When it comes to kayaking and other water sports, the act of paddling across a lake or down a river is only half the battle. Your first challenge is safely transport equipment and gear to a water source or campsite miles away — without dinging or scratching your ride or watercraft.
Your best bet is to invest in a high-quality kayak rack, and once it’s properly installed, you’ll be able to travel long distances with peace of mind. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable roof-mounting solutions available and some are even made to carry multiple boats.
Read through and choose the one you like the most.
10. Egreaten Universal Kayak Rack Holder J Bar, 2 pairs-Bar HD Kayak Rack Carrier Canoe Boat Surf Ski Roof Top Mount Car SUV Crossbar
It is designed to mount to all load bars and cross bars in the market. It also secures the kayak firmly but consumes very little load bar space. In addition, it features steel construction with an adjustable padding as well as a wide mouth J bar. Moreover, all surfaces are rust-resistant for increased durability. Besides, it is easy to install and to remove.
9. MeeFar Universal Car Soft Roof Rack Pads Luggage Carrier System for Kayak Surfboard SUP Canoe Include 2 Heavy Duty Tie Down Straps,2 Tie Down Rope,2 Quick Loop Strap and Storage Bag
This universal kayak carrier for car features corrosion and rust-resistant steel design for extreme durability. The oversized padding on the other hand protect the kayak once it is strapped down. Moreover, the mounting hardware perfectly fits square, round and oval cross rails. As well, the product comes with buckle straps and pre-coated mounting bolts. Furthermore, it is very easy to install and uninstall.
8. Onefeng Sports 4Pcs Saddle Kayak Roof Rack Canoe Mount Holder Cradle Boat Carrier for Most Car SUV Cross Bars (4 Pack)
The carrier has an aluminum frame for increased longevity and rubber pads to prevent damages such as scratches. In addition, the arms are adjustable hence fit a lot of kayaks. It is also very easy to install and remove with the included mounting accessories. Besides, it has a big load capacity of up to 165 lbs.
7. TMS Kayak Canoe Jon Boat Carrier Dolly Trailer Tote Trolleyw/Free Cell Phone Bag
This high quality kayak carrier for car has a load capacity of 150 lbs and comes with a 12 feet tie-down strap. It also features a solid metal frame construction for increased longevity and foam bumpers to protect the kayak hull or canoe. Moreover, it is easy and quick to assemble since you only fasten the wheels. Furthermore, the dolly is foldable for easy transport or storage.
6. OxGord Kayak Roof Rack Canoe Carrier Top J-Bar Mount Universal for Car SUV Van Truck
The kayak carrier measures 20″ x 5.5″ x 16″ and features padded J-cradles, carrier straps, as well as bow stern straps. All these ensure safe and easy transportation of your kayak. In addition, the carrier is made of lightweight yet durable and water-resistant components. It is also easy to install or uninstall.
5. AA Products Steel Double Folding J-Bar Rack for Kayak Carrier Canoe Boat Paddle Board Surfboard Roof Top
It is constructed of epoxy powder coated water-resistant tubular steel for extreme durability and high load capacity. It also features rubber pedal and foam protector that are anti-slip as well as sun and water resistant to protect your kayak. In addition, the J-Bars fold down hence your car fits in parking garages without the need to remove the carrier. Besides, it comes with a high grade 250 lbs 8 feet long lashing strap that fits most factory and aftermarket crossbars.
4. SportRack Mooring 4-in-1 Kayak & SUP Carrier
The 4 in 1 kayak and SUP carrier allows different configurations for maximum carrying space. It is also compatible with many factory as well as aftermarket rack systems with 3.5 inch maximum crossbar diameter. Moreover, it comes with four load straps and two pairs of stern and bow tie downs. Besides, the padded arms protect your kayak or SUP. Furthermore, the carrier is foldable for convenient storage or transport.
3. PaddleSports+ Kayak Roof Rack Sets for Cars and SUVs – Two Sets with Straps – Universal Fit Carriers Mount on Crossbars for Easy Travel with Kayaks Canoes Paddleboards and Surfboards
This universal kayak carrier for car is made from anodized steel components for increased durability and high load capacity. It also features airless large tires that roll smoothly on gravel and sand surfaces. In addition, it is easy to assemble or disassemble and folds down for convenient transport or storage. Besides, it comes with two tie-down straps to secure your kayak or boat firmly on the carrier.
2. Yakima Jaylow Kayak Carrier
It can carry one kayak in J-cradle position (up to 80 lbs) or two kayaks in vertical position (up to 110 lbs). The carrier also folds down for easy storage or transport. In addition, it comes with bow/ stern tie-downs and heavy duty straps. It also has padded contact points for superior grip and protection. Furthermore, it is SKS crossbars lockable for added security.
1. HandiRack Universal Inflatable Soft Roof Rack Bars (Pair); Tie-Downs and Bow and Stern Lines Included; Carries Kayaks, Canoes, Surfboards and SUPs
The kayak carrier for car features rust-resistant metal construction for increased durability and foam cushioned bars for protection of vehicle and kayak. In addition, it measures 14.6″L x 7.4″W x 5.7″H and has a load capacity of up to 175 lbs. It also comes with airless all-terrain solid rubber tires with double leg kickstand. Moreover, it is easy to assemble or disassemble and folds down to a compact size for convenient storage or transportation.
These are the top 10 best kayak carriers for car in 2022 reviews. We have highlighted the outstanding features of each kayak carrier to help you choose the one you like the most. With the amazing features, these carriers are highly recommended. Get one today!
Questions & Answers:
1. What types of kayak racks are there?
There are generally 4 types of kayak racks to choose from – J-Cradles, Saddles, Stackers, and Temporary Pads. Familiarize yourself with each one of them in accordance with the type of kayak you have and the type of vehicle on which you will be transporting it.
The J-Cradles is perhaps the most sought-after kayak roof rack on the market due to its versatile shape. This rack has a side-loading mechanism that clears up space for you to place other items on the roof. If you have the right support system, you can quickly load and unload your kayak and reap all the benefits of this secure and stable option. For a narrow roof, however, this type of roof rack is not optimal.
The saddle roof rack is the perfect choice for those planning on transporting one kayak at a time. It involves either a single cradle or two interconnected cradles that can be adjusted according to the width of your vehicle’s roof. As this type of a roof rack offers a large surface area for your water gear, it works great even in the stormiest weather conditions when safety is at stake.
For transporting multiple kayaks at the same time, consider looking into the Stacker roof rack. Unlike other supporting tools that hold your kayaks horizontally, this one holds your kayaks vertically and on their sides. As a result, you have more space for fitting several kayaks instead of just one. With the correct installation, you won’t have to worry about your equipment slipping off during the transportation process.
The easiest kayak racks to install and remove are hands down the temporary pads. They consist of straps that can be placed around the inside and the outside of your car’s roof that are designed to securely hold your gear. These straightforward racks have foam or inflatable padding attached to them, which makes them the most favorable variant for short trips.
2. What should I take into consideration before purchasing a kayak rack?
Frankly, there are a couple of points you have to pay attention to before you commit to purchasing a kayak roof rack. They comprise the number of transportable kayaks, the type of vehicle, the rack’s material, and the cross bar system.
Although it goes without saying that the bigger the number of kayaks you are planning on transporting, the bigger the dimensions of the kayak rack should be, outdoor enthusiasts still make the mistake of shoving too many kayaks in relatively small racks. You should always keep in mind that it is better not to take your chances and risk loading your car’s roof with a multitude of kayaks in hopes that you will be able to safely transport them. Road hazards happen more often than you would think, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Small cars will fit one to two kayaks, while the bigger vehicles will certainly be able to accommodate a couple more kayaks. It is recommended for you to take the necessary measurement of your vehicle’s roof before you research the roof rack that will handle multiple kayaks with no issues.
Ensuring the quality of the kayak rack’s material is high is just as important as purchasing the tool in the right size. Aluminum and plastic fasteners should not be exploited by kayakers in any circumstances in order to avoid unexpected detachments. It is better to invest in a more expensive model made of steel and coated with a rust-free layer that will eliminate the risk of accidents on the road.
Not every vehicle has a cross bar system installed onto its roof that is required for the rack attachment. If yours doesn’t, you will have to purchase the cross bar system that will be compatible with the roof rack you are planning on using. For vertical transportation of the water gear, make sure your rack’s height is in line with the roof’s height to avoid any loading or unloading challenges.
3. How many kayaks fit on a roof rack?
Standards roof racks can comfortably fit 2 kayaks that are further fastened for security purposes. This capacity is the most common on the market and is the one preferred by the majority. That being said, there are roof racks that can fit up to 4 kayaks, particularly those stored sideways and in the vertical position.
Some argue that you can squeeze an extra kayak or two in the regular 2-kayak roof racks, but we don’t recommend taking this risk. Surely, there are additional fasteners you can purchase to tie down more kayaks, but while it may go well the first time, there is no guarantee you won’t damage your water gear along the way.
4. How do I tie down my kayak to the roof rack?
Nine out of ten times the manufacturer includes the tie-down instructions for you to follow when securing your kayak to the roof rack. They specify where anchor points are located so that you securely attach your equipment via a simple loop that goes around the kayak’s body. Your kayak should be tight enough to not slip off while you are driving, yet not too tight so that it can do severe damage to the boat.
To strap the kayak by its front and back, tie the bow to the hooks of the tow and repeat the same steps for the stern line. Installing a hitch might help in securing the stern line and achieving the right balance of your boat when on the roof. Note that any loose ends have to be tied up in a couple of knots in order for them to not get caught during the transportation process and cause your boat to flee.
5. How do I load my kayak onto the roof rack?
You might think that it’s impossible to load your kayak onto the roof rack without assistance, but with guidelines from the product creators, it is completely doable. The most often met sliding bar comes in handy as it takes the weight of the kayak off your body during loading. This bar can then be put back in place once the gear is loaded and the kayak securely fastened to the roof.
If you don’t find the lift assist system installed into the rack, you will have to take on the task of lifting the equipment yourself. Check for the kayak to be free from water and other gear before you load it up onto the roof. You can place a sheet on the car’s roof to avoid scratches during the loading process. Once your kayak is on top of the vehicle, follow the tie-down instructions from the manufacturer and you will be good to go.
6. How do I safely transport multiple kayaks?
The more kayaks you transport, the more careful you have to be with securely loading them into the roof rack. You must have a good number of fasteners and ropes to tie your gear down as well as you can. When driving, it makes sense to go slower than usual if you know that you have got multiple pieces of equipment attached to your vehicle. We recommend you avoid highways at all costs and not undertake any overtaking maneuvers in order to steer clear from any potential accidents.
If you already have a kayak rack or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.