Thule Xspoter rack---Canoes?

-- Last Updated: Mar-31-14 3:53 PM EST --

Anyone own the Thule Xsporter rack for pickups? Wondering what the balance is like between the rack and cab shell.. Seems the roof of the truck would get in the way of the bow.
Anyone used two canoes side by side?


You should be able to get the racks high enough over the cab for canoes to clear it. This would depend on whether or not you drive a regular, extra, or super crew/ quad cab. The length of the canoe(s) might also come into play, but I think there’s enough height.

as long as the gunwales will clear the
cab’s roof…looks ok. I think the less space will preserve your mileage…y/n? …Just make sure your tiedowns are secure…namely the thwarts-to-bars tie + normal over-the-hull + bow and stern tiedowns.

If they don’t…I’ve seen personal mods where they’ve bolted wood to the top of the bars.

I Have the Yakima Outdoorsman, BUT…
…I was admiring the Thule on a truck at one of my take outs last year. It felt more “Substantial” than my Yakima? While I was admiring it, the truck owner arrived. He had an extended cab like I and I think the only canoe I may have had a clearance issue with his setup would be my Esquif Mistral? It has big, deep Prospector-like stems. But the owner said it could be adjusted up further if he needed to, so even that boat may have been o.k.? If I had some extra cash burning my pocket I’d use my Yakima in the barn and buy the Thule to replace it on the truck.

Solid Rack

– Last Updated: Apr-03-14 3:32 PM EST –

I used an xsporter for a few years and it is a very solid rack. I carried two and sometimes four canoes on it (double stack).

I did not have the load stopper attachmnent. A buddy has the same rack and with the load stoppers you almost don't need to tie the boat on, it's not moving. He routinely carries without front and back straps. I wasn't that brave. In theory, belly straps and load stoppers are enough, but I like the redundancy of more tie downs.

I did need to be careful of the bow and roof. On my whitewater, highly rockered boat (Dagger Encore), I had to lower the back rack to have clearance. For my 17' boat, the bow can be positioned ahead of the cab, so it works out, as long as you don't slam the boat onto the racks when the bow is right over the cab.

There are two downsides to the xsporter. 1. They cost a lot. I paid $400 for craigslist used. 2. If you hit anything with the rack, or back into something with the boat tied on, you will bend the rails on your truck bed. The racks are solid. You wouldn't think you'd hit anything, but trees sometimes lean over or have a limb that can catch the rack. And it is easy to back into things, because the stern hangs out behind the truck (hint: a flag helps). The rack does not give, at least not easily and not before the truck rails cave in. I never did it, but have seen other trucks with rail damage done by xsporters.

A plus is that the xsporters are fast and easy to remove for those times you need to use your truck for other truck stuff.

I recommend the xsporters if you have the money for them.