What is better J bars or v bars

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beinbhan
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What is better J bars or v bars

Post by beinbhan »

What would be better for transporting a p&h scorpio hv J bars or v bar. I have had a read of the almanac but none the wiser to the pros and cons of either system. They would be going on a Vauxhall Zafira if that makes any diffrence.

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by Owen »

Nothing in it, whichever fits best. I use uprights and carry my kayak on its side, their stronger that way.

charleston14
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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by charleston14 »

I don’t really think either are better it’s just personal preference.

My Scorpio was happy on j bars but I find Thule dockglide an easy system for solo loading so use that now. With the j bars I always have to use a side loading arm to assist getting it up there solo.

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by kayakbiker »

My experience is that if you can get the bars nice and wide V bars would be fine but if your using std bar mounts on the Zafira it will be a bit iffy. I had a HV and its a big boat. I use to see it slightly flex when my bars were to close together. I always found placing on side either J bars or uprights was better. Besides many Kayak manufacturers specify that being the advised way to carry.
I use to have a zafira mk1 and modified my std mounts so they were wider apart. Just made holes in the cover so I could get at the gutter further up. Got to watch things like that because its a slight mod which we know insurance companies dont like.
I like Malone J bars with the ramp as it help a bit when loading.

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Jim
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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by Jim »

Whichever fits your boat better.
V's usually come on a longitudinal bar which you can clamp to the cross bars so it doesn't matter too much if they are quite close together.
I made a custom cradle using a longitudinal similar to the ones Vs are mounted on. The actual cradles are made to fit my hull in specific places.

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by JB-NL »

From a strength perspective I prefer the J-bar.
However, it depends also what car/ van you have and your own length:

-On a normal car you still can use the J bars rather easily, as long as you can lift the kayak high enough.

-On a bus I need some support to lift the kayak enough over the lower part of the J-bar.
For that reason I am using a Thule Glide carrier set. This enables me to lift the from the rear by using a small stepladder and slide the kayak on the roof.

Best regards,
JB
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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by Chris Bolton »

Neither J Bars nor V Bars - Uprights, with the boat(s) on edge. They are far easier to load, no less secure and support the boat adequately. Cradles may be preferable if you want to carry a boat supported on the hull, but I've never had any damage carrying boats sitting on the roof bars on their side - and that includes lightweight WWR race boats.

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by Beryl »

With uprights you can double your carrying capacity simply by moving the bars to the centreline of the car.
Growing old disgracefully

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by Jim »

Chris Bolton wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:02 am
Neither J Bars nor V Bars - Uprights, with the boat(s) on edge. They are far easier to load, no less secure and support the boat adequately. Cradles may be preferable if you want to carry a boat supported on the hull, but I've never had any damage carrying boats sitting on the roof bars on their side - and that includes lightweight WWR race boats.
Interestingly I found I was chipping gel coat from the bottom of my Taran against the top of my uprights (maybe I should just have made longer uprights?) which is why I went first for Js (which didn't fit well at all) and then built the cradles. I did build a set of cradles for my old WWR K1, but rarely used them because it sat fine against uprights, and I never bothered to build any for my new K1 or my C1 - the C1 overhangs the uprights like my Taran, but doesn't seem to chip, mind you, the gel is so thin on the bottom that you can see the checkered pattern of the carbon kevlar through the white...
I did use the cradles to take my WWR K1 to Switzerland in 2018, and going to Spain last year my boat was in my cradle and my friends race boat was on her V bars with her training boat back to front in between the cradles and the Vs.

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by Jonny Hightower »

I often carry mine (Scorpio HV) deck-side down flat on my padded roof bars. The front of the cockpit rim tucks nicely behind the front bar, so it won't try to slide forwards under braking. It's never shown any ill effects. I do use uprights when carrying multiple kayaks, but if it's just mine and I've taken the uprights off for some reason then I wouldn't bother putting them on. I feel that any kind of V or J cradle adds a significant additional height that you must overcome to get the boat on and off, and I'd find that much too awkward with my dodgy back.

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by andynormancx »

Jonny Hightower wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:31 am
I feel that any kind of V or J cradle adds a significant additional height that you must overcome to get the boat on and off, and I'd find that much too awkward with my dodgy back.
It really depends on the J bars. Lots of them to add very significant additional height, but I use the KCS ones, which add barely more than the height of the paddling you'd need on the bars if you aren't using J bars.

https://kayakcarriers.co.uk/product/ky-j-cradles/

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by jamesl2play »

Uprights or J bars for a sea kayak.
J Bars especially if using a Karitek type roof rack

V Bars for a ski or K1

The hull of a sea kayak is a bit too wide for V Bars which makes the boat sit a lot higher off the roof.

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by Chris Bolton »

I found I was chipping gel coat from the bottom of my Taran against the top of my uprights
Sounds like badly designed uprights, Jim! There are some with the loop on top running parallel to the roof bars - which means you can put straps round them from both sides without jamming one under the other - but if the loop is welded on the outside of the upright it can touch the boat unless the upright is well padded out. The solution is to have the loop parallel to the boats, and for two boats run one strap round both, going through the loop and under the roof bar. I prefer to do that even with one boat - if the upright fails, the boat is still strapped to the bar. (Another reason not to like J bars - the boat is only strapped to the J bar).

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by andynormancx »

Chris Bolton wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:17 am
if the upright fails, the boat is still strapped to the bar. (Another reason not to like J bars - the boat is only strapped to the J bar).
Not the way I use my J bars. The strap goes through the hole at the top of the J bar, around the boat, through the hole in the bottom of the J bar and then round the roof bar on the car (not the cross-wise bar).

My J bar could come complete detailed from the cross bar and the cross bar could come detached from the car, but even then the whole thing including boat would still be attached to the car.

(and the main body of the KCS J bars can't fail, it is a single 1cm thick chunk of polypropylene that is basically bomb proof)

This is why I own estate cars with real length-wise bars that you can actually strap things around, sadly getting less and less popular on cars nowadays :(
Last edited by andynormancx on Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Chris Bolton
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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by Chris Bolton »

Not the way I use my J bars
True, KCS J Bars are an exception, since they sit right down on the roof bar.

I do think KCS products are well designed!

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by MikeB »

jamesl2play wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:56 am
Uprights or J bars for a sea kayak.
J Bars especially if using a Karitek type roof rack

V Bars for a ski or K1

The hull of a sea kayak is a bit too wide for V Bars which makes the boat sit a lot higher off the roof.
Hmm - it depends on the V bars - those intended for a ski, K1, whitewater racer are indeed too narrow. But the V cradles KCS and K/tek produce are much better designed for a sea boat hull. Likewise their J cradles.

I've had uprights and always found the boat(s) would tend to rotate a little so careful strap usage was needed to hold the boat against the vertical face of the upright. Even with some padding, I've always been concerned about the lack of support relative to what we might term "proper" sea kayak V or J bars.

With J's (and indeed uprights) you'll get more boats on. I also find it easier to load off my shoulder onto J cradles on most cars. And it's easier to use the straps. But, for rear loading, the V is the answer, perhaps with a roller system. Tie down is more awkward though, and even more so on a tall MPV or van. Some form of ladder becomes necessary, which adds to the faff factor.

These days, with f/glass boats, I only use J cradles on the van and the car. Ultimately, it's what works for you.
andynormancx wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:20 pm

My J bar could come complete detailed from the cross bar and the cross bar could come detached from the car, but even then the whole thing including boat would still be attached to the car.
Yes, likewise. But I know at least one VW Passat where the longitudinal rail ripped off it's fitting.

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by Chris Bolton »

I have a roller behind the rear roof bar (Thule ProBars on a Focus Estate) and uprights in the centre of the bars, so I can roll boats up flat, onto the bars then rotate them onto their edge against the upright. I tried rolling them up on edge but they have tendency to fall over, so having the unobstructed length of bar to land them flat on means the roller is very safe to use. I used to put them straight on off my shoulder but my back isn't liking that now, and my Pilates class (which was keeping my back in order) hasn't run since the first lockdown.

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by Jim »

Chris Bolton wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:17 am
I found I was chipping gel coat from the bottom of my Taran against the top of my uprights
Sounds like badly designed uprights, Jim! There are some with the loop on top running parallel to the roof bars - which means you can put straps round them from both sides without jamming one under the other - but if the loop is welded on the outside of the upright it can touch the boat unless the upright is well padded out. The solution is to have the loop parallel to the boats, and for two boats run one strap round both, going through the loop and under the roof bar. I prefer to do that even with one boat - if the upright fails, the boat is still strapped to the bar. (Another reason not to like J bars - the boat is only strapped to the J bar).
Loop parallel to boat, but the uprights are too short so the tops end up on the flat section of the bottom of my Taran. They work for all my other boats.

The solution to the strap problem is good forward planning to make sure the straps that get tightened first are the ones on the inside of the bundle going round the loop - I regularly carry 3 or 4 boats against the uprights (just not my Taran) and can mostly avoid jamming the straps. Less easy to get them on so the one I want first is on the outside!

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by seawolf856 »

The newer versions of the Karitek J bars are superb. They main support spar has been lengthened to carry wider and heavier sea kayaks and the 'J' is now more angular making the cradle a more snug fit. I use them on a Karitek Easy Load Roof Rack but they are drilled in a couple of positions for mounting on other roof bar systems.

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by MikeB »

seawolf856 wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:53 am
The newer versions of the Karitek J bars are superb. They main support spar has been lengthened to carry wider and heavier sea kayaks and the 'J' is now more angular making the cradle a more snug fit. I use them on a Karitek Easy Load Roof Rack but they are drilled in a couple of positions for mounting on other roof bar systems.
Is this what you're referring to please? The Extended V cradle So the boat loads on it's side, but then sits flat once the rack is up?

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Re: What is better J bars or v bars

Post by seawolf856 »

MikeB wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:50 pm
seawolf856 wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:53 am
The newer versions of the Karitek J bars are superb. They main support spar has been lengthened to carry wider and heavier sea kayaks and the 'J' is now more angular making the cradle a more snug fit. I use them on a Karitek Easy Load Roof Rack but they are drilled in a couple of positions for mounting on other roof bar systems.
Is this what you're referring to please? The Extended V cradle So the boat loads on it's side, but then sits flat once the rack is up?
Hi Mike,

Yes those are the exact ones I have on my Karitek Easy Load Roof Rack but they would also hold a boat very securely if used on normal roof bars in place of 'J' bars. When you use them with the ELRR in its down position, the cradles allow you to load the boat sitting flat on its hull and the extended flat of the cradle supports the boat even before you strap it on, so it makes loading and securing the boat easy on your own.
When the ELRR is then moved up onto the roof, the boat sits on its side and that allows several boats to be loaded onto the same ELRR.

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