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Best Kayak Carriers for 2017 Honda HR-V EX with Bare Roof

Question:

I am ordering your Malone foam style kayak carrier for the above mentioned vehicle. Would these tie-down straps be my best option? Do I need straps for the front and back, as well?

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Expert Reply:

Foam block type kayak carriers like the # MAL85VR from Malone and similar carriers from other makers sometimes include some tie down straps, which absolutely should be installed on both bow and stern ends of the kayaks. Since the Coastal happens to be sold without straps you will definitely need an item like the Cam Buckle Cinch Straps # E98876-2 or the 16-foot Yakima Cinch Straps # Y05006 that you referenced in your question. Using two sets of straps is not a bad idea either.

Foam block kayak carriers do offer a compelling mix of advantages: low cost, light weight and very quick installation and removal. They also do not alter the appearance of your vehicle except when you happen to be using them.

The down-side to this type of kayak carrier is that is cannot offer the same level of stability and safety as a roof-rack-mounted carrier. Foam blocks like the Coastal are perfect for driving on local roads to a community pond, for example, but if you were planning hours of interstate highway travel with your kayaks I strongly recommend installing a roof rack and rack-mounted kayak carrier.

If your travel plans mean you want to consider this option then the lowest-cost roof rack I can recommend without hesitation is the Rhino-Rack Vortex system made of parts # RRVA118B-2, # RRRLKVA and # DK454. This aero bar rack will be quieter than other bar types and it is a confirmed fit on your HR-V that has a bare roof with no type of fixtures on it.

You can then install a rack-mount carrier like the J-style Swagman Contour # S65148 (which includes tie-downs) or the saddle style Swagman Exo # S65145. We also offer a carrier from Thule, the Stacker # TH830, which holds 1 to 4 kayaks.

You'll want to confirm that your specific kayak(s) total weight is within the capacity of your HR-V's roof.

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