Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles Review

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Review of the Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles


Today, we're going to be taking a look at the Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles for Roof-Rack Crossbars, part number Y04052. These cradles are great for securing kayaks, paddle boards, sail boards or even small boats at the rooftop of your vehicle. These cradles are designed with the innovative HullFlex technology. As you can see, no matter what type of boat that we're going to be putting on here, it's going to conform nicely. We've also got nice gripping pads. They're going to prevent any forward and back movement. These are designed to mount on to round, square and most factory crossbars with no adapter needed. Simply by turning the integrated knob, we can tighten these right down to fit on to our crossbars with no tools required. Now that we've gone over the features, let's show you how to get the EvenKeel installed on your vehicle.

As you can see, we've already gotten three of ours taken care of. I wanted to show you how the fourth is going to fit on. We'll start with our small rubber gripper or rubber spacer. That's going to be fitted in to the thinker side. See how this one is a little bit thinner, this one is a little bit thicker. We're going to place that right in and just give it a little push to make sure it firmly sits.

That's a nice gripping material. It's going to help hold our EvenKeel in place as we mount it on to the roof of the vehicle. We'll now place it right up. We'll pull the slack out as you can see. This is going to free up our handle back here. With just a few quick turns, we'll have that gripping on to our load bar.

Let's take a quick look just to be sure we have both pads in line with each other. We want to keep them even. We don't want them staggered. We'll make a small adjustment to that and then I'll continue right here on the back just tightening down the black knob. As you can see, nice and secure. We're not going to have to worry about this going anywhere. A nice feature that Yakima has provided for us.

If we want to secure these to the vehicle and help to ensure that nobody is going to get them off, they supply us with a small screw anyhow until we need. That goes right into the small hole. Then we just thread that on end. Once we've got that secured, that's going to keep anybody from loosening up our T-handle and removing it from our vehicle, so it's a very nice, safe way to keep our cradles intact and on our vehicle. Now that we've got all four of them installed on the vehicle, let's go ahead and get our kayak loaded up. Place it right up on our saddles. Let's take a quick look to kind of center it up. Then we'll be able to take the two heavy-duty straps. These are provided from Yakima as well. As you can see, just standard cam buckle-style strap, really nice heavy duty material. We're going to bring that around the underside of our load bar, then we're going to send that over to the other side to where we can get it. Over here, the exact same thing is going to happen. We're going to bring this around the underside, pull our slack through, then we'll send that back over, and then the tag end fit right through the cam buckle. We can pull out our slack. You want to be sure that you don't have your straps twisted up or anything that can cause interference. Get it to a position where we want it. Pull out our slack. As you can see, even with just installed, it's really holding that nice and secure. Now it's time to secure our tag end here. In most cases with these cam buckle-style straps, we can just stick that in behind, then we'll just slide it on up. That's going to hold it there nicely for us. Let's come on to the rear here and do that exact same thing. Around the underside. We're just going to kind of use that as a weight to hold that in place while we get it ran across. You can see we're that tight. We're nice and secure. We'll just tidy up our strap again. Now with that up out of the way and secure, let's take care of securing our bow and our stern. Now we're going to need to secure both the front and rear of water craft or whatever type of watercraft or boat that we're going to be using. They've included the bow and the stern straps for us. We don't have to worry about that. As far as the cam buckle side goes, that'll go through the connection point. Then we'll go through that looped in, then allow that to cinch down. That connection made, we're going to take our second strap. It, again, has a loop just like the first one does. This one's also going to have a protective sleeve. This is going to go right up against our bumper or whatever area the strap might come in contact with, and protect us from having any additional wear or rub marks there. We'll just find a good solid metal connection point that we want to use. We'll feed our strap through. Just like we had done on the top there, we'll loop that through and take out our slack. Then you'll see our protector's going to be right there on that edge where we're going to need it the most, keeping us from doing any kind of damage or any kind of scraping on our car. Right across there, it will rest right up there for us. We'll not bring it right up to our cam buckle. The tag end goes through. Then we'll pull the slack out. Give us a nice secure hold here on the front. Then, as always, we'll secure tag end here. Then we'll head to the rear and get that one taken care of. Now in situations where we don't have a good connection point to use - Let's say if our kayak didn't have that nice open handle on it. It just had a small hook or a small hook connection point like what we're seeing here on the top. They also supply us with S hooks. You can see we'll just connect that into our circular, whatever opening we may have up there that's going to be usable, then we'll hook our strap right to that, giving us another secure connection. Just like before, we'll go around something nice and secure, some kind of metal bracket, a tow hook, or whatever you might have on your vehicle that you can make a connection with. Allow our bumper protector or our protective strip to rest up any surface we would like it to protect. The tag end goes back through. Then we pull out the slack. Let's get this secured. Once we have these secured, we're going to be ready to go. It's a really good, cost-effective way of securing your kayak, paddle board, whatever you need to to get it to where you need to go. It has your balance stern tied down, which are included, your heavy-duty securing straps. Now that we've seen how it installs and how it works, let's head out to the test course and let you see what it looks like in action. We're going to start by going through the swell in 00:09:08. That will show you any side to side movement as if you we're changing lanes or doing some evasive maneuvers. We'll go around the corner, into a series of alternating speed bumps just to show us the torquing or twisting action on the rack, just like maybe hitting a pot hole or curb would. We'll then get into our solid speed bumps. This will show us the up and down movement, just like a driveway, a parking lot, or a parking garage might do. That will complete today's look at the Yakima EvenKeel Flexible Boat Saddles for Roof-Rack Crossbars, part number Y04052. .


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Video Edited:
Dustin K
Test Fit:
Randy B

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