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Thule Hull-A-Port Aero Kayak Carrier Review

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Review of the Thule Hull-A-Port Aero Kayak Carrier


Colin: Hey everyone, it's Colin here at etrailer. Today we're going to take a look at the Hull-A-Port aero kayak carrier from Thule. This carrier mounts to the roof rack of your vehicle. It allows you to get one kayak to and from your destination.Now an advantage to having these J style kayak carriers, is that when we get our kayak loaded and we get it all strapped down. We're actually going to have enough space on the other side to be able to get other accessories up there. Whether it be another kayak, maybe a bike rack or even a cargo box.The carrier mounts to the T slot of your roof rack.

You see with our wing bar right here, we have it into the slot. But it's also going to work great with Thule's load bar, if you have that. It's also going to work great with most non Thule aero bars, as long as they have the T track.It comes with all the straps and tiedowns that you need to get it secured on your roof. We do have two straps securing our kayak to the carrier itself. And it's also going to come with bow and stern tiedowns to prevent any type of lift from occurring.An advantage to mounting your carrier to the T channels of your rack, is going to be that you don't have to worry about interfering with the raised rail feed down here with the straps.

They might have to come under to secure the carrier. It's just on top. You could even bring it out as close to the edge as you want without worrying about that.The straps for the kayak use a cam buckle to cinch down and make sure it is secure on our kayak carrier. Then when you're done securing it, just pull your rubber grommet over. That's going to help prevent any type of scratches or abrasions occurring both on your kayak and your vehicle.

The back of each J hook is going to have a slot where the strap goes through and up and back over your kayak.Why don't we go ahead and remove our kayak, so we can take a closer look at the carrier. Right away with the carrier emptied, you're going to see that it does have a unique design. Rather than the standard older carriers, which have the tubes that just come up and make the J hook. It's going to have more of a square design. It's going to have a very hard and durable plastic construction to it.Now compared to the other standard carriers, which just have the foam wrapped around the tubing to help protect your kayak from any type of scratches or abrasions.

Those could wear down over time when exposed to harsh UV rays or even other harsh weather conditions. On the soft padding on the Hull-A-Port, we're going to get both protection and durability out of it. So it is going to last a long time.When the carrier is empty, we've added on about 17 inches to the top of our roof rack. Now we can cut down on that space by folding down the arms. There's a button right here we're going to pull down on that. You can bring the arms like so, til it locks into place. In this configuration, we've only added on about four and a quarter inches to the top of our roof. This is ideal for at the end of the day when you get your kayak unloaded. If you don't necessarily unload your carrier and you also don't like having that added height. You can fold it down and make it compact.Under the pad right here is actually where you access the tightening tools of your Hull-A-Port. Once we pull that up, we're going to have two clips on the inside down here. Once we bring it up, works kind of like a clamp. You see it's pretty loose right now. We just tighten it down as far as you need it to. When it's too tight, there's going to be too much tension to push it all the way down. So you want to loosen that up a bit. There we have a good amount of tension but we can still get it all the way down. When you're done, you just close it up then it's out of sight.And then if you want to make sure that no one can access those tightening bolts. We have the one key system here from Thule. With the included set of keys, we can insert it, lock it up to make sure no one can access that. It's also a really easy no drill installation. We'll show you how to get this installed and then we'll load our kayak up as well. All we're going to do on our wing bar is flip up the cap like so to access the T track. We'll get our carrier up here. Make sure we guide our T slots into the track. There's one and there's two.Now if you have other load bars from Thule, you may have to pull the rubber strips out and cut them to length when you get your carrier installed. Now we'll open up that bottom part, so we can access our clamps. We'll begin to tighten those down. Again you don't want too much tension on it because you want to be able to fold it down. Little too much tension, so we'll loosen it a little bit, much better. Just give it a shake, make sure it's steady and we'll close up that cap and then lock it up.Now we'll go ahead and open up our carrier to get it ready for our kayak. Now to make securing our kayak a little bit easier on ourselves, want to get our straps installed in those slots and then leave them to the side. So we don't have to go to the other side of our vehicle, try to climb on the roof to access these. This is especially if you have a height restriction or even just a taller vehicle. This could help out. So we're just going to pull it to where it's about even from both sides. We're going to set this over here on top of our roof. And then when we get the kayak loaded, we'll pull up and over top.Now real quick I do want to show you how to get the square bar adapter kit put together if you have a square bar set up. All we're going to do, we're going to grab this bracket piece right here. It's kind of got the little folding piece. Going to pop the cap off that side. Take our T bolt, slide it up in through right there. We'll flip it back over. See the T bolt right there. We're going to put the cap right back on. Make sure it snaps on both sides, it's in place. Then we're going to grab the cap right here. Slide it up and in. It should go straight through. If you find it getting stuck, that means you're putting it the wrong way. Just make sure it goes straight up and through there.Now we're going to grab our carrier. And from here it operates the same way as just the T track. Get the bolt up and through. Take the clamp and just thread it on. And now we can get it on our roof.Now we're going to make sure those caps are open, the little lids right there. Put them on one side. Let the bracket go over the square bar. Going to bring it up and clip it on. And before you do any tightening down, you do want to adjust it to be in line with the other carrier. Flip back open up our cap on the carrier and just tighten down our clamps.Now real quick let's take a look at how it connects to your square bar. When you get the adapter kit, you'll have to follow the instructions and put it together. It comes up and under our square bar and then uses the same clamp system that's in the top of our carrier. Once we tighten it down and get the tension right, then we clamp it down.When loading up your kayak, if you think you can do it by yourself, go right ahead. But it doesn't hurt to ask for an extra set of hands if you need it. If you have any height restrictions, it's also a good idea to grab that extra set of hands. But we'll just lean it up against the carrier, and then push it on up.Once the kayak's up there, it's going to be a lot easier to adjust. So don't worry about getting it in the right place right away. We left the strap on our kayak for storage purposes. So we didn't have to put it back on when we load our kayak. They're pretty easy to install. All you have to do is feed it through the loop that's on the front of your kayak. We'll just take that, bring it through and then it's just going to loop into itself. So we'll take this end, come through like that and then pull.Now we'll get our strap over our hole. You can walk it up and just glide it on like that or you can just toss it over. Now from here I'm going to grab the end of my strap that doesn't have the cam buckle. I'm going to pull that down and just keep pulling until my cam buckle is up on the kayak like that. With that longer side of the strap, we're going to come down and under the cross bar of our roof rack. You want to make sure you're on the inside of the feet of your roof rack. Don't want to come on the overhang at all. Pull that all the way through. And then we're going to take the end, find our cam buckle, and feed it through.And then we'll cinch it down. Then don't forget to put that rubber cover over the cam buckle. We'll take our excess strap. You can tie it up however you want. Personally, I'm going to bring it back under the cross bar. Then I'm going to tie it up on the other side.Now I do want to take a quick second to go over how to set up your bow and stern straps. First you're going to have this bracket in your kit. We got to set that up first. This side with that notch out of there, where that rope can fit in, we're going through there first. And we'll come back through that middle hole. Pull that and we'll go kind of weaving our way in and out like so. I'm going to flip it around. There's a slot right there. Going to feed it through and it's going to come out the front actually. From here, we need to get it all the way to the other side of the rope. So I'm just going to pull the rope all the way through. And I actually tied a knot on the end of it right there, to make sure it can't go any further than that. Then we'll just get it all the way through the bracket.So that's what it should look like. We're going to take our hook right here, feed it through the slot right there. Just let that go on. Then we can do the same with our carabiner. Now from here what we're going to do is bring it back through the slot on the back right here and pull. And we just lock it in with the teeth right there. Now let's get it on our boat.First thing we're going to do is get our carabiner attached to the rope that we installed on the front of our kayak. Now we need to take this front hook and get it installed on the front part of our vehicle. You want to make sure it's on a solid surface. So a front mount hitch or a tow hook will do the job. If you don't have any of those in reach or just don't have them, you can open up the hood. We'll actually just look in there for a spot. Make sure you get the frame of the vehicle. Once you find that spot, we're going to pull it up and out and shut the hood.Now that we have both sides attached, we're going to take the rope out of the T thread there. We're going to pull to tighten it down. Now from here, we're going to take the excess rope, get it off the teeth of the bracket. We're just going to pull to get it tighten down. No need to over tighten on the bow and stern straps. They're simply there to prevent lift. Then we'll get on that teeth. That way it's locked in place. We'll just tie off the excess.And then just repeat this process for your stern rope. Once your kayak is up in the rack and secure, you're ready to hit the road. Thank you all for watching. That's going to do it for our look at the Hull-A-Port aero kayak carrier from Thule.


Questions and Comments about this Video


Jen F.
I just wanted to say this was the best (and only) video that walked through how to use these types of bow and stern tiedowns from Thule. I've been searching and searching and your video was super thorough, slow enough to follow, and greatly appreciated! Colin does a really great job walking through the entire demo including all the features of the Thule Hull-a-port Aero and he has a great presence on camera. Thank you to Colin and etrailer.com for a super helpful video. Give that guy a raise! :)
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Thank you for the kind words! Happy to help!

Info for these parts were:

Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Colin H
Test Fit:
Colin H

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