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Curt J-Style Kayak Carrier Review and Installation

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Review and How to Install the Curt J-Style Kayak Carrier


Colin: Hey everyone. It's Colin here at he etrailer. Today we are going to take a look at this kayak carrier from Curt. This is their J style carrier. This is going to allow you to load up to one kayak with a weight limit of 75 pounds. So you can strap it down and get it to, and from your destination.

And it is going to come with the straps. You need to secure your boat to your carrier. I do want to point out that it does not come with balanced stern tie-downs depending on your state or local laws and may be required to have those tie-downs. If that's the case, we have plenty of those options available here at etrailer. And honestly, it just gives me more peace of mind when I use those on my kayaks.

And it, you may feel the same way now.It's pretty cool about this carrier is that you can also transport a standup paddle board on top of it. So if you've got a kayak and the standup paddleboard you want to carry, maybe you're taking them on separate occasions, you don't have to get two carriers, one for a paddleboard and one for your kayak. So how we set the carrier up was that we took these adjustable arm and we folded it almost all the way down. And we came up one notch. And that way it's sitting level.

If you take the arm, put all the way flat against the roof rack, then this plastic piece right here is going to rub up against your paddleboard. You don't want that. And then we just use our straps to secure it. Both the base down here and the upright arm, we're going to have nice soft foam padding.It's going to help make sure it doesn't harm or scratch the finish of your kayak. You can also see that it has a nice tubular design to it.

It's made out of aluminum and it's got a nice black powder coat finish. That's going to help it resist rust and corrosion. Now right here, you can see our nice metal cam buckle. It's going to help make sure we can really cinch down on the strap and get our kayak secure. We also have the strap underneath of it. That's going to help make sure, as you can see, it's not making contact with the kayak and causing any damage. And it's also going to be nice for if it happens to be sitting on your vehicle, then you won't have metal touching the paint job of your vehicle.When you have an elongated load on your roof, it's always important to take into consideration, if you'll have rear hatch access, depending on the size and the length of your boat, you may run into this issue. But obviously, as you can see with our current vehicle and the size of our boat, we don't have any issues. Always something to keep in mind though. Now on the backside, you can see how our straps loop around the top part of our support arm, and then go back over top of our kayak. I'm just going to make sure it has a really good hold and keep this secure. A big advantage to having a J style carrier is that you're not taking up too much space on your roof rack. We have it almost to the outside of our vehicle, and we still have all this space up here that we want to get a cargo box up here, a couple of bikes, or maybe even another kayak.With the kayak removed we can actually have a better look at how it connects to our roof rack. All it is, is two of these wing nuts, we have some bolts drop through from the top of the carrier, and then we just have them tightened up against this bracket, which has a nice rubber coating on it. It's going to help make sure it doesn't harm or scratch the finish of your crossbars. You can see, we have elliptical style bars on our roof rack right now, but it would also work with arrow bars, round bars, square bars, and it's going to work with most factory roof racks as well.This is an adjustable kayak carrier, meaning that we can adjust this arm right here by flipping down those handles, we can go down or up, depending on the size of our kayak. Wherever you're going to carry a paddle board, like you talked about a little bit ago, this come down to here and then clip it into place. It's going to give it a flat surface to lay on. And then when it's not in use, you don't have to remove it from your roof rack if you don't want to, and to take away this additional height, just bring it all the way down. It'll fold over top of this section right here, and we'll just take our handles and fucking down.And you can see when the handles are open and our arm is able to adjust, there's all these teeth right here, which are going to be interlocking when we put it in place. You can see how they rotate like that. When you're ready to lock it in place, you just want to make sure you line it up correctly. And when you flip it down, you're going to see that they close in to make sure it locks into place. With the arms of the carrier folded down. We're only adding about four inches to the top of our roof rack. It is pretty low profile. This is something you want to keep in mind for any low clearance situations. So if you have a taller vehicle and when the parking in your garage, just make sure this will click.Overall it's a very solid carrier. It's got a nice construction. I really liked the powder coat finish. It has just really, it gives it a slick look. Now, even though it doesn't come with balanced turn, tie-downs like I said, we have plenty of options available here at etrailer that you can get separately. Or if you're looking for something that's going to come with all of that. One that comes to mind is the trailer.com J style carrier. That one's going to be very similar, kind of a more entry-level system, to get a kayak loaded and strapped down. It's just going to come with all of the straps you need. Now, the install is very quick and easy. All you have to do is take off one of these wing nuts when pulling the bracket down all the way. And also want to make sure that this wing nut is as far down as you can get it while still being on the threads, pull that washer off.We just have to spin it like that. No need to take the other wing nut off. We'll just put it over our crossbar, and then we'll just take that bracket and swing it underneath and put it back on the bolt. And then we're just going to put a washer on along with the wing nut, and then we're going to tighten it down as far as we can get it until there's tension. And then we're just going to tighten down both sides to give it a quick shake from there was football handles up so we can get our carrier ready to be loaded.Now, in my opinion, the easiest way to get this installed, going to be, to get your straps wrapped around the top of your carrier already so that when your kayak is up there, you'd have to throw your straps over it. Instead of having to reach over top of the kayak, or going on the other side and reaching across the roof to get it installed. So once we do that. I'm just going to flip it that way and we're going to just let it rest on our vehicle. You want to make sure you set it down very lightly so you don't scratch it. We'll do the same for the other one as well. Now that you have your straps ready, we're just going to get our kayak and put it up there.We'll just set the one side down into the cradles. And then we'll basically just roll it up like that. Now we're just going to take our shafts and toss them over our kayak. You want to make sure that the strap side with the buckle is pretty short. You don't want to find down and hitting your vehicle.Now what we'll do is feed our strap through the center of our carrier. We're going to go under our crossbar. Do you want to make sure you go on the inside of the foot of your roof rack You don't want to go over the overhang at all. We'll feed it back up and through, and then we'll just feed it through our cam-buckle. Now we'll do the other side as well.Let's give it a good shake. Make sure it's secured. If you have a lot of excess strap, you can just tie it off, or personally, I just like to throw it in my kayak. Now, if you give it a good shake and make sure it's secure, you're going to be ready to hit the road. Well, thank you all for watching. That's going to do it for our look at the Curt J style kayak carrier.


Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Colin H
Installed by:
Colin H
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T

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