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Rated4out of5byCurt from SeattlefromLooks great, works greatThe FatCat 6 looks great and securely holds a lot of equipment. The aero profile minimizes wind noise, though you can still hear a bit of a whistle at highway speeds. The ratcheting latch mechanism lets you close the bars tight enough to hold your gear without having to apply excessive force to close the latch completely.
Installation isn't terribly complicated, but it does take some time and attention to detail. In particular, when turning the thumb wheel that shortens the retaining straps, make sure the straps aren't already wrapped around your car's crossbars. If the straps are wrapped, then the rubber coating around the straps can catch, making you think the straps are fully tight when they aren't. Said another way, the rubber coating around the straps should be able to slide into the brackets as you tighten the thumb wheel.
One key tip when loading: if the key doesn't turn easily with the racks loaded, you've probably ratcheted the latch too far. Press the release button and ease the latches back one setting, then turn the key. The latches don't have to be fully closed to hold your gear securely. After locking the keys, pull sideways on your skis/board to make sure they're secured.
Date published: 2014-03-02
Rated5out of5byandrewbeanfromEverything you need and moreThis was a great purchase. I wanted a snowboard rack that wouldn't make a ton of wind noise, and also looked great. I needed it to carry several snowboards, some skis, and sometimes my fly fishing rods. This rack does all of the above and looks really sharp while doing so. I leave them on my car (locked at all times) because I can't imagine putting them on in cold weather. My advice is when installing them park your car inside or somewhere where the weather is bearable because it will take 10-20 minutes to line it up and do it right. If you do it right the first time you won't have to do it again. Great purchase, especially with the 20% off list price I got them at. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2013-12-09
Rated5out of5byBrad ConnerfromThe Perfect Rack!Perfect Rack for multiple Fat Skis!
Date published: 2013-06-26
Rated2out of5byJustMattfromHigh Expectations, low resultsI purchased this roof rack system to replace an equally sized Thule system.
The reason I was replacing the Thule system was because it did not give me enough clearance when I carried snowboards bindings-down (impacted roof).
While these do give me the ability to carry ONE snowboard in an elevated state, the overall ease of use of this system, as compared to the Thule, was extremely difficult.
I mounted the roof rack to the factory crossbars on my 2013 Outback. This process took quite a bit of time and was a bit of a challenge as you had to get the rubber straps tightened appropriately (with a small scroll wheel) and then align the latching system _just_ right so that a little gray notch wasn't blocking your way (I guess you really have to see it to understand).
Once installed, it was extremely difficult (compared to the Thule system) to close the roof rack with 4 snowboards (2 x 2). The system would frequently unlatch itself, and did not feel very secure when fully latched.
Locking the system is another challenge. I thought I was going to break the key off in the lock cylinder the first few times I was turning the key. As it turns out, one must give a significant push in while turning to free up the lock cylinder. This was quite unlike the Thule system, which was an effortless twist.
Finally, when in the "open" state, one does not have nearly enough clearance to adequately insert snowboards/skis as you have about an inch of opening to work with. Compare that to the Thule system which opens quite high. This may be due to the fact I have my system setup for additional binding clearance for the roof, but still, this is yet another frustrating component of this system's design.
Given the opportunity, I would have purchased the OEM system, which offers the option of additional roof clearance. Conspicuously, the Yakima-supplied Subaru OEM mounts were out of stock nationally.
On the plus side, these mounts look very nice, and are less noisy when unloaded compared to the Thule system.
Date published: 2013-02-27
Rated4out of5byBryan Heart BikesfromDoes the trick, but a couple of critiqueMy wife had an ailing Yakima ski rack from her snowbunny days in California, and this is a most excellent upgrade: rubber is nice and pliable, actuation is pretty fluid, holds the skis pretty well on the roof. Instead of two strips of rubber running the width of the top and bottom bars, this puppy has three strips, alternating bottom-top-bottom, which I felt offered a more "customized" fit on the skis (less wiggling). Haven't used it on a snowboard yet.
There are a couple of critiques I had that perhaps someone will find useful in making a decision:
** Let'$ $tart with dollar$, because this thing is expensive! Best features of all the racks I was looking at, but certainly among the top-dollar options.
** The attach points (rack to factory/oval cross bars like mine) are no longer bolts and threads - that sounds like a good thing, right? - but rather a sort of "comealong" mechanism (turn the dial to advance a belt and buckle, either looser or tighter). Where the belt and buckle "meet" to tighten down, I felt like it was really tough to dial in the right amount of tautness, where "as tight as I think it needs to be for sturdiness" was really, really hard to fasten, and "the limit at which I think I can humanly fasten this" wasn't as tight as I'd hoped it would be. BUT, I drove 6.5 hours each way with three sets of skis on the roof, and nothing moved. So maybe it's my paranoia.
** Because of the new attachment method, be aware: When the rack is empty, if you don't have the jaws closed and locked, it COULD BE POSSIBLE for someone to prop open the top bar, unhook the fastening points without the use of tools, and remove your expensive Yakima rack from your roof. And then you'd be mad. So avoid that and keep it locked up.
** With skis in the rack, you can practically clamp these jaws closed all the way - very secure! - BUT the SKS cam locks will NOT function as prescribed. We had to loosen the "teeth" a few clicks before the locks would work. I don't know why that is! The locks should work at all levels as long as the teeth/jaws are properly engaged. We had two engineers on the case at the time, so we were sure it wasn't user error.
All in all, quite pleased, and would recommend to anyone. I'd just advise that, what I like may not be what you like... so be aware that, if you want to spend less, there's likely to be something else available to you! Cheers.
Date published: 2013-02-27
Rated4out of5byJPipefromGets the job doneThis is our first rack and it looks and fits great on our 2013 Subaru WRX wagon with factory cross bars. The install takes two people and the small, cheap, plastic knob adjustment is a littly tricky at first to tighten the rack to the cross bars. We have put 3500 miles on our car since install a month ago and haven't had to make any adjustments and haven't removed it once. When the rack is full or ski's are stacked, it is hard to lock. If you pinch down on the top a few inches from the lock while locking, it seems to take care of that.
Date published: 2013-02-13
Rated2out of5byNanashi no gombeifromGood Idea, still room for improvementWould have loved this product if the locking mechanism/ lock was good. Wind noise is non existent from the rack in a 07 Xterra. Locking the racks took some strength. (maybe that on a xterra its harder to get the leverage to close?) But thats not my ultimate gripe. Took it up to a trip to Mammoth and when we were getting ready to go home one of the locks just would not unlock. We ended up having to destroy the lock to get it to open. The rack was had two pairs of skis locked at the time. It was not like we jammed the rack with too many skis. We ended up tie wrapping the rack shut for the drive back.
Not sure if we just had a bad lock or what but its a disappointment. I ended up returning the product. Trying the Thule and its locking mechanism is much better but the wind noise is much greater. Installation on the Thule only took like 10 minutes. The Fatcat 6 took like 20. Install was relatively easy. No tools required. Really wished the Fatcat6 worked out. I really like the design, the low wind noise, the double hinge on the other end, but the one critical part of the rack the lock/locking mechanism was not up to par in my book.
Date published: 2013-02-13
Rated5out of5bypsquaredfromPHAT CatInstalled the FatCat 6 and factory crossbars in one hour. Easy install. Easily holds 6 sets of skis. My wife and I ski on mid-fats (95 cm) and the four kids all ski on 80's, I have room for at least another pair.
Date published: 2013-01-30
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