Saris saddles slipping...

I had a situation with Saris saddles this past weekend.

I’ve had the rack since last summer and used it almost every weekend with no problem. Sometime in November, it came off the car and stayed in the garage all winter.

On Saturday I put it on the roof and put my kayak on it and started down the road. 15 minutes later, I noticed the front tie-down was going slack. So I stopped and check the strapps and found both of them were quite loose. I tighten them up and started driving again. This time keep checking the front tie-dwon. Another 10 minutes later the front tie-down went slack AGAIN!

Now, I knew I had a problem. To make a long story short. The saddles. both of them, had slip outward on the rail!

That’s when I realize the knob that tighten the saddle to the rail aren’t that big. So there’s only limited leverage in getting them tight. It’s also kind of blocked by the saddle base so you can’t really get your fingers around them too well, further reducing the turning force. The weight of the kayak, plus the bouncing while moving, simply pushed the saddle out and out till the kayak nearly touch the cross bar!!!

The saddle never got loose during the summer when I used it every weekend. So I’m only speculating maybe the temperature changes during the winter must have made the knob loose. Had I known better, perhaps I should have checked the knobs the come each spring?

Has anyone else encounter similar issues?

similar + a solution
My thule saddles became harder to get a tight fit on (and kept taking the skin off my knuckles). To prevent that I used the extra line in the tie-down to wrap from one saddle base to another, underneath the boat, after it was tied down.

But your subject line is fun to say five times fast…

If you tie down your kayak per Saris’ instructions, the strap goes through the saddle so there is no way it can move outward…thoughts?

How are you strapping?
Just under the bars? Really tight?

If you take advantage of the pass through in the base the straps can hold kayak on AND keep saddles from slipping apart should the tightener on one of the base loosen (which I never had happen, but can see how it might).

Can’t recall which way they show - but I always used the pass throughs. Often without even going under the bars - as I trusted the saddles - but no reason you can’t do both.

Can’t use my Saris on my Audi - but really like that rack. Sadly, it’s currently serving as an overpriced yard rack.

Thanks, will check
…the saris instruction. (unbelievable to have instructions comes with an USED rack).

In any case, now I know I can’t take the saddle-2-rail connection for granted.

Good thing I hooked the front tie-down. I always hesitate for a moment and then tied them. I’ve never had loose strap in the past so kind of thought the tie-down was a bit “unneccessary”. That’s why I only used the front, more as a visual clue than an actual anchor point. This time it served its purpose and saved me from demaging the boat.