Yakima Hully Rollers

I just received my Yakima rack and Mako saddles in the mail today. Turns out I forgot to order the back saddles.

What does everyone think about the Hully Rollers vs. the Mako saddle on the back? I am not sure about the strength and stablity. I have a glass boat. Anyone with either set up please advise. Thanks for you help.

I use Hully Rollers in the back of my rack with Mako saddles in the front. It makes it much easier to load our kayaks. However, I drive a pickup truck, so it’s much easier to use the rollers than with a car. I also tried J racks but returned after using them one time; it was too difficult lifting our boats the height of my rack (which is higher on trucks than cars). Bottom line, the Hully Rollers are an excellent option if you have a pickup or SUV with a high roof and no trunk in the back.

vehicle height
A lot depends on your vehicle height. For a Honda Odyssy I would say yes, roll it. For a Civic, No.

From the fact that your even asking you probably have a taller vehicle and the rollers are easier to load than saddles.

They are alsoless secure (less support latteral and otherwise) but rarely evera problem especially when used with a set of saddles.

I bought a set of rollers for a hard chined boat that didn’t fit in saddles, and also used them with other kayaks with no problems.

My choice …

– Last Updated: Oct-10-08 2:17 PM EST –

... was to get a second set of saddles. I see three "problems" with the rollers.

Frst, in order for them to be of any use they had to be pretty close together otherwise my boat would just slide up the rack between them. But I did not want them too close at the normal position as I though they needed to be about 10-15" apart if not more in order to fit where I wanted them on the hull for transport.

The second problem is that their base will rotate out of position on round bars eventually. And unlike with the saddles (which also tend to rotate a little) do not adjust themselves automatically but just go lower on one side or the other.

Third, I thought that they had a relatively small surface area of contact with the boat, thus creating potential stress points more than the saddles.

So for me - not much use for the rollers. I went with saddles front and back, both with the felt pads that are sold separately. I use the rear pair just like I used the rollers - slide the boat on top of them (the first few feet the boat slides over the bar b/w them, then it lifts-up on them as it widens. While doing this, they tilt back a little and then tilt back forward when the boat slides horisontal and rests on all four.

Lastly, I found there are two kinds of ties supplied with the saddles - one is a two-piece design, the other is a one piece. Both work fine but the one piece is easier to use - just slide it under and strap above, where the two-piece you have to attach each piece individually the right side-up to the saddle. Plus the one piece has a much longer belt that I can wrap around my kayak to hold my deck cover in place for instance.

And add that I do not use the supplied stern/bow tie lines - I use rope that works better than the flat straps for me.

Have them and …

– Last Updated: Oct-10-08 2:22 PM EST –

... if you have the rectangle bars then they work, but if they are round bars you are clamping them onto then they slide forward and back on the bar and make loading and unloading a pain.

This is the only issue, but not with the rollers - just the bar you attach them onto.

They work great to have them on the back and then your saddles on the front.

Mako saddles
I use Makos front and rear for my rounded chine boats have them padded with the felt protector stick on pieces Yakima sells I slide my boats on with no problems and have not yet had scratches in the gel coat. Had this set up going on 3 years… the hard chine boat gets loaded in the middle position on a Thule Set and Glide set up.

Here’s what 20 other paddlers think:

Thule fits Yakima (last part of this vid

– Last Updated: Oct-10-08 5:46 PM EST –


Thule Slipstream. Watch vid--solution for you.


Disagree on the issue …
… with the movement of Hully Rollers on round bars. I have the Mako Saddle - Hully Roller set-up and find it very convenient to use. I did crank the rollers down very, VERY tightly on my round Yakima bar and have had no problem with them shifting out of place. But you do have to do a serious job of tightening them!

But, like one of the other posters, I am getting more concerned about the rollers applying pressure to such small spots on my glass boat. The Mako Saddles spread out their load over a larger area, theoretically eliminating any serious pressure points. The Hully Rollers, however, concentrate their load on four very small spots. Although the likelihood of fiberglass deforming on the Hully Rollers seems to be much less than with a plastic boat, I’m not sure I want to risk it. So, I’m seriously considering selling the rollers and getting another set of saddles. And, as another poster mentioned, the felt pads (sold separately) that stick to the surface of the saddles seems to make it pretty easy (and scratch-free) to just slide the boat onto the top of the car without rollers.

BTW, if you go with two sets of saddles, take a look at the Yakima load-assist device called the ShowBoat. It’s a roller device but their website shows it being used with two sets of saddles. It’s also another $100 !

I use the rollers on my LIberty and
have gone for trips of 600 miles one way without a problem with boat shifting on them. I also use the round bars and yes they will slip a little when loading but all I do then is just tighten the bracket that holds them to the bars. They sure make loading and unloading easy.

I have some of everything
On the truck, F350/Ford we have 4 Thule J-racks, so we can fit everything up there. On the Rav4 we have one side with the Hullavator, (for me) and on the other side we have 1 set Mako saddles and the Hully rollers. That way, no matter what configuration of paddlers that go with me, I have the set-up for all.

Kind of expensive, but it works for us.


I’ve got both,
rollers and saddles on the rear rack for the Tahoe.

I slide both boats up from the rear with about the same amount of effort.

I guess I’d say the rollers are not superior to the saddles, unless the boat is quite heavy, or if you are really concerned about scuff marks on the hull.

I don’t find shifting of the round bars to be an issue, if all is tightend well.


I ended up…
…with Yakima Landshark saddles, and am very pleased with them. I also have concerns about the smaller pressure points w/Hullyrollers (at least with the boats I have now) and also like to position the saddles under the bulkheads…the saddles facilitate this. If I had a heavier glass or plastic boat I might be more inclined to use rollers on one end…

If you have round bars, hullies are…

– Last Updated: Oct-11-08 7:50 PM EST –

...a pain. If you have squared bars so they won't rotate, they actually work quite well. Still think Mako saddles work just about as well for loading the boat and are quicker to strap (w/integral strap) and do a better job of holding the boat. JMO.

Hully rollers and mako saddles:
I have a set and used them for a short time. I agree with some of what most of you said, but I ultimately found them to be useless. I have two composite boats, and two plastic, and the rollers contact them all in a different manner. And the rollers do indeed shift around a bit on round bars. And slide, rather than roll on composite hulls. I load on a Dodge Grand Caravan, and have the bars set at the extreme ends of the factory rack, giving me nearly five feet between the bars, and find this to be a very stable and easy to load rig. I have gone back to the cheap, durable foam pads that I started out with, and find them durable, reliable, and very easy on the hull. They also spread the load over a very broad, soft surface. It eases the friction a bit to spray the pads with a bit of water, prior to loading. Anybody want to buy a like new set of Mako/Hulley Rollers? They are just taking up garage space. Ken, Daytona Beach, Fl

Just curious.
Do those of you with shorter cars (thik Honda Civic etc.) leave your rollers and saddles on the roof 24/7 or remove them when not in use?

I realize it takes eight bolts to remove them from the car, but they are after all, wingnuts, and not exactly difficult to remove (possibly by someone you don’t want removing them).

I’ve been thinking about simply using Nylock nuts and maybe Blue Locktite, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to easily remove them or move them.

Anyway, just curious if you leave them on or not.


I can’t remember a Civic with a factory rack, so I presume your using the Q-towers and bars, with saddles.

On our car, we just remove the whole rack, bars, saddles, and all.

It takes less than two minutes. Clean aerodynamics restored.

If you’re nervous about removing the Q towers, just mark the spot where the clips attach to the car with a marker, or tape, on the upper part of the door sill. Where it won’t show with the door closed.

Mark each assembly as to which is front or rear.

On the truck which has roof rails, it’s even easier, except for the reach. We take off the whole thing, and store it away.

Hope this helps,

T (the other T)

I gain at least 3 gallons per mile
when I remove my rack from the '02 Prius I drive. I can actually feel the resistance at higher speeds, since the car is not that powerful and begins to struggle with the additional drag…

The fact that I can remove or install it without even opening the doors is somewhat unwelcome - anyone can take the whole thing off - but also makes it easy…

Plus, in heavy rain I’ve had water seep-in and drip on my thigh while driving at high speeds - it goes around the metal bar holders since they compress the door rubber trim

TJ, thanks, but
I was thinking more of security than aerodynamics:

The possibility of someone walking away with $150.00 (I paid $125) worth of hardware in a matter of minutes.

My Yakima rack has a wing/air dam, so I’m not sure what, if any, effect the added gear with have. Hopefully it won’t howl like the bare bars do without the wing. ;-/

As for security, I installed the saddles with Nylock nuts and lockwashers (overkill I know) and the Hully-Rollers with a series of nuts, lock-washers and Nylocks (I had them lying around). ;^)~

If somebody wants my “Rollers” they’re going to have to work for them. =)


some “fuel efficient” that Prius of your
If you gain 3 gallons per mile, what does it consume with the racks on? something like 27 gallons per mile?

did not know that the Prius was THAT thirsty?!?

But then again you could have meant: 3 miles per gallon :slight_smile:

I know, I am a smartass that picks on small mistakes.

No offence meant, Kocho