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Thule Compass Kayak and SUP Carrier Review

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Review of the Thule Compass Kayak and SUP Carrier

Colin: Hey everyone, I'm Colin here at eTrailer. Today we're going to take a look at the Thule Compass Standup Paddle Board and Kayak Carrier. This carrier mounts to the roof rack of your vehicle. It allows you to transport either two kayaks or two standup paddle boards to and from your destination.Now what's unique about this rack is that you can carry it in a wide variety of ways. With two kayaks loaded you have to use the stacker or post style configuration. If you're only carrying one kayak, you can convert it to a J style carrier or even a saddle style.

When it comes to stand up paddle boards, you going to want to make sure you have it in the saddle style configuration.One think I really like about this carrier, is that you're not going to have to invest in two kayak carriers and a stand up paddle board carrier. It's going to be a three-in-one option. Now it's also going to come with all the straps and bow and stern tie-downs that you need to get your kayaks or stand up paddle boards secure.We're also going to have thick rubber saddles that are going to protect our equipment from any type of damage while we're traveling. Unlike those plastic saddles, when you cinch down your straps and secure your equipment to the carrier, it's not just going to sit on top and just press against it. The rubber is going to absorb a little bit of that impact and make sure that it protects your kayaks or stand up paddle boards during travel.When loading up your carrier, keep in mind that it will have a max weight capacity of 130 pounds, with a max width of the hull of the kayak of 36".

If you're only carrying one stand up paddle board, or one kayak that will have a weight capacity of 75 pounds.With the bow and stern straps you want to secure those on a solid surface of the vehicle. They don't have to be cinched down very tight, you just want to make sure they are secure. And it's going to help prevent lift on your kayaks. With the bow ones, we have them secured on a surface under our hood, just on the frame of the vehicle. While on the stern, we just have them secured to our hitch.

If you don't have a hitch on your vehicle, you can get some trunk mounted anchors here at eTrailer to secure it under you trunk when it's closed, and that will keep the stern secure.With the carrier empty, we can take a closer look at it. Now you can see that the upright posts have a nice foam padding around them that's going to go along with the rubber saddles in protecting our kayaks from any type of damage while we're traveling.Now if you want to adjust it to a J style carrier or even down to a saddle style, we're going to come down to this wing nut right here. We're just going to loosen that up. It helps to loosen it all the way. It's not going to come off of its threads.

It will stop itself before, so you can just hit it like that. You see right there, I can't turn it anymore, then you know you can adjust it. If you need to come this way, you just pull it once to adjust it. We can go back the other way as well. If you have to get it down to the saddle style, we'll just pull it all the way down to this position and then tighten down that wing nut.With the saddle position you're not only going to be able to carry your kayak, but you can also load up, up to two stand up paddle boards. It's going to strap down the exact same way. Feed the strap through the tie-down point, and then under the crossbar and back through. Put it through your cam buckle and then cinch it down. Then we'll just tie off the excess.Then of course your bow and stern straps are also going to secure the exact same way, as well. When you're done cinching down your straps, go ahead and try to move your boards around. You just want to make sure they're secure.If you're going to use this carrier in the J style configuration, I'd recommend moving it over to the side. That will create more space on the other side of your roof rack for other equipment. Let's go ahead and do that now. We don't have to take off the wing nuts, we just have to loosen them up enough so that we can slide the carrier across the crossbar. We'll also go ahead and get our arm up in place as well.Like our post style configuration, it will be easier to get our kayak secured if we go ahead and pre-install our straps. All we're going to do, is feed it through that tie-down point, get it about halfway through and then we'll just set it to the side on top of our vehicle until we get our kayak up.If you can muscle it up go ahead, but don't be afraid to ask for that extra set of hands. Now we'll just toss our straps over top of our kayak, then bring it to the middle. When we go under our crossbar, you want to make sure you go on the inside of the legs of your roof rack. Come back up and through that slot. Then just feed it through the cam buckle.Now as always, when you're finished securing your rooftop accessories, give it a quick shake. Make sure that it's going to be secure for the trip and that you don't need to make any adjustments.Now over here we see one of the benefits of that J style carrier. We have it to one side of the vehicle, and on the other side we're able to get our bike loaded up for our trip. There's even enough space for another bike or other roof mounted accessories that could fit.When installing your Compass it's going to be a very easy and no drill installation. We have the other side loosely installed, we're going to finish up on this side. We have a spacer right here, we're first going to lift up on the rack and set it underneath. There's going to be two holes right here where our bolts are going to go through. Just make sure you line it up correctly. Once you have it in the spot that you want it, I'm going to drop these bolts through the top.Now you're going to get two different lengths of bolts. These are going to be the longer ones for your thicker crossbars. If you have small, square, or round bars, you can use these smaller bolts to get it secured. Now we're going to take our rubber coated bracket and bring it up on both bolts, then we're going to grab a wing nut and just thread it on there. Now you want to make sure that it is as level as possible on your roof. Then we'll just start to tighten up the bolts. Then don't forget to tighten up the other side as well.The bracket's going to have a nice rubber coating to it, which is going to help protect the finish of your roof rack crossbars. This system's going to be able to fit a wide variety of roof racks. We have it on our aero bars right now, but it will also fit round bars, square bars, elliptical bars and most factory roof racks.Now all in all, the Thule Compass is going to be a really great and versatile rack. It combines those three different ways to carry your kayak, as well as having that added benefit for throwing a couple paddle boards up there. Now going into it, I was thinking that it would have to sacrifice some of the sturdiness of the carrier in order to accommodate those different carrying methods. That wasn't the case at all with the Compass. No matter what position we had it in, whether it was J hook, saddle, or even the stacker position, everything we put up there and strapped down was going to be secure and we don't have to worry about it at all when heading down the road.Well thank you all for watching. That's going to do it for our look at the Thule Compass Kayak and Stand Up Paddle Board Carrier.

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Awesome video! Very clearly-presented info - sold me on this product!!

Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Colin H
Test Fit:
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Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
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