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Thule's Hullavator is an elevator for your kayak. Instead of wrestling to get your kayak above your head or just sitting on the couch eating potato chips when you can't get the neighbors to put your boat on the car, the Hullavator does the work for you. All you have to do is hoist your kayak up to about waist height, and the gas-strut lifter provides the extra muscles to make loading and unloading a breeze. It can be attached to any Thule rack system and takes up 28in of load bar, so you'll still have plenty of room for your bikes and luggage. Now if you could just get the neighbors to help with the bikes, you'd be all set.

  • Load bars must extend equally between 4" and 8" beyond the foot pack. In rare instances, longer load bars may be required.
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Great concept...falls a bit short

    I purchased 2 of these from Backcountry to use for my 16' touring kayaks. I previously had Yakima Landsharks with 1/4" closed-cell foam glued to the cradles. I guess the glue only lasts 3 or 4 years because 3 of the foam pieces came off within a few days of each other. The Hullavators looked like the perfect replacement. I have a few sets of Thule crossbars in different lengths that I played around with for the perfect fit on my SUV with the Hullavators installed. I spent about 6 hours installing, testing, tweaking & so on before I had to pack them back in their boxes and return them.

    I'm used to a rock-solid mount with my kayaks. That means that the straps attach to the bars and grip the top 1/2 of each kayak. With the Hullavators, I found 2 glaring problems I simply couldn't work around. For one, the straps attach to the curved cradles & not to the load bars. That wouldn't be so bad, except that the longest curved cradle is well above my kayak, and the shortest cradle is about even with it. With the straps in place, 1/4 or less of the kayak was actually held down by the straps. This resulted in a very loose (dangerous) fit. My only option would be raise the kayaks & hullavators to the travel position & then attach more straps that would attach to the bars. The other problem I had is when the kayaks & hullavators were in the travel position, there was excessive play, wobble, or whatever one would call it. These things lock into place, but they do not firmly lock into place, thus the excessive wobble. Again, the only solution I had would involve strapping the Hullavator to the load bar so that it won't move. All in all, far too much work & far too many straps involved for a safe travel load. Since typical highway/freeway driving exceeds 80mph, along with a number of bumpy dirt roads for lake access, having a safe & secure mount is absolutely my top priority. All they (Thule) would need to do is provide a few solid strap locations on the Hullavator that would accomodate various sizes of kayaks, along with a much better closed position locking mechanism and/or some way to firmly secure the Hullavator to the load bar.

    Well, in the first place, 16' touring kayaks probably exceed the rated load for the Hullavator, secondly, if installed properly on acceptable load bars, there should be no wobble, and lastly, mounting an eyebolt on the downside of the Hullavator to attach one end of your tie-down strap to, then pass through the loop of the tall bar and fastened to the lower bar should solve your fastening problem. but it sounds like you aren't very handy, and would rather lift those suckers up on the vehicle roof and fool around up there with tie-downs... good luck!!

    Same exact problem here. Jun105613815 doesn't know what they are talking about. Installed correctly, under load limit, if the cradles are taller than the back deck of your boat, it doesn't work. No discussion. Thule should list minimum specs for the Hullavator so more people dont experience these problems.

    works on 3/4ton truck with high rise canopy

      After mounting a high rise canopy on our GM crewcab, we could no longer walk our 17', rotomould kayaks up the box and onto the roof. Just mounted our new Thule Hullavators and kayaks clear the canopy with room to spare. Very nice that you can remove the hydraulic section from the rack because otherwise, they are very heavy when you are trying to lift them onto your roof. If you have to leave the hydraulics when attaching your racks, especially on a high clearance vehicle, use two people and slide one end across the roof on a folded blanket or chunk of carpet, etc. The kayaks are easy to load and the hydraulics have no problem lifting their 65lbs on to the roof.


        Easy to load by yourself. The rack is a lot cheaper than back surgery....that's what I tell my patients. Nice that you can remove the main portion of the rack and save a few bucks on gas as well. Easily adjusts to your kayak and it's a lot easier to strap since it's at lower height. Great design.

        Hullavator! Buy it!

          Must admit I was not initially excited by this product once I got it put together and installed: big and heavy. But I decided to try it out, and it is outstanding. Made loading my 17.5 foot composite by myself a snap with no damage to either boat or van. Especially like the fact you can lash the kayak down while the hullavator is down at chest level, then rotate to top of van and not have to climb up on car to accomplish. Great rack system. As others noted, took a time or two operating to get the hang, but it is outstanding. Backcounty had best price plus free shipping, great service, will shop them in the future. Excellent all the way round.

          It's Kept Me Kayaking!!!

            I am 5'2", 120 lbs, 52 year old female who started kayaking a few years ago as good exercise for very bad arthritis, and fell in love with it. In the beginning I could, with great effort, lean my 48 lb kayak against the back of my suv and then push it up on top of factory rack, and then climb up on step ladder to tie it down. But this year I could no longer even manage that, and since I am single with no strong guy around, kayaking would have come to an end for me. I went to my outfitter and they showed me a new kayak just out by Swift - the Kiwassa 12.6. It was only 31 lbs, but at 12'6" even though lighter, still unmanageable for me to load on top of suv. They had solution for that too. The Thule Hullavator! They had a demonstrator set up. I would only have to lift the 31 lb kayak as high as my waist, lay it on the cushioned arms at front and back, wrap the straps around and cinch them up, squeeze the two handles and she lifts up and then lays over on top of the suv rack all by herself. I just guide her up. I can load the entire kayak by myself no matter where I am within 10 minutes tops!!! It has saved kayaking for me. Without it I would have had to quit just because I couldn't load and unload the boat anymore. I've read reviews where many people accuse those who have the hullavator of being lazy! I'll bet they are all tall, young and healthy and predominantly male folks making such comments who live in a bubble where they think everyone is as fortunate as they are and were all born healthy and strong and tall. Well there are many, many kayakers out there who are short, lightweight, older folks, handicapped folks, female and without the requisite upper body strength that men have, especially when they get into their fifties and sixties. But we are out there, and we love kayaking too. We aren't lazy. We would not be able to kayak if not for a rack like the hullavator. I can't say enough for it. And it looks and operates like it is very expensive. I had one guy remark that my rack probably cost more than his car. Wrong!!! It was very inexpensive. The largest part of the cost for me was that I had to have my outfitter install it for me, but the rack itself was not expensive. It just seems like it should be. I had to have it installed because if I could get up there to install it myself, I wouldn't have needed such a rack. I've already been kayaking more times in the past month than I did for the entire summer last year. That's what it did for me. I can't say enough to promote this rack!!!

            Buy it! Wish I had done it last summer...

              I love the hullavator. It would not attach to my vehicle's factory rack, but with this website that was no problem. Even with the Thule website down, the gearhead pros on this site looked it all up and actually emailed back to me everything I needed. That's perfect! The hullavator works so perfectly for me ----at 5'2", loading an 11 ft. boat on top of an SUV alone was challenging at best. I have been able to paddle more this summer already than I could before---because no one has to be around to help. The install of the hullavator was simple with the directions and it works smoothly. My advice---- if loading your boat gets in the way of you getting on the water---buy it! I feel it is worth the investment. I used the Thule Aero bar package---perfect match! To do this you need: Thule Rapid Aero Bar package, Thule TK1 tracker kit and the Thule Rapid tracker. Of course, check it out for your car 1st. Get the hullavator and hit the water! Thanks you guys------best experience buying gear ever!


                I finally feel like i can go kayaking and load it without having my husband do it for me, i have only used it a couple times so far, it has worked great i hooked it up to my ford explorer myself, my one concern was if i had to keep it on all the time but it easily comes on and off with a pin on each one, my kayak is heavy so it does need an extra boost to get it started, and i researched the price and the product and got the best price and advice from this site.

                It's a thing of beauty.

                  I finally got to use my new hullavator. I was able to put it together and install it on my Honda Pilot without difficulty. I have a 75 lb. Tandem kayak, so you can see why I would need a product like the Hullavator. It works great. The first run was a little tricky to put it up.
                  I needed a little extra push. I was very easy to lower. I gave it a few more spins, each time was easier, as I got the rhythm. I still require a little push to get it started up, but this is a very large, heavy kayak. Overall, I am very pleased. It performs as promised. I got a great price from this store.

                  Hullavator is all it's advertised to be

                    I do a lot of solo kayaking. The challenge has been getting a 16.5' kayak on the roof of my minivan. After watching another paddler use the Hullavator, I rushed out and ordered my own (Backcountry's great sale price was another incentive). The Hullavator has been a great addition for my aching back and my peace of mind. It takes a little bit of caution the first time using it. Follow the instructons in the enclosed DVD. The two parts of the Hullavator need to be coordinated, but after my first time or two it has become a natural process. For anyone who has struggled to safely get a kayak on top of a tall vehicle, this is the answer.

                    Unanswered Question

                    I have a 2007 Nissan Armada with factory cross bars. I would like to mount 2 sets of hullavators on the cross bars (for 2 kayaks). Can it be done? Or do I have to install a thule rack. If so, what is the best, cheapest, and easiest thule rack to add?

                    Unanswered Question

                    I have a 2015 Subaru Forester with factory rack and factory cross-bars. I purchased the Hullavator a few weeks ago because the salesman said it would fit with no other accessories needed. It arrived quickly and sat in my garage for a week. I plan on installing it this week. Just to make sure I had everything before beginning, I called Thule and asked once again if there was anything else I needed before the install. This is when they informed me that this product does not show as being compatible with my vehicle. Called the company I purchased it from, they said "it is, in fact, compatible". Before I open the box, I would really appreciate knowing if I am wasting my time. I am considering buying the Feelfree Moken 14 or the Feelfree moken 12.5.

                    Any advice would be much appreciated.


                    Dazed and Confused.

                    Will the hullivator work on a 07 F Cruiser? Will I need to buy another part to make it work?

                    Hey Edie,

                    You will need to have Thule Crossbars for the Hullavator to work which means you will probably have to get a few additional parts.

                    Unfortunately for this product factory installed crossbar wont cut it.

                    If you click the Car Rack configurator on the left panel of this page it will help guide you to the parts you will need otherwise give us a call and we get get it put together for you.

                    Can I put my kayaks hull side UP with the...

                    Can I put my kayaks hull side UP with the hullavator??? I have been using mine for four years now but hate having my kayaks filled with water during a sudden rainstorm. I tried cowl covers but they just come off when the water pools in them.

                    If the kayaks are mounted hull side up (ie upside down), will they still be secure and not slide front to rear or rear to front???

                    Can the Hullivator handle a plastic tandem...

                    Can the Hullivator handle a plastic tandem kayak? I have a Necky Looksha T.

                    I have a jeep grand cherokee 2013 with...

                    I have a jeep grand cherokee 2013 with factory rack how would the hullavtor work on that

                    Looking for rack for my F150 pickup. I...

                    Looking for rack for my F150 pickup. I am considering the Hullivator. Right now I load onto ladder rack from tailgate. Will Hullivator work mounted to roof or are pickups too tall and I'll need to lift kayak to head height to place in hullivator cradles? Also if Hullivator will work do i order the bars recommended on Thule site or get longer bars to allow for the Hullivator mechanism

                    Does it come in pieces or assembled and...

                    Does it come in pieces or assembled and ready to put on. Also is it easy to get off and on the rack?

                    Anyone have Hullavators on a Jeep Wrangler?...

                    Anyone have Hullavators on a Jeep Wrangler? I have a 2010 Jeep Wrangler with a removeable fiberglass top,......and 2 Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT (12' x29" 51 lbs. each)........Will a Hullavator work????????Help.....and Thanks, Lorraine

                    I'm close to pulling the trigger on a...

                    I'm close to pulling the trigger on a couple of these, but I did have 1 question regarding use. I realize the kayak gets strapped only to the cradles, and that's what makes me nervous. All my prior cradles allowed me to strap to the cross bars, which are firmly attached to the car. With the Hullavator, I would be at the mercy of whatever latch mechanism is used to hold the cradles to the rack. Is this a non-issue, or do some of you also strap to the load bars?

                    Does Thule have any plans for added pads...

                    Does Thule have any plans for added pads or arms to accomidate the wider Hobie outbacks with the tri hull? I have had the Hullivator for 3 years now and it has been very good but last year I got a Hobie Outback and had to add pads to the existing pads so that it would touch the rack. Thule needs to make some arms to replace the existing ones so the Hobies will fit.

                    I have a 2004 Toyota 4 Runner that came...

                    I have a 2004 Toyota 4 Runner that came with a factory installed roof rack. I want a Hullavator and was told that I need to buy the Thule 450 Crossroad rack to be able to install it. Is this true?

                    I've had my Hullavator for 3 years and...

                    I've had my Hullavator for 3 years and love it...I now have 2 kayaks and 2 Hullavators...what to do?
                    I have a 2007 Subaru Forester with the 440 rails supported by the SR1 railing rack kit.
                    I know I cannot use the 440 rails with 2 Hullavators and must use a 58" rail. Can you tell me what rails and supports (with part numbers) I will need now?

                    Best Answer

                    The 440 sr1 kit should have come with 47" load bars. So you should be able to swap them out for the LB58 found here:

                    Thanks Tim, one of the posts below said...

                    Thanks Tim, one of the posts below said you need at least 58" bars for two hullavators, would you agree or possibly go to 60". I do have the factory rails, but not the factory bars so I would have to order from Thule. Thanks for the advice

                    Best Answer

                    You are welcome. Essentially Phil is correct. However, I prefer a clean looking vehicle. So unless you really want to carry 2 boats plus a skybox or something, I would suggest sticking with the shortest setup that works. Which, in this case I guess are the 58" load bars. The next jump is 65", unless you get the Aero bars (which do have a 60") or just take the 65" regular load bar to the chop saw... But I digress.

                    Has anybody installed two hullivators on...

                    Has anybody installed two hullivators on a SUV, specifically a 2008-10 Toyota Highlander with factory rails? Thanks

                    Best Answer

                    I haven't seen anyone with a double setup myself, but I am pretty sure it would require aftermarket rails (like Thule or Yakima) to do. The reason is the size of the carrier, you would need the aftermarket rails to hang slightly over the sides of the vehicle in order to fit two of these guys on there sort of like you can see in the picture above with the ford. Or about 3/4 of the way down this page:
                    You will find a series of pictures of a red Toyota which kind of help illustrate how wide this unit is. I hope this helps!

                    Found this picture of a highlander with 2 hullavators installed on an aftermarket rack. As you can see, the factory bars are not wide enough for two:

                    Just buying a 2010 lexus RX350 4 door,...

                    Just buying a 2010 lexus RX350 4 door, what do I need to go withthe Hullavator?