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etrailer J-Style Kayak Carrier - Folding - Universal Mount

etrailer J-Style Kayak Carrier - Folding - Universal Mount

Item # e98878
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Our Price: $129.99
Watersport Carriers
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Shipping Weight: 12 lbs
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Product Expert Kathleen M

Is this right For you? Product Expert Kathleen M says:

Yes, if you:

  • Appreciate having everything you need included - comes with strap anchors to make it easy to attach the bow/stern straps
  • Park in the garage and need a carrier that can fold but won't break the bank

No, if you:

  • Would rather not hassle with removing the carrier to keep it from getting swiped while you’re out on the water
  • Come and go often, and might get bit by the integrated teeth while adjusting the rack
This J-style kayak carrier allows you to transport 1 kayak safely and securely on your roof rack. The space-saving cradle system mounts to most crossbar styles and folds down for storage. Includes padded anchors and tie-down straps. Lowest Prices for the best watersport carriers from etrailer. etrailer J-Style Kayak Carrier - Folding - Universal Mount part number e98878 can be ordered online at or call 1-800-940-8924 for expert service.
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  • Reviews (127)
  • Q & A (0)
  • Photos
  • Used (1)
  • Why etrailer?

etrailer Watersport Carriers - e98878

  • Fishing Kayak
  • Kayak
  • Roof Mount Carrier
  • J-Style
  • Folding
  • Aero Bars
  • Factory Bars
  • Round Bars
  • Square Bars
  • Elliptical Bars
  • etrailer
  • Clamp On
  • Side Loading
  • No Load Assist

This J-style kayak carrier allows you to transport 1 kayak safely and securely on your roof rack. The space-saving cradle system mounts to most crossbar styles and folds down for storage. Includes padded anchors and tie-down straps.


  • Folding, J-style cradles carry 1 kayak on its side safely and securely
    • Accommodates a variety of watercraft styles and sizes
    • Takes up minimal space on your roof rack so you can carry more gear
    • Folds down for overhead clearance when not in use and for convenient storage
  • Upright arms with integrated cam levers stabilize your kayak
  • Padded bases and arms cushion your kayak and protect the hull from scuffs and scratches
  • 2 Load straps with cam buckles secure kayak to your roof rack
  • 2 Bow/stern tie-downs anchor kayak to your vehicle
  • 2 Anchor straps create a temporary mounting point for bow/stern tie-down
  • Brackets and hand knobs let you mount the carrier to most crossbar configurations
    • Rubberized brackets help to keep saddles from sliding on crossbar
  • Lightweight, aluminum frame resists corrosion


  • Carrying capacity: 1 kayak
  • Application: round, square, aero/elliptical and most factory crossbars
  • Maximum crossbar dimensions: 3-1/8" wide x 1-1/2" tall
  • Weight capacity: 150 lbs
  • 1-Year warranty

Adjustable, Fold-Down Arms

J-Style Kayak Carrier Fold-Adjustable Arms

The arms on this J-style kayak carrier are adjustable to fit a variety of boats. There are 2 levers, 1 on the outside of each arm, that are used to adjust the carrier. Depending on the size of your kayak's hull, simply rotate both of the side levers forward and pivot the arm to the appropriate angle to ensure that your boat sits properly in the cradle. Then rotate the levers back to lock the arm into place.

J-Style Kayak Carrier Fold-Down Position

When the carrier is not in use, the upright arms fold down flat and out of the way. Again, simply rotate both side levers forward, pull the arm down so it's parallel with your roof racks crossbars, and then rotate the levers back to lock the arm into place. When in the folded position, the carrier extends just 4-5/8" from the top of your roof rack's crossbars.

Padded Tie-Down Straps

J-Style Kayak Carrier Load Straps with Padded Sleeve

The 2 included load straps secure your kayak to your vehicle's roof rack. Run each strap underneath the carrier arm, around the hull of your boat, down through the cradle and underneath the roof rack crossbar. Then pull the strap back up and through the integrated cam buckle. Use the buckle to tighten the strap and secure your boat. Each strap includes a padded sleeve that slides over the cam buckle to ensure that it won't scratch or damage your kayak or your vehicle.

J-Style Kayak Carrier Padded Anchor Points

Unlike many other kayak carriers on the market, which typically use metal S-hooks as anchors, this unit includes padded hood and trunk anchor points to secure the bow and stern of your kayak. Not only does this make for a quick and easy setup because you don't need to search for a safe place to secure a hook, but it also ensures that your vehicle's paint job remains intact. Tying down your boat's bow and stern helps to prevent the boat from shifting forward or backward during transport.

J-Style Kayak Carrier Padded Anchor Points Installed

Simply open the hood of your vehicle, insert the padded anchor point, and close the hood. Then attach the strap to the bow of your kayak. Use the ratchet pulley to easily adjust the tension of the strap. Repeat this process at the rear of your vehicle by anchoring the strap in your trunk and attaching the other end to the stern of your boat.

Tool-Free Installation

 etrailer J-Style Kayak Carrier Installed

Installation is quick and easy and doesn't require any tools. The included mounting clamps fit round, square, aero/elliptical, and most factory crossbars. First, position the cradles so that they are lined up correctly and are sitting at least 24" apart. Then slide the mounting clamps underneath your roof rack's crossbars and attach them to the cradles with the included screws. Use the included hand knobs to easily tighten and secure the clamps around your crossbars.

e98878 etrailer J-Style Boat and Watercraft Carrier - Aluminum - Universal Mount

Installation Details E98878 Installation instructions

Customer Reviews

etrailer J-Style Kayak Carrier - Folding - Universal Mount - e98878

Average Customer Rating:  4.7 out of 5 stars   (127 Customer Reviews)

This J-style kayak carrier allows you to transport 1 kayak safely and securely on your roof rack. The space-saving cradle system mounts to most crossbar styles and folds down for storage. Includes padded anchors and tie-down straps.


Recently got this and far they have been great for holding down the kayaks. The straps work great but the elastic band which is built in with the straps suck. Other than that great product.


I've had 2 sets of these carriers for a year now.
I've carried my 2 kayaks on several occasions with them. They are secure, steady and well made.
They come with all the straps and hardware needed to carry your boat. A nice feature is that they have these little pockets made on to the straps to secure the extra length when you are using them which eliminates the loose ends from being blown around while driving.
The folding feature is also great. I mount the carriers on my roof rack and make all the adjustments needed just one time. I can keep them up there for the entire season without having to fuss with them every time I want to take a boat out.
I can use one or both of the carriers at any time.
The price looks like its more than other sets but it really isn't because, as I said, they come with everything you need AND they fold down when not in use.
I realy do like these carriers.

Jonathan L - 05/11/2022


Excellent system for transporting kayaks safely. First time user mounting/transporting two kayaks on the freeway. Everything was self explanatory, secure and easy to use.


Ok... It's the middle of winter in Colorado, but I'm getting ready to put the kayaks in the water. Shipping time... Great! Three days. Packaged perfectly. Mounted easily. Mounted the kayaks. The only hard thing was putting the strap around the back of the bracket. A stepladder will need to go with me to the water! I drove around to make sure all was secure. Perfect! 60 plus mph.... All is fine. Nice to have the front and rear tiedowns included. All hardware is heavy duty, and well supported by my stock Outback racks. Need to take them for a trip to the mountains! (After the snow clears out...) .

I drive a crossover SUV and love to kayak, so I understand the need for a boost to get those kayak straps in place! The Rightline Gear Moki Door Step # RL100660
Rightline Gear Moki Door Step - 400 lbs
is going to be coming with me this summer on all of my kayak trips to help give me a boost to reach the center of my roof and the kayak cradles. It is a lot smaller than a step ladder for stowing in your vehicle.
-- Etrailer Expert Victoria B - 02/26/2020


Great product for the price - The cradles were very easy to mount (and lay flat once folded). The videos were helpful in showing how to set the straps in the most efficient way. I test-drove my car today with my fishing kayak on top on a 80-mile round trip (a mix of freeway, country road and dirt tracks). The kayak was perfectly still, no particular wind noise and I was able to muscle to kayak up the roof and take it down on my own (it's a 52 lbs boat). I really recommend that product and I'm glad I went for J-Style cradles!

A year later, still looks and works like new! Kept the cradles on the roofbars over the winter and didnt see any rubber cracks. The only accessory which did age over time are the straps. Definitely recommend the product and am considering purchasing a second set for another boat.
Pierre D - 06/24/2020


I am well under the weight limit on these things - my heaviest kayak is around 80lbs and they're falling apart, writing 6 months the front straps are frayed badly and one of ten has torn almost all the way through. The foam on the rear has torn up from sliding the kayak up and I had to duct tape it. Also, the mounting bolts are pretty small. They seem to be about 1/4" too short for my adarac square bars which made it very difficult to install.

The etrailer J-Style Kayak Carrier - Part # e98878 has a 1-year warranty. I will have Customer Service reach out to you.
-- Etrailer Expert Thomas M - 01/26/2022


I think everything was designed perfectly. No detail in design was left out. In particular I appreciated the front and rear lines with the under-hood stops. My car hood, however had them sliding up toward the fire wall but they eventually stopped and I just tightened the lines. In addition to all that the installation was simple and fast for 68 years old me. Thanks for a great product.


These kayak carriers work very well, plus the manufacturer includes the straps. The racks fold down, so my Tacoma fits in garage. They were in the sun for 3 months and thick foam padding is holding up very well. I traveled them 5,000 miles with no problems. They are attached to a round crossbar on my Yakima rack.

Great set up! Just remember to tie down the kayaks bow and stern before taking off.
-- Etrailer Expert Victoria B - 04/21/2020


So far, I do like the carrier, but some things became evident shortly after I started using them:The mounts on the bottom that fix to the factory carrier bar on my Nissan Frontier do not clamp fully on the bar. I had to make some rubber spacers to fit in between to keep the carrier from sliding.
The cam lock adjustment has a plastic handle and it seems at times I might break the handle when adjusting it.
When I have the upper rail in position and have the cam locked in place, the teeth on the cam don’t make full contact all the way around. That has me worried (see pics)

These are supposed to clamp on to very thin bars but if you want to fill in the space that would be ok. Our tech said as far as the teeth engagement, adjusting the angle of the upright slightly should engage the teeth to ensure a solid lock.
-- Etrailer Expert Sierra K - 01/27/2022


Alex was very helpful and the tutorial video was spot on!! we purchased the complete Thule Evo Wingbar roof rack system along with these kayak carriers!
I highly recommend everyone watch the video!


Rack was as described and works great. etrailer customer service is the best. Was missing end cap on cross bars and they sent a set out with in 3 days. Nice when a company makes things right in a timely manner.


I would have given this a 5 star rating, however it states it will fit a 1.5" square cross bar. The bolts are not long enough to attach this to my Adarac system. I had to go buy longer M8 bolts at the hardware store. Kind of a bummer but it could have been worse.


I have a Mazda CX-5 with the factory aero-crossbars and they are too thin for the bracket. I was able to make it work by moving it all the way to the outside and have it clamp-onto the plastic bracket that holds the crossbar on the rail. I may try straightening the supplied bracket that goes under the crossbar.

But, to their credit, it does list a minimum crossbar thickness. Other than this, I really like the mounts.

I was able to make the brackets work with the aero crossbars and have had absolutely no problems with them. Very happy with the carriers. Highly recommend.
Kevin D - 08/31/2021


Parts are acceptable and great for the price. The tie down straps did not work for me at all. They continuously came loose and I had to stop and tighten multiple times on the initial trips. I purchased a set of 4 ratchet straps and wrapped the kayaks around the holder and under the car carrier and secured them nicely so good to go with this setup.


These could use a bit more support left to right. Two attachment points on each cradle would make these much sturdier. I would buy these again in similar circumstances.


With nothing at the top of the cradle to hold the strap it is more difficult than it needs to be to get the strap over the top of the kayak. A at least 3 of the straps have ripped almost in half.

Thank you for the review! Malone DownLoader Kayak Carrier part # MPG114MD
Malone DownLoader Kayak Carrier with Tie-Downs - J-Style - Folding - Side Loading
has a channel for the strap at the top of the carrier. In addition to the channel for the strap, this Malone carrier is close in price and in style to the etrailer J Style Kayak carrier.
-- Etrailer Expert Brooke M - 10/28/2021


Drove from upstate NY to the Keys in Florida with this setup. I added an extra ratchet strap in the middle just for some added security. Very stable the whole way, no issues at all. Everything was tight and secure every time I checked it. Would recommend!


I was about to spend over $500 on Thule roof carriers for two kayaks, and I wasn't even going to have all the necessary straps or a way to attach them to our Subaru Crosstrek. Then I saw this etrailer alternative, and I'm so happy I did. Each set comes with everything you need to secure a kayak to existing roof rack bars, and installation is super easy. I bought two and saved at least $300 and a lot of hassle. We were able to transport the two kayaks from Seattle to our cabin no problem, driving upwards of 60-70 mph through a bit of rain and wind.


I wanted to like this rack but ultimately it didn't work out for my situation. They look nicely built and very convenient to use with the folding option. However, I would recommend that if you have a larger kayak like ours (wider, tandem style) these might not work great. While still under the weight capacity of the carrier (65 lbs. kayak) the carrier struggled to adjust to hold it securely. The lips of the kayak don't sit properly in the cradle so it has to lean over a little more than desired.

On top of that, we live in an area that gets some gusty winds in the afternoon and this rack could not handle the crosswinds at all on the highway. On one of our trips the metal backing plates bent and almost ripped the plastic wingnuts off nearly letting our kayak blow off the side. I had to pull over at the side of the highway and add 3 additional straps across the top to get us home. etrailer glady warrnatied the rack nd sent a new one, but the problem persisted on our next trip. The additional straps helped but it never felt secure up on my roof at anything above 40 mph. We opted for a roller/cradle type rack for more security. I will keep this rack though for future use on a smaller kayak.


Easy to put on 2017 Subaru Outback stock roof rack and secure kayak to for transport. Seems very well built and everything you need to start haulng your kayak.


purchased the e-trailer j-style kayak carrier after reviewing the large selection offered. shipping was fast and installation easy on 2017 Outback. the carrier and associated tie-downs all of excellent quality. I particularly liked the e-trailer unique method of attaching the forward and aft tie-downs to the car. Initial trip with kayak was about 50 miles, much on the expressway at high speed, with no transit problems. this item works great and is a very good deal.

Excellent with no problems. Still works and looks like new
Robert - 05/17/2021


Overall, this does what it needs to. They carriers tend to get loose if travelling at high speeds for any amount of time (>50mph for 15-20 minutes). Luckily, we don't go much further than that so we're usually OK. I've started to tie down the straps directly to the crossbars on the back side and it helps a bit. I also make sure to take pliers with me so I can tighten them back up before we head home. Pliers are necessary because the black tightener has been stripped on a couple of them.


Used for the first time. Discovered tie down straps are to short to properly secure kayak to rack. Need to purchase longer straps and include ratchet to tighten straps.


I’d rate this item a 3.7
These carriers
are fully extendable to 180 degrees so you’ll have to manually set each of the 4 carriers to the same degree before fastening to the roof crossbar. I generally like the foldable carriers that lock in place at the same fixed angle so you can fold the carrier down after they have been fastened to the roof when you’re not using them. When ready to use, you’d attach the strap to the top of the carrier bar while it’s in the folded position through some kind of strap ring to keep it in place and push it back to its furthest locked point before resting the kayak on top. This allows you to easily throw the strap over the kayak from behind and tighten it down and you wouldn’t have to worry about making sure all carriers are set at the same angle. Because this set is of the fully extendable type, I just keep all four carriers set at the same degree, bring them out of storage when im ready and fasten them to the roof crossbar. Then i get on a step stool or open the door and climb up, to wrap the strap around each of carriers top bars (wish it had a strap ring to keep the strap centered as it dangles) and allow the strap to dangle till the kayaks are ontop then im ready to throw the strap over. I am pleased with the product, you would be paying more for those more desirable traits that come with higher priced options so for the price of this model, I’d say it’s better priced than other attractive options and all n all it gets the job done fine.


This is the second set of this carrier that I've bought. Having a need to transport 2 kayaks now, buying this again was a no-brainer. The original set have stayed on tight and held up well through this year (11.5 ft / 65lb kayak) and the price point is fantastic. Installation was super easy. Took about 20 minutes after work in fading light. I believe the newer set has longer bolts than the earlier set so that upgrade was very much appreciated. Looking forward to see how they both do at the same time on a much longer transport this weekend.

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Condition: Surface Scratches

Notes: Minor cosmetic scratches other then that like new.

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