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Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles for Roof-Rack Crossbars - Qty 4

Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles for Roof-Rack Crossbars - Qty 4

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Our Price: $148.95
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Product Expert Kathleen M

Is this right for you? Product Expert Kathleen M says:

Yes, if you:

  • Worry about scratches to your car and like that the bow and stern straps offer some protection
  • Use a square or round bar roof rack system

No, if you:

  • Have to slide your boat up on your tall truck or SUV and need something that won't grab the hull making it hard to push in place
  • Toss your kayak on the roof often and might end up wearing out the rubber bumpers
Don't freak out when searching for an affordable roof-rack kayak carrier - keep an EvenKeel. This system offers 4 flexible saddles that firmly grip your hull and includes BowStern tie-downs and heavy-duty straps for complete boat stability. Lowest Prices for the best watersport carriers from Yakima. Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles for Roof-Rack Crossbars - Qty 4 part number Y04052 can be ordered online at or call 1-833-496-1390 for expert service.
  • All Info
  • Reviews (25)
  • Q & A (0)
  • Videos (2)
  • Photos
  • Why etrailer?

Yakima Watersport Carriers

  • Kayak
  • Roof Mount Carrier
  • Factory Bars
  • Square Bars
  • Saddle-Style
  • Yakima
  • Clamp On
  • Side Loading
  • No Load Assist

Don't freak out when searching for an affordable roof-rack kayak carrier - keep an EvenKeel. This system offers 4 flexible saddles that firmly grip your hull and includes BowStern tie-downs and heavy-duty straps for complete boat stability.


  • Complete, affordable system for carrying 1 kayak
    • Mounts to round, square and most factory crossbars - no adapter required
      • Adjusts to crossbar size with a turn of the integrated knob
    • Includes BowStern tie-downs and heavy-duty straps
      • Straps provide additional stability
      • BowStern tie-downs engage with easy-to-use, ratcheting pulley
        • Sliding plastic tubes protect your vehicle from friction damage
  • Innovative HullFlex technology
    • Flexible cradles conform to any hull shape
  • Security bolts included to secure saddles to your roof-rack crossbars
  • Quick and easy, tool-free installation


  • Quantity: 4 saddles
  • Capacity: 1 boat per 4 saddles
  • Weight capacity: 80 lbs
  • Application: round, square and most factory crossbars
    • When mounted on round bars, EvenKeel has the potential to slide - use with caution
  • Minimum crossbar spread: 24"
  • Lifetime warranty

EvenKeel easy adjustment knob

The EvenKeel adjusts easily with an integrated knob to fit round, square or factory roof-rack crossbars. The claw loosens or tightens depending on the size of your crossbars to create a safe, secure grip.

8004052 Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles for Roof Rack Crossbars - Qty 4

Replaces Yakima Y04030 (8004030) and Y05007 (8005007)

Item # Y04052

Installation Details Y04052 Installation instructions

Video of Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles for Roof-Rack Crossbars - Qty 4

Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information.

Video Transcript for Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles Review

Today, we're going to be taking a look at the Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles for Roof-Rack Crossbars, part number Y04052. These cradles are great for securing kayaks, paddle boards, sail boards or even small boats at the rooftop of your vehicle. These cradles are designed with the innovative HullFlex technology. As you can see, no matter what type of boat that we're going to be putting on here, it's going to conform nicely. We've also got nice gripping pads. They're going to prevent any forward and back movement. These are designed to mount on to round, square and most factory crossbars with no adapter needed. Simply by turning the integrated knob, we can tighten these right down to fit on to our crossbars with no tools required. Now that we've gone over the features, let's show you how to get the EvenKeel installed on your vehicle.

As you can see, we've already gotten three of ours taken care of. I wanted to show you how the fourth is going to fit on. We'll start with our small rubber gripper or rubber spacer. That's going to be fitted in to the thinker side. See how this one is a little bit thinner, this one is a little bit thicker. We're going to place that right in and just give it a little push to make sure it firmly sits.

That's a nice gripping material. It's going to help hold our EvenKeel in place as we mount it on to the roof of the vehicle. We'll now place it right up. We'll pull the slack out as you can see. This is going to free up our handle back here. With just a few quick turns, we'll have that gripping on to our load bar.

Let's take a quick look just to be sure we have both pads in line with each other. We want to keep them even. We don't want them staggered. We'll make a small adjustment to that and then I'll continue right here on the back just tightening down the black knob. As you can see, nice and secure. We're not going to have to worry about this going anywhere. A nice feature that Yakima has provided for us.

If we want to secure these to the vehicle and help to ensure that nobody is going to get them off, they supply us with a small screw anyhow until we need. That goes right into the small hole. Then we just thread that on end. Once we've got that secured, that's going to keep anybody from loosening up our T-handle and removing it from our vehicle, so it's a very nice, safe way to keep our cradles intact and on our vehicle. Now that we've got all four of them installed on the vehicle, let's go ahead and get our kayak loaded up. Place it right up on our saddles. Let's take a quick look to kind of center it up. Then we'll be able to take the two heavy-duty straps. These are provided from Yakima as well. As you can see, just standard cam buckle-style strap, really nice heavy duty material. We're going to bring that around the underside of our load bar, then we're going to send that over to the other side to where we can get it. Over here, the exact same thing is going to happen. We're going to bring this around the underside, pull our slack through, then we'll send that back over, and then the tag end fit right through the cam buckle. We can pull out our slack. You want to be sure that you don't have your straps twisted up or anything that can cause interference. Get it to a position where we want it. Pull out our slack. As you can see, even with just installed, it's really holding that nice and secure. Now it's time to secure our tag end here. In most cases with these cam buckle-style straps, we can just stick that in behind, then we'll just slide it on up. That's going to hold it there nicely for us. Let's come on to the rear here and do that exact same thing. Around the underside. We're just going to kind of use that as a weight to hold that in place while we get it ran across. You can see we're that tight. We're nice and secure. We'll just tidy up our strap again. Now with that up out of the way and secure, let's take care of securing our bow and our stern. Now we're going to need to secure both the front and rear of water craft or whatever type of watercraft or boat that we're going to be using. They've included the bow and the stern straps for us. We don't have to worry about that. As far as the cam buckle side goes, that'll go through the connection point. Then we'll go through that looped in, then allow that to cinch down. That connection made, we're going to take our second strap. It, again, has a loop just like the first one does. This one's also going to have a protective sleeve. This is going to go right up against our bumper or whatever area the strap might come in contact with, and protect us from having any additional wear or rub marks there. We'll just find a good solid metal connection point that we want to use. We'll feed our strap through. Just like we had done on the top there, we'll loop that through and take out our slack. Then you'll see our protector's going to be right there on that edge where we're going to need it the most, keeping us from doing any kind of damage or any kind of scraping on our car. Right across there, it will rest right up there for us. We'll not bring it right up to our cam buckle. The tag end goes through. Then we'll pull the slack out. Give us a nice secure hold here on the front. Then, as always, we'll secure tag end here. Then we'll head to the rear and get that one taken care of. Now in situations where we don't have a good connection point to use - Let's say if our kayak didn't have that nice open handle on it. It just had a small hook or a small hook connection point like what we're seeing here on the top. They also supply us with S hooks. You can see we'll just connect that into our circular, whatever opening we may have up there that's going to be usable, then we'll hook our strap right to that, giving us another secure connection. Just like before, we'll go around something nice and secure, some kind of metal bracket, a tow hook, or whatever you might have on your vehicle that you can make a connection with. Allow our bumper protector or our protective strip to rest up any surface we would like it to protect. The tag end goes back through. Then we pull out the slack. Let's get this secured. Once we have these secured, we're going to be ready to go. It's a really good, cost-effective way of securing your kayak, paddle board, whatever you need to to get it to where you need to go. It has your balance stern tied down, which are included, your heavy-duty securing straps. Now that we've seen how it installs and how it works, let's head out to the test course and let you see what it looks like in action. We're going to start by going through the swell in 00:09:08. That will show you any side to side movement as if you we're changing lanes or doing some evasive maneuvers. We'll go around the corner, into a series of alternating speed bumps just to show us the torquing or twisting action on the rack, just like maybe hitting a pot hole or curb would. We'll then get into our solid speed bumps. This will show us the up and down movement, just like a driveway, a parking lot, or a parking garage might do. That will complete today's look at the Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles for Roof-Rack Crossbars, part number Y04052. .

Customer Reviews

Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles for Roof-Rack Crossbars - Qty 4 - Y04052

Average Customer Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars   (25 Customer Reviews)

Don't freak out when searching for an affordable roof-rack kayak carrier - keep an EvenKeel. This system offers 4 flexible saddles that firmly grip your hull and includes BowStern tie-downs and heavy-duty straps for complete boat stability.


The kayak saddle kit(s) were just what I needed to carry two boats on top of my existing truck rack. They came out of the box and right onto the truck, fitting exactly as I hoped. The attachment mechanism is simple and strong, and can easily be adjusted to fit different kayaks which is important as we have some different ones we haul, depending on conditions. The saddles hold the kayaks firmly and the long straps included give plenty of extra length so there are no problems tying things down. We travel and camp all across the country and always take kayaks, so it is important to have a rack that we know will be secure and hold the boats firmly in all conditions. So much better than my jury rigged wood cradles I used previously. First trip starts tomorrow!!!

etrailer had these in stock and shipped so fast, I was amazed, especially since it was a holiday weekend when I ordered. Great people to work with and I have never been disappointed with shipping, service or merchandise after buying from etrailer over several years. Can' say enough good things.


I have included a picture of my 2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse, with the Yakima Q
System and Even-Keel Kayak saddles. I also used a stretch Kit, which I
picked up locally due to time constraints.

I'll be sure to keep you guys in mind when I am ready to get additional
parts for the system.


Very happy with my purchase Yakima Even Keel. And, very happy with I will be a return customer. Attached are pics. 06' Nissan Xterra w/ Yakima Even Keel.


This makes the second set of these I have purchased. Great poduct and handle our single kayaks as well as out tandem without issue. The tie down straps are a plus.


I really liked this rack. It was easy to assemble and worked great for my kayak. However, it didn't last 6 months before it fell apart. The rubber top came off on two of the carriers exposing hard plastic.

Thank you for your review. We are in the process of getting replacement foam added to our website from Yakima. I will update soon.
-- Etrailer Expert Sierra K - 05/05/2021


I have just received my kayak kit, to be used on a Chevy Equinox. Here are my impressions so far.
The rack arrived and contains everything I need to tie down my Kayak. The Bow / Stern lines have got a protective shielding on them to protect the paintwork, although I will add a piece of chamois under the straps. These straps include a metal hook to aid mounting to the vehicle under-body. On inspection there are unused (manufacturing??) holes on my vehicle both ends, so this should not be a problem.The rack adapters fitted my Chevy Equinox rack bars with a snug fit I could rock the car on the suspension. The main straps are more than adequate.
Good product - see you on the water.

I have used the rack several times now, it is a good solid product. As with all nylon tie downs, if youre going a distance - check the tension at each pit stop.
John G - 07/08/2017


85lb Liquid Logic Deuce Coupe rides like a queen on top of the Even Keel Yakima rack. 65-70 mph in my suv no problem. I'm a very confident 1st time yak owner now! Thanks etrailer for the excellent customer service.

I have not had opportunity to use the rack this year yet
Paul S - 07/05/2016


The 4 SUV rack has been used to haul my Hobie Outback kayak. It has worked reasonably well but it is not ideal. The rubber fitted snap in inserts easily come out. In fact I lost a couple then removed the other 2. They hold the boat from sliding but also create friction when loading which is a pain. The plastic bases do not contour that great to my kayak and the boat shifts around pretty easily because of this and also the lack of rubber inserts. They are also 2-3 inches higher than the cross bars and so make lifting the boat a bit harder. I am still using them but have thought of finding something better. So far, I haven't found anything I like better.

I recommend the Yakima kayak carrier part # Y04083-04082 for carrying your kayak. This carrier has a load assist feature in the form of 2 Padded, pivoting rollers that allow the kayak to be easily loaded from the rear of the vehicle. It also features felt covered saddle style paddles that hold the kayak in place but does not create issues with friction when loading.
-- Etrailer Expert Heather A - 09/04/2018


For the most part the saddles do the job of stabilizing my Pungo kayak atop my roof rack. The trick is getting them positioned just right.


Very happy with the Product. I have a canoe and now a kayak and wanted to carry on top of the car. Even though I have Yakima racks, I thought that these mounts to my SUV racks would be easier and they are.
Service and communication was excellent.


Received my EvenKeel saddles two days before I drove 630 miles to Lake Superior. Easy installation. Great stability. Very secure. Very pleased so far.

yup, still love my EvenKeel saddles.
Casey S - 08/21/2018


This product work ok for our use on top of our Jeep..
I would like to see this manufacturer or others make a kit to fit the round roof bar that are sold for most Keeps.


Great product, BUT They broke off my cross bars. the info. stated they were universal but they fit but not very well after 3 uses they broke. :(


Fitment on round bar Yakima works perfect, very detailed instructions, easy installation.


After two trips to the lake, I'm happy with the performance of the Yakima EvenKeel saddles. They install in only minutes and are very secure on the factory cross bars of my 2011 Nissan Murano. Time will tell how well they hold up; but for now, I'm happy with my purchase and would certainly recommend them.

Delivery was fast...they were actually delivered before the estimated delivery date.


Great shipping.
Simple easy to install
kayak supports.


Just put them on the car. Have not loaded a boat on yet so can’t really rate them other than to say they were a snap to install!


Congratulations to Yakima. Even keel product is elegant, easy to use and robust- your competitors better start looking for another line of business.


Great product and it works perfectly on my 2013 RAV4 .


Does what they are supposed to do. I would recommend


Easy to mount, seem very well made, good design & fair value.



Nice riding pad for carrying kayak.


Good product and fast delivery...


Excellent fit. Thank you


See what our Experts say about this Yakima Watersport Carriers

  • Will the Yakima Land Shark Kayak Carrier Work With Yakima OverHaul Ladder Rack
    I spoke with Yakima and the Yakima Land Shark Kayak Carrier can be used with the Yakima OverHaul Ladder Rack but you'd need the Universal MightyMounts for Yakima Roof Mounted Accessories part # Y03590 (QTY. 2). Therefore, you'd be better off with a new carrier that is already directly compatible like the Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles part # Y04052. There isn't a way we can offer to mount them inside the tracks unfortunately.
    view full answer...
  • Will the Yakima EvenKeel fit onto the Crossbars of the Malone Airflow2?
    Since the Yakima EvenKeel Boat Saddles # Y04052 will fit crossbars with a maximum width of 3-1/2 inches and the maximum thickness is 1 inch, it will fit the crossbars on the Malone AirFlow2 Roof Rack - Aero Crossbars - Raised, Factory Side Rails # MPG216.
    view full answer...
  • Compatibility of Yakima Y04052 EvenKeel with Crossbars on Malone MAL53FR EcoLight Trailer
    According to our friends at Yakima, their EvenKeel will work with crossbars measuring up to 3-5/8 inches wide and 1-1/2 inches tall, so it'll work fine on the 1-1/4 inch square crossbars used on the Malone # MAL53FR EcoLight trailer you'd asked about. Keep in mind that the # Y04052 EvenKeel has an 80 lb weight capacity, so you won't want to exceed that. The EvenKeel includes the necessary straps to attach the kayak to the crossbars, as well as the bow/stern tie downs. I've linked to demonstration...
    view full answer...
  • Solution For Carrying 50lb Canoe On Yakima Aero Crossbars
    The Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles # Y04052 is mainly designed to be used on round or square bars, but it does fit crossbars up to 1" tall and up to 3-1/2" wide. So as long as your Yakima aero crossbars are within these specs, it should work. If you have the popular Yakima JetStream Crossbars such as # Y00428 then it will fit fine since these crossbars are 1" wide and 3-1/8" wide. The Yakima EvenKeel only holds canoes in the flat position and you cannot transport the canoe in the...
    view full answer...

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