Malone Autoloader Question

I recently purchased 2 sets of Malone autoloaders (J-cradles) to replace my current Yakima J-cradles. I have yet to use them on a lenghty trip, but it seems that the rear cradle does not hold the kayak as tight as it should. The kayaks in questions are a Capella RM and an Aquanaut RM. The front cradle grips the front of the kayak rather tightly due to the higher volume in the front. However, since the back deck of the kayaks are lower in volume then the front, I am able to wiggle the rear of the kayak back-and-forth in the cradle. Overall the cradles appear to hold the kayaks tightly, however, the “wiggle room” in the rear does give me some concern. Is this normal and something I should not worry about? Am I tightening something incorrectly? All help would be greatly appreciated.



two options
compensate for the lower volume aft section by padding the rear cradle.

Or, run the strap underneath the ‘J’ part of the cradle instead of through the slots. (This was mentioned in a recent post).

Hey, can you take a measurement for me
How wide a bar would the Autoloader fit on? I think as long as the bar isn’t wider than the area between the bolts it would mount…


They mount alright
The autoloaders mount alright, don’t move at all. It’s more of a question with the kayak sitting in them, the cradle doesn’t seem to hold the rear deck as tight as the front due to the lower volume. If I grab the back of the kayak, I can wiggle it back and forth. However, if I grab the kayak at the cockpit and try to move it, the only thing that ends up moving is the car.

This weekend I will try the suggestion above of running the straps underneath the J-cradle, rather than through the slots. I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience, or if I am concerned over nothing.


I use

– Last Updated: Feb-14-08 8:26 PM EST –

I have had 4 or 5 different sea kayaks on them without seeing anything I consider a problem. The boats don't necessarily fit perfectly, but they sure don't move anywhere. have used for trips up to 12 hours of driving on freeways (and up to 85 mph).

The straps that come with them are long enough that I throw an extra loop around that boat. I start by looping the strap through the slot at top and pull it over the boat. Then loop the non-buckle end around the cross bar and back up over the boat. This then is pulled all the way around (under) the boat and then through the buckle.

I don't think the wiggle in the back will make a huge amount of difference, but the idea of padding the rack could remove that.

I do use a bow tie down at all times. And a stern line on long trips. I don't think they are needed, but I use them just in case.

Fit Questions
I had their orignial J-Cradles they came out with in 1996 and now have the newer ones. My Caribou has the same rear movement but there is no effect from wind on the turnpike. The combing is captured on each side by the straps and movement during transport is nill. I have at least 25 long distance trips and am pretty comfortable with these carriers.