This Product Has Been Discontinued
Read reviews for the Q-Towers by Yakima Products, Inc. as submitted by your fellow paddlers.
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Bought these several years...
Bought these several years ago The screw that clamps the tower down to the pole striped out. I contacted Yakima about replacing the screw. I didn't keep the receipt. So it voids the lifetime warranty. They said that they look weathered and I should buy new towers. Guess they don't make them to be weathered I would stay clear of Yakima products.
We had these installed on...
We had these installed on a 2013 Honda Fit, but after a few trips the rear cross bar shifted backwards, denting the side roof (but not becoming completely detached from the roof, thankfully). After the roof was dented it was impossible to get the towers to hold securely. The Fit's roof narrows the further back it gets, which I think prevents the towers from maintaining a good grip. We noticed another person with a Honda Fit who had the same backward shift issue, but to a smaller extent. We switched to a Thule system (after seeing it's performance on another paddler's Honda Fit) and have not had any problems.
We have paddled with other people with the Q Towers on different car models without a problem, so I think this is an issue specifically with the Honda Fit.
I love the Yakima Q...
I love the Yakima Q towers. They hold great to my car and lock tight. Even after taking my kayak over 500 miles I never had any concern. These is a great product!
I purchased this system...
I purchased this system last year to carry 2 kayaks, coupled with the Hullraisers to carry them (see my review of Hullraisers above). I drive a 2002 Chev Malibu, which, in my opinion is not meant to have a roof rack. I don't think that Yakima should even sell roof racks for this vehicle due to its roof/door frame design. I almost lost 2 kayaks of the roof of my car while travelling on the highway in long weekend traffic, very scary. I had to get new Q-clips and transfer the rack to my fiance's Grand Am, which works much better for us. I don't think we'll have a problem now.
Now to actually review the product. We did alot of driving last year, carry 2 kayaks (over 4000kms) and we didn't have a hitch. The loud humming of the wind passing over the bars is annoying, but it can be taken care of with the "Windjammer" that yakima makes. They can be a pain to set up (It took 3 hrs for a professional installer to get mine set up properly) But when in place they are pretty solid. The plastic tabs for clamping the rack to the roof are poorly designed tho, and 2 of mine broke this year. You have to be very careful when clamping then down not to torque it too hard and press evenly over the surface or you could do like I did and snap them. In my opinion something like that should be made a little stronger.
I have no experience with Thule Racks, but overall I find this pretty good and would recommend them for any vehicle other than the 2002 Chev Malibu.
Overall a good system. ...
Overall a good system. The setup is a little tricky and time consuming. I wonder how long the plastic covers (which hold tension) will last. Yakima just came out with all-metal system according to the Yakima website.
Whatever you do GET THE LOCKS! Not only do they keep vandals from taking the towers, but more importantly they keep the tension-keeping cover from coming loose!
Yakima customer service is great... really if you had that big of a problem they will help you. I am happy with my Q-towers and I recommend them.
We use Q towers on our...
We use Q towers on our Toyota Sienna Van, and they are great. Takes a while to get them adjusted just right, but after that, my son and I can get them on the car in 90 seconds. Couldn't be happier.
Ugh. What a waste of...
Ugh. What a waste of time. I'm a master mechanic, and still couldn't get them to work on my old Mercedes 300D. After four hours, and three trips to REI I gave up. These towers do not fit my car. I don't know if the factory made an error on their fitment guide and or measurement instructions. Either way, the cam and tightening system is a really poor design IMHO. Trying to clamp one cam moves the rack back and forth. Tighten the cam screw too far and pull the lever and the tower is ruined, I did this twice trying to mount the rack. Even got my wife to help and try to clamp both sides at the same time. Total waste. Took them back to the store and ordered Thule. I followed the instructions verbatim, took my time, and tried new parts etc.
On the advice of a dealer...
On the advice of a dealer who carried both brands, I purchased a pair of Yakima bars, Q-Towers and Thule Glide N Set kayak racks.
Not a good combination. The Q-Tower rack system is actually very good, solid and easy to put on and take off.
The Glide N Set kayak racks are another matter. Mostly plastic, cannot be tightened enough to stay put on the bars. The tie-downs are extremely time-consuming to tie the kayaks down.
I needed the Q-Tower system for my racks due to the vehicle I use (F-150 SuperCrew). I should have insisted on Yakima kayak holders even though the Thule's are supposed to work on the round bars.