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Roof Rack & Canoe and Kayak Carriers for 2010 Toyota Highlander with Raised Factory Side Roof Rails

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Hi, I have a 2010 Toyota Highlander with the factor rails that run the length of the roof front to back no factory crossbars. My goal is to carry 1 x 16foot canoe, plus a kayak if possible. Im planning to buy the Thule portage, but am looking for some advice on the crossbars. Having read other QandA on this site regarding 2010-2012 Highlander, the Thule square crossbars have been recommended for the portage. Is there any advantage to using the square bars with the portage versus aero bars driving the recommendations? Aero appears to be supported with an additional part, THXADAPT12 . Im interested in the Aerobars to reduce noise since this car is a daily driver, but also want my canoe stored as securly as possible. I also dont see the 60inch aerobars in Kit form on your website. Can you please tell me which parts I need to connect to a 2010 Toyota Highlander with factory rails? Can you also please recommend a kayak option that may fit along side the portage on 60inch aerobars? Thank you very much,

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Expert Reply:

Square-bar roof racks generally offer the advantages of being lower in cost and having the broadest compatibility with accessory items like kayak carriers. Aero bars are more costly but are indeed quieter. Thing is, by the time you add kayak and/or canoe carriers, and the boats themselves, you've got so much stuff on your roof that can make noise that the benefit of the quieter Aero bars may not be evident.

With that said, the cost of some Aero racks like the Rhino-Rack Vortex system, parts # RRVA126B-2 and # RRSX100, is fairly close to that of some square bar racks. They have the same weight capacity, 165-lbs, so its really almost a toss-up. All roof rack options for your Highlander are shown on the linked page. For 60-inch Aero bars Yakima offers several solutions.

Carrying both a 16-foot canoe and a kayak means that the total weight load of those boats, plus their carriers, plus the weight of the roof rack itself, may approach the car's limit. This is a good thing to check out beforehand. Make sure your boats' combined weight will not exceed the car's rating.

There are very lightweight carrier options available when roof weight capacity becomes a precious commodity. Foam block carriers like # MPG152 weigh next to nothing and can be used for both canoes and kayaks. These are great for shorter travel distances but if you're talking about major highway miles then you really want a sturdier carrier like the Swagman Exo # S65145. This carrier is only about 8-lbs and works on virtually all roof rack bar shapes. It handles kayaks and canoes and includes tie-down straps. The Thule Portage canoe carrier # TH819 is also an excellent option both for its light weight and bar compatibility.

All carriers are shown on the linked page and I included helpful articles to help you.

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