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I used to carry a 2 person kayak up there, but gave up. The Armada is so tall it's difficult to get stuff up there. But I did do it for a while so here's my two sense.
You could try to source some factory cross bars that go with your factory roof rails. Almost as expensive as aftermarket ones and a whole lot less useful, so I would just skip that option.
I was using Thule cross bars. Most aftermarket brands will have adapters to connect to your roof rails.
Pros: 1) The rack is more permanently installed and could secure all kind of stuff (bikes, kayaks, shuttle boxes, etc.) 2) The roof rails are supporting the weight, not the skin of your roof 3) the kayak rode on its side, using kayak mounts, that allowed me to still open the tailgate.
Cons: 1) aftermarket crossbars and accessories are expensive...like $300 and up just for the bars and adapters to attach to your roof rails. 2) initial set up may be a little more involved 3) reduced clearance if you (or your spouse!) ever encounters a parking garage.
If you don't want to spend too much money, you can go the cheapo route and use foam blocks directly on the roof. I saw a kit on REI that includes straps for about $72.
Pros: 1) cheap 2) easier initial set up 3) Doesn't affect your clearance when not using them because they completely remove after each use.
Cons: 1) the roof surface is holding all the weight rather than the roof rails 2) you probably can't open rear hatch with canoe/ kayak up there.

If I wasn't going to do it very often or in a pinch, I'd probably just do foam blocks and straps. But If I were going to be using it with any regularity or may ever want to carry anything else up there, I'd recommend getting some aftermarket cross bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I used to carry a 2 person kayak up there, but gave up. The Armada is so tall it's difficult to get stuff up there. But I did do it for a while so here's my two sense.
You could try to source some factory cross bars that go with your factory roof rails. Almost as expensive as aftermarket ones and a whole lot less useful, so I would just skip that option.
I was using Thule cross bars. Most aftermarket brands will have adapters to connect to your roof rails.
Pros: 1) The rack is more permanently installed and could secure all kind of stuff (bikes, kayaks, shuttle boxes, etc.) 2) The roof rails are supporting the weight, not the skin of your roof 3) the kayak rode on its side, using kayak mounts, that allowed me to still open the tailgate.
Cons: 1) aftermarket crossbars and accessories are expensive...like $300 and up just for the bars and adapters to attach to your roof rails. 2) initial set up may be a little more involved 3) reduced clearance if you (or your spouse!) ever encounters a parking garage.
If you don't want to spend too much money, you can go the cheapo route and use foam blocks directly on the roof. I saw a kit on REI that includes straps for about $72.
Pros: 1) cheap 2) easier initial set up 3) Doesn't affect your clearance when not using them because they completely remove after each use.
Cons: 1) the roof surface is holding all the weight rather than the roof rails 2) you probably can't open rear hatch with canoe/ kayak up there.

If I wasn't going to do it very often or in a pinch, I'd probably just do foam blocks and straps. But If I were going to be using it with any regularity or may ever want to carry anything else up there, I'd recommend getting some aftermarket cross bars.
First off thanks for putting in the time to reply. (y)
I will look into your options or just go for a bass boat. A local has a great deal on a 2yr old Tracker full setup with low hours. I love fishing and Kayak is an option of course but might be more of a hassle.
 

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A kayak? That should fit in side with the window glass open on the lift gate :) I can fit two small ones in there and we throw the kids in the other car :D. Just stick out the back and throw a red sticker on it! :D Otherwise, a small flatbed or utility trailer may be the way to go.
 

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We kayak (I want a boat) but we kayak :).

I bought a pair of stock crossbars from a junkyard for about $150. I also bought a Thule The Stacker… and love it.

I love the armada for carrying small kayaks, but for big kayaks it’s just really tall. I have two 8’ and a 10’ that the stacker does well with and the height is manageable. I also have a 13’ tandem, and while it can carry it, I’ll second the statement that it’s a job getting that thing up there. Me, being fully extended with an unevenly weighted 13’ 100lb kite of a kayak, and climbing up a step ladder to latch it all down is a bit much. If you have a helper that would help greatly.

Typically we will take all four kayaks a few times a year, the three smaller ones monthly, and the tandem one every couple months when my wife and I go on a kayak trail together without the kids.

I’ve got to say too. I have had many many compliments on the looks of the armada carrying all four kayaks up there. If you are at all interested in getting your ego boosted. The Thule stacker on your armada will give it a boost :). Plus it looks cool when folded down. It will make your armada look like Godzilla. :)

Good luck on your kayak journey.
 
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