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Malone SaddleUp Pro Kayak Carrier Review

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Review of the Malone SaddleUp Pro Kayak Carrier

What's up everybody, it's AJ with Today we're gonna be checking out the Malone Saddle Up Pro. It's gonna be a roof mounted kayak carrier. It's saddle style, so it sits right there in those cradles, flat on your roof. Let's check it out. So we're gonna look a little bit closer at them.

When I said this saddle style, I just want to show you how it kind of sits in these cradles on your roof, nice and flat. Now these usually take up a little bit more space than another very popular roof kayak carrier, which would be a J-style. So that one looks more like a J and has the part that juts out, so you kind of load that from the side, you lift up and set it in. This one, you can actually load it from the back of your vehicle. So you'll lean it up against the back pads, and then push it into place.

It'll hit these rubber stops here and it'll help stop it. So those are two different ways of doing it. Jay's J-style is usually, I think would be the more popular one, 'cause you can easily side load it, and hook two kayaks on there. So if you're looking to carry a couple of kayaks on your roof, that might be something to look at. If that's what you want to do.

If you only got one and you don't have a bunch of different sized kayaks either because this one's really good for getting it set up into place, once for this kayak and then easily, you can just load it up from the back, slide it on the pads and get it tied down. Clearance will be another thing, the difference between a J-style and the saddle. This one sits much lower than you would on the J-style, 'cause the part of the J comes down in the back end, goes up a little bit higher, plus the kayak's up on its side. So it's gonna add a little bit more height to your roof. Another thing to think about would be your vehicle set-up.

So this one has a little bit more of an extension here on the roof, it sticks out a little bit more. You definitely want to make sure that you're gonna be able to lift it up, and load it up from the rear on your vehicle with a saddle style. You don't want to accidentally scrape this. This is kind of like a spoiler here. I wouldn't want to rest a kayak down on this, and cause any damage but we definitely load it that way. Another way we found out though, is you can actually load it from the side, if that wasn't easy to do from here. And we'll show you both of those later on. Another cool thing about the clamp-on design, is how easy it is to get installed, and the different variety of bars you can actually use it on. So you can use it on aero, elliptical, round bar, square bars. And even most factory bars, this clamp system will work with. So pretty much, if you have a roof rack, it's gonna work on there. I removed the kayaks, so we can take a closer look at the pad that make up the saddle. But first I want to show you how it installs. So you have the bolts that drop in through here on the holes on each side. And you have a plate that goes on there, it slides up on the hole. I went ahead and used the hand knob, and put this one side on. Just makes it easier when you get up here, you don't have to fumble around with both of them. So you set it in place on your bar, try and match up each one where they are. That looks about good right there with the one behind me, and then you'll swing this plate over. And this part is, it's easy 'cause you don't need tools, but it can be a little difficult if you don't know the tricks. So one of them is you want to keep your finger on the bolt, so it doesn't push up when you push it with this plate. 'Cause otherwise I would do that, and it would push it up and out of the way, and you'd be fooling around with that. So once you line up that hole with that plate, will use my hand to hold that up. I'm gonna try and keep my hand out of your view, the best I can. So we come back with our hand knob, and put that on the bottom of that bow. So I just get it started and I'll move my hand out of the way once it catches. There we go. So then we just gotta go like this, and tie it down evenly on both sides. And that plate's gonna push up on the bottom of your roof rack and hold it in place. There we go, that's got a good hold now, so I don't need to hold it. But just make sure you tighten it evenly on, back and forth. You don't want to tighten one side too much, and it tilts on ya. Alright, so that's hand tight. I can shake the whole vehicle back and forth that way, so we know it's secure. Once you got it installed, you'll look and see that you have the nylon padding on the back, two here. You put that on yourself, it just slips over the rubber pad. So all the cradles are the same. You just have this extra pad that slides on there. So I'll just pull it off a little bit, so you can see the rubber side underneath it. You would see it's the exact same as the ones up front, but the reason why this is back here with this program loop attachment, I'm going to go ahead and put it back on there, there we go, is so that when you load the kayak from the backside, it's gonna slide around these. So it'll hit this and you can push it forward from the back, and it goes up here, once it hits the rubberized part, it kind of stops when you're loading that kayak up. So that's just a feature to help you get this loaded, and set up in place. Now I'm gonna put the kayak up, and gonna show you how I do it from the backside here. So you gotta lift it up, use my head to balance it there for a second, and then slide it along those pads. So once you get it on here, it's not so bad. I just push it forward. It slides very easily on those nylon pads. So I liked that part. And then once it reaches up front, it's gonna touch those of the cradle. So it looks pretty good right there. Just make sure it's sitting in all the cradles. Maybe go up a little bit more. There we go, it seems seated just fine. Now we're gonna try the other method where I load it from the side. Now this would be in case of, like I said before, you have a longer space here in the back where it's kind of harder to reach up, and get the kayak in place, loading it from the backside. This side, we just flipped the cradle this way, towards us. So I'm gonna lift it up instead of those cradles, and then just push it in. So just got to lift it up into place. Try to get as much as the bottom of the boat on there as possible, and then push it up and over. Then you can just maneuver it from here. And there we go. Even without straps on there yet, I want to show you this, you can push it back and forth. It moves a little bit, but it doesn't really go anywhere. I'm pushing on it pretty good. It's shifted around but it's got a good hold on that kayak. I like that. I think only reason it's slipping is because of the nylon here. But up here, the rubber's grabbing on there really good, it has a good grip on there. And just pushing it back and forth, you see it's not moving or shifting on us. Now, obviously we still have to tie it down, and I'm going to show you how to do that next. So what we're going to do, these straps, they go around our boat and the saddle first. So go ahead and get that nice and straight, make sure there's not any twists or turns in it. So we're gonna try and pull an even amount on both sides. Make sure you run the strap underneath the roof bar, and in front of the saddle. So it can grab it against that when you go to throw it over, 'cause what we're gonna do is kind of make it a loop here. And then throw the strap over to the other side. Now be careful with the buckle here. You don't want to throw that and hit your vehicle. One nice thing is it does have a protection pad here. So when you do strap it down to the kayak, it will not scratch or damage that, but just be careful when you throw it over. So I like to kind of set it down in the kayak, and then reach it from the other side. So make sure that it stays nice and tight as you can, like that. And now we're going on to the other side. So I reached up into the middle of the boat, pulled the straps out. What we're gonna do is pull, so this side, pull on this side, so that the buckle is making contact with the kayak there. With that fan in there, like I said. Then we'll do the same thing we did on the other side, on this side. So we run that strap underneath, make sure it goes ahead of the saddle. Just to help keep that in place there. And then once again, make sure there's no twists and turns in this. Looks like this one's quite a bit turned around. Looks good there. And we'll run it through the buckle. So go through the bottom here. And then you just pull it tight there. Make sure you get that twist out. There we go. Pull up and get even tighter. I think that's good right there. I know that's tight. Oh yeah. Shake the whole car back and forth with these straps around there, so I know it's good. So then you can kind of just bundle up your extra strap, and tie it to itself. Next up is the bow and stern straps, they're also included. So you just run this rope through the handle of your kayak, like I did here. This end, they give you a hook, I tied a knot on there. Luckily we have a hitch on this vehicle. So I'm just going to go ahead and put that around the safety chain loop. Pull it nice and tight like that. Then I come back up here, grab this portion of my hand to keep it nice and tight as I can, make a loop, turn it around here, pull it through and down. Just like that. And now we have this tie off. We're going to do the same thing at the front. Something extra to get that would be pretty helpful for you is a tie-down point up front. So up here, I didn't have anything underneath, it's actually kind of covered up at the bottom of the vehicle. Sometimes you might have a tow hook up front you can run through. If you don't, it's okay. You can get this dog bone. So there's a bigger portion here, it's foam, is underneath the hood. You slam it down on there, and then the strap comes through here. So I can pull on this, it's not going anywhere, it's created a loop for us to attach our hook to, and tie it down. So overall, what I'm thinking about this is, when I'm gonna go out there and kayaking, how hard is it going to be to install the kayak carrier itself So the saddles wasn't so bad, they go in there with no tools needed. So I like that part. You have the hand knobs on the bottom here for tightening, that's all you gotta do to get those in place. How hard is it gonna be to load your kayak onto your vehicle with these kayak carriers Pretty easy. Loading it from the back, wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Just got to lift it up, make sure you're center balanced, even if you use your head to help you balance it out just to get that stabilized when you go to set in this first portion and then pushing it through, and getting caught on the rubber side was very helpful. So you don't have to worry about pushing it too hard, and pushing it through or anything like that. It clearly hits that and there's more friction, so it made me feel safe. I liked it. It comes with all the straps you really need. The only thing, like I said, that I would recommend is getting one of the dog bones, they go in the hood of your vehicle if you don't have a tie down point up there. Makes it far easier just to go and get that part done. So overall I think it worked really well. Now it does work with weight capacity up to 90 pounds. So this might not be such a good idea for the heavier fishing kayaks, especially if you have to load those up with your head, and push them forward. I'm not sure if that's going to work out for you too well, just because of how the saddle style works. Plus if you want to carry more than one kayak, this might not be the way to go either, because you really only have room, as you can see, for one of these up here right now, where the J-style would be better if you want to carry two kayaks, but then you have a higher clearance, and it'd be up higher, so I don't know. It kind of just goes with what you need, or what you're looking for and how you're gonna use it. Well, I think that does it. Thanks for hanging out and hope this helps..

Info for this part was:

Employee Zack K
Installed by:
Zack K
Employee Hayden R
Installed by:
Hayden R
Employee Andrew K
Test Fit:
Andrew K
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Schuyler H
Video by:
Schuyler H

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