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Stop hitting your rack on your garage.

The Yakima BowDown Boat Rack securely holds your whitewater or sea kayak for a trip to the put-in, and then it folds down to increase aerodynamics when you're not shuttling a boat. It sure will be nice to pull into your garage without worrying about snapping off your boat rack. The BowDown Boat Rack's steel-core frame provides plenty of strength and durability while the HullGuard EVA padding keeps your boat from getting wrecked. Yakima added a pair of heavy duty straps with padded buckles. This rack even has an integrated bottle opener for celebrations at the takeout.

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Here's what others have to say...


I'm not mad.

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

Pro -
Easy to use once attached properly.
Low profil when you need them to be.
Won't mark or scuff up your boat.

Con -
Whistle while driving.
Slightly cumbersome to attach properly.
They move around on round bars.

Overall I like them and I have no reason to replace them with something else.

Unanswered Question

Has anyone used the Whispbar with Bowdowns?...

Has anyone used the Whispbar with Bowdowns? The Whispbar goes on fine but mounting the Bowdowns to the Whispbar is the worst design I have seen and I am not certain it is even safe.

I am thinking about returning the Whispbar for something more conventional. I like the Bowdowns I am just concerned about the shoddy mounting.


wind noise and attachment

    I think these racks should have gone through another design iteration before they were released. First, the wind noise. Didn't these guys think to put these on a car and drive around with them? These are the same people who are going on and on about how silent their bars are.

    Secondly, in making a rack that will fit anything, they produced clamps that are a pain in the butt to adjust for my factory racks, and which have loose parts that are easy to loose. Really, how much could it cost to supply three different bases? Or even two?

    Also seems like a cam clamp to lock the racks up or down would have been a better idea than a knob that you have to turn about 40 times to loosen and tighten.

    Other than that, they're good racks that hold my boats solidly and don't mark them up.


    Works Great

      Since the truck is usually full of bikes I went with the roof rack to carry the kayak. So far it works great. Only used for short trips around the area. Will have to wait till next summer for the longer trips

      Unanswered Question

      i have h2. roof rack bars are thicker than...

      i have h2.
      roof rack bars are thicker than other cars.
      i had hard time to install my thule box but it works.
      i wonder if this will fit.
      Many thanks! : )

      I have a 2005 ford explorer with the factory...

      I have a 2005 ford explorer with the factory roof rack, will the Yakima bowdown boat rack clamps fit on my cross bars?
      Thanks, Bill B.

      Best Answer

      No these won't fit your factory rails; you would need the Yakima rails... but the Bigstack (Yakima #8004041) should.... see picture of what these look like... In my opinion, Thule makes far superior and more variety of boat setups...

      No these won't fit your factory rails; you would need the Yakima rails... but the Bigstack (Yakima #8004041) should.... see picture of what these look like...  In my opinion, Thule makes far superior and more variety of boat setups...

      Whistle noise

        I bought 2 sets for my BMW 325xi with factory roof bars.
        They fit just fine and have no complaints...except for the whistle noise that seems to start as low as 10 mph. The Yakima fairing does wonders for reducing 90% of the noise.

        Other than the whistle noise, I love the design, function, ease of installation, and the straps, buckles and hooks that are included with the kits. The bottle opener feature was the reason I went with this one over other manufacturers mounts.

        Yakima Rocks!

        I give it 4 out of 5 due to the whistle noise.

        Unanswered Question

        I have a 2007 Nissan Murano with the factory...

        I have a 2007 Nissan Murano with the factory rails. The Yakima product configurator does not seem to recognize that in addition to the rails that run parallel to the car, there are also two crossbars. Will the Yakima Bowndown model properly attach to the factory crossbars?

        Noise Fix

        Noise Fix

        The duct tape on the front was an early attempt to reduce noise caused by turbulence, but the real culprit for the HOWL is where I have the foam blocks stuffed. It is now much quieter.


        Noise can be corrected.

          I finally quieted these things down today, and realized I have never reviewed them! I've owned them for a year now and other than the annoying whistle/howl I LOVE THEM! I can just fold them down and go about my business without being one of those silly people with their big J hook carriers up in the air devoid of a boat. These are also a god send for SUVs and taller vehicles. The downside? they are noisy. I have a 2000 Grand Cherokee with sun roof. For optimal strength of setup, my forward bar is above my sun roof, making noise more pronounced. It also prevents me from using a wind fairing if I ever want to operate the sun roof. Perhaps a fairing would reduce the noise, but I found the whistling to be coming from the "hole" formed by the clamp forward of the cross bar. Today I cut some squares of foam and put them in that forward area and reclamped. It is now all but silent up to 55-60 when the light turbulence noise you would expect kicks in. Yatta yatta yatta, I really like this carrier, but I question if the design could not have been improved a little (like the doo-dad that holds your strap in place has a slot cut in it for no good reason, which occasionally allows the strap to fall down; a minor annoyance.) and this is why I give it a 4 and not 5.

          Will the bowdown fit on my '06 jeep grand...

          Will the bowdown fit on my '06 jeep grand cherokee? The OEM factory cross bar seems too wide (3")...

          Did you try the configurator above?

          Best Answer

          they should fit, the clamp is setup so that it can grasp round, flat, and I THINK square bars. But I have never tried a square bar with mine. See the picture I posted above and you will note its "universal" crabclaw-like clamp.


          Works perfectly on 2001 Nissan Xterra

            I bought 2 sets for my 2001 Xterra, and they fit perfectly on the factory crossbars right out of the box. No need to purchase longer bolts. The included bolts are just long enough, and I had to squeeze the brackets together to get the bolts started, but then it's not a problem. When folded, I can still enter my 7' garage door with plenty of clearance. With the built-in ramps, I can easily load my 12' Old Town Dirigo by myself, and the racks position two kayaks perfectly and hold them securely. The included straps are very good, too. The entire system seems to be very rugged and a lot of attention obviously went into the details of the design. My only complaint, though minor, is that the racks whistle a little bit driving down the highway while folded and empty. Overall, this is a great product!

            I use to have the BigStacker for my kayaks and boy was that a hassle to deal with on a honda ridgeline.I just got the bowdowns and i love them.They are so much easier to deal with.One on one with the kayaks is alot easier than trying to balance two and tie them down..Kudos to the bowdowns.

            I have a Chevrolet Lumina Car and we have...

            I have a Chevrolet Lumina Car and we have two kayaks, can you put two of these carrier brackers on the track that attaches to the roof?

            Best Answer

            Doubt it, you need to have the Yakima cross bars. Check out and see their fitguide so you can tell what you need to use this rack. Or at least it will tell you which racks you can put on your car.