lift-assist kayak

Malone SeaWing/Stinger Load Assist Review

Bill Nikolaou
Bill Nikolaou
January 5, 2024

I've always been on the lookout for gear that eases the process of getting into the waters. My latest find, the Malone SeaWing/Stinger Load Assist, has proven to be a remarkable companion for my kayaking endeavors. This accessory is designed to simplify the loading and unloading of kayaks on your vehicle, making the transition to the water smooth and hassle-free.

Let’s navigate through its offerings and see if it's the right fit for your vehicle and kayak.

Also check out: Best Lift-Assist Kayak Racks

Malone SeaWing/Stinger Load Assist Review

Malone SeaWing/Stinger Load Assist Review

4.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨
The Malone is a top choice for solo kayakers. It’s user-friendly (post initial setup), durable, and good ratio of price & value.


  • The ease of loading kayak single-handedly without a second person.
  • It significantly reduces the risk of damaging car or kayak in the process.


  • The initial installation can be a bit time-consuming, and the instructions could be clearer.
  • Can be too short for some longer vehicles like full size SUVs.

Product specs


Loading Assistance: The extendable loading frame aids in seamlessly sliding the kayak onto the vehicle.

V-Style Carrier: The V-style carrier cradles ensure a secure fit and minimize the kayak's contact with the vehicle, reducing the risk of damage.

Corrosion Resistant Construction: Its corrosion-resistant construction ensures durability even after prolonged exposure to water and salty air.

Non-marking Synthetic Material: The use of non-marking synthetic material prevents any scratches or dents on the vehicle.

Technical specs
  • Load Capacity: Up to 70 lbs
  • Dimensions: Extends to 22” from the rear of the vehicle
  • Material: Built with high-strength, corrosion-resistant material, ready to weather many a storm.

Vehicle fit

The Malone SeaWing/Stinger is quite versatile and fits a wide range of vehicles. Its universal mounting hardware adapts well to most crossbars, making it a suitable choice for different car & SUV models.

In-depth research

Price, Value & Resale 7/10
Performance & Features 8/10
Reviews & Reputation 7/10
Ease of Use & Installation 8/10
Durability & Maintenance 8/10
Safety & Security 8/10
Versatility & Expandability 8/10
Design & Appearance 7/10
After-Sale Service 7/10
Storage & Portability 8/10

Learn more about our testing & scoring methodology.

A Personal Take on the Malone SeaWing

There's a sweet spot where necessity meets innovation, and for me, the Malone SeaWing/Stinger Load Assist hits it right on the bullseye.

Loading and unloading kayaks from the back of my car has been super convenient, especially in parking lots.

Who is this for

This is an indispensable accessory for solo kayakers or small groups where there’s a need to self-load kayaks.

It’s especially useful for those who frequently transport their kayaks and are looking for a reliable, easy-to-use solution to protect both their vehicle and kayak from potential damage.

Sliding kayak onto cars single-handedly can also be an important deciding factor for elderly or anyone who wants to avoid a physical strain.

Price, Value & Resale

The Malone doesn’t ask for your wallet and the shirt off your back; it’s priced reasonably.

For the features offered—easy loading, stable transport, and vehicle protection—it’s a value-packed deal.

While the resale value holds decent, it’s the kind of gear you’d want to keep.

Performance & Functionality

The V-style cradles are like a gentle hug for your kayak—secure yet caring. Transporting kayaks horizontally can also provide a better fuel economy.

It fits well with a variety of vehicles; sedans, hatchbacks, or SUVs—it doesn’t discriminate. The easy load and unload are what stole my heart though.

Reviews & Brand Reputation

Malone has a solid footing in the market, and the SeaWing/Stinger is one of their shining stars.

A quick online detour will show you, users are singing praises.

Ease of Use & Installation

Daily use? A child's play, really (once it's installed).

Installation? That’s a one-time riddle. The instructions can be explained much better if they are more visual. But once the rack is set, it’s all smooth sailing.

I find this to be the most straightforward video that demonstrated how easy it is to use it.

Durability & Maintenance

The corrosion-resistant material is like a knight’s armor against weather onslaughts.

And a simple rinse is all the cleaning it needs to keep dust, mud and any tiny road debris away.

Safety & Security

With a load capacity of 70 lbs, it’s like the reliable elder sibling—strong and dependable. This mean you'll be able to fit kayaks on different sizes with no problem.

The safety it offers is not just about a secure hold but also the assurance that your car and kayak remain unscathed.

Versatility & Expandability

It’s loyal to kayaks but doesn’t shy away from carrying a canoe. The modular loader is extendable up to 25” back from the center of the rear crossbar so it can accomodate different lenghts.

Design & Appearance

The SeaWing has a rugged look, doing a top-notch job from a design perspective.

It's not bulky and driving around without kayak won't decrease your fuel efficiency because its pretty aerodynamic.

After-Sale Service

Malone’s customer service is like a warm, reassuring hug. The warranty coverage is fair, and they stand tall behind their product.

Storage & Portability

When not in use, it’s neither a sight for sore eyes nor a storage headache. For winter, it's easy to remove it and small enough to keep it on the shelve in your garage.

Transferring it between vehicles is a straightforward. Once you go through the setup once, it will be faster the second time.

Alternatives and competitors

While the Malone SeaWing/Stinger holds its own, the Thule Hullavator Pro is another contender worth a gander. It offers gas-assist lifting and lowering which eases the process further, albeit at a higher price point of ~$995.

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User reviews

Handling Large Kayaks Like a Pro!

Rating: 4.6 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Perception Tribe 13.5 ft tandem kayak needed a reliable carrier for my 2011 Honda Odyssey Minivan. The Malone SeaWing/Stinger Combo fit the bill perfectly. The installation was straightforward with a helpful manual and additional YouTube guides. Though the provided straps fell short for my wide kayak, a quick trip to Home Depot for ratchet-style straps solved the issue. The SeaWing/Stinger combo holds my kayak securely, and though I need a helping hand to load and unload, I believe with some practice, I could manage it solo. For anyone with a large kayak and a love for organized, secure transportation, this carrier is a complete rocket!

Functional Design, Room for Better Packaging!

Rating: 4.0 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Malone SeaWing/Stinger Load Assist has been a good investment for my kayaking outings. The design is functional, and it does what it's supposed to do efficiently. However, the packaging could use some improvement. The box had quite a bit of space, causing the product to slide around during transit. But once past the packaging hiccup, the assembly and installation were straightforward. It holds the kayak securely, and the loading assist is a game-changer for solo kayakers. I'd recommend this product for its functionality and ease of use, with a note to the manufacturer to tighten up the packaging for a better unboxing experience.

A Lifesaver for Solo Kayakers!

Rating: 5.0 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Switching from a pickup truck to an SUV brought along a hitch. I was suddenly at a crossroads on how to haul my kayak around. After a brief struggle with a J-hook carrier, I stumbled upon the Malone SeaWing/Stinger Load Assist. The transition was like night to day! This carrier is a dream for anyone who finds the J-hook system a hassle. The loading assist feature simplifies the loading process significantly. No more juggling act with stools to reach the roof! The setup was a breeze right out of the box. And strapping down the kayak, even post a draining paddle session, is no longer a chore. The design ensures my kayak stays put, even through bumpy trails and sharp turns. It has become a vital part of my kayaking adventures, and I only wish I had discovered it sooner!

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Expert Q&A

I know the journey begins much before hitting the waters—it starts right in our driveways.

After my thorough run with it, I’m here to shed some light on using and installing it. So let's dive into your queries!

Q: How do you use the Malone SeaWing Stinger combo?

A: Here's a simplified rundown of how to use it once installed:

  1. Ensure that the Malone SeaWing is securely installed on your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Position your kayak behind your vehicle, aligning it with the Malone SeaWing.
  3. Lift the bow (front) of your kayak onto the rear saddle of the Malone SeaWing.
  4. Slide your kayak forward into the front saddle of the Malone SeaWing, ensuring it's sitting securely within the cradles.
  5. Use the provided straps to securely fasten your kayak to the Malone SeaWing, and then to your vehicle's roof rack to ensure a snug fit.
  6. Double-check all straps and connections to ensure they are secure before hitting the road.

Q: How to install Malone SeaWing kayak loader, what are the instructions?

A: A solid setup ensures a smooth journey ahead. While the official installation manual is your go-to guide, here’s a brief outline of the process:

  1. Kick-off by giving the crossbars on your roof rack a good cleaning to ensure a snug fit.
  2. Position the Malone SeaWing cradles on the crossbars, making sure they’re parallel to each other and centered on your vehicle.
  3. Use the supplied bolts and tools to fasten the cradles to the crossbars, adhering to the torque specifications provided in the manual.
  4. If your Malone SeaWing comes with a Stinger Load Assist, extend it and ensure it's securely attached.
  5. Before you hoist your kayak, give the cradles a gentle shake to ensure they are securely fastened.

Take your time with the installation and double-check all connections.

Q: How wide is the Malone SeaWing?

A: The Malone SeaWing is designed to accommodate a wide variety of kayak widths, typically handling kayaks up to 34 inches in width. The design ensures a snug and stable fit for the kayak, with its V-shaped cradles conforming to the shape of many kayaks, ensuring secure transport.

Q: Can the Malone SeaWing/Stinger Load Assist fit on any vehicle or roof rack?

A: The Malone SeaWing/Stinger Load Assist is designed to be quite versatile and fits a majority of roof rack systems, including round, square, and factory oval bars.

Resources & references

The Malone SeaWing/Stinger Load Assist stands out as an essential tool for frequent kayakers.

Its design and functionality make the task of loading and unloading kayaks super quick, while its durable construction promises longevity.

While it may test your patience during setup, the benefits it offers far outweigh this minor drawback and the ease and peace of mind it provides thereafter are unparalleled.

Investing in this rack will undoubtedly enhance your kayaking experience.

Bill Nikolaou
I live for wild rides on rivers, and have passion for digital marketing. With 7 years of experience in white water guiding, I've transported more gear than most folks will in a lifetime. Need a reliable rack or carrier? I got you covered!