It can be difficult, lifting a kayak up onto a vehicle's roof rack by yourself, and then reaching up and over the boat to strap it to that rack. These challenges prompted Indiana-based inventor Ira Mercurio to create the easier-loading EZ Rec Rack.

The device consists of two main parts – there's a base that gets hard-mounted to a vehicle's existing third-party roof rack, along with a "shelf" unit that slides horizontally in and out of the rear of that base. A third-party kayak carrier gets mounted on the shelf's built-in crossbars, just as it would be on a regular roof rack.

To load their kayak onto the EZ, users pull out the shelf's extendable T-bar-type "kickstand," then use that to pull the entire shelf back and out of the base. Once the shelf is pulled back as far as it will go, it pivots down to sit at a 45-degree angle relative to the base. The kayak is subsequently put on the carrier and strapped down.

The kickstand is then used to swing the shelf back up to its horizontal orientation, so it can be slid back into the base and locked in place. To unload the kayak, the process is simply reversed. And because the shelf accepts any type of carrier, it can be also be used to carry non-kayak items such an canoes or bicycles.

While some early models of the EZ Rec Rack are already in use by customers, Mercurio has now turned to Kickstarter to fund production of a new-and-improved HD edition. Its upgrades include better track wheels with stainless steel axles, heavier-gauge aluminum walls and bars, a more ergonomic rounded kickstand handle, and stainless steel pivoting hardware.

If you're interested in getting one, you can currently do so for a pledge of US$499 (planned retail $749). Assuming it reaches production, the EZ Rec Rack HD should ship in September. The concept is demonstrated in the video below.

Potential buyers might also want to check out the StrongArm Kayak Loader.

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