Picking up the best kayak carrier at your local store is one thing but how you can get it to transport to places safely is another thing. Pretty much every individual does not live near the area where kayaking activity is possible and in most cases, people have to go on a little ride to get to the best water sports areas or remote locations. Considering the size of kayaks in general, it’s not likely to stuff them inside your car or even in the trunk. You can always buy loads of ropes and strap the boat to the roof of the vehicle but chances are you’ll probably damage the thing and the roof too in the process.
New Kayakers might be wondering if those things are safe and can prevent their equipment to fly off during transportation. Another question that might likely pop into your head, if you are a newbie in this thing is that how you are going to lift the kayak off your vehicle and onto the ground without actually damaging it. That’s when kayak roof racks or kayak carriers come in handy—but this particular Kayaking gear comes in many choices on the market. This article will help you make an educated decision by the time you’ve read all the way through.
Top-Rated Kayak Carriers
Below are the ultimate lists of the highly recommended Kayaking gears that you should own for achieving the best experience every single time!
Rola (59912) J Style
We are starting off with the kayak roof that can stand the test of time. It’s made from powder steel and the construction of this gear screams longevity and high durability. The manufacturer has assured that every product is made to withstand tougher conditions. Even if you leave this equipment in bad weather, you should never worry for it is protected against corrosion and rust. Add to that this model also comes with appropriate foam padding so it’s thoroughly protected. However, if you want to be a 100% sure then simply frequent saltwater locations. This rack is specifically built to be able to hold anything tiny vessels as small as solo kayaks to even bigger things like sea kayaks.
The Rola 59912 J Style features a few securing options as well which includes tie-downs and heavy-duty straps for both the stern and the bow. They are specially designed to be able to take the weight of kayak of any size or shape. To sweeten the deal, even more, you’ll love the fact that this kayak roof rack is not only compatible with Rola crossbars but with practically every crossbar that you can attach to the roof of your vehicle.
Rhino-Rack Folding J Style S512
If you want to save a little space on the roof of your vehicle for other stuff then invest in this equipment for your Kayaking equipment. This kayak carrier is designed to strap your boat on the side so that you can have more room for another watercraft to be mounted. It also has universal fitment so that it can be compatible with all current roof rack systems. Furthermore, this product also comes with all the required accessories to get you started without any hassle, i.e. stainless steel hardware, two cradles, rubber tube padding as well as four ties down straps.
What’s more, this kayak gear comes completely assembled so you don’t need to spend more time to install it. When it comes to design, this roof rack features steel tubing with coating protection. It also has a built-in cradle where you can store the paddles.
AA Products Steel Double Folding J-Bar
To keep it straight to the point, each J-Bar is capable to fold down so that you can easily fit the car in the parking garage and save you the trouble from removing the gear beforehand thanks to the double folding feature this equipment has. Moreover, the rubber base cover and the foam padding are all made of real rubber and foam. Not only are they anti-slip but they are also genuinely sun and water resistant. It’s because the product is coated with an epoxy powder that’s guaranteed to be weather resistant.
The manufacturer also makes sure that everyone has no problem with using it. You need to simply attach the Carrier to Vault Cargo roof rack rails and voila! You’ve got yourself an easy kayak transportation solution. This J-Bar Style racks can hold up a boat weighing up to 250 pounds. You can use it to carry many different items as well including canoes, skis, snowboards, paddleboards and many other outdoor gears. Bottom line, this carrier is very versatile and worth investing in.
Fedar Universal J-Bar Crossbar
This item comes with an adjustable arm that allows you to suit your kayak hull from 0 up to 180-degree adjustment. Whatever side you want to secure your boat on, this roof rack can handle it. Add to that it only occupies little space on the load bar. You should never worry about damaging the paint on your kayak every again for the Rubber pad and foam pads attached to this gear are sure-fire signs to prevent that from happening.
The lock system of this product has undergone impressive improvement and you can be sure that the carrier is held securely in a specified angle. The weight capacity of this product is 150 pounds and while the figure is smaller than the previous one but overall this item is a great discount alternative for a folding rack system. The package does not come with any directions but it should be no problem for the equipment is extremely easy to install even for a newbie who has never done it before.
TMS Two Pairs J-Bar Rack HD Crossbar
If you don’t want to blow your budget for a Kayaking gear but still want the good stuff then consider the TMS Two Pairs J-Bar Rack HD Crossbar. The item can impressively hold your kayak securely for a surprisingly long distance. The rack can boar the boat up to 36 inches wide and 75 pounds.
Compatibility of this item is satisfactory and even if you have troubles fitting the boat which is not aberrant as different kayaks have different dimensions, you can simply solve it by adding custom brackets to achieve exact adjustment. The product is pretty durable and is resistant to rust. What most people about this gear is that it saves a lot of space on the roof of their vehicles so they can mount other watercraft if they want to. This is definitely the ideal deal for a kayak rack if you don’t want to spend too much but still want decent service.
Malone Auto Racks Malone Stax Pro2
This product offers you the option of carrying up to two kayaks in a secure and safe way. This item works like an upright bar and it carries your boats on their sides. It is compatible with aftermarket load or factory oval bars. This Stax Pro2 carrier features the latest technology in the vertical fold down carrier design along with Malone’s new foam stacker blocks, speaking of which it is very handy in stabilizing the kayaks during tie down and cushioning it during transport.
Rest assured that you will get your money worth for the package includes all the hardware, safety tie-downs, straps as well as blocks to carry two kayaks. This product combines the convenience of fold down technology, the value of a stacker as well as the cushioning boat protection. With its octagonal aluminum posts as well as injection molded nylon platforms, you will achieve maximum stability easily. Consumers are offered with a lifetime warranty for optimum satisfaction.
Yakima Jaylow Kayak Carrier
Those who don’t want to deal with uninstalling the carrier every time they go into the parking garage need to consider this product by Yakima. The item is able to fold down for clearance and you can even mount up to two boats on the roof of your vehicle. You can install this roof rack without the help of tools. Features included in this carrier include a rubber end which allows the straps to attach to the kayak in order to prevent it to flap around, the padded contact points that protect both your car and your kayak against any scratch damages as well as two tie downs that help with securing the boat.
J-cradles are the most popular carrier for kayaks for they generally look secure and sturdy, which they really are. You will be surprised at how much greater the kayak gets the support with this rack of this particular type. It requires low maintenance while being simultaneously easy to fit. The fact that it also has multiple settings makes it compatible to use with lots of a wide range of different roof racks.
JDM Auto Lights 2 pair Universal Top Mount Carrier
This is the roof rack for you if you are on the hunt for convenient and durable service. As a matter of fact, this roof rack product by JDM Auto Lights is making a name for itself in the roof carrier market. This item is designed using heavy duty steel material ensuring long-term service. Though it may sound like a heavy setup no worries for the item literally weighs less than 17 lbs each. Add to that you can make sure it will never rust or even corrode thanks to the rust-resistant material coating the carrier.
Whether you need a carrier for small or large load, this product is available and useful for both. It stems from the fact that this item has a very unique design so you can achieve easy portability of kayaks with various sizes. This model features wide mouth J-Bar that allows for a quick offloading and loading of the boat. This item can also suit the SUVs roof easily thanks to the universal fit adjustment that this rack has.
Sportrack Mooring Kayak SUP Carrier
This carrier is versatile in that you can carry a single kayak in a J style position or on the flat position. You can carry two kayaks if you set them on the edge in a stacker style. This rack has the ability to mount a SUP board as well onto its system providing the center post is folded down. With such 4 in 1 ability, you can have it all together with one single carrier.
The manufacturer designs this model with the universal style of mounting hardware so users can have the flexibility to attach it onto different crossbar systems. The Mooring carrier can mount up to 3,5” crossbar in width. The front and rear of your kayak can be secured with the bow and stern straps that are featured in this roof rack. The item has equally standup and kayaks paddle boards in various configurations so you have the freedom to develop the space on the roof of your vehicle.
CargoLoc 2 Piece Universal Mounted Carrier
Having a 150 lbs load capacity, this roof rack is also lockable, providing you with optimal security. The manufacturer has formed a collaboration with world-class webbing mills to design top-notch webbing in their products. It features clamps adjustment so the rack can be attached to existing rooftop side rails. Just like the rest of the kayak carrier products in this list, this item is designed to have universal application ability so whatever type of vehicle you own, be relieved that this carrier can fit on the rooftop of your car. It even fits most vehicles with rooftop cross bars whose side rails are raised as well.
The other components included in the packaging are carrier straps. The easy installation that comes with this product is one of the great things that makes this carrier stand out. In fact, people are always getting blown away at how easy it is to install these things.
Thule Hull Port Rooftop Carrier
This is another J-cradle roof rack that is worth buying. This item fits all Thule rack systems with most factory racks and round bars. It features stern tie downs, two ratcheting bow as well as straps. The buckle protectors make sure that damage will not occur both to the boat and to the car. Loading your kayak is easy with this carrier. It has a PFD lever which stands for folded, pulled, and done that allows for easy overhead clearance. The carrier can be folded down when it is not in use. This does not only provide more overhead clearance but also increase fuel economy.
If you are looking for a rooftop carrier that can fit most sea and whitewater kayaks, then this is the item you should consider. Thule Hull Port are padded to cradle your boat gently, ensuring no scratch damage whatsoever. When it comes to longevity of this product, the item is coated with the rust-resistant coating and the steel design is injected with injected molded nylon.
Direct Aftermarket Universal Double Carrier
Direct Aftermarket Universal Carrier is the highly sought-after double kayak roof rack on the market right now. For starters, it has rubberized base and foam cushioned arms so you have better protection to your boat. It has higher load capacity and the rack can work with most crossbars so the versatility is intact. This is a high-quality kayak gear for the frames of this item is weather resistant.
The package includes two pairs of a carrier so if you happen to have two kayaks then you don’t need to buy more roof rack and spend more money on it. This product is also suitable to carry practically any other stuff such as canoes, surfboards, wakeboards and any other open-air gears. additionally, this model is very rugged. It has heavy obligation epoxy powder that covers the outline of the steel material. Its heap limit is literally 250 pounds. This kayak transporter can fit most OEM production line as well as reseller’s exchange introduced level, square and oval crossbars.
Car Rack Carriers Universal Foldable Carrier
The last item from our best kayak carrier list comes from Car Rack & Carriers. This item comes with two racks that can be folded. Each J-Bar has the ability to fold down so your car can fit in the parking garage without any hassle. It consists of the heavy-duty aluminum construction of 1,5 mm steel tube design. The padding is extremely adjustable for optimum strength and protection. The two soft cushions attached to each bar are useful in preventing your kayak from rubbing. No need to be a pro in order to use this item.
The Car Rack Carriers Universal Foldable carrier provides you with a sturdy and reliable anchor point. This item will not yield and surely will be with you for a very long time. The on and off hardware allows you to top mount your kayak pretty quick and make sure fast loading and offloading. If you want to make sure you put your money for a good bargain then this is the carrier you should go for.
Your Guide to Buy a Kayak Carrier
What People Are Saying
Based on all the consumer reviews, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff.
- They are able to load 4 full-size sea kayaks without any hassle
- The carriers are all very durable and do not damage easily. Add to that the paint on their boats do not come off or are not rubbed off
- Easy installation despite having no instruction at all, the task of loading and offloading the kayak is also a breeze as well
- The ability to be folded down when not in use provides great versatility.
- The products are all able to hold up nicely, despite having been left in any kind of weather for months
Kayak Carrier Pros and Cons
Of course, having a kayak roof rack is meant to make your kayak transportation easy but the benefits of purchasing a kayak carrier are so much more than that. Below are the reasons why investing in a kayak rack is worth it.
- You can go anywhere you want. You have the freedom to tour all kinds of waters far and near. All you need to do is load your kayak and tie it down and then you are ready to hit the open road!
- This particular kayaking gear keeps your car and your kayak safe. Kayak carriers, in general, are built to protect your vehicle and your kayak. Regardless if you are on a desolate windy backroad or on a fast-moving highway, your kayak will remain secure in place.
- This is a more affordable and convenient alternative than buying a kayak trailer. A kayak trailer is only convenient when you need to transport multiple boats. They are not an ideal choice because they are basically bulkier, costlier and have special registration requirements you need to go through. Add to that your vehicle will need a tow package along with the towing capacity to haul a trailer. That sounds like a lot of work. Pass!
- The roof rack is not only useful for carrying your kayak. This thing actually serves several purposes as well such as securing a waterproof cargo bag for your camping gear. You can also this carrier to transport your skis, bikes or surfboard. What a versatile stuff!
- These items are easy to store. Choose one that has the ability to fold down the bars so you can store it somewhere else when not in use. Moreover, foldable carriers take up less space and are less noticeable too.
Nevertheless, there always seems to be conned in everything, isn’t there? This particular kayaking gear is no different. While it is no secret that this stuff offers you with many hassle-free possibilities and are obviously helpful gears, but there are some things that you might not like about having these roof racks.
- If you have a kayak carrier whose bars cannot be folded down then you will have to do extra work when parking your vehicle because you have to uninstall the kayak from the carrier before you can fit your car inside the garage.
- It may take up extra work for securing or loading as well. it’s vital to know the correct techniques for loading kayaks and their gear on top of your car in order to avoid injury and damage to your vehicle and possibly other vehicles too along with your kayak. That’s why you should want to always make sure there will never be any system fails due to improper set-up.
Useful Tips for Shoppers
Knowing what brand of Kayak roof rack is worth buying for is not enough to help you get the best kayak. You must know every aspect that should be taken into account when buying this particular gear.
- Consider the weight and loading technique of each item. Kayaks that weigh more than 33 lbs must be loaded from the rear. Furthermore, longer kayaks are generally easier to load from the rear while smaller ones are much easier to load from the side. Additionally, the orientation you want to let your boat rest on should be regarded as well, i.e. on the keel, on gunnels or on the side.
- The number of kayaks you plan to carry must be considered. Do you want to transport two boat side by side, resting on their keels or you want to carry just one kayak? This should be well thought out along with the position you want to rest the boat in.
- The safety and law are other important things needed to be taken care of. You should put up warning flags at the front and rear if you plan to have longer loads. The straps on the carrier are probably the most essential things of this kind of item. They must be able to secure your kayaks either for a longer road trip or for a short one as well as if you plan to hit loads of bumpy roads along the way.
- Understand the type of kayak racks. There are four styles available, i.e. stackers, J cradles, temporary pads, and saddles. Make sure you understanding every merit of these types and meet your needs.
Why Kayak Carrier Is Worthy
Imagine when your car trunk isn’t enough space. Of course, when you want to go picnic, you need to store many kinds of stuff there and make it full. No space left which makes you feel difficult to save your Kayak. Of course, you don’t want to go to the beach without Kayak, do you? Kayak carrier takes a role for this one. It is really helpful and most of them are sold at the affordable price.
Because of its practical feature, having this stuff helps you bring more than one Kayak. But for this type, the price might be higher. Then, having a Kayak carrier will not scratch your car paint because we know that when you carry your Kayak above your car without a carrier, or just using a tail, perhaps it will scratch your car paint. Having Kayak carrier saves this.
Kayak carrier is placed perfectly on your car’s crossbar which makes it tight and prevents from the slip. Thanks for the lock feature which makes Kayak is placed tightly so you don’t feel anxious when bringing Kayak on the road, it still stands in the place it should be. The last reason why Kayak carrier is recommended because of its removable feature. You can easily take it off from the carrier. Just easy and need no longer time to release. Well, why you don’t try having this one.
Your kayaking adventures should be ones that you will always enjoy. Picking out the best kayak carrier is just as important as picking out the best kayak itself. By having an ideal kayak rack that meets your needs, you can achieve a secure and stable ride every time! No need to worry about rubbing off the paint on your kayak or damaging your vehicle. Go for one that is definitely hassling free when loading and off-loading your kayak. This is especially a must option if you are one who loves Kayaking.