Unless you're a truck owner or have access to a trailer, the transport of kayaks can be a major pain in the butt. To cure your woes Yakima has introduced a simple racking solution they're calling the BigStack. It mounts to your vehicle's factory roof rack and carries up to 4 kayaks. The BigStack is touted by Yakima as the best way to safely and quickly transport multiple kayaks on your vehicle's rooftop. We'd like to take their word for it, but it's much more fun to go hands-on with a product like this... and that's exactly what we did on a recent kayaking trip deep within the beautiful wilderness for northern Michigan!
Installation: (9.5 out of 10) We found the installation of the BigStack to be intuitive and quick. Depending on your vehicle's height it may be somewhat difficult to reach the center of the vehicle's cross bars. If you're mounting the BigStack onto a SUV of any type we suggest you grab a foot stool or something sturdy to stand on for installation. Assembly of the BigStack posts were also quite simple, with no tools required.
Design: (9 out of 10) Following this K.I.S.S. rule (keep it simple stupid) Yakima has developed the most straight forward kayak rack we've ever used. It's basically two posts with holes at the top which mount to your vehicle's roof rack. You loop your tie-down straps through said holes, around your kayak and tighten to the roof rack. Literally 2 minutes later you're on the road to your favorite waterway! We love the simplicity of the BigStack, but also appreciate the small touches Yakima put into the design as well, including the hullguard padding which keeps your boat protected and scratch free. We also think that the ability to fold the posts down flat when not in used was a bit of genius and comes in very handy.
Durability: (9 out of 10) With it's steel core construction, the BigStack was built tough for repeated trips and highway speed kayak transport. We noticed NO degeneration in quality even after several uses on trips of 70 miles and more.
Ease of Use: (10 out of 10) After reading the instructions it quickly became very clear that the BigStack is very user friendly. Set-up and installation takes approximately 10 minutes. Loading a boat and strapping it down can be done in 3 minutes or less.
Value: (9 out of 10) All good products come at a price and that's no different for the BigStack. Checking in at nearly $150 it's a great value in our opinion, but in a perfect world it would be more appealing at $120 to $130.
The Bottom Line: Paddlers who drive a car or SUV and own several kayaks would be smart to consider the Yakima BigStack for their transportation needs. The BigStack was built to keep your boat protected and is simple to both assemble and operate. It's my kayak carrier of choice and highly recommend it for you as well! For a closer look at the BigStack make sure to check out the embedded video from Yakima below...
May 9, 2012 8:29 AM | Vehicles