Kayak Roof Rack 2022 – Top 10 Best Picks By Expert & Buying Guide

Do you love kayaking and the adrenaline, calming, or relaxing feel that it can give you while enjoying it? If you are a hardcore nature explorer person, it might be a favorite activity for you. Right? Most people do kayaking occasionally only, but the hardcore lovers of kayaking sports love to go kayaking on weekends to complete their messy and work-loaded weeks full of fun, relaxation, and maybe thrill. If you also want to go for kayaking to get that thrilling experience, just go for it. But the most common issue that usually people face is taking their kayaks to place where they can enjoy kayaking, like somewhere nearby a canyon, ocean shore, riverbank, and lake edge. At first, it seems a bit challenging; we know this, but if you want to enjoy kayaking, then you have to do it. And one thing that can always help you while taking your kayak to the water-sides is the kayak roof rack for your vehicles. 

Best Kayak Roof Rack Reviewed For 2021

A basic kayak roof rack allows you to load your kayak on your vehicle’s roof, such as cars, SUVs, and any other vehicles. You have to do it with a kayak roof rack because vehicles such as cars and SUVs don’t have enough space to store a kayak; it’s because a typical kayak has more than ten feet long in length. So, if you love kayaking, then a kayak roof rack should be a necessity for you. But the main problem occurs when it comes to buying the right type of kayak roof rack because there are dozens of options present in the market. You don’t need to worry about this because you are a reader of this post, and we will do something special for you, check it out down below. Actually, we have decided to list ten best kayak roof rack options on this list to save a lot of time so that you can invest it in enjoying your kayaking.

#1. Neolife Soft Kayak Roof Rack

Neolife Soft Kayak Roof Rack

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Let’s start this post with the best budget-friendly type of roof rack for cars to carry the kayaks, and surfboards. So on the very first spot of this list, we have the Neolife Soft Kayak Roof Rack. It is the 28 inches pad variant, but another 19 inches pad variant is also present. Talking about this variant, then the manufacturers are offering 12 feet of the strap with this rack as well. And because of the longer straps and the ideal pad size, you can install or use this roof rack with almost all the vehicles like cars, SUVs, and MPVs. Going forward to the material section, so as per the Neolife company, they have provided the polyester build pads out of the box. These rack pads are very soft that can easily protect your kayak and your vehicle from shock, and any other damages. In our opinion, if you don’t want to spend a higher amount of money to buy a kayak roof rack, then this is the one that will cost you less than any other option present in the market.


  • Because of the soft pads and the border 28 inches pad size, you can ensure that your kayak or surfboard does not leave any scratch on your car’s roof. 
  • Long straps with a tight buckle can ensure your kayak’s proper safety, and the buckle can prevent any unwanted slips.
  • The polyester build is not only soft for convenient use but also it is durable for longer life span uses.


  • Some users say that it is suitable for occasional use, not for regular use.

#2. SportRack SR5527 Kayak Roof Rack/Carrier


SportRack SR5527 Kayak Roof Rack/Carrier

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If you have a decent budget to spend on reliable kayak roof racks, then this is the one that we want to suggest secondly. On the second spot of this list, we have decided to put the SportRack SR5527 Kayak Roof Rack/Carrier in front of all the readers of this post. But don’t worry, this rack option won’t cost you more than a hundred bucks. Now let’s take a look at what you are getting out of the box, so first of all, you notice that there are two foam block modules present in the box. These are the adjustable foam modules that you can adjust as per your kayak’s size. There are a total of four types of straps present inside the box, and each type has two strap units/bundles. You can use the black straps to make the base or bind the foam block modules with the vehicle’s roof. The colored straps are only to attach the kayak with the strap base to ensure proper safety.


  • The material quality of each component of this kayak roof rack set is very decent, but you can expect better performance from this set/kit.
  • You can easily use this kit to carry a kayak size anywhere between 16 inches to 24 inches because of the adjustable foam blocks.
  • You can tighten up the straps with the help of hooks that comes out of the box, and multiple straps are making it easy for you to complete the installation in no time. 


  • As per many users, the straps’ length is not that long; you could get an issue while installing this rack on a big vehicle’s roof.

#3. HandiRack Universal Kayak Roof Rack


HandiRack Universal Kayak Roof Rack

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On the third spot of this list, we have a great concept of kayak roof rack, this time; we have included the HandiRack Universal Kayak Roof Rack. The best thing that most of the users and we liked about this roof rack is that it comes with two inflatable units or bars. It means you can expect better safety from this type of rack for your car or any other vehicle. Talking about the build quality, so in a few words, we want to tell you that this kayak roof rack’s build quality is impressive. Thankfully, if you are going with this particular option on our list, then you don’t need to go with a hard installation process. The manufacturers claim that it will take only 5 minutes to install. You just have to put both inflatable bars/units on your vehicle’s roof, then tighten them up with straps. Then after just filling the inflatable units with air, and you are good to go for kayaking.


  • This full kit’s overall build quality is pretty amazing; you won’t find any durability issues. 
  • Talking about the straps, the company claims that they have provided more than enough length of straps so that you can install it in any vehicle. 
  • We like the easy installation feature most; you can be ready to go within five minutes.


  • In case the inflatable units get any puncture, then you can’t use this kayak roof rack.

#4. Malone J-Style Universal Kayak Roof Carrier


Malone J-Style Universal Kayak Roof Carrier

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If you don’t want to go through every time installing kayak roof racks, you should need to look at this one. On the fourth spot of this list, we have added the Malone J-Style Universal Kayak Roof Carrier. The solid metallic J-style build is perfect for keeping the kayak in its position after loading onto the roof. But the best part that we liked the most about this kit is that you don’t need to go through the installation process each time, just install it one time and leave it for next time use. Talking about the box content that you are getting, so there are two supportive units present, plus two straps and cord bundles with some hooks. You can use these hooks, cords, and straps to stabilize the kayak on your vehicle’s roof so that it won’t get any damage when you are driving your vehicle. The Malone company claims that you can load up to 75 lbs of weight with this rack’s help without any issue.  


  • Here you are getting the premium quality of materials with this rack kit; therefore, you can expect a longer lifespan from each kit component.
  • Staps and the cords are quite long to tighten them around your vehicle or kayak to ensure proper safety.
  • Because of the J-shape loaders’ metallic build, you can put more weight on them because it can handle around 75 lbs of weight.


  • It is not the option for those who want a budget-friendly kayak roof rack.

#5. Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Kayak Roof Rack


Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Kayak Roof Rack

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The Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Kayak Roof Rack is another excellent option for people who have enough budget to spend on a good quality of useful roof rack. The first and foremost thing that we liked the most about this rack is that it is one of the most highly adjustable rack options as per the size of different kayaks. For the base of this rack, the Rhino-Rack company has provided four separate units or pads. But do you know what the best part about these four pads is? These pads can rotate 180 degrees that allowing you to load or unload your kayak easily. There are two buckles straps for the proper installation and two long strap bundles present to keep the kayak stable. However, all the installation gears are present inside the box, that’s why you don’t need to buy anything additionally. The installation process takes a bit long, but when you install it, then leave it as it is for next time use. Another great thing is that the manufacturers have provided an additional five-year product warranty for this kayak roof rack kit.


  • The base pads have a curve type of design; this type of design helps to keep the kayak in its position firmly.
  • The Rhino-Rack company has used premium quality of materials for better and long-term experience.
  • There are two long straps bundles present, and surprisingly, these straps are very long so you can easily tighten your kayak with your vehicle’s roof.


  • None so far

#6. TMS J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier


TMS J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier

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Did you like the fourth spot of the kayak carrier on this list? If yes is your answer, then we are damn sure that you will also love this rack. On the sixth spot of this list, we have added the TMS J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier. It is the best-selling kayak carrier on this list, in our opinion, it is because of its highly affordable price point. Therefore, it got more than two thousand people’s higher ratings on online stores, so if you want to buy a popular kayak carrier, go with it.  Again this type of kayak carrier also requires only one-time installation; if you do so, it will become easy for you to load and unload your kayak. Another good thing about this rack option is that it is very light in weight, which will allow you to install it easily. But it doesn’t mean that you need to compromise with the build quality because here you will get the premium quality of materials.


  • The J-Bar design is a very suitable design for almost all kayaks, and even you can use it for surfboards plus other sports kits.
  • Lightweight design with the premium material is the most significant plus point of this carrier, making it easy to install. 
  • You are getting all the premium features at the price point of below fifty dollars, that’s why it seems an incredible deal. 


  • None so far

#7. Rooftop Kayak Rack By NO.32

Rooftop Kayak Rack By NO.32

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If you are reading this post with full consultation and going through each product one by one, you may know that we already have added some J-Style racks. To offer more variety in this racks style, we want to introduce the Rooftop Kayak Rack By NO.32. Before going forward to this rack’s detailing, we want to let you know that it is one of the most versatile rooftop rack types. In simple words, you can use this rack for loading skies, bicycles, kayaks, surfboards, and other sports kits on your vehicle’s roof. Another impressive thing about this rack is that the manufacturers are offering a total of two pairs of J-Bar racks out of the box. Which means you can load two kayaks at the same time on your vehicle’s roof. And because you can unfold or fold the J-Bars, it becomes automatically compatible with all kayaks’ size.


  • The J-Bar units’ heavy-duty material is the biggest reason behind this kayak roof rack’s massive load capacity.
  • As per manufacturers, these racks show a higher versatility with multiple items; that’s why you can load multiple things on your vehicle’s rooftop.


  • None so far

#8. Best Marine Kayak Roof Rack


Best Marine Kayak Roof Rack

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Because side loading is the easiest way to load the kayak on your vehicle’s roof, that is why people prefer to buy the J-shape type of racks for this task. If you are looking for big size of kayak roof rack that comes with the J-Shape, then make sure to look at this option. On the eight spots of this fantastic list, we have decided to put the Best Marine Kayak Roof Rack in front of this post’s readers. Nineteen inches by 10.5 inches is the exact dimension of this rack, but you can easily fold it up after use; therefore, it becomes almost invisible. It indicates that you don’t need to every time you install it and then put it off. This thing takes a lot of time and requires a lot of effort, and you want to save your time and effort then give a shot to this particular rooftop rack.


  • Lightweight design with decently strong build quality is the main highest of this kayak roof rack.
  • However, you can fold it as per your needs, especially when you are not using it, which makes it very convenient to use.
  • The dimensions seem pretty impressive to load almost all the sizes of kayaks on your vehicle’s roof with this rack’s help.


  • None so far

#9. AA-Racks J-Bar Rack for Kayak


AA-Racks J-Bar Rack for Kayak

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Many people face the common issue with the standard type of J-Bar racks that they don’t come with the foldable feature. It means you can’t load a large size of the kayak or a small size of the kayak on those racks. If this is the case and you are looking for a versatile rack for loading kayak on your vehicle’s roof, try this one. On the ninth spot of this list, we have added the AA-Racks J-Bar Rack For Kayaks. According to the AA-Racks, this rack’s installation process is very straightforward; you don’t need to mess up with hard installation. However, after properly installing it, you can use it for various sizes of kayaks and other things. This rack comes with a protective covering on the J-Bar, making it more secure for your kayak.


  • Most of the users like the wide-mouth design that it comes with, and it allows you to load large sizes of kayaks without having any issues.
  • With decently long straps and easy to install design, you can use this rack with most vehicles.


  • The build quality is not that great of this rooftop rack, but you can expect a decent lifespan.

#10. INNO INA446 Kayak Roof Carrier


INNO INA446 Kayak Roof Carrier


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Finally, we are on the last spot on this list, and at last, we have something special for you. On the final spot of this list, we have added the INNO ONA446 Kayak Roof Carrier. But before going forward to the functionality section, we want to let you know that it is the most premium and the most reliable type of roof rack for carrying the kayaks. The versatility that you will be going to get with this roof carry will be incredible because it supports multiple sizes and multiple items to load on your vehicle’s roof. Yeah, it will take a bit longer to install on the rooftop perfectly, but you don’t need to detach it until the next use when you install it on the rooftop. The universal fitting option allows you to install it on any four-wheeler vehicle’s rooftop easily.


  • There is no chance that this kayak roof rack will let your kayak go anywhere after you attach it to the roof.
  • The manufacturers claim that they have offered the maximum possible durability in this INNO INA446 carrier. 
  • According to the manufacturer’s claim, the design is because it can offer great safety to the kayak after you load it on the rack. 


  • This rooftop rack option will cost you way higher than any other option of this list.


How To Choose The Best Kayak Roof Rack

It is not a surprising thing for us if you are still not feeling able to make a solid buying decision related to the kayak roof racks. But don’t worry because this in-detailed buying guide will help you a lot to choose the right type of rooftop rack for loading kayaks on your vehicle. We are saying this because here on this buying guide, we will list some considerable points that each buyer should consider before making the final purchase decision related to these racks.

Different Types

If you are reading this post from the beginning, then you may know how many kayak roof rack options present based on different types. Right? On this list, we have mainly added three main types of rack based on the different types. The first and most common type is the standard strap based racks. You should go with the normal strap based racks only when you don’t have a sufficient budget to buy a reliable type of rack. The other kinds of racks are the solid base based racks; these racks might be a good option if you are occasionally looking for use. The third and most famous type of rooftop rack is the J-Bar or J-shape type of racks. Yeah, we know that this type of racks may cost you a bit, but believe it or not, this type of racks can offer exceptional reliability. The choice is yours, but it is advisable for you that you should always look at your needs first, then you should make the final purchase decision.

Build Quality

In terms of build quality, you will also get many variations in the market. But most of the time, you will get the variations in the metallic built racks only. Yeah, it is true that there are some regular foam base based and other strap based racks also present, in which you get the build quality variations. But these types of racks are only for occasional or temporary uses; therefore, we are only considering the metal built and other material of racks. Build quality doesn’t mean that you only need to look at the main sections of the rooftop rack’s build like the mainframe and the pads. Instead, you should also look for the other sections as well for better build quality. If you find that your desired kayak roof rack doesn’t have the right build quality, then skip that option because it won’t perform well in the long run.

Versatility Factor

Versatility factor also plays a considerable role while choosing the best out of the best roof rack to carrying the kayak. It’s because sometimes users want a multipurpose use of a rack that can also help them to take their bicycles, kayaks, and other sports kits from one place to another. Ultimately, this becomes highly important for you to look for an excellent kayak roof rack’s excellent versatility instead of the single functional rack. Also, keep in mind that this versatility point can also cost slightly higher than the standard racks, so stay ready for it. We have already listed some options on the above list that offer you fantastic versatility at a decent price point for helping you out in this situation.

Overall Cost

Most of the people usually avoid buying the premium segment or multipurpose use of kayak roof racks. It’s because usually, this type of roof racks cost you way higher than the simple and normal rack options. If this is the case, and you are dealing with strict budget issues, then don’t worry because this whole post was all about you. In this post, we have listed the majority of rooftop options that offer great value to each customer at a very affordable price point. So, make sure to go through each option that we have listed on this list to find the best out of the best one as per your needs plus budget. 

Kayak Roof Rack Frequently Asked Questions

How far should be the roof racks be placed for a Kayak?

Most of the reputed roof racks come designed in such a way that it should have at least 24 to 28-inches crossbar spread.

Is it okay to attach the Kayak roof rack on the automobile all by myself?

Most of the kayak roof racks are designed in such a way that anyone could install it with ease. However, we recommend that you consider installing it with some expert help. Remember, if you install it in the wrong way, it would lead to fatal accidents.

Kayak roof racks are safe to use? Are they any good?

As far as we know, today, most of the kayak roof racks that come from reputed brands are very good. However, the installation should be done properly. If you neglect the safety instructions provided by the manufacturer, this roof rack could do more harm than good. Apart from this, most customers who are using a kayak roof rack mention it to be efficient and good.

My car already has side rails, do I need crossbars to install kayak roof racks?

Yes, even if you have side rails on your roof, you will need a foot pack and crossbars to install your roof rack. While these side rails could serve the purpose of providing attachment points for aftermarket kayak roof racks, they also require foot pack and crossbars.

A kayak should be transported upside down or resting on their bottom on a kayak roof rack?

The answer to this question would depend on the type of kayak roof rack and the type of kayak you are using. If your roof rack is designed to hold the kayak upside down, then you should mount it upside down, if the rack is designed to hold it at their edges, then mount it on their edge. On the other hand, if a kayak is made of composite, then it should be transported on its bottom and using cradles. Remember, if you handle composite kayaks carelessly, then it could damage your kayak.

Is it possible to mount and transport more than one kayak on a kayak roof rack?

Yes, it is possible to transport more than one kayak using a kayak roof rack, however, the roof rack should be designed to hold more than one kayak. If you plan on transporting more than one kayak on your car, then consider purchasing a kayak roof rack designed to hold more than one kayak. Several top-rated models could hold more than one kayak.

What is the key difference between kayak roof rails and kayak roof racks?

If you want to know the key difference between both, then the answer is simple. It is the direction in which each of them is mounted. While kayak roof rails run along the length of a car, a kayak roof rack runs across the roof. While both of them serve the common purpose of holding kayaks secure, the mounting direction of a customer could vary.


Are you feeling tired after spending hours rubbing your finger on your smartphone’s screen to get some relatable suggestions related to kayak roof racks? If yes is your answer, we want to tell you that this whole in-detailed post on rooftop racks was only for you. Here on this list, we performed groundbreaking research to determine the best kayak roof rack options that a person can buy right away.

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Hi, I am Larry Levitt and love to keep everything assembled & organized in my home and office. Organizing our homes & Offices are important tasks in our daily life. It is very important to keep our things in proper segments in a convenient way to reduce the mess and keep the home & office clutter-free. For this purpose, you will need specific racks. I myself use different types of racks like key racks, shoe racks, towel racks, spice racks in my home

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