Rated 5 out of 5 by Kayaker517 Useful pad makes loading boat carefree
Given the structure of my new SUV, boosting my 18' kayak onto the rack without abrading the car roof is impossible. The "Water Slide" prevents scratches. Its two straps with hooks & loops keep the pad in place when seemingly mild breezes would otherwise whisk it away.
June 1, 2016
Rated 2 out of 5 by jen12345 Measure prior to purchase
The rear crossbar of my roof racks are too far forward for this to be very useful as indicated. If you rset up is different, and the rear cross bar is near the edge of the tail gate, you may have a better experience. Also, the first time I tried to attach this, one of the velcro loops came off. I can still use it on the side of the vehicle to prevent possible mishaps as we put the kayak up and down. But overall, not exactly as useful as described.
December 31, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by Hikeswithhubby Experience with the Thule 854 water slide
Using the water slide is definitely better than throwing a blanket over the car. Blankets will not stay put. Though we are keeping this, the water slide is too narrow. Thus, the lower rating. We have an above-the-water two seater Ocean Kayak from LLBean, and it is quite a bit wider than the water slide. Like several other reviewers, we have a RAV 4 and we open the rear door before loading the kayak. In addition to using the water slide, we also put a folded blanket under the slide to protect the car because of: 1) the too-narrow water slide and 2) if by chance our grip slips and the kayak lands too hard on the car. A 61 lb kayak can dent a car, we have them to prove it!
September 17, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by loonwtchr protects my car
This works great. it protects my car including the spoiler while I slide the kayak up. It stays put well, but I am still able to pull it over far enough to remove both straps from the side. I would recommend it to a friend.
July 3, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Gypsydg Thule Water Slide
This is just what I needed for loading and unloading my kayak. It stays in place and is easy to put on and take off. My only suggestion is that it could be a little wider and longer. I have a Toyota RAV4 and this does not cover the top of my spare tire cover; thus, I will still have to carry an extra rug to protect it.
May 1, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by PaWildlifer Not for a van
Too narrow and short for my van. Sending it back. Would be fine for a car, I guess. I'll go back to draping a blanket.
January 9, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by pathann works great
I have had this 2 seasons now, have experienced no abrasion. The Thule Water Slide stays where I put it on my car, and protects both my kayak and my car finish. I have a Toyota Rav4 and a 14' Pungo around 50#. I attach the straps to my roof rack, open my back door, put the bow on the water slide, and push my kayak onto the racks. Ready to go! Also work well when I slide the kayak off the car.
September 6, 2012
Rated 1 out of 5 by Luv2Fish Thule 854 Water Slide
When I first saw this item listed at LL Bean, I said to myself, how clever. Ive been using a blanket to protect the surface of my vehicle, but at best its awkward and slides off frequently.
I purchased the water slide and it arrived in a few days. I immediately put it to use, loading a 58 lb kayak on the roof of my vehicle. I also have a foldable boat weighing 53 lbs which I sometimes use as well.
Everything worked as advertised. The non slip surface held well, and the velcro attachment straps held everything in place.
After 2 uses, I noticed something very disturbing to me. The fabric which contacts the kayak at a specific point had started to wear through, and now exposed the vehicle to scratches. It appears that the fabric used in the water slide, cannot tolerate too much friction and rubbing, because as tough as it looks, it wore through.
Unfortunately, I could not continue using this product, and returned it for a refund.
November 7, 2010