SOUTH African company Eezi-Awn has developed a true expedition-strength, flat-deck roof rack that delivers superior carrying capacity, as well as low wind noise and minimal drag.
From the moment I slid the K9 Rak from its cardboard packaging, I was relieved at not having to bolt, pop-rivet or screw the whole rack together. Yep, this complete flat rack is fully welded and coated in a matte-black finish. All that’s required is the fitting of the leg kit to the rack and my Toyota LandCruiser, which is ridiculously easy.
There are no plastic parts, except a finishing cover on the corners, which means the whole rack is a solid, lightweight unit.
While many racks settle for three pairs of feet (to connect the rack to the roof), the K9 shares the load via 10 separate feet. These extra feet ensure no damage is done to the vehicle, and they also allow for vertical adjustment of the flat deck. This allows the low-profile extrusions to be fitted snug with the roof line, which results in lower drag, lower centre of gravity and increased overhead clearance.
An optional table and table slide is mounted under the rack – a great storage solution that means valuable space isn’t taken up inside the vehicle or on top of the rack. Instead, the stainless-steel table slides in from the rear and locks into position via a flip-up attachment, which has the option to fit a padlock. I don’t get why some tables are fitted to a vehicle – who wants to sit and eat staring at the side of a 4x4? The only downside is that the rack legs need to be set higher to accommodate the table.
The axe, shovel and high-lift mounting kits are similarly spot-on. Being able to carry these oft-used tools without them taking up valuable space is ideal, and I can see these three tools taking up residence on the rack permanently given they can all be padlocked into position.
The K9 kit also keeps dust out of your high-lift jack, as it comes complete with a protective bag – top marks again!
The dual jerry-can holder and spare wheel mount can quickly be attached to the slots within the slats. Obviously we wouldn’t be carrying these two options all the time, but they are quick and easy to install – just keep an eye on their weight and distribution.
It seems everyone has a side awning fitted to their rig these days, and the K9 makes it very easy to add one to either side of the rack via a simple bolt-on attachment. And, not that I have an Eezi-Awn rooftop tent (or other fold-in-half-style tent), but there is also a tent mounting kit that easily slots into the top slats.
All up, the K9 is the most versatile, practical and rugged rack I’ve ever seen or used. It’s not noisy (other than a slight thrum of the table over rough roads) and it’s easy to tie down gear or slot accessories into the track system.
It’s hard to pick a fault with the K9 and I’d give it a 99/100 score.
The Eezi-Awn K9 Rak is suitable for a wide range of vehicles and is supported within Australia by Dolium. For more details and pricing (size-dependent), visit the dolium website.
Available from: www.dolium.com.au
RRP: From $880
We say: Versatile; practical; rugged.