Kayak on Subaru Outback?

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Drakestar
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Kayak on Subaru Outback?

Post by Drakestar » Mon May 25, 2020 11:30 am

Looking into getting a full-size Old Town PDL kayak, and ways to haul it around. I found various YT videos on how to mount your kayak on an Outback, so I know it can be done - my question is whether I'll hate myself for doing it or not! ;) So I'd love to hear some experience from people who do this regularly - is it a rather straight-forward thing, or require serious dedication? In other words: is a pickup truck (which I don't have) a vastly better option than using an SUV, or are SUVs totally fine?

prybis
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Re: Kayak on Subaru Outback?

Post by prybis » Mon May 25, 2020 12:02 pm

I used to mount my Kayak on top of my Mazda # until I got a trailer. Not always easy to car top after a long day of fishing. Of course there are ways that make it easier if you are willing to spend the money. The Hullavator or other type racks like this makes it easier. The EZ REC Rack is another type but loads from the back of vehicle.
Mike P.

Slazmo
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Re: Kayak on Subaru Outback?

Post by Slazmo » Mon May 25, 2020 1:51 pm

I mounted a 4 meter Viking Tempo on a Suzuki Jimny and drive that 400kms without issue - yeh it looked strange though.

Just have to find its middle ballance point, strap the front to a forward tie point and if a little rear over hang just flag it.

If you've got troubles with lifting it safely get a strong arm or easy loader.
Last edited by Slazmo on Mon May 25, 2020 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Houndfish
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Re: Kayak on Subaru Outback?

Post by Houndfish » Mon May 25, 2020 3:09 pm

I have a 17 outback and the factory rack is atrocious. It’s unnecessarily high and extremely limited in how are you mount stuff to it. There’s no real easy fix to replace it other than ordering JDM parts And swap them out. They’re not cheap and it requires removing the headliner which is not something I would ever try to be myself a second time.

I haul a 10 foot slayer on mine and it’s not impossible but I didn’t even consider the stock rack to be an issue until after I had bought the car last summer. I had been looking around trying to figure out what my best option was when everything went to crap this spring so I’m just gonna suck it up for the forseeable future.

I specifically bought the outback for hauling a yak/my fishing rods, as I wanted some thing that was long and low and it’s one of the few wagons on the market. If it just had normal rails on it it would be perfect and hopefully someday I can get mine to that spot.

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Re: Kayak on Subaru Outback?

Post by Poisson » Mon May 25, 2020 7:27 pm

I throw my Old Town Topwater 120 PDL on top of a Ford Focus hatchback, but in order to get comfortable doing that I spent a decent chunk of change on Yakima cross bars and the Yakima "Big Catch" kayak saddles that are designed for heavier fishing kayaks.

I'm in and out of the water a little bit faster than I thought I would be when I took the plunge. Once you get the procedure down you're never lifting the full weight of the kayak, just picking up one end at a time to get everything into position, and then sliding it on top. I have never felt overwhelmed by the weight/bulk of the 120 size (for reference I'm 6'1", 175 lbs, and in OK shape for early 30's).

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LowRange
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Re: Kayak on Subaru Outback?

Post by LowRange » Mon May 25, 2020 7:56 pm

I've been hauling mine for years on the roof of an 03 Forester. I use the Yakima Boat Loader which I highly recommend for solo loading. I had an 06 Forester and beat the hell out of the top of the liftgate loading the kayak from the rear. The boat loader is a telescopic solid stainless shaft with a rubber stopper thing that fits into the tubular Yakima bars allowing you to bring the kayak parallel to the vehicle and toss the bow onto to extended boat loader and then move behind and pick up the yak by the stern to load it onto your vehicle.

Different config with J hook but still demonstrates boat loader mechanics:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHttmdifr_8

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Re: Kayak on Subaru Outback?

Post by JBcrankaddict » Wed May 27, 2020 3:37 pm

Been car topping my Predator PDL for a few years now, and it’s not bad at all....on a car. Couldn’t imagine trying to get it on top of my Tahoe. I use my beach cart upside down on the trunk to roll my kayak up on the roof rack. Could only do that on the hood of a SUV, but it would work I guess. If you have good ramp access/bigger parking areas, I would get a trailer instead. Can be fully rigged when you get to the ramp with a trailer, just add rods/reels and go. Much quicker and easier. I park at many small launches where a trailer wouldn’t work, so I car top instead.

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