Saris & Malones Anyone?

Does anyone use Malone Autoloaders with Saris racks? If you do, I’d love to hear your feedback on the combination.

I just purchased some Saris racks, mainly because they are the only mfg that makes a fit for my car. I’ve decided to try a J bar, and Saris doesn’t make them. Malone is the only company that is certain about compatibility of their product with Saris, so it was an easy decision. I’m just hoping it’s a good decision.


Not sure, but…
… you can attach almost anything to a Saris rack with carriage bolts (head in slot).

With the Malones I think you can just clamp their mount around the cross bar. The Saris bar is fat so you may need to replace the bolts on the J-cradle mounts with longer ones.

As for the rack - love mine. Tough. On and off vehicle is quick and easy (no tools - self centering) you so can take the rack off and save gas and have no hassles getting it back on.

The Saris watersport saddles are good too. Very gentle on the boats. The way they tilt you can lean the boat right off - and sit it back on one side and roll it down into the other. I see no loading advantage to J cradles - and have seen no carrier that is kinder to the hulls or distributes forces better than the Saris saddles. Like 4 big hands holding the boat.

I may need to re-consider my Malone decision. I would like to load the boat from the side, beause I’m using a sedan and I don’t want the rear of the car to get scratched loading the boat.


You have two good options
Everyone I’ve heard from with the Malones seems quite happy, just thought I’d give my 2¢ (and now 2¢ more) on the Saris saddles as they are rarely discussed. Many here have SUVs/Trucks, and the Saris system is best on passeger cars where the extra strength (closer spacing) and ease of use (might not want leave on all the time) is more important, IMO.

BTW - I always side load (small 4 door sedan). The tilt helps as you don’t have to lift over the top of a vertical saddle - or have to get the boat all the way centered before puting the weight on the rack - just get it on the outside set (same position as j-cradle load) and roll it down to the other. Small advantage, but after a long day it’s nice.

I see no lift height advantage to the J-cradles for side loading. Look to be same height and yak can be lifted in same orientation for either. If you ever do rear load - with or without help - they work fine that way too. Boat will slide up them fine.

Saris saddles are soft rubbery things (skinned/coated dense foam) - flexible and conform to fit. No hard points. Multple soft points of contact on the hull.

Take the soft part off and you have a set of gunnel brackets for canoe - or ladder - or lumber - or whatever. The bases slide to any position on the cross bar - all the way to the end past the towers - (or slide right off if open). Again, no tools to adjust or take on/off other than the key to unlock.

Very simple items, but well thought out. When first looking - I thought the one saddle option was limiting when comparing to other systems. I have grown to appreciate them. Have used them on plastic, glass, and Kevlar boats. 13 to 21 ft, 18 to 28 inch beams, 30 to well over 70 lbs boats. All have survived on I-95 at up to 80 mph - with Semis - in legendarily insane South Florida (W Palm-Ft Lauderdale-Maimi) traffic.

Most kayak saddle systems are not good for surf skis (surely someone will disagree on this)- which have lighter layups and crush more easily than sea kayaks (my 21’ glass ski is at least 15lbs lighter than my 18’ Kevlar kayak - and it’s not heavy). Ski paddlers I’ve seen favor simple foam blocks - as racks can encourage over cinching the straps. Add small footprint saddles, rollers, or any hard points and it’s bad news. My ski rides very nicely in the Saris saddles. Not to say you can’t still over tighten straps, but there is a lot of cushion in the saddles that does make it harder to do. Also absorbs a good bit of road and wind stress. Like having custom fit foam saddles AND strong rack security.

So that’s 4¢ - take it for what it’s worth. Not pushing this option (note for those like Coffee who think an opinion is somehow pushing stuff on people L) - just relating my experience and satisfaction with the product over the past 2 years.

Thanks, that’s very helpful

I’m glad you like your Saris rack…
…as I just bought one on Ebay. I had to replace my car last week and although the Thule rack I have fits it, I don’t want to leave the rack and all the acoutrements on the new car all the time. I really like the idea of being able to make my own accessories for the rack and being able to slide them on and off at will. Hopefully, the reality will match the ideas.

It is
really nice for taking on and off the car. Like any rack you’ll fiddle with it a bit the first time on (still much less than others), but then it’s very quick and easy.

I think you may be surprised at how strong the triple channel crossbars are.

eBay? Make sure you have/get the right clips (stating the obvious, I know).