Product Review: Malone 50-INCH VERSARAIL Bare-ROOF Cross-Rail System

Overall Rate: 7/10

Malone’s 50-INCH VERSARAIL Bare-ROOF Cross-Rail System is a great rack for anyone who does not want a permanent racking system installation on their vehicle. I have used this product for five years (2013-2018) and bought it for the purpose of transporting kayak(s) and/or canoe(s). Before I start reviewing this product, let’s start with basic product description.

Product Description

Price varies by e-commerce: ≈ $134 – $149
Malone Auto Racks
Amazon
Austin Kayak
Dick’s Sporting Goods
Cabela’s
Academy Sports & Outdoors

Product weight per rail: ≈ 10 lbs
Product length: 50″
Product height: ≈ 6″
Product width: ≈ 8″
Loading capacity: ≈ 135 lbs
Product warranty: 5 years

Included in product package:
2 load bars with tower attachment bracket and load straps
4 suction towers
4 end caps for load bars
1 allen wrench for assembly
Hardware for assembly

NOTE: I will be referring to Malone’s 50-INCH VERSARAIL Bare-ROOF Cross-Rail System as VERSARAIL to shorten product name.


Pros

Quick product assembly. The packaging for the VERSARAIL came with everything I needed for assembly. There was no hassle to have to retrieve my own tools and hardware for assembly. It took less than 20 minutes to assemble the VERSARAIL; most of the time spent was on aligning the tower suction to the sides of my vehicle.

Decent quality load straps. I didn’t have any issues with the load strap. The tongue held tight and is a great support to the suction tower. It is a hand-tighten strap, which worked fine because I didn’t want to go overboard with tightening way too tight around my vehicle.

High-quality load bar. The heaviest kayak I’ve had on the VERSARAIL is a Feelfree Lure 11.5″ and the bars held the kayak with no issue. For five years, the bars did exactly as intended. No bent on the bar and no sign of breakage.

Reliable suction towers. The suctions are strong and will stick if placed properly atop your vehicle. The suctions did not move on its own at all on the road as long as you’ve properly strapped the rest of your cargo straps around your paddle craft.

Quick mounting and demounting onto vehicle. It takes approximately two minutes to mount the VERSARAIL onto my sedan. The manual does recommend a 24″ distance between both bars.

Minimal noise/whistling from wind. I didn’t have to purchase additional wind deflectors. I’ve driven in 80+ mph and wind whistling wasn’t a problem.

Cons

Suction will be slippery when wet. I usually mount the VERSARAIL the night before otherwise [cooler] humid temperature create precipitation on your vehicle top and mounting the VERSARAIL on a wet surface is no face. The suction will stay on fine, but the water entrapped in the suction will impact your vehicle’s paint, which’ll be discussed in the next paragraph.

Vehicle paint fades from suction tower. The suctions are tough, but will fade the paint from your vehicle. The VERSARAIL is a temporary installation and shouldn’t be mounted for longer than 48 hours.

Water-unfriendly. Since the load strap goes into the vehicle door, it allowed easy access for rain to get into the vehicle. I made the mistake of going to the car wash with the VERSARAIL and the interior of my vehicle was soaked. I would not leave the VERSARAIL on if it’s forecasted to rain.

Difficult to move tower suction when rust builds up. Rust started building up on the hardware after two years. I repositioned the tower suction once, but never bothered to do so because of the rust build-up.

Theft-friendly. Every time I left my vehicle unattended with the VERSARAIL on, I had the fear of someone cutting the strap and removing the rack. It is horrifyingly simple to remove the VERSARAIL from vehicles that I had to be pretty confident with where I’m going before leaving my vehicle unattended.


Overall Rate: 7/10

The product itself is of good quality. Of course, it should not be compared to the higher-end Thule or Rhino Rack roof rack systems. I would recommend this product if a permanent roof rack installation is not on your vehicle’s agenda. The VERSALIFE should be mounted on your vehicle, at most, 48 hours or less especially if it’s raining since rain can seep through the openings from the load strap. For smaller cars like mine, this product did the job just fine.

Any questions you have about this product? Ask me in the comments!

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