Exploring waterways with your kayak is a fun and exciting way to get intimate with nature. There’s always a sight to behold in the great lakes, rivers, or coastal waterways that always keeps your adrenaline pumping. In order for you to do so, you’ll need a safe and secure way to bring along your watercraft when traveling. In this list, we’ll be reviewing the 10 best products available right now to transport your kayaks with. Continue reading to know the perfect kayak rack for your truck!
- 0.1 YAKIMA Overhaul HD Heavy Duty Truck Bed Rack
- 0.2 IKURAM R 4-in-1 Roof Carrier Rack
- 0.3 TMS 800 Lbs. Heavy Duty Truck Rack
- 0.4 MaxxHaul 70231 Heavy Duty Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender
- 0.5 Mrhardware 2 Pairs Heavy Duty Kayak Rack
- 0.6 Best Marine and Outdoors Folding Kayak Roof Rack
- 0.7 AA-Racks Model X35 Kayak J-Racks & Truck Rack
- 0.8 KITOOLBASE Soft Roof Rock Pads
- 0.9 Onefeng Sports Kayak Saddle
- 0.10 Bully CG-902 Cargo Rack
- 1 BUYING GUIDE
- 2 FAQs
YAKIMA Overhaul HD Heavy Duty Truck Bed Rack
This heavy-duty truck bed rack by YAKIMA is perfect for people who mount large equipment on their vehicles like surfboards, bikes, rooftop tents, lumber, kayaks, canoes, and more. The first thing you’ll notice with the Overhaul HD rack is it’s pricier than others on the list. This is because of the high-quality materials used in the constructions making it targeted for people who don’t mind spending an extra for their rack installation. The rack has a maximum on-road rating of 500 lbs. and 300 lbs. for off-road.
The rack is adjustable between 19-30” with integrated tie-down points to easily secure any load. There are also T-slot attachments to add more gear mounts as needed in a quick and simple way. The beams of the rack are coated with a powder-coat finish that’s built to last for a long time. YAKIMA is well known in the community for being really well built so don’t be surprised if the rack outlives your truck and gets mounted on your new vehicle. It’s a great investment for people who often go on adventures as you’ll really get the most out of your money with this truck rack.
IKURAM R 4-in-1 Roof Carrier Rack
The IKURAM R 4-in-1 roof carrier rack is made from high-quality anodized aluminum alloys that are lightweight, durable, and rust-resistant. It’s water and corrosion proof so that you can re-use it every year to save money in the long run. The roof carrier rack accommodates kayaks up to 42” wide and up to 158 lbs. of weight. The rack can fit round, square, and oval-shaped cross rails quickly and easily. The heavy-duty straps have a break strength of up to 750 lbs. due to their oversized and all-weather-resistant rubber saddles. This security feature provides maximum protection for kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and more to prevent your equipment from getting damaged while on the road.
This carrier rack comes with a quick fold-down design for a quick-raise/quick-fold action when not in use. The convenient front release handle also increases the head clearance while the J-bar can lock at different angles to suit different kayak shapes and sizes. It’s possible to carry up to 2 kayaks with this carrier rack making it an ideal choice for adventurers who love going with their partners. The only drawback of the rack is its roof-mounted, unlike other racks that also work on the truck bed.
TMS 800 Lbs. Heavy Duty Truck Rack
If you’re looking for a truck rack for heavy-duty loading during your adventures and travels, then this one’s for you. The TMS heavy-duty truck rack is designed to haul bigger and longer items than your average pick-up truck bed. It’s the perfect rack for transporting ladders, poles, pipes, pool equipment, and watercrafts such as canoes, kayaks, and more. The 2 set of racks is highly adjustable and sturdy. It’s capable of up to 800 lbs. of weight capacity so you won’t have to worry about your large items falling out while traveling. The width is adjustable from 5 ft. to 7ft. so attaching longer items is secure and convenient.
The rack comes with 8 bolts and screws, and another 2 bolts and screws for each rack during purchase. The only drawback of the rack is you’ll have to drill two holes on the truck itself which can be a deal-breaker to some. Otherwise, if your truck is a dedicated vehicle for outdoor travel, then this rack is the perfect companion for your adventures.
MaxxHaul 70231 Heavy Duty Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender
The MaxxHaul 70231 heavy-duty hitch mount and truck bed extender effectively extends your truck bed for carrying longer payloads like ladders, racks, long pipes, lumbers, canoes, kayaks, and more. The adjustable length and width of the extender provide adventurers the versatility they need for a lot of different applications. The extender weighs 34.5 lbs. and has a load-carrying capacity of up to 375 lbs. The extender is made from heavy-duty steel and is equipped with reflective strips on the side and rear for added safety during long travel.
The quick pins are easy to assemble and install making the extender usable for vertical or horizontal mounting. The side arms of this truck bed extender can also be folded down to create a makeshift work area when you’re outdoors. The truck bed extender is available in 2 sizes from 37x19x3” or 53.2×17.2×2.5” depending on your needs. It’s one of the more affordable extenders you can buy right now making this an ideal rack for people on a budget.
Mrhardware 2 Pairs Heavy Duty Kayak Rack
Mrhardware offers a heavy-duty kayak rack that comes in 2 pairs for a simple and low-cost solution to your carrying concerns when traveling outdoors. The rack is made from an all-steel design with adjustable padding for enhanced carrying strength and protection to your watercraft. The security features of this kayak rack is a 10 ft. long ratchet rope, and a 1” wide 10 ft. long blue belt buckle with up to 600 lbs. of break strength. The J-Bar meanwhile offers easier loading and unloading for a quick on/off experience.
The racks are made up of 1.5mm thick steel tubing that holds small to large kayaks with ease. It’s bigger and more stable compared to other racks on the market with additional fixed points to make it more solid. The rack can even hold boats because of its sturdy construction. Moreover, the rack is water, sun, and weather resistant ensuring it will be for use in a long time. The pair is easy to install and should fit most factory or aftermarket squares and flat crossbars making it the perfect companion for people who like to bring their equipment during vacations and road trips.
Best Marine and Outdoors Folding Kayak Roof Rack
The Best Marine and Outdoors Folding Kayak roof rack is designed to transport your watercraft equipment like kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards in an easy and safe manner whether you’re traveling for one mile or for a hundred. The sturdy design and security features of the roof rack ensure your gear stays on top of the vehicle so that you and your other passengers remain safe during long hours of travel. The rack is very sturdy as it’s made of rust-resistant steel. There’s also rubber padding on the frame that is soft and durable to keep your kayak or other watercraft in place.
Buying this product includes everything you need in order to set it up on your vehicle. It also comes with instructions as well as the hardware needed for installation like tie-down straps and safety ropes to the front and back for extra insurance. The roof rack has a collapsible function making it one of the convenient alternatives for people who don’t like installing racks and then taking it down after use which can be a hassle for some. Like the MaxxHaul truck extender, it’s a cheap and affordable roof rack for everyone who loves to travel and enjoy the open sea.
AA-Racks Model X35 Kayak J-Racks & Truck Rack
The Model X35 Truck Rack by AA-Racks is an all-in-one adventure bundle that can strap up to 2 Kayaks for you and your partner. The set includes everything you need in installing a rack without having to drill up any holes that may damage your truck. The setup is very easy to install as well as take down in a quick and simple manner. Initial assembly should take up to 3 hours but once it’s done, installation and removal should just take up to 10 minutes. It’s equipped with rubber padding with custom-designed bolts for added security. The structures meanwhile are covered with foam padding and a rubber base cover made of real rubber and foam. It’s anti-slip, water, and sun resistant ensuring the rack will stay with you for a long time.
The heavy-duty ratchet straps can hold Canoes up to 16 ft. long, or up to 2,200 lbs. It can easily hold a couple of Kayak’s with ease but you’ll have to do a bit of contorting to strap all the Kayak’s in. There are also tie-down straps and adjustable rope hangers for safe transport every time.
KITOOLBASE Soft Roof Rock Pads
The KITOOLBASE Soft Roof Rack pads are suitable for any type of vehicle. Whether you’re driving a sedan, SUV, or truck, this universal watercraft car rack is convenient and practical for transporting sports and leisure equipment. It’s compatible with 2-door, 3-door, 4-door, or even 5-door vehicles and has been tested on many car brands to carry kayaks, canoes, and other items where you want to go. The roof rack is equipped with tie-down straps which also makes it a good choice for bringing other bulky items such as ladders, pipes, skis, and even large furniture when you shop from a retail store.
The roof rack pads also come with a fixed anti-slip mat to reduce noise and vibration when you’re driving. The feature connects your roof rack to your kayak if you have a vehicle without a rail system to reduce wind noise. Each rack is also fitted with 2-adjustable roof rack straps with cam locks to provide a tight and secure grip on your load. The removable roof rack is very easy to install and remove as you do not have to do any drilling. It’s also foldable so you can just un-strap it and clean it after use then store it into its attached storage bag.
Onefeng Sports Kayak Saddle
The Onefeng Sports Kayak Saddle is made from a durable aluminum frame decked with rubber pads to prevent scratches and damage to your watercraft and your car. The superior stainless hardware material Onefeng used to construct the saddle provides superior security on your load for every season you decide to go on a trip. The saddle can fit any watercraft due to its versatile 180-degree adjustable angle making it easy to load your boat, ski, kayak, canoes, and more from both sides of your vehicle.
The roof rack system attaches and detaches in seconds. It’s also capable of holding up to 135 lbs. so you can comfortably fit your kayak or canoe. There’s also a soft rubber cover surrounding cam lock to prevent scratches on the paint. The only drawback of this saddle is you need to have a crossbar or round pipes already installed on your truck so you need to invest in those if you haven’t already.
Bully CG-902 Cargo Rack
The CG-902 Cargo Rack by Bully is last but certainly not the least of the best kayak truck racks you can buy right now. This cargo rack is perfect for trips and vacations to offer an incredible amount of storage space when traveling long distances. The rack is made from durable heavy-duty materials that can withstand wear and tear for years ensuring you’ll be using this rack for a long time. It’s an ideal rack for carrying multiple canoes, kayaks, other watercraft, or any large items such as ladders, furniture, appliances, and more.
The rack installs quickly and easily allowing you to add a solid and temporary cargo space in minutes. The crossbar is fully adjustable and furnished with a powder coat finish to protect from all weather conditions. It has a formidable carrying capacity of up to 500 lbs. making it possible to load 5 kayaks in one truck if you’ll be traveling along with your friends. Overall, it’s a great cargo rack for its price making it an ideal choice for people who kayak in groups.
There are a lot of rack types for your truck with different features and specifications you should be aware of. The racks are categorized into three main types such as roof-mounted, lumber-style, as well as bed extenders. Roof-mounted racks are ideal for casual kayakers as they’re the easiest to install among the three as you can remove them when not in use. These racks require existing crossbars or factory racks to work properly. So if your vehicle doesn’t have one yet, then you’ll have to make additional investments.
Lumber-style racks meanwhile are a more permanent solution as it mounts to the sides of your truck. You usually have to drill holes on the sides to provide a raised structure to support large items like canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and more. This is ideal for people who regularly travel outdoors or transport large items not related to kayaking like ladders, lumber, long PVC piping, and more.
Lastly, bed-extenders are probably the best style of the three if safety and security is your priority. You can secure your kayak without lifting it above your head to secure it on top of your truck making it safe and reliable. Bed-extenders are easy to install and also easy to remove and can be stored behind your truck when not in use.
Along with the rack type, safety should be your number one priority when choosing the right truck rack for your watercraft. Look for a rack that ensures your equipment stays in place when driving outdoors. Another plus is if it can protect your equipment from the wind, rain, and sun during long-distance travel. Look for racks with extra features like vertical supports, tie-down loops, and other harnesses to make your kayak safe and secure on your truck.
As a general rule, ensure that your rack is capable of holding 100 lbs. more than the actual weight of your kayaks to ensure it will be able to support the weight of your equipment and other items you plan to load. Weigh your kayak before buying a kayak rack so you don’t unnecessarily purchase the wrong product.
How safe are kayak truck racks?
Whether you’re using a roof-mounted, lumber-style, or bed-extender rack for your kayak, as long as the rack fits nicely on your vehicle, then you shouldn’t have any problems in terms of safety. It’s also best to make sure your watercraft is tied securely and you don’t drive too fast when traveling.
How many kayaks can a rack hold?
The amount of kayaks you can load on your truck rack depends on the capacity of the rack you just bought. Be prepared to spend more if you intend to bring more than one kayak on your track as they tend to be pricier than the standard truck racks available online.