The Proslat-made Garage Gator 66051K is to a Jeep Wrangler as the Rad Sportz Kayak Hoist is to a SuperCycle mountain bike (rides adequately without impressing anyone). Are you looking to free space and organize your garage? Hoisting your gear is a tidy option that won’t give you backaches like racks or mere hooks can.
The Garage Gator 66051K is a durable, motorized hoist with simple yet high-quality features. It is a classy, compact, secure lift system. The Rad Sportz Kayak Hoist is a bottom-rung manual hoist that will do the trick on a budget.
Quick Look: Comparison Table
The Garage Gator boasts a 1/3 horsepower electric motor. That is more than sufficient for a kayak hoist or lift.
You control it with a simple, orange switch on a tidy coiling wire. You can easily mount it to a garage wall. The Rad Sports Kayak Hoist, however, operates solely on good old arm strength.
Ropes descend neatly from the two pulleys mounted on the ceiling for users to pull. Adventurous folks may enjoy the physical challenge of manually hoisting their boats. They may embrace the risk of rope burn.
However, it’s safe to say that it is easier to use the Garage Gator’s electric motor. It allows paddlers to save their elbow grease for the lake.
When it comes to quality, there is no question that these two products fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. With the Garage Gator you pay for durable, quality materials.
The Rad Sportz hoist has adequate but way fewer durable parts. Many buyers recommend replacing the rope before you even install it.
The factory rope is essentially an large twine that you can easily upgrade with a ¼ inch polycord. The Gator uses a sturdy 2.5mm cable.
The Gator’s hooks (which connect to the loading straps or bar) are industrial clips that close completely and feature a safe-locking system so that the attachments are secure. The Rad Sportz Kayak Hoist has S-shaped, rubber-coated hooks that will do the job, unless perhaps you knock the load from below – not an unheard of situation in a garage used for vehicle parking.
Both hoists claim a 125-pound capacity, but looking at the hardware it seems like 125 lbs. is pushing the limits on the Rad Sportz model and only touching the surface of the Garage Gator’s actual ability. Since most boats don’t approach the weight limit, this isn’t critical for most users.
That being said it might be nice to pack your canoe with paddles, life jackets, fishing or out-tripping gear before the hoist goes up. It will be bonus storage. You will only want to use it if you can trust that 125 lbs. safe weight maximum.
Both hoists come with two strap attachments for a single kayak or canoe. Even long and heavy boats don’t seem to be a problem.
The Garage Gator, however, also comes with a 4-foot lift bar that is useful for bikes (multiple within the 125-pound weight limit) or other cargo that can hook onto a bar easily. The Garage Gator’s straps are adjustable to a maximum of 8 feet and suggested for diverse uses in addition to kayaks, canoes and paddle boards, including lumber, roof rack boxes and other gear or compartments.
You could theoretically hoist the same variety of items you’re storing with the Rad Sportz model. However, the straps aren’t easily adjustable and it does not include a bar option.
That being said, it is certainly possible to jury-rig your own hoist-bar system or to alter the straps. Strap adjustability isn’t just for security. However, straps that you adjust can allow your cargo to get closer to the ceiling and higher out of your way.
Retailers of both products claim that it can lift cargo within 3 inches of the ceiling. However, in practice, what you are hauling and how well adjusted the straps are can multiply that margin.
In my opinion, the Garage Gator 66051K would not be worth the price jump for the versatility alone, but know that adjustments will take extra time with the Rad Sportz Kayak Hoist.
Mounting the Garage Gator 66051K initially takes a touch more muscle and brain because of it’s weight and relative complexity. A large plate is installed with one pulley and the motor attached, and an extending arm reaches out for the second pulley.
The installation of the Rad Sports model is lighter and smaller but requires measurement to ensure that you correctly align the 2 mounted pulley units. With a few extra steps, it’s worth looking up the instructional assembly video on the Garage Gator website. With the Rad Sports hoist you’ll be left to an instructional pamphlet and your own devices.
Note that while the single mount with the Garage Gator is secure, it means that you cannot use the hoist on slanted ceilings. They do not specifically advertise it. However, that is no reason that you couldn’t mount the Rad Sports Kayak Hoist securely on an angular ceiling.
If you absolutely require a hoist that you can mount on a slant, the Rad Sport hoist, or another dual-mount hoist, is your best bet. Be aware though that mounting on a slant will reduce how high you can lift the boat. At that point you might want to reconsider an older-style wall-mount storage rack.
Returns and Warranty
The Garage Gator 66051K comes with a year-long warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee with options to return for up to a year for a 10% fee. The Rad Sport has an unconditional, lifetime warranty and 100% money back guarantee.
So if you would hesitate to go for the cheaper model because it might break, at least with a little effort you could replace it indefinitely. Since the Gator’s product is so much higher quality, you are less likely to need the warranty.
Ultimately, you get what you pay for. The Rad Sportz model runs for about 20% of the cost of the Garage Gator 66051K.
If you want a high-quality, durable product, the Garage Gator 66051K is definitely your best bet. If motorization is critical for you or you want the immediate option to use the hoist for a variety of gear, the Garage Gator is also an obvious choice.
However, if you are on a budget, the Rad Sportz Kayak Hoist, despite its inferior all-around quality, isn’t bad value for money. It will do the job. If you are going to go for it, get a replacement rope, alter the straps so you can adjust them easily and enjoy the money you saved on your next adventure.