Ceiling suspensions: RAD and what else?

looking for a ceiling suspension to serve 60lb rotomolds (wilderness tsunami, wilderness tarpon, both 14ft. We’ll be buying one suspension for each.) We know how to find studs, etc. Surveying the available products online, I find that RAD, West Marine, Extreme Max (love the brand names…) powerFly etc. all appear (visually) to use the same pulley product, and where they might differ is the loops, notably whether they have multiple points where the pulley hooks can be attached. Anyone want to correct or add detail to that impression, or recommend a particular brand ? TIA

I have a RAD Sportz hoist that I bought at Home Depot. My kayak weighs more than yours at about 95 lbs. The quality of the hoist is fine, I have no complaints.

The instructions do warn you not to park under the loaded hoist… I guess the lawyers got involved in that :slight_smile: I have had no problems with the braking system on the hoist, but just for my piece of mind I tie the rope off and slip a couple of straps around the kayak and the ceiling joists. Triple protection!

I have a cheapie hoist similar to the Rad Sports. Something to watch for is that on mine the pulley sheaves are quite a bit narrower than the metal framework that holds them. That leaves a gap and the hoist ropes can slip off the sheaves and get caught in that gap.

I also have a Harken Hoister system. That has much higher quality hardware and rope and is really superior. But it costs six or more times what the cheap hoists cost (I lucked out and got mine at not much more than the cheapie price on Craig’s List).

I made my own double racks with pullies, 1/8" steel cable (4 per rack), and winches. Helps to have 12" ceilings.


I have the RAD sports system, because it was cheap on Amazon. Actually, I have two versions of it, one has the hooks with multiple points on the sling, the other uses cam straps through a square block. They both work, but the one with the cam straps allows the kayak to be raised a little higher than the sling with the loops hanging with hooks. I currently have one hoist for each one of mine and my girlfriend’s Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165’s. Back before we sold our rec kayaks, I had two Tsunamis suspended with one and both rec kayaks suspended from the other.

I wasn’t a fan of the rope that came in the box. One of the ropes started to fall apart in less than a year. I replaced it with some inexpensive poly rope from Home Depot. It has held up pretty well for over a year now.

wow, thank you all for taking the time to reply and post pictures! I’m hearing so far that the RAD stuff is serviceable, and good sense when installing goes a long way. more impressions welcome

If you go with the RAD system, i do suggest just throwing away the rope that comes with it and getting some that’s better and will last longer, because you’ll just end up replacing the rope in a year anyway. Use the rope that came with it as a guide for how long to cut the replacement ropes.

I want your garage

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I have decent height in my garage and put together my own pulley system, mostly because I like to overbuild things. I use LiftAll straps for the lifting, and then use a second set once the kayak is in place. I have three sea kayaks in the garage, and it takes only a couple of minutes to drop one onto a cart.

I also have a couple of rotomolded kayaks that live outside. The CD Squall is on a trolley underneath the deck that allows me to store/retrieve it easily without any lifting (the yard slopes up towards the closer end of the deck). Photos below.

Nicely MacGyvered all around…