Hulley Rollers, Mako Saddles or Nothing?


I have a Yakima rack and a 16 foot fiberglass kayak. I am going to start using my wife’s Chevy S-10 with camper shell to carry my boat.

I am debating about the best set up. On my truck I have tried Mako saddles and a combo of Mako Saddles in the front and Hulley Rollers in the back.

I am wondering what the best set up will be for her truck. Since it has a camper shell I will have to load the boat from the rear and push it up on top at a pretty high angle.

Do the hulley rollers really work for this? Would a set of Mako Saddles in the rear perhaps be just as easy to slide the boat up on?

Or what about having nothing but a foam covered cross bar? I am starting to think that the saddles and hulley rollers may not be any better. It seems that a foam covered bar would be easy to slide the boat on, and the boat would be quite secure once cinched down with a strap. My only concern here would be that I would not want to damage the hull of my boat. Would this be a risk with a glass boat? My boat is fairly flat bottomed so it should sit pretty flat on the bars.

thanks for your help


On the camper shell on my truck…
I have Yakama bars on landing pads. I have saddles with carpet glued to them and it works great.

I start the yak on the rear saddles and slide it up as far as I can get it. Then I stand on the tail gate and slide it all the way to its travel position.

This is the second truck that I have had the same set up on it works so good.

I load and carry two eighteen foot kayaks this way.



I use Hullys/Makos
Hi Matt,

I have a fiberglass cap on my pickup which has factory install yakima rain gutters. I have rollers on the back of the cap (Yakima 1A towers )and padded Makos on the front of the extended cab (Yakima ). There is a large spread between the racks - probbaly about 10 feet. I have a 16’ and a 14’ kayak which I load from the back on the rollers, push up at a really high angle and then set down slowly until the boats are about 1 foot above the Makos. Then I just drop the boat onto the saddles (because I can’t reach to lower them anymore - 4WD pickup).

Two cautions:

  1. If the truck is level (side to side) this works well. If tipped (like parked on the road shoulder) severely the boats have a tendency to bounce off the saddles and slide across the bar (gravity).
  2. When the boats are put on when the hulls are wet the rollers don’t turn, and the boast slides up easier - sometime too easy, so be careful after paddling.

    These are both composite boats.


Foam Bars with a stacker…
I used Hully Rollers and Mako Saddles for several years. Then I started paddling with some advanced paddlers ( and found that most of them, used nothing but foam bars and stackers.

I sold my hully rollers and Mako’s and used pipe insulation and duct tape with my stackers.

On my old Ford Expedition with wide bars, I could easily haul 8 sea kayaks. With my Cayenne (mid size bars) I can only do 4 boats.

Photos of setup:

current setup at:

old vehicle setup:

(black ford in back)

Good luck



Thanks for the info. I have some questions though: you mean the Yakima kayak stackers that whitewater boaters use?

Looking at your current setup it appears that you are carrying the boats hull side down on the bars. What do the stackers provide with this manner of carry? Do they serve a purpose in this instance?

If you are only going to carry one boat, do you use the stackers with the boat on its side, or do you just put the boat hull down on the bars and not really make use of the stacker?