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  • Yakima BowDown Rooftop Kayak Rack with Tie Down
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Yakima BowDown Rooftop Kayak Rack with Tie Down

by Yakima
| 4 answered questions

List Price: $199.00
Price: $181.54 & FREE Shipping
You Save: $17.46 (9%)
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Discount Auto Warehouse in easy-to-open packaging.
One Size
  • Rooftop kayak carrier with J-cradle design that holds boat on its side
  • Takes up a minimum of roof space and supports quick and easy loading
  • HullGuard padding with EVA foam protects boat; integrated boat ramp system
  • Fits round, square, and most factory crossbars without requiring adapters
  • Compatible with touring, whitewater, and recreational kayaks; 1-year warranty
See more product details
54 new from $181.54 4 used from $100.00 1 refurbished from $149.99
This item’s packaging will be visible when delivered and cannot be gift-wrapped.
Custom Fit a Yakima or Whispbar Rack to Your Car
Visit the Yakima/Whispbar Fit-My-Car site to match a car rack to your car. After you select your custom rack and accessories, the selections will be transferred to your Amazon.com Shopping Cart so you can check out or keep shopping.

Automotive Winter Driving Essentials

Frequently Bought Together

Yakima BowDown Rooftop Kayak Rack with Tie Down + Yakima SKS Lock Cores for Yakima Rooftop Car Racks (4-Pack) + Yakima Q99 Clip
Price for all three: $263.71

These items are shipped from and sold by different sellers.

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Product Information

Size: One Size
Technical Details
Item Weight0.2 ounces
Product Dimensions21 x 11 x 9 inches
Item model number8004042
Manufacturer Part Number8004042
Additional Information
Shipping Weight17.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
ShippingCurrently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
Date First AvailableSeptember 2, 2003
Warranty & Support
Warranty, Parts: Parts
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Product Description

Size: One Size

Product Description

The Bowdown is a top-of-the-car mount that folds down when it's not in use for better aerodynamics, and allows easier access to the garage.
  • J-Cradle design for carrying a single touring, recreational or whitewater kayak
  • New SteelCore construction utilizes a steel substrate encased in durable foam padding
  • Folds down flat when not in use for the ultimate in rooftop clearance
  • Integrated ramp system assists in loading your boat
  • Hullguard pads protect and keep your boat looking brand new
  • Locks to crossbar with SKS locking system (lock cores sold separately)
  • Includes 1 pair of Heavy Duty Straps, with padded buckles
  • Includes Bow/Stern Tie-Down Straps to complete kayak stability
  • Integrated bottle opener
  • Fits round, square and most factory crossbars out of the box
- Product ships to US only


Tired of pain-in-the-neck kayak carriers that take up a ton of space while functioning poorly? Turn to the Yakima BowDown rooftop kayak carrier, which employs a J-cradle design to hold your kayak on its side. Why store a kayak in this manner? Because it takes up little roof space and allows you to quickly and easily load the kayak in just a few short minutes. The BowDown fits with round, square, and most factory crossbars right out of the box, so you don't have to shell out extra cash for fancy adapters. The unit's top-of-the-line HullGuard padding, meanwhile, employs EVA foam to protect your boat and keep it looking brand new. Best of all, the BowDown includes an integrated boat ramp system that makes it a breeze to load your kayak onto the rooftop. Other features include a SteelCore frame that folds flat when not in use, bow and stern tie-down straps for stability, an SKS locking system, and an integrated bottle opener. A must for kayak enthusiasts everywhere, the BowDown carries a one-year warranty.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
The BowDown racks are very well made and their design offers great protection for the kayak.
G. Cooper
I didn't want to forget to mention but they fold down easily and don't seem to add much road noise even when on the freeway.
Love my rack and it is nice if I want to keep on car as it folds down out of way for car wash and low tunnels etc.
William Webb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M.E. on July 22, 2009
Size Name: One Size
I purchased two sets to carry two kayaks on our 2005 Honda CRV. They mounted easily on the factory roof rack and I secured them from theft with the optional SKS (Same Key System) locks. Loading and securing the kayaks, on their side, on the Bowdown is easy (with the use of a foot stool to reach and pull the straps over the kayak). The kayaks are very secure and we were able to travel at highway speed without concern. The racks fold and lock in the down postion when not in use, thus not having to take them off to park in our garage. I would give them five stars except when driving they whistle. I was able to isolate the whistle to the waffle configuration on the top of the racks. I highly recommend them.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Gerenser on May 6, 2013
Size Name: One Size Verified Purchase
I went through 2 other J-bars for my Kayaks before I finally settled on the BowDowns. They're excellent, but they do have a few strange quirks/limitations. That being said, I've been using mine almost every weekend in the summer/fall and they really do work great.

I purchased 2 sets of these and have them installed on Yakima Whispbars. With this system, the BowDowns work really well. I noticed some other reviewers didn't like how the BowDowns worked with round bars, and I can see why. However, I've always hated round bars (and I didn't think square bars are that much better). A note of advice to anyone who hasn't purchased a crossbar system yet: go with the aero-style bars, like the Whispbars. You won't be disappointed. They're stronger, quieter and work a lot better than the finicky round bars.

I have travelled over over winding roads and highways with 2 kayaks loaded on my car. No issues. The BowDowns do their job, holding my boats securely on my vehicle.

- Soft, padded construction really protects the kayaks
- Build-in loading ramp makes it easy to slide the kayaks up onto the cradle
- The jaws that grip the crossbars are strong. And they're easy to install and remove
- Lockable with the Yakima SKS system

- I don't care for the way these fold down. Unlike the Thule fold-down cradles, the Yakima has this goofy red knob that you have to turn (and turn, and turn) to loosen it. Then and only then can you fold it down. And guess what? Now you gotta tighten that knob again. Its just not a convenient design.
- Because there's so much chunky padding on these, they do make a lot of noise on the road, even when folded down.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ReadersinVA on October 3, 2013
Size Name: One Size Verified Purchase
I have Yakima cross bars on my SUV and purchased two sets of Bowdown J-racks a week ago and have used three times so far. I found installation straightforward and once the two kayaks are up there, they are secure on the J-racks with the included cables. However, have the following observations:

1. It's almost impossible to mount the kayaks without the Bowdowns rotating the circular Yakima crossbars, causing J-rack misalignment (on both sides of vehicle) now with the kayaks up on the roof. Repeatedly tightening and retightening the Bowdown clamps doesn't help. This is a major design issue with the Yakima bars because they are round, not square. Very frustrating and enough for me now to either have to buy different cross bars, or return these racks for another solution - I would rather not do the latter as they seem pretty good and it's a cross bar design issue, exacerbated by the weight/bulk of mounting kayaks vs bikes.

2. Agree with other reviewers that the front/rear S hooks are rubbish. I replaced with metal carabiner clips and foam pipe insulation on the strap to protect paintwork as one or two reviewers suggested. This works fine.

3. No locks
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephan on December 28, 2013
Size Name: One Size Verified Purchase
I've been using various Yakima racks systems for 15+ years and have never had any problems. I purchased 2 sets of these racks to attach to round tubes on one of my cars. I routinely transport 2 large 17 foot sea kayaks with these racks with no problem. The racks works great but you have to use some common sense and think about aerodynamics when you are attaching everything to your vehicle. I have spent many days driving on the freeway with multiple 17 foot sea kayaks attached and have never had anything come loose or experienced any type of problem. When I am not kayaking, and using that particular car for other purposes, I remove the entire round cross bars and just leave the Yakima BowDowns attached to the cross bars. The BowDowns can also be folded down but I can remove the two rack crossbars on my car in about 30 seconds and it would take me longer to loosen all the red knobs on the rack systems and fold them all down.

Pros: Holds kayaks on their sides and the padding on the racks protects your boats. The included tie down straps with padded buckles are very good quality.

Cons: Plastic T attachment for tightening the rack system is a potential point of failure. Keep in mind the racks don't need to be over tightened so much that the T attachment is over stressed. Hand tighten the racks so they stay in place. The main support will come from your additional tying to your rack cross bars.

Recommendations: Buy an additional 40+ feet of nylon tubular webbing to backup the tie down straps that come with this system. If you have only 1 kayak 40ft should be enough, if you have 2 kayaks then you will probably need more. Be sure to tie the boats to the cross bars of your rack system and not just to this BowDown rack.
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