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Kayak Rack Resources

Kayak racks come in a variety of styles depending upon your needs. Vertical racks and kayak trailers offer maximum capacity, while saddle racks and J-Cradle racks are best for one person loading and unloading. To find the kayak rack that’s right for you, check out the basics for each type of rack we offer.

All three of the following kayak racks attach to crossbars on the vehicle's roof. If you don't have crossbars, see our roof rack systems to find a base rack system for your vehicle.

  • Vertical Kayak Rack - The best option if you want to carry two or more kayaks on the roof and requires a base rack system . It’s the most affordable rack choice for carrying more than two kayaks and perfect for vehicles with narrow roofs. The vertical rack carries the kayaks on their side and can accommodate up to four kayaks. The vertical rack requires two people to load and unload the kayaks.
  • J-Cradle Kayak Rack - Can be loaded by one person from either the side or rear of the vehicle. Add a load assist and it’s even easier. This rack can carry up to 4 kayaks on the roof of a larger vehicle, but still offers a relatively small footprint. The benefit of the J-Cradle is that it folds down when not in use, and the boats sit at a 45 degree angle, allowing use of the crossbars for other items.
  • Saddle Kayak Rack - The easiest to load for one person because the kayak rests on its bottom. Saddle kayak racks attach to the crossbars, and you can fit up to two racks on a typical roof. The saddle style kayak rack fits the widest range of kayaks, and offers a slightly lower profile than vertical or J-Cradle racks.

If you don’t have a roof rack system, and want a simple, low-cost option for carrying your kayaks, a foam or inflatable rack may be for you . These kayak racks do not require a roof base rack. These racks are affordable, lightweight and simple to attach to your vehicle’s roof. Foam and inflatable kayak carriers like the Malone HandiRack Inflatable rack are limited to one, maybe two kayaks and are ideal for the occasional kayaker.

The sport trailer requires a trailer hitch and comes ready to assemble. These steel trailers are DOT compliant, and can carry up to four kayaks as well as your kayaking gear. The Malone Microsport trailer will carry up to 4 kayaks with gear and yet it weighs in at only 355 pounds unloaded.

At, we offer the largest selection of kayak racks to fit your needs. No matter what kayak rack you prefer, we’ll help you choose the best option for your vehicle so you can start planning your next paddling adventure.

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