Rollin’ to the bite with one kayak secured on rooftop J-cradles and two more on a trailer.

Pads and tie-down straps (non-ratch- eting!) can be used to mount a kayak on your rooftop, but eventually you’ll want something more permanent.


Factory racks but no crossbars? Check with Thule, Yakima, Rhino or other after-market supplier. Or, add a complete aftermarket rack customized for your rig. Make sure your racks are rated for the weight you plan to haul.

Once your racks are installed, pick a cradle or carrier system. The J-cradles are mounted to the cross bar and hold your kayak at a 45-degree angle. Good if you have a narrow roof; also if you want to carry a couple of kayaks and plan to add a second J-cradle.

Saddles and rollers are mounted to the crossbar and hold your kayak horizontal, making it more aerodynamic when traveling. Rollers on the back bar allow you to put one end of the kayak up on the rollers and easily push the kayak up to the saddles. Rhino Rack also makes a folding T-Load Hitch Mount that helps stabilize and lever a kayak to the rooftop.

Stackers are bars mounted upright to the cross bar. They are the least expensive and allow you to stack up to 4 small kayaks or 2 large fishing kayaks. You may need to add padding to the cross bar to keep the kayaks from sliding when stacking upright.


A pickup with a bed extender is a favorite way to transport heavyweight fishing kayaks in Florida. The extender fits into the hitch receiver adding stability to the kayak while cutting wind resistance when traveling. Add a red flag to the tail end of the kayak when hauling.


Carrying three or more kayaks? Moving one or more really hefty rigs? Most kayak trailers will fit into a garage where they can double as a storage rack. You’ll need a tag for the trailer and you will need to check your launch spots to see if you can park there. Continental, Trailex and Malone are three firms which manufacture kayak trailers. FS

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