The Thule 897XT Hullavator Lift Assist Kayak Carrier lifts up to 40 lbs. of the kayaks weight assisting you in positioning it on the vehicle roof top while allowing you to load and unload kayaks at waist level, at the side of the vehicle for greater convenience and safety.
Click here to launch fit guide.
Great product! I hurt my wrist and knee this year and the Hullavator was my best friend to help me keep kayaking. Easy to use.
The only reason this got 2 stars is the clear assembly instructions. It went together and installed quite easily in about 1 hour by myself. The lift itself however is extremely difficult to use. It is much too low to the ground so that I have to sit on the ground under the kayak to reach the handles when it is time to raise the kayak. In addition, it takes a GREAT DEAL of hand strength to squeeze the handles sufficiently to release the catch to raise the kayak. Myself (6' 250lb male) and several other grown men have tried and it's almost to the point where you need a crowbar or pry to apply enough pressure to release the catch. I have read several blogs about this and some have said it loosens considerably with use. I hope that is the case. I am currently shopping for a more simple rack with less parts to break/malfunction.
I own a 2500HD crew cab pickup and originally purchased the Hull- a-port Pro for our 2 kayaks. If I was 6'8" it would have worked fine, but I'm not. The roof of the cab was at least 6' tall and made loading very difficult. Plan B was buying the Hullavator. Pretty pricey, but well worth it! Brings the cradles down to chest height for loading which made it much easier. I was impressed by the engineering that went into it, and the installation went smoothly.
While I found the installation instructions could be better, the design and the workmanship of the product are first class. I have mounted it on a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited onto Yakima crossbars. I did have to modify the Yakima bracket holding the crossbars to the roof rack. They were too bulky for the Hullavator to rest on the crossbars. My problem with the instructions was that the parts are not referenced by a number correlating to the parts list. Therefore, it was purely guess as to what screw to use where. I have the crossbars 7' apart so as to better balance my 15' two person kayak. At this width, it takes two people to operate the lift up/down because each side of the Hullavator requires a handle to be pulled to release the latch. It would be nice, if there were a way to lock it open so that one person could lift it up/down. All-in-all, a fantastic product and there is none better available.