So, you have got a kayak. That sounds amazing but how are you planning to transport the kayak from point A to Point B? You just can’t tuck that huge kayak inside your jeep. Don’t even think about it. To transport a 10 feet kayak, you need to have kayak roof racks installed on your jeep. Kayak racks for a jeep will let you transport your kayak without developing any scratches or without damaging the jeep in the process.
Now, the market has got overflowed with numerous varieties of kayak roof racks and that means, it will be extremely difficult for you to figure out the best kayak roof rack for your Wrangler or Cherokee Jeep.
Best 5 Jeep Cherokee Kayak Carriers
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1. Thule® – Hull-a-Port XT Kayak Carrier
Thule® – Hull-a-Port XT Kayak Carrier is extremely versatile and is powerful enough to help you transport two kayaks on the roof of your car without making any compromise on the stability front in one way or the other. You can easily get it converted into a two-boat stacker from a J-cradle thanks to its Dual position design. Loading kayak is made easy thanks to its Integrated StrapCatch that makes it super easy to manage those ungodly straps that always get tangled for some strange reason.
When you are not using it, you can fold it down and that means, you don’t have to necessarily take it off while moving your car into your garage. You can get it fitted with almost all types of load bars given the fact that they are 80 mm wide. The maximum weight capacity of this kayak is 130 lbs. it comes fully assembled out of the box which is nice. Ensuring better aerodynamics is its low-key D-shape design.
2. Swagman Contour Rooftop Kayak Carrier
Swagman Contour Rooftop Kayak Carrier is a highly reliable kayak roof rack that can be installed and taken off in a matter of few minutes. To keep the hull of the kayak protected from dents and scratches, the cradles of this Swagman Contour Rooftop Kayak Carrier have got enough padding. Once the kayak is mounted on your Jeep Cherokee, you will still have plenty of rooms available to carry other gears. Clamp-on installation takes the pain away from the entire installation process which is great. The maximum weight capacity of this Swagman Contour Rooftop Kayak Carrier is 100 lbs which are impressive. Steel constructions add to its durability and the black powder coat finish makes this kayak rack highly resistant to corrosion.
3. Malone DownLoader Kayak Carrier
Malone DownLoader Kayak Carrier lets you load kayak sideways and thus makes the whole transportation process as simple as it can get. When you are not using it, you can fold it down and it will stay that way. It can be fitted with virtually any cross-bar systems that are commonly available in the market. The frame is strong and durable enough to withstand corrosion. Its upper sleeves and base pads can be replaced easily and effortlessly. You can fold it down effortlessly by making proper use of the Pull Pins. The arms and the bases have got enough padding to keep your kayak protected from scratches and scuffs. The aluminum frame has made it extremely lightweight.
4. Thule Hull-A-Port Kayak Carrier
Thule Hull-A-Port Kayak Carrier is simply one of the best kayak racks available in the market that you can easily install on your Jeep Cherokee without spending a ton of money on it. Thule Hull-A-Port Kayak Carrier has got a compact design and the installation process is dead simple and straightforward. You would not even need the help of a second person to get the kayak mounted on it.
Unlike saddle-style carriers that tend to take a lot of space, Thule Hull-A-Port Kayak Carrier does not take that much space on the roof of the Jeep Cherokee. The four touchpoints can be adjusted by making necessary changes in the positions of the adjustable pads. These adjustable pads can slide up and down almost seamlessly and provide greater support to the kayak. Besides protecting the hull of the kayak from dents and scratches, Thule Hull-A-Port Kayak Carrier will reinforce the cradles to a great extent.
5. Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Carrier
Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Carrier can easily be attached to your very own Jeep Cherokee without making any elaborate arrangement. Waist level loading and unloading of a kayak are made possible thanks to its gas struts. It is compatible with almost all crossbars that are commonly available in the market. No matter how wide your kayak is, Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Carrier is flexible enough to accommodate it. All you have to do is to make some adjustments in the arms of the cradle and your kayak will fit just fine. Stainless steel construction has endowed it with incredible strength and powder coat finish makes it highly resistant to abrasion and corrosion.
Best 5 Kayak Racks for Jeep Wrangler
1. Attwood® – Kayak Roof Rack Mount
Attwood® – Kayak Roof Rack Mount takes the pain out of the whole kayak transportation process. Transporting a kayak on the roof of a Jeep Wrangler should not complicated but if you make the wrong move, things can get topsy-turvy at any point in time. Thankfully, now you can put your trust on Attwood® – Kayak Roof Rack Mount which is specifically designed to help people mount kayak on their jeeps without spending a ton of money. The maximum weight capacity of this kayak is around 120 lbs which are more than enough to carry a standard-sized kayak. Easy loading and unloading are made possible thanks to its Open J-style design. Made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, Attwood® – Kayak Roof Rack Mount is rugged-built and can stand the test of time.
2. Reese Explore J-Rac Kayak Carrier
Reese Explore J-Rac Kayak Carrier allows you to transport your kayak on the roof of your Jeep Wrangler in an upright position. The coolest thing about this Reese Explore J-Rac Kayak Carrier is that it can be attached to almost all kinds of crossbars that are commonly available in the market. Included in the package are necessary mounting hardware, straps, and two J-Rack holders. The maximum weight capacity of this Reese Explore J-Rac Kayak Carrier is 165 lbs which are impressive, to say the least. Reese Explore J-Rac Kayak Carrier has got padding in all the contact points to keep your kayak protected from scratches and dents. The installation process is fairly simple and straightforward. All you have to do is to use the U-bolts to get this rack attached to the crossbars and you will be just fine.
3. CURT® – Kayak Carrier
CURT® – Kayak Carrier is a highly reliable and extremely reliable kayak carrier that you can get your hands on at this price point. Easy to use, CURT® – Kayak Carrier is extremely adjustable as well. Its arms are highly flexible and can be adjusted at any angle you like. When you are not using it, you can fold it down or tuck it inside your car as this would not eat up too much space. It does not have an impressive weight capacity but 75 lbs maximum storage capacity is more than enough to carry a single kayak. Use the T-nuts and the provided hardware to get this CURT® – Kayak Carrier mounted on the roof of your CURT® – Kayak Carrier. You don’t have to use any fancy tools for that. Protecting the kayak from the scratches, dents and scuffs are the foam paddings that are placed strategically.
4. Rhino-Rack® – Fixed J-Style Kayak Carrier
Rhino-Rack® – Fixed J-Style Kayak Carrier is a highly reliable and convenient kayak rack specially designed for those Jeep Wrangler owners who are finding it extremely difficult to transport a kayak to a nearby lake or river without getting either the kayak or the vehicle damaged in the process. Since it allows people to mount the kayak sideways, you will get ample free space on the roof to transport other sporting gears without facing any hassles whatsoever. The package includes tie-down straps, rubber tube padding, and all the other necessary hardware accessories that you will ever need to install this kayak roof rack for jeep on the roof of your precious Jeep Wrangler. tough carbon steel is used in the making of this jeep kayak carrier and this is what has endowed it with incredible strength. The coating is applied on this Rhino-Rack® – Fixed J-Style Kayak Carrier to make it resistant to corrosion and weather.
5. Rhino-Rack® – Folding J-Style Kayak Carrier
Rhino-Rack® – Folding J-Style Kayak Carrier allows you to make the most of the available space on the roof of your Jeep Wrangler. You can carry paddles on it as this jeep kayak roof rack come standard with a cradle. Compatible with almost all types of roof rack systems that you come across all the time in the market, Rhino-Rack® – Folding J-Style Kayak Carrier will keep your kayak protected no matter what. You will get tie-down straps, rubber tube padding, and all other stainless-steel hardware with this Rhino-Rack® – Folding J-Style Kayak Carrier and this will make the whole installation process as simple as it can get.
Factors to Consider While Buying A Kayak Rack for Jeep
A number of factors you will have to take into consideration while trying to find out the best kayak roof rack for a jeep. We have analyzed some of those factors. Take a look around –
Different roof racks serve different purposes. Some jeep roof racks are designed specifically to transport luggage and goods whereas some other jeep roof racks are designed to transport kayaks. So, you need to check the specification carefully before zeroing in on a particular one.
You can alternatively choose a multi-purpose jeep rack but you need to be 100% certain that you can fit a standard size kayak in it otherwise, your hard-earned money will be wasted on another meaningless junk. Technically, you need to purchase a kayak roof rack for your jeep that can be taken off easily. It should be easy to put back on as well.
Don’t go for cheap materials just for the sake of saving some bucks. You might end up spending more on damaged jeep roof or damaged kayaks. Choose materials which are strong like aluminum or steel. Aluminum is a popular choice as it is strong yet lightweight.
The kayak roof racks also need to have some padding otherwise they will scratch against the roof’s surface. In case, you are too worried about the scratches, you might opt for fabric roof racks. They are definitely not that strong but that does not mean that they are any less effective.
3. Number of Kayaks
How many kayaks you are planning to transport on your jeep? One, two or three? Some kayak roof racks allow people to carry as many as 4 kayaks. However, you need to check the maximum load capacity of the kayak roof rack before start loading multiple kayaks on it. It can fall off the roof during the transportation process. So, you need to be really careful while loading your kayak on a roof rack.
4. Vehicle Type
You need to understand that not all kayak roof racks are meant for jeeps. Some are designed for trucks whereas some are designed for SUVs. You simply can’t forcefully install a roof rack on your jeep and then hope for the best. That would be a disaster in the making. Some people might even dub it as a potential hazard.
Before you even trying to scour the web for the best kayak roof rack for your jeep, you need to take a careful look at the exact dimension of the jeep. In case, you have no idea how to measure the dimension of the jeep roof, you can go through the handbook of the jeep. Some jeep manufacturers are even providing the buyers with a compatibility guide which can solve half of all your troubles.
6. Bar Height
If you are on the shorter side just like me, you might have to face a lot of troubles while loading the kayak on the roof rack. However, if the roof rack fits precisely with the roofline, your struggle might come to an end.
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.