I have had nothing but positives experience with the Showdown and both a Chevy Cruze and Equinox. Fits both exactly.
I hated being exhausted getting off the water had having to wrestle/hoist my kayak up on J-hooks. I am 65 so anything to make the job physically easier is welcome. Yakima is expensive in my opinion. My REI dividend and money gift helped with reducing the price I out of my pocket.
I do not understand the deficiencies others spoke of. Mine seems made very well and easy to use. I have had folks of small statue load it up and take it off to see how they like it. Few weeks later one of those persons had new Showdown.
Time will tell with this rack. I’ve been using Yakima products for the past 20 years, and have two sets of kayak J-cradles, a Bow-Down, the Sidewinder tandem bike rack, and a hitch-mounted bike rack.
The first thing that struck me when unboxing the ShowDown was its build quality. This is certainly not what I have come to expect from Yakima. It feels quite inferior to all the other Yakima products I have.
Mounting the ShowDown was very easy, but like other reviewers I noticed that the safety pins were extremely hard to install and remove. I coated them with some bike grease, but keep a pair of pliers in the car in case they get stuck. I am using this rack to transport a Tarpon 140 (68 lbs). For day trips, the rack works quite well. However during extended trips, when the boat is on the rack for many hours (or days), it becomes difficult to get the boat down. It seems like the boat gets ‘stuck’ at the last 12 inches or so of travel. I’ve had to push the boat in and out several times to finally be able to lower the boat down. Next time I go on an extended trip, I will try some grease on the rails to see if that improves things. Again, time will tell with this set-up. I had considered the Thule Hullavator as it has a gas-assist mechanism and much more favorable reviews, however having already invested in the Yakima ecosystem it would have been an expensive proposition to re-configure my vehicle. Fingers crossed with this rack!
Easy to install this carrier onto my crossbars and I love how it slides out and drops down the side of my car. So easy to slide my 14' kayak onto the cradles and get it strapped down. Unfortunately, I found I did not have the upper body strength to lift the loaded carreiers high enough to slide back onto top of car. This is a terrific carrier if you have someone to help, but for me, a female mostly solo paddler, it is a struggle.