I know the differences between the 887 and the 887XT. In practice, is the 887XT significantly better? Thanks.
I can see is the color. The XT has black pipes instead of silver. We’ve got the 887. We’ve had it for four years. The pipes on ours are silver in color. We love these racks. Got two of them on Thule square bars on our Honda Element. I don’t know for sure, but my best guess is the XT is the latest model, and all they did was change the color.
When we bought ours a few years ago I ran into this same thing with the load bars. The newer ones had a silver strip on them and were more money, go figure?
If you can find an 887 I’d buy it and save the money. It’s a great rack.
Last fall we were rear ended and pushed into the back end of a truck in the front of our other Element. The car was totaled, the rack and the two 18’ glass boats were fine. Made me a believer in a good rack, good straps, and bow & stern lines!
Check out a company called RackAttack, great service, good prices, and the phone is answered by a real person.
more than color
Outside of color, there are two big differences, Saddles and clamping hardware. Thule changed the bow saddles from Set-to-Go’s to a variation of the Hydro-glide. The physical saddle is the same but the pad is not slippery felt like in a true Hydro-Glide but a grippy rubber. The other major change was how the rack clamps to the vehicle. Thule spent some time tweaking the clamps, they’re a bit beefier than the previous version. Also, to release the rack, allowing it to slide, there are only two clamps on one side versus the old version which had four. Four clamps made it very difficult to operate when there were two boats on a roof because you couldn’t reach the inside clamps.
The new pads will accommodate boats other than touring kayaks, like SOTs, and the new clamps definitely make it easier to use, but is it significantly better than a previous version? Guess it would depend how discounted an earlier version is. The new one is definitely improved, and it comes mostly assembled unlike the prior version. Thule didn’t raise the price with these improvements so they’re obviously just trying to improve the product, not empty your wallet.