your paddlesports destination

EvenKeel

by Yakima Products, Inc.

Be the envy of all the boaters at the river with the EvenKeel's ingenious and thrifty saddle-style rooftop rack. Universal mounts fit nearly any crossbar right out of the box. And out of the box it comes with everything you need to haul your boat, including straps and bow/stern tie-downs. Sold in a set of 4.

View Product Details

Reviews

Works great, do this!

Submitted by: on

I've used these for about 4 years, and they've been great. 2 factors to consider if you buy these to make them work. Number one they work best on a Yakima rack with round crossbars. Most importantly, number two - get a bicycle inner tube and wrap it around and tape it (on the ends) on your rack. This gives solid rubber for the pads to grip to, end of problems. Just disassembled mine and taken them off, because I will be transporting a canoe upside down and have to find another solution. They are still in great shape should I ever need them again. The price was right, they do a great job, just get yourself that inner tube!

Adjust, adjust, adjust

Submitted by: on

If you're looking for a challenge, you found it. Adjusting is the name of the game with this kayak rack. It took me nearly an hour to set it up, (initial installation) due to the constant adjusting for the kayak to sit well on the saddles. Distributing the weight of the kayak was another story. The pads that hold the kayak in place are fantastic; work perfect. The unpleasant part is adjusting the kayak so it sits balanced on the car... basically you can't. The rubber padding does not let you, it grips the kayak really well causing a challenge between you, the saddles and thinking of what to cover the rubber pads with to make the process simpler. My process,i had to open the doors,take a step up and bicep curl a 17 ft kayak. After the kayak was finally on the rack correctly......adjust,adjust,adjust,adjust,adjust a few more times.

These saddles fit on most roof rack systems and factory mounted racks…

Submitted by: on

These saddles fit on most roof rack systems and factory mounted racks on most vehicles.

There are three minor issues with these saddles: sliding on the rack, level mounting, marking the bottom of the boat.

My saddles slide outwards from the center of the kayak over time. To fix this problem and to make setting the saddles faster to set up correctly for my boat, I tied a string between each pair of saddles. This prevented sliding sideways on the roof rack cross bar. It has the added benefit of being able to install the saddles at exactly the correct spacing each and every time.

On some rack cross bar shapes the saddles do not sit level. This is minor and does not seem to cause a problem.

The saddles mar the gel coat or plastic of a kayak over time. This as irritating, but not harmful to the boat.

Simple, effective, and priced right. I have a Lifetime Sportfisher kayak which…

Submitted by: on

Simple, effective, and priced right. I have a Lifetime Sportfisher kayak which has a strange design and won't fit j racks. I wasn't interested in paying an arm and a leg for saddles for a $500 yak, and the Evenkeel was among the lowest priced for a reputable brand. I'm really glad I tried them, and as a bonus, they're easy to move and fit my other yak too. As will be reported, it is true the yak doesn't want to slide once you make contact with the rubber portion of the Evenkeel, but you still can, it's not a big deal. I suppose you could take the rubber insert off the rear set, but that would of course affect security, but I'd bet negligibly.

Overall for price, ease of use, and versatility, it's an easy 10/10 in my book.

Wish I had read the other reviews before buying the Evenkeel saddles…

Submitted by: on

Wish I had read the other reviews before buying the Evenkeel saddles. I thought their low profile would make it easier to load my kayak on my 2015 Honda Pilot. They just don't work well with Yakima round bars and move with the slightest nudge while loading my 17 foot expedition kayak. And on short trips they move enough so that my kayak ends up resting on the crossbars and not the saddles. I have since switched to a set of foam blocks while I wait to hear from Yakima if they have found a solution to a weak design. They would likely work better on aero or square bars.

I have these on a aerodynamic cross bar. They grip the…

Submitted by: on

I have these on a aerodynamic cross bar. They grip the bar very well and don't move if you tighten the clamp enough. I took some time to position the pads on the bars to the best position on the hull. Carrying a Trailblazer 100. 38 pounds. Followed the belting suggestions from Yakima and the kayak did not move at all on a 300-mile freeway drive.
Only used them 3 times so far but they work OK for me.

yes, these do tend to slide apart. i slit a couple…

Submitted by: on

yes, these do tend to slide apart. i slit a couple short sections of garden hose and duct taped them to the bar next to the inner support. that keeps that one from sliding. my tower foot keeps the other one from moving.

you could also just loop a rope around the pair and tie that off to hold them together. But for the price of these things you shouldn't have to do this shade tree engineering. They do support my hull nicely though and because they flex you can tighten the boat nicely.

I have owned the Yakima Evenkeel Saddles for almost two years now. they…

Submitted by: on

I have owned the Yakima Evenkeel Saddles for almost two years now.
they have held everything from an Ocean Kayak Scrambler to a WS Pungo 140 to an Ocean Torque to my current to go boat; a Necky Looksha 17. The Saddles were placed on a rounded Yakima bar, they never gave me any trouble nor they came out of place. Several kayaks have traveled up 'n' down at 65 mph without incidents or dents. even though these seem extremely simple to install it does pay greatly to read the whole instructions booklet.

I have had many others, more expensive rack attachments for my kayaks yet the Evenkeel remains as my all time / all kayak's favorite.

DO NOT BUY THESE They slide on the Yakima cross bars & if…

Submitted by: on

DO NOT BUY THESE
They slide on the Yakima cross bars & if you tighten them up properly the top comes off the base.

I agree these saddles move around but that s not the main…

Submitted by: on

I agree these saddles move around but that s not the main problem ,the surface area of the saddle is to small my kayak (Elie Strait 140) got dents after driving in the hot afternoon sun. I got the dents out by putting the boat on a rug on the floor ,pressing the dent flat with my hand and putting a heavy weight on it,when i removed the weight 24 hours later -the dent was gone. To make a long story short, I returned the Evenkeel saddles to REI.

I recently purchased two sets of Evenkeel saddles. I installed them…

Submitted by: on

I recently purchased two sets of Evenkeel saddles. I installed them on Yakima bars, tightened them down as much as I could, mounted my kayaks on them and drove two miles to the store at 25mph. When I got home the saddles had slide from under the kayaks, which were now resting on the round bar! There is no way to stop these saddles from sliding on a Yakima round bar. They might work on Thule or factory bars. I own three other kinds of Yakima saddles, and two kinds of J bars, so I have a lot of experience loading kayaks on cars. I transport boats over a 100 days a year, and have been doing so for over ten years, so I know what I am doing. These saddles are worthless. I am really surprised Yakima sells them.