Thule Top Deck Kayak Saddle with Tie Downs

We’ve read the reviews across the web for the Thule Top Deck Kayak Saddle with Tie Downs and summarize the results below:

Universal Ranking

PeakScore: 77 (out of 100)
User Rating: 3.9 stars 
Expert Rating: 3.8 stars

Number of Ratings Reviewed: 62

Pros & Cons

Reasons to buy:

User Reviews

  • The rubber prevents the kayak from moving around during use.
  • Comes with straps to securely hold the kayak in place while driving.
  • Easily adjusts to different kayak sizes for compatibility.
  • Reasonable price for the quality you get.
  • Easy to load and unload the kayak for a quick process.

Expert Reviews

  • Fits a variety of cross bars for additional compatibility.
  • Comes with the hardware necessary to install the large saddles and carrier, enhancing the ease of use.
  • The individual heads offer some customization so that it can grip the kayak.

Reasons NOT to buy:

User Reviews

  • Might be too difficult for loading a kayak on taller vehicles.
  • The plastic seems flimsy and low-quality, showing a lack of durability and reliability in the saddle.
  • The saddles are not adjustable to fit all kayaks, which can result in some users returning the product.
  • Does not have pivoting surfaces for additional functionality.
  • The front and back ropes do not contain a ratcheting device to securely hold the kayak in place.
  • The straps do not have rubber bumpers to protect them from rubbing or harming your car.

Expert Reviews

  • Requires at least a 24″ crossbar spread, so it might not suit all vehicles, reducing the versatility.
  • The hard plastic saddle has a harder time conforming to some kayaks when compared to a softer, rubber saddle.


The Thule Top Deck Kayak Saddle with Tie Downs is an efficient, quick-to-install, and fairly-priced option that works on most vehicles. However, for those who want a long-lasting and high-quality saddle, this would not be the best choice. The lack of durability, cheaper materials, absence of rubber bumpers, and reduced adjustability could make this not a good option for those who frequently transport their kayak.


Note: User and expert rankings were reviewed across the web. Some expert reviews include these: 1, 2, 3, 4.