Best 5 Kayak Rack Carriers Compared in 2019

Last Updated: 19.04.19


Kayak Rack Carriers – Buying guide, Reviews and Comparison


If you are trying to find the best kayak rack carrier in 2019 that money can get you, but you just don’t have the time to go through the countless reviews that we have put together for you, this short paragraph should contain all the info that you need. After reading plenty of reviews and after taking into account aspects such as brand quality and price to value ratios, we have reached the conclusion that the ROLA (59912) J Style is the product for you. This model was made from durable materials that guarantee its sturdiness, and it comes supplied with sturdy stern tie-downs. Moreover, this unit is said to fit all types of crossbars out there. Consequently, you shouldn’t worry about it being a good fit for your vehicle. If the ROLA (59912) J Style is out of stock, do consider the Vault Cargo Management Universal Carrier as it is a reliable alternative worth investing in.



Our Top Choices


Because we know just how tricky finding good kayak rack carriers can be, we have composed a list of top-notch units that you should consider before placing any orders.


ROLA (59912) J Style 


If you are trying to get a reliable unit that you can use to transport your freshwater fishing kayak, look no further than the ROLA (59912) J Style. This device is highly appreciated by its users because it comes provided with the necessary strength to carry all types of kayaks, including sit-on-top models.

The product is made from steel that has been coated for extra durability. As a result, this option is said to be particularly long-lasting, no matter how often you use it. As a matter of fact, the model can withstand any meteorological conditions, and it is said to perform well even after coming in contact with saltwater.

As a plus, the unit comes provided with foam pads that protect your kayak from getting damaged during transport. In order to cater to all of its users’ needs, this product was designed in such a way so that it is compatible with all kinds of crossbars.

When shipped, the model includes bow/stern tie-downs as well as top-notch heavy-duty straps that you will undoubtedly appreciate. This way, you can always be sure that your kayak is safely fastened in place while transporting it.

Buy from for ($66.29)




Vault Cargo Management Universal Carrier 


Another unit that you should have in mind before you decide on a model is the one produced by Vault Cargo Management. This device stands out because it is easy to maneuver and because each of its bars can be folded down. Therefore, you will be able to park your car in the garage without having to remove the carrier.

When it comes to the materials utilized in making it, you should know that this unit was built from heavy-duty aluminum, a type of metal known for its light weight and its extra durability. Likewise, each of the bars that the carrier includes comes outfitted with a soft cushion that does not allow the kayak to rub into it. Hence, your beloved kayak will be safe and sound at all times.

In order to use it, just attach it to the vault cargo roof and then simply secure the kayak onto it. The device works just as well when transporting canoes.

According to the current users of the device, this product is reliable and overall worth the investment. Even more so, the model is often described as sturdy and well-made. Price-wise, this product is rather affordable when compared to similar counterparts.

Buy from for ($124.97)




TMS 2 x Roof J Rack 


If you want to purchase a suitable carrier but you don’t want to invest a lot of money in a unit of this type, make sure that you check out the TMS 2 x Roof J Rack.

The design of the product enables it to be mounted/secured on any crossbar. Because of this, the device is likely to be a good fit for your car. Likewise, its manufacturer assures that the unit uses as little space as possible on the load bar that it is mounted on.

The product features a steel construction and additional padding so that your boat is perfectly safe in-between uses. Additionally, the model is easy to put on and to take off, so that you won’t lose a lot of time while doing so. The device is strong enough to accommodate kayaks that are up to 75 lbs in weight and 36’ in width and it can be mounted on flat, round, square and oval crossbars.

The unit is covered by a lifetime warranty. Therefore, if you happen to experience any inconvenience with the model, be sure to contact the manufacturer. Besides, two free cell phone cases are also included in the deal.

Buy from for ($59.95)




TMS 2 Pairs J-Bar Rack 


Another similar product that has been designed and produced by the same manufacturer is the J-Bar Rack. Similarly to the some of the other discussed models, this model can be mounted on basically any crossbar available on the market. Therefore, suitability should not be considered an issue.

Because it features a wide mouth J bar design, this model is effortless to load and unload when necessary. Also, the product has been covered in a protective rust-free coating so that its lifespan is prolonged. The device can be used to carry any kayak that measures up to 36’ in width, and that has a maximum weight of 75 lbs.

Before you decide to invest in this product, it is prudent that you take the time to check its measurements. Additionally, keep in mind that the crossbars featured in the pictures are not included in the price (they have to be purchased independently).

The product includes four long straps that one can use to secure his/her boat to the top of his/her vehicle. To mount the kayak on top of your car, you can either use a ladder rack bar or the already installed carrier.  At the time we have carried out our research, the product had received many positive reviews.

Buy from for ($64.95)




Malone Auto Racks Malone J-Pro


Last but not least, this selection would have been incomplete without us mentioning the Malone Auto Racks Malone J-Pro. Although a bit more expensive than the already discussed alternatives, this unit is also worth your time, especially if you are not afraid of investing a few extra dollars to end up with a suitable device.

This particular product can help you transport all types of boats, not just kayaks. The model was built from corrosion-resistant, e-coated steel that, according to the specialists, can hold up to abuse. Moreover, the model comes outfitted with padding that ensures that your boat is protected against any type of damage.

As a plus, this set includes both stern and bow safety tie-downs that any boat owner is likely to find practical. If you decide to acquire this product, you will also receive 60mm and 70mm pre-coated mounting bolts as well as two 12-foot cam buckle straps. Because these racks have a universal mount, they fit on any type of crossbars. As a plus, you can transfer them from one vehicle to another whenever you need to.

The set can be used to transport one single kayak. If you own more than one, it is advisable that you invest in a second set.

Buy from for ($107.95)




Buying guide


We are aware of the fact that reading reviews of kayak rack carriers is not an enjoyable task. However, in order to find such a dependable unit, it is necessary that one understands what the must-have features that one should not settle without in a device of this type are. After researching on your behalf, we have ended up with a list of aspects that you should pay attention to. So, keep reading and shop accordingly.

Take a good look at the top of your car

As you probably know already, before you settle for the first rack that you can find up for sale, it is crucial that you take the time to examine the roof of your car, as this will help you determine what type of product to purchase.

While some cars have bare roofs, others come fitted with additional structures such as rails. If your vehicle has a bare roof, but you still want to use it to transport your sit-inside kayaks, you should know that your options are limited, as you can only use foam padding to do so.

According to most kayak rack carriers reviews, the best thing that you could do under this circumstance is to install rails or crossbars on the roof. This way, you will be able to pick from a variety of rack carriers alternatives. Even more so, it is worth pointing out that most such roof racks are highly secure. Consequently, your boat will be safe during transportation.


Consider the type of kayak that you use

Before you make up your mind, it is wise that you also think about the kind of boat that you use. For example, the task of transporting inflatable kayaks is widely different than having to carry sit-on-top kayaks.

Therefore, our suggestion to you is that you consider the specific technical details of the boat that you own and that you shop in accordance. What is more, it is essential that you remember that not all rack carriers are capable of supporting the same weight. Similarly, be sure to think about the unit’s width and its length.

Likewise, if you have personalized kayak seats fitted on your boat, you should purchase sturdy tie-downs that can 100% secure the unit in place during transportation.

Another aspect that should not be ignored has to do with the type of water that you kayak in. So, if you are a fan of saltwater, you should make sure that the device that you have selected comes covered in a protective substance that prevents it from being easily affected by the sodium in the water.


Other useful suggestions

Another feature that you should not settle without is ease of handling. If you have shopped for kayak accessories before, you probably know by now that this is one of the most significant particularities when it comes to sports equipment. In other words, you should always pick the model that doesn’t take a lot of time to install.

Moreover, it is often said that a reliable device is versatile. Hence, opting for a product that you can transfer from one vehicle to another might actually be the best decision that you make. As a consequence of this decision, you will be able to switch between cars in the event that something happens to your truck.

Besides, if you intend to transport more than one kayak on the roof of the same car, it is advisable that you chose a product that can actually carry two units at once. If you are unable to find such a model, it is best that you purchase two distinct rack carriers and that you install them separately. Still, whenever doing so, make sure that the roof of the car is wide enough to allow for the mounting of two such devices.

Last but not least, you should know that there are three different types of racks on the market. Firstly, there are J-style Racks. These models are named after their shape that resembles the letter J. These devices are ideal if you own a small car and you want to transport more than one kayak at a time.

Secondly, there are saddle racks. Because they allow the boat to lay flat on the surface of the roof, these units are more stable and overall safer. Lastly, the stackers are a kind of racks that allow the user to stack several boats on a roof car during transportation. However, differently, from J-racks, these models are best suitable for smaller vessels.



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