Best Kayak Roof Racks of 2024 – Tested and Reviewed


When it comes to transporting your kayak, choosing the right roof rack can make all the difference. The perfect rack not only ensures a secure and safe journey but also adds convenience to your paddling adventures.

In this blog post, we will discuss the top kayak roof racks on the market and what to look for when purchasing one. We’ll also give our top pick in each category, making it easier for you to find the best rack for your needs.

Our Top Kayak Roof Rack Picks

  1. Overall Best: Thule Hull-a-Port XT
  2. Best Foldable Design: Yakima JayLow
  3. Best for Longer Kayaks: Malone SeaWing
  4. Best for Easy Loading: Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series

What to look for in a kayak roof rack

When selecting a kayak roof rack, it is essential to consider the following factors:

  1. Compatibility: Check if the roof rack is compatible with your vehicle’s make, model, and roof type.
  2. Load capacity: Ensure that the roof rack can handle the weight of your kayak and any additional gear you plan to transport.
  3. Ease of installation and removal: Look for a rack that is easy to install and remove without causing any damage to your vehicle.
  4. Security features: Opt for a roof rack with built-in locks or one that allows you to use your own locking system for added protection.
  5. Durability: Choose a rack made of high-quality materials that can withstand the elements and regular use.

Best Kayak Roof Racks

1. Thule Hull-a-Port XT (Overall Best)

The Thule Hull-a-Port XT is our top pick for the best overall kayak roof rack. It offers a combination of functionality, ease of use, and security. The dual-position design allows for easy loading and unloading, while the built-in locks ensure your kayak stays safe during transit. Made of high-quality materials, the Thule Hull-a-Port XT is built to last and can handle kayaks up to 75 lbs.

2. Yakima JayLow (Best Foldable Design)

The Yakima JayLow is a versatile and foldable kayak roof rack that accommodates one or two kayaks. Its sleek, low-profile design reduces wind resistance and noise, while the adjustable padding protects your kayak during transportation. The JayLow is compatible with most roof racks and can be easily installed without any tools.

3. Malone SeaWing (Best for Longer Kayaks)

For those with longer kayaks, the Malone SeaWing is a perfect choice. This low-profile carrier is designed to handle kayaks up to 18 feet long and 70 lbs in weight. The corrosion-resistant hardware and UV-resistant materials ensure durability, while the cam-style load straps make it easy to secure your kayak.

4. Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series (Best for Easy Loading)

The Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series features a unique front-loading system, making it easier to load and unload your kayak. With a weight capacity of up to 80 lbs, it can accommodate most kayaks. The Nautic 570 also includes a locking system to secure your kayak and comes with all the necessary mounting hardware.

Which is best?

In conclusion, the best kayak roof rack depends on your specific needs and preferences. The Thule Hull-a-Port XT is our top choice for its overall functionality, ease of use, and security features. However, if you need a foldable design, the Yakima JayLow is an excellent option. For those with longer kayaks, the Malone SeaWing is a perfect fit, while the Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series is ideal for those who prioritize easy loading and unloading. Regardless of your choice, make sure to consider compatibility, load capacity, ease of installation, security features, and durability when making your decision.

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