Advice on Roof Racks for Weak People

Hi, I am a 5’4" woman who has little upper body strength. Can someone recommend one of the roof assist carriers for an SUV(staying around $200}? I see one from Malone, Yakima and Thule. Just wondering if anyone can respond on which they found best for loading/unloading and transporting… Thanks.

hockey stick to extend bar
My friend inserts a hockey stick shaft into one of his Thule cross bar ends to extend it beyond the side of the vehicle. Then rests the bow on this and slides the canoe up pushing and lifting from the stern.

Rudimentary, but it works for him.

Now, THAT is a great idea! Never would have thought of that one. Of course, it’s been years since I played hockey, but I never would have thought of taking the plug out of one of the Thule bars and using a piece of wood to extend it for loading. I might have to try that one myself! WW

(don’t tip thule or yakima off - next thing you know they’ll be making a “hockey stick attachment” for only $129.99!)

Sorry you have to deal with an SUV.
There are cars on the market low enough to make your problem a lot less serious.


I have a SUV also my husband built a box for me to stand

on while loading and unloading. Which I throw into the rear cargo area when not using.

I just bought an Elantra Touring. Very friendly to us ‘under 6 footers’.

Problem solved…
Hang out wit strong, good lookin’ ol’ guys waarin’ Tilley hats…

Ya anywaar near Joisey?


Malone Roller Loader
Not the same as the full assist things, but cheaper and works fairly nicely. Once you get the bow propped onto it you just push the rest up from the ground. Blankets to protect the stern of the boat from gravel etc on the ground.

It works best for longer boats - wide short boats may go sideways on the way up as well as having trouble making the reach.

1 Like

Ol’ guys?
Ol’ guys mightuv cricks in deir necks!

She bes’ look fer younger guys (even dem jet skiers) on da prowl fer ladeez ta impress. Sumtimes deirz an upside ta dat macho thing, ya know.

Sorry, couldn’t resist…

Have you considered a trailer?

Malone Telos

– Last Updated: May-21-10 2:05 PM EST –

I have been using Malone J-cradles/Autoloaders for ten years now. As I have aged I have found that solo roof-racking my kayak is a big pain in the backside (and the arms, shoulders back). This is particularly true if I am tired after coming off a long paddle. I just purchased the Malone Telos load-assist unit. I spent most of this morning putting it through its paces by loading and unloading both of my kayaks. My lighter boat is about 54-55 pounds. My heavier boat is about 60 lbs. with the Valley hatches attached.

The Telos worked just as Malone advertises. It was much easier than trying to solo military press my boat up into the J-cradles. Once you complete the initial assembly of the Telos it goes on and off the car/j-cradles easily. Just take your time as you alternate lifting one side of your boat and then the other. If your vehicle is taller than the average car it might be helpful to use a small collapsible stoop or stand for the final little push from the Telos onto the Autoloader.

Note: The Telos load-assist unit ONLY works with the Malone Autoloader J-cradles.

Yakima makes the bar extender
that slides inside and locks.I am a lot bigger than the OP and find it very helpful.

Kayak or Canoe?
Its pretty easy with a thirteen dollar stepstool to get a boat on a rack. All you need is to get one end on the rack…then some of the weight is gone. Shove boat forward and more weight is gone. I need the stepstool to get that final shove forward on the boat.

This is loading from the rear onto a cap on a Toyota Tundra. The rack has the high towers…so its almost seven feet up and I am just about 5’4".

I load canoes this way solo up to about 65 lb boats and it takes very little upper body strength.

Kayaks are a different matter…I look for the tall people!

Wow, 13 reponses
and only one is answering her question.

even still
The responses have been useful. I have no shortage of strength, but do grow tired of heaving my canoe onto my jeep. The hockey stick thing is worth a try for me.

I just did a few searches using the syntax from the OP. It gets you devices such as the extender bar mentioned above as well as auto-loaders. Granted an auto-loader may be the most advantageous, but this is narrower than the question asked (and they come in at a higher cost than the $200 target).

Problem with $200

– Last Updated: May-22-10 9:52 AM EST –

That price range isn't going to give you a really easy system.

As I carry and install Thule, some Yakima and the Kari-Tek systems I know most of your $200 range solutions are going to consist of bar or ramp arrangements that help hold part of the kayak for you while you deal with the other end. This is definitely a dance that takes getting used to and only helps with part of the lifting.

The more comprehensive lifter arrangements cost more. Simple as that.

See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY

Bathroom Floor Mat
$10 at target, walmart, kmart… Makes it easy to slide upon the rack and protects your car’s finish.

Maybe Malone Telos?
I rented a 40lb kayak today to see if I could do this stuff myself. I tried to prop one end on top of the suv with hopes of lifting the back end and pushing it up onto the car. I couldnt even get the first end propped up to the top of the car. Ill look into the Malone Telos that was recommended. I think its about $250 but might be worth it… The guys at the kayak shop may be able to help. Thanks…