rack recommendation?

I know that it’s probably been asked a thousand times, but…

We are new into kayaking. We have recreational/touring kayaks. I have a 16 foot fiberglass and my wife has a 14 foot Airalite.

We plan on using her Honda CRV to haul them. It has a factory roof rack. (Yakima’s and Thule’s sites are sometimes contradictory or incomplete as to attaching mounts or crossbars to the factory rack. Yakima has MightyMounts that they seem to say will work, but when you go through the menu, it automatically selects Q Towers, at a much higher price, etc).

So help me out. Which set up should I go with, to haul both kayaks together? (I used foam blocks to bring one home, but that won’t work for two kayaks side-by-side).

Price is a factor, but I know I need to get “something” beyond the factory rack.

I’m figuring on something like Yakima’s Hull Raisers, or Thule’s Hull-a-Port (same basic J hook system).

Is one “better” than the other? Why? Other suggestions?

Any help is much appreciated!

There’s no perfect answer
but let me offer some general advice based on having Yakima racks for almost 16 years. The web site is a good place to start but you are correct, sometimes the reccommendation “changes” as you work through the configuration menus. I just bought a CRV and for the life of me can’t see where those towers would attach to the factory rack.

I’ve found that if you call Yakima, they give you very good guidance on the phone. Then–to be extra safe–trundle down to your dealer and check its printed book (many big box sporting goods stores sell the bike racks and will have the fit book for you to look at) to make sure the answers you got are consistent. It’s worth the effort to call them and check the book. You want to do this only once!

As for which yak device you want that’s purely up to you and your vehicle. Is it wide enough to carry two boats flat on their hulls? If not, you’ll need to lay them on their sides. I’ve had very good luck with the basic saddles and rollers. Just make sure you rinse your boat so you’re not dragging sand across the bottom with the saddles or rollers…takes an extra minute to do this before you lift the boat from the water, or carry a jug of water in your trunk.

Finally consider a trailer. There’s reams of posts on this topic here. I’ve about grown tired of buying new rack parts with each new vehicle and am considering a folding trailer. With my last car, my wife and I dropped a boat on the roof because we were tired and it was dark. It made a tiny dimple unrecognizable to most folk, but it’s always bothered me that traveling with the boats requires such a lift…my wife is very petite and no matter where she stands it’s an undertaking. Just a thought…you can get a trailer hitch for a couple of hundred bucks and a trailer for a few more bucks but you won’t have to buy new parts each time you get a new car.

But you’ll be happy with Thule or Yakima if that’s the road you take. Both are quality products.


Thanks Bob!

Your recommendation on a trailer was actually my first choice, so I may go that way anyway.

I was hoping to maybe get in on rackwarehouse.com’s sale on racks that ends today, but rather than rush it, I think it may be prudent to wait…

I’d hate to get what I “thought” would fit, only to have it not.

Thanks again!