Kayaking is one of the most favorite hobbies of many people. In fact, people go on kayaking vacations and enjoy themselves. If you are planning to drive to the kayaking destination and looking to carry your kayak, you can do the same conveniently. There are various kinds of equipment and tools available so that you can mount the kayak to the roof of your car or adjust it to the sides. Among the different tools, a kayak rack needs special mention. The kayak can be placed on these racks and then fastened with straps so that it remains safe and secured during transit. There are many companies that manufacture kayak racks. Thule is a well-known company in this regard. In this article, we will discuss in detail about various kinds of best Thule kayak racks.
Best Thule Kayak Racks
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1. Thule Hullavator Pro Rooftop Kayak Carrier
This is an excellent lift-assist kayak rack, which is designed in a manner so that you can load and unload the kayak on your own from the rooftop. Even if your kayak is slightly heavy, you will not feel the weight that much. This is because the carrier comes with gas-assisted lifting features and reduces almost 40 lbs. of the kayak’s weight.
The carrier is constructed with aluminum and has a double-coated steel construction. As a result, the rack is light in weight but extremely strong and durable. The kayak cradles that are present are corrosion-resistant in nature. They are designed in a manner so that they can be extended for fitting wide kayaks. For offering maximum protection, there are 8 touch points of padded support in the kayak carrier. The pack of the kayak carrier also contains bow and stern tie-down straps so that the carrier remains secured and safe during transport.
2. Thule Hull-A-Port Aero Rooftop Kayak Carrier
Thule Hull-A-Port Aero rooftop kayak carrier is a favorite with many kayak enthusiasts for its amazing features and qualities. This is a vertical kayak carrier and provides a highly integrated attachment and a clean looking rack. The best thing about this carrier is that it has multiple carry options. Single kayak can be carried in saddle mode or J-stack mode and two kayaks will travel in stacker mode. Maximum protection is offered by the racks with padded upright and thick rubber saddles.
While loading, managing straps can be an issue. This carrier has integrated StrapCatch facility so that loading becomes convenient and easy. When not in use, the rack can be folded down flat. It has been seen that this rooftop kayak carrier fits all rack systems as it comes with universal mounting hardware. The installation of the carrier is tool-free and hence pretty quick. The load capacity of the carrier is 130 lbs.
3. Thule Compass Kayak Carrier
With the Thule Compass Kayak carrier, you will be completely prepared for your kayaking experience. You can carry a single kayak on this carrier in saddle configuration or J-style mode. If you plan to take 2 kayaks, you can do that as well as stacker mode. Great protection is offered to the kayaks and similar water sports equipment with thick rubber saddles, which are padded upright. No damage is inflicted on the kayak as well as to the surface of the rack or the vehicle roof with the padding.
The load straps can be easily managed when the kayak is being strapped down with the use of Integrated StrapCatch. This is actually two sets of load straps – bow and stern tie-down and BuckleBumpers. For better aerodynamics, the carrier can be folded down and made flat when not in use. The rack is quick to install and has universal mounting hardware as it fits all rack systems.
4. Thule Hull-A-Port Kayak Rack
Adventure lovers want to take their kayak to any place that they go hoping that they could enjoy kayaking. And for carrying the kayak on the rooftop of the car, you need to have this Thule Hull-A-Port kayak rack. You might go to any destination, you can load and unload the kayak conveniently. This is a premium vertical carrier that has the right combination of maximum strength and great protection. It definitely provides an excellent transportation solution for kayaks.
The rack has the capability of carrying 1 kayak up to a width of 36” and a weight of 75 lbs. The rack comes with a wide mouth J design for easy loading and unloading. Steel is used in the making of the rack with adjustable padding so that the protection of the kayak is ensured. Quick installation and uninstallation is guaranteed with the proper hardware. Rust-resistant tubing is used for the long life of the product. Straps are included in the kit for proper fastening and support during transit.
5. Thule Dockgrip Kayak Saddle
This is a horizontal kayak carrier, which comes with heavily cushioned flexible pads for the smooth carriage of kayaks from one place to another on a car’s rooftop. The kayak carrier is highly flexible as it has the capacity of carrying wide varieties of kayak shapes and SUPs. The product comes with an angle-setting lever and two independent pivoting saddles. The heavy cushioned padding offers extra protection to the kayak and to the parts of the car on which it is carried.
The straps used for fastening and securing the kayak to the crossbars of the car are of high quality. There are center load straps, bow and stern tie-down straps, and BuckleBumpers for fastening. The carrier or saddle will fit in large numbers of Thule rack systems and round bars for their flip-fit brackets and t-track. The saddle has the capacity of taking a kayak load of about 85 lbs. and the kayak measuring 36 inches in width.
6. Thule DockGlide Kayak Carrier
When you plan to take your kayak in a passenger car, you can think of using the Thule DockGlide kayak carrier for the same. The greatest advantage of this kayak carrier is that it comes with pivoting felt-lined rear saddles, which help in gliding, placing, and adjusting the kayak in the vehicle. Basically, loading and unloading the kayak on the rooftop of a vehicle gets very easy with the use of this kayak carrier.
Once the kayak is placed safely on the rooftop of the car, it is important to fasten and secure the same so that the kayak doesn’t fall or sway much during transit. For that, there are different kinds of straps provided with the kayak carrier. The kayak and the crossbars of the vehicle are protected with the help of large, cushioned pads. Kayaks weighing about 75 lbs. and with a width of 36 inches can be accommodated on this carrier easily.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.