Best Kayak Rack For Pickup Truck

Best Kayak Rack For Pickup Truck

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 8/13/2022

It is possible that selecting the appropriate kayak rack for pickup trucks will be a procedure that requires a significant amount of time. Before you embark on your journey, you should probably familiarise yourself with the measurements of your kayak and the height and length of your truck bed and cab. That is because it is probable that you will need to transport your kayak in one of these spaces.

kayak roof

In addition to that, you may choose from a variety of additional types. On the other hand, we have gathered some information that will help you evaluate the different racks to determine which one could be the best fit for you and your kayak.

Top Picks:

  • Thule GoalPost
  • Yakima LongArm Truck Bed Extender
  • Darby Industries 944 Extend-A-Truck

The Best Truck Racks And Extenders For Kayaks

1. Best Vertical Extender: Thule GoalPost 

  • Length can range anywhere from 46 to 67 inches.
  • 27 kilogrammes or 60 pounds
  • The maximum allowable load is 165 pounds.

1: Thule GoalPost (best vertical extender)

The Thule GoalPost is a piece of equipment designed to be utilized in conjunction with a roof rack crossbar that is fixed to the ceiling of the cargo area of your automobile. It comes with a vertical extension that you can use to offer a second crossbar to support your kayak and a bracket that can be linked to the hitch on the rear of your vehicle. Additionally, it comes with a frame that can be attached to the trap on the front of your truck.

It is possible to adjust the height of the telescopic vertical bar from 46 inches up to 67 inches, which enables it to suit a wide variety of vehicle heights and models while still keeping its alignment with the crossbar on the top of your cab. On the other side, the rack is not designed to work with any more significant receivers than 2 inches.

The crossbar with the GoalPost is 58 inches long and may be added to the vertical extension if you purchase it separately. The weight of your kayak will be supported, in part, by the crossbar that we have provided. You can carry two kayaks using this rack; however, you must ensure that the total weight of the kayaks does not exceed the maximum load limit of the frame (165 pounds).

Thule 997 Goal Post Hitch Mount Truck Adapter Canoe

The rack features a design that keeps it from wobbling and a protective covering on the steel bars' interior and exterior. That ensures that the frame is protected from corrosion no matter its location. It is suitable for use with a wide range of kayak saddles or cradles, and it comes with two load straps that can lend a hand to securing your load (sold separately).

This rack is also appropriate for use with SUVs, provided that the height of your vehicle falls within the range of the telescopic arm's range of motion.


  • Extends to a maximum length of 67 inches
  • Included crossbar measures 58 inches.
  • Including two load straps in the package.
  • Long-lasting covering
  • Can transport two kayaks at once

2. Best Horizontal Extender Yakima LongArm Truck Bed Extender 

  • 48 inches is the length.
  • 12 pounds and 8 ounces in weight.
  • The maximum allowable load is 300 pounds.

There is a bed extension available from Yakima called the LongArm Vehicle Bed Extender. This bed extension is intended to be fitted to your truck's tow hitch and has a diameter of 2 inches. It features three load-carrying heights, each of which may be modified to match your particular vehicle and the sort of weight you wish to convey.

However, you will require additional connectors to use the extender at heights other than the height of the bed; these attachments are not included in the package.

2. Best Horizontal Extender Yakima LongArm Truck Bed

You should be able to transport two fishing kayaks in your truck if there is adequate width in the bed of your car. That is because the LongArm bed extender has a high capacity of 300 pounds, which allows it to support a greater weight than other bed extenders.

The LongArm can extend up to four feet beyond the edge of your truck bed and includes a kayak rack that is sixty inches wide to support your canoe or kayak. The LongArm can extend up to four feet beyond the edge of your truck bed. Although it barely weighs more than 12 and a half pounds, it can support a significant amount of weight despite its low weight.

The powder-coat finish on the extension, manufactured out of robust aluminum and gives an additional layer of protection against wear and tear, distinguishes it from other similar products. Because of how the crossbar is constructed, May use it in combination with many additional accessories manufactured by Yakima, like kayak saddles.

Yakima - LongArm Truck Bed Extension

It is helpful to have integrated tie-down points, which enable you to swiftly and securely attach your kayak to the rack while using it. That saves you time and makes the frame handier. The LongArm has a built-in bottle opener that is ready to use as soon as it is removed from its packaging. This feature may come in handy while camping.


  • Increases the length of truck beds by up to 48 inches.
  • The very lightweight aluminum structure
  • Capacity to support a lot of weight
  • Compatible with a wide range of supplementary items (sold separately)

3. Darby Industries 944 Extend-A-Truck

  • The length ranges from 53 to 62.5 inches.
  • Weight: 10.5 kg
  • The maximum allowable load is 350 pounds.

It is possible to add up to 53 inches to the length of your truck bed if you use the Darby Industries 944 Extend-A-Truck as a horizontal bed extender while your tailgate is in the down position. In addition to its primary function, this rack may also be used as a vertical extension, making it possible for it to be paired with a cab-top roof rack (sold separately) to transport a kayak on top of your vehicle. That is not the only usage for this rack, however.

3. Darby Industries 944 Extend-A-Truck

If you put it to use as a vertical extender, it has the potential to reach a height that is between 55 and 62.5 inches higher than your tow hitch. Because of this, it may be adjusted to accommodate a wide range of different vehicle heights.

It is possible that the rack, with its high weight restriction of 350 pounds, might turn out to be an outstanding alternative for transporting large fishing kayaks. If you have access to a sufficiently broad place, you should be able to move two kayaks similarly, and this is the case as long as you have enough room.

Bed Extender For Short Bed Trucks IT WORKS!

The length of the rack's crossbar is 49 inches, and it comes with a bright red flag that can be affixed to the end of your kayak to either attract attention to yourself or warn other vehicles. The length of the crossbar is 49 inches. When it's not being used, you fold it up and stow it away in a horizontal position under the seats of your car.


  • It is possible to utilise it in either the vertical or horizontal position.
  • Capacity to support a lot of weight
  • Contains a crimson warning flag
  • Height extender with adjustable settings
  • Easy to store in a flat position

Darby Industries 944 Extend-A-Truck
Value for money

4. Best Adjustable Truck Rack Yakima SideCar Side Rails - Long Bed 

  • Length can range anywhere from 60 to 84 inches.
  • 13 and a half pounds in weight
  • The load-bearing capacity is one hundred pounds.

The Yakima SideCar Side Rails are designed to be utilized in conjunction with the Yakima OutPost HD and Yakima OverHaul HD truck rack systems. Each truck rack system is available for purchase on its own and requires extra investments. By attaching to the frame of the crossbars, these side rails may be fastened to an already-installed Yakima truck rack. As a direct consequence, the amount of gear that you can carry on your shelf will grow.

When the SideCar side rails are connected to your rack system, you can securely store extra gear by inserting additional mounting accessories. That is made possible by the SideCar's modular design (sold separately). That shows that you can enhance the storage capacity of your truck bed by anchoring more goods to the side rails that lay between the crossbars of the bed, and you may do this by placing the additional items between the bed crossbars.

Truck Rack Yakima SideCar Side Rails

The use of aluminum in the construction of the side rails lends them a high level of durability and strength while simultaneously lowering the additional weight they contribute to the overall structure. In addition, the length of the SideCar rails may be adjusted anywhere from sixty to eighty-four inches, making them an excellent option for supporting crossbars at various intervals.

These side rails are compatible with a wide variety of Yakima's truck accessories, such as the SkyRise HD 3 Tent, to provide just one example.


  • Rack system must be either the Yakima OutPost HD or the OverHaul HD.
  • Increases the load capacity of the currently installed rack
  • Compatible with the vehicle accessories made by Yakima

5. Yakima BigCatch Kayak Saddles (Rack Saddles)

  • The weight is six pounds.
  • The maximum allowable load is 150 pounds.

If you already have a suitable rack but you want more protection for your boat, the Yakima BigCatch Kayak Saddles are a terrific option for you to consider. They were created to be used on various frames and crossbars, and since they were made to be used on those frames and crossbars, they are compatible with a broad range of racks and crossbars. Because they have a high weight limit of 150 pounds, you may use them to properly store larger fishing kayaks on your shelf without worrying about damaging them. They are also available in a wide range of colors for your selection.

The four saddles are designed for use with fishing kayaks and recreational kayaks. As a consequence of the arrangement of the cradles, some touring boats with smaller cockpits will likely be unable to utilize them.

YAKIMA, BigCatch Kayak Fishing Boat Saddles for Roof Racks

When you load your kayak, the large saddles are equipped with a rubber cushioning and additional felt cushions as a preventative measure against scratching the kayak's surface. They come pre-assembled with universal mounting hardware, allowing you to quickly and easily attach the rack to your vehicle's roof rack. They are adjustable to various frames, such as those used on trailers and truck beds, so long as the customer provides the crossbars necessary for the rack.


  • Ideal for kayak fishing
  • High capacity for weight
  • Felt rugs
  • Dependable fit for kayaks
  • A universal mounting system

A Guide To Picking Out The Right Truck Rack

You have several choices for carrying your kayak, thanks to the extensive selection of kayak racks designed to fit a range of cars. The number of kayaks that you want to travel and whether or not you want to transport extra items in your truck bed at the same time are often two of the most crucial aspects that come into play when deciding which model is ideal for you.

You may need to purchase additional attachments for a good number of kayak racks, whether they come with a horizontal bed extension, a vertical bed extender, or simply the "basic" stand. That is because many kayak racks include both types of bed extensions. For instance, you might want to purchase kayak saddles or cradles so that your kayak will have somewhere to sit when it is transported on the rack. That will ensure that your kayak is not damaged while being moved.

Right Truck Rack

These are frequently mounted on the crossbars of your rack and offer a safe and, in some cases, the cushioned foundation for your kayak to rest on while being transported to prevent damage.

Vertical Bed Extenders

You may enhance your carrying capacity vertically by utilizing a device known as a vertical bend extender. This device will let you store your goods in a position parallel to your cab's ceiling, providing you more room to carry things vertically. In almost all circumstances, this will require you to attach a crossbar onto the roof of your vehicle to create a platform on which the other end of your kayak may sit.

These types of racks may be ideal for you if you want to free up space in the back of your vehicle so that you can carry additional gear, for example, or if you're going to carry more things overall.

If the roof of your cab is a certain height, it may be good to look for vertical extenders that can easily be converted to meet the roof's dimensions. If the roof is a specific height, looking for upright extenders that can easily be adapted to fit the top may be beneficial.

Vertical Bed Extenders

When utilized with exceptionally heavy kayaks, there is a risk that who will reduce the weight capacity of racks of this sort. Consequently, the shelves might not always be ideal for the transportation of kayaks of this type. Even if you have a large vehicle, lifting a heavy kayak to the top of the cab could be challenging. That is especially true if the car is particularly tall. That is especially important to remember when the kayak is positioned horizontally.

There is a possibility that who will reduce the weight capacity of vertical extenders due to the load being stretched vertically above the truck bed. Because of this constraint, it's possible that you won't be able to use racks that are a part of this group if you want to transport two fishing kayaks, for example.

Another thing to consider is the increased height of your kayak, which you should probably think about in terms of clearance when doing things like driving into your garage or parking in a lot. That is something you should take into consideration when buying a kayak.

Horizontal Bed Extenders

A horizontal bed extender is just what it sounds like it is, and its description is practically identical to what it says it is. Using this addition, it is possible to lengthen the length of your truck bed, allowing you to carry items such as kayaks and other things that are longer than the bed of your truck. This accessory may be purchased separately.

Horizontal Bed Extenders

Because it removes the need to lift the kayak to the level of the cab roof, this rack is frequently regarded as the ideal option for carrying larger fishing kayaks. This is because it enables the kayak to stay at the same height throughout transportation; at this point, it merely has to be raised to the level of the bed.

Some horizontal bed extenders have a height adjustment that lets the user choose whether or not to use the item with the tailgate in the up or down position. That gives the user more flexibility regarding how and when they may use the device. When the extension is in its most compact place, and the tailgate is lowered, the rack may make it possible to carry greater weight. Because it provides more significant space, this layout could be more suited for larger boats than smaller ones.

Because of the greater length at the rear of your vehicle, driving and parking your truck may require a little more caution if you have a horizontal bed extender installed. That is because you need to consider the additional length at the back of your vehicle. That is because the size of the flatbed extender needs to be considered. When utilizing a rack of this type, you will frequently be required to further fasten a safety flag to the rear of your cargo to be visible to other cars and pedestrians. That is done so that who may show the flag on the back of your rack.


Racks can be pretty similar to frames fixed on a vehicle's roof; however, racks meant to attach to the bed of a truck are specifically built to do so rather than being mounted on the top of the car. You can usually add racks to the sides of your truck bed, which will give you a set of crossbars that you can use for transporting kayaks and several other things above the bed of the truck. That will allow you to use the space above the truck's bed better.


Because it is common for racks of this type to be attached to the bed of your truck, getting one of these may not be the best choice for you if you want to be able to remove it when it is not in use.

Racks, on the other hand, typically have a higher weight capacity than bed extenders, which means that they might be beneficial if you transport kayaks regularly and wish to transport more than just one or two kayaks at a time. On the other hand, bed extenders are often helpful for transporting more than just one or two kayaks at a time.

If you want to haul more stuff in the bed of your vehicle, racks can be a good investment. Racks are constructed to be mounted on the roof of the truck bed, therefore releasing space within the mattress itself.


If you plan to transport a canoe or kayak that is very long, you may want to adjust the height of the rack so that it is higher than the ceiling of your cab. That is because you will be transporting the longer vessel. That is because the boat might need to extend over the roof to ensure appropriate weight distribution and to prevent it from spreading too far beyond the end of your vehicle.

Questions That Are Typically Asked

Are Kayak Truck Racks Safe?

Yes, they can be safe if you take the necessary precautions, such as making sure your kayak is tied correctly to your rack and vehicle and ensuring that you are not overloading your rack with more weight than it can support. If your kayak is longer than your vehicle's, it is recommended that you deploy a conspicuous safety flag.

Ought I To Just Use A Roof Rack As An Alternative?

You will most likely discover that the roof racks designed for use on cars are not suited for use on truck cabs to transport kayaks. It may change how the weight is distributed, making it dangerous.

Questions That Are Typically Asked

Is It Possible To Construct My Truck Rack?

It's feasible that you may construct your kayak truck rack as long as you take the necessary precautions to ensure that it's safe and sturdy enough to hold your kayak while you're driving.

Wrapping Up

When deciding on a rack for your vehicle, the length and weight of the kayaks you plan to transport and your personal preference will all be important factors to consider. The Thule GoalPost is a fantastic vertical bed extension that can transport up to two kayaks, and this is one of its many uses.

Suppose you would like a horizontal bed extender to transport one or two fishing kayaks rather than a vertical one. In that case, the Yakima LongArm Truck Bed Extender is an excellent option for you to consider. It has a relatively high weight capacity, making it an ideal choice for you.

wapping up

The installation of the Yakima SideBar Side Rails, which is an accessory that may boost its carrying capacity, may be beneficial to your existing Yakima truck bed racks. The Yakima BigCatch Kayak Saddles are another high-quality product that has the potential to be helpful for a variety of vehicle racks. When you purchase one of these kayak saddles, it will come with a universal mounting system and padded cradles that will protect your kayak while it is transported on a truck rack.

It is crucial to be aware of your equipment's particular dimensions and weight before making any purchases since, as is the case with other things, not all of these will be suitable for every vehicle or kayak.

There's a good chance that finding the right kayak rack for pickup trucks will be a process that eats up a large amount of your time. You should become familiar with the dimensions of your kayak and the height and length of your truck bed and cab before you set out on your adventure. That will allow you to better prepare for your trip. That is because it's very likely that you'll need to transport your kayak through one of these places at some time.