Thule "Glide and Set" racks??

-- Last Updated: Aug-20-08 7:54 PM EST --

Thinking about these to replace my Malone Autoloaders. Nothing wrong with the Malones but it's getting harder to lift the kayak over my head to rack it.

I want to still use my factory cross bars and not deal with the bulky assisted loaders. Anyone using this system?

Duh... When will I learn, there are six reviews on's Product Reviews.. anyone else.

I’ve got 2 sets.
I have 2 sets, one is used for my Nord LV and the front ‘set’ portion of the pair conforms nicely to the hull and the flat rear ‘glides’ find flat enough area on the hull that everything fits fine. The other pair is for my wife’s glass Chatham 17 and I’m not crazy about the support upfront for the harder chined hull, it just doesn’t conform as well to the hull as it does on the softer shape of the Nordkapp, the rear glides support the boat nicely on the flat hull.

What will you be carrying?

They work well
I’ve used them and they work well. For sliding the boat onto most vehicles, you will need to use a towel for sliding the boat until it engages the Thule glides. They sell a roller to go behind the glides, but you can’t get the nose of the boat directly onto the roller on many vehicles, I suspect - I used the towel.

These cradles hold the boat in a slight nose-down position, and it seemed to give a bit better gas mileage that way. One tip - for the rear glides, wrap the boat strap to the inside of the base of each of the glides - that way the straps cradle the boat much more securely.

All this said, I’ve been using a set of stackers and Chesapeake pads this year. I can carry up to four boats with that set up. I guess I should peddle the glide sets on eekbay…


I’ve got two sets in the garage, along with the Thule roller. They do make loading the boats easier (careful if you’ve just 303’d the hull), but I found that even strapping the rear glide pads six ways to Sunday, the boats still shifted more than I’d like, so now I just use two sets of saddles. The Thule roller takes up an inordinate amount of bar space,a real PITA if you’re carrying multiple boats, and doesn’t spin all that freely, either-it’s a clunky thing. Have an Oak Orchard one that sandwiches into the rear liftgate of my CR-V for when I’m loading/unloading the tandems. It works worlds better.

Carrying a Caribou that is a perfect fit on the Malones… Just sold my Nord LV so it sounds like I an a little out of sync.:slight_smile:

I’ll take the whole set up and boat to my local kayak shop and see what works best,

Love it!
Have this on my 2008 CRV and it makes loading and unloading VERY easy. Definitely get a towel or a bath map (my pref) so you can lean the boat up against your vehicle, then left until the glide can take the weight. Great straps. Bought mine from, very pleased.

hydro glides
We’ve had a pair of, “Slip Streams,” by Thule on our Element for two seasons. Enables you to load any kayak at the bulkheads, where the boat is the strongest. The ,“hydro glides,” are the rear pads on the, “Glide & Set,” system, and the, “Slip Stream,” system.

I replaced the rear pads, “hydro glides,” with another pair of typical saddle pads bought on Ebay on our, “Slip Stream,” system. I felt the, “hydro glides,” were too slick for loading. Sometimes the boat would vear to one side or the other while pushing the boat up on the rack with the ,“hydro glides.” Just my opinion, real happy with the system now.

they work for me when I need them to
When I’m by myself - these are a lifesaver. Glide and Slide. I put a beach towel on the back of my van and push it up and slide it on.

I’ve had folks who are taller than I just lift my kayak up and place it in place from the side though.

Depends on what works best for you.