Kayak Racks

I have a 2005 Saturn VUE with factory installed luggage rack. I’ve been looking at J racks to carry a kayak on top. However, I am not sure where to secure the tie downs for the bow and stern. Any suggestions on best rack to get or best way to secure the kayak?

I do not know that answer but would recommend full research as I was just talking today to a friend who while carrying plywood securely attached to the roof rack had the roof rack pull off the car. Plywood and roof rack were intact and secure, in the middle of the road.

Well designed racks do not need tie downs for bow and stern. The straps at the rack are adequate. If you feel you want a little added security, you can run lines back to the cross members from the bow and stern. Kayaks are not plywood and do not offer that wind resistance.

Around here, Thule, LL Bean, Ski Rack, Old Town Canoe and Mountain Sports among others offer mail order racks that can be trusted.

Thanks! Do you recommend something different than the J rack?

Friends that do serious ocean kayaking and travel several days a week with boats worth lots of $$$$$$ trust them implicitly. Mine are smaller lake beaters. Boats can be lowered onto these racks from garage hangers easily when not in use. So unless any other “cartalker” can add anything, that would be my recommendation.

I have Yakima racks for my bikes and kayak, which attach to the roof rack of my RAV4. The whole rig is extremely stable, but quite noisy at high speed, and your mileage will decrease. And in California you need bow and stern tie-downs regardless of what rack you have for your kayak. The stern tie-down is no problem - metal pieces below rear bumper. Bow is more problematic if the front bumper assembly is all plastic (as on the RAV4!).

I recommend the Yakima Hully rollers and Mako hull cradles.

A word of caution…if you tie down both bow and stern lines (bow Y to tow hooks maybe) be sure and tie just snug. Careful not to deform these flimsy plastic boats.