? Additionally, do you prefer to carry your yak on it's side or on it's hull with saddles, and why?

Thanks!
BassMon
 

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I like Yakima because thats what I sell and its the american brand. A round bar never bends. Like surf Zombie said you may have factory racks and then you dont need anything except a $15 pair of tie downs. What kind of car and what kind of kayak?
 

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I use a Thule Hullavator. I bought it simply for the fact that I drive a van and wanted a lower loading platform. It works quite well. Yakima and Thule both make great products, it just comes down to practicality and price for each person and their vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone,

I should've put in my first post, that I've got an '03 Toyota Matrix, with no factory roof, it's a naked roof.

The kayaks we own are 2 Old Town Vapor 10's btw.

the reason I'm looking into a rack system is two fold, I'd like to be able to haul down a freeway and I don't feel comfortable just using the foam and cam straps (I do use bow and stern lines too) and I want something easier so load the kayaks onto. It takes my wife and I about 30 min. to secure the load and I'd like to reduce that time.

Again, suggestions?

Thanks.
BassMon
 

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You can go with either brand. with Yakima you need a set of Q towers and two different sets of clips 1-Q 83 and one set of Q 116 The fit list says you only need a 48 bars but you wont get two kayaks flat on that size bar. So you can add one J craddle and have one sit flat or you can lkive with some bar overhange and put a 58 or 66 inch bar on the car. That way both yaks can sit flat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again for the info, I'm still interested in the pros and cons of each system. Yakima is made in the US, that's good, and they have bottle openers, another bonus, but seriously, I've also heard the Thule warranty is better (don't know this for sure), etc. I'm not leaning one way or the other at this point. Just gathering info.

What are peoples experiences over the long haul with their rack systems, likes and dislikes? design flaws?

Always appreciated.
BassMon
 

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There is none. They are both proven companies with no negatives. The square bars sometimes look bent but rarely. as I said above the round bars dont bend. In 20 years selling yakima Ive only seen 3 or 4 warranty isues and they are handled instantly with free part and no hassle.
 

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I have the Thule, going into my 3rd year with it, very solid and secure on my chevy silverado x-cab. I use the saddles and can fit two side by side flat, although you will have to do as Barrell said to fit two on your car. I use compression straps double wrapped around the hull and each bar without bow/stern lines and the yaks don't move at all even doing 80. It takes me only about 10 - 15 min to load and secure two yaks by myself.

Barrell is right, they are both good products, although I heard the round bars on the Yakima can allow the clamps on the pads/Jholders to slip and rotate...
 

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I use the 58"yakima bar,,no problem putting my hobie outback and malibu ocean yak leaning against flush hobie,,the ocean yak abutts the small 21" yakima ski rack (rod holder) in an almost upright angle .no weight is on ski rack. It takes maybe 5 minutes to secure these yaks w/ extra long tie downs from start(loading) to finish ,, They never have budged. If I'm doing a longer drive and want extra security I go thru a scupper hole on hobie.. you must master the tie down rigging. This is on top of a Pathfinder.It takes me longer to load everything else and checking gear twice.
 

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It is true you may have some spinning of your accessories with a Yakima rack. But if you have a car with a curved top like a Murano or a Volswagon Beetle, square tubes on Thule may not let your accessories sit up straight and you will wish they would spin a little.:mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Everyone thanks for this dialog this is what I am interested in. I am leaning to the Yakima setup, but haven't fully decided. Although, I'm curious about what MOawk stated, " It is true you may have some spinning of your accessories with a Yakima rack." What would spin?

Also I don't think my car top is too rounded, not like a beetle that's for sure.

Lastly, what is a scupper hole?


I 'm new to a yak and am learning.


Thanks again.
BassMon
 

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Your pads/cradles/Jholders are secured to the bars with screw clamps of one type or another. I heard that some folks have issues with them being able to rotate on round bars.

Scupper holes are holes that pass all the way through a Sit On Top (SOT) yak so that water can drain.
 

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yak racks

go with yaks great info on the web siteeasy to put on and take off, i sell both great products but the yak gets a nod
 

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I have 2 yaks and just throw them in my john boat trailer. But as far as using my factory roof racks, I havn't tried that. I never felt safe using that. Do you guys that use the roof racks feel comfortable at 65 mph?
 

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I have a Thule rack with the Thule Hullavator and have taken my vehicle over 100 mph for roughly 5 miles with the kayak on top. It never budged or creaked. I did this on an empty highway with full knowing that I am not immune from the law. I wanted to test the system and saw the chance. Before I get a lecture on speeds like that, I just want to say I would never do that with other vehicles on the road or anyone else in the vehicle with me. My days of driving like an indy car driver are in the past.
 
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