The 6 Best Kayak Roof Racks

Updated July 11, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

6 Best Kayak Roof Racks
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 25 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Get your boat to the river or lake easily and safely by mounting it on top of your vehicle using one of these kayak roof racks. Designed to protect both your watercraft and your car during transit, they are available in models that will work with most vehicles. We've ranked them here by durability, protectiveness, and ease of installation. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best kayak roof rack on Amazon.

6. TMS J-Bar HD

The TMS J-Bar HD is lightweight, yet strong and durable, thanks to its tubular steel design. It features an easily adjustable padding system, so you can create an arrangement that is customized to secure and protect your prized watercraft.
  • holds up to 75 pounds
  • lifetime warranty
  • additional hardware often needed
Brand TMS
Model KAYAK-RK-J(1BOX)
Weight 7.8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. 9sparts Universal

The 9sparts Universal is not the ideal system for the paddler who transports his or her watercraft on dozens of days out of the year, as it will eventually wear out. Its superb low price, though, does make it a great choice for the less frequent user.
  • rust-resistant coating
  • support boats up to 150 pounds
  • also holds surfboards or snowboards
Brand 9sparts
Model pending
Weight 7.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. SportRack Jetty Saddle

The SportRack Jetty Saddle holds your boat flat on the top of the car rather than turning it on its side. This helps reduce wind shear and mitigates the pressure put on the hull. It is suitable for most shapes and sizes of kayak.
  • integrated rubber padding
  • easy to install and remove
  • fits on the majority of cross rails
Brand SportRack
Model SR5512
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Yakima Jaylow

If you want to get loaded up and on the road in a hurry, you'll appreciate the tool-free installation of the Yakima Jaylow. These protective and supportive units adhere to your cross rails in no time at all and with minimal effort.
  • integrated cam lever
  • no assembly required
  • lifetime warranty
Brand Yakima
Model 8004073
Weight 12.9 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Rola 59912 J Style

The powder-coated steel construction of the Rola 59912 J Style will keep the units free of rust and corrosion, even if you have a habit of loading up your kayak while it's still dripping wet. Both sides of the holders are equipped with protective foam padding.
  • heavy-duty bow and stern ties
  • made in australia
  • 150-pound weight capacity
Brand Rola
Model 59912
Weight 10.2 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Malone Downloader Folding J-Style

The Malone Downloader Folding J-Style is a universal system that conveniently collapses when not in use, so it takes up little space in storage. Oversized padding on the sides adds a layer of protection to your hull, ensuring a longer life for your watercraft.
  • easily fits around most cross rails
  • 60 and 70 millimeter mounting bolts
  • straps have buckle protectors
Brand Malone
Model MPG114MD
Weight 12.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

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Last updated on July 11, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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