Best Kayak Roof Racks | Recommended By An Expert

Transporting a kayak by your car can damage the kayak if you don’t tie down the kayak securely and safely in the car and that’s why you need a kayak roof rack that cradles the kayak comfortably by securing it from being displaced and damaged. Most of the people want weekend fun and if you want to have fun by kayaking or kayak fishing, then you should have a pair of kayak racks as transporting a kayak without kayak racks is not a safe way. All of the kayak roof racks are not same in design as there are many manufacturers that invented different style racks that cradle the kayak differently.

In truth, it doesn’t matter what kind of rack you choose, but you have to ensure it cradles the kayak safely and securely even without giving a scratch. I found many different designs, but I picked here only the 9 best kayak roof racks from different models that can carry your kayak with an optimal safety.


Things You May Consider

Durability: No matter which kayak rack you like most, if it is not durable and hasn’t enough capacity to carry your kayak, then your kayak in risk during transport. That’s why if you choose a J style kayak, make sure the frame is made of high quality steel or aluminum and has enough capacity to carry your kayak. Moreover, with checking the material of the rack’s construction also make sure it is corrosion resistant. Because, a non corroded kayak rack longevities its lifetime.

Paddings: The rubber and foam paddings not only help to strongly tie down the kayak, but also it protects the kayak’s hull from any damage and scratch. Because the paddings give a cushioned support on the edge of kayak after tying it down by the straps. Even if you get to drive your car through the rough roads, there won’t have any effect on your kayak.

How Many Kayaks The Rack Can Hold?: Most of the racks are designed to carry one kayak. But there are also racks that can securely hold two kayaks. If you want to enjoy the kayaking with friends or family and need to have two or more kayaks on the spot, then I obviously recommend to choose the racks that can hold double kayaks. But if you only just need to carry one kayak, of course, choose the rack that can carry only one kayak as it is better for you.

Mounting System: Every rack needs to be adjusted with the crossbars. So the shape of the crossbars is a matter and before picking a rack, check out the types of shape of crossbars that the rack supports. Although almost all of the racks of the list can be mounted with, oval, round, square and factory oval crossbars.


9 Best Kayak Roof Racks That Can Hold The Kayak Safely and Securely

No more wait! See here the nine best roof racks that will hold the kayak safely and securely.


1)2 Pairs J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier

2 Pairs J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier

These J-bar racks are made of steel and coated with rust resistant material. These racks are virtually fitted with all crossbars and load bars that are round, oval or square. Such a design of the racks simplifies the loading and unloading while the paddings on the bars allow you to tie down the kayak safely with extra strength. The racks accommodate two kayaks to safely tie down when every pair of racks can hold the kayak that is 36” wide and 75 lbs weight.  Moreover, these J bars can be installed and uninstalled easily on the load or crossbar. The straps also included with the bars that will strongly tie down every kayak.


2)TMS Kayak Carrier-CP5672

TMS Kayak Carrier-CP5672

The TMS Kayak Carrier CP5672 almost fits with the most cross bars. With these roof racks you don’t have to think about the kayak’s width as you can easily fix them with the width of kayak by repositioning them on the crossbars. At the center of every carrier has the rubber pad that cradles the kayak safely and don’t make any scratch on the kayak’s hull. It also offers specially designed straps that help to adjust the kayak safely. Moreover, the attaches and detaches on the crossbars also easy and can be done in less than minutes.


3)Yakima JayLow Folding Kayak Rack

Yakima JayLow Folding Kayak Rack


The handy and innovative Yakima JayLow Folding Kayak Rack cradles the kayaks safely while it can also hold two kayaks if you set the kayaks vertically. These highly regarded racks are durable and composed with rubber paddings to save your kayak from scratches. You can gently fold these racks when they are not in use. If you use Yakima bars with the racks, then you can enjoy an easier tool free installation. But these racks also compatible with other round and square crossbars, so don’t worry about the installation. You can easily tie down the kayak with included heavy duty straps while the integrated ramp allows you to easily load the boat.


4)Malone Folding J-Style Universal Kayak Carrier

Malone Folding J-Style Universal Kayak Carrier

These foldable J cradles offer some great features to fairly carry your kayak onto the spot. The non corroded steel racks are durable and will not be corroded if they get wet by the salt water( that can happen likely after accomplish the kayaking time in salt water). The carrier has built in ramping system that lets you to load the kayak easily. On the other hand the oversized paddings protect the kayak from any damage during transport. Moreover, the JAWZ mounting system perfectly adjusts the carriers with round, square and oval rails while it also includes all necessary hardwares for a hassle free mounting.


5)Folding J-style Kayak Racks

Folding J-style Kayak Racks

These J-style kayak racks ensure what you ultimately want to securely tie down your kayaks on the roof racks. The racks are foldable, so keep them in gentle mood when they are not in use. On the other hand, the J-style makes the loading and unloading easier while the racks accept any kayak that is 3 inches wider and weighs up to 100 pounds. They provide all hardware what you need to mount the racks on the crossbars and additionally the two different sets of curved and straight mounting plates let you to strongly mount the racks with different shapes of crossbars.


6)Malone Stax Pro2 Universal Folding Kayak Carrier

Malone Stax Pro2 Universal Folding Kayak Carrier

If you want to enjoy the kayaking with your friends or family, then you would require to carry two or  more kayaks at a time. These folding kayak carriers are designed to carry two kayaks or boats at the same time. The octagonal aluminum posts are extremely durable while it uses injection molded nylon platforms that offer extraordinary stability. On the other hand, the JAWZ mounting system offers a tool free mounting with round, square and factory oval cross bars. So you don’t have to additionally think about the shape of crossbars. Furthermore, the foam stacker blocks (that can be adjusted with the crossbars) also hold the kayak safely after tying down.


7)The Kayak Wing Sea Kayak Rack

The Kayak Wing Sea Kayak Rack

The Kayak Wing Sea Kayak Rack is one of the innovative and stylish kayak carrier that I have ever seen. These racks are greatly fitted with any V shape hull and after laying down the kayak on it you can use the straps for safely tying. The manufacturer recommends the kayaks to carry that are 30” wide while you can install these carriers without any tools. These carriers are also designed with soft paddings that prevent hull damage and furthermore, these universal carriers can be mounted with different shaped and styled crossbars like factory installed racks, Thule and Yakima.


8)Attwood Car-Top Kayak Carrier Kit

Attwood Car-Top Kayak Carrier Kit

The kit includes two supporting foam blocks and straps with buckle and clips. Just place your kayak horizontally on the roof of your car and use the foam block to save both roof and kayak from damaging. After placing the kayak use the roof and straps to tie down the kayak with bumpers and the inside of car doors. The sturdy straps are vinyl coated, so they won’t scratch the exterior of the car. On the other hand, the buckles of the straps also help you to properly tight down the kayak as if it doesn’t displace.


9)ROLA (59912) J Style Kayak Carrier

ROLA (59912) J Style Kayak Carrier

No matter what type of kayak you use these J style kayak carriers from Rola will provide the unchangeable service during years after years. The corrosion resistant material and durable construction with steel ensure a great capacity while it’s no matter whether you are kayaking in saltwater or freshwater, the carrier won’t be damaged or corroded by the effect of water. As well, the foam pads cradle the kayak smoothly and protect it from any damaging. Furthermore, the universal mounting hardware also greatly works with Rola and many other crossbars.


Final Verdict

If you don’t use a great kayak rack to transport your kayak onto the spot, then there can have the chances to get it damaged. Because if you unsecurely put a kayak into the back of your car or truck, then you can’t give any guarantee that the kayak’s hull won’t be damaged during transport. Moreover, the space on the back of the car wouldn’t be enough to hold a kayak. That’s why you should mount a kayak rack onto the roof of your car, because it has all the things that can safely carry your kayak anywhere you want.

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