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Kuat J-Style Class 2 Kayak Carrier with Tie-Downs Review - 2021 Toyota 4Runner

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Review of the Kuat J-Style Class 2 Kayak Carrier with Tie-Downs on a 2021 Toyota 4Runner


Hi, everyone. Aiden, here with etrailer.com and today, we're gonna be taking a look at the Kuat Class Two J style kayak carrier here on our 2021 Toyota 4Runner. Now in general, I like J style kayak carriers because of the room they give you on your roof to put other accessories whether it be another kayak, a basket, or a box. And they just hold the kayak really well. You can see this is solid up there. Everything is cradled in really nicely, and the strap kit does a really good job of holding it down into those cradles, keeping things solid on the roof.

You do have these pretty convenient spots right here on the front of the carrier, and on the back there's a slotted hole to run your straps through. So everything is easy to tie down not to mention that the strap kit is really nice here. You've got cambuckle straps on all sides and you've got a really convenient hook and loop strap that's integrated here to tie up all the excess straps. You don't have to tie a knot yourself or store in the kayak. Everything's nice and secure and really neat up there.

Now, I really like having the cambuckle straps on the bow and stern as well. A lot of times, you'll see carriers come with these ropes and S-hooks and those are fine, but sometimes it's hard to find a good place in the front to hook that S-hook. And those ropes can be a little bit cumbersome to tie. Just after being on the water, it's easier to just get the cambuckle, strap feed it through, and pull it tight. It's just simpler.

So for me, I like seeing that on this carrier quite a bit. Getting things all undone is really simple as well. So lets undo the hook and loop here to untie our excess strap, remove it from that cambuckle. And then, everything just loops through itself up here on the kayak. And it's the same for our point down on the vehicle.

Once it's pulled tight, its a little bit tricky to kind of get it fed out, but once you get it started it's pretty simple and pretty easy. Now this carrier does have a weight capacity of 80 pounds. That is quite a bit, but if you do plan on utilizing all of that weight capacity on your 4Runner, it's a taller vehicle, and getting all that weight up there on your own is gonna be difficult. It's certainly doable with a smaller boat, like we have here. Just kind of rotate it out and just grab it like that. Get it kind of balanced between your hands there and you can lift it out. But honestly, for a vehicle this tall, I would recommend something with a load assist system like the Malone Downloader, just to make that whole process of loading and unloading your boat a lot simpler and quicker. Now, with the kayak unloaded we can get a better look at the carrier itself. You can see this is a fixed carrier which means when the boat is unloaded, we're not gonna be able to fold any arms down or condense it in any way. So where it sits on the roof bar is going to be where it sits naturally It's going to add 14 and a quarter inches from the top of your crossbar. So just keep that in mind, pulling in your garage, you're gonna have limited clearance. This is gonna stick up quite a bit. Kuat does have the Class Four, which is a folding system, or if you're looking for something a little more entry level the E trailer kayak carrier also has folding arms. Both are great options and are gonna save you a lot of roof space when your boat isn't up here. It does have a pretty simple clamp system here with just these hand knobs: one on either side, securing it in place on the crossbar. Personally, I don't love this system just because it's a bit slow to load and unload. And if you're looking for something nicer, the Class Four, again from Kuat, has really nice straps that you can just set to the right size. You throw the lever and it gets them nice and tight. And you have the option to lock that with these hand knobs, nothing is going to lock. So if you leave this on your cross FARs you are gonna have to maybe worry about that security aspect. Overall, the Class Two is a pretty solid option. Those fixed arms do make sure that everything is sturdy up on the roof, everything's gonna be held in really well, and the strap kit is really nice. But for me, I would honestly just upgrade to the Class Four. It's got those folding arms, it's got the option to lock, and the clamp system is going to be much easier to use. If you're not wanting to spend that much, you're just looking for something more entry level, I would then go with the etrailer kayak carrier that one's gonna have those same folding arms, a nicer feature that I would really want in my own kayak carrier, but it's gonna be at a more accessible price point. So whichever's gonna be the best fit for you and your 4Runner, I would look into those. Thanks for watching..


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