Help with rack decision

Looking at getting a kayak pretty soon, not as soon as I would like but oh well, and I wanted to know what the best rack system would be for my '02 Isuzu Rodeo. I have looked at the Thule Hul-a-Port and that seems to be the cheapest and simplest, but I don’t know if it would be the best for me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I’m doing some rack research …
myself and I have heard of some complaints and concerns about the Thule kayak system. Some folks that I have talked to expressed concerns about the mounting points of the various kayak support/carrying accessories not feeling secure once installed on the bars. I have yet to hear any such complaints with the Yakima system.

Here’s what I’m doing. I currently have a homemade system (foam block,bungees, etc) and it works fine. I ran into a very heavy crosswind driving condition a few weeks ago and that is what has spurred my decision into looking for a better system. I went to to the Yakima website and figured out what components I need for for automobile (92 Ford Taurus) and found that the total cost is approx. $285.00. I’ve looked on e-bay and have found the majority of the components up for auction at a fraction of the price of new parts. I bought the 48" round bars for $16.00 (shipping included). They were just slightly used and new they would have cost approx. $42.00. I plan on shopping e-bay for the remainder of the components until I have as close as I can get to the complete system. The specific clips seem to be the hardest component to find so I may end up purchasing them new for $22.50. I’m seeing how much money I can save and in the interim I just continue to use my homemade system that fits on both my Ford and Chevy Suburban.

Just my thoughts!


Thule Hull-a-Port
I have them. I would suggest if you do buy them, to pad the bottom of the carriers with some kind of foam or padding. When you are tired, you may kind of plop your kayak on them and if it hits the hard plastic base, it might leave a mark.

Also, the the thumbnut things to tighten the rack do not ever really get fully tight because of the neoprene washer that is used. They can be replaced with SS washers or so to get a more snug fit. I’ve asked Thule about this and the reply I got was in the lines of “The neoprene washers are there so it doesn’t rust”. They did also say that I could replace it with SS washers if you do and I think a bunch of us p.netters do.


round bars complaint
This subject gets re-hashed every year about this time.

Personally, I’ve never tried the hull-a-port system, so I have nothing to say about it.

However, I own a Yakima system that I’m happy with.

That said, I should point out: I had hully rollers for a long time and my rear round bar got nearly ruined by spinning in its cradle (despite being tight as heck) due to the weird forces exerted during loading with the Hully Rollers (using them as instructed).

I got rid of the Hully Rollers, bought Mako Saddles for the back of my boats (to match those on the front) and I’ve never had a problem since.

Confused about Yakima system
I am a little confused about Yakima’s setup unfortunately. From their “Rack Congigurator” online I can’t really tell what all I need nor how many to order. Maybe some of you could help me out. Do I need the Lowriders with the 48" crossbars or not since I have the factory rack or do I just need the Mako saddles?

Lowriders+crossbars or 27H adapters
The Lowriders with crossbars will afix to your side rails. Then, you can mount your saddles. Or, for $30, you can get the 27H adapters for your existing crossbars and mount your saddles to them. The down side to the adapter clips is you will probably only be able to get one boat up on the factory rack. Do you ski/camp/bike? If so, the Yakima rack system may save you time and money down the road.


load rating
I think (it’s been 2 years since I had to do this research) that the maximum weight supported by the Yakima rails inside lowriders is higher than your factory bars.

For that reason alone, the expenditure on the Lowriders + Roundbars is probably worth the money.

REI has
20% off racks systems now till beginning next week. I seldom see Racks be discounted anywhere

I’ve got Thule Hull-a-Port and Saddles
and I prefer the saddles. With the hull-a-port the yak is stacked sideways so you are affected more by crosswinds. The advantage of the hull-a-port is that it takes up less space on the roof so I also have room for a cargo box, which I need on long vacations.
They have sales all the time. Right now it’s 10% off Thule or Yakima, plus free shipping. Often they’ll have 20% off Thule one month and then Yakima the next, so once you decide what you want, you might be able to catch a deal there. I’ve bought some rack stuff (not kayak related) from them before. They also carry more than just Thule and Yakima.

Good luck…



i drilled holes & riveted ite bars to the towers haven,t had any movement of the rollers

Yakima complaints
Almost three years ago, when I bought my rack there was a long thread here about problems with the Yakima round bars and the accessories stripping on them - alot of people had problems with them. It convinced me to buy thule. I have saddles, and I’ve had no problems, and they attach to the bars well enough that I don’t expect any.


Thank you everyone
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for all of your advice.