Truck Kayak Rack
Truck Kayak Rack Review
Are you prepared to launch your kayak into the water? Having the proper truck rack can make all the difference, regardless of whether you're a devoted angler, a weekend river runner, or want to enjoy a leisurely paddle.
A kayak rack will come in handy when transporting kayaks because even the largest trucks could use a little assistance. Some racks let you stack kayaks on top of your truck's cab, while others let you increase the length of your truck's bed. And each one of them will allow you to ride your kayaks without rearranging the truck bed each time.
There are several different kayak racks to choose from. Finding the perfect fit might be difficult. This post will discuss the top kayak truck racks and provide useful advice for choosing the finest one.
Kayak Rack For Truck Types
A kayak rack for your truck should have enough spots to tie down your load and be robust enough to support the weight of your kayak (or kayaks). So let's dive into these types of kayak racks for trucks!
Kayak Rack For Truck Hitch
A kayak rack that you attach to the back of your car is called a hitch kayak rack. A hitch kayak rack is the most widely used of several kayak racks. These kayak racks, often used for cars, make it simple and hassle-free for kayakers to move their kayaks.
Kayak Rack For Truck Bed
The greatest option for individuals looking for a more long-term kayak transporting method may be a bed rack kind of vehicle kayak rack. Since they allow you complete access to the truck's bed even while in use, most truck bed racks mount to the sides of the bed and are left in place all year.
Crossbars And Bed Rack
The crossbars on your truck must already be there for some of the simplest kayak racks to attach to. There are often two bars that span the width of the car's roof so that you may attach racks for your kayak racks. Crossbars between the towers and feet more evenly distribute the weight of all the equipment you put on the roof.
How To Choose The Correct Truck Kayak Rack?
Kayak racks for trucks are available in various designs, forms, and sizes. Bear in mind that making sure the truck kayak rack will fit your car is crucial.
It could be impossible for you to install some racks if you have certain accessories or body types. For instance, a frame-mounted rack won't function if you have a camper shell or tonneau cover, but a hitch extender would.
If your truck has a truck box or side box, some racks won't work with it. Some kayak racks need to be drilled into your car's bed rails. You’ll have to look for a model that doesn't need drilling if you don't want to drill. Most manufacturers supply a tool to determine whether the rack is appropriate for your vehicle.
Best Truck Kayak Rack
Truck racks are great since your trailer hitch may still be used for other purposes. In addition, your truck bed is now free to haul more gear. To carry your camping equipment or other items, raise the kayaks and move them out of the way.
Here are some of the top truck-mounted kayak racks. We shortlisted 4 of them, but later down the article you will find other options that are also very good, and could potentially be great for your truck.
Leitner Truck Bed Kayak Rack With Tonneau Cover
Leitner Designs has come to be associated with excellence, dependability, and durability in the off-road, and overlanding world. One of the greatest bed rack systems available in their ACS (Active Cargo System), which is made in the USA and designed to be completely adaptable to suit your needs better.
What sets this kayak rack for truck apart from others, and makes it the ideal truck bed kayak rack with tonneau cover, is the fact that it not only can safely and securely carry any kayak, canoe, paddleboard, or item, but it lets you keep your tonneau cover on. The kayaks can sit over the ACS itself, and you can even add a few more load bars to sit over the kayak rack and raise the height at which the kayaks sit, but to the sides of the
ACS there is space to add water tanks, storage cases such as the Gear Pods and a lot more items. This is a modular kayak rack, which is perhaps the best outdoors kayak rack out there. Really, really complete in its function.
When it comes to the sturdiness, it's basically unbeatable. Yes, it wasn't built or thought of as a kayak rack for truck only, but as an overlanding rack. Hence why the sturdiness and strength is superior. Yet if you are the type of person who uses the kayak rack for other things, this is the best choice. Oh, and it works for multiple vehicles such as Tacoma, Gladiator on more, search under "Leitner" and you will find there are different ACS bed racks for a wide range of trucks!
Thule Kayak Rack For Truck
The Thule TracOne is an excellent choice for a truck kayak rack because it has a large weight capacity, does not require drilling, and has an unbelievably affordable price. The TracRac TracOne can support up to 800 pounds of weight to transport even the heaviest of kayaks or canoes.
Aluminum load stops are a component of this Thule truck bed rack that can be quite useful in various circumstances, such as off-roading or overlanding. They are made with incredibly durable materials and will last a long, long time.
Being a universal bed rack, the TracOne fits a multiple number of trucks, and it's fairly easy to install being drill-free. It's suitable for smaller trucks and has a total height of around 26" when installed, which is good enough to carry any kayak with a decent amount of space between the kayak itself and the roof of your cab. There would even be enough space for a roof rack.
Thule Pickup Truck Kayak Rack
Made in the USA, the Xsporter Pro Thule Kayak rack is an RCI adjustable bed rack. It is the perfect width for your Toyota Tacoma pickup vehicle from 1995 to now, features a fully adjustable width, and is 18" tall from the bed rail till the top of the rack. This bed rack is made with top quality materials and durability is out of question.
Perhaps one of the best features of the XSporter PRO Thule kayak rack is the fact that it is powder coated, so not only it's less susceptible to rusting (really it won't), but it can even resist chips and scratches. On top of that, it's a universal kayak rack, meaning it'll fit a great amount of pick up trucks (you can click on the button below and it'll lead you to the product description where to find the whole list).
We can't forget to mention that installing it is really simple: there is no drilling required. Therefore, it can be done much easier than other models, and removing it isn't hard either. Given it's lightweight, there won't be much impact on the weight or mpg. And as you might expect, a great advantage of purchasing a Thule kayak rack for truck, is the fact that it has a bunch of other accessories (such as pads, etc), which you can purchase separately to safely carry your kayaks or canoes.
RCI Truck Bed Kayak Rack
The RCI Toyota Tacoma Kayak Rack For Truck is an 18′′ Heavy Duty Bed Rack, which can be mounted to any truck bed, including other trucks such as the Chevy Colorado and Dodge 3500. This is a universal bed rack, which works perfectly well as a kayak rack.
Over the RCI kayak rack for truck, you can mount pretty much anything, from 2 or 3 kayaks (if you can fit them), to other items and gear, as the rack has a weight capacity of over 750 lbs. It is a genuine off-road rack with a modern style that complements your truck.
Powder-coated in black, and with three supporting points that sit over the bed, this kayak rack is not only resistant to chips, scratches, or bumps, but it's also sturdy and gives you additional mounting or tying points to better secure any kayak or longer item, as well as attaching other items to the sides of the rack. For example, you could tie the paddles on the sides of the RCI kayak rack and have the kayak sitting over it. Genius.
If you're interested in more choices, check out our truck bed rack collection.
Truck Roof Kayak Rack
Essentially any roof rack can work as a kayak rack as long as you have the right accessories to mount and tie the kayak down. However, when it comes to a pick up truck, it's always a far better idea to have a bed rack that can sustain the weight of the kayaks, as well as keeping the stability. Being so long, and sometimes heavy, kayaks might not fully fit on a single cab or even a crew cab truck. Therefore, we can recommend to use a truck roof kayak rack only on double cab trucks.
The Front Runner Slimline II is an excellent option, as not only it's a great roof rack itself capable of holding over 660 lbs of weight, but it has a plethora of rack accessories from tie down rings, to straps, and other mounting accessories, one specifically for the kayak, which you can fin by clicking the button below.
As to which particular Front Runner roof rack you choose, well that depends entirely on your truck, so click the button below to see all the Front Runner Slimline II roof racks we have, and remember, when adding the kayak carrier, you turn your rack into a truck roof kayak rack. Still, we recommend you also add a truck kayak rack in the bed to add that back support!
Truck Cap Kayak Rack
Once again, this isn't your typical truck kayak rack, since rather than sitting over the bed of your rig, it will be installed over the bed cap or canopy of your truck. There are many different truck cap kayak rack options, ranging from load bars, to platform racks from different brands. We highly recommend that before you get one, you make sure your bed cap can handle the weight of one or two kayaks.
That said, once again one of our preferred truck cap kayak racks is Front Runner. Made in South Africa, their rack can fit multiple cap brands, it can withstand a weight of 660 lbs, which is more than enough for two kayaks (as long as the bed cap can handle that weight too).
Plus, you can combine it with multiple accessories, amongst them the specific Front Runner Kayak carrier which we mentioned above. However, below what you will find is a direct link to the cap rack, so just choose the right dimensions based on your model!
Yakima Kayak Rack For Truck
Yakima has a history of taking bold actions to reach new horizons. The Yakima OverHaul HD is a great option for a truck kayak rack since it has an adjustable height from 19"- 30" to create personalized setups for the best functionality and versatility.
The Yakima OverHaul HD can be fixed on many truck beds, and even with some tonneau covers because of its numerous tie-down points and the heavy-duty BedGripTM clamp design. In addition, it has a QuickChange rack attachment, which is simple on-off positioning that takes only minutes.
The new OverHaul HD adjustable truck rack offers perhaps the best payload, as well as excellent versatility to carry from kayaks to roof top tents or even ladders. The ideal bed rack for weekend getaways and busy weekdays. The Yakima Overlhaul has a fantastic 500 lb on-road carrying capacity (more than enough for kayaks, boards or canoes), and a 300 lbs off road rating, in case you need it for overlanding!
Truck Kayak Rack FAQs
How far apart should kayak racks be?
Most kayak carriers need a crossbar spread of at least 24 inches. Therefore, it is advised to have at least 24 inches for a spread, or on the safe side, space them out to be about 28 inches apart.
Should a kayak be transported upside down?
Transporting composite kayaks in cradles on their bottom is the only way to transport them without causing any damage to the kayak.
Will the kayak fit in the truck bed?
With the tailgate down, a truck is the most practical way to move a kayak. Unfortunately, the tailgate must be flipped up for most boats to fit in the bed.
Should the heavier person be in the front or back of the kayak?
The kayak's rear is where the steering is controlled from. Because of this, the kayak's stern should include the more skilled paddler or more coordinated person. Putting the heavier paddler in the back of the kayak is also preferable when there are only two paddlers.
Is there such thing as a 2 kayak rack for truck?
Yes, most truck kayak racks can handle two kayaks at a time, as long as the dimensions of your kayaks fit. Weight wise a roof rack and a bed rack will normally be able to handle over 180 lbs load rating when the vehicle is in motion. Some racks even more.
Therefore, one could argue there can even be a 3 kayak rack for truck.