bing tracking image

Rhino-Rack 2 Kayak Carrier with Tie-Downs Review

content loading

Customers compare S512-S512X to these similar products




Products Featured in this Video



Review of the Rhino-Rack 2 Kayak Carrier with Tie-Downs


What's up everybody, it's AJ with etrailer.com. Today, we're gonna checking out the Rhino-Rack two Kayak Carrier kit. So, what's gonna happen is on this one you're gonna get the J-Style Kayak Carrier with the extension arm, allowing you to add a second kayak here. And then have some room to spare and add a cargo basket on the other side. Let's check it out. The nice thing about this being a kit is that if you already have the kayak carrier, the J-Style one, you can just get the arms and add it to it and it'll work together.

If you need everything, you can buy the kit and you'll get both of 'em included. Now one of the reasons this kit is so great is you can see on the smaller vehicle with the smaller bars, both those kayaks fit right next to each other. Normally if you had two different J-Style kayak carriers on there, they'd have to be spread out a little bit more because they're gonna lean in and that's gonna take up most, if not all of the space on your bars. We measured it out and in total, it only takes up 30 inches of space on these crossbars so these are again, a little bit smaller bars but still leaves all this side open for a cargo box or a cargo basket, or even a bike if you wanna throw it up there. Now if these we're bigger on like an SUV there'd be even more space that you had to work with, with accessories.

But also keep in mind, don't exceed your weight rating on your roof. The only really alternative to this style would be getting two different J-Style Kayak Carriers. Now, you're gonna need more space on the roof, it's going to take up more like we talked about but, if you had a truck or a bigger SUV, that might be the better way to go just for loading purposes. This one, it's pretty easy to lift up that kayak and reach across the roof to put it there but if it was higher up, it'd be harder to get to the middle especially if it's spaced out like that. So it might be better in that instance just to go ahead and put a J-Style Kayak Carrier on each edge of the rail so it's easier to get to and hold.

And then you have that space in the middle. Whether it comes with the smaller cars, or they crossovers, or if you just don't have that of bars on top, I think this is the way to go. It saves a bunch of space and still hauls two of those kayaks, leaving you all those options on the other side. One things I was worried about is because the kayaks are so close together, it might sacrifice stability. Now we took it out in the parking lot and drove around and got some GoPro.

I can tell you that it's not an issue. I can shake the whole car back and forth. You see the rack isn't moving at all here. There's no movement or rattling. I can even shake it by the kayak. So it just shows you this is pulled down nice and tight too. It's got two points of contact. Sometimes they don't fit all the way down in the cradles on these J-Style, but you have this padded area here that the kayak is making contact with and then here on the backside too. So that helps when you pull those straps down, it's gonna pull down on those contact points and hold it there nice and tight. Another good thing about this being a kit is it comes with all the straps you're gonna need to tie down your kayaks. It's better than some of the other kayak carriers you get that come with a rope instead and you have to tie a knot. That could be a pain, I don't wanna do that. I like these they're far easier just to run that strap through, pull it tight, it stays tight and it has all the ones you're gonna need to tie down your kayaks. The only thing it's not gonna come with, is it's not gonna come with the anchors in the hood here. I recommend getting those as well, because you'll put the padded part down in under the hood and slam the hood on it. And it has these loops now that you can attach to that your vehicle didn't have up front before. Something else to keep in mind is that the kayak carriers can handle up to 165 pounds. So keep that in mind when you're throwing those kayaks up there. But another thing to think about is if you add a cargo carrier on the other side or a box and you start loading that up, make sure you don't exceed that weigh capacity on your bars or your roof. Now with the first kayak removed you can get a better look at the inside and how it looks. Another thing you might have noticed before is the built in paddle holder. That's pretty nice, it holds one paddle. Now sure, if you have two kayaks, you probably have two paddles, but you can break down the other one and put in the car, still saves a space of one extra paddle though so that's nice that it's included. It's ready to go on there. It's not an add on, and it just gets it up and out of the vehicle. The paddle holder's really nice and easy to use. You got the rubber cradles, and the rubber strap here. You just pull off and remove. Now you can see that cradle a little bit better. That way that's rubberized and this is too. So it's not gonna scratch up your paddle at all. With the kayak removed you can get a better look at the kayak carrier itself. You can see the black powder-coat tubing. That is the base of it, and you can see the padding's that go on those tubes. This is what I was talking about with those contact points where the kayak hits. You can kinda see the indention's on 'em. You can definitely see up there that's where it's pushing against there. Where to tie it down. So those are really nice too. They're gonna help just act as a padding and they're pretty solid so most of the time we see these in use, you don't see these all ripped up 'cause it's not just foam pads there, that rip really easy when they get wet, they have a coating on them. So they're meant to be in the elements and when you throw a wet kayak up there, it's not gonna bother it. One of the best parts of the folding J-Style Carrier, is that it a folds down. So that way you don't have to have it upright like this all the time. You just pull these levers on the side, pull it down, and out of the way. And you don't have to remove it when you're not using it all the time. That's good for like garage clearance. If you have a taller vehicle that has less space in the garage or a shorter garage, you're gonna pull these down and not have to take them off every single time you go to use 'em. With it folded down, let's go and get some measurements real quick. Let's see how much it sticks up. So you could measure it on your crossbars as well. Looks like it's right at four and three quarters. So, what that means is no matter what kind of vehicle you're putting on, how tall that is, you can go out to your crossbars and measure from the bottom, the top of the crossbar up four and three quarters. And then you can know how much it's gonna stick up. And that's what kind of clearance you have. The other thing I like about these is they install really easily. You don't need tools, and that's always good when you're already climbing up to work on the roof and this vehicle shorter so, it's not much like I'm not standing on the door jam, but on those taller vehicles, you don't wanna climb up there and set tools on the roof. So this gonna be easy with these hand knobs. You can just undo 'em, and that loosens those up. And then you can just take one off, and move the plate down and to the side, and it'll be able to easily take it off there. And when you go to tighten it up, same thing. Just tighten them evenly, with your hands. And then just do a good shake test when you're done to make sure it's on there nice and tight. So as I tighten it down, I can shake, you see there's no movement here whatsoever. So it's pretty good and tight. One thing we also noticed is as you want, a couple of inches of space between the extension arm and the kayak carrier, that's what worked best for us. Now let's go ahead and load up a kayak. They suggest that you do the far side first, so that's what we're gonna do. So I'm gonna put this up and set it on our basket. You can go ahead and set it up on the rails. If you don't have a basket up there. Just gonna grab the kayak. Go up, kinda going by feel here. To where I hit the edge and I can push it up onto the basket. And that's gonna help me hold that kayak just like the rails would, in place. So that I can hop up here on the doorframe and continue on. So now I'm up here. I can focus on bringing the kayak back towards me, as I get it towards that cradle there. Gonna slide it into place. Rest it there so I can get, climb up just a little bit more, and then use the leverage to slide it in place. So now you use this hand here. Pull it up, and slide it over. Now you can adjust it from there. Now I was going slow, just trying to be careful. Those pads are also catching there, and really not letting the kayak slide. So that's good you know. It's got that grip on there, even without the straps. Now, the way you probably wanna do that is, if you are loading up for your adventure and you don't always have this cargo basket up there, I would put the kayak up first and then our cargo basket. But just in case you have one there all the time, I wanted to show the struggle of what it'd be like if you had to go around this. It did help hold it, but the bars would do the same, it'd be more level, I would've been able to get in there in a better reach, and over this was kinda like digging into my ribs but, it wasn't that bad to get that up there. I was just being extra careful and going slow so I didn't drop the kayak on the roof or anything. Now it's time to strap it down. So what I'm gonna do is take the strap, throw it to the other side. Let's try that again. There we go. Leave the buckle here on this side of the kayak. So now we're gonna come back on this side, and we're gonna run the strap behind the kayak. So it's gonna push it forward just a little bit to get the strap to go through there, and run around this bar here at the top. So just like that. And then pull it through and throw it back over. Make sure you adjust it and make sure it's not twisted up on ya. And now I'll go back to the other side. Now back on this side what we're gonna do is take the strap we just threw back over and we're gonna go underneath our roof bars, and go under there. Again, make sure it doesn't twist up on ya. And as I bring it down around there, and bring it up, to run it back through the buckle. As I pull down on it, you see how tight it gets. I think that should be good right there. It's got a nice hold. I'm, gonna repeat this process on the other side, after we tie up the rest of our strap. It's got a hook and loop fastener on there, that helps you tie up all your straps and that's on all these different ones, so that's just a nice added feature. So you don't have to just like tying a knot around on the strap itself. It's got a holder built in. So now, we're gonna tie down the of our kayak. So we gonna take these blue straps, and these are for the front and the back. You gonna run those through. I'm gonna run enough here so the buckles, up. You definitely don't want that coming down and hitting your windshield or anything. But with that hopping out of the way. You can take the strap and go to that side of the hood to where our tie-down points in. Remember we got the hood anchors in there. So the reason why we're coming over to this side is you don't wanna put it on the driver's side 'cause that'd be covering up your view as the driver and you don't want that. So, bring it in here, run it through the anchor loop. That's our tie on point here on the hood. Now throw the strap back over there, and tighten it down. You wanna do the same thing on the backside of your vehicle. Try and get a little bit more of it to tightened up. Now go over to this side. There we go. Yeah, nice and tight. A little bit more. I think that's good right there. Now we can just tie up our extra strap. Next step, is before you add the second kayak carrier, it's far easier to add in your paddles. So just put them into place in those cradles, and then pull the strap over there, into place. Another good tip is to go ahead and run your straps before you add that second kayak, it's just gonna make it easier on you. So we'll get this into place. And another thing to do then once you've run that is pull them even. Keep 'em tight. Even like this. Then we'll walk it over here, and tuck it behind the paddle and just kinda set it on the windshield. That way when we get the kayak into place, can just whip 'em around and get it done way quicker. All right, so now that the kayaks up there, gonna bring this around, to the front. Try and get it in line right there. And then what we're gonna do is even this out. So just kinda pull, it might be a little tangled up so you might have to mess with it just a little bit. Don't pull too hard, but there we go. You got through that knot. Now it's about right where we want it. So I'll climb up there. Now what I wanna do first, down here is run the strap down and under the crossbar. Then, we'll go back up towards the buckle. So we gonna try and adjust that, looks like it's got a little bit of a tangle and then bring it down here. There we go. We're gonna flip that around. Run through the buckle. There we go. Now I can adjust it, and get it tight. And once you get those straps tightened down, you're done. It doesn't take that long, it can seem a little complicated to get those kayaks up there, but it really isn't that bad. This kit makes it really easy. Especially, I like that it maximize the roof space on your roof bars. If we didn't have it this way like we said earlier and had two separate J carriers, and it separated like that. We wouldn't have room for the basket on the other side so. Especially if you have a vehicle like this with the roof bars like this, the shorter ones, this is gonna maximize that space, I think it's gonna be really helpful. Plus, this is really easy to install and take off if we're not using it. And even pulls down, so you don't have to take it off anymore. So it's kinda like one and done. And then you can just leave it up there. Well, I think that does it. Thanks for hanging out. And I hope this helped..


Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Aidan B
Video by:
Aidan B
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Colin H
Installed by:
Colin H

At etrailer.com we provide the best information available about the products we sell. We take the quality of our information seriously so that you can get the right part the first time. Let us know if anything is missing or if you have any questions.