Roof racks are one of the best ways to get the most use out of your kayak. After all, what good is having a kayak if you can’t bring it to the water? Kayak trailers can be too heavy for some cars and are quite expensive but the best roof racks can be a much better option. This is because they cost far less, are suitable for almost every vehicle type and are far easier to use.

Having the best kayak car rack will ensure that you have every opportunity to use your kayak during the season. This will work to expand your experience and make owning a kayak much more enjoyable. As kayaks have been a favorite water sport for many years now, more and more manufacturers are jumping on board to produce roof racks. This gives you more options and helps you to find the best roof racks for your needs.

To help you navigate the market, we have found the 10 best roof racks on today’s market. All of these will work well in transporting your roof rack to the water with ease.

Ready to get started? Let’s go.


Kayak Roof Rack Reviews

How to Choose A Kayak Roof Rack – Buying Guide


When you are looking for roof racks that work to make transporting your kayak easy then you will need to pay attention to a few key features.

Racks or Foam Rollers?

This choice depends on whether your vehicle has built in roof racks and bars. If so, this makes transporting your kayak simple and only requires some foam pads and a strap. For vehicles that do not have this pre-built feature, you will require a more complicated setup. You will need to install roof racks to your car so that you can safely transport your boat.

Foam Roof Rack or Carriers?

Foam roof racks provide a cost effective solution to transporting your kayak for those that do not have a roof rack. This provides a safe and secure way of hooking your boat up and is also quite easy to use. These are a great method to use for those only looking to transport one kayak at a time. For those with multiple boats, you will require a more complex system. Roof racks are a great option for those looking to transport multiple kayaks at the same time.

Roof Racks

If your car has built in rails then adding a roof rack is a great option. These are so desirable as they are incredibly secure and allow you to transport multiple kayaks at the same time. All you have to do is secure your boat in place and then strap down accordingly. Some roof racks have built in locking systems to make this even easier. One thing to consider for this form of transport is the extra height that it adds to your vehicle. This height can be restricting in garages and other areas.

Can I Add Rails to My Car?

Yes, but you will need tools and a lot of skill in order to safely do so. It is best to get this installed for you as any errors can end up costing you a lot of money. For those not wanting to drill rails to their car there are aftermarket rails that can be installed without doing so.

Door Mount Systems

These roof rail and rack mounting systems are designed to clip on to the rain guard or the window lip of your car. They are modular and removable but come with the drawback that some will impede you from opening doors once the rack is mounted in place.

These can be viable options for cars without a built-in roof rail but I can tell you it’s definitely annoying to have straps holding your doors and windows closed.

Using Roof Racks and Rails

Foam pad roofs are the easiest to install. You will want to start by putting the foam pads on the roof with the flat side down. Then, place your kayak on top and attach the straps to your kayak and then to your vehicle. Take extra precautions to ensure these don’t scratch your vehicle using the foam to protect your car.

Roof rails are slightly more complicated as you will need to find racks that will fit your rails. Strap your kayaks in place using straps or the built in locking systems. Tug on the straps to ensure that everything is in place before driving.

Transporting Multiple Kayaks

Roof carriers are a great way to transport one or two kayaks at a time. As you have limited roof space, you will not be able to transport more than this. For those looking to transport more boats, you will need to add a trailer, side mount or a hitch mount in order to accommodate that many boats. You should be able to have enough space for up to 5 kayaks if you have the right equipment.



Q: How to tie down a kayak on a roof rack?

A: Kayak roof racks will typically come with a specific tie down system. Most companies have specified where the anchor points are for their carrier. Most of the time they will simply loop around the body of the kayak.

But no matter which roof rack system you decide on you will have to ensure they are strapped to the front and rear of your car. This can be done by simply tieing off the bow and stern to the tow hooks situated under or in the bumper of most cars. It shouldn’t take much to find these points and add a line of rope securing your kayak even further.

Q: How to load a kayak onto a roof rack?

A: Loading your kayak onto your roof sounds like a daunting task, but it honestly isn’t. Most companies include some sort of lift assist with their systems. This can be a bar that slides out which takes the weight of your kayak off your body. You can then slide the arm back into the position and securely fasten your boat to the roof.

If your roof rack doesn’t have this built in feature you will have to lift it onto the roof rack system. Before you do this you will want to ensure your kayak is emptied of all your gear and any water that has accumulated. This will lighten it and make it easier to load. Once it’s on top simply follow the strapping instructions included in the package.

Q: How to install a rack?

A: Roof rack companies make this incredibly easy. Most of the time installing your new roof rack doesn’t even require tools. You simply have to screw it onto the existing cross bars on your car.

Globo Surf Overview

Before buying your kayak, it is important to consider how you are going to transport your boat from your house to the water. This is important as it will ensure that you get the most use out of your boat. One of the easiest ways to transport your kayak is by having the best  rack. All of the ones on our list are made from trusted companies and will do a great job of keeping your boat safe and secure during transport.


  1. Transporting with cars,

Do you have one of the kayak roof racks from our list installed on our car? Tell us how they have worked for you in the comment section below.

Globo Surf Kayak Roof Racks Review

5 5 1
Loved your selection of roof racks. Needed one that could fit my Nissan. Found the exact one I was looking for.

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