Thule Top Deck Saddle?

I saw this in the catalogue. There’s one but only one review here in the product review. But the advert and the review said it’s “good for the money” “economic solution”. But neither the catalogue nor the reviewer go into specific of what are the trade-offs compare to their other, more expensive saddles.

So, has anyone looked into these and had thought and/or actual experience about them? What am I giving up? Durability? Functionality? Most importantly, any safety concerns (to the boat or the car)?

Thule Top Deck ok for short runs
We bought a set for visitors boats and use on my car. The surface area of the pads is smaller than their better cradle and we found you have to cinch the kayak tighter to keep it from moving. But for quick jaunts out to the lake and back its been just fine. I can use it directly on my Subaru factory cross bar too. But if you have an expensive kayak I’d go for larger cradles which Thule offers as does Yakima. Off the subject but we used the Yakima Hully rollers with our first poly kayaks and were really disappointed in them and sold them with the boats. Dented the boats pretty bad and never “rolled” worth a darn.

Comments on Thule Top Deck Saddle
After laying out all the money for two Impex kayaks, paddles and all the rest of the paddling parapenalia this spring, there was not enough money to pay for the “best” kayak saddles available from Yakima and Thule. I ended up getting two sets of Thule Top Deck Saddle with the assumption that they would get replaced next year with something better.

After five months of use, I can tell you I won’t be replacing them anytime soon. I’m using them on a Yakima rack. Only issue I’ve had with them is when you strap down the boats using normally accepted practice, ( ), the blocks tended to slip on the rack, the boats acting as a wedge driving the blocks apart. Found this very annoying until I changed how I strap down boats. I now basically wrap the straps around the boats, the saddles and the rack, the straps crossing under the bar. This method causes the blocks to be unable to shift around on the bars now. When done properly, the straps don’t need to be overly tight and the only movement of the boats is due to flexing in the bars themselves.

Took a trip with a friend using his car. He was using Yakima Mako saddles and rollers. Won’t be letting him transport my boat again as the amount of movement in the boats allowed by this setup when traveling was very disconcerting. His boat was moving so much that the people in the other car traveling with us almost had us pull over because it looked like his boat was going to come loose. Asked him about this and he said it was normal. Funny what people will accept as normal. Note, we both drive same model of CRV and use Yakima base rack. Only difference in our setups is the saddles.