Best Kayak Rack For Truck 2021
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“Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car” – E. B. White. He must have been talking about how having a truck or SUV can help you catch some serious rapids on your kayak.

Sadly, kayaks are cumbersome and occupy loads of space. Even right now, as you read this, you must be thinking, “well, I’d need a miracle to fit my Kayaks on my truck!”

The good news is that such a miracle exists. Well, more of a nifty invention that lets you stack things on top of your vehicle.

The best kayak rack for trucks is easy to install and maintain. The market is flooded with many ideal choices.

How Do You Ensure Your Kayak Rack For Trucks Is With In-State Regulations?

We all feel that regulations are a drag. But, they make our lives while on the road safer. So, It may be wise to look into these regulations before making any modifications to your prized automobile. Every state has its rules on kayak racks for trucks.

However, the spirit of the law overlaps in the following areas;

Your kayak (or roof-mounted load) should not extend beyond 36-inches of your front bumper. After all, you would want to rear-end and impale the car driving in front of you.

You should attach a red flag to all loads exceeding 48-inches if you are driving in daylight. You should attach a red strobe light to the end of a Kayak if you drive at night.

There may be more regulations in your state concerning kayak racks for trucks. But, these 3 standard rules give you a hint. Now it’s time to have a look at some of the best kayak rack for trucks the market has to offer.

Quick Overview on Best Truck Rack For Kayaks

10 Best Kayak Rack For Trucks Reviews For 2021

Darby Industries 968 Black Roof Turbo Rack

Darby Industries 968 Black Roof Turbo Rack
  • Vehicle type: Any
  • Size: 36 x 6 x 6 inches, 4.94 lbs.
  • Supported Capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Color option(s): Black
  • Material: Heavy-duty steel & high-density foam
  • Standout features(s): Lightweight construction and no drilling installation makes it easy to mount or dismount.

This top-quality truck rack from Darby Industries features sturdy materials. And it can handle any load that’s lighter than 350 lbs. The rack protects the roof of your truck from scratches as it has high-density foam towers, which are proven to work superbly. Setting up this turbo roof rack won’t take up too much of your precious time. It is easy to attach, detach, and store.

You can collapse the pole down and store it in the back of your truck when not in use. Don’t worry about damaging your truck bed; no drilling is required. The rack can fit both wide, narrower, and roofs of all shapes because it’s highly adjustable. The only drawback is it’s not appropriate for larger pick-up trucks. This product can handle canoes, kayaks, and ladders, or other equipment.

Pros

  1. Easy to install
  2. Universal design
  3. Features scratch-free foam feet

Cons

  1. Lock screws move once bars are removed
  2. Foam may break apart with repeated use

Thule Xsporter Pro Pickup Truck Rack

Thule Xsporter PRO, Black, One Size
  • Vehicle type: Pick-up trucks
  • Size: 71 x 16 x 29 inches, 65 lbs.
  • Supported Capacity: 450 lbs.
  • Color option(s): Black
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Standout features(s): Proprietary AirDrip technology that improves aerodynamics by redirecting airflow as you drive

Remember those times when all you wished for was a simple height adjustable kayak rack for trucks? Well, the good news is you don’t need to dream anymore! The Thule Xsporter Pro pick-up truck kayak rack does even better than that. These truck racks are easy to install, as no drilling is needed, have superior weight capacity, and last long.

It is possible to remove the kayak rack when you need to store them for a while. The kayak racks come in pairs; it’s possible to buy all the small parts and build a half set if you’re willing to splurge a little more on such add-ons.

Pros

  1. Versatile application
  2. Superior weight capacity
  3. Aerodynamic design

Cons

  1. Unsuitable for SUVs
  2. May require additional Thule mount adaptors

Lund 601021 Hitch Mounted Truck Bed Extender Rack

Lund 601021 Hitch Mounted Truck Bed Extender
  • Vehicle type: Trucks
  • Size: 39.5 x 21 x 3.5 inches, 46.2 lbs.
  • Supported Capacity: 750 lbs.
  • Color option(s): black
  • Material: 3/16 inch thick tubular steel
  • Standout features(s): Extends your truck bed length by up to 49 inches and adds 7-inch ground clearance.

This truck-bed extender rack is excellent for making sleek getaways with your kayaks on a pick-up truck. It is sturdy, heavy, and well built. Installation of the kayak rack takes less than a minute with flexible adjustment options. Lund Hitch Rack Truck Bed Extender will provide you with the additional seven-inch ground clearance and allow you to carry extended length cargo.

The truck rack is the best in its price range to extend your bed. To prevent the bare steel from scratching your boat, we recommend getting pool noodles to cover the arms of the truck kayak rack. Lund advises that the load should not extend more than six inches beyond the tailgate’s rear edge.

Pros

  1. DOT approved
  2. Compatible with all 2-inch hitch receives
  3. Foldable arms double as a work surface

Cons

  1. Wobbly at high speed
  2. Lacks an installation manual

AA Racks X35-8 Non-Drilling Truck Rack

AA-Racks Non-Drilling Truck Rack, Pick-up Truck Utility Ladder Rack...
  • Vehicle Type: Truck
  • Size: 70 x 14 x 30.5 inches, 50.5 lbs.
  • Supported Capacity: 800 lbs.
  • Color option(s): Matte white or black
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Standout feature(s): Extendable design of up to 71 inches makes this kayak rack compatible with a wide range of track beds.

AA Racks X35-8 Non-Drilling Truck Rack is a robust steel kayak rack with a maximum capacity of up to 800 pounds. This kayak roof rack requires no drilling, thanks to a set of 8 silver c clamps. Each purchase includes clamps, so you won’t have to search wide for them. But, they aren’t compatible with utility track systems.

AA racks come with a rope hook on the side to fasten and secure your kayak to your pick-up truck. Installation is fast and easy. It won’t take more than 20 minutes. The rack can hold more than one kayak at a time, securely covering a minimal footprint. However, the AA Racks X35-8 kayak roof rack won’t fit if you have toolboxes, bed covers & camper shells, or an inner preinstalled track racking shelf on the truck bed wall.

Pros

  1. Installation requires no drilling
  2. Features 6 heavy-duty steel clamps
  3. Adds only 50 lbs. to your truck

Cons

  1. Clamps are incompatible with utility track systems
  2. Few default color options

TMS 800 LB Adjustable Fit 2 Bars Utility Kayak Contractor Rack

TMS 800 LB Adjustable Fit 2 Bars Utility Ladder Truck Pick up Rack...
  • Vehicle type: Trucks
  • Size: 51 x 26.25 x 1.5 inches, 50.4 lbs.
  • Supported Capacity: 800 lbs.
  • Color option(s): Black
  • Material: Steel
  • Standout features(s): wide vehicle compatibility

The TMS 800 LB Adjustable Fit 2 Bar is a multi-functional kayak rack for trucks. It Supports loads of a longer width profile that can’t fit average truck beds. It is perfect for carrying multiple kayaks. This truck rack for kayaks is simple to install, though it requires drilling. Width is adjustable from 5 to 7 feet long.

It’s ideal for all types of pick-up trucks but utility trucks. The powdered steel frame does rust, even when the paint job is chipped. It holds securely even at high speeds or in windy weather. Depending on your desire, you can mount the kayak rack for good. Proper installation of these Kayak racks requires you to drill two holes in the top of the bed for each sidepiece.

Pros

  1. Displaces lower weight and space
  2. Features heavy-duty extension bolts
  3. Ideal for jetty saddles

Cons

  1. Incompatible with utility truck models
  2. Single color option

Thule Xsporter Pro 997 Goal post

Thule 997 Goal Post Hitch Mount Truck Adapter for Thule Canoe and...
  • Vehicle type: Trucks & SUVs
  • Size: 12.48 x 57.99 x 73.82 inches, 24.9 lbs.
  • Supported Capacity: 165 lbs.
  • Color option(s): Black
  • Material: powder-coated heavy-duty steel
  • Standout features(s): An adjustable telescoping mast that ensures it fits many truck cabin heights

Thule Xsporter Pro 997 Goalpost rack is one of the most stable kayak racks out there. Its anti-sway design makes for more secure transport. Thus, this rack for kayaks is excellent for long trips and gets the job done efficiently. The telescoping mast will adjust to the truck cab heights you need.

When preparing for your trip, make sure to tie-down straps on the bow, stern, and middle of the kayak to hold your kayak stably. Moderate tightening of the tie-down straps is encouraged to avoid damaging the soft top. The Darby roof turbo kayak rack is used with the Thule Goalpost rack when needed.

Pros

  1. Anti-sway design for enhanced stability
  2. Premium components
  3. Features 2-inch receivers

Cons

  1. Incompatible with generic locks
  2. Incompatible with Passenger Car models

AA Racks J-Bar Folding Roof Top Rack for Kayaks

AA-Racks J-Bar Rack Roof Top Mount with 16 Ft Ratchet Lashing Straps,...
  • Vehicle type: Trucks, Passenger Cars & SUVs
  • Size: 18.2 x 11.4 x 7.2 inches, 12.52 lbs.
  • Supported Capacity: 2200 lbs.
  • Color option(s): black
  • Material: Rubber
  • Standout features(s): Rubber finishing protects kayaks or canoes against dings and scratches

When you need a folding kayak rack for kayak transport, then AA Racks J-Bar folding rooftop rack is the most affordable. The J racks may sound cheap but best believe; this roof rack will perform beyond your wildest expectations. The kayak rack comes well packaged and, for the price, the most sturdy j racks you will find.

The kayak roof racks come with web straps removing the need for buying. Because these kayak racks fold, you can park your car in the city parking garages with no problem. However, some users have complained of rusting nuts, bolts, and claps after a few weeks of using these kayak racks for trucks. You should consider other kayak racks if your car lacks J bars.

Pros

  1. Wide vehicle compatibility
  2. Impressive load capacity
  3. Holds up to two kayaks

Cons

  1. Unsuitable for vehicles without J-bars
  2. Nuts, bolts, and claps are prone to rust

AMP Research 74813-01A Bedxtender HD Max Kayak Rack

AMP Research 74813-01A Black BedXTender HD Max Truck Bed Extender
  • Vehicle type: Pick-up truck
  • Size: 36.5 x 19.5 x 17 inches, 17 lbs.
  • Supported Capacity: 1,000 lbs.
  • Color option(s): Black & silver
  • Material: aluminum alloy
  • Standout features(s): Clamshell design that adds versatility to how you use your truck

The truck-bed extender kayak racks from Amp have always been of top quality and do their jobs efficiently. The Amp Research 74813-01A Bed extender rack stands out for its clamshell design. It is easy to assemble and install the extender rack; it approximately takes an hour. It requires drilling and can be quite the process if you don’t follow the manufacturer’s direction.

So please ensure you install the kayak rack according to the manufacturer’s instructions for convenience. You can disengage the tie downs using the truck’s tailgate handle. This sturdy, well-built extender rack for your vehicle will carry your kayak with no hustle.

Pros

  1. Ideal for everyday use
  2. Holds more than 2 kayaks
  3. Add more floor space to truck beds

Cons

  1. Kayak clumps sold separately
  2. Incompatible with truck bed liners and tonneau covers

Malone Saddle Up Pro Universal Car Rack Kayak Carrier

Malone Saddle Up Pro Universal Car Rack Kayak Carrier (Set of 4) with...
  • Vehicle type: Passenger cars & double cab trucks
  • Size: 15 x 14.6 x 12.8 inches, 8.4 lbs.
  • Supported Capacity: 90 lbs. per kayak
  • Color option(s): Black
  • Material: Steel, nylon & other materials
  • Standout features(s): Provides stable support for kayaks of over 14 feet long.

The Malone Saddle Up Pro Universal Car Rack Kayak Carrier is efficient for long kayaks. It has saddles that adjust to fit your kayak. This truck kayak rack, however, is inappropriate for large and flat-bottomed kayaks. The roof racks’ packaging includes buckle straps that are great when tied correctly, though you might prefer to get better straps.

The kayak rack is easy to install. A lone man crew person can provide sufficient labor. The material used to make the kayak racks is well made, feels sturdy, and holds the kayak firmly. The roof racks feel comfortable when driving, whether on straight stretches or when making sharp turns. Definitely one rack you should check out.

Pros

  1. Displaces minimal space
  2. Fits square, oval, and round cross rails
  3. Sways with wind pressure for enhanced aerodynamics

Cons

  1. Noisy at high speeds
  2. Unsuitable for large & flat-bottomed kayaks

Yakima JayHook Rooftop Mounted Kayak Rack

Yakima - JayHook Rooftop Mounted Kayak Rack for Vehicles, Carries 1...
  • Vehicle type: SUVs, personal cars, and double cab pick-ups
  • Size: 25 x 12 x 6.63 inches, 13.2 lbs.
  • Supported Capacity: 110 lbs.
  • Color option(s): Red on Black
  • Material: steel

Standout features(s): stress-free maintenance due to robust steel construction and no need to drill.

Yakima JayHook Rooftop Mounted Kayak Rack will serve your needs, even if your vehicle has seen better days. This kayak truck rack will last long, with top quality materials used in production. You need no tools to install. The bolts and screws are strong. The installation will take roughly ten to fifteen minutes to accomplish, tie-down straps packaged with the rack are sturdy, reliable, and easy-to-use in the tie-down points.

The foam pads do come off, especially for those who put the rack on all year round. Thus, if you want to have a kayak rack on your pick-up truck all year, please try other kayak racks. It’s also not a choice if your vehicle has no rooftop crossbars. The kayak truck rack is rackety at high speeds.

Pros

  1. Lockable clap design
  2. Crossbar spread of over 24 inches
  3. 110 lbs. weight capacity

Cons

  1. Unsuitable for vehicles without root top crossbars
  2. Rackety at high speeds

What are the types of kayak racks for trucks?

  • Roof-mounted

These types of kayak racks for trucks are easy to install. Some don’t require drilling or any special tools for installation. This ease of use makes them ideal for casual or weekend kayakers. The only drawback is that most of them require a factory-installed rack to ensure stability.

You may have to install a permanent rack where you can attach such a kayak rack for trucks.

  • Bed extenders

Bed extenders help you maximize the capacity of your pick-up truck or SUV. Such racks secure your kayak to the top on one end. The other end can be fastened to your roof. Most of the models on our list feature standard 2-inch receivers that help you save time while installing and dismantling the rack.

  • Lumber style

These are more of a permanent solution for all your Kayak mounting problems. They mount the load to the side of your truck bed. So they may not be suitable for SUVs, utility trucks, and personal cars.

However, such a kayak rack for trucks pair well with pick-ups. Lumber style racks for trucks are the best option for kayakers that hit the rapids throughout the year.

What Should You Look For In The Best Kayak Rack For Trucks?

Protective Padding

The best Kayak Rack For Trucks features a padding layer that protects your car from scratches and dings. This usually comes between the cradle and the surface of the roof.

Saddle

Saddles cradle kayak rack for trucks so that they don’t shift from the position. Some hold 2 kayaks or more.

Strap Options

Most of the products on the list have straps with hooks. Such tools help you to secure the kayak against wind and inertia as you speed.

Verdict

Kayaking is an adventurous sport that allows you to go into the wild as you break from your routine. However, you need an effective way to transport your kayak to the closest rapids or lakes. If you have a car, you’re halfway there. Now all you need is the best kayak rack for trucks.

We hope this list of the best Kayak Rack For Trucks will guide you to a worthy and durable purchase.

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