Car roof rack that installs quickly?

I have a Perception Pescador 12 that I will need to carry on my car every once in awhile. The car is an Infiniti G35 and I prefer not to have a roof rack on it 24/7. Just every other weekend or so when I would like to do a little fishing and my wife is using the SUV.

Anyway, I’ve looked at the Thule and Yakima racks. Is one much easier to install/remove than the other? Is there another brand that I should consider?

I bought the v-shaped foam blocks to carry the kayak home when I bought it, and I can tell from that short trip that those foam blocks are definitely not a permanent solution for me.

Thanks for your input!

ask these folks

Handi Rack by Malone
Try one of these out.

They are great for travel. Think they would work for you.


You are correct about the foam blocks, glad you realized it sooner rather than later. I use Thule but the major brands seem to work about the same. One you get used to your racks, you will be able to mount them in under 10 minutes with your eyes closed, even less if you have help. I do not like keeping the racks on my Saab either, on and off they go all tear long.

easy to remove roof racks
The infinity G35 lacks roof rails. While anything can be added to any vehicle, I doubt you want to screw on rails (I did with a Honda Odyssey.) I once saw a Mazda Miata convertible with a kayak on it’s roof rack-would take a while to explain how it was done

The best “easy to remove” was the Thule tracker II rack (now discontinued) if your vehicle accepted their “fit kit”- a bracket bolted into the rails and protruding slightly above the rails. On and off in less than a minute. I made adapter plated and installed the Tracker ii on my late Rav4 V-6. Thule has discontinued this system and their rack feet now must be bolted on. Yakima still has some removable racks, but they probably would require some unacceptable (to you) modification of your vehicle.

The best remaining system would be something that sits on the edge of the roof and clamps to the top of the door frame. Check both Thule and Yakima to see which fits your vehicle best and which is quickest to remove. Best is to go to a vendor that carries both lines and test fit both to your car.


I have the front and rear tower/bar
assemblies of my Yakima racks linked together. I am able to place the entire thing in position and clamp it in place quickly. Plus, the firm linkage is strong added insurance against tower slippage and failure.

But I’m 6’5" and reasonably strong. Many would not be able to place the entire rack system over the roof, or remove it, without help.

Yakima Q-Towers …

– Last Updated: Apr-18-13 1:57 PM EST –

..... is what we use . I say they are a great product , haven't had "any" problems with it yet (3 yrs. use) , install on and remove off fast and easily ... put up in position , click it's done !!

I'd imagine Thule is an equal , but can't say because of no experience w/them .

For each "bar" you want on top (one or two) , you'll have these parts that combine into one unit that stays together permanently after initial setup/assembly ...

(1) Bar (in length you want) , (2) bar end caps (plastic covers) , two (2) Q-Towers (come with neoprene snap on base) , (2) Q-Clips (designed for your vehical make/modle) , (2) key locks are optional but I say get them , and (2) Load Stops optional but In say get them .

Get a least one Cam Strap (I use Yakima brand) for each Bar setup ... again optional but I say get them (ropes and other Cam Strap brands are option) .

Best advice is to take off and store inside when not uising ... eliminates unnecessary wind noise , and prevents unnecessary weather degradation .

I have a Thule…
roof rack an cross bars on my car and I can put them on/take them off in 10 minutes or less.

I’ve got “Pack & Paddle” and “Backpacker” retailers in town. I believe one carries Yakima and the other Thule, so I should be able to put my hands on the racks and make my choice.

Thanks for all the replies.

Of course, if you ain’t afraid to drill

– Last Updated: Apr-18-13 4:52 PM EST –

And are willing to live with 4 small bumps on the roof permanently (1"x1"x4" approx) each, you can install Yakima Control Towers and landing pads:

I got these on my Honda Insight and they are the fastest and easiest system to clip on and off the car. Takes about 30 seconds... The catch is, if you do not install them in rigid roof support points, your loading capacity will be limited to something like 100lb or less.

I got my setup as g2d: with rack extension connecting the front and the rear forming a one-piece rack with 60" spread between the Mako Saddles for my boat (the bars alone are 40" apart for me, probably less for the G35). I just lift and lower the whole thing at once in place and clip it down - 30 seconds from no rack to rack... Even if the two bars are independent, it still takes about the same amount of time to install, but with the extension the rack is more solid for the boat.

On another car I have the Q-towers that clip at the door sills and they are fine too and take no more than2 minutes to put on and off (not sure why folks say 10 minutes above - just clip them on on each side and walk one more time to the other side to re-clip so they are evenly torqued on both sides).

X’s 2
I have them on both of my vehicles. it takes all of a few seconds to lift the rack out of the landing pads.

On many cars the factory rack can be removed from it’s track and the Yakama Landing pads will slide right into the same track.

Jack L

A short video of what it looks like
Sorry for the poor quality…

I was slow - 40 seconds - because space is tight where I have parked and had to wiggle the rack under the boats. Without the custom extension you just have to do the bars one by one and it will probably be faster and a lot easier to lift: mine has the 60" extension with Mako saddles plus a pair of Yakima Stackers installed right now (good for up to 3 boats as configured).

Q-Towers …

– Last Updated: Apr-18-13 8:54 PM EST –

...... I agree , you're correct , takes maybe 2 mins. .

After which I have the urge to grab the bar and try to make it move which it never does . Then I'm good cause I know nothings changed , still tight fit .

At 1st I would turn the little adjusting finger screw a tad more tighter , but eventually stopped doing that , it wasn't necessary but still good to know I could if I ever wanted to . :-)

In case you haven't already , check the Yakima site for the components others and I have mentioned (fit my car , etc.) , may help you decide which way to go and give you an idea of the expected cost associated ... I think the cost is more than fair for the value , quality , convenience and peace of mind I've gotten .

I have old landing pads in tracks
They don’t have covers so the bolts show and the new covers do not fit them, but it is really just about one minute to put on the racks.

Warning about Yak Q-tower feet.
The gummy transluscent feet for Yakima Q towers can easily fall off when you have them off the car and are carrying the racks around.

When the weekend comes around, you go to re-install the racks, and you find you are missing one or more gummy feet, you’re screwed. When this happened to me, my Yakima dealer, REI, did not have separate gummy pads, and I had to spend ~$40 for an entire set of clips to get the pads.

I have not found a way to keep the pads from falling off. I complained to Yakima, and they said they thought we would like it that the pads come off easily. (!*%##)

I recommend that Q-pad owners get some spare gummy pads from Yakima and keep them where you can find them in a hurry. Don’t let poor design cost you a weekend of paddling.

Traveller Soft Rack
This has been an option for some customers that have lease vehicles that don’t want to attach a permanent rack.

Sea to Summit Traveller Soft Rack

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

(site 2.0 is up and running)

good point g2d …
… definately one of those things Q-Tower owners need to remember , also the need to remember key if you get the locks .

I like the neoprene Q-Tower foot pads , think they are real good design but as you said … have to be aware they can fall off when moving the assembly from A to B .

With the demise of rain gutters, I bought a trailer and never looked back.

Even better was the Saris roof rack…
…but sadly, it’s been discontinued.

Works Great.
I decided on the Yakima Q towers and just installed them. Initial setup takes a little time, but now…literally less than 5 minutes to install or remove them. Works great!

Thanks for all the input.