Best Roof Rack Pads for Kayaks In 2023

Best Roof Rack Pads for Kayaks

Last updated on January 7, 2023

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Kayaking is a great way to get physically active and enjoy the outdoors. But what about storage? Unless you're kayaking with a rack on your roof, your kayaks will get pretty jostled around.

That's where kayak roof rack pads come in - they provide a secure location for your kayaks, allowing you to take them anywhere without fearing for their safety.

If you don’t want to go through all the reviews, let me recommend you the best roof rack pads for kayaks.

Thule Surf Pad - Standard Black, Narrow 30""" (844000)
  • Boards and boats are well protected during transport with these high...
  • Integrated no-slip grip on top of pads keeps loads in place
  • Long lasting performance with durable 600D nylon construction with UV...
  • Easy on and off with hook and loop closure design along bottom of pads
  • Ideal for carrying surfboards, SUPs, sailboards

In this blog post, I'll discuss the top 5 best roof rack pads for kayaks and how to choose the right one for your needs.

So, keep reading; whether you're looking for a practical way to carry your kayaks or just want to have some peace of mind while out on the water, keep reading!

What are Roof Rack Pads?

Roof rack pads are a great way to protect your car from scratches and dings. They're also helpful for safely loading and unloading items from your vehicle.

Many different brands are available. So, it's crucial to find the right one for your needs. Installation is easy - just attach them to the roof of your car!

Types of Kayak Roof Racks

There are many different types of roof rack pads for kayaks. So, it is essential to choose the one that is best suited for your vehicle and kayak. Let’s learn the top four types of kayak rook rack pads.


The J-Cradle is the most popular roof rack that can be mounted on your car. You can easily install this roof rack on your vehicle and carry kayaks onto it.

Saddles or Horizontal Racks

It is a steel belt that provides support at the rear or front of your car. Sides can be attached to it and secured with what looks like rails.

Stackers Vertical Roof Rack

Stacker is a roof rack installed on the roof of your car or truck. It consists of crossbars bolted onto your car's roof and supported by several kayaks standing side by side vertically.

Temporary Pads

Temporary roof racks range from 8"x8" to 12 inches x 18". They are relatively thin and provide a secure fit on top of some vehicles.

Why Should You Use Kayak Roof Rack Pads

If you’re a kayaker who uses their car frequently, then investing in kayak roof rack pads is a must-have! These pads are easy to install and help protect your vehicle from scratches and dents.

Besides, they also keep your car’s paint job looking fresh - which is an excellent investment for anyone who cares about their car’s appearance. Kayak roof rack pads are also a great way to transport your kayak and gears safely and efficiently.

So, if you’re looking for a way to make your kayaking and car life more manageable, then kayak roof rack pads are the perfect solution!

How to Choose the Best Kayak Roof Rack Pads

When it comes to kayak roof rack pads, you have to choose the right one for your needs. So, let’s check some crucial facts to select the best rook rack pads for kayaks.

Quality & Durability

It would be great to choose a kayak roof rack pad from top-quality material. Because if you get the wrong type of plastic, it can cause your kayak and vehicle to become fragile or damaged quickly. So, ensure the construction materials used for the roof rack pads are high quality and durable.

Kayak Capacity

The majority of roof rack pads are designed specifically for a single kayak. However, some models accommodate two or more kayaks. So, choose one according to your needs.

Installation Process

You must ensure you get a kayak roof rack pad that uses an easy installation process. Because some models may require additional tools and instructions, making the installation difficult. So, choose a kayak roof rack pad that is easy to install.

5 Best Roof Rack Pads for Kayaks: Reviews, Charts and  Recommendations

If you're looking for a way to carry your kayak, you must need kayak rack pads for your car. So, let’s find the top 5 best roof rack pads for kayaks.

Thule Surf Pad - Standard 30", Black

For an extra layer of safety while transporting your kayaks, choose the Thule Surf Pad. It is one of the best kayak roof rack pads made from high-density foam. These pads also provide safe and secure transport for your kayak.

The integrated non-slip grip on top of the pads keeps loads in place, while the water repellent design prevents moisture and sand from entering the pads.

Besides, Thule Surf Pads are designed for serious kayakers looking for a long-lasting, durable solution for keeping them dry and sandy-free.

It is also made from 600D nylon construction with UV resistance. Thus, these pads are easy on and off with a hook and loop closure design along the bottom.

Whether you're hitting the waves or just want to protect your car's finish, Thule Surf Pads are perfect!

Moreover, Thule surf pads are the perfect accessory for transporting your boards and SUPs. It is made from durable rubber. So, these pads protect your equipment from scratches and dents while keeping them close at hand.

They're also easy to attach and detach. So, you can take it wherever you go. If you're looking for the perfect way to transport your gear, look no further than Thule surf pads.

  • Durable construction.
  • High-density foam pads.
  • Easy to install.
  • UV resistance.
  • Secure and protected.
  • Difficult to tighten.

Yakima - CrossBar Pads, Secure and Protect Boats and Boards from Damage, Round 30 inch

Yakima's Crossbar Pads are the perfect solution to secure your kayak to your car. Its sectioned hook and loop closures secure around your roof rack attachment points, ensuring a custom fit every time.

These pads make loading and unloading kayaks a breeze with a lightweight and durable design. Whether you're out for a ride or taking your kayak to the water, Yakima Crossbar pads are a must-have for securing your gear safely and securely.

Besides, Yakima designed the Crossbar Pad to improve your paddling experience while minimizing the impact on the environment.

The reinforced rubber construction and wind-resistant fabric offer strength and durability, while the low-profile design minimizes visual obstruction. The Crossbar Pad also attaches easily to your Yakima Crossbar or Jetstream crossbar and fits most fishing kayaks.

In short, I am highly impressed with the Crossbar Pads. The installation is so easy that anyone can do it, and you don't need any tools to install them. I also like how they come fully assembled.

So, you don't have to worry about having all of your tools ready when installing them. It is also very lightweight. Thus, I don't have to worry about damaging my kayak's hull by putting heavy objects on it. So, it is suitable for roof rack pads for kayaks.

  • Safe and secure.
  • Wider and lightweight pads.
  • Easy to use.
  • Perfect for SUP.
  • Excellent for fishing kayaks.
  • It mightn’t fit on Toyota 4Runner.

Malone Roof Rack Pads for Kayaks, SUPs/Surfboards (18-Inch)

Malone Rack Pads are the bestroof rack pads to transport your kayak. It is made with high-quality plastic and is designed to protect your equipment while in transit. The pads are also flexible, so they can be easily folded and stored when not in use.

Besides, these pads fit most standard door frames, are built with high-grade EVA foam and are protected by a water-resistant nylon sleeve.

Worthy of mentioning, they're easy to install and come in various colors to match your decor perfectly.

Moreover, if you're like us, you love spending time outdoors - exploring a new trail or hitting the waves. But, accidents happen, and sometimes your favorite board or kayak ends up scratched or dented.

That's where Malone Rack Pads come in. The pads protect your kayak from your vehicle's crossbars, keeping it safe and sound while enjoying nature.

Malone Rack Pads are also designed to hold your gear in place securely. The elastic shock cord and mid-positioned Velcro strap keep them secured while in use, making them ideal for use on various equipment.

Whether you're using them for cycling, running, weightlifting, or any other sport, Malone Rack Pads will help you stay organized and safe. So, get your Malone Rack Pads for your kayaks today!

  • High-quality plastic construction.
  • High-grade EVA foam.
  • Water-resistant nylon sleeve.
  • Easy installation.
  • Secure and durable.
  • May face difficulties taking on and off.

Seattle Sports Sherpak Universal Kayak Non-Skid and Anti-Slip Foam Block Carrier Deluxe Kit for Car Roof Top (16 Inch)

Looking for an easy and cheaper way to transport your kayak? Check out Seattle Sports NO SKID Universal Kayak Foam Blocks! These blocks make transporting your kayak on a car or roof rack a breeze.

You can simply customize the blocks to fit your vehicle, and you're good to go! These blocks cheaper than car carriers, but you can also customize them to make sure your kayak is always in the safest possible position.

Besides, these blocks are made from a special polymer that does not absorb water, making them perfect for use in any water environment.

They are also incredibly lightweight, making them easy to carry around and quick and easy to install. These can be stored away when not in use, creating them the perfect addition to any camping or fishing trip.

However, I've been looking for a kayak rack compatible with my vehicle. I am so glad I found this kit. The blocks are perfect for mounting my kayak on the roof, and there are even straps included to secure it if necessary!

So, you can count these as the best roof rack pads for kayaks. It is a fantastic product, especially since it's affordable and has everything you need.

  • Non-Skid anti-slipping blocks.
  • Can custom kayak cradle.
  • Safe and affordable.
  • Quick installation.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Foam pads may be narrow and shallow.

SportRack SR5527 Adjustable Foam Kayak Carrier, 24-Inch, Black

Kayaking is one of the most enjoyable and healthy sports you can participate in. The SportRack Jetty Kayak Kit makes it easy and comfortable to start kayaking by providing you with fully adjustable foam blocks.

Various kayak widths can be accommodated. You can also use this kayak kit to paddle around your neighborhood or explore the waters near your home.

Besides, the SportRack Jetty Kayak Kit is durable and will last for years. So, if you're looking for an easy way to get started in kayaking, then the SportRack Jetty Kayak Kit is just what you need!

Moreover, its car protection system is specifically designed to fit cars with a width of up to 2'. It is also made from high-quality materials. It features a non-skid underside that prevents the blocks from moving and holds them in place.

These pads are also easy to install and perfect for any smooth surface. So, grab these roof rack pads for your kayak today and enjoy peace of mind.

  • Adjustable foam blocks.
  • Doesn’t require any roof bars.
  • Affordable rack pads.
  • Safe and secure.
  • Easy to use.
  • May need longer straps.

Frequently Asked Question

  1. Can you stack two kayaks on a roof rack?

Yes, but there are a few things to consider when stacking two kayaks on a roof rack. First, make sure that the kayaks are the same size and shape. Second, make sure that the kayaks are properly secured to the rack.

Third, ensure the roof rack is sturdy enough to support the weight of the kayaks. Fourth, make sure that the roof rack can handle the wind and weather conditions.

  1. Is Transporting a Kayak Safe?

There are a few things you can do to make transporting your kayak safer:

Pack your kayak securely. Make sure the boat is well-secured and doesn't move around while you're transporting it.

Use a carrier that can support the weight of your kayak. You don't want the carrier to collapse or cause the kayak to shift while in transit.

However, I prefer to use kayak roof rack pads to transport safely.

  1. How Can I Lift a Kayak onto a Roof Rack?

There are a few ways to lift a kayak onto a roof rack. One option is to use a strap system. Another option is to use a hydraulic lift.

 Final Verdict

Roof rack pads are a great way to transport your kayak on your car roof safely. They come in various styles and sizes and can be installed in various ways.

However, I prefer to choose Thule Surf Pads as the best roof rack pads for kayaks. You can also choose another one from the list according to your needs.

But make sure to read the article to learn about the different types of roof rack pads and how to choose the best one for your needs. So, enjoy your kayaking.

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