Best Kayak Storage Rack – The 8 Top-Rated Options for 2021

The storage and transportation aspects of kayak ownership are probably the biggest hurdles for most – if not all – paddlers out there. There’s just no way around it:

You’ll need to find a way to store your kayak properly. 

And no, propping it up against the garage wall doesn’t count as “properly” storing a kayak. It barely even counts as storing it at all.

Today’s about finding a good alternative to the “I’ll just leave it here until I figure something out” approach.

That alternative comes in the form of the best kayak storage rack – and I’ll help you choose the right one!

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In A Rush? The Winner After 36 Hours Of Research:

Suspenz EZ Kayak Rack

Suspenz EZ Kayak Rack

Our Rating: ★★★★★

Check Price on Amazon

Why is it better?

  • The rack is constructed out of powder-coated steel and rust-resistant, making it a good fit for indoor and outdoor use
  • Both arms are thoroughly padded and covered with 600D nylon foam pads at all contact points to prevent scratches and hull damage
  • They feature adjustable nylon straps as an additional layer of protection against the kayak slipping off the rack
  • It weighs only 8.4 pounds
  • The cradle arms extend only 21 inches from the wall and won’t interfere with everyday garage use
  • It’s capable of supporting up to 125 pounds of weight
  • Extremely easy to install and comes with the necessary mounting hardware
  • You can stack several racks above one another to store multiple kayaks

How To Choose A Storage Rack For Kayaks

Colourful kayaks and canoes on outdoor kayak storage racks

Kayak storage tops the list of must-have kayak accessories that every kayaker should own.  

Why?  

Well, kayak storage is not just for keeping your kayaks clean and dry but also to keep them safe from theft – it’s all about protecting your investment and prolonging its life.

The best storage rack will be the one that suits your needs; that much is clear. But that doesn’t tell you much about how to choose one, does it?

And that brings us to what this section is all about – helping you choose a kayak storage rack that fits your needs, and by this I mean; your space, your budget, and your kayak.

Three Types Of Kayak Storage Racks

First and foremost, you generally get to choose among three main types of kayak storage racks:

  • Free-standing racks
  • Wall-mounted racks
  • Ceiling-mounted racks

We’ll start by taking a closer look at each of these types and go over some key advantages and disadvantages of each one to help you narrow things down a bit. 

Free-Standing Kayak Racks

FreeStanding Kayak Storage Rack

Your first option would be a freestanding kayak rack. As the name implies, they don’t need to be mounted on a wall, ceiling, or any other sturdy structure. They are “independent” in that sense – they will stand on the floor like a separate, self-sufficient structure – which means a few things:

One, setting it up doesn’t require drilling holes in the wall. Two, you’ll be able to move it around when needed, making them highly adaptable to different storage spaces. They’re even suitable – and even preferred – for outdoor storage.

And three, which can be considered their most significant disadvantage – they take up a lot more floor space than other kayak storage solutions

Also, if you’re going to keep your kayak rack outside, make sure you ‘yak is protected with a waterproof kayak cover. It will shield the kayak from the elements and deter animals from establishing nests in it.

Wall-Mounted Kayak Racks

Wall Mount Kayak Hooks

The name is a pretty good indicator here, too; wall-mounted kayak racks are – well, mounted on the wall. As long as you have a permanent structure – be it a garage wall, the side of your shed, a sturdy fence, or whatever’s most accessible – to install one on, you’re good to go.

The most significant advantage of a wall-mount kayak rack is that they’re relatively easy to set up and access and they utilize wall space that would otherwise be wasted – they make ideal indoor or outdoor storage solutions.  

As for the downsides, lifting a kayak on the rack can be a bit difficult, depending on how hefty it is. 

Ceiling-Mounted Kayak Racks

Celing mounted kayak rack

Last but not least, you have storage racks that mount to the ceiling, hence the name. This type of system can be incredibly useful and space-efficient because they utilize the overhead area – where most people have extra space, but it’s often overlooked.

If you’re entirely out of floor space and the walls are already packed, a ceiling-mounted rack is a way to go.

But I have to warn you:

These can be hard to set up; it requires some planning, tools, and a bit of DIY instincts to do it right.

Plus, there’s the issue of lifting the kayak that high up, which can be a bit of a hassle even with a kayak pulley system or ceiling hoist – let alone without it.  

Rack Size & Available Space

Figuring out how much space you have should be a part of the planning process, not something you think about after the fact when you already have a kayak storage rack picked out, okay?

Okay.

Get this part right, and you’ll have a kayak storage solution that’s efficient and fits in the intended location. Get it wrong, and you’ll only end up getting frustrated.

Granted, it won’t be much of a concern if you opt for an outdoor storage rack. But if you plan to install the kayak rack inside, keep in mind that it will probably require a certain amount of clearance for safe loading and unloading.

Plus, you don’t want to end up hitting your head every time you walk past it. 

So, work out how much space you have available and choose a rack accordingly. I mean, what good is it if it won’t fit in the intended area?

Rack’s Weight Capacity

The second most crucial factor to consider – besides the rack’s size – would be the amount of weight it’s designed to support. That becomes even more crucial if you own a particularly bulky and heavy kayak or you’re hoping to store more than one on the same rack.

The most catastrophic result of failing to consider the kayak rack’s capacity would be having the rack break due to being overwhelmed by all the extra weight – and dropping the kayak onto the floor.

I don’t have to tell you how dangerous it would be if someone happens to be standing under it when it happens.

When it comes to load capacity, there are two factors you need to consider – the size of the kayak and the number of kayaks you plan on storing on the rack. 

Kayak Size

Larger kayaks, such fishing kayaks, will require a sturdier rack capable of supporting their weight. And smaller, SOT kayaks that aren’t particularly heavy won’t be as demanding.

Either way, you’ll have to consider the size of your kayak here. Knowing the exact length and width of your boat, on top of how much the kayak weighs, could be helpful, given that not all racks can accommodate kayaks of sizes.

For instance, a remarkably long kayak might feel unstable if the rack’s “arms” are too close, as it won’t be able to distribute the boat’s weight evenly. It could even damage the kayak’s hull

They usually have a size restriction, both in terms of width and length. So, you may want to grab the measuring tape and note your kayak’s dimensions for future reference. 

Number Of Kayaks

In addition to the size, you have to consider how many kayaks you plan to store on the rack – for obvious reasons.

Some racks are designed for a single boat, but others will accommodate two or more. But even then, they might have a specific weight rating for each ‘yak – on top of the total weight capacity.

So, again, make sure you don’t overload the rack by accident.

And while this should go without saying, I have to add:

Avoid loading more than the maximum number of kayaks noted in the rack’s instructions manual – even if the rack’s weight capacity allows it. 

Assembly Requirements

I have to break it to you – kayak racks usually don’t come pre-assembled. You’ll have to take care of that yourself. And don’t even get me started on the actual installation process.

That brings me to my next point:

Before you buy, consider how good you are with tools.

Most of these options – especially ceiling-mounted racks – will require measuring and thoughtful consideration about where each bolt goes. And free-standing racks will definitely call for a more complicated assembly of the included parts into one – hopefully – sturdy unit.

DIY: How To Build A Kayak Storage Rack 

Build your own kayak storage rack

There are different types, sizes, and models of kayak storage racks available on the market, and I did my best to narrow down the choices for you. But I still think that taking the DIY route – as in, building a storage rack yourself – is an option worth mentioning here, too.

If that’s something you’d be interested in trying, here’s a quick overview of how to build a kayak storage rack:

Kayak Rack made from scrap wood DIY

8 Best Kayak Racks For Storage In 2021 – Reviewed & Rated

1. Suspenz EZ Kayak Rack

Suspenz EZ Kayak Rack
  • Overall Best Kayak Storage Rack
  • Rack: ★★★★★
  • Price: ★★★★★
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Topping my list of best kayak racks for storage is the Suspenz EZ – a wall-mounted kayak rack that works just as well outside as it does inside.

And that’s merely the tip of the what-this-model-has-to-offer iceberg.

The two individual cradle arms are constructed out of powder-coated steel; heavy-duty and rust-resistant would be the best way to describe them. Furthermore, each contact point between the rack’s storage arms and your kayak has been thoroughly padded with 600D nylon foam padding  to prevent damage to the hull.

And to top it all off, they also feature adjustable nylon straps as an additional layer of security – not that the kayaks aren’t secured well enough without them. But it’s a nice touch, nonetheless.

The rack itself is capable of supporting a single kayak weighing up to 125 pounds. That could be a downside if you have multiple boats to store – but considering that it’s expensive, you can always buy additional racks to accommodate your collection.

Technical Specs

  • Wall-mounted kayak rack 
  • One-kayak, 125-pound capacity 
  • 27x12x7 inches 
  • Weighs 8.4 pounds

Pros

  • Cradle arms extend by only 21 inches to minimize interferences
  • 600D nylon padded foam bumpers to prevent hull damage
  • Features adjustable safety straps that keep the kayak securely in place

Cons

  • The quality of the included screws is a bit of a hit-or-miss
  • Those with more than one kayak need to buy several racks

It’s hard to find a fault in a rack like this one. So, if you’re looking for a wall-mounted kayak rack for storing a single kayak, the Suspenz EZ kayak rack is hands down the best kayak storage option out there.

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2. Best Marine Kayak Storage Racks

Best Marine Kayak Storage Racks
  • Best Budget Kayak Rack
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Price: ★★★★★
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Another wall-mounted model worth considering is Best Marine’s kayak rack. It’s sturdy, made of powder-coated steel, and capable of supporting up to 100 pounds. Oh, and it’s pretty affordable, too!

The rack’s arms extend only 19.5 inches from the wall, which is a huge plus for small spaces. And to add to it, they’re fully padded to protect the kayak’s hull and feature adjustable straps to make sure the kayak fits nice and tight without sliding around on the rack.

More importantly, it’s suitable for indoor or outdoor use and fairly easy to install, too – as long as you’re comfortable using a power drill and know how to locate the wall studs, that is.

Once you have that covered, though, it’s as simple as three screws on each mount, and you’re good to go.

This one’s only suitable for storing a single kayak. But there’s always the option of stacking a few of these above one another. 

Technical Specs

  • Wall-mounted kayak rack
  • One-kayak, 100-pound capacity 
  • 29.3x13.5x3.8 inches 
  • Weighs 8.4 pounds

Pros

  • The arms feature nylon foam padding and adjustable straps
  • It extends only 19.5 inches from the wall, which saves some space
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • A lightweight and affordable option

Cons

  • It can only accommodate one kayak at a time
  • The included mounting screws aren’t great and may need to be replaced
  • The straps could be longer

Simple design that won’t break the bank – that’s what this kayak storage rack is all about. If that’s what you’re looking for, I can’t recommend the Best Marine’s kayak rack enough.

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3. Ajillis 71 Kayak Storage Rack

Ajillis 71 Kayak Storage Rack
  • Best Multi-Kayak Storage Rack
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Price: ★★★★
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If your collection of kayaks has gotten a bit out of hand, then the Ajillis 71, a free-standing kayak storage rack, might be a choice worth considering.

Unlike my previous two picks, which can accommodate one kayak each and 100 pounds tops, this freestanding rack can fit up to six kayaks of 11 feet long and has a significantly higher, 360-pound capacity.

The rack is made of heavy-duty materials and feels incredibly sturdy, but what’s more important, it’s relatively portable – the four caster wheels make moving it around easy, even when it’s fully loaded. Plus, it protects against damage, with each arm being completely padded to ensure that your kayak’s hull doesn’t suffer an accidental scratch during loading and unloading.

If anything, my complaint is that you have to be careful when loading the kayaks and ensure that the weight is balanced properly. Overload one side, and the whole rack could come tumbling down.

Technical Specs

  • Free-standing kayak rack
  • Six-kayak, 360-pound capacity 
  • 51x47x72 inches 
  • Weighs 67.1 pounds

Pros

  • Can accommodate up to six 11-foot kayaks
  • The arms are padded for hull protection
  • Features caster wheels for easier maneuverability and portability
  • A great option for families with several kayaks

Cons

  • There’s a risk of it falling over due to uneven weight distribution
  • Loading the kayak onto the top rack can be a bit hard

If kayaking is a family thing in your house and everyone has their own boat, the Ajillis 71 could be a great kayak storage solution for you. 

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4. RAD Sportz Deluxe Freestanding Heavy Duty Kayak Rack

RAD Sportz Deluxe Freestanding Heavy Duty Kayak Rack
  • Best Free-Standing Kayak Storage Rack
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Price: ★★★★★
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Another floor-standing kayak rack that gets my seal of approval is the RAD Sportz Deluxe – a free-standing rack capable of accommodating two kayaks and up to 175 pounds of weight.

It doesn’t sound as impressive as the Ajillis 71’s six-kayak capacity, but here’s what you don’t know about this RAD Sportz model is that it’s highly adjustable:

Each of the rack’s arms is height-adjustable and can be moved up or down, meaning you can choose the height of the “hooks” according to your needs. 

Speaking of the arms, they feature cushioned sleeves that are UV-protected, so they not only prevent hull damage but make the rack suitable for outdoor storage, too. The powder-coated steel construction can withstand the elements, too.

I told you this thing’s versatile.

Another advantage is the dual tripod base with anchor points for added security. You don’t have to worry about the rack falling over – even in windy conditions. 

Technical Specs

  • Free-standing kayak rack
  • Two-kayak, 175-pound capacity 
  • 94x26x52 inches 
  • Weighs 40.5 pounds

Pros

  • The arms are height-adjustable
  • Cushioned and UV-protected sleeves prevent hull damage
  • The base features anchor points for added security
  • Suitable for outdoor use, too
  • Relatively lightweight for a free-standing kayak rack 

Cons

  • It doesn’t feature castor wheels for easier maneuvering
  • Doesn’t work as well for larger and wider kayaks
  • Hard-to-follow assembly directions

As far as free-standing kayak storage racks go, this two-kayak model by RAD Sportz is probably one of the most adjustable – and affordable – options out there.

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5. StoreYourBoard 4 Kayak Wall Mount Storage Rack

StoreYourBoard 4 Kayak Wall Mount Storage Rack
  • Best Adjustable Wall-Mounted Rack
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Price: ★★★★★
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Now that we’ve gone over some floor-standing racks that deserve your attention, I’d like to go back to wall-mounted kayak storage racks for a second and talk about StoreYourBoard.

This wall-mounted model is capable of supporting up to four kayaks. With each level holding up to 100 pounds, the load capacity amounts to a whopping 400 pounds.

Now, here’s the best part:

Each arm is fully adjustable, independently of one another, and with 45 mounting points total. The quick-release pin system allows you to adjust the arm without moving other kayaks. And all of them feature thick felt padding to prevent damage.

The rack’s depth is 27 inches, with a clever design where the arms are angled slightly to prevent the kayaks from slipping out of place.

But depending on the measurements of your kayaks, you might find it hard to fit all four of them on the rack – or it’s going to be an extremely tight fit.

Technical Specs

  • Wall-mounted kayak rack
  • Four-kayak, 400-pound capacity 
  • 46.8x7.8x3.5 inches 
  • Weighs 19.6 pounds

Pros

  • Each level can support up to 100 pounds
  • Fully customizable, with 45 mounting slots and quick-release pins
  • Thick felt padding prevents hull damage
  • The arms feature a slightly angled design to prevent the kayaks from slipping

Cons

  • The vertical rails are a bit too short
  • Might not be able to fit four kayaks, depending on their size
  • The paint chipped off easily

If you’re looking for a way to store more than two kayaks but don’t have enough room for a free-standing rack, this wall-mounted kayak rack by StoreYourBoard is a safe bet.

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6. StoreYourBoard 2 Kayak Ceiling Rack

StoreYourBoard 2 Kayak Ceiling Rack
  • Best Ceiling-Mounted Rack For Kayaks
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Price: ★★★★★
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The second StoreYourBoard storage rack for kayaks is a pretty unique option on today’s round-up, as it’s actually a ceiling-mounted, double kayak storage system. If you’re looking for a way to maximize your storage efficiency and make the most of every inch of space you have available, this one is your best bet.

It’s composed of two upside-down T-shaped bars, both featuring padded, 30-inch arms. The best part is that they’re individually mounted, meaning you can space them out as much as you need to fit your kayaks.

Another thing worth noting is that the rack is height-adjustable; you can set the mounts 10 to 18 inches away from the ceiling, depending on what works for your space – and your kayaks.

The only limitation would be the rack’s 150-pound capacity. Then again, trying to lift kayaks that weigh more than 75 pounds each onto a ceiling rack would be a hassle, anyway.

Technical Specs

  • Ceiling-mounted kayak rack
  • Two-kayak, 150-pound capacity 
  • 31.7x8.4x2.7 inches 
  • Weighs 15.7 pounds

Pros

  • Multi-chined hull improves stability 
  • Cockpit-operated skeg 
  • Tracks well without compromising maneuverability
  • Comfortable seating and enough legroom for tall paddlers 
  • Bungee rigging and multiple storage hatches 

Cons

  • The skeg jams easily and may not hold up over time
  • It’s a bit susceptible to weathercocking
  • The P3 model is on the pricier side

Even the tiniest or jam-packed garages will generally have a valuable source of under-used storage space – the ceiling. The Hi Port 2 by StoreYourBoard uses that space and offers you ceiling-mounted storage for two kayaks. 

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7. Storage Rack Solutions Outdoor Kayak Rack

Storage Rack Solutions Outdoor Kayak Rack
  • Best Outdoor Kayak Storage Rack Freestanding
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Price: ★★★★
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This one looks like your regular single-sided wood rack, like something you’d make if you decided to build a DIY kayak storage rack – and I mean that in a good way. The difference is that it’s not made of wood but environmentally friendly recycled plastic materials.

That alone is a plus, but I have to add that it looks beautiful, too!

Storage Rack Solutions’ Rack-In-A-Box series is all about maintenance-free, outdoor-friendly – and, as I already pointed out, environmentally-friendly – kayak storage.

Now, this model comes with a three-kayak capacity. If you need more, you can bolt them back-to-back and have them store up to six boats total.

Another thing worth mentioning is that the rack’s arms are padded and feature a tether to keep your kayaks in place. 

I have to warn you that this beauty doesn’t come cheap, though. It’s one of the most expensive kayak racks on my list! If you’re on a budget, you might want to look away.

Technical Specs

  • Free-standing kayak rack
  • Three-kayak capacity 
  • 48x42 inches 
  • Weighs 66 pounds

Pros

  • Made from environmentally friendly, recycled plastic materials
  • Beautiful, wood-like design
  • Can bolt two racks back-to-back for double the storage
  • Maintenance-free and suitable for outdoor use

Cons

  • The padding on the arms doesn’t seem like it will last long
  • It’s among the most expensive rack I’ve reviewed
  • Relatively heavy and, thus, harder to move

If you don’t mind spending a bit more to get a good-looking kayak storage rack, Storage Rack Solutions’ Rack-In-A-Box is something to consider. It’s maintenance-free, made from recycled plastic – and oh-so-beautiful!

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8. Dock Edge Kayak / SUP Rack

Dock Edge Kayak / SUP Rack
  • Best Outdoor Rack For Wider Kayaks
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Price: ★★★★
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The last one up is this Kayak/SUP Rack by Dock Edge. It’s simple, functional, made from powder-coated steel, welded for strenBest Outdoor Rack For Wider Kayaksgth, and capable of accommodating two kayaks.

Now, this one is technically free-standing; it doesn’t require a wall or a ceiling to be mounted on – but you still have to bolt it down to the ground.

The support arms are 32 inches wide, making it suitable for the widest of kayaks, with locking straps for added security on both levels. There are two feet of available space between the bottom and top racks, with the top one being open to accommodate loads of any height.

There’s nothing particularly “attractive” about it; the design is – well, utilitarian. I’m not saying that’s a deal-breaker, though. I’d much rather have a rack that does its job than one that looks good but doesn’t work.

Still, it’s something to keep in mind – especially considering the price point.

Technical Specs

  • Free-standing kayak rack
  • Two-kayak capacity 
  • 48x9x6 inches 
  • Weighs 40 pounds

Pros

  • The 32-inch arms can fit kayaks of various sizes
  • Features nylon covered foam padding and locking straps for added security
  • Suitable for outdoor use, like docks and saltwater environments
  • Folds down when it’s not in use

Cons

  • The rack doesn’t come with any mounting hardware
  • Has to be bolted down to stay upright and work properly

If you’re okay with the basic-looking, utilitarian design, this Kayak/SUP Rack by Dock Edge is a good fit for you. It’s suitable for outdoor use and can accommodate up to two kayaks – or a ‘yak and a SUP board.

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Best Kayak Storage Racks – Final Verdict

Each and every kayak storage rack I talked about today can – and will – do an excellent job of storing your kayak in a safe and space-efficient manner. So, the real question here is what type of rack would suit your needs best.

My vote goes to the Suspenz EZ Kayak Rack.

But again, what works for me may not necessarily be the best choice for your space. It would be best to take a moment and think about what you really need storage-wise and choose the kayak rack accordingly, instead of ending up with something that doesn’t work for you.

Feature image by Joe Ross (CC BY-SA 4.0)