Storing a kayak is not the easiest thing to do and is often overlooked when people buy a kayak. In this article, we will share the best kayak storage racks. Properly storing your kayak can help extend the life of your vessel and keep it functioning for years to come.
It’s great to have a plan for storing your kayak before you get it home from your kayak trip. Otherwise, you may end up putting the kayak on the ground somewhere to deal with it later. However, storing your kayak on the ground is not a great option. This can lead to a deformed hull, among other things.
It’s best to keep your kayak off the ground and away from the elements. If you don’t have a shed or garage to store your kayak in, you can still use a kayak storage rack outdoors. We will get into all of this and more.
If you are in a hurry, here are the top picks:
Best kayak storage racks
There are a lot of options when it comes to kayak racks, and we have narrowed the choices down for you. You will still need to choose the rack that works best for your setup, whether you need a kayak rack for your garage or the outdoors.
#1 Best Marine Freestanding Kayak Storage Rack
- 200-pound capacity
- Holds two kayaks
If you have space for a freestanding kayak rack, the Best Marine storage rack is an excellent option. This rack is easy to set up and can be used in a garage, shed, or under a covered patio or deck.
The rack is durable, made from powder-coated steel, and has nylon-covered pads to protect your kayak and keep it from sliding. The adjustable straps accommodate different sizes of kayaks and let you tighten the boats securely.
You can store two kayaks, and the rack will support up to 200 pounds. The robust weight capacity will hold most recreational kayaks and even some heavier fishing kayaks.
The storage rack is designed for kayaks 28 “-34” inches wide. One more thing, the YouTube instructions are pretty good, better than the written ones.
Supports up to 200 pounds
Can hold two kayaks
It may not be wide enough for some kayaks
#2 StoreYourBoard 2 Kayak Ceiling Rack
- DOUBLE CEILING STORAGE: 2 sided rack gives you 2x kayak storage capacity
- HEAVY DUTY STEEL: for kayak storage to 150lbs (75 lbs per side)
- WHAT KAYAKS WILL IT FIT? up to 18" thick storage and options for 25" or 30" wide arms...
- QUICK, EASY INSTALL: with included hardware and instructions, sets up in minutes
- EXCLUSIVE PATENT PENDING DESIGN: Built to hold your kayaks and built to last!
- Holds two kayaks
- It supports up to 150 pounds
- Available in two sizes
If you want a kayak rack for your garage and have ceiling space, the StoreYourBoard ceiling rack is a great option. This rack can support two kayaks and can hold up to 150 pounds.
If you place the boats just right, you can also store your paddles between them, which is a nice added feature. This space-saving model can be used for paddleboards and surfboards too.
All the hardware you need is included in the kit. The mounting bracket is adjustable depending on the direction your ceiling joists run. The height (or drop from the ceiling) is adjustable too.
StoreYourBoard is available in two lengths, 25″ arms or 30″ arms. The arms are padded, so the kayak will stay in place and won’t rub your boat. This is an excellent option for storing your kayaks on the ceiling, side by side.
It’s beneficial to have someone assist with installation. It can be hard to hold the rack and hardware overhead while drilling and attaching the bolts. Since we are talking about helpers, remember it is not easy to lift a kayak overhead and place it on a ceiling-mounted rack.
Space-saving ceiling mount
Arms available in different lengths
Padded arms to protect your kayak
It can be challenging to install
#3 Best Marine Wall Mount Kayak Storage Rack
- VERSATILITY: Designed for indoor and outdoor use, our kayak wall mounts have a 125lb...
- CONVENIENCE: Our highly rated kayak storage hooks will empower you to organize your...
- LONGEVITY: Flimsy kayak hangers are prone to bending and breaking. Our kayak wall...
- PROTECTION: The nylon-covered padding protects your kayak from scratches, while the...
- EASY INSTALLATION: Simply unbox, locate the wooden studs of your garage wall, and use...
- Padded arms
- 100-pound capacity
- Adjustable straps
A wall-mounted kayak storage rack is a great way to save space. You can keep your kayak stored off the ground where it might otherwise get kicked, scuffed, shoved aside, or dented.
The Best Marine wall mount is a heavy-duty rack made from powder-coated steel. The arms are padded to protect the kayak and keep it from sliding around. The adjustable straps will fit different kayak sizes and allow you to secure the boat nice and tight.
You will need to securely attach the kayak storage rack to the studs in the wall when installing the rack. It’s pretty easy to install if you are comfortable with a power drill. Three screws in each mount, and you are ready to store your kayak.
This is one of the best kayak storage racks because it’s easy to install, holds up to 100 pounds, and you can install it where you have unused wall space.
Padded arms to protect your kayak
Easy to install
Included mounting screws are not the best
#4 RAD Sportz Deluxe Freestanding Kayak Rack
- ►ALL METAL RACK - Our Deluxe Kayak Rack will withstand rigorous use year after...
- ►HOLDS TWO KAYAKS - Will hold two kayaks or stand up paddle boards with ease. No...
- ►VERSATILITY - Can be used indoors or outdoors, the padded arms are UV protected to...
- ►LARGE CAPACITY - Weight capacity is 175 pounds, enough for two large kayaks,...
- ►USE ANYWHERE - Can be used in your garage, boat house, or dock. You're not limited...
- Holds up to 175 pounds
- Padded arms
Freestanding kayak storage racks are great if you have space. The kayaks are easy to load because the unit is close to the ground. You don’t have to lift the kayak overhead, like with a ceiling-mounted unit.
The RAD Sportz freestanding rack is durable, and you can use it inside or outside. This is an excellent option for a covered patio or under a deck. The arms are padded, which helps protect your kayak and keeps the boat from slipping.
Plan on about an hour to assemble the rack. The instructions could be a little more precise, but it’s still pretty simple to build. One thing to note is the kayaks will most likely need to be stored with the hull facing out.
Overall, this is one of the best kayak storage racks because it’s well made and easy to load and unload your boats. Some users have added wheels to the bottom of the rack, so it’s easy to move around.
Holds two kayaks
Supports up to 175 pounds
More expensive than other options
You need floor space
#5 VIVOHOME Ceiling Mounted Kayak Rack
- PREMIUM BUILD - The VIVOHOME Heavy-Duty Ceiling Mount’s hooks are made of...
- EASY INSTALLATION - Designed with an innovative pulley system, you can mount or hang...
- LARGE CAPACITY - The VIVOHOME ceiling hoist allows you to lift heavy loads up to 125...
- SAFETY LOCK - Never worry that what you hang will fall; the hoist is equipped with a...
- A VARIETY OF USES - Package includes a 2-pack of storage hoist sets (Pack of 4...
- 125-pound capacity
- Pulley system
- Locks in place
One of the great things about a ceiling hoist is that you don’t have to pick the kayak up and lift it over your head. Pulley-operated kayak racks are a great way to save your neck and shoulders. You still get the space-saving benefit of hanging your kayak from the ceiling without heavy lifting.
The VIVOHOME rack supports up to 125 pounds, but keeping it under 100 pounds is recommended. This weight limit works well for the majority of recreational kayaks out there.
The installation will require some work, and it’s a good idea to have someone help you. It’s difficult to hold the mount and drill it into the ceiling joist yourself. You will need some straps (sold separately) to evenly distribute the kayak’s weight.
By using straps, this is a great kayak storage solution for a variety of boat types.
Pulley system is easy to operate
Frees up the wall and floor space
It can be used to store other objects as well
Installation requires some work
#6 StoreYourBoard 4 Kayak Wall Mounted Storage Rack
- WALL STORAGE: Wall-mounted rack holds up to 4 kayaks, including recreational, hybrid,...
- ADJUSTABLE LEVELS: 45 mounting points allow you to position each of the 8 storage...
- ULTRA STRONG METAL: Heavy-duty aluminum and steel holds up to 100 lbs per level, up...
- LOCKING ANCHOR POINTS: Built-in metal loops on each storage level help secure your...
- EXCLUSIVE PATENT-PENDING DESIGN: Built to hold all your kayaks and built to last
- Holds four kayaks
- Supports up to 100 pounds per level
- Padded arms
This is a great option if you are in the market to store four kayaks or multiple kayaks and extra gear. The rack is durable, made from steel and aluminum, with padded arms to protect your kayak from scratches.
StoreYourBoard 4 Kayak Wall Mount is a significant space saver. Each level is 27 inches deep and designed with a slight angle to keep the kayaks securely in place. Each level holds up to 100 pounds, for a whopping 400 pound total.
The kayak storage rack is customizable. There are 45 mounting slots, so you can adjust the spacing between each level to fit your needs.
Holds four kayaks
Frees up floor space
Each level holds up to 100 pounds
More expensive than other models
#7 Ajillis 71 Kayak Storage Rack
- Kayak Storage Rack
- Holds 6 Kayaks
- Easy to Assemble
- Holds Kayaks up to 11' in length
- Holds 6 kayaks
- Well constructed
- Easy to assemble
If you want the best kayak storage rack, you are in luck. The Ajillis kayak rack holds SIX kayaks! This is an excellent option for recreational kayaks if you have floor space.
This easy-to-assemble model is designed to handle kayaks 32″ wide and up to 12 feet long. It’s designed with high-quality materials, and the hardware is solid.
The rack has wheels, so it’s easy to maneuver to load and unload your kayaks. The padded J bars protect the kayaks from scratches and hold them securely in place.
You can use the extra cradles for SUPs, paddles, or other gear if you don’t have six kayaks. You will have plenty of room for all your watersport gear.
Heavy-duty wheels for easy moving
Can hold other items, SUP, skis, etc
Hold 6 kayaks
It might be more than you need
#8 Vahodegn Wall Mount Kayak Storage Rack
- VARIOUS FUNCTIONS: Surfboard storage rack great for organization kayak, longboard,...
- HEAVY DUTY MATERIALS: Garage hooks made of selected top-quality tubular low-carbon...
- EVA PROTECTION: Utility storage hanger with EVA arm protector, Ultra-padded will look...
- SIZE AND PACKAGE: 4 pack jumbo arm wall mount hanger with 8 pcs screws and 8 pcs...
- HOLDS OTHER ITEMS: Hook has approximate 15Inch gap and 5.5Inch tall front lip to hold...
- High-quality steel
- Padded arms
- 100-pound capacity
Use your existing wall space to hang your kayaks with this steel storage rack. The padded arms will help protect your boat from scratches and from slipping. This helps keep your kayak securely in place.
You get four mounts with this kit, which means you can store two kayaks. The best part of this setup is the price. This is a very affordable kayak storage option. You don’t have to break the bank to store your prized kayak.
The downside of this wall mount is that the screws and anchors that come with the unit are not very good. You might want to pick up some better hardware before you mount this to your wall.
The cradles work great, and the padding is on point. The rack will support up to 100 pounds which is perfect for most recreational kayaks.
Easy to install
Supports up to 100 pounds
Cradles are padded
The hardware is not very good
#9 Best Marine Folding Kayak Storage Racks
- VERSATILE: Our kayak storage racks are suitable for kayaks, canoes, paddle boards,...
- NO ASSEMBLY: Simply unbox each kayak stand, unfold, and place your watercraft on top....
- LIGHTWEIGHT: Each kayak rack weighs only 2.5 pounds, making them highly portable and...
- DURABLE: With a robust aluminum construction and weight capacity of 150 pounds, these...
- ENHANCED STABILITY: Our boat stands are equipped with non-slip rubber feet that...
If you are looking for an easy-to-use kayak rack, these folding kayak stands are right up your alley. These stands are lightweight and easy to set up and take down when you are not using them.
The stands support up to 100 pounds and are easy to load, with no overhead lifting. These kayak stands are a great way to go if you want to get your kayak off the ground.
The stands are made of lightweight aluminum and have soft rubber padding that will not damage the surface of your kayak. The racks are 16 inches tall, perfect for storage or routine kayak maintenance.
Make sure you place the stands far enough apart to evenly distribute the kayak’s weight evenly. Oh yeah, the best part? No assembly is required!
Easy to use
Supports 100 pounds
It takes up more room than other options
Types of kayak storage racks
There are three main kayak storage racks, wall-mounted and ceiling-mounted freestanding. Each rack type has characteristics that make it unique. We will discuss each of these racks in more detail below.
Wall mount kayak racks
You guessed it. These racks attach to a wall in your garage, a shed, or an outside wall. A wall mount might work well for you if you have plenty of wall space and are limited on floor space. A wall mount acts as a cradle for your boat.
A kayak wall mount needs to be anchored securely to the studs in your wall. Otherwise, you might wake up to your kayak falling off the wall in the middle of the night. Installing a kayak wall mount is not difficult, but you will need the right hardware (often included) and a few DIY skills.
If you use a wall mount, measure your kayak’s length so you still have clearance with any doors or windows. Some rack mounts accommodate a single kayak, while others are designed for two or more.
You can also install multiple racks on the wall depending on home many vessels you need to store. If you plan to install multiple single racks, make sure you measure your kayak’s width and leave enough room between the racks for your kayaks to fit.
Ceiling mounted kayak rack
People often forget about unused ceiling space when it comes to kayak storage. A ceiling mount is a great way to save floor and wall space. A word of caution, though, you will get an intense shoulder workout if you install a ceiling mount.
Like a wall mount, you will need to make sure the ceiling mount is securely attached to the ceiling joists (like studs in a wall). It can be challenging to install a mount on the ceiling, and it’s advisable to have a helper.
Hoisting your kayak up to the ceiling can also be difficult, and it can be a two-person job. Some ceiling mount units work with a pulley system, making the process much easier. Some ceiling mounts can hold a single kayak, while others can accommodate more.
Freestanding kayak racks
Unlike wall and ceiling mounts, a freestanding kayak rack sits on the floor. Using a freestanding kayak rack can easily add a kayak rack to your garage.
That goes for a shed or other covered outdoor space as well. Often you can stack multiple kayaks on a freestanding model.
The biggest benefit of a freestanding kayak storage rack is that you don’t have to lift the kayak very far to store it. Unlike a ceiling mount or wall-mounted unit, the cradles are much lower to the ground, which makes loading and unloading easy.
A freestanding model is great if you have floor space and want to easily store and access your kayak. Some freestanding models have wheels, so you can move them around if you need to.
How to choose the best kayak storage rack
Before you jump in and buy a storage rack, here are some tips to help you along the way.
The price will play a role in which kayak storage rack you choose. Kayak racks can vary in price, so it’s best to set a budget and stick with it. Make sure you buy a quality rack that will serve your needs now and in the future.
How many kayaks will it hold?
We mentioned earlier that different racks could hold one or more kayaks. If you only need to store one kayak, you might not need a freestanding unit designed to stack multiple boats.
Suppose you are interested in a wall-mount unit. You can potentially install multiple racks on the wall (one above another), so you can store more than one kayak. When shopping for a kayak rack, keep in mind how many kayaks you need to store and how many the rack can hold.
Assembly or installation
It’s a good bet that some assembly will be required, whatever kayak storage rack you buy. If you buy a freestanding rack, you will need to assemble it. A wall-mount or ceiling mount rack will need to be installed.
The most important part of the installation is to make sure your rack is secure. If you are drilling into the wall or the ceiling, you will need to find the studs (joists), potentially through the drywall. If you are not super confident in your DIY skills, you might need to go with a freestanding model, which will still require assembly, but there shouldn’t be any drilling.
How big is your kayak
Before you buy a kayak rack for a garage, measure the width and length of your kayak. Some wall mount racks are shallow and will not accommodate all kayaks. If you plan to install a kayak rack on the garage wall or ceiling, ensure you have enough clearance for your garage door to open.
If you own a really long kayak, like a sea kayak, they can take up some serious space on a wall, ceiling, or on a freestanding rack. Do your research to install your rack in the best possible spot.
Ensure the kayak mount you choose is rated to support your kayak’s weight and any accessories you plan on storing with it. This is critical if you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of your kayak crashing to the ground.
Again, it’s crucial to install the kayak rack correctly and make sure it’s anchored securely to the wall or ceiling. You also need to make sure the cradle can handle the weight of your yak.
How much space do you have?
Kayaks are awkwardly shaped. Kayaks can also be long and heavy. You might need more space than you think to store your kayak. That’s why it’s important to know the dimensions (length and width) before drilling holes in your wall.
Ensure that when your rack is installed and your kayak is stored, you can still open your garage door or any other doors or windows. Also, make sure the rack is easily accessible. It’s hard to maneuver around other obstacles while you are lifting a kayak onto a rack.
Inside or outside?
It’s ideal to store your kayak indoors if possible. Storing a kayak in a garage or shed can help protect your precious boat from potential thieves. Keeping your kayak indoors also helps protect your kayak from weather and critters. Sunlight can be brutal on kayak materials.
If you must store your kayak on a rack outdoors, it’s best to make sure you can lock the kayak to a post or other solid object. If you use a wall mount or freestanding unit outside, try to keep the kayak undercover, or you can use a tarp to keep the boat out of direct sunlight.
Remember your kayak accessories
Don’t forget your life jacket, paddle, fishing gear, or other accessories. If you have other items like these to store, look for a storage rack to accommodate your stuff. Often you can store your paddle right beside your kayak.
When storing a kayak and accessories, you might want to look for a ceiling-mounted unit to help free up more space.
How to store your kayak
Before you buy a kayak rack, it’s good to know the proper way to store your kayak. Next, we will discuss some things to do when storing your kayak.
Clean your kayak
It’s always a good idea to clean your kayak with fresh water before you store it. This will eliminate any grime, mud, dirt, or saltwater from your adventure. If you had a muddy exit point or had to portage your kayak over rocks, sand, dirt, etc., your boat might be dirty when you get home.
Spray your boat off with fresh water and dry it before you store it. This way, it will be clean the next time you are ready to hit the water. Also, salt and other grime can be hard on kayak materials, so a good wash is a good idea.
Make sure you clean the rudder, cables, footrests, etc. Don’t forget to clean your life jacket, paddle, and other accessories. Some seats can be removed and put in the washing machine too.
Distribute weight evenly
It’s essential to distribute the kayak’s weight evenly when you store it on a rack. Uneven weight distribution can warp the hull and shorten the life of your kayak. Suppose you are storing the kayak for an extended period. In that case, you might even think about occasionally rotating the boat to reduce warping on one side.
Do I need to lock my kayak?
If you store your kayak indoors, like in a garage or a shed, you might not need to lock your kayak up. It will be out of sight from thieves and (depending on your setup) might be behind a locked door.
On the other hand, if your garage or shed doesn’t lock, you should surely lock up your kayak. Also, if you store the boat outdoors and it’s visible, lock it up.
Is it better to store my kayak indoors or outdoors?
It’s a good idea to keep your kayak stored inside, where it’s out of direct sunlight and hopefully away from critters. If your kayak is inside, you might be less susceptible to theft. We believe it’s best to keep the kayak indoors, but it really depends on your setup.
What type of kayak storage is best?
It depends on several factors. If you have space for a freestanding kayak storage rack, that is a great option. You can often store multiple boats of various lengths. Freestanding kayak racks are very versatile.
Ceiling and wall-mounted units help save space, a huge benefit for many people.
Is it hard to install a kayak rack?
This kind of depends on your DIY skills. As we mentioned several times, if you install a ceiling or wall mount rack, you must secure the rack to the studs or ceiling joists. If you are uncomfortable with this, a freestanding rack might be a better option.
Do I have to spend a lot of money on a kayak rack?
When choosing the best kayak storage rack, there are very affordable options. We did our best to choose budget-friendly options that are good quality. You can spend a lot of money on a rack, but it depends on how many boats you need to store and how your space is set up.
There are many options if you are in the market for the best kayak storage racks. Our top choice is the Ajillis Freestanding Kayak rack. It holds up to 6 kayaks and other gear. If you have floor space, this is a great option.
Remember that if you use a ceiling mount, these can be more difficult to install, and you may have to lift the kayak overhead to store it. Wall mounts are pretty easy to install and are a great space-saving option.
Hopefully, this article made your choice a little easier. If you have any questions, please drop us a line.