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2015 Outback 3.6R Limited with Tech package, 2004 Mercedes Benz C230 Kompressor 4 Dr 105,000 km.
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for a kayak rack system that will hold two 15.5 ft 44lb kayaks on a 2015 OB. I'm concerned about having tie-downs that would extend over the front and rub on the paint.
Does anyone have any suggestions, and or experience with this?
 

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2016 3.6R Limited, w/ES, Ice Silver
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I'm looking for a kayak rack system that will hold two 15.5 ft 44lb kayaks on a 2015 OB. I'm concerned about having tie-downs that would extend over the front and rub on the paint.
Does anyone have any suggestions, and or experience with this?
I have Malone folding racks, and they work fine. My front tie-downs are tied to straps on the left and right sides of my hood that are attached to an existing fender screw. They pop up in between the hood/fender gap. When not in use, I tuck the straps inside. I made rip stop nylon sleeves to minimize chafe on the paint.

Strap discussion: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/138-gen-5-2015-present/340329-under-hood-kayak-tie-down-straps-question.html
 

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2018 Outback, 3.6R Touring
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You may want to take a look at a small trailer. Check out either a Malone Xtralight or Malone microsport. Yakima makes a couple trailers they are called Rack and Rolls and come in 66" and 78" sizes. I have read several reviews online and all these get really good feedback. I just ordered a Yakima Rack and roll today. Hopefully one of these options works for you.
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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How far can a kayak or canoe hang over the front of the roof before it will interfere with the Eyesight system?
 

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2018 2.5 Outback
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Malone Seawings, under hood tie downs as stated above. I went with a small trailer eventually as my kayak is 41 inches wide, and took up too much room...
 

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2020 Touring XT, 2013 Outback Lim SAP 270K, 2003 Outback Lim MT 2.5L, 241K..
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I have two long and fairly heavy ocean touring kayaks (16 and 17 feet). I looked into a lot of different systems - and was a Yakima fan - but in the end really loved the Malone SeaWings. They are really solid and easy to work with once they are on - loading the kayaks from the rear I can do it myself. I tied down the front and rear using these in the rear - just shut the rear door on them
https://www.amazon.com/Shoreline-Marine-Propel-Trunk-tie-Down/dp/B01CRBXQUK/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_468_bs_tr_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=FP17JKPBZ17GC6R3GQ7M
and these in the front under the hood.
https://www.amazon.com/Built-U-S-Sherpak-Hood-Loops/dp/B0024ALDMS

I worried about the rubbing on the paint on the rear door and the front corner of the hood, and just cut a microfiber rag in 4 pieces and put it between the paint and the strap. Nothing scratched.
Only complaint about the Malone Racks are these little rubber caps that go over the screws that are easy to lose - but they are not critical for any function of the rack
 

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Malone Seawings, under hood tie downs as stated above. I went with a small trailer eventually as my kayak is 41 inches wide, and took up too much room...
I know this old but what type of trailer? My kayak weighs over 100lbs and will be a pain to rooftop.
 

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2016 3.6R in Lapis Blue, Ready Lift, roof basket / roof mount tire, 2" hitch, Perrin spacers, etc...
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Malone Seawings, under hood tie downs as stated above. I went with a small trailer eventually as my kayak is 41 inches wide, and took up too much room...
I know this old but what type of trailer? My kayak weighs over 100lbs and will be a pain to rooftop.

I've been an avid kayaker / kayak camper for over 15 years - and even my 17' ocean boats don't top 50# - what kayak do you have that is over 100#?!?
 
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2019 Outback 3.6R
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I use the Thule cradles mounted directly to my cross bars. I use the nylon straps attached to a bolt under the hood for the front. In the rear I took a 1 inch diameter cur to 3 feet pc pipe and attached nylon loops to it. I lay the pipe on the trunk floor with the loops straps hanging out and close the hatch, then I attache the ratchet strap hook to the loop and the loop I attached to the kayak and ratchet it tight
 

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I’m guessing you have some well equipped Hobie kayaks.
I use the Yakima rack and roll trailer. It’s very lightweight and will hold up to 250 lbs. You can upgrade the shocks to carry 350 lbs.
 

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2005 Subaru Outback XT, EJ255, Silver
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Thule or Yakima racks would work. Get the Kayak J-rack attachments for the roof rack. Get a kayak/canoe roller or have someone help you lift the kayaks on top. Use ratcheting straps to strap down the kayak onto the roof rack. I don't use ropes to tie the front of the kayak to the front of the vehicle nor the rear of the kayak to the rear of the vehicle. Tying down the front and rear is for extra security, but if you do, you could put a microfiber towel on the contact point of the ropes to the car. I always double check to make sure nothing is lose when I drive since I don't use them.

I have used a yakima rack and put a kayak on top upside down. Just used ratcheting straps to tie down the kayak on each of bars without tying the front and rear of the kayak onto the car. Have not had any problems with anything becoming lose or any other issues.
 

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I’m guessing you have some well equipped Hobie kayaks.
I use the Yakima rack and roll trailer. It’s very lightweight and will hold up to 250 lbs. You can upgrade the shocks to carry 350 lbs.
That’s a little out of my range. I was hoping for something with lift assist but don’t really see anything. Hullavator would be nice but doesn’t fit.
 

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I bought my trailer used. The way I figured it was it would cost be a **** of a lot more for a bad back than the trailer would.
 

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I bought my trailer used. The way I figured it was it would cost be a **** of a lot more for a bad back than the trailer would.
Yeah I agree I’m thinking I might go the used jet ski trailer route and modify. I wish the Hullavator fit the factory rack.
 

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2018 Outback Limited 2.5 w Eyesight
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I have a 12' and the Thule Folding J hooks work great. A bigger Kayak though and I would want the Yakima system that raises them up.

Folding is the key so you can just fold them out of the way when you aren't using them in between Kayak adventures, vs taking them off every time.
 

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2019 2.5i Limited PZEV, EyeSight, Magnetite Gray Metallic, Black Interior
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I'm looking for a kayak rack system that will hold two 15.5 ft 44lb kayaks on a 2015 OB. I'm concerned about having tie-downs that would extend over the front and rub on the paint.
Does anyone have any suggestions, and or experience with this?
I have paddled a sea kayak for over 25 years. I am serious when I say this: if you plan on enjoying your kayaks for more than one or two paddles, it's best to get over the paint rubbing worries now and tie down your boats the right way.

If you kayak with any regularity you are going to scratch your car. Boats will slip while loading and unloading, sand will fall and scratch the roof, and paddles leaned against the car will blow over in the wind. Stuff is going to happen. Tie downs rubbing are the least of your worries.

I travel often over roads leading to Cape Cod in Massachusetts which attract many kayakers and paddleboarders. I have seen cars and pickups on the side of the road re-attaching boats that fell off of racks. Straps or racks failing are bad. Straps or racks failing with boats unsecured by bow and stern tie-downs are deadly to other drivers.

My preferred racks are full saddles rather than J-racks. To secure front tie-downs to the Outback I use a set of Thule hood loops (https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/sport-rack/kayak-roof-rack-accessories/thule-hood-loop-strap-_-529999) secured to a fender bolt. These will rub the paint on the side of the hood a bit, but it's not noticeable with the hood closed. The rear tie'downs go to the trailer hitch. While I prefer webbing, I used cord-based tie-downs for a while and that rope was much less abrasive to the paint. Yakima makes a good set:https://www.amazon.com/Yakima-Bow-Stern-Tiedowns-2-Pack/dp/B00066YTZK.

Good luck.
 
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Just find an old jet ski trailer and browse the internet for rigging ideas.
 
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