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The best kayak racks

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les meilleurs supports à kayak

Whether it’s a question of loading, unloading or securing kayaks to the roof of a vehicle, transporting this type of craft can seem complex and frightening to many. Rest assured, this article will provide you with the search criteria to consider when buying a kayak rack. As a bonus, a selection from the MOS Team of the best kayak racks compatible with the MOS UpLift™

The different types of kayak racks

To start with, you need to know that roof racks are essential on the roof of your car in order to transport a kayak. The roof bars are affixed to your vehicle, while the kayak rack is an additional accessory attached to these bars, to transport your kayak. There are several categories of kayak racks available, but we’ll focus on two popular types: the “J”-shaped rack and the “V”-shaped rack. 

The J-shaped kayak rack

The J-shaped rack, also known as the J-cradle or vertical rack, holds your kayak at an angle to the side of the car roof. The advantages of this type of support are that it limits the wind load and, consequently, the risk of the front of your kayak lifting. What’s more, the leaning position of the kayak means it takes up a little less space on the roof of your vehicle.

the best kayak racks

The V-shaped kayak rack

The V-shaped rack, also known as a horizontal or cradle rack in the industry, allows you to place the hull of your kayak against the roof of your car. This type of support is considered very stable, and is therefore preferable for more fragile (fiberglass) kayaks.

the best kayak racks

How to choose a kayak rack?

Load capacity

The load capacity of your car roof as well as your roof racks is vital information to know in order to safely transport your sports and outdoor equipment. If you’re planning to buy a MOS UpLift™, you’ll need roof racks with a minimum capacity of 165 lb (75 kg).

Sporting habits

The frequency of your sporting outings will sharpen your search, whether you prioritize ease or rather speed of installation. This criterion goes hand in hand with the number of kilometers you have to cover to reach your sporting destinations. Are you planning to practice your sport a few kilometers from home, or hundreds? If so, wind resistance and fuel economy must be factored into the equation. J and V shaped supports are ideal for these long distances.

The material of your kayak

The material of your kayak is also important to consider. If you have a plastic kayak that’s therefore heavy and solid, you won’t need a kayak mount if you own a MOS UpLift™. In fact, your kayak will be able to install directly on the two strong arms of our roof rack, keeping the rubber sheaths on the deposit surface. However, if you own a fiberglass boat, which is therefore lighter and more fragile, you’ll need a kayak support so that the support is evenly distributed over the kayak’s hull.

Mounting accessories for transporting your kayak

To properly transport your sports and outdoor equipment, you’ll need straps to secure your boat. You’ll need both hull straps and V-straps. V-belts hold the ends of the boat and attach to anchor points at the front and rear of your vehicle. To securely fasten your boat to the roof of your vehicle, we recommend straps at least 1″ wide. This reduces the risk of the strap losing its elasticity or even letting go. Note that V-shaped straps are recommended, but not necessary, for whitewater kayaks. Since they’re shorter than sea kayaks, they’re less likely to be blown off course by the wind. You should also use the bow and stern tie-down straps to avoid losing the boat and its support. These are used to secure the bow and stern of your kayak to your car. Some kayakers use foam blocks to prevent the kayak from resting directly on the roof rails.  This accessory remains a worthwhile addition, but is optional when transporting your kayak. 

What about the MOS UpLift™?

Thanks to its assist system, the MOS UpLift™ supports up to 85 lb and lowers your equipment 2 feet (61 cm). That means loading and unloading your kayak will be done safely. It also means keeping sport for sport’s sake and putting energy where it really counts.

The best kayak racks tested with the MOS UpLift™

In summary, the essential features when buying a kayak rack are : 

  • Car roof load capacity
  • The load capacity of your roof racks
  • Your sporting activities
  • The material of your kayak

Want to know more about the equipment you need to enjoy your outdoor activities? Check out our articles on the best roof boxes, bike racks, ski and snowboard racks or even the best crossbars.

*The models selected are not the only ones compatible with the MOS UpLift™, but a selection of well-known and proven brands.