The Malone Saddle Up Pro universal car rack kayak carrier is the perfect option when considering transport for one kayak. The loading saddles allow the boat to nestle into the flexible profile of the cradles. This carrier is ideal for larger sit on top recreational and fishing kayaks.
The overall quality of this rack system is good. All the parts feel solid and it clamped to my factory Subaru cross bars nice and securely. The cloth covers for the rear saddles make sliding your kayak up easy and the straps, guylines and hooks are good quality. I used this product when I picked up my new fishing kayak and drove 90 miles with it home.
The Malone Saddle Up Pro was easy to install, and was able to hold my 34" wide 91lb fishing kayak when most kayak rack modules wouldnt. The added socks make pushing the kayak forward much easier. The saddles flex to fit the hull shape of my kayak while absorbing some of the pressure from the tie downs/straps that hold the kayak on the roof.
UPDATE: I discovered I was using the tie down straps incorrectly. They are supposed to go across to top of the kayak, under the cross racks, back across the top, under the other side cross rack and then buckle. I'd like to be able to do that, and the Malone instructions show that, but the straps are about a foot too short. I had to use only one strap across, then go under the Big Tuna (wrapping around the cross member to prevent flapping in the breeze) and then buckle. It's pretty secure but I'd like to have that double strap to be extra secure. I've written Malone, I'm taking a star back for now.
I own a large 36" wide, 10' long tri-hull fishing Kayak that is too large for the J style mounts. This mount works fine. The kit comes with two sets of mounts. One is rigid with a felt liner for sliding, the other is a flexable rubber mount. I think I might have prefered having two sets of the flexable rubber mounts just due to the hull design of my Kayak but with a little adjusting, these are working fine. I mounted these to a 2010 Nissan Pathfinder LE. I think Malone's fit guide is incorrect. My factory crossbars are more flat than oval but the fit guide called for 80mm bolts to use. I ended up using the smaller 50mm bolts that came with the kit and it works fine. One other note, the tie down straps are around 11 ft long and do not reach around the kayak. If you have a bigger boat, purchase some longer straps.
After using a J-rack that was made for my Subaru, and having great difficulty loading and unloading, I bought this. I am 5'3", and sliding my kayak onto this rack is SO easy. I just use a beach towel tucked into the top of the back hatch so I won't scratch my vehicle, and slide the yak right up. I had to have help with the other rack, but with this I can do it by myself, which is a big plus. The straps that come with it are ok, but I had some that were a bit more substantial, so I use them. I am overly cautious about securing it as I drive a bit above the speed limit on highways.
I recently bought a 3-person family kayak, the Old Town 15-Feet 3-Inch Dirigo Tandem Plus Recreational Double Kayak. The kayak is about 80 lbs. I want to take the kayak to camping trips. I certainly need a good kayak carrier. I have done many research and even ordered a L-shape carrier. But the L-shape is not well designed in my opinion(It has lots of good reviews). I finally decided to give this carrier a try, even it has no review yet.