Karitek Roof Rack

Added by Andy on November 16, 2012. · 3 Comments · Share this Post

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Karitek Roof Rack

How to use it

It’s only taken me 5 years to do it but here’s my article on how the Karitek roof rack works. Somebody out there may be interested in getting one and hopefully this will help? We took pictures of every stage of the loading process so you can see in detail just how it works.

 

The two pins are on elastic thread and fit through the holes to secure the rack.

Once the pins are removed you pull the bar out and drop it down. It’s very lightweight so there’s no strain on your back or arms.

Once down you can load your kayak onto it but do notice that you still need to lift it around 3 feet up onto the rack. It’s physically only about 2 ft but your arms need to go higher to compensate for the kayaks width. Plus I have the advantage of a high curb at home so height can vary.

I hold my kayak by the handle on the side with both hands and lift it with a straight back and use my thighs to guide it onto the bottom bars.

If your able to lift the kayak yourself like this then it’s fine but it’s a lot easier with two people.

One it’s on the rack you need to shuffle it to the best position for the straps to go on. I keep my cam straps trimmed with burnt ends to stop them flapping around in the wind and less to wrap & tie up which is time consuming & no good for someone wanting to get out in a hurry! Balance is important too especially for long journeys as the wind could get a hold of the kayak at the front.

Feed the cam strap through the top of the eyelet and down over the kayak then through the bottom eyelet and back up to join up with the fastener.

Sometimes you need to lift the kayak a little to get the strap through and I usually nudge it up with a shoulder if needed. If this needs to be done then maye the kayak needs moving forward or backwards a little depending on how close the bars are together for play.

You can see the bottom end of the strap fed through the eyelet. Both uprights are adjustable and there’s newer versions available with countersunk bolts with allen key fittings unlike my origal ones which have a bolt head that stands proud and can damage the plastic of the kayak hence my bubble wrap you can see in the pictures.

Once it’s strapped on simply lift the bar up and out over then push it onto the roof. It’s honestly not as heavy as it may look as the bar/rack takes a lot of the weight. Sometimes you need to guide the backend of the rack into the guides on the roof but it’s no bother.

One it’s on the roof you can push the pins through and push the pin end over to secure it. If the holes are misaligned just jiggle the bar until they’re true. The pins do rust but a little WD40 a couple of times per year has kept mine working fine for the last 5 years.

As you can see the kayak is on and ready to go! If I travel further than my local launches I usually add an extra strap at the front through a scupper hole fitted around the entire roof bar as a precaution then wrap it around and tie it off. This gives peace of mind during the journey and makes it harder to steal if you stop off at services etc. I also keep a metal chain with lock in the van too when camping etc.

 

 

3 Responses to Karitek Roof Rack

  1. david utting December 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I’m over 70 and found it very hard getting an Ultra 4.7 onto the roof of the car. I bought a Karitek last June and it’s the best bit of gear ever. It’s just so easy to load/unload without risking either your back or the kayak. Highly reccomended.

    Reply
  2. Mark Squibb June 10, 2016 at 2:10 am

    I have an ocean kayak 4.3 Ultra and transport it on a VW caddy maxi which is too high to manhandle the yak onto . After struggling for the last 2 seasons and making do with various home made solutions I’ve bit the bullet and purchased a Kari. Tek easy load roof rack . Yes , it was pricey , but what a fantastic bit of kit . Well made, excellent company service and cheaper in the long run than both the chiropractor and the VW body repair shop !

    Reply
    • Andy June 10, 2016 at 8:08 am

      I had one for over 5 years then sold it on and its still in use, awesome piece of kit and great for older paddlers with arthritis or bad backs etc. They’re not easy to fit but the newer style nuts & bolts make it a lot easier. Well worth the investment 🙂

      Have fun and safe paddling 🙂

      Reply

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