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Autoloader Xv J-cradles

by Malone

Reviews

I put these on my truck rack and they are very…

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I put these on my truck rack and they are very well made. They are not 100% universal fit though. I had to buy 8 longer bolts (4 for each set) in order for these to fit the rack I have. They were stainless steel so it was another 10 dollars besides the cost of the racks. The ramp on the front to help you load seems like it would be nice for use on a shorter vehicle but for a full size truck it is still easier to slide them up from the back. I also like the way the straps work with the cutouts in the carriers.

I have owned my Malone Autoloader J-cradle system for 2 years now…

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I have owned my Malone Autoloader J-cradle system for 2 years now. I purchased the system for my Perception Sport Conduit 13' kayak, which I use weekly throughout the year. The Malone system makes loading and unloading very easy, and I can even do it solo.

The system was easy to install, and was quite affordable. I would definitely recommend Malone Autoloader J-Frames to anyone looking to transport their kayak safely and securely.

Rugged racks that are a pain when it comes time to adjust…

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Rugged racks that are a pain when it comes time to adjust the straps. By time you adjust the straps which seem to get hung up on the slots near the tops of these racks, all your buddies are done. While the rack overall is good, this one area was enough to get me to remove them from my car and replace them with Thule J cradles. Since then, loading has never been easier. If Malone can manage the strap issue better, this would be a great rack.

Purchased an initial set off ebay used; they worked great. Purchased 2nd…

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Purchased an initial set off ebay used; they worked great. Purchased 2nd set and all the hardware was missing. A quick call to Malone and a jaw part kit was on its way. Great customer service. They even replied to my E-mail. Anyway I transport 2 Necky 13' yaks, quick and easy loading and off loading.
Good solid product at a reasonable price.

I recently purchased three sets of these carriers to carry two Pungo…

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I recently purchased three sets of these carriers to carry two Pungo 120 Ultralites and one Perception Tribute. I was able to put three sets on a 2005 Subaru Outback with Thule 450 Crossroads and 50" load bars. They work great! I emailed questions to customer service many times and I always got a fast response usually within a day. The racks are easy on and off the square Thule bars. Loading is a snap since I also bought their Telos load assist which works great when you are by yourself. For the center rack I just use a piece of carpet on the rear J to cover the roof and push the Tribute right up the middle, easy! Also purchased the Rachet bow and stern lines and those work great as well. First haul was 50 plus miles freeway and they were rock solid. The Pungo Ultralites have a white hull so I checked with customer service and they changed the rubber compound to a synthetic and I had no marking at all. I was told the new compound will not harden. I will give them some time and review again, but I am pleased so far.

A third follow-up, to reflect changes in the reviewed item since last…

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A third follow-up, to reflect changes in the reviewed item since last reviewed:
Unfortunately, I must downgrade my earlier glowing reviews. Initially, the ribbed rubber strips that Malone uses on the composite cradles were soft and flexible and sticky. That's why my kayak did not slip, and it was not marred.

However--and this is a big however--the rubber apparently hardens as it ages. Then the soft forgiving ribs become little sharp edges. I had noticed a yellowish powder from gel coat being abraded. On my last road trip, my kayak ended up having gel coat wear spots that were a mirror image of the rubber ribs. They were not just scuffed but I can actually see and feel the rib-spaced wear on both deck and hull. I will need to touch up all such areas with new gel coat.

To prevent further damage, I taped in some foam padding. But I think Malone should provide auxiliary pads with the cradles, and warn people about the rubber holding dust/grit and therefore grinding away the gel coat. I wash my kayak AND cradles after using, but this time driving on 16 miles of dirt road must've done too much damage between washes. Or maybe it was the vibration from a nonsmooth road surface. Either way, users should be warned to put clean padding around their kayaks before transporting with these cradles.

This is a follow-up review. I just returned from a road trip…

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This is a follow-up review.
I just returned from a road trip of about 850 miles, including 70-mph roads. I'm still completely pleased with the Malone Autoloaders. NO marks on my boat, no denting, and the cradles stayed put on the crossbars.
Excellent product!

This is only a preliminary review, as I just bought these cradles…

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This is only a preliminary review, as I just bought these cradles and have transported with them exactly one time. But that one time left me very impressed. I live on a dirt road with an average grade of about 15%. Till now, every other cradle allowed my kayak to slip a little (forward when descending, backward when ascending), unless I tightened the straps really hard and in some cases it would still slip a little.

The Malone Autoloaders kept the boat fixed in its place--NO slippage, even though I didn't crank the straps really hard. In addition, they obviously flex with bumps, and the strapped cradles fit ("cradle") my Explorer LV well. It's a good fit, and I assume it will also fit the shape of my Tempest 165 well.

One of the cradles I had previously used was the Thule Hull-a-ports, and those did NOT fit any of my kayaks. The straight, rigid cradle tops actually caused slight flat spots on my hulls, and because the foam pads were too small, the bare metal tubes always ended up rubbing the boats. In the case of the plastic Tempest, it left dark marks. In the case of the glass Explorer, it was starting to abrade the gel coat. Good thing I only used those cradles one time with the glass boat!

The Malones kept my boat secured without causing damage. They are easy to install and fit on round, square, or factory oval crossbars. They also stay put on my round crossbars far better than the Thules did. The loading ramp feature is a nice touch, though I don't need it because I use a trailer.

I hope my initial impression will be borne out after further use. At least for now, though, I would recommend these to anybody needing to carry sea kayaks with J-cradles.