Yakima JayLow Kayak Carrier Review - 2017 Kia Forte5

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Review of the Yakima JayLow Kayak Carrier on a 2017 Kia Forte5


Hi, everyone, Aiden with etrailer.com, and today we're going to be taking a look at the Yakima J-Lo J style kayak carrier on our 2017 Kia Forte Five. That was going to be a J style carrier. That's going to make really good contact on the kayak and keep it nice and sturdy at the top of your vehicle. Now, this kit's going to come with all the different pieces you need, like your strap kit. You've got these cam buckle straps here in the middle and that's pretty standard for most kayak carriers but what's going to set this one apart is the way it kind of protects your boat here. Now it's not super uncommon to have maybe a piece of fabric on the backside of the cam buckle there but this one is fully surrounded in this nice thick, rubber piece.

So it's going to protect your boat on the backside. And if it's twisted, it'll protect from the sides too. And here we have our bow and stern tie-down straps. Now these, I like as opposed to the quarted options because you can just run the strap through this buckle here, pull it nice and tight, and your boat is going to be secure. The quarted options you have Tyro knots.

And this just fills me with a little bit more confidence going down the road. You also have this protection here around the strap. So if it we're to come in contact with the vehicle it's going to be less abrasive on your paint. But we're not really putting that to use here because we don't have anywhere on the vehicle side to run these hooks to, which is why at the bottom we're using these dog bone adapters under the hood and at the back hatch. So that's a minor inconvenience that you have to get an extra part to make this work on your Kia but it's pretty easily solved and gets the boat nice and secure.

Now, as far as loading and unloading goes it's going to really help you out having these loading ramps here at the front. Now, what I mean by that is if you've been out on the water for a couple of hours, your arm is going to be tired. It's not necessarily a high vehicle that you have here but any assistance helps. So you can set the kayak against these loading ramps and kind of push against it. It'll raise up and over that J, just making that loading process easier.

You're not lifting the whole thing by yourself just to get it over that day. You can just get it out like that and walk it off to the side. Speaking of materials, these bars are also going to be made of aluminum, which is really nice when you're loading up a wet boat, you don't have to worry about that bar rusting or corroding over time like you might with something like steel. Now, even though it is aluminum though, it's still going to be really strong. When you've got it loaded up with one kayak, it's going to hold up to 80 pounds but you have the option to hold two kayaks by just folding these arms up straight and loading a second kayak on the backside right here. With that you're going to get 110 pounds of total weight capacity but just keep in mind you will have to get a second strap kit to secure down that second kayak. Speaking of folding, though you also have the option to fold your carrier completely flat by coming back to that same quick release lever and folding the carrier down flat and locking it back in place. I really liked this lever because there's a big spot to put your hand in there. And it doesn't snap back at you. Some other options really have a lot of tension and sometimes pinch your fingers. This one's just super easy to operate and allows you to fold your carrier down flat with ease. Now, the reason that folding feature is so nice you can see here, side-by-side it cuts down on a lot of that height added to your roof. It's going to give you a more low profile appearance, cut down on wind noise, and you don't have to just remove the carrier every time you're ready to go hit the water. You can just fold the arm up and load up and you're ready to go. Now, the exact measurement that it's going to cut down over here, we can see this is going to add 19 inches to the top of your roof bars. Whereas in folded state it's only going to be adding four and a half inches. So that's a big difference that you're going to definitely notice going down the road. Now, if you are choosing to remove these from your crossbars whenever you're done using them, it's super easy to do. These are probably one of the easiest ones to install and uninstall. To do it, all you got to do is twist these hand knobs here on the side and the clamp is going to let go of the crossbar like that. Most other options have a plate that extends underneath your crossbar with bolts facing down. And that system is fine. It's still tool free, but it's maybe not the best option for ease of install and for crossbars that maybe don't have a lot of roof clearance. This you can see, I've got it all easy to access on the side right here. I can keep one hand on the carrier to make sure it doesn't tip over. And when I've got it loose enough just carried off like that. And then getting it back installed is the same thing just in reverse. And down by the hand knobs here you also have the ability to add lock cores that are key to like two other Yakima accessories. All you gotta do is pop out this plastic cap here and that'll allow you to slide that lock core in making your carrier fully lockable to your crossbars. So overall, I think the J-Lo is a really solid option as far as kayak carriers go. You've got a lot of nice premium materials in terms of the padding and the bars here. And it's going to give you a lot of great features like that ease of install, the quick release lever for the folding and that loading ramp. There are a few things I'm kind of missing from this like places to route your strap through. There are some other carriers that have that option to run your straps through and just give you a dedicated tie-down point for your boat. But aside from that, it's a really solid option and it's going to look really great on your roof. It's going to be super functional. I think it's going to be a great fit for your Kia Forte Five. Again, my name is Aiden. Thanks for watching..


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