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Standing back from my car, I could picture myself grinning from ear to ear while surveying my new kayak strapped to my own truck!

When I was little, my dad instilled the love of kayaking in my heart. He was fond of water and I thoroughly relished our watery escapades!

Today, it felt like an achievement to finally own my own truck rack for accompanying kayak on my camping trips. It has made my life so much easy and delightful! I am writing this article to share my informative research on the best kayak racks available in market with you!

So you won’t have to go through any hassle while choosing the best kayak rack for your truck.



Best Overall

GoPlus Rack

  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 23.5 Pounds

For Adventure Lovers

AA-Racks Model APX25

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 40.15 Pounds

Best Stylish Rack

Thule Xsporter Pro Pickup Truck Rack

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 67.65 Pounds

Best for Heavy Duty

TMS Adjustable Utility Rack

  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 50.37 Pounds

Best Durable Rack

MaxxHaul 70231 Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender

  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 34.5 Pounds

Best Rubber Mounts Rack

YAKIMA – BigCatch Kayak Rack

  • Material: Rubber
  • Weight: 8.5 Pounds

Best Durable Rack

AA-Racks Model X39 Utility Rack

  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 105.8 Pounds

Best Lightweight Rack

Darby Industries 944 Extend-A-Truck

  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 25 Pounds

Best Aluminum Truck Rack

AA-Racks Model APX25 Aluminum Truck Rack

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 2200 Lbs

Introduction to Roof Rack

Kayak Roof Racks are a suitable solution for kayaking enthusiasts when it comes to storing and traveling with kayaks. It just makes sense to make use of the extra space that your sedan, crossover, or truck offers to transport kayaks.

There are quite a few options to choose from such as truck bed rails, bed extenders, roof racks, and lumber-style racks to safely store kayaks. Each kayak rack serves a different purpose some are meant for trucks whilst some are for sedans and crossovers.

If you’re in the market for a kayak rack for your kayaking adventures, well this truck kayak racks guide will help you get started so that you don’t find yourself short of information which can lead to a poor decision.

Even the most expensive truck rack won’t satisfy if it’s not bought with care and consideration. So, if you’re clueless about what to expect from kayak racks, then I recommend going through our buying guide to have a better understanding of the various features of the best kayak racks.

Top kayak racks for truck

We took the liberty to scour the internet for the best kayak racks for your truck to choose from. Here’s what we found:

1. GoPlus Extension Rack

kayak rack for truck

Made from heavy-duty steel, and finished in black powder coating makes this rack is the most durable and capable extender that attaches to the rear receiver of the vehicle where normally trailers are attached.

The steel construction makes this kayak rack well suited for up to 750lbs which is more than sufficient for casual or seasonal kayakers. It’s easy to store and also doesn’t require much care it’s already made reliable and sturdy from durable materials.

kayak truck carriers

Key features

  • The extender rack attaches to the receiver near the tailgate of the vehicle.
  • It has 750 loading capacity whilst weighing just 23.5 lbs.
  • It’s made from a stainless steel alloy.
  • Both its height and width are adjustable by 7inch and 20inch.


  • It’s very easy to use as it’s designed for maximum carrying versatility.
  • It offers safety in terms of reflective trim and reflective tape that can lower the chances of accidents.
  • It’s ideal for anglers who use kayak racks for trucks.


  • This extender rack for trucks requires assembly and setup that can take time.
  • It’s made from steel that can greatly add to the overall weight impacting the performance of the vehicle.

Tester review

We think it’s for the individuals who travel long distances for their water adventures. Our team thinks this product stands for its adjustability which makes it the best truck kayak rack. My team is also impressed by the lean sturdiness and lightweight feature that improves the ride quality and overall kayak transportation experience.

GoPlus Extension Rack

The price of “GoPlus Rack” varies, so check the latest price at

2. AA-Racks Model APX25

truck roof rack for kayak

Made from reinforced aluminum, it’s a clamp-based design that doesn’t require drilling. This rack from AA is a great-looking rack that compliments the vehicle, it isn’t just pretty to look at it has a payload capacity of 800lbs.

It comes with solid and sturdy hardware and clamps making it an ideal pick for its universalness. It features aluminum construction allowing it to weigh a fraction of its weight capacity.

kayak carrier for trucks

Key features

  • An extendable ladder-style rack that easily fits in the truck bed.
  • It has a maximum payload capacity of 800lbs.
  • Heavy-duty reinforced aluminum with powder coating to protect against rust.
  • Measures 71 inches in width and 28 inches in height whilst weighing just 40.2 lbs.


  • It’s a universal design that fits most pickup trucks.
  • It’s ideal for occasional or seasonal kayak anglers.


  • It works using clamps which isn’t super secure plus it doesn’t fit trucks with trim on the lips of the tailgate or bed.
  • It is quite a bit noisy and rattly when traveling at the highway speed limit.

Tester review

My team thinks that this product is a home run for most kayak anglers who own trucks. My team members stand by this product due to the design that allows the kayak anglers to make the most use of their truck’s bed space. It is esteemed for its sturdy aluminum construction that accounts for extra loading capacity and space. I’d say it’s one of the best kayak racks out there for transporting kayaks right now.

AA-Racks Model APX25

The price of “AA-Racks Model APX25” varies, so check the latest price at

3. Thule Xsporter Pro Pickup Truck Rack

kayak carriers for pickup trucks

Thule Xsporter Pro is a bed rail-designed rack that also features greater adjustability with 73 x 16 x 6 inches dimensions. It’s designed to take your kayaking-related worries away. Its lightweight reinforced aluminum construction is what truly makes this an ideal pick for kayakers.

It additionally offers a wind diffuser that reduces wind noise generated by the bed rails whilst also mitigating drag. It is designed in the most sturdy way possible with high-quality locking mechanisms.

canoe carriers for trucks

Key features

  • It offers greater versatility and weighs only 67.65 lbs.
  • Introduced with a reinforced aluminum construction that has a total weight capacity of 450lbs.
  • Comes with a wind diffuser to help cut down the impact of the rack on the car.


  • Designed for improved car mileage and lesser noise when traveling at highway speeds.
  • It features a locking mechanism that secures the bed without drilling holes.


  • It has a lower max payload of just 450 lbs while weighing 67.65 lbs.

Tester review

Our team is enthralled by the high-quality build but is quite dismayed by the limited space. It’s ideal for long-distance kayak anglers and kayaking enthusiasts. We also appreciate the finish of the rack which compliments the overall look of the vehicle. Its benefits definitely outweigh its flaw!

Thule Xsporter Pro Pickup Truck Rack

The price of “Thule Xsporter Pro Pickup Truck Rack” varies, so check the latest price at

4. TMS Adjustable Utility Rack

pick up kayak rack

TMS Utility rack is for the suckers looking for a modular solution that makes the most out of the existing space. TMS has high adjustability with multifunctional capabilities you can haul a lot more than one kayak.

It further weighs a measly 806.4 oz which boggles most people as to how such a small rack could have such a high payload capacity than most racks in the market.

truck bed racks for kayaks

Key features

  • It’s a modular-style rack for truck beds designed for a long-distance haul.
  • It features steel alloy construction ensuring that it’s good for 800 lbs weight capacity.
  • It offers multifunctional capabilities thanks to its sturdy design you can use it to store more than just kayaks.


  • It offers adjustability of width by 2 inches.
  • It’s quite a heavy-duty solution, best for hardcore kayaking enthusiasts.


  • Quite a heavy construction that further adds to the overall weight.
  • It’s spray-painted hence rust is imminent.

Tester review

We think it’s quite a heavy rack but by the end of the day, it’ll fulfill the promise it makes. Its hardware will be appreciated by the users as they’re made from quality metal to provide a secure rack, we are sure.

TMS Adjustable Utility Rack

The price of “TMS Adjustable Utility Rack” varies, so check the latest price at

5. MaxxHaul 70231 Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender

pickup bed kayak rack

MaxxHaul Hitch mount is made from the most durable heavy-duty steel with multiple quick releases for a quicker get-go. It weighs 34.5 lbs whilst having almost threefold the weight capacity.

It’s not an ideal choice for the long haul but this hitch rack is a solid pick if you’re a seasonal kayaker who doesn’t have to travel much for kayaking adventures. It can be used vertically or horizontally with an adjustable height from 4-Inches to 10-Inches.

truck bed racks for kayaks

Key Features

  • Hitch mount kayak rack meant for your truck tailgate receiver to haul long items.
  • Adjustable in width and height with 4 quick release pins for improved accessibility.
  • Made from heavy-duty steel with a weight capacity of 375 lbs whilst weighing only 34.5 lbs.


  • It is constructed with durable powder-coated steel for protection against rust.


  • It does not offer greater versatility, other options may provide greater versatility.

Tester review

Our team absolutely appreciates the sturdiness and the powder coating that results in an overall lightweight package. I was particularly amazed by the max payload capacity.

MaxxHaul 70231 Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender

The price of “MaxxHaul 70231 Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender” varies, so check the latest price at

6. YAKIMA – BigCatch Kayak Rack

kayak rack for truck cab

This isn’t a rack itself but it cuts as it improves the overall kayak traveling experience. These are rubber mounts for trucks, sedans crossovers, and estates. It provides a safe point to directly attach the boats or kayaks to it.

It offers heavy-duty straps for roofs that are made from rubber to haul multiple kayaks at once even when traveling in a sedan or an estate. It just weighs a total of 8.5 lbs each of which four will be needed for it to work. It’s a good way to have a secure rubberized mount to protect the items against scruffs, scratches, dents, etc.

kayak on top of truck

Key Features

  • Weighs just 8.5 lbs and has a total weight capacity of 150 lbs which is sufficient for most boats.
  • Designed to utilize the roof space without penetrating the surroundings beyond the car itself.


  • This rack offers a solution that saves both cars and boats from dents and scratches.


  • It might require additional hardware and also produces quite a bit of noise on the road.

Tester review

This truck rack provides a simple solution that allows the convenience of carrying kayaks around the world. It’s a good option for both pickup trucks and sedan/estate/crossover buyers. My team has delightfully passed the quality of the rubber.

YAKIMA – BigCatch Kayak Rack

The price of “YAKIMA – BigCatch Kayak Rack” varies, so check the latest price at

7. AA-Racks Model X39 Utility Rack

rack for kayak on truck

Now we’re talking! This AA racks model is for your badass kayaking adventures if you have a short-bed truck and want to make the most out of the existing space that the vehicle takes, such as the roof. The extension bars are adjustable in length; offering a wide range of fitment for different truck models.

It offers extensions that go along the border of the roof providing even more space to utilize. It’s powder-coated to protect from rust and rot, however, it does require drilling.

kayak on truck roof

Key Features

  • Bed rack with cab extension with adjustability in the back and front.
  • It’s made from alloy metal and weighs 105.8 lbs with a weight capacity of 1000lbs.
  • It’s designed to complement the existing foundation of the car reducing the impact on the car.


  • Its powder-coated steel ensures protection from rust.
  • Easy to fix design resulting in an overall sturdy built rack for your truck.
  • This rack makes the most out of the space that is already used by the truck.


  • It requires drilling on the body of the truck; it’s a long-term non-movable solution.
  • It might further require additional adapters and converters to work in different regions.

Tester review

We love this product for its high quality and sturdy build. One of my close friends further appreciated that one doesn’t have to drill holes to fit the rack. We stand by it for its ability to make the most out of the existing body foundation of the vehicle in question.

AA-Racks Model X39 Utility Rack

The price of “AA-Racks Model X39 Utility Rack” varies, so check the latest price at

8. Darby Industries 944 Extend-A-Truck

pickup truck racks for kayaks

This alloy rear receiver hitch-mounted kayak rack for trucks is designed to be lightweight with a max payload capacity to limit the impact on the car which in the long run can cost quite a bit more.

This dainty rack provides the most secure fit thanks to its multiple adjustability points that can simultaneously fit multiple kayaks. It’s an easy plug-and-go design with a sturdy 4 feet wide build that will not give in anytime soon.

kayak rack for back of truck

Key Features

  • An alloy tailgate extending rack for long hauls.
  • Total weight limit of 350lbs while weighing just 25 lbs.
  • Adjustable all the way to securely fit and transport long items such as fishing boats and kayaks.


  • It’s quite easy to attach, adjust and store flat behind the seat when not in use.
  • It boasts good welds and a sturdy build that speaks durability.


  • It may require additional adapters and converters to function.
  • It’s a tacky solution that makes driving your truck a bit tricky.

Tester review

I am amazed by its simplistic approach to storing the extending kayak rack when not in use. It’s super convenient for users as it can be stored flat, moreover, I am also satisfied by the quality of the build which is impressive as it’s key to an overall good kayaking adventure.

Darby Industries 944 Extend-A-Truck

The price of “Darby Industries 944 Extend-A-Truck” varies, so check the latest price at

9. AA-Racks Model APX25 Aluminum Truck Rack

no-drill kayak rack for truck

This is another truck rack by AA racks, this model is all aluminum built with clamps to appeal to customers who are seasonal kayakers and don’t want a fixed solution. It features multiple ratchet-type straps with a payload capacity of 2200lbs which is just mind-blowingly strong.

This goes to show the effort that AA racks are willing to offer their customers and consumers. It’s one of the quicker selling racks currently thanks to the value it offers over other racks.

Key Features

  • Truck bed rack with no moveable parts.
  • Legs only weigh 300lbs each.
  • 2200 lbs weight capacity.
  • Aluminum construction for long hauling kayak anglers.


  • It offers ratchet-style straps and clamps to hold the items down for secure and safe hauling.
  • It does not require drilling as it has body clamps to stay in place.
  • It’s proven to be useful and sturdy with customer satisfaction over the roof.


  • It may require additional gear to function properly.
  • It’s quite noisy with clanks when traveling on the highway.

Tester review

My team members recommend this kayak rack for several reasons but mainly for its versatility and the straps that securely hold the items down when hauling. Out of all kayak racks, this provides a known way to secure the items no matter how long or heavy. The only deal-breaker is the noise that might annoy a few drivers.

AA-Racks Model APX25 Aluminum Truck Rack

The price of “AA-Racks Model APX25 Aluminum Truck Rack” varies, so check the latest price at

Buying Guide Kayak Racks For Truck

Roof-Mounted Racks

If the choice is roof-mounted racks it’s advisable to look out for the means or the mechanism and the rating it has received. This is the best kayak rack for you if you’re a regular kayaker but not a regular paddler. There are various types of kayaks available in the market each offering its features; it includes kayaks for heavy-duty, automatic kayaks, electric kayaks, etc.

Each requires straps and bolts to secure the car and to secure the racks. Make sure that you know what you’re aiming to get from it that might make you wanna go for a steel rack especially if you’re looking for extra weight capacity.

There are some expensive carbon fiber options but it’s costly; they do however provide the best of both worlds.

Truck Bed Rack

Kayak truck bed racks are standard amongst experienced kayak anglers. This takes the space and makes the most of it whilst not exceeding the height of the roof of the cabin. This makes for a very convenient car to drive. It requires assembly and cannot be removed without unscrewing a few bolts here and there which limits the versatility.

This rack comes with all the bolts and amenities needed to put it together. Be sure to consider the quality and strength of the materials. Bed racks provide a nimble package that makes the most out of the bed of the truck.

Today, this type is the most famous type of rack that is used in the USA, as it doubles the utility of the truck beds.

Bed Extension Receiver Rack

Bed extender racks are slowly gaining ground on the other types of racks. This is by far the most used extender today in the USA. It’s essentially a tray that slides in and out or just a long extending arm that can hold up to two kayaks. Be wary of the joints and the mechanism make sure that the rack feels solid from day one as the rack has a job to fulfill.

When buying extenders refer to the canoe or the items that need a secure contraption to safe keep them. It’s better to go for an extender that is made from aluminum or other stronger metal alloys for the best experience. It can also come as hitch-mounted kayak racks ideal for the long haul.

Kayak Rack’s Capacity

Each kayak rack bears its weight, if you’re looking for a long-term haul with multiple boats or multiple kayaks you might wanna go for an aluminum rack. It provides the best life and performance. If you have a few extra thousand laying around you can also opt for a premium carbon fiber rack that’s even lighter whilst bearing three folds more weight capacity.

It’s vital to take into account the overall weight that’s going to be exerted on the car as it impacts car performance. You might also wanna keep an eye out for the volume as well different manufacturers provide even better designs for zero compromises.

Budget For Kayak Rack

Keep in mind that for every budget there is a recommended choice. Take your time and make sure that you have the right product that fits your budget. If you have a tighter budget you might wanna opt for an elevated bed truck kayak rack for your truck made from steel.

But if you’re looking for the best irrespective of budget then you might wanna lean towards aluminum and other metal composites. Also, don’t be afraid to go back and save up to buy the perfect rack for your truck if you find it. If you have a car then a roof hitch-mounted kayak rack might be the choice for you.

Some Considerations To Bear In Mind When Buying A Kayak Roof Rack system

Here are some elements to be wary of when choosing the kayak rack for your truck:

1). Material and build of the kayak rack

Kayak racks usually feature aluminum, steel, and also carbon fiber. However, let’s focus on the widely available which happens to be aluminum and steel materials. Although aluminum racks are more costly, they stand up to the task in terms of durability and lightweight construction. It’s the go-to choice for most due to the convenience factor.

However, steel construction racks on the other hand are a heavier, low-budget-oriented solution that outdoes aluminum in terms of the total weight capacity that it can handle. It’s a cheaper alternative which makes it an excellent choice for the average consumer looking for a heavy-duty rack.

You might want to choose chunkier heavy-duty kayak racks for trucks especially if you are not a seasonal kayak angler.

2). Vehicle type on which kayak rack is going to be used

Yep, as aforementioned, there are dedicated racks designed to go with sedans/crossovers and different racks for pickup trucks. A good kayak truck rack is a rack that is meant to go for the vehicle that it’s going to be used on.

Think long term but don’t be limited to just one option, try to aim for greater versatility.

If you have a pickup truck you might be able to get extra use out of the truck bed which can always be helpful as the more the storage the merrier the trip. According to my own experience, a good trip or kayak adventure is when you don’t find yourself short of anything that could help improve the overall experience.

3). Weight and storage capacity of the kayak rack

The weight of the rack system itself and how much weight it can hold. What are you carrying, do you have heavy-weight kayaks or smaller nimble kayaks? It’s essential to look for the extra storage capacity that a rack can offer.

A truck bed extender, for instance, is considered an ideal choice for long-term haul with multiple kayaks.

4). Travelling distance

How long is the haul going to last? Are you traveling long-distance at which point the weather changes? You might wanna consider a roof rack if you don’t aim on traveling long distances, whereas for the long haul it’s advisable to go for something like a truck bed rail rack. It’s considered the best kayak rack for a long expedition.


  1. Are kayak Racks for Trucks Stable?

Yes, it goes without saying if you tie everything down as engineered by the manufacturer then a kayak rack for the truck is quite a stable solution. It’s advisable to choose something like a bed extender or bed rail rack if you have a pickup truck for improved car performance and aerodynamics.

However, a roof rack is designed and meant to work with most if not all vehicles. Buyers have preferred more straightforward solutions that do not require an extra trailer hitch to haul fishing accessories and boats.

  1. Is Using a Truck kayak Rack a Good Idea?

If you’re in it for fitness or recreation, going with a truck kayak rack is never a bad decision. It’s a useful way to store the kayaks safely whilst traveling. It’s a good way to make use of extra space on the vehicle if you already have cargo.

If you wish to have all the right equipment for your kayaking adventures then yes, it’s a solid solution for kayak anglers.

  1. How Many Kayaks Can a Truck Kayak Rack Hold?

It depends on the design and the material of the rack. Modern aluminum construction kayak racks can hold up to two large or three smaller kayaks. However, it is all dependent on the rated weight capacity of the kayak rack, so take your time and make a decision.

If you want more then you might wanna choose something like steel construction kayak racks for trucks or sedans.

Final Thoughts

We have gathered valuable info regarding the kayak racks that help to secure your kayak(s) to the roof of the vehicle for both long-range distance and short-term use.

If you don’t have a kayak rack right now, we insist you must go through the article above to find the best match for your lifestyle and individual requirements.

In case of questions, feel free to contact us!

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