i have a yakima roof rack for two kayaks 12 and 14 feet. this ez-vee rack looks like it would be earier and quicker to put kayaks on car. as of now i have to open door stand on inside of car. i have bad knees and tieing down with tie downs take more time and strain on knees. this ez-vee system you set kayak in v and use bungee cord to tie down. seem easy. i may want to buy this product. this product is in paddling.net accessary buyer guide. opinions?
Haven’t seen or used it
But I can’t imagine trusting my boat to be held down by bungee cords.
Agree with not trusting bungees
A friend used to secure his Ocean Kayak Prowler with bungees, doubled at each strapping location. Twice when I was with him, the bungees came off at less than 45 mph. No loss of kayak, but after the second time, he gave up on them.
I don’t have one
but it appears to me that the system works best for long/skinny boats. I too am leery of bungie cords.
Before you make a decision, look at both Thule and Yakima accessories for loading. I have a Thule Hullavator which works very well. Both brands have sliding extensions that allow easier loading from the rear of the vehicle. And both have extension bars that make loading from the side easier too.
2 years - no problems
I've been using an EZ-Vee Plus for two years now with no problems. I bought it because one of my boats has no attachment points for front and rear tie-downs. From May - September, it sees continuous use, at least 3 times per week.
Here's some photos of the setup on a Mini Cooper:
The Mini factory bars remove completely in a couple mintues. I leave the EZ-Vee attached to the factory bars permanently, so the whole thing lifts off in one piece, which is very nice. I had to make custom attachments to mount it on the factory bars, which was not too hard.
If you had to remove the EZ-Vee from the bars, it would take a while as others have noted - there are 8 big Allen screws holding the EZ-Vee to the bars.
Addressing the issues raised above:
Bungees - the 4 that came with the rack have never failed. The bungees work very well to put the boat on the rack quickly on a windy day - no boats blowing away. That being said, I wrap a 9' NRS strap twice around the boat at the front and rear over the bungees - this takes about 2 minutes. But to be able to put the boat on the car, attach the bungees and then do the straps later is really nice.
The bungee issue is a non-issue - people talk as if you are required to use the bungees, which is silly. You don't have to use them if they make you nervous, and in my case they are a backup system to normal straps. This should not keep anyone from using the system.
Boat size - my EZ-Vee Plus holds all 3 of my boats - 14'1" x 25", 13'9" x 23" and 17' x 22" - so short fat boats are not a problem. (only one boat at a time, of course!)
Hull damage - hasn't happened yet. I have added pool noodles over the straight mounting bars and strapped them in place with zip ties, and replace them when they get worn. This seems to solve the issue of stress concentration.
In addition, the EZ-Vee itself acts as a suspension, reducing stress on the hull. The boat is attached to the ends of the carrier which are 8' apart. The carrier is connected to the factory bars which are about 3' apart. When the car bounces around, the whole rack system can flex up and down an inch or two, absorbing a lot of the vibration. For saddles that are connected directly to crossbars, that vibration is carried directly to the boat. Also, the Vee parts are moveable, so you can set them at the bulkheads if you like (I don't bother).
I like the system (obviously) and will be adding a second one to the Mini this spring. It's pricey, but the fact that Thule has copied it (not very well, by the looks of it) should tell you that the idea is good.
OK, sales pitch over - and no, I don't work for Gray, but he is a nice guy to deal with.
PS - I just re-read the review above - the only thing I would add is that the rack IS made of aluminum. It's heavy because it is a thick custom extrusion and the central bar has a full-length X-shaped internal stiffener.