Now that you have a rack, you need a system for carrying your kayak. Thule has lots of different systems to fit different needs. The two major systems are the Set-to-Go to carry the kayak on the hull, and the Hull a Port to carry the kayak on the chine (side).
The Set-to-Go is the most common. This cradle has a low profile and can be adjusted to the shape of the hull. Maximum kayak protection and transport stability are provided by a soft, adjustable saddle. It fits Thule standard and Xsporter load bars, Yakima®, and most factory installed racks.
The Hull a Port is much taller and carries the kayak on the chine. Its unique shape fits sea and whitewater kayaks. The Hull a Ports are padded to gently cradle your boat. The angled design allows more room for other boats or carriers on your roof. It's easy to load - just lift up the boat and place it in. It fits Thule, Yakima®, and most factory installed racks. Carrying a boat by the chine has advantages. Have you ever seen a big indentation in the hull of a plastic kayak? This "oil canning" is usually caused by carrying or storing the kayak on the hull. The Hull a Port will reduce or eliminate hull deformation. Composite kayaks aren't prone to hull deformation, but they too are stronger in the chine. Another reason some people prefer the Hull a Port over the Set-to-Go is that they can fit two kayaks on the 50" load bars that lots of vehicles use.
If you need to load the kayak on your own, then the best combination is the Set-to-Go in the front and the Rollercoaster in the rear. The Rollercoaster allows easy loading with the optimally positioned roller. The roller eliminates contact between the boat and the load bar (and your car) when loading the boat. The included Hydro Glide saddles center and guide the boat during loading, and provide a large surface area to support the hull. They are fully adjustable for different boat styles and sizes. The Hydro Glide saddles mount to Thule square bars only.
Atlantic Kayak Tours, Expert Center
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