Having the best kayak roof rack allows you to convert all those possible kayaking opportunities without worrying about the distance. While Kayak Trailers can be too heavy for some cars and are quite expensive, the best kayak roof racks solve the issue instantly as they are affordable, easy to use, and suitable for almost every vehicle type.

Having said that, you may end up confused with so many car kayak carriers claiming to be the best. And to sort the lot, you need to compare kayak carriers on grounds of popularity, price, design, and most importantly in terms of fitting. 

To help you navigate the market, we have gone through several kayak roof rack reviews and listed the 10 best kayak roof racks in 2023. In addition to that, we have compiled a comprehensive buying guide to help you in filtering your choices.

How to Choose A Kayak Roof Rack – Buying Guide

Brand Recognition

Brand recognition influences a lot of minds. While all the brands claim to produce quality kayak racks for cars, you need to pick a brand that is specialized in producing the best kayak racks or specialized in that field. Once the brand is sorted, next you can consider picking an option that offers a good number of features at a low price.


There is no point in buying a roof rack system that has not been designed to carry a kayak or fit your car properly. Besides, trying and rigging an unsuitable rack kayak carrier to your vehicle can damage your vehicle or kayak. Therefore, you need to pick a kayak roof rack that fits perfectly with the car as well as the kayak.


Your car is a big factor to consider when you are choosing the best kayak mount. There are two main things to consider. The compatibility of your choice with your car and if yes, then its compatibility with type, weight, size of your kayak or kayaks. If each of these compatibilities is ok, you are good to go with your choice, whether it is a kayak rack for SUV or a truck rack for kayaks.

The Towers

The towers are integral to any kayak carrier, and a lot of the strength of the kayak rack car will come from here. Roof rack for kayaks bears the weight of the bars and the kayaks. Also, check whether towers have non-abrasive material integrated at down so that you get an extra tight fit with added protection for the car surface. Further, look for a locking feature as well as a lockable tower, so that you know your kayak rack roof is safe.

The Bars

The bars are what will hold your kayaks on the racks. While choosing the best kayak car rack, you need to check that the bars easily fit and secure your kayak in the right position. If you find that your kayak roof carrier has reviews about movement after installation, better check for other racks.

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Racks vs Foam Rollers

It depends on whether your vehicle has built-in racks and bars. If yes, then even some foam pads and a strap can do. If not, you will require a more complicated setup such as tower racks or equivalent.

Foam Roof Rack vs Carriers

While foam rooftop kayak carriers provide a cost-effective solution to transporting your kayak without a rack, you will require a more complex system with carriers if you need to transport multiple kayaks.

Roof Racks

If your car has built-in rails then adding the best kayak rack is a great option. All you have to do is to secure your kayak in place and then strap down accordingly. One more thing to consider is the height of the setup as it can restrict you in garages and other areas.

Door Mount Systems

The roof rail and rack mounting systems are designed to clip on to the rain guard or the window lip of your car. These can be viable options for cars without a built-in roof rail but it can be annoying to have straps holding your doors and windows closed.

Transporting Multiple Kayaks

Kayaks racks for the car are a great way to transport one or two kayaks, but if you need to transport more, then you will need a trailer, side mount, or a hitch mount that can accommodate 2-5 kayaks.


Q: How to Tie Down A Kayak on a Roof Rack?


Rooftop kayak racks typically come with a specific tie-down system that is highlighted by most of the companies. This system ties your kayak from stern to bow with the front and rear of your car. Further, you need to ensure that kayak is secured with additional straps that are always included with the rook kayak rack. 

Q: How to Load a Kayak onto a Roof Rack?


Most companies include some sort of lift-assist with their systems. These systems enable you to load a kayak onto a roof rack with ease. If your roof rack kayak doesn’t have this built-in feature, then you will have to lift it onto the rack system.

Q: How to Install a Kayak Car Rack?

A: The best kayak roof racks make this incredibly easy. Most of the time installing your new kayak SUV rack doesn’t even require tools. You simply have to screw it onto the existing crossbars on your car.

Q: Can I mount A kayak To A Small Car?


Yes. It is hard to find a specific car rack for a kayak for smaller cars, though.

Q: Can I Fit More Than Two Kayaks on My Car?


It depends. Some car roof racks for kayaks can accommodate two or more.

Q: Is Transporting A Kayak Safe?


Completely. It is 100 % safe to transport a kayak using a kayak carrier for a car.

Globo Surf Overview

Before buying your kayak, it is important to consider how you are going to transport your kayak from your house to the water. One of the easiest ways to transport your kayak is by having a carrier system. All of the car racks for kayaks on our list are made by trusted companies and will do a great job of keeping your car safe and secure during transport.

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