9 Highly Recommended Kayak Racks For Cars [New 2023]

Kayak Rack For Ca

Kayak Rack For Ca

Abigail Scott

Abigail Scott
Mother, Professional Kayaker, and Software Engineer

Updated on 12/6/2022

Our staff has provided these recommendations to help you locate the kayak rack for car that best suits your needs. Kayak racks may be classified into a few distinct types. You have decided that you would want to go kayaking, but unfortunately, there is neither a lake nor a river in your backyard. Because of this, you will have to transport your kayak on top of your vehicle, requiring a rack. We have sifted through the suggestions made by the professionals at Kayak Roof Racks, RackMaven, and BoatSafe to offer you the finest kayak racks that will safeguard both your rig and your ride.

There are four racks: stackers, temporary pads, saddles, and J-cradles. Stackers are the most common. When your roof does not have side rails or crossbars, you will most likely utilize one designed like a temporary pad. You can switch to one of the other three types of racks if you already have side rails or cross bars installed in your frame.

Most racks are designed to hold two kayaks, but stackers are the way to go if you need to move more than that. The compilation that follows includes examples of all four types.

Check out our recommended bike racks if you're interested in transporting bicycles rather than kayaks.

Where Can I Get The Most Suitable Kayak Racks For My Vehicle?

Many people enjoy getting away by kayaking, but before you can put your boat in the water, you must transport it to the beach. To accomplish that, you need to choose which kayak rack is the finest one that will fit your vehicle.

As you will see in this article, kayak racks come in various styles; additionally, choosing the right one is relatively simple if you are familiar with the questions that must be asked. On the other hand, let's stay within our bounds of ourselves. Before putting a kayak rack on your car, you need a complete roof rack to which the kayak cradles can be attached.

What exactly is the definition of a roof rack? To explain it more simply, it consists of two bars that run the length of your vehicle, door to door. Some cars will come with cross bars already mounted from the factory. Check the weight restriction of the bars to ensure you only overload them with a few beautiful boats, even if virtually all of these will work for kayaks. Check the weight limit of the bars. In addition, only some rack options are compatible with the factory rack.

There is no cause for alarm if the rafters on your roof do not have cross bars. You can read this article to find out which roof rack is compatible with your automobile. Whatever you want to accomplish, you can do it with any vehicle you choose, and you have a wide variety of possibilities to choose from. Please give us a call if you have any inquiries regarding base racks.

What Kinds of Kayaks Do You Have in Your Inventory?

The first question I have for you is whether or not you have whitewater kayaks or sea kayaks. Several kayak racks are more suited to certain boats than others, even though most can carry any kayak. If you're not sure what kind of kayak you have, you can use the following guidelines as a general guide:

  • Consider using the term "sea kayak" for your vessel if it is longer than 10 feet.
    Consider using the word "sea kayak" to refer to your boat if it is made of any material other than plastic.

How to Transport Long Kayaks (For The Sea) In Your Vehicle

Two aspects should be considered when searching for a kayak rack suitable for a large and lengthy boat. The first step, which is also the most obvious, is to transport your boat to your vehicle securely. However, the second step is just as crucial but is sometimes given less thought: how do you intend to load your boat onto your car?

When it comes to putting sea kayaks on a rack, they come with both benefits and drawbacks that you should be aware of. They are generally easier to lift because they weigh less and take up less space than their counterparts. But because they are smaller and more fragile, you must be very careful when loading and unloading them.

Because of how it's made, the rack that loads from the back is the easiest to use when carrying long sea kayaks. Racks of this design position your boat so it is lying horizontally on its bottom, and loading occurs in the back of your vehicle. These racks either use felt pads or small wheels to guide your boat onto your front set of saddles. This is accomplished by positioning the front of your ship so that it rests on the rear saddles.

Rhino-Rack Nautic

Rhino-Rack Nautic

Rhino-Rack Nautic

This universal fitting rack should be able to mount to most types of roof racks. Both the front and rear pads have been designed to accommodate a wide variety of hull forms. It is waterproof and resistant to UV rays, water, and rust.

Yakima Fold Down Rooftop Kayak Carrier

yakima fold down rooftop kayak carrier

yakima fold down rooftop kayak carrier

YAKIMA - JayLow, J-Style Fold Down Rooftop Kayak Carrier, 2 Boat Capacity
Summary
Easy to use9.6
Easy to use
Easy to install9.2
Easy to install
Easy to fold9
Easy to fold
Sturdiness8.2
Sturdiness

Up to two kayaks can be carried on this rack; the first can be placed in a J-cradle, while the other two can sit on top. It is designed to work with a wide variety of crossbars and comes with all the straps and mounting hardware required for installation. There is a cam lever that you may use to adjust it so that it is in the upright position.

HandiRack Inflatable Roof Rack Bars

HandiRack Inflatable Roof Rack Bars

HandiRack Inflatable Roof Rack Bars

HandiRack Universal Inflatable Soft Roof Rack Bars (Pair)
Summary
Easy to install9.2
Easy to install
Sturdiness8.6
Sturdiness
Mileage8.4
Mileage

This inflatable rack has a load capacity of 175 pounds and is compatible with virtually all types of vehicles. In addition to kayaks, it can transport canoes, paddleboards, surfboards, and a variety of other watercraft. When not used, you can fold it up.

Kayak Carrier Malone Stax Pro2

Malone Stax Pro2

Malone Stax Pro2

Malone Stax Pro2 Universal Car Rack Folding Kayak Carrier (2 Boat Carrier)
Summary
Easy to install9.2
Easy to install
Easy to use9.2
Easy to use
Mounting system8.4
Mounting system

This kayak carrier Malone rack is designed to carry two boats in a stacked arrangement and is compatible with most vehicles with round, square, or factory oval crossbars. When not in use, the system may be collapsed and put together without needing any tools.

Thule Hull-A-Port Kayak Carrier

Thule Hull-a-Port Kayak Carrier

Thule Hull-a-Port Kayak Carrier

Thule Hull-a-Port Pro Rooftop Kayak Carrier
Summary
Easy to install10
Easy to install
Sturdiness9.4
Sturdiness
Value for money7.2
Value for money

One kayak up to 34 inches wide and weighs no more than 75 pounds may be stored on this J-cradle rack. It comes with two ratcheting bows and stern tie-downs and has hardware that allows for simple attachment and removal. It is suitable for most factory racks.

Malone SeaWing

Malone SeaWing

Malone SeaWing

Malone SeaWing Saddle Style Universal Car Rack Kayak Carrier
Summary
Sturdiness9.2
Sturdiness
Easy to install9
Easy to install
Value for money9
Value for money

This low-profile carrier is simple to assemble and requires very little room on the car's top. The mounting gear is known as "Jawz" and is compatible with most round, square, and factory oval roof rails. It can hold up to 70 pounds without any problems.

Kayak Carrier Thule DockGrip

Thule DockGrip Kayak Carrier

Thule DockGrip Kayak Carrier

With this kayak carrier Thule rack, you can transport boats with various hull configurations. Large rubber pads protect the hull and are compatible with most vehicles' roof rails. It has a weight capacity of 85 pounds and can accommodate boats with a width of up to 36 inches.

Malone Downloader

Malone Downloader

Malone Downloader

Malone Downloader Folding Universal Car Rack Kayak Carrier
Summary
Easy to install9
Easy to install
Mounting system8.4
Mounting system
Sturdiness8.2
Sturdiness

Another highly praised J-cradle rack, this one can accommodate a single kayak. When not in use, the mounting hardware is compatible with virtually any surface and can be folded up out of the way. The use of flexible mounting points safeguards everything.

TMS J-Bar Kayak Rack

TMS J-Bar Kayak Rack

TMS J-Bar Kayak Rack

TMS J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier Canoe Boat Surf Ski Roof Top Mounted on Car SUV Crossbar
Summary
Easy to assemble7.6
Easy to assemble
Easy to install7.6
Easy to install
Sturdiness6.8
Sturdiness

This steel rack can hold a kayak that is 36 inches wide and can support up to 75 pounds. It also features hardware that allows for rapid removal and installation. It is constructed out of steel and has additional room on the roof for another carrier. This is all you want to know about the best kayak rack for car.

Frequently Asked Questions