Kayak Transport: Update your rooftop or trailer systems before the spring hits

March 01, 2023

Get the inside scoop from Eddyline superfans on what some of their favorite rack systems are for transporting their kayaks.
Kayak Transport: Update your rooftop or trailer systems before the spring hits


If your hometown is as outdoorsy as mine (Bend, Oregon), it can be hard to purchase a vehicle rack and have it installed mid-summer. Thinking about the ideal roof system you want and doing your research over the winter is wise. Scheduling the install early is even wiser. Save yourself the hassle of potential delays in product ordering and inevitable summertime overbooking installation appointment woes. We gathered advice on kayak transport rack systems from four tried and true Eddyline super-fan boaters. Here’s their scoop on the kayak roof systems they love, and the ones that gather dust in their garage. For even more info on roof racks, check out Getting there: Options for transporting your kayak, Eddylines first article on this subject.
“The rack I am using is an old Thule rack with rear rollers and a cradle. It is the most secure system I have found. I have a set of J racks for 2 kayaks, but I don’t feel it is as secure as the older system. I also love the rollers, they are a real help when loading the boat. I am 5’7” and can just lift the bow of my Sitka LT on to them. My next rack will be the Hullavator.”
  • Marlene Finley
“My rack is a Malone rack. I like it because I can put it on any vehicle, it is easy to put on and it is not permanent. I added foam pool noodles to for a bit more protection for my Skylarkkayak.
“I have a Yakima rack with four Yakima cradles, I have another set of cheap cradles I need to replace on the other side. This setup fits my Toyota Tacoma nicely.  Most people use the rollers and only two cradles. which makes it easier to slide the kayak up. This setup seems to work for all my boats, eddyline and otherwise without sliding or a need for much adjustment between different boats.”
  • Dov Basspfister
“I love my Malone SeaWing. It’s a rear-loading design that lets you push your kayak onto the cradles from the back. I did not load it that way the day I picked up the Sitka. I had a store employee help me load from the side. No matter which way you load it, I had it strapped and ready to go in five minutes, if that. J-style racks seem a little more finicky. I also think the load is much more secure in the SeaWing than other carriers I've used, especially if the tie-down strap is wrapped around the load bar. It’s just an easier setup to load/unload by myself and as an old guy (68 years-young), I like easy!”
  • Dave Burke