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Top 9 Car Kayak Racks for 2024: Expert Recommendations

Kayak Rack For Ca

Kayak Rack For Ca

Updated on 2/20/2024
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail 👋 Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
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As a seasoned expert in outdoor equipment and transportation, I am pleased to provide you with valuable advice on finding the perfect kayak rack for your vehicle. There are several types of kayak racks, each with unique features and benefits, and selecting the right one for your specific needs is crucial.

Firstly, let's discuss the four main types of kayak racks: stackers, temporary pads, saddles, and J-cradles. Stackers are the most common type and are ideal for transporting multiple kayaks. If your roof lacks side rails or crossbars, then temporary pads would be the best option. However, if your vehicle already has side rails or crossbars installed, you can choose between saddles or J-cradles.

It is worth noting that most kayak racks are designed to carry two kayaks, but if you need to transport more than two, then stackers are the way to go. The type of kayak you own will also play a role in determining the most suitable rack for your needs. For instance, a J-cradle may be the best option if you own a larger kayak.

To assist you in finding the right kayak rack, our team has carefully researched and analyzed the top recommendations from leading experts at Kayak Roof Racks, RackMaven, and BoatSafe. Our compiled list includes examples of all four types of kayak racks, providing you with a range of options to choose from.

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 determine 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 many possibilities. 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

When searching for a kayak rack suitable for a large and lengthy boat, two aspects should be considered. 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 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. Frames of this design position your boat to lie 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 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

Our Overall Review
4.5
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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 various crossbars and has 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

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 various other watercraft. When not used, you can fold it up.

Kayak Carrier Malone Stax Pro2

Malone Stax Pro2

Malone Stax Pro2

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 collapse and be put together without any tools.

Thule Hull-A-Port Kayak Carrier

Thule Hull-a-Port Kayak Carrier

Thule Hull-a-Port Kayak Carrier

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

Our Overall Review
4.6
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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

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 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

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 steel and has additional room on the roof for another carrier. This is all you want to know about the best kayak rack for a car.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to mount a kayak rack on any car?

You can install the racks on any vehicle you choose, and no side rails or gutters are required to secure the rack. Straps pass through your vehicle's doors and are tightened using heavy-duty cam straps once the racks are mounted on your roof.

With a kayak on the roof, how fast can you drive?

Be careful when turning and braking! I, however, like to drive the car up to 80mph and see what happens. When I drive my car with a Kayak on top of the roof, I usually tone it down to 60 mph.

Is it possible to mount a kayak rack on a car with a sunroof?

In fact, yes. You can use different kayak racks on your vehicle with a sunroof, and you should, however, install it properly to avoid damaging your vehicle's finish or the rooftop carrier.