Yakima bar dimensions?

In my hopefuly soon to be over quest for a way to mount my kayaks on my industrial ladder rack, I have come up with an idea. I can mount round bars on the rack and use Yakima saddles and rollers.

What I need to know is what is the outside dimension of the Yakima bars. Their bars are only 48 inches long so I will have to get something a little longer but once I mount those I can then mount the Yakima Kayak accessories.

Anybody got a yakima rack and a ruler??


get one of Thule’s saddle systems instead. Most are designed to work with a variety of different bar types and dimensions (Yakima’s starting to get there, but they’re not yet as versatile as Thule’s).

1 1/8" nominal, although the actual O.D. where I measured one of mine was 1.131".

Caliper Says
My genuine Yakima 78" plastic covered pipe for 2 canoes side by side are 1 3/32" outside diameter according to my thickness planer calipers. I only took a caliper reading on one bar at one location and don’t know how good their tolerances is on plastic application.

Thanks all -
I think I finally have this figuted out. If I am not mistaken 1" EMT tubing should do well. I will go to my local Lowe’s and get those and then to Hooper’s my local shop in Paducah and get the saddles and rollers and I will be all set.

See ya on the river…


Yakima makes longer bars, unless

– Last Updated: Jun-04-06 1:26 AM EST –

they've stopped My yakima bars are 78" long, of course I bought them back in the early '80's. A less expensive way to go is to buy either galvanized or black iron pipe in the same dimension, though the plastic coating on the Yakima bars may make the OD a bit larger.

Rack Attack says they have bars from 48" to 78". Talk to them.

Link for bars:


The Yakima bars are thicker than EMT - 3/4 rigid (GRC, heavywall, whatever you call it) electrical conduit or plumbing pipe should do the trick. I’ll bet that’s what Yakima uses; they just dip them in plastic.

I use
3/4" galvanized pipe. Works very well. The pipe is a tiny bit smaller than the Yakima’s but the clamps seem to handle it. If not, get some heat shrink tubing and put it over it. Or a couple of layers of paint might do.

Yakima bars rust, at least the old ones
do and are thicker than conduit. They appear to be black iron with a plastic coating.

Yakima bars
I ordered a set of the 78" bars they are supposed to be 1" diameter galvanized pipe, they are dipped in plastic so they are actually larger than 1" dia. about 1 3/32"

OD gage says 1-3/32" diameter. Tube?

– Last Updated: Jun-05-06 9:25 AM EST –

Ruler says 8' long. Yes that is 96". I can haul three canoes abreast with ease! :^)
Well, except for the gas mileage! Three big canoes really drag it down! :^(

Tubing vs Pipe. Might want to check the strength if each and compare carefully. Tubing is normally not as strong as pipe. There is quite a difference. I even placed a pipe inside the pipe Yakima supplies. Has made for a strong, complaint free rack all these years.

Rust? You bet ya! Especially when extended without refinished cut ends. In addition I leave the end caps off and use the pipe ends to hook bungies into which might speed the rusting process. Appears going to have to replace my bars after only 8 years or so of heavy duty. Started to do it 2 years ago, but put it off. They still worked, but can not slide the gunwale brackets all the way out this year. The end 2"+- are rotten; now 1-1/2" in diameter thick, flaky, and crumbling so I guess it is time.

I have described how I extended my rack to 96' several times, but if someone needs the info again just holler.

1. Not a good idea extending too much outside the roof boundaries unless on a full size van or other high vehicle where people can easily walk under without chance of head and other body parts hitting the racks.
2. It is best not to extend past your side mirrors. As a rule of thumb police will normally consider pulling you over to check if you are legal if your rack ends extend past your mirrors. They will at least take a second look and may follow to see you are operating safely; keeping it all in your lane and such.



Guess I was lucky when I tooled down the
road in my Corolla with the 78" bars extending way past my mirror. Or, maybe Texas leaves you alone if the object doesn’t extend into the other lane.