Your love for water sports is undeniably immense and probably unmatched. And when traveling to your favorite water canal for fishing, surfing, or excursions, you need the best kayak roof rack roller loader on your vehicle.
So, in all the hundreds of brands in the market which is the best? Which loader offers value for money, is durable, and safely fastens your kayak while on the roof of your vehicle?
This guide will help you make a decision. It looks at the pros and cons of each, thus allowing you to make the best decision.
However, before moving to the specific brands, here are the general kayak rack systems
These are the easiest to install. The straps are placed inside and outside the vehicle and do not need pre-installed rails.
These racks are the best for carrying multiple kayaks because they allow for vertical arrangement, although you will need to install crossbars.
Horizontal/ Saddle Racks
Horizontal racks are the best when transporting one kayak per session. The saddle needs a double or single cradle adjustable according to a vehicle’s width.
You can choose to transport the kayak horizontally or right way up, and your vehicle needs to have the installed rails.
They are the best for transporting a kayak over long distances because they offer a secure lock and a large surface area for the kayak to rest on.
These are the most popular loaders because of their versatile shape. You can load and offload them onto the rooftop from the car’s side, thus providing convenience.
Their shape allows you to carry more items and gear, but you need to have pre-installed bars on the rooftop. You can install two J-shaped cradles so you can carry two kayaks.
However, they increase your car’s height, so it is crucial to remember the areas you will be passing.
And now, here are the best kayak roof rack roller loaders worth your consideration.
1. Malone Downloader Kayak Carrier
The Malone Downloader Kayak Carrier is a solid choice for those looking to carry one kayak on their roof. It has a secure ratcheting system and features easy installation and removal, making it an attractive option for any vehicle. The carrier can be used with most crossbars, including round, square, or factory crossbars.
The carrier holds your kayak firmly in place using straps around your boat’s hull. It comes with two straps that you can use to hold the bow and stern in place and two additional straps that wrap around the middle of your boat for added security. This ensures that there won’t be any movement once you put everything together, no matter how bumpy your ride may get.
It comes in multi-colors; therefore, there is no excuse if bright or dull colors are a factor in your choice.
2. TMS J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier
The TMS J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier is an excellent rack for kayaks, canoes, and other long, narrow items. The J-shaped base and crossbars are perfect for boats with long hulls. The stand includes two locking straps that mount at the front of your vehicle and two that secure it at the rear to keep everything in place while driving down the road. This system is adjustable, so you can easily carry multiple boats if needed.
It comes with an integrated tracking fin assembly to put your boat on top of your vehicle without any problems or worries about having an unstable load on top of your car or truck. The base has four adjustable feet to level out each corner perfectly, so nothing slips off as you drive down rough roads or over bumps in the road surface.
Further, it is ideal for passenger vehicles or SUVs and is wide-mouthed for more effortless loading and offloading. It is black, thus suitable for many individuals who desire dull colors.
3. Thule Hullavator Pro Rooftop Kayak Carrier
The Thule Hullavator Pro Rooftop Kayak Carrier is a 39.7-pound carrier in black or silver colors. It is made of aluminum and has a load capacity of 75 pounds and thus can carry even the biggest kayak.
It has a lift assist that help in easy loading and offloading and 8-touchpoints for maximum support. It also has a key cylinder for a more secure vehicle attachment during transport.
4. Rhino-Rack Kayak & Canoe Carrier
The Rhino-Rack Kayak & Canoe Carrier is an excellent option for kayak owners who want style and convenience. The rack can be folded up when not in use, making it ideal for those who travel with their boats often or need to make sure that they have space in their vehicle at all times. This rack is easy to assemble, making it perfect for those who may not have much experience installing racks.
The carrier is ideal for sedans, SUVs, and trucks and is made of aluminum. It has a multi-carry design enabling you to carry a variety of watercraft. Also, it has a multi-mounting design which allows you to mount it either on vortex or aero bars.
5. Seattle Sports Sherpak Suction Boat Roller
The Seattle Sports Sherpak Suction Boat Roller is one of the loaders compatible with almost all vehicles. It is easy to load as it has suction cups that firmly hold it in place, which also helps avoid scratching your rooftop.
Additionally, the bars are made of aluminum, guaranteeing you durability and strength to hold even the heaviest of the kayaks.
Its price and durability offer value for money, especially for those who use their kayaks daily.
6. KEYWEST KRR Kayak Boat Roller Loader
If you are looking for an easy-to-fold and use kayak loader, the KEYWEST KRR Kayak loader fits the bill. It is ideal for SUVs, sedans, and station wagons, thus universal and will not be a challenge no matter your car type.
You can use the suction cups, but if you have a rough surface or the cups fail to work, the Velcro straps are there to fill the gap. The loader is foldable, which helps you save space if you are not using it.
7. Onefeng Sports Kayak Boat Roller
If you are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use kayak loader, Onefeng Sports Kayak Boat Roller should be your go-to choice. This carrier has three suction cups that provide your item with the necessary attachment and support.
It carries a maximum of 60 pounds, thus only ideal for small kayaks, nevertheless suitable for a range of vehicles.
8. YAKIMA, ShowBoat 66 Rooftop Mounted Canoe and Kayak Load Assist System for Vehicles
The Yakima load-assist is one of the simplest to use as they are simple rollers that can fit on crossbars. The rollers are corrosive-resistant, thus durable, and can be extended to the back of your vehicle to allow you to carry longer kayaks.
This carrier can carry up to 80 pounds and thus is strong for heavier kayaks.
How to Choose the Best Kayak Loader
It is not enough to know the best kayak roof rack roller loaders. It is also crucial to know what factors to consider when purchasing one. These factors will help you choose the best loader that fits your lifestyle.
Here are the factors
The number of times you will use your kayak will significantly influence the system to purchase and install. If you are a frequent user, a system that is easy to load and offload will be the best because you will not waste time on it.
It also means one with saddles at the front will be convenient for you. Otherwise, if you paddle once in a while, a temporal roof carrier will suffice for you.
Number of Kayaks to be Transported
When deciding on the kayak rack purchase, the number of kayaks to be transported is a major consideration. If you carry only one item, most of the racks are suitable. However, J-style racks will be ideal if you need to transport several.
Despite this, you should check the manufacturer’s recommendation on the load capacity.
Distance to be Traveled
If you are traveling long and bumpy distances, you will need a well-secured system. However, for short distances, temporal ones will be suitable.
Vehicle Type and Roof
Your vehicle and how its roof is designed will determine the type of loader to install. The vehicle may have aftermarket crossbars, side rails, or bare and naked tops.
Factory or aftermarket crossbars are best with J-style racks or those with saddles, while the naked and bare tops are ideal with temporal loaders.
There are many kayak loaders in the market, and choosing the best can be confusing. However, with this review, you now know the pros and cons of each. Further, you know the best brands in the market, which are easy to install, offload, and load.
When choosing the best kayak roof rack roller loader, you should consider the factors mentioned above. These will help you choose one that fits your budget, preferences, and other factors. Overall, your choice depends on your vehicle, frequency, and budget.
Now that you know the brands and how to choose the best, go out and make an informed choice.