yak saddles for custom truck rack

I have a rack for my gmc sierra that i made out of 1.5" square tubing and I’m looking for a set of kayak saddles that will mount to the 1.5" crossbars. I will be hauling an avocet rm and an ok scrambler xt. Are the saddles really necessary if the boat is properly strapped down with cam straps and tied off at the bow and stern? Or could I get away with padding the crossbars with pool noodles?

rack saddles
You could get away with that but wouldn’t. Get a set of Mako saddles and drill holes in your tubing to bolt the saddles down. The saddles have four holes but only two have to be bolted. It will be easier to tie down your kayak. If your spread is six feet I wouldnt worry about bow and stearn lines unless you are hauling long distances at high speed.

Ryan L.

the pool noodles will probably last a season before the sun dries them out and they don"t like compression too well. they dont " bounce" back into shape after awhile, and the color will fade making things look scruffy. Saddles keep their shape and color and look better. Yakima foam blocks run as little as $35 and landshark saddles will run $75 /set


foam blocks
You made your rack. Why stop now? Buy some foam blocks and mount them to the bars. You can profile them to fit the hull if need be.

oh yeah, you need 'em
Yeah, even if you’ve got a tough poly plastic hull, you should support it.

Foam blocks are light but not strong, and just sitting on 1-1/2" tubing, they might want to blow away.

You can get away with whatever you
want to use.

I value my kayaks so I use either saddles or J cradles.

I’ve been through the other route years ago, and now do it the right way

Jack L

I guess the main part of my question was whether anyone knew of saddles that would attatch to 1.5" square tubing.

Mako Aero Saddles?

– Last Updated: Feb-12-11 9:07 AM EST –

The Yakima Mako Aero saddles are to fit most any factory bars so they have an adjustable mechanism that grips the cross bar. No idea if it would fit your custom bars but since that style is designed to fit most factory racks I thought it might be worth a look.

They will fit but you will have to make them fit. I doubt they make a clamp adapter for a 1.5 square tubing. But just drill through the rack and buy some bolts. The main advantage to the saddles is that they are very easy to tie down and they ensure a tight fit. As opposed to tying down on foam and hoping you have it tight enough but not too tight.

Ryan L.

pics of truck?
Would love to see some pics of the custom rack. I have a 2008 silverado extended cab and am contemplating options for hauling my boat.

I have a folding tonneau cover that goes over the edge of the bed covering the stake pockets. My wife is pretty opposed to a ladder rack but that would provide such a large spread between bars that I really would like to go that way instead of just Thule bars over the cab.

The only rack I could find that would work with the tonneau though is from Oak Orchard (Style #2)


I have seen their ads in magazines for years but their website is so poorly done I hesitate to order from them. Anyone have any experience with them or other ideas for me?


Thank you all for the responses. I’ve found some that will work. Jason, I’ll post pics when I have the rack completed.

they will not blow away
…and they are plenty strong. I’ve been using them on my rack for over five years.

You do not ‘need’ saddles.

I think any of the brand name racks will fit 1.5" square tubing. You might need the longer bolt sets that are available from the manufacturer.

However, I agree that foam blocks are also just fine. If I could get them around my Trac Rac, then that’s what I’d probably be using.

truck rack
i also made my rack,made j craddles out of inch and a half steel strap drilled hole an bolted to rack.works great! cheaper than buying saddles!