Quality is not close to Thule but appears to be adequate. That's a big dissapointment.
Lee from Columbis SC
I installed this on home built racks made with a 2 x 4 with rounded
corners, painted black and with dock bumper screwed to the top
with stainless steel washers and ss screws. My rack looks very
sharp and is good for canoes and plastic kayaks and even lumber,
doors and ladders. However, it is not best for composite boats
which should be supported on their side for least damage. Having
done much research, test fitting and even purchasing a folding
vertical rack at a local outfitter, everything had short comings for
attaching to my rack. My rack has no wind noise, is easy to tie
boats securely and quickly and I did not want to give this up.
Enter Malone. Their web site has outstanding descriptions, their
people know their products technical operation very well and were
able to provide me with good understanding and set my
expectations. I purchased from Austin Kayak after finding their
people equally competent.
- Very solid build. Best I have seen and I have been looking for over
10 years & have done a lot of looking.
- good price. Much less than the 2 name brand competitors
- Easy to install on a 2x4 rack. My rack is about 2.5 inches thick
with the dock bumper on the top. I purchased 3/8th inch 4 inch
long, American thread, galvanized hex head bolts, wing nuts and
washers at Lowes to replace the provided (and very superior) bolt
assembly system provided by Malone, in order to reach the distance
between the rack and the bottom bracket designed to hold the rack
to a bar.
- installed rack is very solid. When I shake the rack, it moves my
truck. It is so solid that I drove to the Florida Keys and returned
without using tie down lines to the front and rear of the car,
- Installation kit includes most everything needed for a variety in
installations from round bar, to square bar, to homemade racks.
- Installation kit is top quality. The threads on the bolts are
deburred, coated, fit perfectly, and the wing nut provides good
purchase so that you can tighten the Malone carrier to your rack
quickly by hand and remove it even more quickly. Contrast to the
bolts from lowes which I had to tighten and loosen several times
using a wrench and pliers to enable me to tighten the bolts on the
rack. I intend to order the extra long Malone metric bolts (if they
are long enough) so I can quickly install and remove the rack
- will fit most any kayak
- fold down mechanism is easy to operate and is 90% sturdy. Non
folding would be 100% sturdy
- Malone stocks replacement parts for the cams, etc., which are
subject to breaking.
- Tie down is relatively easy to use
- the rack is build to fit a big fat rec boat. it is not optimized for
composite boats which are much more narrow and lower height.
The composite boats curves to not match the rack touch points
resulting in the possibility of too much pressure on the boat and
possible crack when the tie down are tightened. For this reason, I
took my plastic boats to Florida. I intend to make some foam fit
improvements to the J touch points to resolve the problem. I have
done this sort of thing before and it is non trivial to cut foam to the
correct shape and then attach it so that it cannot come off.
- There is a ledge which adds about 4 inches to the width of the
rack. It's purpose is to facilitate the ease of getting the boat on the
rack and it has a hole for the tie downs to pass through. I used the
hole on the trip and it worked, but I feel that the tie down would be
more effective and quicker by just having the strap going from the
base of my rack o the top of the J and then back to my rack. This
would act as a backup to the bolt system and be quicker to secure
the boat. I will likely cut the 4 inch ledge off and use the extra
space to enable installing one or 2 additional racks so that I can
easily carry 3 or 4 boats. The fold down capability would ease the
placing of the boats on the inside racks.
I buy a lot of boating tools, devices and aids. I have kayaked,
rafted, canoed in both whitewater and flatwater for over 40 years
and am a solid intermediate boater (not an expert). It is my
assessment that this is the single best (not a boat) product which I
have had during this time and I have seen some good ones. It has
its faults, but I will just deal with them.
I bought the Malone Downloader Folding Kayak Carrier because it folds
down and received good reviews. I have only used it once because I
bought it so late in the season, but it was easy to install onto my car
and keeps the kayak secured very well on the roof of the car. I am
very pleased with it so far. The instructions could be a little clearer,
but they are definitely do-able if you take your time.
The Malone Downloader Folding Kayak Carrier is just what the doctor
ordered. I have two sets installed on my Malone trailer and
absolutely love the fact that I can drop the units down to get them
out of the way when I store my trailer. At times, I place other items
on top of my trailer. The story would be the same if they were on top
on my vehicle. To top it off, they are very durable, making them well
worth the money.
Loved these Kayak J's. Now I
don't have to worry about hitting
into garage. LOL
Another great Malone product!
The Malone Folding J's are
Great! Their good design with
ample padding cradles my
boat well. They attached
quickly & easily to my square
shaped car rack. I would highly
just finished installing unit- super
simple, rugged and well made.
Really like the fold down feature-
very little wind noise and drag
when down. Highly recommend.
Look out all competitors Malone is
hear to stay. Follow the
instructions and it's easy to install.
Rock of Ages
The Malone Downloaders are
easy to install and hold kayaks
of various sizes quite securely.
The loading 'ramps', which are
necessary to take advantange
of the Telos loader take a bit of
getting used to but work out
One word of caution - both
racks and ramps need to be
utterly level to one another. If
your roof has some curvature,
a ramp edge may end up
'etching' your boat hull.
Great product! Great price!
These folding carriers work
well. However, I could not
keep the strap in the center
of the carrier top tube as it
kept sliding down the side and
loosening the kayak.
I agree with it.