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Best Roof Rack Pads for Kayaks

Best Roof Rack Pads for Kayaks

Protect both your kayak and your vehicle with the handy selection of roof rack pads. The best thing about these roof rack pads is that they offer temporary solution to your kayak transportation needs. You don’t have to purchase an expensive kayak rack and get it installed on the roof of your car for a parament basis anymore. With these roof rack pads, you will be able to save a ton of money and time while trying to move your kayak from point A to Point B. These roof rack pads are easy to install and can be taken off in a jiffy when you don’t need them. However, finding the right roof rack pad for your kayak transportation needs is not always easy. To make your life easier, here we have listed some of the best roof rack kayak pads that money can buy –

Best 5 Roof Rack Pads for Kayaks

1. Thule Surf Pads

Sold as a pair, the Thule Surf Pads are premium, all-purpose roof rack pads for protecting and snugly transporting a wide range of gear and equipment including surfboards, sailboards, stand-up paddleboards, canoe, kayak and more. Constructed of high-density foam padding that lives inside no-fade UV resistant sleeve fabrics for maximum, long-term durability. Thule Surf Pads deliver superior protection and solid, secure transport compared to resting your gear directly on the roof rack cross bars.

Features a split bottom that fits Thule roof rack square cross bars and other square / round cross bars from aftermarket car rack manufacturers including Yakima, Inno etc. Sewn-in hook and loop straps and convenient bungee cinch-cord ends allow for fast and easy installation, removal and adjustment on roof rack cross bars. Suggested accessories for use in combination with the Thule Surf Pads include a pair of Thule Load Straps or a pair of Thule Express Surf Straps. Rack pads are black color and packaged as a pair.


  • Features a split bottom that fits Thule roof rack square cross bars and other square / round cross bars from other after-market car rack manufacturers including Yakima, Inno etc.
  • The general-purpose Thule Surf Pads are a simple, economical gear carrier solution for hauling stand up paddle boards, surfboards, sailboards etc. Recommended for use in combination with a pair of Thule Load Straps or a pair of Thule Express Surf Straps.
  • Also a cost-effective solution for carrying a canoe, kayak, ladder and other gear & equipment. Recommended for use with kayak stacker style kayak racks for extra protection and aiding in loading and transporting.
  • Universally suited to work as kayak pads, canoe pads, stand-up paddleboard / SUP pads, surfboard pads, windsurfer pads etc.
  • Constructed of high grade, durable foam padding with all-weather & water resistant, no-fade UV resistant sleeve fabrics for maximum, long term durability.
  • Split bottom design for easy on and off of cross bars. Sewn-in hook and loop straps and convenient bungee cinch-cord ends allow for fast and easy installation, removal and adjustment on roof rack cross bars.
  • Thule Racks Lifetime Warranty!

2. Yakima – CrossBar Pads

Get your boards to the water as fast as possible—and have enough cash leftover in your wallet for a cold one at sunset, too. The Yakima Cross bar pads for round bars from Yakima and square bars from brands like Thule and Inno meet both of these needs, delivering straightforward functionality and value in a durable package. Sold as a pair, the 30” cross bar pads offer generous coverage for kayaks, surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, and other water gear, and easy on-off accessibility thanks to a Velcro® closure running the length of the pads. Heavy-duty ballistic nylon construction offers UV and weather protection, and foam padding keeps boards cushy and safe.


  • Includes 2 cross bar pads to transport kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, surfboards, and other watersport boards and boats
  • Compatible with round and square aftermarket cross bars from brands like Yakima, Thule, and Inno
  • 30” long pads provide extended coverage with full Velcro® closure for easy installation and removal
  • Pairs well with Yakima Heavy Duty Straps, BigStack, and Kayak Stacker
  • Ballistic nylon covers with foam interiors provide durability, weather protection, and padding
  • Full instructions included
  • Yakima Racks lifetime warranty

3. Malone Rack Pads

Malone Crossbar Pads provide cushioning for Malone and most roof top car rack crossbars such as Thule, Yakima, Inno and factory rack cross rails. This offers protection for your SUP / Stand Up Paddleboards, Kayaks and Surfboards while transporting them on the roof of your car. With Velcro closures and water resistant nylon surrounding high density foam padding – these bar pads are a great base for a rooftop carrying system for your canoe, kayak or SUP.

4. Seattle Sports NO SKID Universal Kayak Foam Blocks

Seattle Sports, long known for their reputable, quality products in the watersports and gear transport industries, now owns the RiverSide Cartop Carriers brand. This acquisition results in product offerings guaranteed to deliver better-than-ever reliability and long lasting durability, ease of use and convenience. Performance functionality and affordable, value pricing make these products the ideal solution for the budget-minded customer. The Seattle Sports owned Riverside CarTop Universal Kayak Kit is a complete car rooftop kayak rack transport system, serving as an economical, simple and portable alternative for carrying your kayak to and from the water. The included kayak foam blocks, straps and bow-stern ties offer universal versatility, allowing you to load up and haul virtually any kayak on vehicles with or without a roof rack. The innovative Universal Kayak Kit may be priced as a cheap kayak rack, however superior design, materials and fabrication deliver effortless assembly and installation, easy-to-use functionality, long lasting durability and worry-free reliability. Plus everything packs up neatly in the included Universal Kayak Kit mesh bag for efficient storage and easy portability.

Seattle Sports NO SKID Universal Kayak Foam Blocks functions and performs equally well on vehicles with completely bare car rooftops, factory installed roof rack cross bar systems, those with factory side rails only, and any aftermarket brand multi-purpose base roof rack cross bars from Thule, Yakima, Whispbar, Inno, SportRack, Malone and more. Includes a pair of corrosion resistant, waterproof, extra-tall, proprietary No-Skid blocks, manufactured using the latest advanced mini-cell kayak foam blocks technology. Unique non-skid laminate ensures the kayak blocks remain in place, never slipping. Simultaneously cushions and protects kayak underside, as well as ensuring blocks never impact car rooftop surface.

Custom engineered cut-outs on the bottom of the kayak foam blocks allow universal installation on — completely bare cartop surfaces; vehicle rooftops with factory side rails only; on the crossbars of aftermarket brand and factory installed roof rack systems; even allowing for the option of positioning foam blocks in front of or in back of the cross bars, directly on roof top surface.

5. SportRack Jetty Kayak Kit

If your day’s put-in isn’t all that far away from your front door, dropping a whole ton of cash on a luggage rack system, plus a rigid frame kayak rack is probably unnecessary. Foam blocks have served paddlers well since your granddaddy’s years. Available in 12 or 16” options the SportRack Jetty Kayak Kit comes complete with everything you need to get your kayak to the put-in on a budget. The SportRack Jetty Kayak Kit includes two V-notched foam craddles that accommodate a wide range of hull sizes, and can be moved completely independently to accommodate any over-all boat length. Constructed out of closed-cell foam, the SportRack Jetty Kayak Kit won’t mark up your vehicle’s roof, and are built to hold up to years of abuse through their simplistic and durable design. Included in the SportRack Jetty Kayak Kit are two load straps to secure the kayak body to the vehicle, and two bow and stern straps for total security while in motion.


  • Inexpensive boat transportation solution
  • Closed cell blocks are durable
  • Non-skid surface protects vehicle finish
  • Includes two load straps, bow and stern tie-down
  • Fits bare roofs, as well as any style or shape of crossbar
  • 1 kayak capacity

Last modified: April 2, 2021