Exploring waterways with a kayak is an exciting way to get close to nature. With the incredible sights to behold in the great lakes, rivers, or coastal waterways, your adrenaline will keep pumping. To transport your kayak safely and securely when traveling, you will need a dependable rack. This article will review the Best Kayak Truck Racks available right now to transport your kayaks on your truck.
This heavy-duty truck bed rack by YAKIMA is perfect for people who mount large equipment on their vehicles, such as surfboards, bikes, rooftop tents, lumber, kayaks, canoes, and more. The first thing you’ll notice with the Overhaul HD rack is its price, which is higher than others on the list. This is due to the high-quality materials used in its construction, making it targeted at people who do not mind spending 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.
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 two 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 that it’s roof-mounted, unlike other racks that also work on the truck bed.
The TMS Heavy Duty Truck Rack is an ideal choice for those looking for a rack that can handle heavy-duty loads during outdoor adventures. With a load capacity of up to 800 lbs, it is capable of transporting larger and longer items such as ladders, poles, pipes, pool equipment, and even watercraft such as kayaks and canoes. The rack is highly adjustable and sturdy with a width that can be adjusted from 5 ft to 7 ft. While the only drawback is the need to drill two holes in the truck, it is a perfect companion for outdoor travel.
The MaxxHaul 70231 Heavy Duty Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender is a heavy-duty hitch mount and truck bed extender that effectively extends the length of the truck bed, allowing you to carry longer payloads such as ladders, racks, pipes, lumbers, and even kayaks and canoes. It is made from heavy-duty steel and can carry a load of up to 375 lbs. The adjustable length and width of the extender provide versatility for a range of different applications, and it comes equipped with reflective strips for added safety during long travel.
Mrhardware offers a heavy-duty kayak rack made from an all-steel design with adjustable padding to protect your watercraft. The rack comes in two pairs, making it an affordable solution for carrying your equipment when traveling outdoors. The security features of this kayak rack include 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 makes loading and unloading quicker and easier, and the racks are water, sun, and weather resistant, ensuring long-term use.
The Best Marine and Outdoors Folding Kayak Roof Rack is a sturdy and secure roof rack designed to transport watercraft equipment such as kayaks, paddleboards, and surfboards easily and safely. Made from rust-resistant steel, the rack includes rubber padding to keep your equipment in place and comes with everything you need to set it up on your vehicle, including tie-down straps and safety ropes. Its collapsible function makes it a convenient alternative for those who don’t want to install and remove racks after use.
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 for installation, without the need to drill any holes that could damage your truck. The rack is easy to install and remove, taking only 10 minutes after the initial assembly that should take up to 3 hours.
It is equipped with rubber padding with custom-designed bolts for added security, while the structures are covered with foam padding and a rubber base cover made of real rubber and foam, making it anti-slip, water, and sun-resistant. The heavy-duty ratchet straps can hold canoes up to 16 ft. long, or up to 2,200 lbs, and can easily hold a couple of kayaks with ease.
The KITOOLBASE Soft Roof Rack pads are suitable for any type of vehicle, including sedans, SUVs, or trucks. This universal watercraft car rack can conveniently transport sports and leisure equipment such as kayaks, canoes, and other bulky items like ladders, pipes, skis, and furniture from a retail store. The roof rack pads are equipped with tie-down straps, anti-slip mats to reduce noise and vibration, and 2-adjustable roof rack straps with cam locks to provide a tight and secure grip on your load. It is easy to install and remove without drilling and is foldable for storage.
The Onefeng Sports Kayak Saddle is a durable aluminum frame decked with rubber pads to prevent scratches and damage to your watercraft and vehicle. 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 and is capable of holding up to 135 lbs. with a soft rubber cover surrounding cam lock to prevent scratches on the paint. However, it requires crossbars or round pipes to be pre-installed on your truck.
The CG-902 Cargo Rack by Bully is made from durable heavy-duty materials and can withstand wear and tear for years. It is perfect for carrying multiple canoes, kayaks, other watercraft, or any large items such as ladders, furniture, and appliances. The rack is easy to install and fully adjustable 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. It is 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.