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Handirack - Inflatable Roof Rack

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:21 am
by MoeJoe
I bought one of these today, "Handirack", an inflatable roof rack:

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http://www.handirackuk.com/

Thought it might be an interesting option for more folding kayak paddlers; Seems like a setup that suits well to the folding kayak concept, when not used, fits in the front pocket of the Feathercraft backpack or any where in the car. Also good to use for a rental car, they rarely come with racks. I have a tiny car myself, a Toyota Aygo, and no other use for a roof rack than for occasional short-mid range transportation of the kayak when doing a couple of day/half day trips in a row where night-time storage can be sorted. I'll get back with a review after having tried it properly.

Can be noted that I've seen some reports on buckled roofs when using these, but I'm hoping not to get those problems; lightweight kayak+low pressure fastening with elastic straps should hopefully be fine.

Re: Handirack - Inflatable Roof Rack

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:47 pm
by Alm
There are 2ft foam cradles in kayak accessories stores, with channels that you need to pass the straps through. Probably work the same. And I never use elastic straps to hold 50-60 lbs boat on the roof at highway speeds. Only 1" webbing with metal buckles.

Re: Handirack - Inflatable Roof Rack

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:09 pm
by MoeJoe
Myself, I have good experience of using elastic straps for kayaks on roof tops. The advantage is that they self-tighten, rather then getting looser after a while as for regular straps. I imagine that some "give" in the setup puts less strain on the kayak. Regular straps needs to be really tight, easy to put on too much pressure and damage the kayak. (Or too little, which is dangerous) No problems with wobble or kayaks moving around so far. Same thing when I transport mountain bikes, I've done lots of long trips with the bikes attached on a rear bike rack and no problems what so ever.

Re: Handirack - Inflatable Roof Rack

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:39 pm
by nohoval_turrets
I've heard that with this type of setup, rain tends to wick along the strap and drip into the car. Let us know how things work out on that front.

Re: Handirack - Inflatable Roof Rack

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:09 am
by maryinoxford
nohoval_turrets wrote:I've heard that with this type of setup, rain tends to wick along the strap and drip into the car.
It does. A friend and I flew our folders from the south of England to the north of Scotland, rented a car and car-topped the boats for a week on a Handirack. We left the boats on the roof overnight outside the place we were staying, it rained, and the car seats were soaked in the morning.

Some people say that grit under the rack will scratch the roof. We unstrapped ours every second day to wash the roof off, and we didn't have a problem with that.

Mary

Re: Handirack - Inflatable Roof Rack

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:44 am
by MoeJoe
Good to know. I won't have any reason to leave it on the car overnight so I won't have any problems with that issue.

Re: Handirack - Inflatable Roof Rack

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:13 am
by MoeJoe
Happy with the product so far; Very convieniant, quick setup, roof held up well.

Image

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Haven't driver faster than 70 kph yet, I'd add some more straps for highway riding i think. With the soft shell of the kayak and the "soft" rack, it can get a bit bouncy I think.

Re: Handirack - Inflatable Roof Rack

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:05 am
by nohoval_turrets
Just a couple of observations based on your photographs:

1. Am I right in saying that you're using a single piece of bungee to tie the boat on? I think it would be a better idea to use two separate pieces. One for each rack. With your current setup, any failure is going to be catastrophic.

2. I would also add some end tie-downs. You should have a towing point you can use at the back, and a towing eye to attach at the front. These should provide really secure attachment points.

Re: Handirack - Inflatable Roof Rack

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:47 am
by MoeJoe
Hi,

No I used 4 bungee-straps, but I re-arranged them a bit after the photo was taken.

Yes, front and rear tie-downs would be good. A bit of overkill this week though, only travelling shorter distances at moderate speeds.

I'll report back if the kayak flew down into a ditch in some of the upcoming outings.. :D

Re: Handirack - Inflatable Roof Rack

Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:08 pm
by KanonBear
Alm wrote:There are 2ft foam cradles in kayak accessories stores, with channels that you need to pass the straps through. Probably work the same. And I never use elastic straps to hold 50-60 lbs boat on the roof at highway speeds. Only 1" webbing with metal buckles.
I was considering getting the Riverside Cartop Carriers Universal Kayak Carrier Foam Blocks Kit, but I'm questioning whether or not it's necessary to lay down $60 USD when there are cheaper foam setups out there.

Re: Handirack - Inflatable Roof Rack

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:24 pm
by mje
I wouldn't trust bungees for anything beyond a couple of miles at low speed. They can easily break. Use ratcheting straps, and a line tied to the bow and stern for secure travel.