Millions of people across the country enjoy canoeing. While some people opt to rent canoes, others prefer having their own. There are many advantages to owning a canoe if you reside near a water source. Even if you do not have quick access to a water source, owning a canoe is much more convenient than a rental.
First, your canoe is always available, regardless of where you are located. With this said, owning a canoe and not living near a river, creek, pond, or other water sources can create issues for owners. One issue has something to do with transportation. Fortunately, this issue can be eliminated with the proper canoe car rack.
A canoe carrier should be designed to offer safe transportation, easy loading and unloading, and efficiency. Fortunately, most manufacturers have taken these necessities into consideration. Below, you will discover a list of the best canoe racks on the market.
Best Canoe Roof Racks Compared and Reviewed
Our Top 3 picks
Last update on 2023-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. IKURAM Canoe J-Style Carrier Rack
It cannot be stressed enough the importance of safety when transporting a canoe from point A to point B. With the IKURAM Canoe J-Style Carrier Rack, you are guaranteed 100% safe transport. Regardless of your destination, your canoe will arrive in the safe condition it was in when you left point A.
Since you own a canoe outright, it is likely you own other watercraft equipment, such as a kayak, paddleboard, and surfboard. Transportation is always an issue for people who own more than a single watercraft. IKURAM took these issues into consideration during the design process, resulting in a more diverse watercraft carrier. The IKURAM Canoe J-Style Carrier Rack supports kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards because of its unusually large size.
The larger platform makes this one of the most diverse canoe carrier for car on the market. Never again worry about how you are going to transport your stand-up paddleboard to the beach or two-person canoe to a nearby river.
Not only are there risks of flying road debris damage but also damage caused by the cartop canoe carrier. In this case, the damage is generally the result of the canoe coming into contact with unprotected saddles. These devices are designed to hold the canoe in place during transport.
The IKURAM Canoe J-Style Carrier Rack for SUVs is designed to eliminate these risks. The saddles are padded with thick rubber to prevent contact damage. Even if you hit a massive-sized pothole, your canoe will not sustain any damage when coming into contact with the rubber saddles.
2. TMS J-Bar Canoe Rack
Shopping for a canoe rack with all the necessities and more? Well, look no further than the J-Bar Canoe Rack by TMS. This particular rack is designed to support a kayak up to 75 pounds and 36 inches in width. This rack is ideal for larger canoes or two-person canoes. It never really hurts to get a larger rack just in case you want to upgrade your canoe later on down the road. This would eliminate the need to upgrade your canoe rack, allowing you to save a few bucks at the same time.
The TMS Canoe Carrier is compatible with all makes and models. Whether you own an SUV or truck, this canoe rack will fit all of your transportation needs. And, if you decide to upgrade your canoe in a few years, you will not need to update the rack.
This hitch canoe rack is one of the easiest will ever install. In fact, the entire installation process from beginning to end should not take longer than 30 minutes. What makes the installation so quick and easy is the vacuum-sealed hardware. The hardware creates a vacuum-seal to your vehicle. Not only does the vacuum-sealed hardware ensure a speedy installation but also a speedy removal. If you decide later on that you no longer need a canoe rack, you can reverse the installation process to remove it.
The installation hardware is also designed to protect your vehicle exterior. If you decide to remove the TMS Canoe Rack, you will be surprised that it did not leave any damage behind.
3. Onefeng Sports Kayak Canoe Roof Rack
The Onefeng Sports Roof Rack is designed to accommodate canoes and kayaks weighing 165 pounds or less. The rack is heavy-duty to ensure longevity. The most notable feature of the Onefend Sports Canoe Rack for SUV lightweight. But, do not be fooled by this lightweight design because this is a heavy-duty canoe rack that will offer years of service life.
The rack is also customizable, allowing you to create a uniqueness specific for your canoe. The rack can be utilized as a rear mount, carrier, or roof rack. Whatever your heart desires, the Onefeng Sports Kayak Canoe Rack can deliver.
Onefeng designed its Sports Kayak to support all makes and models of vehicles. Regardless of what type of vehicle you own, the Onefeng Rooftop Canoe Carrier will work flawlessly. With this said, people who utilize different vehicles to transport their canoes from place to place oftentimes purchase more than a single canoe rack. Fortunately, this is not necessary when you own one of Onefeng’s car top canoe carriers.
The installation is simple and quick, thanks to the security straps and four roof brackets. You simply place the brackets on top of the roof of your vehicle and follow up with the security straps. Once the installation is complete, the Onefeng Sports Kayak Canoe Rack will be ready to support your canoe.
4. IKURAM J-Style Folding Canoe Rack
IKURAM has several canoe racks but none of them compares to its J-Style Folding Rack. This design ensures durability, security, and efficiency. As a watercraft enthusiast who does not have easy access to a water source, you have no other choice but to transport your canoe from point A to point B. The most notable feature of the IKURAM J-Style Canoe Carrier For Truck is its capacity. The rack is fully capable of supporting canoes up to 158 pounds and 42 inches in width. This is the ideal carrier for larger canoes.
The rack comes with canoe roof pads to protect the roof of your car from scuffs, scratches, and dents. Without the pads, your roof would be exposed to the rack, resulting in minor damage over a short period of time. The roof pads will also eliminate any movement during transport even if you hit a pothole or drive on gravel roads.
The IKURAM Canoe Rack for Pickup comes with straps to secure your canoe. However, these are no ordinary straps, as they are heavy-duty with a 750-pound break-strength. You can utilize the straps to secure your canoe to the rack. So, you can travel long distances with little to no security concerns.
5. ECOTRIC J-Bar Universal Canoe Top Mount (Includes A Pair Of Racks)
The ECOTRIC J-Bar Universal Canoe Roof Racks are ideal for all makes and models, as well as the on-the-go outdoors enthusiasts. This is the best canoe roof rack on the market. There are plenty of other options but they fail in comparison with this model. It comes with everything needed to ensure quick and easy installation, high level of canoe security, durability, and years of service life. By the time, the installation is complete, you will know this was the ideal canoe roof rack for you.
The pair of racks will support two canoes up to 36 inches in width and 165 pounds. This is the ideal rack set up for couples and families with more than one canoe. Instead of utilizing two vehicles to transport your canoes to public river access point, only one ECOTRIC Canoe Top Mount is all you need, resulting in fewer expenses, hassle, and confusion.
The ECOTRIC J-Bar Universal Canoe Roof Rack comes with padding to prevent direct contact with the top of your roof. The padding will not only protect the exterior of your car roof but also minimize movement during transport. Your canoes will fit snug in the roof rack while the padding prevents movement even when traveling on a gravel road.
The steel construction used in the ECOTRIC J-Bar Universal Canoe Roof Rack ensures the highest level of durability, resulting in longer service life. Steel has proven to be more durable than most other metals utilized in the production of canoe roof racks.
6. Car Rack & Carriers Canoe Rack
While the Car Rack & Carriers Canoe Rack may be a generic canoe rack, this one is going to satisfy a lot of people. First and foremost, you’re going to find out that this rack is inexpensive. It is one of the cheapest racks on the market. If you want to save money and protect your kayak during trips, this one cannot be ignored. Despite its low price, you’ll find that it offers numerous perks. For instance, it is made using high-strength materials so it’ll last many years. It comes with stainless hardware. You won’t have to worry about the screws and other hardware rusting or eroding. That likely will not happen.
This rack is designed to accommodate kayaks and canoes of various shapes and sizes. The multi-pivot rubber carrier guarantees that you’ll get a perfect, secure fit every time. Furthermore, you won’t scratch your canoe. Thanks to the pivoting saddles on the Car Rack & Carriers Canoe Rack, you’ll easily be able to load and unlock your watercraft. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. Since this rack is so inexpensive, it is one of the best bargains you could find.
7. Alfa Gear Universal Folding Lightweight Roof Rack
Some people are looking for something more versatile and flexible. If you fit into this category, you won’t be able to ignore the Alfa Gear Universal Rack. It is compatible with various kayaks, canoes, and surfboards. It’ll also work well with paddleboards, snowboards, and more. If you want to go snowboarding, surfing, or kayaking, you’ll want to think about adding this canoe rack to your roof. Since it is so versatile, it may be the best canoe roof rack on the planet.
You’ll also appreciate the fact that this roof rack limits vibration. Your kayak or canoe should remain stable during transportation. It shouldn’t bounce around so you won’t have to worry about your canoe getting damaged. This rack comes with heavy-duty fabric straps. They have a 400-pound capacity so you know your canoe isn’t going to break free during transportation. The Alfa Gear Roof Rack is compatible with various vehicle makes and models. It will work great with SUVs, trucks, and minivans. If your vehicle doesn’t have rooftop bars, this rack will likely work well for you.
It is multi-foam padded so your kayak or canoe won’t get scratched during your trip to the lake. You’ll be able to take advantage of the extra-long straps on the Alfa Gear Roof Rack to ensure that your board is going to remain secure and safe at all times.
8. Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series Canoe Carrier
Rhino-Rack is growing in popularity and a lot of that has to do with the Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series Canoe Carrier. This rack has proven to be one of the best canoe racks on the planet. While it isn’t too expensive, it’ll prove to be worth it. This rack comes with everything you need including 2 tie-downs and 2 rapid straps. You’ll also receive several buckle protectors. You shouldn’t have to purchase anything else and this makes the price reasonable. Furthermore, you’ll be thrilled to know that the Rhino-Rack Nautic offers universal fitment.
This means that it is going to work fluidly with most rack crossbars. It’ll likely work with yours too. The front and rear pads are designed to ensure that they’ll be able to accommodate various hull shapes. Whether you are hauling a kayak or canoe, the Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series Rack will work great. It offers 180-degree rotation so you’ll easily be able to load your kayak from the side. The contact surface area per cradle is large. Thanks to this feature, you can rest assured knowing that your canoe is not going to bounce around during transportation.
One of the best things about this canoe carrier is the warranty. With the Rhino-Rack Nautic 570 Series Rack, you’re going to be protected for 5 years. Rhino-Rack is great when it comes to serving their customers’ problems so you’ll easily be able to take advantage of the warranty.
9. Thule Portage Canoe Rack
Many people will agree that the Thule Portage Canoe Rack is the best canoe roof rack. It is hard to deny that Thule has become one of the leading manufacturers of cargo racks. So, purchasing one of their canoe racks is wise. The Thule Portage Canoe Rack is a good choice because it is inexpensive, tough, and capable of getting the job done right. This rack features durable gunwales so your canoe will be secure and safe during transport. The gunwales have ramped sides and that makes it much easier to load your canoe. The base padding is soft and weather resistant.
This combination ensures that the Thule Portage Canoe Rack is going to be tough and protective. The straps measure 2 by 15 feet and this rack comes with all center straps as well as buckle bumpers and tie-downs. You’ll receive enough supplies to secure and transport one canoe. This unit features the Flip Fit bracket which is compatible with all Thule Rack Systems, round bars, and the majority of factory racks.
The Thule Portage Canoe Rack is very flexible meaning it can be used with a handful of canoes. Whether you have a skinny or fat canoe, there is a good chance that this rack will do the trick. However, you may need to make a few adjustments to get this rack to support wider canoes.
Types Of Canoe Rack
Canoe racks are designed to serve the same purpose. They help you transport your canoe from one location to another. And, they’re designed to keep your canoe safe from start to finish. Still, you’ll find that there are various styles of canoe racks on the market. Before you can find out which one is going to work best for you, it is pertinent to learn more about the different types. Well, you should know that some racks will hold your canoe on top of your vehicle. This is a good option because the canoe or kayak will stay out of the way.
If you’re interested in something different, you may want to choose a side rack. This is a good choice for vehicles without roof racks. You also have to consider the type of vehicle you’re driving. With a truck, you’ll be able to install the rack inside of the truck bed. With an SUV, van, or car, you can likely install the rack on the roof. Either way, you need to find out which type of canoe rack is going to work best for you, your vehicle, and your canoes.
What To Look For When Choosing A Canoe Rack
When attempting to find the best canoe rack for your vehicle, it is pertinent to pay close attention to a handful of factors. Otherwise, you’re going to get a rack that won’t work with your vehicle or your canoe. Or, you may get one that you despise. Below, you’ll learn about the most important factors to consider when choosing a canoe rack for your automobile.
First and foremost, you need to find a rack that works fluidly with your roof rack crossbars. You’ll discover that some canoe racks work with certain crossbars but not others. So, you need to take a close look at the crossbars on your vehicle’s roof and go from there. If you do that, you’ll have no trouble choosing a canoe rack that works great for your automobile and canoe. When looking for a canoe rack for cars, you’ll want to purchase one that works well with your vehicle’s make and model.
Most canoe racks are designed to last a lifetime but you may experience problems sooner than that. With this in mind, you need to go above and beyond to get a lengthy warranty. This is one of the most important aspects of all. With a good warranty, you’ll be able to remedy problems without paying out of pocket. A 5-year warranty is excellent. A lifetime warranty is even better. With that being said, you should never ignore the warranty when researching canoe racks.
When it comes to canoe racks, you’ll find that brand is very important. While some unknown brands are good, others are not. You’ll have to be much more careful when dealing with unknown brands because they could be good or bad. If you stick with a proven brand such as Thule, you’ll likely receive assistance quicker than you would otherwise. This company is known for having excellent customer service so they’ll solve your problems rapidly. Choose a brand that is going to deliver rapid results or you’ll regret it later.
Canoes feature hulls. The shape of the hull may vary from one canoe to the next. With this in mind, you cannot ignore the shape of your canoe’s hull when trying to find a good canoe rack. You’ll need to choose a rack that can accommodate the shape of your hull. The good news is that many racks are versatile so they can accommodate various sizes. Make sure that you buy a canoe rack that works with a variety of hull shapes. Otherwise, it may work with a friend’s but it might not work with your kayak.
Can you put a canoe on a roof rack? You likely can but you’ll want to use a canoe rack since they’re specifically designed for this purpose. This means that they’re designed to protect the canoe during transport.
You’ll want to make sure that your canoe rack is going to last a lifetime. Furthermore, it should protect your canoe to the fullest. If the rack isn’t tough and durable, there is a risk that it is going to break and send your canoe down the highway and into traffic. You do not want this to happen since it could lead to major issues and lawsuits. So, you need a rack that is built to last. Make sure that it is soft enough to protect your canoe but tough enough to withstand everything Mother Nature has to offer. Furthermore, the canoe rack should attach to your vehicle securely so you don’t have to worry about it falling off during your trip.