Best Kayak Rack for Truck of 2019

If you are a kayaking enthusiast and you enjoy taking your boat out on water whenever the weather is good enough, but you don’t live right by the lake, river or sea, then you surely thought of several transporting methods. Up until recently, the most popular method was transporting it using a trailer. But ever since kayak racks for trucks started to become available on the market, everyone agreed that it is a more comfortable option. Driving with a trailer attached to your car can be very uncomfortable, especially if you aren’t used to it. More than that, trailers are expensive to maintain, and you need a lot of storage space for them. By comparison with trailers, kayak racks require no maintenance, are easy to install and occupy very little space when not used. They are much more affordable and imply no driving hassles, which makes your life easier.

In order to be able to use a kayak rack for your truck the right way, it is recommended to have a roof rack installed. This makes installing it easier and safer for your car. In case you decide not to use one, the risk of getting the car’s roof scratched increases. The roof rack is not only meant to protect the roof, but also designed to make the installation of the rack easier and faster. You don’t need to drill holes or worry that it is not stable enough.

If you are looking for a kayak rack for your truck, you will discover that there are several design options available on the market. Some are meant to keep the boat straight, while some have a folding design and are meant to keep it tilted. Most of them are made of heavy-duty materials and are very durable, but it is important to try to balance durability with the other features, such as stability, ease of installation and safety.

To help you narrow down the options and choose the best product for your car, we have selected and reviewed five of the best-selling kayak racks on the market. We analyzed their pros and cons, based on personal observations and consumer feedback. Check them out below.

Comparison

Product Size Weight Price
AA Products Model X35 Truck Rack AA Products Model X35 Truck Rack 31 x 16 x 15 inches 62 pounds price
The Kayak Wing - Sea Kayak Rack with Covered Straps The Kayak Wing - Sea Kayak Rack with Covered Straps 21 x 4.5 x 8 inches 6.6 pounds price
AA-Racks Model X35 Truck Rack with AA-Racks Model X35 Truck Rack with 30.9 x 16.5 x 15.8 inches 68.1 pounds price
TMS 800 LB Adjustable Fit 2 Bars Utility Ladder Truck TMS 800 LB Adjustable Fit 2 Bars Utility Ladder Truck 51 x 26.2 x 1.5 inches 50 pounds price
Leader Accessories Kayak Rack 4 PCS/Set Leader Accessories Kayak Rack 4 PCS/Set 15.9 x 9.4 x 7.3 inches 15.3 pounds price

Best Products of 2019

1

AA Products Model X35 Truck Rack

Kayak racks can be extremely useful when transporting your kaya by car or truck. They can ensure its safety throughout the entire trip. However, you need a high-quality rack that is compatible with your vehicle, or otherwise it could even make things worse. This product is an all-in-one bundle that includes every piece of installation hardware that you might need. It can be installed without any drilling and it includes a set of mounting hardware steel design with adjustable padding. This allows it to have more carrying strength and to protect the kayak while traveling. On top of that, it has a 16-feet log ratcheting strap. The X35 model has C-clamps included and it is very easy to setup and remove form the top of your car when not in use.

This product has heavy-duty extended bolts that offer extra-security. Another important feature of this product is that it comes with a Jetty Saddle system that has 4-point saddles. This makes it easily adaptable to kayak hull design. By using this rack, the kayak will occupy less space and will make traveling to your destination a lot easier and safer. This product has a total size of 31 x 16 x 15 inches and weighs 62 pounds. It comes at a reasonable price and it is a product that offers value for money.

What’s to like?

  • It is easy to install
  • It is made of heavy-duty materials
  • It includes C-clamps
  • It is easy to uninstall
  • It comes with heavy duty extended bolts
  • It has a ratcheting strap
  • It has a Jetty Saddle System
  • It adapts to kayak hull design
  • It occupies minimum space
  • It can load from either side of the truck
  • It includes installation hardware
  • It is adjustable
  • It is fairly priced

What’s not to like?

  • It is not compatible with trucks that have utility track systems

2

The Kayak Wing - Sea Kayak Rack with Covered Straps

Are you looking for a cheaper truck rack for your kayak or canoe? Then this is the ideal product for you, being very inexpensive and practical at the same time. When finding a product that it cheaper than most of the other options, the first question that arises is whether or not it brings the quality and utility that you need. In this case, the answer is definitely yes. It is a kayak rack designed especially for those who wish to transport a kayak on top of a truck. It is very easy to install and take down when not needed. It is sold as a set to hold a kayak and it doesn’t require buying other accessories.

This kayak rack is compatible with kayaks and boats that are up to 30 inches wide. It is made of high-quality materials and sturdy enough to allow you to transport your boat worry-free. This product is lightweight, weighing only 6.6 pounds. It has a total size of 21 x 4.5 x 8 inches and needs to be attached to cross bars with a maximum width of 3.25 inches. Another requirement is having minimum clearance of 1 ½ inches between the car’s roof and the cross bar in order to be able to install the rack correctly. The great thing about this product is that you don’t need installation tools. Also, all of the accessories that you might need are included in the box. If you want to prevent dents and scratches, this product is exactly what you need.

What’s to like?

  • It is inexpensive
  • It is sold as a set
  • It can hold boats and kayaks under 30 inches wide
  • It is sturdy
  • It is lightweight
  • It is easy to install
  • It doesn’t require an installation kit
  • It comes with strong straps
  • It includes accessories
  • It has 5 year warranty coverage

What’s not to like?

  • It is not really a universal fit

3

AA-Racks Model X35 Truck Rack with

A kayak rack that comes with a standard bed is brought to the market by AA Products Inc. at a fair price giving its quality and efficiency. If you have experience installing kayak racks on your truck and you really want a model that is made of heavy-duty materials, extremely durable, then you should take into consideration buying this product. It is a non-drilling model that comes with C-clamps. It is compatible with a variety of vehicles, except for trucks that have utility track systems. Setting it up and taking it down is easy thanks to its practical system. If you want to add extra-security, you will be glad to know that this rack comes with extended bolts.

By comparison with other similar products, this one is an all-in-one bundle that can accommodate 2 kayaks or other types of small boats. It includes 8 C-clamps, as well as a mounting hardware set that has adjustable padding. Also, it comes with 2 pairs of Kayak J-Racks, 2 high-graded ratcheting straps. The straps are 16-feet long and can support 1 ton each. Both racks are made of steel, which makes them a bit heavier than those made of aluminum. The standard bed is compatible with most vehicles, but it is a god idea to check the compatibility before ordering it.

What’s to like?

  • It is a bundle that can help you transport 2 kayaks
  • It has a nondrilling system
  • It includes 8 C-clamps
  • It is easy to install and uninstall
  • It has heavy-duty extended bolts
  • It has 2 ratcheting straps – 16 feet each
  • It has 2 pairs of J-racks
  • It is durable
  • It measures 30.9 x 16.5 x 15.8 inches
  • It is made of steel

What’s not to like?

  • It isn’t compatible with utility track systems

4

TMS 800 LB Adjustable Fit 2 Bars Utility Ladder Truck

TMS has to offer a kayak rack for trucks that is medium-priced and that represents the perfect option for those of you who only need one rack for a kayak or a boat that cannot be transported on a regular rack. The manufacturer promotes it as a rack that can be used not only to transport boats, but also other items such as mattresses, ladders or pool equipment. This product consists of a set of 2 heavy-duty steel. Both pieces are adjustable so that you can set them according to your needs. Its width can be adjusted to up to 7 feet, while its height has a maximum height of 30 inches. The frame of this product has a weight capacity of 800 pounds.

Although this rack is easy to install, it needs drilling. If you want a rack that doesn’t require drilling holes and using bolts in order to attach it to the track bed, then this isn’t the right model for your needs. However, remember that using bolts and nuts might add extra security to the rack. 2 bolts and nuts are included in the box, so that you can perform the installation on your own. The box includes a total of 8 bolts and screws. The base of the rack is made of heavy-duty steel, which makes it a bit heavier, but more durable than aluminum ones. This product has a total weight of 50 pounds, and it measures 51 x 26.2 x 1.5 inches.

What’s to like?

  • It offers good value for money
  • It has a sturdy frame
  • It has a steel base
  • Its frame has a capacity of 800 pounds
  • It is adjustable
  • It is a set of 2 racks
  • It is suitable for all kinds of long objects, as well as for kayaks
  • It is ideal for constructional use
  • It includes 8 bolts and screws

What’s not to like?

  • It requires drilling

5

Leader Accessories Kayak Rack 4 PCS/Set

Yet another inexpensive kayak rack for trucks is brought to the market by Leader Accessories. It comes at an incredibly low price, yet it is made of high-quality materials and it is easy to install. This is a double kayak rack that includes 4 pieces. It is made of heavy-duty steel and has a powder coated surface. Thanks to the coating, it is less prone to rusting over time. This rack makes it easier to transport kayaks, boats or objects that are up to 8 feet long and that weigh up to 250 pounds. this model comes with extra foam padding that is designed to reduce the scratches and rubbing of the kayak or canoe. If you want a rack model that offers maximum lock, then this is an ideal option.

This kayak rack is compatible with most cross bars, but in order to be sure that it will fit perfectly, it is recommended to check the manufacturer’s list. Thanks to the shape of this product, the kayak doesn’t budge when swerving back and forth on the road. Assembling it is easy, as the box includes all the screws and accessories that you need. The instruction card is not very detailed, but luckily, the design of the rack is pretty intuitive. The only downside is that the straps don’t look very durable.

What’s to like?

  • It is inexpensive
  • It is a double rack pack
  • It has a practical design
  • It is suitable for 8-feet long kayaks
  • It is made of steel
  • Its surface is coated
  • It has extra padded design
  • It is easy to install
  • It includes all installation hardware
  • It is versatile
  • It has a 250-pound capacity
  • It is covered by a 1-year warranty

What’s not to like?

  • The straps aren’t very sturdy

Questions and Answers

Why should you transport your kayak on top of your truck?

Choosing this transportation method for your kayak or other type of small boat is the smartest thing that you can choose. There are several reasons for this. First, the comfort that it brings cannot be compared to using a kayak trailer. Second, it is inexpensive. Last, but not least, you get to drive normally, without having to worry about the trailer behind you. Most people who are into kayaking don’t live close to a lake or river, so they have to transport their kayak to the water. If this is your case, too, you should start analyzing all the options that you have. In the end, you will reach to the same conclusion. Kayak racks for trucks are the best accessories for this purpose.

Besides being very practical, kayak racks also offer you peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your car. They are easy to install and designed in such a way that they will not damage the top of the roof. However, you should be careful when choosing the rack model, as it has to be fully compatible with your vehicle. Otherwise, not only you will probably not be able to install it, but you will also damage the surface of the roof. High-quality racks have the right height and width so that they don’t get in contact with the paint, and neither does the kayak.

Are kayak racks for trucks safe?

The answer to this question is certainly yes. However, there are a few aspects that you should take into consideration when choosing the right model for your truck. The size and design are very important. Usually, manufacturers offer a list of compatible vehicles, so it would be safer to check that one out. Once you have chosen the perfect rack for your truck, you must be careful when installing it. All products come with installation instructions and you simply have to follow them. Some users choose racks that do not require drilling, so that they avoid any damage to the car or the roof rack.

Are kayak racks stable enough?

Stability is one of the main advantages that kayak racks offer, by comparison to kayak trailers. In most cases, they come with sturdy straps that help you secure the boats or other objects that you might want to transport. If installed correctly, they offer all the stability you need. In order to test it, you simply have to drive on a few curves and see how the kayak behaves.

Can your car have a roof rack?

Roof racks can be incredibly useful if you have to transport a boat, a kayak or other items and accessories that measure more than your car in length. Roof racks allow you to secure these objects on top of the car and transport them safely. However, not all cars can have a roof rack installed. 98% of vehicles are compatible with the installation gears of roof racks, but there are some cars that aren’t. In order to confirm that your car is compatible with one, check if it has rain gutters. If the answer is yes, then you will have to check if the change bar is compatible, too. If the car doesn’t have rain gutters, you will need a model that comes with a clamp mount system. You can find removable, as well as permanent mount designs, with rails, fix-points or clamp mount systems.

In order to install a roof rack on a gutter less car, you will need a few accessories that are usually included in the box. Follow the steps in the instruction leaflet or on the manufacturer’s website in order to install the rack correctly. Once installed, you can start transporting your kayak or other types of small boats, as well as your ladder or other long tools and accessories.

What is the best way to transport your kayak?

Transporting your kayak isn’t rocket science, but it isn’t an easy task, either. You must be careful how you store it and transport it, as you might scratch it or break it. Experts recommend transporting a kayak using a roof rack, as it is the safest method. Also, it is recommended to use foam block racks for short distances. If these are wide enough, they offer great support. However, they aren’t as safe as cross-bar racks, so you shouldn’t use them on long distances or high speeds. In case of bad weather, it is crucial that you transport your kayak upside down, as it becomes very dangerous in case it rains and it gets filled with water. If you cannot turn it upside down, then you should use a portage cover to seal it.

Does transporting a kayak increase fuel consumption?

Depending on the size and weight of the kayak that you are transporting, as well as the car that you are transporting it on, it can increase fuel consumption, just like any other type of weight that you add. For instance, if you are going on vacation by car and you fill the trunk with luggage and bags, the engine will put in more effort in order to reach the desired speeds, so it will consume more fuel. The same happens when you transport anything else, from passengers to kayaks. However, you shouldn’t imagine that you will have to fuel double the quantity. It all depends on the weight of the kayak, as well as the total weight and power of the car. Distance and speed are another factors that can influence the consumption.

Final Words

Kayaking is fun and helps you live in an adventurous way that takes you out of a boring routine. At the same time, it helps you explore places that you cannot possibly see by foot. However, in order to be able to transport your kayak to the nearest lake or river, you must have a safe transportation method available. Kayak racks for trucks have gained a lot of popularity thanks to the comfort that they bring, the fact that they are easy to install, as well as the low costs that they imply.

If you are looking for a kayak rack for your truck but you aren’t sure which model is best, simply choose the one that is compatible with your vehicle, that offers value for money and that offers all the security features that are needed in such a situation.

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