I recently decided to release a survey to KFC members to determine the type of transportation they use for their kayaks. The results were pretty predictable; most members utilize 1) Trucks and 2) SUV’s to carry their kayaks. This outcome reinforced my desire to shine a spotlight on transporting kayaks with these two options. This post is dedicated to describing the SUV Kayak Rack. This is one of the safest ways to transport your expensive kayak to your desired destination. I hope that this SUV Kayak Rack Ultimate Guide can help familiarize you with this wonderful tool. If you have an SUV and kayak, this is a post you will definitely want to read!
SUV KAYAK RACK: GUIDE
First, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
There are several important aspects pertaining to the SUV Kayak Rack. Many SUV’s require several pieces to create a full kayak rack set. This guide will discuss the main segments and how to determine if they are necessary for you to purchase.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means that we may earn advertising/referral fees if you make a purchase through our links.
Best SUV Kayak Rack Cross Bar
We’ve searched the market for the best cross bar upon which to attach your kayak rack, and we’ve discovered that the CargoLoc system is the best in terms of quality and usability. The CargoLoc crossbars come in two different sizes, 46” and 60”, so you’ll want to measure the space between your vehicle’s parallel roof racks to determine which will suit your kayak rack purposes.
Load capacity for the CargoLoc is 150lbs, which is typically more than strong enough to handle the load of two fishing kayaks, the SUV kayak rack, and some ancillary kayak fishing gear.
What sold KayakFishingCorner on the CargoLoc system, however, is that the crossbars actually lock to your vehicle, not only adding to the security of your fishing kayak and the kayak rack, but also the security of the CargoLoc system itself. The CargoLoc system is a nice product, and its locking system ensures that it won’t happen to “walk off” when you’ve left it unattended while on your kayak fishing adventure. Don’t have a roof rack? No problem, check out the Best All Around Kayak Trailer, and transport your fishing kayak that way!
SUV Kayak Rack
Ok, now that you have your cross bars in place, you are ready for the remainder of your fishing kayak roof rack system. The first type of SUV kayak rack is the full bodied roof rack kayak rack. This style typically comes in the form of a mount secured to the top of an SUV style roof rack cross bar. This type of kayak rack features a “J Mouth” design, wide enough to allow you to insert your fishing kayak with ease, yet supportive in a manner that keeps the fishing kayak safe while in transportation over bumpy roads and at high speeds.
This type of kayak rack is often built of steel, and features additional padding via rubberized joints at all points of contact, which aids in keeping your fishing kayak safe from bumps and bruises. Conveniently, this vehicle based product features hardware to allow you to quickly and easily connect the kayak rack to your SUV’s crossbar when you want to travel with your fishing kayak, and then disconnect the product when you desire to use your vehicle for unrelated purposes without leaving the SUV kayak rack attached to the roof.
The roof rack styled SUV kayak rack is typically comprised of two, and sometimes three, holders, depending on the size of your vehicle. Once installed, simply slide your fishing kayak into the kayak rack, and secure with the included straps. Don’t know how to install a roof rack on your SUV? Learn how here!
Standalone Side Loader SUV Kayak Rack
The second type of SUV kayak rack is the universal fit Rhino Rack. The Rhino Kayak Rack accomplishes the same result as the more full bodied “J Mouth” style above, but is accomplished via a lower profile.
The Rhino SUV kayak rack is comprised of 4 “C Mouth” brackets that attach to your roof rack’s cross bars, and are situated in a manner that cradles the hull of the fishing kayak on 4 points of contact. The front and rear Rhino pads have been engineered to fit a wide array of fishing kayak hull shapes and sizes, and the 180 degree rotation allows for the fishing kayak to be loaded onto the roof of your vehicle from either side.
The Rhino SUV kayak rack system comes with two tie down straps and two rapid straps, along with an Allen key to ensure the security of the product and its attachment to your roof rack. The straps are of high quality and are used to ensure your fishing kayak makes it safely to your destination. Two of the straps for the Rhino kayak rack are used to secure the fishing kayak to the C Mount braces, and are secured in roughly the mid points of the fishing kayak. The remaining two straps are connected to the front and back of your vehicle, respectively, ensuring that your fishing kayak doesn’t lurch forward or backward during your travels.
Tie Downs for SUV Kayak Rack
While you might feel uneasy about the security of the ropes included with the above mentioned SUV kayak rack products, you shouldn’t. But, the safety of your fishing kayak is paramount, and we do suggest purchasing a couple of extra tie downs as back ups, just to be on the safe side.
The hood and trunk tie downs are a well designed and durable product that engage with the pressure of a closed hood and trunk.
The ratchet tie downs can be used to further secure your fishing kayak to your kayak rack. These can be ratcheted, or tightened, to the appropriate level of slack. You’ll want to ensure a nice and taut line, but you’ll also want to make sure you haven’t tightened to the extent that you’ve placed too much pressure on your fishing kayak’s hull or the SUV kayak rack itself. Don’t want to store your fishing kayak on your SUV? How about storing the fishing kayak in your garage!
Bungee cords are a nice way to supplement the attachment of your fishing kayak to your kayak rack. Bungee cords come in a variety of shapes and sizes and, coupled with their elasticity, they can be used on any number of fishing kayaks and SUV kayak racks. We have found that double looping the bungee cord over itself, and then around the frame of your kayak rack, is a superb way to get the strength necessary to secure the fishing kayak during times of high speed on the road, without damaging the kayak rack itself. Learn more about kayak straps by visiting KFC’s Top 5 Straps for Kayak Trailers!
I have owned my SUV for years, and have been very pleased with it. When I first got into kayak fishing, I discovered that I could use my SUV to take me to new kayak fishing locations. I searched the market to see whether there were any particular products to make transporting my fishing kayak even easier. What I discovered in my search is the basis for the products I recommend.
Regardless of which make and model of SUV kayak rack you decide upon, the important part is that you pick one in the first place. SUV kayak racks are specially designed to transport your kayak, and can accomplish the same in a safe and efficient manner. This kayak fishing accessory is essential to anyone who is serious about traveling far and wide in their kayak fishing endeavors. No room on your SUV? Safely store your fishing kayak on your fishing dock! Please write in to KFC and share with us which SUV kayak rack is best for you, or if you’ve found a particular manufacturer or product that you think is worth our consideration! Kayak fishing with friends? Check out the Best Kayak Trailer for Two Kayaks!
Not sure if you are being safe when transporting your fishing kayak? Check out some helpful safety tips and tricks, here!
Do you have any questions regarding the SUV kayak rack products described above or kayak fishing in general? Please share with the rest of the KayakFishingCorner community by posting in the Comments section below.