Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps

Last Updated on July 21, 2022 by Ecorf

Having a kayak is thrilling, but your fun may die down as you as soon as you get home with the boat. Of what use will it be to have the kayak when you cannot take it down to the water with ease? Aside from the sturdiness, you would also be looking at a long distance to the sea. Besides, your vehicle may not be able to hold the load for long before it falls off the top.

That informs the reason why many paddlers are looking for the best kayak roof rack pads and straps to secure their boat atop the roof of the car. With that, there would be no hassle in taking the boat back and forth the banks of the water.

Many options are out there in the market. So, to arrive at an informed decision, you need to go through our detailed guide to choosing the best kayak roof rack pads and straps.

How to Choose the Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps

The importance of the racks and straps are not to be undermined as far as kayaking is concerned. They help to secure the boat on top of your vehicle while preventing scratches on your car.

Before hitting the market to get one, we would like you to pause for some moments to discover the essential details to look for. Here are they are:

  • Number of Kayaks

How many boats do you intend carrying for the trip? The double roof rack is perfect or one kayak. On the other hand, paddlers that take more than one kayak are advised to go for stackers. That is because they help in maximizing the space atop the vehicle.

Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps

  • Brand Recognition

Indeed, many kayak roof rack pads and straps are useful. Nevertheless, certain brands have built a reputation for offering the best service. Therefore, you should put this into consideration.

Ideally, famous brands like ROLA, Thule, Malone Auto Racks and Rhino-Rack have higher patronage because of the efficacy of their roof rack pads and straps.

  • The Towers

Serious consideration should be made on the towers. These are the integral part of the roof rack that bears the weight of the bars. Besides, attaching them to the wrong place or choosing the non-compatible variation may be harmful to your car.

Therefore, you must ensure that the towers are compatible with both the roof racks and your vehicle before choosing one.

  • Racks or Foam Rollers

While some kayakers opt for the roof rack, some others find the foam rollers thrilling to use. The choice depends on the type of vehicle you have and the provision of bars and roof racks on it.

Foam pads and a strap are recommended for vehicles that have built-in roof racks and bars. Otherwise, you would have to install the racks before transporting your kayak.

Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps

  • Door Mount Systems

These are needed when your car doesn’t have a built-in roof rail. They clip on the window lip of your vehicle, which can force your vehicle to have difficulty in opening. So, choose wisely.

  • Your Car’s Role

Your vehicle has some roles to play in the selection of the best kayak roof rack pads and straps. You must consider if the available kayak racks are compatible with the car. Second and most important, you also need to ensure that the racks are fitting for your vehicle.

  • Roof Racks

If your car has built-in rails, then the next step would be to choose a compatible kayak rack for securing your boat.

As a rule of thumb, you must consider the destination you intend going to. Note that the racks tend to add extra height to your vehicle. That makes it difficult to scale through garages and other high areas.

Therefore, ensure the location you intend traveling to doesn’t have such facilities because that can hamper the success of the trip.

  • Foam Roof Rack or Carriers?

Paddlers are often at a loss on choosing between the carriers and foam roof racks. That shouldn’t be confusing because they have individual functions.

On the one hand, the foam roof rack is ideal for paddlers that want to transport one kayak at a time. On the other hand, the carriers are the best option if you’re looking at transporting multiple kayaks.

  • Price

We saved the best for the last. The price is unarguable, one of the factors that influence the choice of the best kayak roof rack pads and straps.

Ideally, you must ensure that the rack has the features you need. After that, you can then correlate the price to what you had in mind to spend.

Benefits of Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps 

Kayakers aren’t wrong for choosing these because they have features that make the transportation of boat easy.

First, they empower you to tie up your kayak atop your vehicle with ease. Also, that helps to cut down the risks of the boat falling up while the car is on the move. Third, the crossbars are there to help you secure any other thing you want on top of the vehicle.

Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps

Frequently Asked Questions on Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps

Some kayakers are ye to understand the concept behind the roof rack pads and straps. That is why the FAQs here were designed to address some of these questions:

  • How Can I Install a Kayak Roof Rack?

The process is seamless because the manufacturers made it easy. Most times, you only need to screw the rack onto the existing crossbars on your car. If your vehicle doesn’t have a crossbar, then you may need to require tools to attach one before fixing the rack.

  • Is Transporting a Kayak Safe?

Yes, it is. That informs the reason behind the invention of roof rack pads and straps. They help you secure the boat atop the vehicle to prevent it from falling off when heading to the water.

  • How Can I Lift a Kayak Onto a Roof Rack?

This is where the problem lies. Once you have installed your roof rack, the next step would be to lift the boat onto it. This tends to be a problem for some paddlers. So, here is what to do:

  • Take advantage of the lift assist system that came with the roof rack to lift the boat. Some of these lift systems demand that you loop them around the body of the kayak for swift lifting.
  • If that doesn’t work out, then you may have to strap the rack system to the front and rear of your car and try again.

The 5 Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps

Here is the final consideration you have to make. It can be tough to pick the best kayak roof rack from the varieties out there. Therefore, we made a list of the top five (5) racks you wouldn’t hesitate to get.

Are you looking for a kayak strap that is long enough to secure the boat? Well, we have one for you – the Dorsal Surfboard Kayak Straps.

They are 15-feet long and 1-inch wide. By that, this dual tie-down straps can secure different boats, such as kayaks and canoes. What’s more? They can hold up to 200 lb. of weight.

Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps


  • 600 lb. break strength
  • 15-feet long and 1-inch wide
  • Features an anodized 1-inch cam buckle and buckle pads for protecting the board


Undoubtedly, this kayak roof rack helps to prevent vibrations when tying up your boat. It also has a multi-layer foam pad to reduction when the car is in motion.

Also, the roof rack has durable nylon lashing straps with a 400 lb. capacity. That combines with the longer straps to secure the top of your car.

Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps


  • Easy to Install
  • Anti Vibration
  • Lightweight
  • Universal: Compatible with many vehicles, including SUVs, Sedans, and Trucks


Thule has created a name for itself in the kayak industry, especially with the affordable and efficient roof racks it has to offer. The Thule Hull Port Rooftop Carrier is no different from the quality attributed to the brand.

It has a new J-design that facilitates the quick loading and offloading of your boat. There is also the J-styled carrier that creates more space on the top of the vehicle. That is just as the two ratcheting bows and stern helps to tie down two straps at a go.

Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps


  • Round bars
  • Easy boat loading and offloading
  • Buckle protectors and ratcheting bow and stern for easy transport


Here is the perfect option for paddlers that love moving their boats with ease. It is not only compatible to move your kayak but can also run other boats, such as canoes. The sturdy design also makes it easy to hold any load without hassles.

Also, it has a universal fit that makes it ideal for different vehicles. The carrier also has a dual mounting system for securely holding your boat.

Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps


  • Does not require tools to mount
  • Universal Fit
  • Lightweight


  • The tension knobs on the bottom part of the J-bars tend to come off once in a while
  • Extra care must be exercised when fixing the screws
  • ECOTRIC J-Bar Universal Carrier

Paddlers are now turning their gaze to best kayak roof rack pads and straps that have a J-design. The idea behind this move is that such a construction helps to hold the boat better than the others do. Thankfully, the ECOTRIC J-bar Universal Carrier has the design.

Aside from that, the carrier also has four straps and a Mounting Hardware for securing up to 2 kayaks on top of your vehicle. There is also the 8-inch strap length that is long enough to accommodate kayaks that has a width up to 36-inch.

Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps


  • Thicker crossbars
  • Mountable Hardware Steel design with adjustable padding for conveying kayaks with ease
  • Features 2 pairs of rack meant to hold two kayaks


  • Only two of the nuts that secure the hook to the crossbar are functional. The metal is not extremely thick and tends to rust

Choose the Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads and Straps

Your boat needs all the security it can get when been transported from your home to the water. That informs the reason why you shouldn’t hesitate to get the best kayak roof rack pads and straps.

With the wide variety of options in the list, you may want to go for the Thule Hull Port Rooftop Carrier. The J-design, round bars, and buckle protectors are there to protect your car and make the trip pleasing and hassle-free.

Which of the kayak roof rack pads and straps caught your fancy? Do you have any suggestion(s)? Let us know in the comment section.