J cradle question

I have been using J cradles for years, and have refurbished and repainted them several times, but I think it might be time for some new ones.

The older models on all of them including mine had a complete ring at the bottom not like the new ones that just have two horns sticking up.

My strapping down method was to loop the strap over the top tube loop. Then bring the non buckle end down under and over the lower loop tube and then feed it trough the buckle end which I had hanging down over the yak and then cinch it tight. I always had enough strap hanging loose after wards to tie that around the cross bar,

It appears that none of the newer J cradles have that lower tube loop and my question is do you just fasten the strap around your cross bar and hope for the best or is there some other method?

Jack L

Thule I presume
Folding Hull-a-Port Pro has the full loop tube at the bottom of the J.

Std. Hull-a-Port is open at the bottom so the strap just runs to the bar.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



using the crossbar to spread the load
I used to use the bottom “loop” of the J to loop the strap; this puts all the load stress on the J rack itself. Lately (even though I still have the loop style rack), I have been looping th strap around the roof rack cross bar to spread the stress – the other way, all the stress is on the J rack and where it attached to the cross bars. This may be overkill especially if the bow and stern of the boat are anchored to the tow loops under the car.

Don’t have to hope for the best
I use Yakima’s Bowdown (folding J cradle) and put about 5k miles on my truck last summer with a boat on top. Clove Hitch the strap around the crossbar and it will hold everything in place and not come loose.

I use the cross bar
I have Thule racks, both the folding pro and standard solid J hook. I wrap the straps around the cross bar both front and back, using the j rack as a cradle only. It is not that I do not trust Thule hardware, but I just feel safer knowing that the crossbar are solidly bolted to my truck. As an added bonus you have less extra strapping to tuck away, as I never trim the excess strap.

Thanks everyone
Jack L