The Thule 883 - Glide and Set is the right kayak saddle combination for those who want to smoothly load their kayak from the rear yet get a good grip on the front. The Glide and Set combines two great saddles that work smoothly together. The kayak saddles are easy to install and adjust while remaining gentle on the kayak's hull. This kayak set comes with everything needed to transport one kayak on most types of cross bars.
Ease of Use
The Thule 883 - Glide and Set combines the Thule 875XT - HydroGlide with the Thule 877XT - Set to Go saddles. Both sets mount using the same easy to use wing nut fasteners. This hardware will attach to just about any load bars, be it factory installed or aftermarket, there are exceptions so be sure to check the Thule Fit Guide to verify. Once attached, it's simple to make adjustments to match the width of various kayaks. The HydroGlides have pivoting interfaces with the kayak's hull that self adjust as you slide the boat over the smooth marine grade felt. When the kayak reaches the Set to Go, the rubber saddle interface can be contoured to match the hull shape for better surface area contact and the best grip.
The mounting hardward included with the saddles have a set of short and a set of long carriage bolts for thin or thick bars. Two heavy duty 15 foot nylon straps are included for securing the kayak to the cross bars. The straps have strong metal cam buckles with rubber buckle covers to protect a vehicle from getting scratched or dinged. Because it's so important tie down the front and rear of a kayak, Thule includes the bow and stern tie down with every kayak carrier to encourage their use. Never under estimate the power of the wind's lifting force on long loads such as kayaks.
The Thule 883 - Glide and Set is a great load assist solution but if there's an even easier way why not consider it? Thule offers several more products worth exploring. For those with Thule standard bars the Outrigger II will help when side loading. Even when you have rear load assist, tight parking situations may not allow rear loading, that's when it would be nice to have a side assist option. The Roll Model takes the the Glide and Set and adds a roller that extends beyond the Thule standard bar 7 inches and gives that added boost when loading. The Slipstream is a clever frame work which is great for long boats on short cross bar spreads. The Slipstream slides back like a drawer to assist in rear loading. The Hullavator is a side loading super assist, it will lower the lift height by 40 inches and you only need a couple of fingers to lift the kayak thanks to gas-assist shocks. Finally, at the other end of the spectrum of technology is the Water Slide and it doesn't' get any simpler than this. The Water Slide is a mat with a smooth and a non-skid side to protect a vehicle while loading or unloading.