Kayaks are notoriously tricky to store. Their large size and awkward shape make them challenging to keep at home, especially when working with small storage space.
Thankfully, there’s a solution to all your kayak storage woes: a quality storage rack.
With the right rack, you can quickly and conveniently stash your kayak when you’re not out on the water. Doing so gives you the peace of mind that your boat is safe and sound when you’re landbound.
We’ve reviewed the best kayak storage racks on the market. For more information, check out our buying advice.
Our Top Picks
If you’re in a hurry, here are our top picks. Or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.
- Best Free-Standing Rack: Suspenz Deluxe Free-Standing Rack
- Best Budget Free-Standing Rack: RAD Sportz Kayak Storage Rack
- Best Rack for Multiple Outdoor Sports: Malone 3 Bike + 2 Kayak + 6 Ski Free-Standing Storage Rack
- Best Wall Mount: Suspenz EZ Kayak Rack
- Best Ceiling Rack: Suspenz Ceiling Rack (or Under Deck)
- Best Portable Stands: Suspenz Universal Portable Boat Stands
Best Free-Standing Rack: Suspenz Deluxe Free-Standing Rack
After reviewing multiple kayak storage racks, it was clear the Suspenz Deluxe Free-Standing Rack stood out among the rest. This rack is a solid all-around performer for any paddler who wants to safely store 2 to 3 kayaks in their garage or outdoors.
With the Suspenz Deluxe, you get a free-standing system that can accommodate nearly any recreational, touring, or whitewater kayak.
In addition, the rack has a set of fully adjustable leveling feet, so you can always ensure that your kayaks are carefully stored away. There’s also the option to add rolling casters (not included) to this rack for extra portability.
As with all Suspenz racks, this model comes with the company’s patented suspension straps. These straps are designed to wrap around the hull of your kayak to prevent hull distortion and damage. Furthermore, the straps on this rack can also be locked into place for extra security.
One of the best features of the Suspenz Deluxe is that it’s also compatible with the company’s EZ Kayak Rack. The kit is sold separately, but it allows you to seamlessly add an additional rack to your system for storing a third kayak.
All in all, the Suspenz Deluxe is one of the best racks on the market. But, unfortunately, it is also one of the most expensive options. But if you need a convenient free-standing rack made of quality materials, the Suspenz Deluxe is hard to beat.
Reasons to buy:
- Convenient set-up
- Fully free-standing design
- Can be expanded to hold 3 kayaks
- Suspension straps reduce the risk of kayak damage
- Straps can be locked for security
Reasons to avoid
- Quite expensive for a kayak rack
Best Budget Free-Standing Rack: RAD Sportz Kayak Storage Rack
If you’re looking for a kayak rack that offers secure storage without breaking the bank, the RAD Sportz Kayak Storage Rack might be what you need.
This rack is made from sturdy powder-coated steel and features a set of tie-down anchors for added security while your kayaks are in storage. It can hold up to two recreational or touring kayaks and is even suitable for use with paddleboards.
Because this rack is made primarily of steel, it’s durable enough to be used indoors or outdoors. Furthermore, the RAD Sportz Kayak Storage Rack comes with cushioned sleeves, so your kayaks will be well-padded and protected in storage. The nylon sleeves on this rack also have a UV coat for extra longevity when used as an outdoor storage system.
The racks are reasonably low to the ground, making loading easier for paddlers who have difficulty lifting their kayaks off the ground.
However, keep in mind that the cradles on this rack are too small for very wide kayaks. So be sure to measure the width of your kayaks before purchasing. Assembly is also a bit tricky with this rack. Nevertheless, it’s solid value for the money for paddlers who want to store their kayaks without emptying their wallet.
Reasons to buy:
- Durable steel construction
- Large bases for stability
- Low height for more effortless loading
- Affordable price point
- Padded arms protect kayaks in storage
Reasons to avoid:
- Cradles too small for very wide kayaks
- Tricky assembly with many small parts
Best Rack for Multiple Outdoor Sports: Malone 3 Bike + 2 Kayak + 6 Ski Free-Standing Storage Rack
Crafted with outdoor enthusiasts and gearheads in mind, the Malone Free-Standing Rack is a multi-sport gear storage unit ideal for storing large quantities of equipment.
This rack is built using a sturdy powder-coated steel frame that can withstand years of use. It also boasts zinc-plated steel hardware and corrosion-resistance technology to prevent rusting and damage. However, the best part about this free-standing rack is that it can do much more than just store 2 kayaks (though that’s pretty great, too!).
This system from Malone Racks can also store up to 3 bikes and up to 6 sets of skis without taking up much more room than your standard free-standing kayak rack.
Additionally, this rack has a set of J-cradles and foam blocks to provide additional padding for your kayaks. All the feet on this rack are individually adjustable, too, so you can place this storage system on uneven surfaces without worrying about your gear’s safety.
The total capacity for this rack is 250 lbs, so it’s best for people with relatively light kayaks. Unfortunately, it’s also quite tall when you have bikes on it, so it’s unsuitable for people with low ceilings in their garage. But, as far as multi-sport gear racks go, the Malone Racks FS is a top performer.
Reasons to buy:
- Can store 2 kayaks, 3 bikes, and 6 pairs of skis
- Heavy-duty steel construction
- Anti-corrosion materials and coatings
- Adjustable frame feet for added stability
- J-shaped cradles and foam blocks for kayak protection
Reasons to avoid:
- Too tall for low-ceiling garages
- Relatively low weight capacity for multi-sport rack
Best Wall Mount: Suspenz EZ Kayak Rack
Designed for paddlers that want to make the best use of limited space, the Suspenz EZ Kayak Rack is a solid choice for any wall-mounted storage system.
Like many wall-mounted racks, the Malone J-Dock features a classic J-shaped cradle support system that can be mounted directly into studs in your garage or shed.
The primary material is powder-coated steel with rust-resistant stainless-steel hardware, making it suitable for indoor or outdoor use. In addition, the frame is highly durable, and the arms are adequately padded with nylon-covered foam, ensuring your kayak remains free from dents and scratches.
Another advantage is that the racks’ arms extend a generous 21 inches from the wall, making it suitable for wider and deeper kayaks. As a result, you shouldn’t have any trouble fitting recreational or fishing kayaks on it. Furthermore, this model offers a 125 lbs weight limit. That should be plenty for a single kayak, even if you paddle a large touring or sea kayak.
We also like that it comes with an adjustable safety strap that secures your kayak to the rack, making it suitable for smaller kayaks too. With the strap attached, there’s no need to worry about high winds if you fit your wall mount outside.
The only potential drawback is the price. Although reasonably priced, considering its construction and features, it’s not the cheapest wall mount on the market.
Reasons to buy:
- Suitable for larger kayaks
- Great padding
- Holds the kayak securely
- High weight capacity
Reasons to avoid:
- Relatively expensive for a wall mount
Best Ceiling Rack: Suspenz Ceiling Rack (or Under Deck)
Streamlined and convenient, the Suspenz Ceiling Rack is an excellent option for storing kayaks without taking up valuable floor space in your garage.
This rack is designed to be mounted directly to the joists in your ceiling or under your deck. It efficiently uses the natural strength of your ceiling rafters, allowing you to maintain your available floor space while safely storing your kayaks.
With this ceiling rack system, you get 2 ceiling posts and 4 padded steel arms. This equipment mounts to your ceiling with included mounting hardware.
You can then adjust the height of the posts from your ceiling to accommodate kayaks or paddleboards of nearly any size. This allows you to hold up to 2 kayaks or up to 4 paddleboards simultaneously, especially if you use the company’s optional Ceiling Rack Expansion.
The one drawback to a ceiling rack is that lifting your kayaks up to this height can be challenging, so it’s best for long-term storage. But it’s still an excellent option for paddlers that prefer a ceiling storage system.
Reasons to buy:
- Reasonably Priced
- Padded arms protect your kayak in storage
- Comes with all the necessary hardware
- Compatible with expansion set for storing 2 kayaks
Reasons to avoid:
- Requires lifting kayaks high off the ground
Best Portable Stands: Suspenz Universal Portable Boat Stands
One of the best-selling kayak stands of all time, the Suspenz Universal Portable Boat Stands are a do-anything option for the avid paddler.
Each stand comes with a thick nylon strap to support your kayak. As a result, they can accommodate nearly any paddlecraft while reducing the risk of damaging or warping your kayak.
As a bonus, the Suspenz Universal Portable Boat Stands also fold flat for simple storage and transport. It even fits conveniently in its included mesh carry case, so you can transport these stands wherever your adventures take you.
Furthermore, these stands weigh just 3 lbs each and come pre-assembled for added convenience. They’re also available in two heights, 15″ and 25″.
The portable stands are made of aluminum, not steel, which some might consider a durability issue. But they are some of the most popular portable kayak racks on the market.
Reasons to buy:
- Folds down flat for storage
- Comes with a mesh carry bag
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Suitable for nearly any kayak
Reasons to avoid:
- Aluminum construction is less durable than steel
Kayak Storage Rack Buying Advice
Here are the most important things to keep in mind as you shop for a suitable kayak storage system.
- Available Storage Space
- Rack Type
- Supported Kayak Type
- Kayak Capacity
- Maximum Weight Capacity
- Ease of Set-Up
- Additional Gear Storage Needs
Available Storage Space
Before you even start comparing different kayak storage racks, you first need to consider how much space you have available to store your kayaks.
If you have a small garage with limited floor space, you might prefer a space-saving wall or ceiling-mounted rack. On the other hand, if you have lots of space and multiple kayaks to store, a free-standing rack might be the better option.
The type of rack you should buy is primarily down to the amount of storage space available and the number of kayaks you have. However, there are a few options to choose from.
The various kayak storage rack types include:
- Free-standing – Most free-standing racks can accommodate at least 2 kayaks, and many are designed for indoor or outdoor use. However, note that these racks are usually quite heavy and take up a lot of space.
- Wall-mounted – These racks are great space-savers but require extra steps during assembly. Additionally, they typically require you to lift your kayak a sizable distance off the ground to place it into storage.
- Ceiling-mounted – Similar to a wall-mounted rack, ceiling-mounted storage racks are engineered to take up as little space as possible. These racks are bolted directly to the joists in your ceiling. This means that they take up no floor space. But you will need to lift your kayaks up high to place them in storage.
- Portable – These racks resemble high-end sawhorses with straps or padding for supporting a kayak. The primary benefit of this style of storage rack is its portability and convenience. But they take up a lot of floor space when they have a kayak on them.
Supported Kayak Type
In general, you’ll find that most kayak storage racks are designed to accommodate a wide range of kayaks. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
For example, recreational and whitewater kayaks with particularly wide hulls may not fit well inside racks that have relatively small J-shaped cradles. On the other hand, sea kayaks with hard chines may sit awkwardly in kayak racks with flat bars rather than J-shaped cradles. This can put unnecessary pressure on the kayak’s hull and cause warping in the long term.
Therefore, you must assess a rack for compatibility with your kayak before you buy. Be sure to measure the dimensions of your kayak and compare them to the measurements of the rack you’re interested in.
Every kayak rack is designed to accommodate a select number of kayaks at any given time. If you only have one kayak, this might not be an issue for you—unless you plan to expand your fleet.
On the other hand, paddlers with multiple kayaks need to look for racks that can store more than one kayak. Most multi-kayak racks are free-standing or wall-mounted, so consider how this might work with the available space in your garage.
Maximum Weight Capacity
As is the case with kayaks themselves, kayak storage racks also have a maximum weight capacity. Most manufacturers will list this spec, and it’s important that you pay close attention to the company’s suggestion.
This usually ranges from about 100 to 200 lbs, though it can vary based on the materials used to make the rack.
Additionally, many multi-kayak racks will have a per-kayak maximum weight capacity and an overall maximum weight capacity. Typically, this per-kayak capacity is well above 100 lbs, so it’s often not an issue.
Ease of Set-Up
With relatively few exceptions, most kayak storage racks require assembly before you can comfortably place your kayak in storage.
The ease of set-up is particularly a concern for wall and ceiling-mounted racks, which almost always require power tools.
While most of these racks come with all the hardware, you will need to locate the studs or ceiling joists in your walls to mount them properly. You’ll also need a variety of drill bits and other tools to complete the assembly process.
On the other hand, most free-standing racks only require a bit of direction-following. Better yet, some models, like the Suspenz Universal Portable Boat Stand, come pre-assembled from the factory.
Additional Gear Storage Needs
While some storage systems are only designed for kayaks, others are versatile enough to be used with other paddling gear, like paddles and PFDs, or other sports equipment, like bikes and skis.
This multi-purpose storage system might not be on your radar if you have plenty of space in your garage. But if you’re limited on space, it’s worth considering an all-in-one storage system for all your adventure toys and gadgets.
Buying a kayak rack is a significant investment in your paddling career. Doing so allows you to safely and securely store your kayaks, which means you can worry less about kayak maintenance and more about enjoying your time on the water.
Out of all the kayak storage racks we reviewed, it’s clear that one stands out among the rest: the Suspenz Deluxe Free-Standing Rack. This sleek and reliable rack has everything you need to store 2 to 3 kayaks. It also uses Suspenz’s high-end technology to more effectively cradle your kayaks to reduce the risk of damage in long-term storage.