Loading Kayak Solo - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Loading Kayak Solo

I currently drive a 2009 XT. At just 61 1/2 inches it's easy to load my sea kayak on and off the j-hooks by myself.

I load the boat onto the car from the rear, drop the bow onto the rear hook and push it into position.

And to offload, I do a one-had press to dismount the boat, then haul away.

I'm been thinking of switching to a 2019 Outback, but the extra 5 inches concern me. So much so that I'm thinking of switching to BMW!!

Has anyone dealt with solo mounts / dismounts on the '13 and later Outbacks?

What are your tricks and tips?

Thanks

Bob

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 03:54 PM
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My MDX was taller than the Outback. Loaded 12' SUP's, 18' outriggers and my 6ft surf kayak solo all the time. I usually carry it overhead and slide it on from the back and situate it from there.

They also make rollers you can use for the rear roof mount and just get the front up and on the rollers and slide it.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 04:44 PM
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I typically just heave my boat onto one of my shoulders, set the bow on cross bar, then start pushing to get it on. Reverse process to get off. I use horizontal hull supports, but I imagine you could do it the same with J hooks.

If you are loading/unloading from the side, there is a step inside the rear passenger door frame you can hop on if you need it to help you reach.


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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 05:53 PM
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I'm 5'11 / 6'0 depending on if I stand up straight.

But I have no issues loading two. Stack one on top of the other.

Standing on the extra wide door sills is a big help plus the tire is a good foot point.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 08:37 PM
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You could probably get 10 posts with 10 slightly varying methods that work. Think the takeaway is you should be good without resorting to a beamer.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:54 AM
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I'm short 5',5" and I don't have an issue sliding it on from the back. For strapping, I step on top of the rear tire and for the front I open the driver/passenger doors and stand on the rocker. I needed to find a way to make it work without a step because I won't have something to stand on at the lake!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 11:14 AM
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"V" cradles and load form the rear

I don't have my kayak cradles setup on my Outback yet (so no photos) but it will definately be having cradle type carrier---NOT J hooks--- on the vehicle. Put a carpet pad on top of gate to put one end of kayak on...lift kayak and slide upright onto cradles. Same to unload. This system has worked well for me on other vehicles including our full size chevy van. A small step stool may be needed for straps. J hooks can be tough unless you are tall (and/or young and strong).

I happen to use some DIY cradles that were custom fit to our kayaks but there are some manufactured versions available. We have two 45-48# 10 foot plastic kayaks and two 40# ABS 12.5 ft Hurricanes. We paddle a lot.

Photo is of boats on old Camry. Same setup will be used on OB. The only drawback to loading boats upright is that you really need to have cockpit covers if rain is expected. they also cut down wind noise. I should also note that side by side kayaks need a longer cross bar so that might an issue if you are just using the Subaru bars...not long enough if using two boats.
Loading Kayak Solo-kayak-camry.jpg
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profmdover View Post
I currently drive a 2009 XT. At just 61 1/2 inches it's easy to load my sea kayak on and off the j-hooks by myself.

I load the boat onto the car from the rear, drop the bow onto the rear hook and push it into position.

And to offload, I do a one-had press to dismount the boat, then haul away.

I'm been thinking of switching to a 2019 Outback, but the extra 5 inches concern me. So much so that I'm thinking of switching to BMW!!

Has anyone dealt with solo mounts / dismounts on the '13 and later Outbacks?

What are your tricks and tips?

Thanks

Bob
I'm guessing you are using J Hooks. For saddles, I just throw my PFD on the rear spoiler, rest my 18 or 23 foot sea kayak on the PFD, then push it onto the saddles. Simple.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 03:27 PM
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Malone seawing & stinger

I use the Malone SeaWing with the Stinger extension. I put the bow of my Hobie on the Stinger, lift the other end and slide it on. The Hobie is 13´and 70 lbs. I am 71, 5´9¨and 145 lbs. Not the easiest, but doable.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swtwtr View Post
I use the Malone SeaWing with the Stinger extension. I put the bow of my Hobie on the Stinger, lift the other end and slide it on. The Hobie is 13´and 70 lbs. I am 71, 5´9¨and 145 lbs. Not the easiest, but doable.


That is probably the best alternative. Down side is the hardware is a lot of stuff on the roof, which my kayak guru called gingerbread. If you are going frequently it’s worth it. Leave it up there. Otherwise I’d use the plain full wings and a removable mat on the back.

Ultimate solution is a trailer.

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