Top 5 Best Inflatable Kayak Roof Racks in 2021

Not many of us are lucky enough to own an abode at an exotic location where we can enjoy breath-taking views, beautiful lakes, and kayaking. So, most of us have to get into our cars, grab our kayaks, and travel to a nearby location. This is where kayak roof racks come in handy.

Only such a smartly designed holder can carry your kayak, canoe, inflatable boat, or other baggage easily and safely transfer it to the destination. So, when it comes to rack types, you have plenty of options, such as J-cradles, stackers, and inflatable pads. Therefore, there’s a chance that you might feel overwhelmed while trying to pick the most suitable one for yourself.

But not anymore, because I have come up with a list of the best kayak roof racks you can opt for without worrying about wasting your hard-earned money on something not worth it.

So, benefit yourself from my honest opinion about these racks, and get your hands on the right thing!

Things to Consider Before Buying a Kayak Roof Rack

Although kayak roof racks are not something you’ll have to spend heaps on yet, you should make a decision carefully, no matter where you buy it from.

For that purpose, keep my below-stated factors in mind before you checkout.

Easy Installation

The process of setting up the rack to the roof of your car should be as easy as possible. You should not be worried about attaching and removing the setup from your vehicle’s roof every time you go somewhere. The guidelines should be straightforward to understand and follow so you can handle this procedure all by yourself without anyone’s assistance.

Easy to Manage

My intent behind phrases like ‘easy to install’ or ‘easy to manage’ is that the application should be hassle-free for a novice user. A veteran kayaking lover will handle the process anyways.

A beginner shouldn’t be worried about attaching the rack, fearing that it will fly off while driving or struggling to remove it. A complicated procedure and too much hustling with ropes will damage the car instead. Therefore, make sure to go for a hassle-free option.

Loading Capacity & Stability

Another indispensable factor has to be the carrying capacity of a roof rack, and you should not compromise on it. Sometimes you may have to carry more than one kayak, or even a single kayak can be relatively heavier.

For this reason, the carrier should be robust and stable enough to carry at least 150 lbs. Although the inflatable roof racks aren’t the best for long-distance trips and bumpy roads, their loading capacity remains unbeatable. However, consider other rack types in mind that may provide a more stable solution for your cross-country drives and long-distance adventures.


Do I even need to stress this factor? Outdoor equipment, carriers, and holders have to be strong enough to handle bulky objects securely.  It can’t be possible if the material of the tool is fragile. Therefore, pay heed to its building material and stuff. Please make sure that the manufacturers have used high-quality materials, such as nylon. For a more detailed view, you can check out the product’s specs and features.


Please pay special attention to the durability factor by making sure that your roof rack is made of premium quality stuff because only that can promise its longevity. Also, give preference to waterproof tools so that it remains functional even in the rainy weather.

Moreover, keep the frequency of your kayaking trips in mind. You definitely need something highly reliable if you want to do this every day.

Brand Reputation & Customer Experiences

If you are buying this item online, you have already got this. Don’t forget to head over to the comment sections and customer reviews. These days, every company aspires to create a solid online presence, and that works for clients. A brand’s reputation can be easily judged by the customer stories. See and learn what they are saying, how the company responds to complaints, and get an idea.


You can easily find these roof racks at pocket-friendly rates. However, it is preferable to have a tentative idea about your budget in advance and how much you can afford to invest in a product. Don’t fall for either a too low-priced product or a too high-priced product.

My Top Picks

After a fair amount of research, I have compiled a list of the top five inflatable kayak roof racks. Since you are on this page, I am assuming that you have already decided to purchase a vehicle roof rack. So, here is a little help from my side. Hence, without wasting further ado, let’s dig in and see what is in store: 

1. MeeFar Universal Car Soft Roof Rack

MeeFar Universal Car Soft Roof Rack

The Meefar roof rack is a fabulously designed carrier with exceptionally convenient and functional properties that make it a favorite choice for me. Let’s look at its features, pros, cons, and finally, the customer reviews.


In this section, I will bring all of the primary and foreground features of the rack so you can get an overview. Let’s dig in.

Premium-quality Material

I have already raised the point to pay heed to the building material and fabric exterior earlier in this article, and here I am at it again. This soft roof rack is built with a robust material that ensures long life and stability.

EVA Foam

I love that Meefar uses high-quality EVA padded foam. EVA Foam is known for its attributes like resilience and shock absorption. This material is known as foam rubber or expanded rubber. It eliminates unnecessary shaking while traveling and ensures a gentle load landing.

Adjustable Straps & Ropes

There are 15FT tie-down straps that safely hold your luggage. Then there is a 15FT rope to conveniently attach your luggage to the front and back of the vehicle. That said, you don’t need any additional equipment to install and detach your kayak from the roof of the car. Easy peasy, right?

Convenient Storage

The foldable design of the Meefar roof rack is what makes it super convenient to store it safely. Fortunately, the product package comes with a storage case too. So, when you are not using the roof rack, you can safely keep it in the storage bag after unstrapping it.

Anti-slip Mat

Its intelligently designed non-slip mat ensures protection and security while driving.

What I liked about this product

As I stressed the importance of the carrying capacity of a good roof rack earlier in this article, this product is a living example of it. With its commendable loading capacity, you can carry a canoe, kayak, or surfboard.

The biggest pro is that installation is as easy as it can get. The package comes with tying straps and rope. So, there is no need to be worried about the attachment tools, as you get everything with the carrier.

It is a popular fact that inflatable roof racks are ideal for local trips. However, this product changed my perception about soft roof racks a bit or about this rack in specific. It blew me away that if you follow the guidelines precisely and utilize the 15 FT rope in the best way, highway driving and bumpy roads can’t stop you.

What I didn’t like about this product:

Although the brand markets the straps to be super secure, I felt they need to do more work. As I noticed, the straps start loosening up during long drives.

Customer Reviews

With an incredibly impressive rating on Amazon, customers are all praises for this kayak roof rack. Most of them have declared this product as their best purchase. I have seen them admiring the fuss-free installation process, fabric exterior, and loading capacity of the Meefar roof rack. Hence, if you plan to buy a carrier that provides a long-term value for your money and conveniently handles your kayak transportation, this one’s for you.

2. WOOWAVE Kayak Roof Rack

WOOWAVE Kayak Roof Rack

Woowave’s roof racks look stunning, and they are firmly constructed. They protect your car from scratches and let you utilize the roof of the vehicle to its maximum.


Let’s look at its features in detail and discover why it is on this list.

Premium Quality Material

I admire the effort that the company has put into building this soft roof rack. With an EPE padded interior, ultraviolet resilient nylon exterior, bungee cord end straps, Woowave has employed all the best techniques to design this product.

Waterproof Straps

It also comes with two waterproof polyester straps that come in handy and are super easy to install. Plus, the stuff is sturdy enough to ensure a safe hold on your kayak, inflatable boat, and surfboard.

Convenient Metal Buckles

Another fabulous characteristic of this luggage carrier is its straightforward metal buckles. Don’t worry about the scratches, and rest assured that the roof of your car will be safe.

Transportable Storage Bag

I love when the companies are considerate enough to send in the storage bags along with the products, especially when the carrier is not that gigantic. Hence, with the 35 x 7.5 x 5.5 inches bag, you can easily fit your racks into it. Note the fact that the size of the bag is travel-friendly. You can carry it inside your car, on a flight, and so on.

What I liked about this product

These soft roof racks are pretty lightweight and portable. You can keep this compact product in any place as it doesn’t take up much space. The best thing is it comes with a portable bag that is even more helpful.

All you need is 2,3 minutes to install it properly on your vehicle. It comes with straps, and you have to set them up. Plus, I don’t think you will need any additional straps. If your car doesn’t have existing bars, these racks are the way to go.

The quality is fabulous. Manufacturers have gone to lengths to come up with this product. The racks won’t budge, slip, or make noise while traveling.

The loading capacity needs some appreciation too. You can easily carry your paddleboards and 1-2 inflatable kayaks on it without scratching the roof.

It provides good value for the money you pay. For the standard and durable material you get, the price is pretty affordable.

What I didn’t like about this product

It would not be a good idea to use it during the rain. Unfortunately, it might be a mess to handle. Therefore, you’ll have to uninstall it when the weather seems risky.

The instructions for the cars with and without rails are unavailable.

Customer Reviews

The majority of customers have admired the ease of application and the compact size. However, some people had complaints that the package doesn’t come with a proper instruction manual. A few people reported that they had a bad experience when the racks were on during the rain. Apart from that, the maximum amount of reviews are encouraging. They all commend the transport capacity and its space-saving attribute.

3. HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack

HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack

HandiRack Inflatable roof rack is an ideal purchase to carry your adventurous equipment, such as kayaks, surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, canoes, etc. You can install it on any kind of vehicle roof.


Let’s look into the primary and stand-out features of this product. Shall we?

Premium Quality Components

The company has featured all the high-quality components in this product. It has used high-grade 400d nylon material that ensures longevity and stability. You get to use robust buckles. Then, 5 D anchor points let you load your baggage, which you can easily do with the help of straps that come along the product.


Handirack roof rack provides a simple solution to adventurous souls. One of its greatest attributes is its ability to adjust to a range of vehicle types and car models.  It is well-suited with 2,3, and 5-door vehicles. Moreover, its universal design is compatible with Honda Civic, Ford Explorer, Nissan Rogue, Toyota, Jeep Wrangler, Cherokee, and several other cars and SUV models.


This rack can carry a lot of stuff other than kayaks and boats. With 175 lbs load capacity, you can also fit your DIY materials and heavy tools on it too.

Hassle-free Installation

The product comes with a hand pump, two twin tubes, two tie-down straps, a tie-down bow, a stern line, a storage bag, and a comprehensive instruction guide. Everything you need is already included in the package. Therefore, the setup process takes a few minutes, and everything is all set.


The compact size of this rack is everything. When it is not in use, you can deflate it and place it somewhere.

What I liked about this product

This easy-to-use roof rack provides a quick attachment and detachment solution. All thanks to its convenient strengthening buckle mechanism. There are no chances of any irritating shaking and vibration.

It has all the essential devices anybody could ever need for the installment procedure.

With a commendable carriage capacity of 175 lbs, this device can be your best pal to carry your bulky objects and store purchases.

Its inflation procedure forms a safe connection between the rack and roof of your vehicle.

In addition to being compatible with an array of car models, it can also work with naked and panoramic roofs. Amazing!

What I didn’t  like about this product

This device is not that suitable for long road trips and extended drives.

There remains a need for additional straps.

Beware of driving in the rainy season with the racks on the vehicle. There are possibilities that water may seep into your car. The damp car could remain smelly for days, and nobody wants that.

Customer Reviews

Several people have reported that these roof racks can prove to be a lot of hassle if you keep them on the car during rainfall and drizzling. Indeed, the leakage and unpleasant smell inside the car is a big issue. Meanwhile, others have admired its solid design, sturdy straps, ease of installation, and compact nature. In a nutshell, it can provide good value for your money if you plan to use it for local trips and dry weather.

4. HEYTRIP Universal Soft Roof Rack Pads

HEYTRIP Universal Soft Roof Rack Pads

HEYTRIP roof rack is another popular rack in the market. With a weight capacity of 80 Kg, it gives you the facility to transport different types of luggage.


Durability, universal mounting design, ease of installation, and high-quality fabric are some of its prominent features. Let’s look at them in detail:

No Slippage

Built-in non-slip mats securely fix to eliminate the noise of the wind. They also take care of your car roof and protect it from getting scratches.

Easy Setup

HEYTRIP soft roof rack comes with 15FT tie-down straps, a 15FT tie-down rope, a quick loop strap, and a storage bag. The process of setting up the rack system takes only a few minutes. Even if you are a novice user, rest assured that there is nothing complicated about it.


Sometimes people feel confused about attaching roof rack systems when their cars are with or without rails and gutters. HEYTRIP ensures that gone are those days as this one is compatible with almost any type of vehicle.

Top-grade Material

Unnecessary vibration and shaking are pretty annoying during traveling. Its ultra-smooth EVA padded foam ensures transportation without vibrations and offers a gentle landing for your baggage. 

What I liked about this product

Besides easy installation, easy maintenance is the feature that stands out the most. When this tool is not in use, you can unstrap and store it conveniently.

The superior material, waterproof fabric, solid design, portability, thick padding, and wide application provide good value for your money.

Sturdy tie-down rope and straps are everything you need. They make your kayak transportation experience safe and even fun. Plus, they offer a snug fit. Also, note the fact that this carrier can carry a variety of equipment, including canoes, surfboards, and sups.

Buckles feature padded stuff that doesn’t scratch the car, which is commendable.

For the value it provides, it has a splendid price point.

What I didn’t like about this product

There is nothing too specific about this product to write down as a drawback. Just be careful about the racks during the rainy weather.

Customer Reviews

Buyers in the review section can be seen raving about multiple aspects of this product. Most customers have thoroughly enjoyed their transportation process and loved how this rack system made it so easy. The solid design, quick attachment, detachment, low wind noise, and vibration remain some of the main things people have loved.

5. Leader Accessories Folding Kayak Rack

Leader Accessories Folding Kayak Rack

Here comes the fifth and final product on this list. Let’s dig in and see what it has to offer:


All of the features of the Leader folding kayak rack are as follows:

Ergonomic Design

The manufacturers of this company have paid full attention to ergonomics. The quick-release design makes it easy to fold, unfold, attach, and detach the racks. The size of this carrier is pretty portable as you can store it anywhere in your house conveniently.

Universal Fitment

The versatility and universal adjustment of this rack are admirable. It can adjust with crossbars, including factory, square and aerodynamic crossbars. With a load capacity of 100 lbs, it can efficiently carry your sporting equipment.

Impeccable Construction

It is a well-built carrier as the company has invested in sturdy material. Manufacturers have designed it with 22mm diameter and 1.5mm steel tube. With a solid design,  the company claims that this product can withstand any weather.

What I liked about this product

This easy-to-install carrier can hold your canoe, kayak skiboard, surfboard, stand-up paddleboard, snowboard, etc. The package comes with all the vital tools and additional straps.

Its foldable design provides the maximum amount of convenience to place this tool. This carrier features a thick padded foam that protects your car from scratches.

The package comes with extra four tie-down straps that ensure secure transportation. Plus, these straps ensure a solid grip. You can easily tie your surfing board, inflatable boat, canoe, or kayak without the fear of straps loosening up.

What I didn’t like about this product

Many people have complained that racks were wrongly assembled.

These racks may drip rust onto your car’s roof.

It is not a good idea to rely on this rack system for extended drives. However,  it may work fine for your local trips.

Customer Reviews

Customers have appreciated the stunning design, sturdy build, and ergonomics. Many people have claimed that this product has proved to be the best purchase they have made lately. The secure mounting system, reliability, and compact folding design earned all the praises.

Some people claimed that this product is compatible with all car models. Meanwhile, others said that it only adjusts well with garaged cars.


1. Is it safe to put an inflatable kayak on a roof rack?

Yes, it is. I have mentioned all the roof racks in this article that can safely hold your inflatable kayaks. If you decide to buy one of these racks, don’t worry about the setup process either, as you get all the essential attachment tools and installation guidelines along with the product.

2. Do soft roof racks work?

Soft roof racks are excellent for short-distance trips. However, there remain few restrictions. Remember, it is not best to take your vehicle on a bumpy road on an extended drive if you own a soft roof rack. Also, uninstall the racks from the roof as soon as it rains. Lastly, avoid driving down the road at a speed of more than 100 KPH.

3. Are inflatable roof racks safe?

Manufacturing companies have started putting a lot of effort into building standard inflatable roof racks. With a sturdy grip and strong straps, these racks hold your luggage tightly. If you follow the guidelines precisely, you are most likely to have a safe and sound experience.

Final Verdict

The thing I love about these roof racks is their compatibility with an array of vehicle models. It is a plus point for people who own multiple cars. Also, if your friend wants to borrow your rack for their boating adventure, you would not have to say no.

I have mentioned all the essential factors to keep in mind before making your final decision to buy a particular carrier. Therefore don’t forget to go through my “Things to Consider Before Buying a Kayak Roof Rack” section!

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