lift-assist kayak

Seattle Sports Sherpak Boat Roller Review

Bill Nikolaou
Bill Nikolaou
January 5, 2024

The adventure begins much before hitting the waters – it starts with gearing up, and a significant part of that preparation involves transporting your kayak.

The Seattle Sports Sherpak Boat Roller significantly eases this phase. Being a veteran of water sports, I've hauled more than my fair share of boats, and the Sherpak roller simplifies the job every single time.

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Seattle Sports Sherpak Boat Roller Review

Seattle Sports Sherpak Boat Roller Review

4.2/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Seattle Sports Sherpak Boat Roller greatly simplifies the loading process. Its sturdy construction and ease of use take the grunt work out of getting your kayak to water.


  • Simplifies boat transportation, saving energy for the actual adventure.
  • Durable construction ensures longevity even with frequent use.
  • Easy to install and use, making it a practical choice for solo adventurers.
  • Reduces the risk of damage to your vehicle and boat during transportation.


  • Some might find it a bit pricey compared to other basic models.
  • It might take a couple of tries to perfect the loading process.
  • Some might find it a tad bulky for storage when not in use.

Product specs


The rack has a heavy-duty construction designed to withstand the weight of different types of boats and the roller bearing provides smooth movement for effortless loading.

It's worth highlighting the non-skid pads because they prevent slipping, ensuring a secure hold while your drive.

The suction cups are integrated and provide a firm grip on the vehicle, which helps minimize the risk of scratching your car.

Technical specs
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 13.75 x 5 x 4.75 inches
  • Material: Corrosion-resistant aluminum
Vehicle fit

This boat roller is designed to fit a broad range of vehicles, from compact cars to SUVs. It's crucial, however, to ensure that your car's roof can support the weight of the boat.

In-depth research

Price, Value & Resale 8/10
Performance & Features 8/10
Reviews & Reputation 7/10
Ease of Use & Installation 8/10
Durability & Maintenance 7/10
Safety & Security 6/10
Versatility & Expandability 7/10
Design & Appearance 6/10
After-Sale Service 7/10
Storage & Portability 9/10

Learn more about our testing & scoring methodology.

Personal take on the Sherpak

This roller is a practical accessory for loading kayaks or canoes by rolling it on your roof rack.

Its design is centered around simplifying the loading process, something that can be easily done by an individual.

However, the suction mechanism can be finicky, and the foam roller pads might not be the most effective.

Who is this product for?

The Sherpak appeals to individuals who frequently venture out on water and need a helping hand to load their kayaks onto their vehicles.

It that's you, this is a must-have accessory that won't break the bank.

It's particularly useful for those with smaller vehicles.

Price, Value & Resale

The Sherpak Boat Roller is on the affordable side of things. A real value proposition for regular adventurers.

Its durable build suggests a decent resale value, assuming the suction cups maintain their efficacy over time.

If not, you can always replace them and sell the roller at 70-80% of original value.

Performance & Functionality

The heavy-duty suction cups and aluminum bars are designed for reliable mounting on car tops or glass, providing two mounting angles compatible with most vehicles. Anything from cars to SUVs to minivans.

However, some user reviews suggest that the suction may not hold well on curved or uneven surfaces, and the foam roller pads might not provide the best support for kayaks and canoes.

Reviews & Brand Reputation

The Seattle Sports brand has a positive reputation for outdoor gear, but reviews for the Sherpak Boat Roller are mixed.

Users appreciate the concept but find execution lacking in areas like suction cup reliability.

In closer examination, this is mainly due to the fact that people leave debris when trying to attach the suction cups to the glass. This mistake can be avoided if you keep the suction cups clean.

Ease of Use & Installation

Let's face it. Loading and uploading is extremely easy and quick.

Again, the reason why the installation can get tricky, is due to dust and dirt trapped on the suction cups. That where everyday ease of use might be compromised.

If the suction cups don't adhere well​ clean them or if they are old, replace them.

Durability & Maintenance

The aluminum bars are sturdy, and maintenance seems minimal, barring the need to clean and wet the suction cups for optimal adherence​1​​6​.

Safety & Security

There's a potential risk if the suction cups dislodge during boat loading, which could lead to accidents.

The foam rollers might not provide enough support, posing a risk to both the boat and the vehicle.

By default, the roller doesn't have any locking mechanism.

Versatility & Expandability

With two mounting angles, it offers some versatility in installation. You can load anything from kayaks, canoes, boards and other mini boats.

However, its functionality is singular - assisting in boat loading.

Design & Appearance

Simple design often offers great functionality. The roller definitively solves the main problem of assisting loading water crafts.

The dimensions making it a compact accessory that won’t significantly alter the vehicle’s aesthetics​.

After-Sale Service

Seattle Sports offers a 100% money-back guarantee, indicating a level of confidence in the product and a commitment to customer satisfaction​.

Storage & Portability

The design is very compact.

It allows for easy storage (garage, basement, or even your truck) when not in use.

Transferring between vehicles is straightforward provided the suction cups adhere well​.

Alternatives and competitors

There are a few other boat rollers in the market.

While the Sherpak Boat Roller stands out due to its robust build, non-slip surface, the suction cup attachment that provides a unique advantage. Exploring alternatives like the Suspenz Smart Airless DLX Cart or the Malone SeaWing Saddle Style Universal Car Rack can also be worthwhile. These products also offer sturdy construction and ease of transportation, with slight variations in design and functionality.

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User reviews

Compares well to other rollers I had in past!

Rating: 4.2 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Having tried multiple brands of boat rollers, the Codinter strikes a sweet balance between functionality and quick setup. The foam rollers offer a unique feel compared to Malone's rubber ones. Malone's unit is sturdily built and its rubber roller makes loading easy, though it emits a chemical odor. Sherkap's foam roller won my preference, especially with the absence of any offensive smell. But in all honesty, side-loading my boat on my SUV with a bathroom rug still works almost as well!

Perfect for Solo Kayakers, But Not Without Flaws!

Rating: 3.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have a fairly hefty kayak and using this roller on my sedan's trunk has made solo loading feasible. However, there's always a nagging worry about its stability, especially with the wobbly bar. The foam roller works smoothly and the suction is surprisingly strong even on not-so-clean surfaces. But the roller's length falls short for wider kayaks and I question its long-term durability due to the loosely fitted screws. While it does the job for now, there's definitely room for improvement.

Ideal for short people, like me!

Rating: 4.3 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

As a solo kayaker, this roller has been a game-changer for me, especially with my taller SUV and my not-so-tall self. The boat roller ensures easy loading, and while there's a slight rubbing with some kayaks, a towel easily solves that problem. It's held up well on trips and even though there's some play in the suction cup sockets, it's a minor gripe. The roller would be even better if it was slightly taller, but all in all, it simplifies the loading process greatly for kayaks of varying lengths.

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Expert Q&A

Q: What is a kayak roller loader?

A: A kayak roller loader is a device designed to aid in the loading and unloading of kayaks onto a vehicle's roof rack. It usually consists of a set of rollers mounted at the back of the vehicle, allowing the kayak to be placed onto the rollers and then easily slid into position on the roof rack.

Q: Where to buy Seattle Sports Sherpak Boat Roller parts?

A: To buy parts for the Seattle Sports Sherpak Boat Roller, you should start by visiting the official Seattle Sports website. They often have a section for replacement parts or a customer service contact who can assist you. Additionally, outdoor recreation retailers and specialized kayak and canoe shops may also carry or be able to order these parts for you.

Q: Is it hard to roll a kayak?

A: Rolling a kayak onto a car is straightforward. With the help of a roller loader, the process is made much easier as it reduces the friction and provides a smooth surface for sliding the kayak onto the vehicle.

Q: What should I do if the suction cups on my Sherpak Boat Roller aren't sticking properly?

A: If the suction cups aren't sticking:

  1. Ensure the surface they're attaching to is clean and free of dirt or debris.
  2. Dampen the suction cup slightly with water.
  3. Press the suction cup firmly against the surface, ensuring there are no air bubbles trapped underneath.
  4. If they continue to lose suction, it might be time to replace them.

Q: Is the Seattle Sports Sherpak Boat Roller compatible with all types of kayaks?

A: The Seattle Sports Sherpak Boat Roller is designed to accommodate a wide range of kayaks. Most standard-sized kayaks will fit, but double-check for wide or heavy kayaks to ensure compatibility.

Resources & references

To sum it up, the Seattle Sports Sherpak Boat Roller is a must-have for anyone who wants to simpify the loading process.

It is a solid investment for solo kayakers. Its robust construction, ease of use, and effective boat transportation make it a valuable addition to your transport gear. While it may have minor downsides like fitment issues with some vehicle models, its benefits significantly outweigh the drawbacks, making it a practical choice for easing boat transportation to and from the water.

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!