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2015 Outback 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone,


We're looking to put 2 kayaks on the top of our 2015 3.6R, using the factory crossbars. The kayaks are 12ft, 57 pounds each. We bought a couple of pairs of J-bars to try out that option, but the factory crossbars seem a little twisty, and I'm not sure this is the best solution. These are the J-bars we bought:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00873J0YY/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A1B7M9EQGNCLQA&psc=1


These are the kayaks, if it helps at all:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QILUMLC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


I think I read that the factory crossbars have a weight limit of 150lb, correct? So we're probably pretty close to that if we include the total J-bar weight of 17 pounds. We will be at driving freeway speeds over several hours.



We're willing to look at other options, but wanted to get some opinions about whether this option is safe for a trip we have next week, and if there is a better solution long-term with a Thule or Yakima system (or something else?) Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
 

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'17 Outback 2.5i Premium
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138 Posts
I use two pairs of Thule Hull-a-Port XT racks, and they work like a charm. I had tried the equivalent Malone racks, but they wouldn't mount correctly on my '17 Outback. The Thule racks were solid. I had no issues with the stock crossbars; they twist a bit if you really push on the racks, but that isn't the same a the load stress from a kayak. The weight limitation is conservative - that shouldn't be an issue.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R Touring
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I carry two Dagger Axis 12.0 kayaks on my outback using Malone folding J-racks mounted to the factory crossbars. Four years up and down freeways and bumpy dirt roads without any drama. Outbacks rock. I leave the Malones mounted on the bars and simply take the bars off when not using kayaks.
 

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02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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Brucey
'17 3.6
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11,294 Posts
I strap two twelve foot on the roof using nothing.

Just two ratchet straps with the two sitting on top of each other.

Stable up to 75 mph.

Just did it today. We had 3 of the 5 people with us wipe out in some class 2 rapids.
 

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2014 OBW Premium (Ice Silver Metalic)
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I strap two twelve foot on the roof using nothing.

Just two ratchet straps with the two sitting on top of each other.

Stable up to 75 mph.

Just did it today. We had 3 if the 5 people with us wipe out in some class 2 rapids.
Forgive me, Brucey. I'm a little dense. Are you strapping two boats using only 2 ratchet straps, or 2 over the first boat and then 2 more over them together?

Thanks!
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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11,294 Posts
Forgive me, Brucey. I'm a little dense. Are you strapping two boats using only 2 ratchet straps, or 2 over the first boat and then 2 more over them together?

Thanks!
2 ratchets total for 2 boats.

Tightening the first one down compresses them both enough that you can shake the car via the boat.
 

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Thanks! I guess I hadn't even considered strapping the boat(s) directly to the crossbars. I'll try it this weekend.

*Edit: I did try your method yesterday, works like a champ on my '14, Thanks again
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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11,294 Posts
Thanks! I guess I hadn't even considered strapping the boat(s) directly to the crossbars. I'll try it this weekend.

*Edit: I did try your method yesterday, works like a champ on my '14, Thanks again
I'm glad it worked out. I'm not sure the purpose of J hooks. Maybe different style boats? Easier to load?

You do have to reach them up fairly high but it's not a problem for me I'm 6'0.

I snapped a picture today as we were leaving just to show you but it sounds like you got it figured out. But for anyone else wondering...

 

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J hooks stand kayaks on edge, easier loading and unloading. I'm absolutely certain you've seen them on people's rides lol. Just weren't aware of what you were seeing. Personally i put my kayak on upside-down and hook the back lip in front of rear bar so it can't push backwards then just throw 2 straps over to hold it down
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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11,294 Posts
J hooks stand kayaks on edge, easier loading and unloading. I'm absolutely certain you've seen them on people's rides lol. Just weren't aware of what you were seeing. Personally i put my kayak on upside-down and hook the back lip in front of rear bar so it can't push backwards then just throw 2 straps over to hold it down
I know what a J hook is. But I don't see anything wrong with what we're doing just stacking them either.

If I hand built a cedar strip / high dollar kayak, was shorter, or had a tall vehicle I could see the appeal of the J hooks.
 

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Only problem i see with your way is bottom boat gets kinda mushed, might cause breakage (split) or deformation over time. I do something very similar so whatever works right?
 
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