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Paddle Gear Autoloader

by Malone

Reviews

I have had the Malones on my Subaru Outback for about three…

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I have had the Malones on my Subaru Outback for about three years. They are mounted to my factory crossbars and they allow me to carry a second kayak flat using foam pads. They have never given me one bit of grief and it’s easy to single handily load the boat on a low vehicle. I would imagine it would be more difficult to single hand a boat up on a taller vehicle. I have carried 14’ to 18’ kayaks very securely and it only takes me a few minutes to remove the crossbars with the Malones still attached.

Had Autoloaders for 2 years now. Boats carried - 16x22 plastic SK…

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Had Autoloaders for 2 years now.
Boats carried - 16x22 plastic SK, 17x20.5 fg SK, 17.6x21.5 fg SK, 6.3x25.5 plastic WW.
Works very well, love the ramp.
The only complaint - cannot use 1.5 inch straps - reason for 9 out of 10.

I recently bought 2 sets of Malone Autoloader Xv to transport 2…

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I recently bought 2 sets of Malone Autoloader Xv to transport 2 recreational kayaks, (pungo 120 and pungo 100). I couldn't be happier with my decision.

They work fantastic, the loading ramp allows the boats to be pushed up into the cradle,and on a high van, this is a big help and they flex enough to hold the boats firmly in place when strapped correctly. I have driven at highway speeds and have confidence the yaks are secure. Full package - Chrysler Town and Country Van, Thule 400 series racks w/ 58" load bars, Malone Autoloader Xv, Pungo's... Could fit a 3rd yak flat in between the Malone's when using a 58" bars.

One word to describe the Malone Autoloader Xv.... AWESOME!

I reviewed this carrier last year, but have a couple of comments…

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I reviewed this carrier last year, but have a couple of comments I would like to add, now that I have a different kayak. My previous kayak (Seaward) sat in this rack very well, and did not move at all. I have sold that kayak, and my new kayak has a different shape than the first, although it was the same length, about 18 and a half feet. The first time I carried my newer kayak in this carrier, it almost rolled off the side of my car, and I had to make an emergency stop to deal with it. Luckily, I was carrying two kayaks at the time, one on the Malone rack, and one on Thule's glide and set. I switched boats, and my problem was solved, as the other boat (Pygmy) fit the rack. However, it is not safe for me to use my Nimbus boat on the Malone rack. I don't know what advice to provide on which boats will work well with this rack, but obviously some work better than others. If your boat fits, it will work well, but if your boat doesn't fit, this rack is unusable.

Just purchaced a set of Autoloaders for my toyota 4runner. I…

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Just purchaced a set of Autoloaders for my toyota 4runner. I have a big sit on top that I use for fishing on the ocean. The first time that I had loaded the kayak into it I instantly noticed that the Autoloader fit better than my old Hull-A-Port. With the use of bow and stern lines it held it there great. It barely shifted during transport. Other than the fact that my boat is huge and actls like a sail up there anyway the Autoloader performed perfectly. Only if it loaded the kayak on its own id give it a 10

I have Malone J racks and they work great. I liked the…

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I have Malone J racks and they work great. I liked the company and need on more yak holder and bought the Autoloader for my Prowler 15. The first trip about 80 miles one way. Loading was easy and the morning trip went great. I said to myself they have another winner. On the way back when the wind kicked up and it’s unprintable what I was saying about the Autoloaders. The wind tipped the top of the yak away from the holder to the point it was hanging almost over the side. I pulled over re-did everything and cinched the straps down super tight and knotted them on the bars for good measure. Another 20 miles same thing; did everything the same but this time moved my kid to the front seat so if the yak tumbled off the side he wouldn’t get hit with flying glass. For the next twenty miles watched the yak with the side view mirror tilted all the way up with one eye and the road with the other. Guess what? Yep yak hanging over the side. I finally gave up and switched my kids Dolphin to the Autoloaders and my Prowler to the J rack, smooth ride home after that. The Autoloader might be good for some yaks but for a big SOT it a bust. I give it 2 out of 10.

OK,.. So I realize that I already left a review on here…

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OK,.. So I realize that I already left a review on here, but since I've had them for about 4 months, I felt I should add an update. They are still working quite well, however I do have one slight problem. After having the Autoloaders on for the first two months, I was driving down the freeway and heard a slight bang come from my trunk area. When I got out later to see what it was, I noticed a fresh black mark on my trunk. It originaly upset me until I noticed that the mark rubbed off. Then I looked around to see what could have caused it and I noticed that one of the protective rubber strips on one of the autoloaders was missing and left a yellowish goo behind.

While I don't think that the usefulness of the Autoloader is comprimised becaused of this missing strip, it's really ugly now and I'm really surprised that this would have happened after only two months of use. I've submitted two complaints/inquires to Malone, but it's been over a month and I haven't heard anything. I don't quite know what I expect them to say, but I'm dissapointed that they would outright ignore a customer like this. In fact, the reports of Malone's excelent customer service was one of the motivating factors in purchasing these.

Oh well. I'm going to submit one last e-mail to Malone and see if they respond. I just felt everyone should know what I've experienced so far. The Autoloaders still work great, but the customer service is surprisingly lacking.

I bought this autoloader and put in on and the Rubber came…

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I bought this autoloader and put in on and the Rubber came off because here in Arizona it was about 110, So I had to reglue. No Biggie, but my biggest problem was the kayak working itself loose from cradle. I have a Sit On top Cobra explorer that I use for fishing and it was not carying well and kept sliding off. I tell you it got my attention going down the I -10 and almost completely came off. I had them straps good and tight, I gave up and took the Autoloader off to get to my destination. Every thing I read about them said good things but mine doesn't seem to rest in the saddle that well, could it be the hull design? Anyone want to comment?

I ordered these a month ago after thoroughly researching every type of…

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I ordered these a month ago after thoroughly researching every type of mount available. I wanted to be as frugal as possible, but at the same time didn’t want to get something that I wasn’t happy with. I ended up buying a Thule rack piece by piece from eBay and other vendors, and then I moved onto the cradles for two SOT kayaks. The first and cheapest option that I considered was the upright bar from Thule. But I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to have to hold the kayak up with one hand while I tied it down with the other. After further research I noticed Thule and Yakima carried the “J” style racks (which I liked), but they were too expensive. I eventually stumbled on the Malone Autoloader and fell in love.

When they finally arrived, the first thing I noticed was that they were very sturdy and seemed indestructible. Secondly they fit on the Thule bars very well. After using them for the first time, I decided that I had made the right choice. The two SOT’s that I have (OK Scrambler XT and Wilderness Rave) fit very well in the generous opening of the Malone Autoloader. I can pop the kayaks up onto the ledge of the cradle and let them rest there while I strap them down. They will stay in place pretty well without the straps unless a really stiff breeze comes along. In fact, after strapping them up, I felt so secure in the cradles that I was tempted to do without the bow and stern lines. Of course I did use them (as should everybody). On the drive back home I hit a pretty nasty wind coming from the side, but the SOT’s didn’t move a bit. Of course they acted like a sail on top of the car like that, but they never flinched.

The only criticism that I have of the Malone Autoloader is that there is no easy way of taking them off in between kayaking adventures. Right now I’m just keeping them on, but when you look at my Honda Accord with the Autoloaders on it, it looks kinda ridiculous. Perhaps there is an easier way than unbolting them each time, but so far I have just left them up. I may try what the last poster mentioned and just loosening the bolts to let the cradles lie flat, but that also seems like a pain. I wish that they had something that worked as a quick release. Perhaps something similar to the pressure locks a bicycle uses? But other than that, great product for a great price!

I use them on a trailer and the new ones are awesome…

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I use them on a trailer and the new ones are awesome. They will lie flat if you loosen the bolts just a little. I take mine on and off and got tired of having to use a wrench every time so I replaced the bolts with eye bolts. Now I just grab the eye with my hand and tighten or loosen them. If anyone's interested I'll let you know how it works. If you have several boats they are excellent. The problem that I have run into with the Yakima's is that I have to readjust their spacing on the bar for each boat. You don't have to do that with the Autoloaders. Also, the new ones have you passing one part of the strap under the boat so when you tighten it, it lifts the boat off the Autoloader and supports it with the strap. The neat thing about this is that the strap will conform to any hull shape. And by the way, they fit perfectly on 3/4" galvanized pipe in case you're making your own rig.

I have used a couple of other kayak carrier roof systems, including…

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I have used a couple of other kayak carrier roof systems, including the Thule glide & set, and Hully rollers/saddles. I needed to buy a set of side-loaders so that I could carry two kayaks on my new, but small 4-door car. I decided to buy the Malone carrier because of the good reviews on Rutabaga's site, and certainly the price was right. They were pretty easy to install, and sit very securely on my Thule bars. The boat can sit on its side unsupported while you attach the straps, although I would be careful in gusty weather. When I loaded my Chilco onto the carrier, I noticed that I did not have great contact between boat and saddle bottom, so I strapped some closed cell foam to the saddles, which quickly solved the problem. I've travelled some distance with the saddles, including freeway travel, and they appear to be very, very sturdy. I don't have a long roofline - average for a hatchback, I guess. Before attaching my bow and stern lines, I was pleased to see that I get very little movement of the kayak in the saddles when I check by pushing and pulling on the kayak. With the bow and stern lines attached, it really does feel rock-solid. I'd probably give it a ten, except I had to add the foam - not a big deal, really.

Gas prices are going up...Cars are getting smaller…Its getting harder to load…

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Gas prices are going up...Cars are getting smaller…Its getting harder to load two kayaks on your roof rack…Sound familiar....get a couple of sets of these "J" cradles, bolt ‘em on to any Thule or Yakima rack and you can't go wrong. Just enough flex in the system to truly cradle your hull, more than enough guts to hold it down, and a price that is fair( to say the least) and you can't go wrong.

We have used Malone AutoLoaders mounted on Saris racks for the last…

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We have used Malone AutoLoaders mounted on Saris racks for the last 2 years. We have made several trips to Canada via I-95 as well as day trips all along the Maine coast. We have a Current Designs Solstice and Caribou and have never had any problems with fit or movement. We recently replaced our straps which were showing some wear but except for that have had no problems with these carriers and the Saris racks are absolutely 2nd to none.

I bought a set of Autoloaders based on two dealers' recommendations. Turns…

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I bought a set of Autoloaders based on two dealers' recommendations. Turns out they couldn't get a secure grip on my Foster Silhouette, despite trying two different lashing arrangements. Malone graciously offered to issue a refund plus postage. Lesson learned with this and one other saddle situation is to bypass rack dealers and instead ask the customer service rep of your kayak company to recommend appropriate saddles for your specific model and also ask others who own the same model about what's working for them.

After looking at the options available to me (i.e. Thule & Yakima…

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After looking at the options available to me (i.e. Thule & Yakima don't make a fit kit for my car), I decided upon Saris racks (see my review) and Malone Autoloaders. I wanted to get Autoloaders because my car is a sedan and I didn't want to scratch the back hood. I'm also short and have to load my 16 Night Hawk often by myself. Installation is pretty easy.

When loading, I generally use a stool to compensate for my height and place the bow on the Autoloader's "lip", allow it to slide in place, then use both hands to get the stern into the rear cradle. I did fumble the first few times, but I now find it easy to load the boat myself without scratching up the car.

I did find that once when driving at highway speed with a strong crosswind, the saddles shifted a bit and needed to be re-tightented. If you do choose them with Saris racks, I would check the tightness occasionally. Also, make sure that the straps are threaded through the slots such that it fits securely for your boat. I use bow and stern lines from Yakima in addition to the cradles.

Malone is a good company to deal with. They didn't want me to have to pay for their product unless I was completely happy with it. This was comforting to me because there was no dealer nearby and I couldn't see the product first.

I haven't seen any damage of any kind caused by the use of the Autoloaders.