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We have a new Ascent and I would like to find a setup to haul 2 Kayaks, does anyone know if you can safely haul 2 units at once? If so, what rack system?

Thanks!
 

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Depending on the weight if the kayaks - I may not recommend the Subaru aero bars. I have an 80lb fishing kayak and it made those aero bars look flimsy (I sold them ) . I would look into the Thule crossbars - MUCH stronger . As far as the attachments J hooks are popular for multiple boats. I’ve since moved to the Thule bars and they are Rock solid . I’ve had my RTT on them and they didn’t flex with 400lbs on the roof.

I found my Thule bars used on FB marketplace for $200. They came off a Subaru in New Jersey and he shipped them to me . Make sure you search before spending $500+ for new !
 

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The extended bars are rated to 700 lbs (not moving) for RTTs. I got them for $355 new.
 

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I use the Yakama 70" Core Bars with Thule Hullavators on each side and a Yakama Sweet Roller in the middle - so I can take 3 sea kayaks (each about 21" wide). I cut the corebars down so that the hullavators are at the correct distance from the side of the car.
 

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Someone else used the regular Aero bars with side standing/mounted kayaks, and the bars bent in a crosswind. So, for sideways standing kayaks, I wouldn't suggest the Aero, except with a kayak platform that integrates across the crossbars (as opposed to simply U-clamping to it).
 

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Literally sorting this out right now. I'll share what we've got so far:

We're traveling with 2 kayaks for 3 people. We needed two sit-on-top kayaks, as we don't have the skills for sitting inside and we have a child. Given weight constraints, availability, and durability, we went with:

Ocean Kayak Malibu 9.5 Single
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Tandem

The combined weight on these two kayaks is 122lbs. Given the 176lb in-motion weight limit on the roof rails, that doesn't leave a ton of wiggle room for kayak carriers and crossbars.

The Ascent is also tall - and we just got ours lifted.

Going the Thule route:
In a moment of hope several years ago, we got a deal on a Thule Hull-a-port XL and decided to purchase it because we knew we'd someday want to travel with two kayaks. The Hull-a-port XL is supposed to allow carrying two kayaks, but in our dry run of installing the carrier, we were immediately aware that there was no way we were going to be able to lift kayaks up to the roof and slide them into proper position with this carrier.

To solve this, we were hoping to use the Thule Hullavator. We even saw videos of the Hullavator on an Ascent, so we thought we were gold. However, each carrier is 39.7lbs. So if you're transporting 2 kayaks with 2 Hullavators, the combined weight of your kayaks need to come in at less than 96.6 lbs (176 - 79.4 - crossbar weight). And even then, you might need to limit your carrying capacity to 150lbs based on another thread I read about the crossbar capacity of all bars. If that's the case, your combined kayak weight needs to come in under 70.6lbs.

We also ran into challenges sizing the crossbars to fit the Hullavator. For instance, the fitment guide for a 2019 Subaru Ascent recommends the 53" Thule WingBar Evo crossbars. In order to fit the Hullavator, you need the 60" WingBar Evos due to the 4"-8" clearance requirement from the end of the bar to the crossbar foot. If you try to select the 60" bars for your vehicle, you may get warnings about fitment issues. My understanding is that the main issue here (Robert, please chime in if I'm way off here) is that you don't want to risk having the bars stick out too far past the sides of the vehicle. According to these measurements of the Ascent, the 60" bars should not pose a problem. What I'm not sure about is whether the Hullavator will properly clear the sides of the vehicle given how much slope there is between the roof rails and the doors.

6212




After more research, we're going forward with the Malone DownLoader Kayak Carrier with TelosXL Load assist. Each carrier comes in at 12.2lbs, and the load assist can be stored in the vehicle instead of weighing down the roof rack.

We're hoping to get everything installed this weekend so we can pick up our kayaks. If we're successful, I'll post pics.

I hope this is helpful for you. I know this whole process was super frustrating for us, so if we can help anyone else avoid that, I guess it isn't all in vain.
 

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I suspect the 60" bars are a concern due to wind noise and drag, but I'm not sure what the reasoning is behind the smaller size recommendation. I'd ask Thule for an explanation.
 

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I'll add my personal experience to this thread as well, since not many others have chimed in.

We have carried two sit on top kayaks (Future Beach Explorer 104) for the past year using factory aero cross bars. Each of those kayaks weigh roughly 48 lbs.

Initially, we stacked these kayaks flat and strapped them down to the cross bars for the first couple short trips. We were not comfortable with the stability of that temporary solution, so we purchased Malone Dowloader J racks. We used the Downloaders with good success the majority of the past season, although we have not gone on any extremely long trips. We did not have any issues with stability, and the factory aero cross bars seem to handle the nearly 130 lbs of racks + kayaks without much issue. Even in windy conditions, there was acceptable deflection of the aero bars with that load.

The Downloaders can be a bit tough to clamp to the aero profile of the cross bars, but other than that we are pretty happy with the setup. The Telos system is a good idea with the height of the Ascent (especially with heavier kayaks), as I can just manage loading at factory ride height being 6' 2" tall and fairly athletic.

Due to the issue Robert mentioned with another owner who had problems with the aero bars bending, I am happy that we have margin with our loading scenario. If we were loaded to the max dynamic load rating of the aero bars, I believe there would be more deflection and the potential of issues with extreme environmental conditions like wind or large shock loads. The stronger round bars or aftermarket Thule / Yakima options would be a much better choice for anyone hauling frequent loads 150 lbs or greater.
 

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Thanks for your reply, meyeracer06. It's really comforting to know you've had success with the Malone DownLoader. Honestly feeling a bit gun shy at this point.

We'll definitely be going with replacing our factory aero crossbars given the extra weight we'll be carrying compared to your setup.
 

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We regularly carry 2 Wilderness Systems Tarpon 16s on our '19 Ascent using just the Thule 65” square cross bars, 4 tie-down straps and bow lines. Very stable, even in windy weather. Distance traveled can be anywhere from 5 to 100 miles, back-roads to Interstate. We used the same setup on our Honda CRV since 2015; Just a bit of an effort to get them on the higher roof of the Ascent.
 

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My experience with the aero bars is that the way they attach to the towers limits the length of the bars. The under side of the aero bars are slotted to fit into the tabs of the towers and thus the length of the slots limit the width +/- between the car rails that a specific length bar will fit. This was the case with a friends RAV4 that we got longer Aerobars than what we recommended and had to retiuurn them for the recommended length. So a 60" aero bar may not have enough adjustability to fit the width of the Ascent Rails. The Yakama round bars require shock cord wrapped around them to reduce the wind noise so I have gone with the Yakama Core Bars (which are wings shaped similar to the aero bar) which are quiet. So if you need a bar length that exceeds what an aero bar can supply you are left with Yakama Round or Core Bars or the Thule square bar along with the corresponding towers.

I have always wondered how the car companies determine the load carrying capacity for their roof racks. With Ascent having a static load of 700 lbs and a dynamic load of 176 lbs. I have to assume that the static rating is based on what the roof can support pushing down. But is the dynamic load rating what the roof can support pulling up? If so then with a properly tied down load (kayak, canoe, etc) can the load be more than 176lbs? I for one always tie down my boats firmly to both the front and rear so there is no slop in the lines and the boats can exert extra lift on the rails since any lift is now applied to the frame of the car. When carrying 2 17' sea kayaks the rack load is: Towers and bars, Yakama Sweet rollers = 42lbs, Hullavator 40lbs, kayaks ~ 95lbs so I am at the load limit. If I add the second Hullavator I am over rate limit by 40 lbs plus the weight of the 3rd kayak, but well under the static limit. I would find it hard to believe that there is 400-500 lbs of downward force while moving since most rack failures end up being blown off the car which to me would indicate that the dynamic force is upwards. Thus tieing down for and aft should reduce the actual lift on the racks. I assume that a car company will spec the roof racks assuming that any load is not tied down to the frame of the car.
 

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My experience with the aero bars is that the way they attach to the towers limits the length of the bars. The under side of the aero bars are slotted to fit into the tabs of the towers and thus the length of the slots limit the width +/- between the car rails that a specific length bar will fit. This was the case with a friends RAV4 that we got longer Aerobars than what we recommended and had to retiuurn them for the recommended length. So a 60" aero bar may not have enough adjustability to fit the width of the Ascent Rails.
Wow. Thanks for this. I was on the phone with the eTrailer folks trying to sort this, and now that you mention the lower slot for mounting on the feet, I can see how buying the 60" bars would have probably been a mistake. So many details to cross check.
 

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One thing to check with the Malone Downloaders is if there is a specific distance that the rails need to extend so the downloader doesn't hit the side of the car. I know with the Hullavators they need to be at least 4" away from the sides when in the down position. For the ascent this translate into a crossbar that is around 66" long if you are using 2 of them. One reason I went to the Yakama Corebar as you can buy a longer bar and cut it to length, as you can with either the yakama round or Thule square bars.
 

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One thing to check with the Malone Downloaders is if there is a specific distance that the rails need to extend so the downloader doesn't hit the side of the car.
According to the specs on the eTrailer site, the loader telescopes out as far as 98.25" and it has pivot feet to meet the ground at whatever angle necessary to gain clearance from the vehicle. Should be enough....I hope.
 

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I have always wondered how the car companies determine the load carrying capacity for their roof racks.
It may not be due to the structural integrity of the car in static or dynamic loading. It could be vehicle handling dynamics. Putting 700 lbs above the roof would be very unstable and could lead to a roll-over.
 

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Agreed. Our cars already maneuver pretty well in turns at decent speeds. To put that much weight on the top shifts the center of gravity and changes that. And wind drag creates all sorts of lateral and torsional forces.
 

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That is why it would be interesting to know how they determined that it is 176 lbs for dynamic loading? Was it roof integrity or handling or something else - like crossbar rating?

My Hullavators and cradles are set up so that the centerline of the kayaks is over the roof rails or an inch or two inside the rails Two Hullavators and towers and bars account for 100 to 120 lbs, so unless your Kayaks are under 35 lbs you would be over the limit.
 

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I think it's actually 150 pounds. Earlier information (eg: website) had said 176 (maybe a copy/paste from the Outback page). I thought I'd fixed that in all of my posts. My Ascent isn't here at the moment - I'm playing with a Gen 6 Outback for a week at the moment... but it's on the rail sticker on the driver's side, at the rear, if anyone wants to check.
 

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.. but it's on the rail sticker on the driver's side, at the rear, if anyone wants to check.
is there really a sticker there? I’m not doubting it I just can’t believe I never noticed it! 😂
Someone else used the regular Aero bars with side standing/mounted kayaks, and the bars bent in a crosswind.
Was this crosswind a hurricane? I have the regular aero bars and put my kayak on it’s side up there regularly, including a couple longer highway trips. There might be a little flexing in them but they certainly haven’t bent
 

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This from the manual page 388
"When using the carrying attachments, make sure that the total carrying load of the cargo, roof crossbars and carrying attachments does not exceed 176 lbs (80 kg). Overloading may cause
damage to the vehicle. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and pay attention to not exceed the load limit of the parts."
 
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