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Reviews for Thule Hullaport

Rated: 8.78/10 Based On: 9 Reviews

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've been using these since I first got my Kayaks in 2001 and they have always been invaluable in carrying my kayaks on 4 different vehicles. This is a quality product and has always made life easy with out 17'Necky sea kayaks.
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Submitted by: meadowlark
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have had 1 year of experience with 2 sets of Hull-A-Port Pro carriers transporting 12 to 17 foot composite kayaks weighing 40-50 lbs each mounted on a 2012 Subaru Outback using the more recent Subaru factory crossbars. Mountings fit fine on the bars but I found it best to trim the small rubber projections under the crossbars flush with the underside to allow the best purchase of the carrier brackets to the bars. One is supposed to hand-tighten the screws to the main carrier using the supplied bolts which works fine to initially secure them, but a point of important advice is to further tighten the bolts with your favorite wide-mouth pliers or vise-grip tool a few extra turns. (Place a towel on your roof to protect it from scratching it with your tool) Then let them sit overnight or a couple days and then re-tighten them again since you will be surprised how much more you can tighten the bolts after your first positioning. Then finally use them to actually transport kayaks. My first trial run using them immediately after hand-tightening and driving at 60 mph for a few miles resulted in enough movement of the carriers on the crossbars to call attention to how inadequate it is to only hand-tighten the supplied bolts.

After ensuring an appropriate amount of tightness and rechecking them every now and then, I've had excellent success in using them. Using 2 systems on each side of the roof easily allows carrying 2 kayaks on top of a typical car roof remembering to keep them far enough apart such that the 2 kayaks aren't "kissing" in the middle after you deploy the J-bars and place the crafts in them.

Transporting a kayak in an almost vertical position, however, particularly if using a wider hull-style kayak, does pose more resistance to side-winds but just use common sense when driving and you can easily detect what kind of forces are impacting your car/kayak. Travel speeds of around 65 mph in calm weather are usually quite comfortable but if there are substantial headwinds you might want to take it more slowly. Conversely, a good tailwind allows you to move along that much more rapidly.

I know that I've concentrated a lot on how secure and safe these units are, and so far so good with no failures. The kit comes with everything you need. It has a pair of good tie-down straps with very thoughtful rubber protectors over the metal buckles which make it safe to throw them over the roof and then back over the kayak without damaging your vehicle. You can store excess strap length within a Velcro pouch in the bottom part of the carrier. Fore and aft ties with ratchet mechanisms are also supplied. I use Thule "quick loops" to attach those to the hood and back hatch which has made life a lot easier than searching for an attachment point underneath a bumper lying on gravel or wet ground. It may also be useful to have a step-stool available both at home and along with you to make the procedure easier since many vehicles will be quite high up to be dealing with these carriers.

I've had no experience so far with any other system so I have no comparison as yet, but I can definitely recommend this carrier when installed as noted above. My rating of a 9 vs a 10 is for the lack of the importance stressed in the instructions on a more secure mounting procedure.

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Submitted by: Mike Z
Rating: 9 of 10

     Thule Hull-a-Port Pro (835)
I have 2 sets on my Scion Xb, hauling 2 12 foot kayaks. Have taken it up and down twisty back roads, and on the Interstate with absolutely no problem. Installation was really no problem, although getting the bolts through their holes during pre-assembly required a hammer - not exactly the easiest process.

On the car they hold the kayaks very securely. The straps and ratcheting front/rear tie downs are perfect and easy to use/tighten. The folding feature is great, it allows me to get my car in the garage without removing the rack - very convenient. I do wish the holders came with a way to lock them to the bars.

Loading is fairly easy. I'm 5'11" and can load both boats easily after a day of paddling. My wife is about 5'3", and there's no way she could load the boats, so if you're short these probably aren't for you.

All in all for what they are, I couldn't ask for much more.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Thule Hullaport is a great rack. This rack and included tie downs give you every thing you need to secure your kayak. The J-rack provides secure support for the boat. Racheting bow and stern tie downs are included. These racks fit factory installed racks on SUVs. The learning curve to get the boat on the racks on a Ford Expedition was a little steeper than expected. Just remember to feed the tie downs trough the top of the rack before loading the boat. If you are not tall, you may need a step stool to get the boat on a large SUV. No problems on the first road trip of over 300 miles. I highly recommend this rack.
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Submitted by: JWSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     These are very good if roof space is a concern. You must be very careful leaving an untied boat on these racks on a windy day, even for a minute (I learned the hard way when a small gust rolled my kayak to the driveway pavement, ripping my $500 side view mirror off in the process). A real positive is that you can hang them on a garage wall and use them for kayak storage (many Hullaport users overlook this). Another issue is that the rubber washers designed to keep the mounting screws from turning when tightening don't last for more than a few uses. DIY modification is required to correct this.
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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The Thule Hullaports are a great product! We mounted them on our Yakima roof-rack and have carried two Bic Sport kayaks around Southern California kayaking locations (lakes and the ocean). They are solid, stable, and support the kayaks quite well. I like the fact that they included the bow and stern tie-downs. Nice touch! Here’s a loading tip we discovered. We have a tall vehicle (a Honda Element) and, since we’re 5-8 and 5-7 respectively, we had a bit of trouble getting the kayaks up into the mounts at first. Until we tried turning the kayaks upside-down and kind-of rolling them into the mounts. Worked great! Now we can attach the mounts and load both kayaks in under fifteen minutes. You can see pictures of our set-up at:

I highly recommend these mounts.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I got the Thule Hullaport from an online chain store for $109. It works exactly as advertised. I've read the early models from a couple of years ago had plastic parts that were suspect, but my version is very sturdy. It makes it much easier to load and unload either of my two kayaks. I like the straps and rope tie downs that come with it too. I would highly recommend these over foam blocks and straps.
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Submitted by: DianeSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We just purchased a set of Thule Hull A Ports to carry my Necky Chelan or Gannet and my husband's Napali by Perception, 15' sit on top, on my Ford Taurus or his wagon. I purchased last years display model, however he had to wait for his to be ordered, so he got the newer version that comes with the tie down. I added my own touch to the system because I was a little frustrated at watching the little plastic tubing, that acts as a spacer between the metal plates, roll down the driveway. So, I added a rubber plumbing washer to hold the spacer in place. Mind you it does take a little work getting the washers on, nothing a little awl and haul can't do. Great system, great stability and very little friction felt inside the vehicle during travel time. It is definitely an improvement over using the foam pads we had before to stabilize our rigs. My husband's larger boat was getting warped in the hull during the haul. We can use it on whatever car model we want as long as it has a rack on it.
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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Have a very narrow surfski and have found the Hull-a-ports to be far and away the most stable way of carrying such a low volume boat. Also convenient when I switch to a sea kayak- no messing with the width of the cradles. I'm getting pretty concerned, however, about these reports of the nylon piece breaking off, and don't think I will trust the rack alone now. Easy solution- loop the strap or rope around the bar, then through the top metal loop, around the boat, around the bar again, and then tie off normally. Essentially use your bars rather than the rack for the tie-down. Works fine without front and rear ties.
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