Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Malone Seawing Review

Until recently only two companies came to mind for quality kayak roof racks and accessories: Thule and Yakima.  Both offer outstanding products but I have found one more worthy contender to add to the list– Malone Auto Racks

I recently purchased a set of Malone Seawing kayak saddles from Austin Canoe & Kayak in Texas for my Thule Xsporter rack.  ACK by the way has exceptional prices, fast shipping and world class customer service.  I can’t recommend them enough.  Sign up for their newsletter and “like” their Facebook page to receive exceptional coupon codes you can use on the majority of the items on their site. 

Installation of the Seawings is straightforward.  Malone includes all the required hardware to mount the kayak saddle to just about any size and shaped crossbar.  For my application on the Xsporter, I used the longer of the two sets of supplied mounting bolts.  Five minutes of work and the cradles were securely fitted to my rack using the hand tightened knob bolts.

I elected to add stop nuts to each of the mounting bolts to make it harder for someone to just unscrew the bolts by hand and walk away with the racks.  At .62 cents for a package of 4 stop nuts, this was a no-brainer decision that adds a little more security.

Loading and unloading a kayak on this rack is easy if you use a little common sense.  The top of the rack that contacts the hull of the kayak is covered in a high density rubber that is designed to grip the kayak during transport.   

To make it easier to load and unload the kayaks, I utilize a soft padded fold-up stadium seat and place it over the back portion of the rack.  

The stadium seat provides a slick platform that makes sliding the kayak into position on the rack easily achievable.   I rest the nose of the kayak on the pad-covered Seawing and walk to the back of the yak up onto the rack. 

This method alleviates any real heavy lifting at all.  It couldn’t be simpler.  Once in position it is easy to strap down the kayak with the supplied cinch straps and front/rear tethering lines.  I pre-cut the tethering lines and added a couple of clips so that I don’t have any knots to tie once the kayak is in position.  This method saves a lot of time.

The Seawings work flawlessly under city and highway driving and I have yet to experience any issues with the saddles even at high speeds.  I do add an extra lashing strap that fastens over the kayak and directly to the Thule Xsporter Rack just for added security, but it probably isn’t really needed.   Within one week of using my first set of Seawings I ordered a second pair for my girlfriend’s kayak.  Malone’s Seawings are a great value and are very easy to install and use. - Paul


  1. Helpful pictures. I have just purchased the Thule, Malone and by the way, have the same kayak (Wilderness System, Tarpon, I think).

  2. I will be in Lexington in April, we should hit the water.