Advice re best kayak saddles

I drive a standard prius. I have Yakima round bars. I carry two 16 foot plastic sea kayaks. I want to find saddles that cradle the boat in the chine area somewhat to avoid deformation of the bottom of the boat. On a prius the crossbars are fairly close together do the widest part of the bottom is on the cross bars and foam pad approach is causing deformation of the hull bottom.

Any suggestions for a saddle set up that will avoid the deformation and maybe even allow for easy as possible loading with a prius? Anything that fits round bars.

Prius Carry Solution
I have long hulls to carry as well and my bars are only 31 inches apart. A spreader arrangement works well:

I do not manufacture or sell products. Please feel free to copy this design.

Excellent job
Jim - that’s a great design, the adjustable cradles with nylon covers are really nice. Longitudinal separation of the cradles is a good solution for roofs with short crossbar separation.

Goodboy kayaks makes V-bars that are similar and well-liked by others on the lounge:

Kayakpro makes the EZ-Vee which I use:

Once you use V-bars, you’ll never want to use regular cradles (or J-cradles, shudder) ever again.

Not what I am looking for
Those racks look great but its not what I am looking for. I need to be able to get my cross bars off and on my care quickly by myself. I want to get some saddles, hopefully lightweight, that I can leave on each cross bar and still be able to handle taking the cross bars off and putting them on by myself without banging up my roof. Need to go off and on fast.

Sweet Roll may work for you. I bought a pair and like them.

Sweet Roll
Are you able to load from the rear with Sweetrolls mounted on a Prius?


– Last Updated: Jul-03-14 9:54 AM EST –

1. Get some foam blocks.

2. Profile the blocks to approximate the deck profile.

3. Place blocks on bars and load boat, deck-down.

Crossbars with heavy j cradles aren't the easiest to lift and maneuver off and onto your roof over and over without losing your grip and having the cradle swing around and ding your roof.

How about these

V saddles. I use on my 2008 Honda Fit Sport. I have a roller from same place that goes into slot in rear hatch. There made out of plastic so if you do want to remove the bar you can just leave the saddles attached to the bar. Thats what I do in the winter as I remove my rack in the winter.

Good ideas - but
I am a big fan of foam blocks but in this application given how close the cross bars are to one another the upside down approach does not work well because of the significant height difference between the fore deck and the rear deck. Cant get the darn thing anywhere near level.

Gull wings are nice but I have a plastic boat and the bottom of the hull will deform - need to have contact with boat out near chines.