roof rack saddle

I've been using straight rack pads for my canoe and am thinking of making the switch to saddles. I know nothing about them. Thule, Yakima, Malone, other ? My crossbars are fat, Im thinking some are incompatible.

I'm using Tracrac G2 cross bar on a Toyota Tacoma long bed. The cross bars are about 6 ' apart. When I strap the canoe on [balanced fore and aft of the xbars] it seems to hang way out the back of my truck dangerously, the front of the canoe barely visible to me through the windshield. Would it be more stable, or put my canoe farther up if I got the cantilever over the cab style rack ? Any problems with the 3 crossbar system, ladder/lumber rack style configuration ?

OC Paddler community forum is the best, I learn so much by reading here.


Submitted by robopaddler on Mon, 05/20/2013 - 9:09pm

I have the old school three rack steel bars that bolts straight to the bed of the truck and cantilevers over the cab. I have no problem with the 2nd rack hitting the canoe when I transport. I usually use the far two racks. Set up to where my nose of my boat is right about the hood of the truck and my tail is only sticking out 3-4 feet. The second rack is good cuz you can also strap your ama to it as well if you don't want to put it in the bed of your truck. If you wanna use saddles I don't think you need to worry about the second rack. Since the saddle is raised about 2-4 inches above the rack.

Hope this helps.

#1 Mon, 05/20/2013 - 10:10pm

I only use rack pads myself and feel like it is the best option even though there's some rubbing marks that will develop over time from the straps. I have a Toyota Tundra and the racks are probably only about 5 feet apart but I feel that they hold the canoe in pretty well even though the wind may make it wobble a tiny bit.

The only problem I've heard that people have with saddles is that the canoe will sometimes rotate in the saddle and find a rubbing point. Of which is usually remedied with some foam or a towel.

#2 Tue, 05/21/2013 - 9:14am

I haven't seen a manufacturer of canoes use saddles as the saddle is small and doesn't cover much area, therefore putting on lot of stress on the hull of the canoe, especially if the canoe is fresh out of the mold and still curing, possibly causing some damage/denting. Luke doesn't have saddles on his truck nor does Kai. The strongest part of the canoe is the cockpit area. Best practice is to tie the canoe upside down.

#3 Tue, 05/21/2013 - 5:11pm

Paddlefast,true dat

#4 Tue, 05/21/2013 - 5:17pm

I have Saddles, Used them for my boat for a year with know real issues. That said, the boat would rotate sometimes from wind. Just never really felt secure in those things. So now I tie my boat to the rack, and I throw my 2 man in the saddles. Its big enough and heavy enough it won't go anywhere....just a quick 2 cents.

#5 Wed, 05/22/2013 - 2:36pm

Mahalo paddlers. I hope to one day share knowledge. Aloha

#6 Wed, 05/22/2013 - 8:37pm

Sadles work... if you have a mid/large volume canoe. the smaller volume boats like the XS, older gen hurricanes, osprey, etc. dont sit so well in the saddles. I've had to re orient canoes 45* to get them to strap in good. Larger boats should fit most saddles without problems. The strapping points with saddles on a standard sized bed allow you to strap your canoe within the cockpit area, the strogest place for strapping. However this leaves the nose/tail areas free to flex in the wind. Some guys add additional rack above the truck cab area to stabalize the nose and get the strapping points further apart.

I however prefer using pads instead of saddles. It offers way more padding for strapping purposes. saddles just dont conform to canoes all that perfect and offer poor padding unless you throw in a towel or something. It really all comes down to how you strap your stuff down. Both ways work... personal preferance really.

#7 Mon, 05/27/2013 - 5:00pm

I'll start with a confession. I spend WAY too much time strapping my boats down to my vehicle. But many of the races I attend mean a drive through (sometimes) windy mountain passes at highway speed up to 120 km/h (75 mph). The farther apart you can have your racks, and still keep the saddles near the stronger part of the boat, the better. I'd be afraid to strap to three bars as it may stress the boat. I'd also be concerned about strapping to a roof rack mounted to the cab, as it may flex differently from the box.

I use saddles because I've had boats spin sideways on a bar alone. I put all shapes and sizes of boats in the saddles. I've got a collection of those little gardening kneeling pads that I throw in the cradle under the boat that snugs up the fit, and allows your straps to tighten more securely.

I've posted pictures of my boat racks on OCPaddler. They use an aluminum bar to get the extra distance between saddles, which I then bolt to my factory racks.

Don M
Penticton, Canada

#8 Mon, 05/27/2013 - 8:05pm

75 wow that's unreal

#9 Wed, 11/06/2013 - 11:45am

Please register or login to post a comment.

Page loaded in 0.171 seconds.