Recently, we reviewed our Perception Cove 14.5 Tandem Kayak. So while we had decided upon which kayak we wanted, the next challenge was to determine how to transport it. The kayak weighs about 71 pounds and needs to rest atop our Chevy Tahoe. I am 5’11”, Stella is 5’1”, and the kayak is 14.5 feet long. After careful research, prior to the purchase of the kayak, I had determined the Yakima SweetRoll system was what seemed to be the most practical transportation system for our kayak.
We load our kayak from the rear of theTahoe, with myself taking the front/bow of the kayak, and Stella taking the rear/stern. We lift and guide the kayak onto the rear saddles that contain a set of wheels or the “SweetRoll” where I am able to guide the front of the kayak onto the forward set of saddles. Stella then slightly pushes the backend upward, until I have the kayak pushed forward enough to where I can inch my way to the end and continue to roll the kayak into place.
The saddles are spring-loaded to conform to the base of kayak to provide a cradling effect. From there, the kayak is secured to the saddles via a set of heavy duty nylon straps. The system includes bow/stern tie downs as well. This exact process is then reversed when we remove the kayak from the saddles. The saddles anchor to a variety of crossbars and are simple to install or remove without the use of any tools or added hardware. The SweetRoll system is compatible with the SKS Locks, which are not included nor have we added.
While traveling with the kayak secured to the SweetRoll system, I have never once been concerned with the kayak shifting or becoming dislodged from the rack. However, traveling across I-80 in Wyoming during a period of strong wind gusts, the rack did move slightly from its secured position. This was probably more from my lack of checking how tight I had secured the saddles onto the crossbar of the Tahoe. Another word of caution, and probably more applicable to rotational molded (rotomold) kayaks, is that after being secured to the saddles there is a tendency for an indentation/impression to form typically at the rear/stern of the kayak. If you were to leave your kayak for an extended period of time on the saddles, I would recommend lessoning the tension of the straps across the rear/stern of the kayak.
Overall: Excellent Purchase
Price paid: $219
Place purchased: Outdoor Outlet (Appleton, WI – Store Closed)
Link to Perception website: Yakima SweetRoll System
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