Toyota Highlander is one of the most popular mid-size crossover SUVs manufactured by Japanese car giant Toyota. The SUV has been in the market since 2001 and even now it is quite a popular model with people looking for mid-sized crossover SUVs. The SUV comes with 5 doors making movement extremely easy and convenient to and from the vehicle. Along with having a third-row seating arrangement (which is slightly tight), the SUV also offers a sizable cargo hold. If you have a good amount of luggage, it can be fitted in the vehicle without compromising on the comfort factor. People who love kayaking and canoeing can easily take their kayaks and canoes in the vehicle with help of various kayak racks.
So, you are a proud owner of Toyota Highlander and you are also passionate about kayaking as well. That sounds great! But transporting a kayak on the roof of Toyota Highlander is not that easy. You need to purchase a good quality Kayak Roof Rack otherwise; you might have a hard time transporting your kayak on the roof of your Toyota Highlander without getting it damaged in the process. Finding the right kayak rack for your Toyota Highlander should not be complicated. But to make your job easier, here we have listed top 6 racks that you can install on your Toyota Highlander without spending a ton of money.
Mentioned below are some excellent kayak racks which are highly suitable for Toyota Highlander:
Best 6 Kayak Roof Racks for Toyota Highlander
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1. Thule HullaPort Pro Rooftop Kayak Carrier
If you are looking for a premium quality kayak rack for Toyota Highlander, the Thule HullaPort Pro rooftop kayak carrier is a great choice. This is a vertical-oriented carrier that offers easy and convenient installation, easy loading and unloading, and most importantly, economical use of space. The rack also comes with a folding, fuel-efficient design.
The Thule HullaPort Pro rooftop kayak carrier comes in J-style. As a result, it is possible to create more room on the main load bar. The PDF lever used in the rack makes it convenient to fold the carrier quickly. Overhead clearance can be improved with this technology. Another interesting thing about the product is that load straps are included in the pack. There are two ratcheting stern and bow toe downs. There are buckle protectors as well for safe transportation of the kayak or canoe. Kayaks with a width of 34 inches and weight of about 75 lbs. can be accommodated in the rack.
2. Thule 881 Top Deck Rooftop Kayak Carrier
These are excellent custom designed saddles so that you can load and carry your kayak safely with you on a Toyota Highlander. If you cannot afford a full-fledged kayak rack, this is the best alternative and that too comfortably within your budget. The design of the saddles are simple, but they are result-oriented. The custom rubber saddles are made in such a manner that they fit in the most popular hull shapes. The saddles come with expansive contact surface area and thus, there are no chances of the kayak slipping.
The Thule 881 Top Deck Rooftop Kayak Carrier has absolutely tool-free installation. There are bolts and wing knobs with which the saddles can be fastened to practically any rooftop of the vehicle. Straps are also provided with the saddles so that the kayaks can be fastened to the crossbars. 1 kayak can be loaded on this carrier with a weight of about 75 lbs.
3. Swagman CONTOUR Roof Mount Kayak Rack
Kayak lovers often take their kayaks with them while going on a holiday. When you have a Toyota Highlander as your primary vehicle, carrying the kayak will be no problem at all. And this is possible with the help of Swagman CONTOUR roof mount kayak rack. The rack comes with a universal mount and fits square, round, and factory crossbars. The padding provided in the rack is soft but firm and strong so that the boat gets maximum protection.
Along with the high-quality rack, the product also has bow-stern tie-down straps, which helps in increasing the stability of the kayak or the canoe that you are carrying. There are also 2 tie-down straps along with cam lock buckles. The process of loading and unloading the kayak or canoe is very simple and does not need many people. 1 person can handle the job easily. There is practically no need for assembling in this carrier.
4. Rhino-Rack RWP03 Foam Pads
When you are planning to take your kayak or canoe on the roof of a Toyota Highlander, you are sure to need this special accessory. In fact, whatever be the vehicle in which you carry your kayak, these foam pads will be useful. While loading and unloading the kayak, canoe, surfboards, or other items from the roof of the vehicle, the roof racks might be damaged. For the protection of the roof racks, you can definitely use Rhino-Rack RWP03 foam pads.
The foam pads come in different sizes – 22”, 28” and 33”. The prices of the pads are different. The designing of the pads is done in such a manner they fit comfortably around common roof racks. The pads come with a simple but very strong Velcro design. The pads are sold in the form of pair for rear and front crossbars. The pads are also accompanied by a pair of padded tie-down straps so that the kayak/canoe or other item is safe during transportation.
5. SportRack SR5511 J Stacking Kayak Carrier
SportRack SR5511 J Stacking Kayak Carrier offers a great kayak stowage facility on almost all vehicles including Toyota Highlander. The carrier is compatible with almost all leading roof rack configurations featuring crossbars.
The ‘J’ style design of the carrier is done intentionally so that easy loading and unloading of the kayak can be done from the side or roof of the vehicle. Along with the J stacking elements, the carrier also comes with two numbers of heavy-duty side tie-down straps along with tie-downs for the stern and bow of the kayak. The stacking elements get connected to the roof rack crossbars by a combination of bolts and knobs. The process takes less than a few seconds.
The product contains heavy-duty steel tubing, which is made with rubber, foam, and resin components. Corrosion is resisted with the help of Granite Grey-E coating. Kayaks with 17 feet in length and weighing up to 75 lbs. can be transported easily with this carrier.
6. Attwood 11441-4 Kayak J-Style Roof Rack Carrier Kit
If you are looking for a roof rack carrier for your kayak or canoe for the Toyota Highlander, you can definitely purchase the Attwood 11441-4 Kayak J-Style roof rack carrier kit. The roof rack carrier is made up of powder-coated steel, making the product strong as well as durable at the same time. Due to this construction, the carrier is able to take load of almost 120 pounds. The specialty of this carrier is that it can be mounted successfully on almost all standard roof rack cross bars.
Because of the J style design of the carrier, it is easy and convenient to load and unload the kayak or the canoe that you are carrying. The product is reliable and compatible and engineered to meet demands of customers. Last but not the least, there are foam rubber pads, which protect the finishing of the car and the kayak.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.