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Rated5out of5byMrEManfromUpdated version of a proven conceptFirst of all, I'm stunned by some of the negative reviews for this product. No offense intended, but there has to be some user error involved in some of those negative experiences. Kayak stackers are a concept that have been around for MANY years ... I've been safely and successfully transporting kayaks using a variety of kayak stackers (from home made wood racks to just about every version Yakima has made) for over 30 years.
It would probably help the reader to know how each reviewer is using the product. Attached to factory crossbars, Thule square bars, Yakima round bars or Wispbars? How much crossbar spread? What type/length of boat? All of these variables could potentially impact the user experience. In my case, I use Yakima round bars with a roughly 42" spread between the bars. I only carry whitewater kayaks, but I've carried everything from an old school 13'1" slalom boat to 6'8" playboat ... with no stability issues whatsoever.
Use of the straps is intuitive and easy. While obviously not recommended, I've traveled thousands of miles at highway speeds with a single playboat strapped on with no bow and stern lines (although I do clip a line from a grab handle to the bars to make sure my boat doesn't go bouncing down the road in the event of a catastrophic strap failure). But multiple boats definitely need bow and stern lines. And I love that the big stacks have incorporated the locking cores. Nothing worse than having components of a high priced rack system go walking off.
Only two minor negative issues with the Big Stacks. I agree with some of the previous comments about the rubber foots ... they don't stay in place as well as I'd like. They don't need to be permanent, but they shouldn't fall off without being pried off. And it's difficult to tighten them down enough on round bars to prevent them from rotating under pressure. More of an annoyance than a real problem ... I just have to rotate them back to fold the stackers down level with the roof. I recognize that this is due to a design concession to enable the stackers to mount to a variety of bars. Yakima themselves states that the mount is optimized for aerodynamic bars.
With all that said, this is a great product and I would (and have) recommend it to a friend without hesitation.
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated4out of5byksnaxfromNot the easiest, but very versatileThe primary reason we chose the BigStack was for the versatility of it. It doesn't really matter how we stack the boats against the posts or what the shape of hulls are so much as how many boats one can bunch together on the cross bar, and for that, these are a great choice. The only significant Con for this setup is ease of loading and unloading, as taller vehicles create a significant challenge in getting the boats onto the rack and positioned just right. They all tend to slide around a bit until the straps are moderately secure. I think however that rubberized padding on the cross bars would significantly reduce the issues with that however.
That said, with this rack system, we were able to carry two sit-atop kayaks as well as two bicycles on the same 58" cross bars. 4-5 boats seems like a doable option in the same space, although additional straps would be required.
Date published: 2013-08-14
Rated4out of5byTubernautfromJust the thingHave tried combinations of J-carriers, and flat side-by-side carry of (2) 14' boats, and this option is by far the simplest and most secure, provided you follow the manufacturer's instructions.
For 3 large boats or 4 small boats, there's really no other truly simple, stable rooftop option.
Some things to remember: Just because the boats are securely attached to your car rack, it doesn't mean that you're immune to crosswinds - they will push the whole car around more as you have effectively added a sail to the roof. Be careful passing or following big rigs, too, as they create turbulence that can be a challenge to deal with at speed.
Date published: 2013-06-26
Rated5out of5byDavewsfromBest multi-boat rackAllows carrying of multiple kayaks for up to four people
Date published: 2013-05-20
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