Kayaks are a truly wonderful addition to any outdoorsy household. They make it fun and easy to get out on the water anytime you want, explore some truly beautiful places, and adventure on your local lakes, rivers, and even the ocean.
But they’re also pretty darned big!
Unless you’re using an inflatable kayak, you’re going to need a storage space AT LEAST ten feet long and 2-3 feet wide, someplace safe where the kayak won’t get bumped, banged, or damaged. And those space demands increase the more kayaks you own!
If you live in an apartment or house without lots of space to store kayaks 10+ feet long, you’re going to have to opt for a storage rack of some sort. Even if you have lots of space, using a rack will make it easier—and a whole lot safer—to store your kayak.
In this article, we take a look at some of the best kayak storage racks, both indoor and outdoor, in all the variations and styles you could ask for. We’ll walk you through the buying process, explain what to look for and what factors are most important to consider, and make our recommendations to help you pick the absolute BEST kayak storage rack for your home.
Our Top-Recommended List of Home Kayak Storage Racks:
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here’s a quick look at our list to help you decide which suits your needs best:
- Best Kayak Storage Rack Overall: RAD Sportz Kayak Storage Hooks
- Most Portable Kayak Storage Rack: Suspenz Universal Portable Boat Stand
- Best Outdoor Kayak Rack: RaxGo Freestanding Kayak Storage Rack
- Best Indoor Freestanding Kayak Rack: RAD Sports Freestanding Kayak Storage Rack
- Best Ceiling Mounted Pulley System: RAD Sportz Kayak Hoist Set
- Best Ceiling Mounted Bar Rack: StoreYourBoard 2 Kayak Ceiling Rack
- Best Multi-Purpose Kayak Storage Rack: Wintek Heavy Duty Giant Arm Hang-It-All Wall Mount
- Best Budget Two-Kayak Storage System: Malone J-Dock Hybrid Kayak and Gear Garage Storage Racks
- Best Storage for Kayaking Families: RaxGo Freestanding Kayak Rack for 4
- Best Space-Saving Kayak Rack: Wallmaster Kayak Storage Hooks
How to Choose the Right Kayak Storage Racks: Factors to Consider
Types of Kayak Storage Racks
There are three basic types of kayak racks:
Freestanding kayak racks are, as their name suggests, built to stand on their own. These are typically solid, well-built frames made of wood, durable plastic, or metal.
They have 4-8 legs (depending on their length) and anywhere from one to eight racks capable of supporting the weight of a kayak.
There are both indoor and outdoor freestanding racks, too.
Indoor racks are typically used in the garage and utilize lighter-weight materials (such as sturdy aluminum).
Outdoor racks are larger and use heavier-gauge materials (such as steel or wood) that are finished with a weatherproof coating to make them resistant to the elements.
Wall-mounted kayak racks are secured to the wall studs of your garage, basement, or storage shed, which enables them to support the weight of your kayak.
Typically, you’ll find either solid metal cradles or webbing slings/straps secured to metal mounting hardware (like eye-hooks or regular hooks).
The great thing about wall-mounted racks is that they occupy less space and allow you to safely store the kayak off the ground and out of the way. However, you do have to have a solid, permanent wall capable of bearing the weight.
Ceiling Mounted Racks
Ceiling-mounted kayak racks are mounted to the roof studs and are designed to elevate the kayak high above the ground and out of your way. They can be great if you have a small garage with limited space to park your car, but plenty of overhead storage room.
There are three main types of ceiling-mounted racks to consider:
- Bar-style. This is basically a solid metal bar that is suspended from a frame secured to the roof.
- Cradle/Sling-style. Webbing or durable strap cradles are suspended from eye-hooks anchored into the ceiling beams.
- Pulley system. This is a more complex (and expensive) storage system that utilizes a system of pulleys, ropes, and either a cradle, sling, or bar that can be lowered to load/unload your kayak and raised to store it high overhead.
Ceiling-mounted kayak racks are great if you’re a taller paddler and your garage has a high roof. Shorter paddlers may have a hard time safely lifting and lowering their kayak from an overhead rack.
The pulley systems will make storing the kayak easier, but they tend to be very costly compared to a simple bar or cradle/sling system.
Note: If you’re a handy person, you can always DIY your own inexpensive and customized kayak rack. We’ll get into this in a later article—for now, we’re focusing on the awesome storage options already available for you to buy ready-made.
This is always a factor to take into account when shopping for kayak equipment.
The cost of a kayak rack starts at just $40 or $50 for the simpler options, but when you get into the fancy pulley systems or the larger outdoor freestanding racks with built-in roofs, you can easily end up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
So how much do you really want to spend on a kayak rack?
Let’s be clear: you should never skimp on quality. Always buy a rack that you know can hold the weight (see the section below) and is made of durable, long-lasting materials. The last thing you want is to be replacing your kayak rack every couple of years!
But you should think about what storage options are best for your budget and your available space.
Wall-mounted racks tend to be the cheapest and easiest to install.
Freestanding racks can be fairly inexpensive if you’ve got the space for them, but you might spend a bit more buying a tarp or building some sort of roof/shelter to protect your kayaks from the rain, sun, snow, and wind.
Number of Kayaks
Storing a kayak is easy if you just have one—you can typically find or make space in your garage pretty simply.
The more kayaks you own, the more storage racks you’ll need.
Most storage racks are designed to hold ONE kayak. That means you’ll need to buy one rack for each kayak you own.
However, you can find some wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted racks that can hold two kayaks (or sometimes more). Freestanding racks can accommodate up to EIGHT kayaks—though those are some big racks!
Size and Weight of Kayaks
The weight of your kayak will vary depending on the materials used in its construction as well as its size.
The longer the kayak, too, the heavier it will be. Child-sized kayaks between 6 and 8 feet long will weigh far less than an extra-large 12-, 14-, or even 16-footer.
It’s VERY important that you find a storage rack that can accommodate both the size and weight of your kayak.
Most racks are sized for the “standard” 10- and 12-foot options, meaning they’re usually large enough to handle a smaller 8-footer. However, if you’re paddling an oversized 14-footer, the body may be too large or wide to sit properly in the rack, and you risk the kayak tipping over or falling off.
Weight capacity is also an incredibly important factor.
When I bought my 14-foot Azul Riot, I was upgrading from a standard-size/weight Pelican Summit 100X. I already had a simple buckle-secured sling rack attached to my garage wall, so I figured it would suffice to hold the weight of my larger, heavier kayak.
Fast-forward a few months, and I’m coming home from a paddling trip and storing my kayaks, when the sling buckles CRACK on me.
Luckily, I was still supporting the kayak so it didn’t fall, but had it been fastened at the time, it could have damaged my kayak.
Since then, I’ve upgraded to heavier-duty straps to support the weight of my larger-and-heavier-than-average kayak.
I cannot overstate this enough: Make sure the kayak rack can handle the weight! Think about it breaking/falling off the wall and cracking on the ground, or, worse, falling from a ceiling mount to crash onto your car.
ALWAYS check the weight capacity when shopping for a kayak rack.
Location and Space
Where are you going to be storing your kayaks? Outside, in your backyard, or along the side of your house? On the wall or ceiling of your garage? In your basement or storage shed?
The location where you’ll store your kayak will often decide what kind of kayak rack suits your needs best.
For example, if you have a small one-car garage too narrow to wall-mount a kayak but a ceiling too low to accommodate a ceiling-mounted rack, you’re pretty much forced to go for an outdoor freestanding rack or consider mounting it in your shed.
On the other hand, if you’ve got a high-ceilinged garage, you can use a ceiling-mounted rack.
Or, if you have a wider garage (or two-car garage with lots of storage space), a wall-mounted rack is a great budget option to consider.
This is a factor for people who are less “handy” to take into account. If you don’t have the skills or tools to install a complex ceiling-mounted pulley system, you may have no choice but to go with a simpler wall-mounted option or even a freestanding rack that is literally joined together by bolts or with parts that click into place.
The last thing you want is to be running all over your house collecting the items you need to go paddling. Consider a storage solution that keeps both your kayaks and accessories in one convenient, easily accessible location.
Top-Rated Kayak Storage Racks
Best Kayak Storage Rack Overall: RAD Sportz Kayak Storage Hooks
Designed for easy installation and secure storage, these wall-mounted storage hooks provide you with a stable place to store any kayak up to 125 pounds.
The cradle-style hooks are padded with foam to cushion your kayak and prevent scratches or damage as you load and unload.
Assembly is a breeze—you’ll need only the sort of small tools you already have around your house (drill/screwdriver, tape measure, etc.)—and you only need to anchor them to the wall studs to make them truly sturdy.
It’s a truly user-friendly storage option perfect for garages with limited space, and at a price tag you’ll absolutely love.
- Materials: Powder-coated steel, foam padding
- Weight Capacity: 125 lbs (56.69 kg)
- Mounting: Wall-mounted
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 29 x 13.5 x 3.75” (73.66 х 34.29 х 9.52 cm)
- Item Weight: 8.11 lbs (3.67 kg)
- Easy to install, simple tools required
- Above-average weight capacity
- Sized for larger kayaks (with bigger bodies)
- Nylon holding straps and clips secure the kayak in place
- Great budget price
- Straps may be a bit short (some users had to buy longer straps)
- May require longer screws for optimum mounting
- No instruction manual
Most Portable Kayak Storage Rack: Suspenz Universal Portable Boat Stand
These freestanding kayak “stands” are the ideal option for those who want to take a storage option with them on the go.
The lightweight aluminum stands can be folded up and tossed into your trunk, then quickly set up at the lake, river, or oceanside to provide you with a secure, sturdy place to store your kayak when it’s not in use.
They’re not very tall—just 17”—but you’ll find they are surprisingly stable, even on uneven ground, and will provide you with a convenient, fully portable storage option. They’re built for both indoor and outdoor use, with a powder-coating finish that makes them resistant to rain, snow, and sun.
With a 100-pound weight capacity and easily movable to accommodate the size of your kayak, you’ll find they’re an excellent option if you have plenty of storage space in your backyard/garden/shed.
- Materials: Aluminum frame, stainless steel hardware, hard plastic padding, cloth straps
- Weight Capacity: 100 lbs (45.35 kg)
- Mounting: Freestanding foldable stand
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 22.3 x 15.6 x 4.25” (56.64 x 39.62 x 10.79 cm)
- Item Weight: 6.61 lbs (2.99 kg)
- Super portable; designed to travel with you everywhere you go
- Comes with a mesh bag for easy portability
- Good weight capacity; very solidly built frame
- Lightweight, fold up nice and small
- Great product at an affordable price
- Require a lot of surface area to store kayaks; not ideal for garages or apartments
- Cloth straps prone to deterioration
- Sized for narrow kayak bodies
Best Outdoor Kayak Rack: RaxGo Freestanding Kayak Storage Rack
Looking for something a bit more heavy-duty? This freestanding kayak storage rack is definitely a good choice to consider.
Built from stainless steel and finished with a weather-resistant powder coating, it’s a tough-and-rugged rack that can handle even the worst winter weather and summer storms without showing signs of wear or tear.
The rack is sized to hold two kayaks, with a weight capacity of 175 pounds and foam-covered arms that will protect your kayaks from scratches or damage.
The frame is very stable and can even be bolted to the ground to ensure it never tilts or tips over.
It’s compatible with not just kayaks, but also wakeboards, surfboards, paddleboards, and canoes, making it one of the best storage options to consider if you enjoy a wide range of water sports.
- Materials: Stainless steel frame, scratch-resistant foam padding
- Weight Capacity: 175 lbs (79.37 kg)
- Mounting: Freestanding
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 30.5 x 17.5 x 10.5” (77.47 x 44.45 x 26.67 cm)
- Item Weight: 52 lbs (23.59 kg)
- Incredibly sturdy and well-built; resistant to rust and wear
- Safe and stable kayak rack
- Assembly is a breeze
- Compatible with most 8-14’ kayaks
- Adjustable feet ensure stability on uneven ground
- Not the lightest kayak rack; may need two people to move around
- Instructions are slightly confusing
- Doesn’t include straps
Best Indoor Freestanding Kayak Rack: RAD Sports Freestanding Kayak Storage Rack
This kayak rack is designed to occupy less space in your garage or storage shed, providing an easy, secure place to keep your kayaks and other watercraft.
It’s built from stainless steel and powder-coated to be rust-resistant should you use it outdoors, along with UV protection for the padded arms.
However, you’ll find it’s particularly useful indoors thanks to its adjustable height. You’ll be able to set how tall you want the rack to be, allowing you to store more items either above or below it.
With a 175-pound weight capacity and two storage racks, it’s perfect for a paddling couple with limited garage space. It’s one of the sturdiest, steadiest kayak racks you’ll ever find.
- Materials: Powder-coated stainless steel, UV-protected nylon padding
- Weight Capacity: 175 lbs (79.37 kg)
- Mounting: Freestanding
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 29.25 x 17.5 x 10” (74.26 x 44.45 x 25.4 cm)
- Item Weight: 54.24 lbs (24.6 kg)
- Incredibly well-built, heavy-duty materials, stable design
- Easy assembly right out of the box
- Compatible with extra-large (14’) kayaks
- Adjustable height
- Won’t tip or tilt
- Heavy, will require two people to move
- Unloading the kayaks can be cumbersome, may require two people
- Quality control issues with smaller parts (feet, stabilizing screws, etc.)
Best Ceiling Mounted Pulley System: RAD Sportz Kayak Hoist Set
If you’re looking for an incredibly well-priced and versatile storage system for your kayaks, this is definitely an option we highly recommend.
The ceiling-mounted pulley system allows you to safely store your kayaks overhead, clearing up garage wall and floor space. When the time comes to take the boats out on the water, they are a breeze to load/unload.
The kayak rack uses nylon straps, rubber-coated hooks, and a rope-and-pulley system to hoist your kayak up to the ceiling. It’s designed with a safety locking mechanism that will guarantee your kayak never falls, tips, or tilts.
With a 125-pound weight capacity, it’s an excellent option for most fishing and touring kayaks, even larger-sized kayaks. Best of all, it will require virtually no effort to hoist/lower the kayak—the pulley does most of the work for you!
- Materials: Nylon straps, rubber-coated hooks, steel pulley system
- Weight Capacity: 125 lbs (56.7 kg)
- Mounting: Ceiling-mounted hoist
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 13.47 x 12.25 x 4.57” (34.21 x 31.12 x 11.6 cm)
- Item Weight: 13.2 lbs (5.99 kg)
- Compatible with roof up to 12’ tall
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Useful for ladders, bikes, kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards
- Minimal effort required to raise/lower the hoist
- Solid design, easy installation
- Rope feels “cheap”; may be better replaced with solid braided line
- Mounting hardware insufficient; purchase your own high-quality bolts and screws
- Brake system is confusing
Best Ceiling Mounted Bar Rack: StoreYourBoard 2 Kayak Ceiling Rack
Keep it simple and sweet with this ceiling-mounted bar rack! The two-sided rack gives you overhead storage space for two kayaks. Built from heavy-duty steel, it can hold up to 150 pounds and is sized to fit kayaks up to 30” wide and 18” deep.
The beauty of this rack is that you can adjust the storage length during the installation process. If you need storage space for longer kayaks (12’+), mount them a bit farther apart. For shorter kayaks (6-8’ kids’ kayaks), you can simply install them closer together.
Assembly and installation are simple, and the accompanying instructional videos will walk you through the entire process in a matter of minutes.
And, just to make sure your kayaks are fully safe, the rack comes with quick-lock attachments that will prevent them from sliding off.
- Materials: Heavy-duty steel
- Weight Capacity: 150 lbs (68.03 kg)
- Mounting: Ceiling-mounted
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 31.89 x 8.35 x 2.56” (81 x 21.21 x 6.5 cm)
- Item Weight: 15.74 lbs (7.14 kg)
- Sturdy, well-built, and long-lasting
- Easy assembly, versatile installation
- Compatible with most kayaks and canoes
- Double the storage space
- Secure, reliable storage you can trust
- Included installation hardware less-than-ideal, you may need to buy better screws
- Some users received packages with parts missing
- Not compatible with heavier or bulkier kayaks
Best Multi-Purpose Kayak Storage Rack: Wintek Heavy Duty Giant Arm Hang-It-All Wall Mount
Sometimes, you just want to keep things simple and cheap! With this all-purpose wall-mounted storage rack, that’s exactly what you get.
The rack is made from tubular steel powder-coated against rust and protected using hard plastic (which shouldn’t scrape your kayaks, but consider using a pool noodle for added protection). At 10 inches tall and 16 inches long, the hooks are large enough to support most kayaks 10 feet or smaller, as well as paddleboards, bikes, ladders, and wakeboards.
The hooks come in a four-pack, which means you basically get two kayak racks for an incredibly low price. You’ll have to add your own straps for maximum security, or you can just use these as a cradle to hold the kayaks without the use of straps.
- Materials: Tubular steel, hard plastic protection
- Weight Capacity: 100 lbs (45.35 kg)
- Mounting: Wall-mounted
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 16.77 x 11.61 x 2.95” (42.6 x 29.48 x 7.49 cm)
- Item Weight: 3.5 lbs (1.58 kg)
- 4-pack (2 racks) for an incredibly low price
- Easy and secure installation; no assembly required
- Compatible with most average-sized kayaks and paddleboards
- Adjust the placement on your garage wall to adapt storage to your unique needs
- May be too small for deeper/wider kayaks
- Prone to bending beneath heavier kayaks
- Provided drywall anchors are terrible
Best Budget Two-Kayak Storage System: Malone J-Dock Hybrid Kayak and Gear Garage Storage Racks
This is a hybrid cradle-sling mounting system that will allow you to safely store two kayaks at a bargain price.
The cradle is made from lightweight but durable aluminum. It comes with a pair of buckle load straps that are secured to the cradle’s base itself to provide a sling for a second kayak beneath.
The cradle is large enough to store a larger kayak or canoe, and the sling straps can be easily adjusted—or even changed out if you want to store wider or deeper kayaks.
With a 200-pound weight capacity, it’s capable of holding more weight than most of the other double-storage racks on our list!
- Materials: Aluminum
- Weight Capacity: 200 lbs (90.71 kg)
- Mounting: Wall-mounted
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 5 x 10 x 16” (12.7 x 25.4 x 40.64 cm)
- Item Weight: 6 lbs (2.72 kg)
- Store two kayaks, but only one installation
- Easy to install, solidly mounted
- Sturdy; won’t bend or break
- Hybrid cradle-sling design ideal for different-sized kayaks
- Cradle is secure—you won’t need tie-down straps
- Cradle paint may leave streaks or scratches on your kayak hull
- Sling is too short for wider and deeper kayaks (may need to replace straps)
- Some customer service complaints
Best Storage for Kayaking Families: RaxGo Freestanding Kayak Rack for 4
If you’re a family of kayakers, you’re going to need a rack that can hold all of your boats. This four-kayak freestanding rack may be just what you’re looking for.
It’s tough, built from heavy-duty steel, and is compatible with all water sports equipment—not just kayaks, but canoes, SUPs, surfboards, and wakeboards.
The dual-tripod feet will keep the rack steady even if it’s unevenly loaded. With a 220-pound weight capacity, it’s a rack sized perfectly for all of your family’s kayaks.
Bonus: If four-kayak storage isn’t enough for your family, consider this SIX-kayak rack.
- Materials: Heavy-duty steel, foam padding
- Weight Capacity: 220 lbs (99.79 kg)
- Mounting: Freestanding
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 51 x 47 x 72” (129.54 x 119.38 x 182.88 cm)
- Item Weight: 67.1 lbs (30.43 kg)
- Safely store up to four kayaks at any time
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
- No need to mount on your wall or ceiling
- Can be bolted to the floor for added stability
- Durable, reliable, and versatile
- Quality control issues
- Slow customer service
- Customers complained that product arrived with missing parts
Best Space-Saving Kayak Rack: Wallmaster Kayak Storage Hooks
These may look like your classic wall-mounted kayak storage rack, but they come with one very convenient feature: they’re designed to fold up.
Yes, that’s right, they’ll fold up against the wall when not in use, making them ideal for maximizing garage space.
These hooks don’t have the highest weight capacity—just 78 lbs. But they’re solidly built from durable square tube steel and adjustable enough that they can store deeper and wider kayaks.
The powder-coated arms are resistant to rust but may scratch your kayaks, so it’s a good idea to use added protection (in the form of pool noodles or other padding) to protect your hulls.
You’ll find assembly is a breeze and convenient, versatile storage is a guarantee with these bad boys.
- Materials: Square tube steel
- Weight Capacity: 78 lbs (35.38 kg)
- Mounting: Wall-mounted
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 15.71 x 6.57 x 3.9” (39.9 x 16.68 x 9.9 cm)
- Item Weight: 4,37 lbs (1.98 kg)
- Lightweight yet very durable
- Easy to assemble and install
- Adjustable arms compatible with oversized kayaks
- Folds up to minimize space usage when not loaded
- Suitable for outdoor and indoor storage
- No padding on the arms to protect your kayaks
- Requires better mounting hardware
- May arrive missing screws/bolts
Should you store your kayak upside down?
If possible, yes! Storing a kayak upside down (particularly on ceiling-mounted racks) avoids dents and prevents the hull from bending, warping, or deforming.
Can you store a kayak upright?
You’re better off not storing your kayaks upright (standing up). When you do, all of the weight rests on one end, and over time, this will warp or bend the kayak. You can store a kayak upright for a day without too much cause for worry, but for anything longer than 24 hours, you’re better off storing it on a rack. Or, if you have no rack, flip it upside down and store it on flat ground.
Can I stack my kayaks on top of each other?
If you are in a situation where you need to stack kayaks—such as when transporting them on your roof with no rack—it’s okay to stack the kayaks with the cockpits facing each other. Use a strap to secure them in place. However, if you have to do this, you’re better off placing them side by side (again with the cockpits facing each other). This prevents either kayak from bearing all the weight of the other, and the sides are sturdy enough to avoid warping or deforming while they’re strapped down.
How can I safely store my kayak outside?
Try to store it under protection (a roof, a covered porch, or even a tarp will do) to keep it out of the rain, snow, and/or sun. Keep the kayak dry and check regularly for signs of weather or moisture damage. Cover it to prevent animals from getting inside. If you don’t have racks, use sawhorses to lift the boat off the ground and reduce exposure to dampness.
Can you leave kayaks outside in the winter?
You can, though it’s best for your kayaks to be stored indoors where it’s warm (or above freezing temperatures, at least).
If you have no choice but to keep them outside during the winter, make sure to clear off any fallen snow or debris regularly. If it piles up, the weight can warp, bend, or even crack the kayaks.
Plastic kayaks become brittle and can be more easily damaged in the winter cold. Make sure there is no water in the kayak or any cracks, as water will expand when it freezes and could damage the kayak.
Best Kayak Storage Racks: Final Verdict
All of the kayak racks I discussed above will provide you with a simple, reliable storage solution for your kayaks. Hopefully, you found one that suited your specific needs, the space available to you, and the size/weight of your kayak.
While I recommend the RAD Sportz Kayak Storage Hooks, it’s always good to have options to choose from. It’s all about finding what’s best for you!
If you have any thoughts, comments, or feedback on the review, feel free to drop them below. Or if you’ve got a favorite rack that has worked well for you, I want to hear about it!