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Talon Side Loading Roof Rack by E-Z Load

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I'm looking for ways to load/unload my kayak myself. It's frustrating to always have to depend on someone else to help get it on/off the car. I saw this product and it looks like just the ticket. Has anyone used these or know anything about them? They are kinda pricey (like $399) so if anyone has other suggestions for ways to load/unload solo(I have yakima j-bars on a subaru outback), I'm open to ideas. Thanks!

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Hi Paula,

I have no personal experience with the E-Z load racks. However, I remember reading some messages about them on a board somewhere (can't find it now, of course) that suggested the actual "lift" provided by the rack is quite marginal. So, not sure how effective they might be.

Anyway, my own solution for getting the boat on top of a Cherokee is cradles in front and the Thule slider-thingies (can't remember what they're really called) in the rear. They work OK but rollers would probably work better. Anyway, placing a towel on the roof behind the sliders, I just place the bow on the towel and shove the boat up from the rear until the bow is settled in the front cradle. Removal is simply the reverse. I've seen many folks using this general setup with pretty good results.

Other approaches might include using just cradles with an extension bar on the front crossbar that you slide the bow up on then lift the stern into the rear cradle. Might be a bit tougher to finesse than the cradle/rollers setup.

Best bet would be to check out what everyone else is doing at the put-in and figure out which might work best with your boat/vehicle combination.

Good luck!

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Guest guest

Hi Paula,

I posted about a similar concern earlier this week. I have a Nissan Xterra (very tall) and am only 5'3". I took the advice given here and just returned from my first solo trip. I was able to load and unolad myself! I have Yakima Hully Rollers on the back and Mako saddles on the front. I used an old bathroom rug with the rubberized bottom to lay (rubber side down) at the back, behind the rack to protect the roof, then picked up the front end of my boat and slid it into the rollers, sort of standing it up against the rear of the vehicle, then lifted the back end and walked it into place. It was really much easier than I expected. I think the Xterra is one of the taller SUV's around, so you should be able to do this pretty easily on your Outback.

I feel liberated!!!

Good luck with it!


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Hi, Paula.

Back when we used a very tall Chevy Suburban

to carry kayaks, we used a setup like the

one described above. It was fairly easy to

load a boat solo. It sounds like the way to

go. I would ditch the "J-cradles" You'll be

happier with the roller setup, either Thule

or Yakima. Sell the cradles in the

classifieds or take them back and exchange

them if you can. Pretty likely you can find

used stuff for cheap money. No way would I

put another $399 into just carrying my

kayak! (My $0.02)

Have fun.


Oh, yeah, my back says "never load it solo

if someone can help."

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I have Thule cradles fore and aft and have them covered with fleece "booties." They make it very easy to slide the boat onto the cradles and to reposition the boat once it is up. You can also put a rug over the front hood and windshield and slide the boat up stern first. I find that even easier than lifting it up onto the rear of the car.



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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I actually do have a saddle/roller set up on the other side of my car. I do, however, prefer the way the j-cradles carry the boat. Seems a little more secure - but then maybe I shouldn't be driving 80mph on the highway with a boat on top! (I do recall a post about brit boats flying...hopefully it won't be mine!)

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Something people may forget is the load their roof rack can take. Most roof racks are capable of holding a single boat but alot of racks are not rated to carry two heavy boats.

If you consider that you are putting straps on your boat and wrapping them around a place at either end of the widest part of the boat the place the boat is resting is less of an issue. In the case of a plastic boat, you aren't going to tighten the straps as much but this principle still applies.

Rumor has it that Liz Neumeier is the preeminent authority on top speed of an automobile with a kayak and I don't think she ever lost a boat. For the stories I've heard of boats coming off a car it was always because they didn't strap it down.

When putting your boat up on the car, it is always best to make sure it is dry and empty. Even a light boat like the Yare is heavy when the hatches are full of water.

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