Swagman Exo Aero Kayak Carrier System Review

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Review of the Swagman Exo Aero Kayak Carrier System


Today we'll be taking a quick look at the Swagman Exo Aero Rooftop Kayak Carrier with tie-downs, part number S65145. This is a two-piece saddle-style carrier that holds one kayak or canoe hull-side down on the roof of your vehicle. This carrier is made of a glass-reinforced thermal plastic that is lightweight and durable, and also has a soft, polyvinyl saddle that protects your hull from abrasions and scratches. The Swagman Exo Aero works for round, square, aero, elliptical, and most factory crossbars. With the small, compact design of the Exo Aero, it can be mounted at the end of your crossbars opening up more space on your roof rack for other gear. It comes with everything that you need to secure a kayak or a canoe to the roof: two tie-down straps with cambuckles and two bow and stern ropes. Now we'll go over the quick, simple, tool-free installation. The first thing we need to do is simply just place the kayak rack up onto the crossbar.

Now there are two bolts that come with this kit: two long bolts and then two of the shorter bolts. We have an aero bar here so what I'm going to do is just simply slide the bolt in. Then it comes with a vinyl-coated bracket which we will just insert with the bolt through the hole and thread on your wing nut. With the front part of the rack installed, then I'll just repeat the same process for the rear saddle. Now that we have it installed onto our crossbars, we're ready to load up a kayak. We'll lift the kayak up and place it into the saddles.

A neat thing about it is that is kind of flexible so it will have some give when you're placing it hull-side down into the saddles. Then what you want to do is just get it as even as possible, making sure as much of the saddle comes into contact with the hull of the boat as possible. Now that we have the kayak in place we're going to use the cambuckle straps to secure the kayak to the vehicle. Just depending on what you're most comfortable with, you can either install the strap first and then load up the kayak, or what I did is I installed the kayak and now I'm going to install the straps. Basically all you need to do is insert one end of the strap through the hole here at the end of the saddle and then just take the strap and then throw it over the kayak. Because this is a cambuckle strap you're going to have to do the throw-over technique with both ends of the strap. We're going to go back through this end and then back up to the cambuckle and pull it tight.

Neat thing about this is that they have this pad here that the cambuckle will rest on to protect your kayak from any scratches or abrasions. Pull that tight, then you just tie off the excess strap. Then I'll just repeat the same process for the back one. Now we're ready to install the bow and stern ropes. The ropes do come with a s-hook preattached. What I'll want to do is just insert one end of the strap through the handle here.

Then I'm going to come back down and I'm going to try to find a sturdy steel anchor point on the underside of the car to where I can hook this to. Then I'll repeat the same process for the back. That will complete today's review of the Swagman Exo Aero Rooftop Kayak Carrier System, part number S65145. .


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Info for this part was:

Video by:
Zack K
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Installed by:
Matthew K

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