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Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Roof Rack and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Saddle Style - Clamp On

Code: Y04081

13 reviews

Our Price: $598.95


Product Specs:

Watersport Carriers

Paddle Board

Roof Mount Carrier

Load Assist

Clamp On

Side Loading


Aero Bars
Round Bars
Square Bars
Elliptical Bars


Lightweight watersport carrier with lift assist lets you easily load 1 kayak or 2 SUPs onto your roof rack. Sliding arms let you load and secure gear at waist level, and then easily lift it onto your roof. Tie-downs included. Clamp-on installation.

Video of Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Roof Rack and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Saddle Style - Clamp On

Customer Satisfaction Score:

Customer Reviews

Yakima ShowDown Kayak or SUP Roof Rack and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Saddle Style - Clamp On - Y04081

Average Customer Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars   (13 Customer Reviews)

Lightweight watersport carrier with lift assist lets you easily load 1 kayak or 2 SUPs onto your roof rack. Sliding arms let you load and secure gear at waist level, and then easily lift it onto your roof. Tie-downs included. Clamp-on installation.

by: Raul08/15/2022

Awesome paddleboard rack wife loves it on her 2015 jeep wrangler..

by: Christopher 09/08/2022

The Showdown has been great on my Subaru Ascent with Yakima Aero crossbar system. I use it for my 12 ft fishing kayak.

by: Valerie 08/13/2022

I love that I don't have to use a step ladder to get my kayak up on my car! I thought I would be able to put my kayak on and off by myself, but apparently I'm not strong enough to lift it up to where it needs to be to push bar on top of car. That's the reason I gave it only 4 stars as the video showed a lady doing it by herself. Of course my kayak may be heavier than hers or she lifts weights.
Otherwise, I love it!

by: Jim 08/10/2022

We have done repeat business with etrailer over several decades. The deliver as promised, and their communication is better than any online company I have ever done business with.

by: David08/15/2022

The Yakima ShowDown Kayak carrier is awesome. I'm 67 years young and with the ShowDown can load our 2 person (67Lbs) Ocean kayak all by myself. I would highly recommend the ShowDown and all Yakima products.

by: Kathleen 12/05/2020

The ShowDown was easy to install and is easy to use. I am sorry I didn't get this Lift Assist sooner.

GREAT!! Im currently using it on top of a Jeep Gladiator.
Kathleen - 12/06/2021

by: Ethan04/22/2022

I haven’t installed yet but excited to put them to use. Etrailer delivered quickly and everything looks like it’s in good shape. I plan on using for my Jackson Bug Tuna and Cresent Crew kayaks.

by: James12/13/2021

Very disappointed with Yakima on this lift, it is difficult to use and not well made like the other
Yakima kayak racks I have.

by: Bill B09/22/2018

Building a van conversion on our 2015 Ford Transit wagon.
My wife required one thing above all else, and that was a means to transport her kayak on our trips.
Since the inside of the van will be set up as a mini-RV, the only place for a Kayak is on the roof... along with the Solar panel array, and the MaxxFan (also purchased from eTrailer). Somehow, I made it work after being told by some folks there wasn't enough room. You can see from the pic, it all does fit, and nicely I might add.
What made it possible is the use of the Yakima Showdown kayak mounting system.
The van is 8'2" tall. The only way to make this happen is with the Showdown, (or Hullavator) mounts. I like the idea of the Hullavator with the gas filled struts, but I don't like the price, or Thule engineering in general. I believe Yakima is far superior in all respects.
Admittedly, it's a bit more challenging to raise and lower the Yakima Showdown. Since my wife and I are tall people, the use of a small step stool makes it an easy task. The kayak is at chest height and very easy to load and secure with the straps.
The only part that's a bit difficult is raising it up level with the slide. Once it locks into the slide, the rollers make it a snap to slide it home. You then secure it with the attached pins that slip through the mechanism locking it into place. Done!
Lowering it is actually easier. The thing to remember is to pull it all the way out until you feel is stop, only then will it lower with ease.
This is an easy trade off. I don't think the Hullavator is worth the money. I've used a friends and it's not really that much easier to raise and lower. Yes, the struts offset most of the weight, but it looks clunky with the lower bar always stuck up in the air. Just don't like it's looks.
Yakima Showdown was a no-brainer for us.

by: Gregg 12/30/2020

etrailer always good. Yakima always goo d.

by: Paul 09/09/2022

by: Gary 10/05/2022

by: Heather 09/26/2022


Ask the Experts about this Yakima Watersport Carriers
Do you have a question about this Watersport Carriers?

  • Best Kayak Carrier for Carrying 2 Kayaks on a Roof Rack
  • If you are asking if the Yakima Showdown Kayak Carrier, part # Y04081, can carry two kayaks, then I'm afraid the answer is no, it cannot. If you are asking if you can install two of these carrier on a roof rack, the answer is maybe. Most roof racks will be able to handle the weight of two of these and two kayaks. Unfortunately, since these are 42" long, most roof racks do not have the space to carry two. Either way, there is a better option for you to carry two kayaks on your roof....
    view full answer...


Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Roof Rack and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Saddle Style - Universal Mount

Code: TH898

86 reviews

Our Price: $949.95


Product Specs:

Watersport Carriers


Roof Mount Carrier

Load Assist

Track Mount
Clamp On

Side Loading


Aero Bars
Round Bars
Square Bars
Elliptical Bars


This carrier with built-in lift assist takes the strain out of loading a kayak onto your roof rack. Arms with gas struts let you load and tie down kayak at waist level, then easily lift it onto your roof. Tie-downs included. Mounts to most crossbars.

Video of Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Roof Rack and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Saddle Style - Universal Mount

Customer Satisfaction Score:

Customer Reviews

Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Roof Rack and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Saddle Style - Universal Mount - TH898

Average Customer Rating:  4.8 out of 5 stars   (86 Customer Reviews)

This carrier with built-in lift assist takes the strain out of loading a kayak onto your roof rack. Arms with gas struts let you load and tie down kayak at waist level, then easily lift it onto your roof. Tie-downs included. Mounts to most crossbars.

by: Harold10/01/2021

2018 Ram 2500, wanted a way to travel with 2 sit on top kayaks, With my wife and i in our late 60's it was taking a LONG tome to get the kayaks on the roof of the bed cover. With these i can do it with a short stool. Also carrying the kayaks upside down keeps the top cleaner and stops the water from getting trapped in the kayak (and raining down on me when I unload them).

Update.. after one year still working great, lets this old man get 2 kayaks off the top off a very high truck.
Harold - 10/02/2022

by: Colin10/28/2022

Bought a pair of these to go on 59" rhino rack bars on our Outback Wilderness and am really pleased. I left the bars full width - they are not a head banger on the car - and mounted the Hullavators as far outboard as possible which means the kayaks clear the side of the car and wing mirrors without folding them in. I did have to modify one Hullavator to make the Hobie Lynx fit (36" wide Lynx = 36" max Hullavator width)

by: Arty on the Road08/17/2022

The hullavator is the only way I can get my boat on and off my SUV by myself, which gives me much greater freedom to paddle. We loved my hullavator so much that we bought another one so both boats would be easy off/easy on and we would not have to do the lift off/lift on dance everytime we went paddling. This required longer bars, but those are easy to get. I was having a minor problem with the hullavator and contacted Thule to find out that they will not provide support for cars with 2 hullavators on them because some cars roofs cannot handle all the weight (the hullavator is a beefy rack). My Ford Expedition is rated to hold the weight of the rack/hullavators/kayaks, but that didn't matter, since they don't recommend 2 hullavators, they won't support it. So just a warning there. But I still love my 2 hullavator system and more importantly do not know how I would boat alone without it (or even with a short friend. My husband is 6'3" and together we can get boats out of J racks on the Expedition roof, but this is SO much easier).
We have 2 Delta 14' kayaks on the racks.
I have included pictures, one with me for height reference. I am 5'7" and the boat comes down low enough for me to lift it off (boat is 45 pounds).

by: Val05/29/2022

These cradles are great, but will admit for someone my age at 68yrs and a woman they are heavy at about I believe 40# each. Also it would be nice if they came down lower as I have to lift my kayak a little over waist high for me. I’m only 5’1”. So still a bit of a way to lift it for me. Sometimes it takes some effort to get them going back up loaded as you have to stretch your arms out and do both at the same time to get them going up onto roof. If these things could be made easier it would be perfect for someone as short as I am and of my age.

by: Steven03/12/2023

We haven't road tested the Rola Haul-Your-Might with two Thule Hullavators, but we did a test fit and they worked with room to spare.
Thanks to the etrailer support people. I so appreciate you!

by: Anthony12/05/2018

I installed the Hullavater on my 2002 Toyota Tacoma's canopy that has 2" tubular rails. I couldn't find any cross bars to fit so I custom made the cross bar from scrap square tubes. It also lowers the high by about 4" compared to stock cross bars. Assembly is simple. I went online to download the English version instruction instead of the one in the box. Installing the loaders on the base bars is just a simple one pivot pin each. It depends on your vehicle's high, I have to climb a little to line up the holes to pin them. Maybe after frequent use, I will perfect my method.
I first installed the cross bars too close together. When I strapped the kayak down, it put tension on one of the carriers made it difficult to snap lock in place. Realigned the cross bars, now it works as design.
One down side is they sit very tall on top of my truck so I have to install them outside and remember to remove them before I back into my garage. I wish they can be folded down. I would give them a five stars. I read some complains about the bases get rusted easy. I sprayed them with rubber paint before I installed them. So far they look ok under Seattle sky.
Although they are a little pricey, I really like that I don't have to climb up to strap my kayak not to mention it is easy on my back when load and unloading.

Its been a year. So far so good. the only complain I have is the rubber pads left black marks on bottom front of my kayak. It is very narrow in front even the bars are adjusted down to minimum, the bottom of kayak is rested on those rubbers leaving black marks.
Anthony - 12/07/2019

by: Charlie06/11/2021

I have used Rhino Fokding J Racks, Malone Seawings...added a Rhino Rack Universal Side loader. Still can be a workout. Finally decided to invest in a rack that will make loading and unloading easier and less likely to cause injury. THULE Hullavators!! Now I only have to lift the kayak about chest high...and can attach all the steps while standing flat on the ground. Nor more climbing, reaching g and twisting. I am excited to have a rack that will save us time and energy that we could out to better use kayaking.

by: Lucien09/13/2022

Great product! Quick shipping! Easy ins tall.

by: Natalie08/06/2021

The hullavator makes it possible for us to continue kayaking. We only need to be able to lift the kayaks halfway and the hullavator does most of the work from halfway to roof by lightening the load. An awesome product!

by: 03/19/2021

Oh. My. Goodness! This is a stellar solution for kayak loading and transporting!!
The story: My first thought had been, "I'm not spending so much money for a kayak carrier." I ordered a different rack at 1/2 the cost. When the first rack arrived, I quickly realized that while it was well made, getting a kayak into that rack on top of my tall SUV was going to require a step ladder and lots of acrobatics. Without opening it, I sent the rack back and ordered a Thule Hullavator. Hint 1: Watch the online videos on how to install or have a professional help you; the included instructions are horrible. Still, I did it myself, and you can, too. Once installed, the Hullavator Pro is sheer genius! You'll appreciate this amazing rack every single time you use it. Every. Single. Time. The gas struts really do so very much of the lifting lift for you!
Hint 2: the hand release on one of my cradles seemed to stick and I had to squeeze the release with both hands before it would lift. I despaired. Then by accident almost, I discovered that anytime this happens, I could use the hand grip to gently push that entire assembly a few mm towards the car. Poof! Both struts easily, smoothly begin lifting my kayak. Thule's Hullavator really is a bargain considering how quick it is to load/unload a kayak and because of the work it does for you!
I HIGHLY recommend the Thule Hullavator and etrailer!

by: Craig01/16/2020

I recently upgraded from a 2017 Ford F-150 to a 2019 Ford F-350 and the height difference between the two over the bed with a Leer cap was substantial. The Hullavator kayak carrier system seemed like a good way to save my back while towing our travel trailer and having the kayaks go with us. This is not an inexpensive why to get the kayaks on top of my F-350's cap but it is the safest way. The carrier arrived on time and most importantly not damaged or missing parts. The carrier appears to be built to last and the fit and finish is well thought out. The instructions made the assembly and installation fairly simple to accomplish. I have not as yet traveled with it but I have loaded a fishing kayak on it. I loaded a 32 inch wide fishing kayak on it in both the upright position and upside down. I do not anticipate any problems while traveling in either configuration. I have given it 4 stars because of the high price which is Thule's problem and not Etrailers. Etrailer's representatives were very informative and helpful in my decision to purchase this item.

by: Joseph05/04/2021

Weather is nice again and I finally installed my (somewhat) newly purchased Yakima 60" Jetstream rack system with RidgeLine Towers along with Thule Hullavator TH898 to my 2016 X5. I hope to start some finishing real soon here in NJ.

by: Bruce 10/13/2022

I've had the Thule Hullavator system on my RAV4 for one year now and am totally satisfied! I kayak alone so I needed a system that would allow me to get my kayak on top of my vehicle. As I am almost 70 this system helps me out a lot and I appreciate it every time I load the kayak! Makes loading/unloading "easy peasy". Still works great one year later!

by: Alan 08/24/2022

The Hullavator is one great invention, especially for someone who is older or otherwise less capable to safely lift a vessel up onto a rooftop rack. It works flawlessly and makes kayaking possible for me at this stage in my life.

by: Mag05/10/2020

I ordered my Thule Hullverator on a Friday and received the following Friday. My son-in-law helped install it on Mother’s Day. Everything was included in the boxes. I ordered from you instead of Thule because you offered free shipping. Otherwise it was the same price. Very easy to order and prompt. Thank you.

by: Richard 07/22/2022

First thing. The service and communication from etrailer was great. Best shipping tracking I have ever seen. The Hullavator install was pretty easy and it allows us to get our kayak on the roof of our camper. A big thanks to etrailer and the crew. Also best price I could find. This isn't my first order from them and I keep going back.

by: Brian 09/19/2022

Perfect solution! I usually need to load my oversized paddleboard by myself. I get comments an looks almost every time I use them at the beach. etrailer shipped fast, great service.

by: Orlando03/25/2022

"Ultimate kayak carrier." Hi, we love kayaking. We can kayak all day long. But the moment we (more like me), has to lift the kayaks high over our heads to load on the roof, takes a lot out of me. The Hullavator helps alot. Helps lift, helps strap kayak at a comfortable level.
This is my setup needed to install Hullavator on 2022 Honda Odyssey:
-Thule Hullavator
-Thule one key system (set of 4)
(I chose Yakima round bars system because of its length 78")
-Yakima round bars 78" (cut to 62" for minimum requirements to properly operate Hullavator)
-Yakima Round Bar SL adapter (comes with 4 endcaps)
-Yakima TimberLine Towers
-Yakima SKS Lock cores(set of 4)
-Honda roof rails

by: M N Lovell11/03/2022

The hulivator is fantastic. Every kayaker should have theM

by: Karen 09/26/2022

Now I don't have to stop kayaking because it hurts my back to lift the kayaks on to the top of the car! Love it! Easy to use!

by: Thomas12/02/2019

I recently ordered 2 heavy Hobie kayaks and need to be able to carry them on top of my truck so that I can tow a Fifth Wheel. The Hullavator Pro carriers seem much sturdier than competing brands, and the lift assist will make loading on top of my F350 much easier. They were easy for me to assemble and install. (I purchased 2 sets). They are expensive, but it’s not worth losing a kayak in traffic in order to save a few bucks. I have had other Thule carriers, and have been very happy with the strength and longevity.

One year later it still works great. I transferred the rack to our SUV and it is even easier to reach. I would definitely buy again.
Thomas - 12/03/2020

by: James 11/15/2021

It works like it was advertised, We are very happy with them.

it works great,I am 72 years old and would not be able to load them without it.
James - 11/23/2022

by: BobG12/03/2016

The carrier requires a lot of assembly. The written instructions were not the best. It would have been nice to see an installation video. It installed without any problems. It is a little tricky installing and removing it to the fixed mount and installing the pin. Once I realized there was a bar to hook the carrier onto while installing the pin I was fine. As with most Thule products the quality is good. It would have been nice to have the locks included considering the price.

The Hullavator has worked very well. I just purchased a second one so I can carry two kayaks.
BobG - 12/03/2017

by: Brian05/26/2022

Very happy with this. It was a gift for a friend who was limited because of the difficulty of loading a kayak alone. It's been a great success! Also very happy with the communication from etrailer. Like so many recreational items during the pandemic, this item was out of stock. The folks at etrailer kept me informed and ended up delivering before the projected date.

by: Paula 09/01/2022

Amazing! I’m 5’3” and have a Grand Cherokee and I needed no stool or assistance loading my kayak! Wish I had gotten this years ago.

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