Kayaking is a great workout, offering both cardio and strength activities. However, unless you live on the water, you’ll need to be able to transport your kayak, particularly if you don’t want to kayak solo.
In our quest to discover the best double kayak roof rack, we’ve examined many models on the market, looking at the various designs, materials and dimensions to determine which offers the best option. This will help you to pick a model that is not only easy to use, but will ensure that your kayaks get to and from the water in excellent condition every time.
Other features: fits most crossbars (24” min), includes straps, folds flat, integrated cam lever
The Yakima JayLow Rooftop Kayak Carrier is a two-kayak roof rack that feels sturdy and it’s packed with useful features. The unit comes fully assembled and the JayLow rack system is designed to be used with pretty much any crossbar. Installing the rack is simple, you attach the clamps of your kayak rack to the existing bars and then tighten up the thumbscrews. This kayak rack comes with some adaptors for the Yakima Roundbar crossbars if you prefer those crossbars. These adapters can be used with other round crossbar types but Yakima are adamant that a 24” minimum distance between the crossbars is recommended.
Other features: aluminum and nylon construction, lifetime warranty
Malone Stax Pro2 Universal Car Rack is a system that’s compatible with most factory-installed oval, square and round crossbars. This is a two-kayak roof rack that you can load at the sides or rear as you prefer. The injection-molded nylon octagonal support posts are secured to the center of the crossbars to keep your kayaks stable during transport. All the mounting bolts and hardware are included for a complete installation and you don’t need additional tools to get started.
Other features: aviation grade aluminum and rubber construction, TopGuard padding, foldable
The IKURAM R Kayak/Surf/Ski Roof Carrier Rack is a flexible rooftop storage system to transport a wide variety of products. The original J-cradle design can be altered in a number of different configurations to meet your hauling needs. This carrier can accommodate a pair of kayaks, the overfilled padding and acrylic sleeves allow you to get the best out of your rooftop carrying space. The J-bars can be locked at different angles and it’s easy to install your carrier in a few minutes.
Other features: universal fit, multiple carry options, thick rubber saddles and padded upright, integrated StrapCatch
The Thule Compass 890000 Kayak and SUP Carrier is a dual kayak roof rack that offers excellent protection for your kayak during transport. The maximum weight capacity is 150 lbs which is sufficient for a pair of standard kayaks. The carrier can be set-up in a stacker mode or you can use it to carry a single kayak and associated accessories. If you want to carry a pair of SUPs, you can use the saddle mode which makes this a versatile carrier.
Other features: aluminum construction, 50mm foam padding, rapid 180° foldable
The XCAR Folding Rooftop Kayak Racks can carry kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards, wakeboards, canoes, skis and much more. This is a versatile racking system with foldable 180º J-bars to ensure that you can park safely without removing the racks. This rack can be used with most crossbars, but round crossbars are not compatible. The carrier bars are made from 22mm aluminum tube that feels light, yet durable and it’s corrosion-resistant.
With approximately 16 million kayakers Trusted Source • Participants in kayaking U.S. 2019 | Statista This statistic shows the number of participants in kayaking in the United States from 2006 to 2019. In 2019, there were approximately 16.62 million participants in kayaking in the U.S., up from 16.38 million the previous year. www.statista.com in the US, it stands to reason that you will be able to find someone to kayak with. However, this does mean that you’ll need a roof rack for 2 kayaks. So, here we’ll explore the features you should consider to narrow down your options and find the best model for your needs.
When you choose a single or dual kayak roof rack, it’s easy to focus on the rack and forget about the vehicle compatibility. However, the type of vehicle that you’re planning on using with the kayak rack will be a major factor when it comes to choosing the right product. Some people want to haul their kayaks on a full-sized SUV and others have more modest transportation such as a smaller compact car. There are racking solutions that can accommodate many types of vehicle, but you need to do some research to get the right rack to meet your needs.
A smaller car can typically accommodate a simple racking setup for a one or perhaps two kayaks. But, if you have access to a larger vehicle you could even go with a rack that can easily carry three or maybe as many as four kayaks comfortably!
Before you make a commitment to purchase a kayak roof rack it’s a good idea to measure the roof space of your vehicle first.
There are different types of kayak roof mounting options to consider. A detailed breakdown is beyond the scope of this article, but we can summarize the main differences. Here are some of the terms related to rack mounting and what they mean if you choose them for your kayak roof rack, they are:
This term refers to a roof rack that has a pair of grips that attach to the crossbars you’ve got installed on your vehicle roof. When you haul a kayak using saddles they will grip it from below to protect it during transit. Thule Compass Kayak and SUP Carrier is the example of such rack.
This is a sturdier rack option that’s become very popular in recent years. Many of the recommendations on our list like IKURAM R Kayak/Surf/Ski Roof Carrier Rack and XCAR Folding Rooftop Kayak Racks use a J-Style rack. These are well liked by many people because you can load the kayak onto the rack from the side. When kayaks are loaded from the rear they can be scratched as they are pushed along the length of the roof.
This is the absolute fundamental of the roof rack and it must be installed before the rest of the rack is put in place. The kayak roof rack will be attached to the crossbars for a more secure hauling experience. Crossbars come in a variety of configurations but the main thing to pay attention to is the shape. Certain roof racks can only be attached to certain crossbar shapes, but others have adaptors to fit them to any shape.
If your kayak roof rack has rollers it can make loading and unloading far easier. This may be a major consideration if you have a heavier kayak and you’re using it alone.
These are the cushioning for your kayak to prevent abrasions, dents and scratches during loading, unloading and hauling. They can be inflatable, but most pads are made from durable foam and you can purchase replacements if they crack or tear. Investing in good pads is a wise decision if you plan on longer trips with your kayak or other roof mounted gear.
This is a popular rack type that allows the user to stack a number of kayaks on the top of their vehicle roof. As you can imagine, multiple kayaks can get heavy fast and for this reason you will typically see stackers used to haul lighter and smaller kayaks.
Let’s face it, a good kayak represents a significant investment and it makes good sense to protect it during transit. The nightmare scenario for any kayak enthusiast is to see their beloved kayak flying down the highway behind them! For this reason, it’s essential to purchase good roof racks and fasteners that are secure, durable and weatherproof.
Don’t choose fasteners made from aluminum and plastic because they can fail when you least expect it. Instead, choose fasteners that are constructed with stainless steel or carbon fiber that are strong and corrosion-resistant.
The weight capacity of a dual kayak roof rack is extremely important when you compare various models. A kayak can come in a wide variety of models, sizes and weights. The roof rack you choose must be capable of carrying the weight of the two kayaks you want to haul. You may have two different kayak models and the weights must be combined to get an accurate weight measurement. Certain kayak roof racks will list the tested capacity for a single side of the rack and others may list the total weight capacity of the unit. IKURAM R Kayak/Surf/Ski Roof Carrier Rack features the biggest total weight load of 158 lbs while Malone Stax Pro2 Universal Car Rack can hold kayaks weighing up to 50 lbs. each.
Taller people may be able to reach a rack system that’s installed on the roof of their car. But, if you have a tall vehicle or you are somewhat vertically challenged, this can present a problem when it comes to loading and unloading a kayak safely. A roof rack that sits flush with the roofline of your vehicle may be a workable option or you can pack a small step ladder or some other workaround. If you are tall, you can choose a taller rack system with no problems but you may need a second set of equally tall hands to help. Afterall, while kayaking is a great workout Trusted Source Is Kayaking Good Exercise? Yes! Here's How It Improves Health. - Paddling Magazine Is kayaking good exercise? The answer is yes, and we’ll go over all the benefits it provides, as well as how to get the best workout while on the water. paddlingmag.com , you don’t want to spend all your energy trying to get your kayak onto the rack.
First, strap the kayak down at the front and rear and then tie the bow off at the tow hooks. The process should then be repeated at the stern before making a final check. You can install a hitch to make the stern line even more secure and this will improve the balance on the roof rack. When you’re done, gather up any loose strap ends and tie them in a couple of knots. This prevents the straps from catching when driving and it’s a final defense against the kayak coming free.
Hopefully, we’ve demonstrated that there are some impressive double kayak roof racks on the market. From the flexible Ikuram R that allows you to configure the cradle to meet your hauling needs to the Malone Stax Pro2 that is compatible with most factory installed crossbars, there are some excellent options available. However, the stand out pick as the best double kayak roof rack has to be our editor’s choice, the Yakima JayLow. This impressive roof rack is packed with useful features including adaptors to suit different crossbars and generous storage capacity. It is also flexible enough to configure for one kayak or two. So, whether you’re heading out solo or kayaking with a friend, this rack can accommodate your needs.