If you are a kayak fanatic like me, you need to arm your truck to the teeth with a powerful and reliable kayak roof rack so that the kayak stays in its position in the transportation process. You want to see your kayak in one piece at the end of the journey right? Of course, you do and which is why you need to purchase a kayak rack which is strong, stable and reliable.
It is not a good idea to toss your ‘precious’ in the bed of the pickup truck and then pray throughout the journey to the Old Gods and to the New Gods that your kayak survives the journey somehow. Well, it is not going to end up well for sure. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the right kind of roof rack for your truck to transport the kayak safely.
Kayak Racks for Truck Bed Reviewed
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Here we are going to review the most popular kayak racks for trucks that you can easily install on your truck so that you don’t have to waste hours to do the researches –
AA-Racks Model APX2503 Aluminum Truck Bed Rack sports a low-key design but don’t get deceived by its look, it can punch well above its weight when it comes to performance. Very easy to put together, AA-Racks Model APX2503 Aluminum Truck Bed Rack a decent kayak roof rack for trucks with bed. Besides kayaks, you can also use this Aluminum Truck Bed Rack to transport any other heavy outdoor gears like skies, bikes, etc without destabilizing it. The on-road capacity of AA-Racks Model APX2503 Aluminum Truck Bed Rack is an impressive 300 lbs.
AA-Racks Model APX2503 Aluminum Truck Bed Rack is compatible with all pickup trucks. However, it can’t be installed on a pickup truck with Utility Track Systems.
Pure aluminum construction adds to its incredible, strength and since it is powder-coat, you don’t have to worry about its durability. 8 universal mounting clamps are included in the pack and these clamps make it super easy to get this thing installed on your truck without drilling a single hole in it.
AA-Racks Model APX25 Extendable Aluminum Pick-Up Truck Ladder Rack is a super durable and rust-resistant kayak roof rack. With a maximum weight capacity of 800 lbs, AA-Racks Model APX25 Extendable Aluminum Pick-Up Truck Ladder Rack will make transporting a kayak a breeze. No drilling required to get this thing installed on your pickup truck no matter which variant or model you have.
AA-Racks Model APX25 Extendable Aluminum Pick-Up Truck Ladder Rack is coated with weather-resistant paint and therefore, it means, it will last a long time. This heavy-duty kayak rack for truck bed is made from aluminum and that means, it is waterproof.
ECOTRIC Adjustable Full-Size Truck Kayak Rack is compatible with both short and long-bed pick-up trucks. This heavy-duty kayak roof rack can be installed in a matter of few minutes and no such drilling tools required for that.
ECOTRIC Adjustable Full-Size Truck Kayak Rack is super strong and it draws its strength from solid steel construction and the maximum weight capacity of this beast is 1000 lb which is more than what you can expect from a Truck Kayak Rack. The loads get evenly distributed thanks to its adjustable center brace. You can remove it from the truck bed when not in use since the removal process is that cumbersome.
ECOTRIC Adjustable Full-Size Truck Kayak Rack has got a classic design yet it has got all the features that you can expect from a modern kayak truck rack.
YAKIMA – BigCatch Kayak Saddles for Roof Racks are exceptionally well-built and offers superior performance under extreme circumstances. No matter what rack system your truck has, YAKIMA – BigCatch Kayak Saddles for Roof Racks could be the very thing that you can get on it. You can be 100% certain that your kayak will sit nicely on it and it will stay in place no matter what.
Designed to handle super-heavy kayaks, YAKIMA – BigCatch Kayak Saddles for Roof Rack is extremely easy to install. The saddles are rubber-padded and that means, they will cushion the impacts and thus will make the transportation process as secure as it can get. The maximum weight capacity of this YAKIMA – BigCatch Kayak Saddles for Roof Rack is around 150 lb which is more than enough for most of us.
Included are bow and stern tie-downs, heavy-duty straps, and more.
Apex ATR Heavy Duty Universal Aluminum Utility Rack is compatible with almost all types of pickup truck beds available in the market. Be it a mid-sized pickup truck or a compact one, this adjustable kayak roof rack is there to offer superior protection from all kinds of abrasions. Numerous tie-down points included in it so that you can keep kayak and your truck during the transport. These tie-down points will eliminate any possible wobbling during the journey. No need to drill holes in your precious pickup truck to get this thing installed because the clamp system is there to get it done.
It has an 800 lb. maximum weight capacity which is impressive by any yardstick. Aluminum construction adds to its incredible strength. Overall, it is a decent kayak rack which is built mainly for the truck system.
AA Products Model X35 Truck Rack is a powerful and features rich kayak rack for trucks. It is compatible with most truck models. Setting up this kayak rack is fairly easy and it does not take long to uninstall it.
You can easily transport two standard sized kayaks with this AA Products Model X35 Truck Rack. No need to drill any holes. All you have to do is to follow the instructions provided in the manual and there you go. However, this rack is not compatible with those trucks that have got Utility Track Systems already installed.
Included are –
- 2 Pair of Kayak J-Racks
- Bow and Stern Tie Down Straps
- Adjustable Rope Hanger
- 8 C-clamps
AA Products Model APX25 Aluminum Truck Rack is heavy duty and well-built kayak rack that you can mount on your truck. It works like a charm when installed correctly. It does not take more than half an hour to get this thing installed on your truck. It does not wobble and remains firm in its position no matter how fast you are driving.
The saddle pads are secured by 4 bolts provided by the company. The saddles are made from high quality and durable nylon infused plastic towers that adds to its impressive strength. These bolts are long and strong. AA Products Model APX25 Aluminum Truck Rack can easily hold on to a 16 Ft long kayak and it allows you to load your kayak from either side of the truck.
The best thing about this AA Products Model APX25 Aluminum Truck Rack is that it does not require any drilling at all.
Included are –
- 1 PAIR Ratchet Kayak Bow and Stern Tie Down Straps.
- 2 Pack High Graded 1 Ton Ratcheting Straps
- 1 Pair of Steel Jetty Saddle Kayak Racks
At this price point, ECOTRIC Pick Up Truck Bed Hitch Extender Extension Rack is a steal. You might think that it is a lot of work but the truth is vastly different. It will barely take more than 30 minutes to set things up. A ten feet long kayak can be transported easily with this magnificent beast. You will not need more than 4 bungee cords to secure this thing. It can be easily fitted into the trailer hitch of your truck. What is even more interesting is the fact that its width and height can be adjusted easily and effortlessly. Since it is made from high-quality steel, you don’t have to worry about wear and tear.
ECOTRIC Pick Up Truck Bed Hitch Extender Extension Rack has a maximum weight capacity of 750 lbs. It weighs just 27lbs and that means, carrying it around would not be that difficult.
Thule Xsporter Pro Aluminum Rack lets you transport almost anything without developing any scratches or damaging the roof of your truck in one way or the other. You can carry SUP, kayak, surfboard or any large doodad for that matter. No need to cut the mount or drill a hole to get this thing installed. You can easily adjust its height which is convenient. Adjustable height makes it easier for the users to load and unload the kayak.
Thule Xsporter Pro Aluminum Rack also has a superior aerodynamic design. Air Trip Technology is integrated into the design to increase airflow. It can easily hold on to 450lbs. What is even more amazing is that this kayak rack does not make any such noise.
TMS 800 LB Adjustable Fit 2 Bars Utility Kayak Rack for Truck is a heavy-duty kayak rack. Stainless steel constructions add to its impressive strength and durability. It has got steel base and to fix the rack, you would have to use 2 bolts and screws provided by the manufacturer. Assembling the rack is as easy as pie. Designed to haul large-sized kayaks, it can carry as much as 800 lbs without showing any sign of stress.
TMS 800 LB Adjustable Fit 2 Bars Utility Kayak Rack is ideal for those who are looking for a simple rack to transport their kayak around. It is a no-nonsense kayak roof rack that can be used to transports heavy items (just make sure that you are not crossing the maximum weight capacity mark).
Kayak Racks for Pickup Truck Bed Buying Guide
Kayak racks are available in different shapes and sizes. However, the following are three main types –
Roof-mounted kayak racks are quite common and the biggest advantage of using these Roof-mounted kayak racks is that they can be attached and detached to your Truck without much hassles. Designed for armature kayakers, Roof-mounted kayak racks are ideal for those who love to kayak on a very specific period of time rather than throughout the year. However, in order to get them installed on the roof of the pickup truck, you need to make sure that your pickup truck has got factory racks or crossbars already installed. However, Leader Accessories can be attached to a pickup truck without crossbars attached to it.
Lumber-Style Racks are designed for those who are looking for a permanent fix for all their kayak transportation needs. Attached to the side of the truck bed, Lumber-Style Kayak Racks offer a stable platform to transport all your kayaking gears easily and effortlessly. Once attached, these Lumber-Style Racks do not need any such maintenance. You don’t even have to make adjustments to them; rather all you have to do is to strap these racks down tightly and it will do the trick.
As the name suggests, Bed Extenders are designed to minimize the risk of injury during the entire kayak transportation process as far as possible. All you have to do is to slide the kayak into the bed of the kayak. Unlike roof-mounted kayak racks where you will have to lift the kayak above the head in order to get it to place on the kayak rack, Bed Extender has simplified the concept of kayak transportation. The biggest advantage of using Bed Extenders is that they can be attached to a two-inch receiver hitch almost effortlessly.
The maximum weight capacity of the pickup kayak truck rack should be taken into consideration while scouring the web for the perfect kayak rack. Check the weight of the kayak and then compare it with the maximum weight capacity of the rack. Always go for a kayak rack with a higher loading capacity.
The rack should have an aerodynamic design otherwise the fuel efficiency of the car can get adversely affected. Moreover, the lack of aerodynamic design can lead to a lot of noise during the journey and this can make your journey uncomfortable, to say the least.
Kayak Rack for Trucks FAQ
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.