Mini Countryman Rooftop Carry Loading Options

I have a Countryman w OEM crossbars. I’ve been toting my kayak upside down but am looking at the Malone Seawings for better carry. As a 64 year old woman, I use the economically based bath matt method for loading. I see the Stinger is only 24" long and my roof rack is 40" from the spoiler edge so that won’t work. With straight up rear window and little spoiler, the window roller won’t work. I wish I could afford a hullvinator, maybe I should consider it a long term investment that I could use on future cars. Otherwise, am I stuck w the bathmat? Am I missing any other options? Thanks.

I’ve used the bathmat option for years on a Subaru Crosstrek with Marco Saddles (similar to the Seawings) with no issues. For me, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and if I drive off and forget about the bathmat (done that twice, rescued it once), it’s a $10 loss. That said, a friend who has the exact same car had issues with the bathmat as she is shorter than I am and the angles didn’t work as well - everything felt very unstable.

One of my boats has a rudder that doesn’t kick up so I load it from the front - I put the bathmat on the hood, put the boat on stern towards the back, and slide on. It actually works really well and is more stable than loading from the rear, although since the span from the hood to the front bar is longer than the span from the spoiler to the back bar this method probably would only work with a sea kayak (the boat in question is 19’). But something to consider and maybe try.

As far as the Hullavator goes, it needs to be mounted on aftermarket bars, so you would need to factor in the cost of that in addition to the Hullavator. It gets pricey very quickly, but at some point may be worth it to keep you on the water.

Good point, I have fallen into the Yakima/Thule proprietary trap before.

Yes, 12’ kayak can be a bit squiggly on the mat/bars via bathmat side mount. Not sure the front is workable for me but I’ll look at it. I saw a YT vid of a guy using a workout roller and strap to rig a rolling mechanism between bars on one side, that looked intriguing.

It’s the toughest part of kayaking for me.

Maybe something like this will help in rear loading.

if your cross bars are long enough, you can take loop a cam strap tightly over the ends, then set the front of your boat up against the strap, lift tail of boat. sliding and pivot into place, only works if crossbars extend a bit beyond side of car, remove strap and use other straps already in place to secure boat

I don’t know, but I have an extension that makes my front bar longer(Yakima) and I can prop one end up and get the back up and then move the front into my saddle as the rear is already in place

Loading from the side is a viable option. Here’s my home made version of a kayak side loader, similar to running a strap between the ends of the bars but perhaps a bit more stable.

Inno makes a similar side load device, the Inno Kayak Lifter INA453:

Thanks, all, no long crossbar but these after market options may help!

Just looking at their catalog, typical example of Yakima getting pricey:
Yakima Showdown $600
Yakima 60" Corebar $200
Yakima Timberline (depending on roof) towers $275
Yakima SKS lock cores $50
Total $1125
+ straps and maybe something to lock the boat to the rack.

Or… 14’ Pakayak that you can put in your back seat: $1900

I’d buy a Goodboy Rack Hatchback Special with their Slippy Socks on the rear V-bar. Makes sliding the boat on an absolute breeze, and the V-bar is deep enough to keep the boat from sliding side-to-side. More secure than the vast majority of systems out there. Often, you can mount the main bar under your factory rails for an even lower height.

It’s absolutely the best money I’ve ever spent on a rack.