Malone Stax vs J racks?

-- Last Updated: Jul-06-12 2:41 PM EST --

Need to put 2 recreation sit-in 12' kayaks ontop of a Jeep Liberty.

Was initially thinking about getting J racks, but looking at the Malone Stax, seems like a much more simple/elegant solution. Aside from what kinda looks like the kayaks slipping sideways on the crossbars - any other cons with the Strax system? - I like the idea of not trying to figure out how to get the kayaks an extra 6" or so for the J hook ;-)

Any opinions? Other products out there?


Do they not make these anymore?
I always thought these looked nice:

I use the Malone stackers for my white water boats. I have the Malone Sea Wings for the sea kayaks - I think they are easier to load with longer boats, if you have the horizontal bar dimensions to accommodate them.

The stackers are economical compared to other solutions, and I think a 12’ rec boat is well within the parameters they were intended for. I know a few people who use stackers for sea kayaks - I just found the wings easier to use for loading longer boats.

J racks
One of the benefits of the J Racks is that once you get the boat into them, the boat will sit there very comfortably until you get the straps on. I haven’t used the Stax (yet!) but it looks like the boat wouldn’t be as secure leaning up against them until you get the straps around it.

Rule of Thumb

– Last Updated: Jul-06-12 8:52 PM EST –

The general rule of thumb seems to be go with some combo of pads, rollers, or something like the Malone wings if you have a high roof, like a SUV. Being able to slide the kayak on is much easier then lifting it.

On a shorter roof J are great and may be the only way to fit two kayaks on what is probably a smaller roof. Easier to lift the boat and if the J's have some type of slide on the front that is helpful. I would see the center bars working better on a sedan then a SUV as well.

I have a small/mid sized SUV with Js and at 5'8" getting a kayak up there pretty much means a power lift of the boat (60+ lbs) over my head holding on the cockpit and then kind of a slight toss to get it up there. This also means that getting a boat up there with a cockpit cover on is very difficult solo. I do have one of those Thule Outrigger extension bars, which I have mixed feelings about, but does help a bit at the end of the day when tossing the kayak up there gets a bit hard.

I never used any of the bar in the middle of the rack mounts. I would think it might be a bit of pain getting the straps up and around the top of the post. If you are using with factory racks that slope towards the outside of the car, I would see that making it difficult until you get the kayak strapped down.

I couldn’t get Sea Wings to work for my
non deep V boats. Worked great for the deep V Eddyline Merlin LT that I got them with. I sold them with that boat.