Saddles vs. rollers

I’m trying to decide whether to stick with a saddles/rollers set up or a saddles/saddles set up. I’m presently using but need to replace my hully rollers. I’m think a kayak would ride better in saddles than on rollers. Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Rollers on back
Made it a lot easier to get the kayak on and off. I never noticed any decrease in their ability to hold a boat compared to saddles.


I have used everything over the years
including Hully rollers, land sharks(saddles), and J cradles.

On my large vehicle, (a pick up with a cap) carrying two kayaks I prefer straight saddles. I load from the rear, and the kayaks slide on nicely

On my smaller vehicle (Suburu Forrestor), I prefer J cradles, and still slide the boats on from the back.

The hully rollers are sitting idle right now and don’t get used.

I have a pair of ancient Yakama saddles that I glued carpet to the surface, that are still my favorite for the rear (sliding the yaks on)

jack L

Roll Model
I literally just finished installing these 2 minutes ago:

They are cradles but there is a roll bar in the back to assist. I get my kayak tomorrow so I’ll let you know what I think of them!

With the exception of the transformer like Whispbar WB401 I’ve switched over to carrying Marco Kayak Saddles. It’s a saddle and glide in one with a 21"x12" bunk carpet surface for a gentle carry.

Imported from Florida.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

I gave away my rollers…
the boats slide on the saddles just as easy, and the saddles offer more surface area for support of the hull.


I have rollers for sale…
if anyone wants them. We found the rollers to be too fussy.

Thanks for the feedback

Sweet Roll is my preferred set up. Replaced a pair of Hully Rollers with them last year. Much better than the Hully rollers.

How to deal with plastic wing on suv
I have a 2015 Rav 4. It has a fairly large flat plastic surface that comes out to the rear over the window of the hatch back. Sort of a wing affair.

I want to load my kayak onto saddles or roller saddles from the rear by myself.

I can’t figure out a way to do it from the rear of this rav 4 without damaging the wing. Does anyone have the same problem? Have you figured out a way to deal with it? I would use a roller of some kind but I can’t think of a way to attach a roller far enough back on the plastic wing so that it will be possible to set the bow of the kayak on the roller without hitting the vehicle itself. Rav 4 has become increasingly gentrified as the years have gone buy! Used to be a good utility vehicle. Still is I guess but this wing deal is a PIA.

Yakima Showboat
Attaches to factory or aftermarket crossbars. It’ll slide a wise rubber covered roller well past the spoiler. About a third less $ than the Thule Slipstream.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

if you leave your rack on your car
Never use the rollers, or really, just never use the rollers. Saddles-saddles all the way.

This is what you need

Affixes to your roof and back window via suction cups. I have a pair of these for a sedan – one goes on the trunk and one on the back window. For an SUV, one might be sufficient, attached to the back of the roof.

Showboat would work - not K rack
The spoiler is so large on this vehicle that the K Rack will not work. The Showboat would work - but my goodness what a contraption and $200.00! That will bring my total rack cost inclu base rack, two sets of saddle set ups and showboat to something in the area of $800.00+. Yikes. And forget taking your rack on an off the vehicle easily.

Tough to get old! At these numbers and two vehicles to deal with maybe a trailer is the answer. I have resisted a trailer because I have no good way to store it under cover. The garage is full.

Aftermarket spoiler?
Is it an aftermarket spoiler? My spoiler isn’t that big, but no, it wouldn’t allow anything manufactured to work.

Give google a search for DIY kayak loader. There’s plenty of ideas out there. Just looking at Google images there’s various different ways shown. Harbor Freight sells a suction cup system cheap. You could fab something up with PVC to make something that extends beyond the spoiler.

Just some long PVC pipe extending under the roof rack with some triangular contraption covered in pool noodles that is supported on the back of the roof, out past the spoiler and triangulated back to being supported on the rear window would work and get it away from the spoiler.

Got rid of my HR after one rolled over
and the bolts gouged my hull. The roller was not loose.

I prefer saddles.

can you remove the wing?
I ask because a friend has the fourrunner and his wing got vandalized…so he took it off. The top of the tailgate had a small hole that accepted a CHMBL (center high-mounted brake light).

May be an option. Try googling or youtubing it.