Best Canoe Roof Rack

For sure, a canoe roof rack is a must-have when you’re carrying the watercraft on your car. It not only protects your vehicle from potential damage, but also ensure smooth and secure canoe transportation of your newly bought canoe.

However, considering the huge availability of canoe roof racks, it’s a bit tricky to find the best canoe roof racks. 

To assist you in this endeavor, we have curated a list of best canoe roof racks after meticulous testing procedures.

So without further ado, let’s get started!

Key takeaways on Best roof rack for canoe

How do I determine the compatibility of a canoe roof rack with my vehicle – To determine compatibility, check your vehicle’s roof type and weight capacity. Some racks are universal, while others may require specific attachments.

What can happen if I end up installing the wrong roof rack – Installing the wrong roof rack can lead to instability, damage to the canoe, or even accidents while driving.

Can I install the roof rack on my own – Yes, you can install a roof rack on your own but follow manufacturer instructions carefully to ensure proper installation.

Which of these roof car greatly support aerodynamics – The Handirack inflatable roof rack support aerodynamics the most due to their soft nature.

5 Top Picks for Best Canoe Roof Rack

ModelWeightCompatibilityMounting StyleDimensionsLoad CapacityRating
HANDIRACK Inflatable Soft Roof RackNot specifiedUniversal fitStrap14.6 x 7.4 x 5.7 inches175 pounds4.2/5
Yakima EasyTop Canoe Roof RackUp to 80 lbsAny vehicleRoof and strap 44 x 12 x 6 inches80 pounds4.1/5
INNO Canoe Roof CarrierNot specifiedMost crossbarsRoof, foldable, strap, and crossbar34 x 6 x 12 inchesNot specified4.6/5
XGeek Foldable Canoe Roof RackUp to 150 lbsRound, squareLuggage rack and roof19.5 x 6.8 x 19.3 inches158.7 pounds4.3/5
Woowave Premium Canoe Roof RackNot specifiedAlmost any carStrap32 x 5 x 7 inchesNot specified4.7/5

What to Consider While Choosing roof rack for canoe

No doubt, it’s imperative to opt for the right canoe roof rack in order to maximize the value of your investment.

Here are a few major factors you must look for before making a purchase.

  • Compatibility: It’s essential to ensure that the canoe roof you’re eyeing is compatible with your vehicle’s roof racks or crossbars. Not all roof systems are one-size-fits-all, so double-check compatibility to avoid any surprises.
  • Weight Capacity: The weight capacity of your canoe roof is a crucial consideration. You need to make sure it can handle the weight of your canoe without straining your vehicle’s roof. Therefore, choose a roof system that matches or exceeds the weight of your canoe to ensure a secure and safe journey.
  • Security Features: No doubt, it’s paramount to keep your precious canoe safe during transit with robust security features. For that reason, you must look for options that include sturdy straps, tie-downs, or locking mechanisms to prevent any unwanted movement or theft.
  • Material and Durability: Canoe roofs are exposed to various weather conditions, so selecting a roof made from durable materials like aluminum or high-quality plastic is crucial. This ensures that your roof can withstand the elements and continue to perform well over time.
  • Padding and Protection: To prevent scratches and damage to both your canoe and your vehicle, consider a roof system that features padded or cushioned components. This extra layer of protection helps maintain the pristine condition of your canoe and prevents any inadvertent dings to your vehicle.
  • Aerodynamics: A sleek and aerodynamic design can significantly impact your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Look for canoe roofs that are designed to minimize wind resistance and drag, ensuring a smoother ride and better fuel economy.
  • Budget & Warranty: Set a budget that aligns with your needs and preferences. While investing in a quality canoe roof is essential, there are options available at various price points. Additionally, check for warranties that provide peace of mind, ensuring that you’re covered in case of any unexpected issues.
  • Ease of Installation: Nobody wants a complicated installation process. Therefore, prefer a canoe roof that boasts easy installation and clear instructions. This will save you time and frustration, getting you on the lake adventure sooner.

11 Best Canoe Roof Racks for Cars, SUVs and trucks

Being a canoe lover, you surely want to buy a canoe that truly sticks out from the pack. To narrow down your research, we have curated a list of a few Best Canoe Roof Racks that are worth your investment.

HEYTRIP Universal Soft Roof Rack – (Overall Best Canoe Roof Rack)

Key Specs

Weight CapacityUp to 80 kgs
CompatibilityAny vehicle
Key FeaturesAdjustable straps, padded cam locks, foldable
Mounting StyleRails, roof, and strap
DimensionsNot specified 
Load Capacity174.6 pounds


Our first pick, the HEYTRIP Universal Soft Roof Rack, is one of the user favorites for multiple reasons. Firstly, this rack can bear weight up to 80 kgs, making it a suitable carrier for your canoe. 

What sets it apart is its flexibility as you can use this rack on any type of vehicle and not just a car. Moving forward, it comprises adjustable straps of around 15 feet to ensure top-notch security of the canoe during the journey. 

Moreover, the straps are equipped with padded cam locks for further safety of the long-loads like canoe, kayaks, surfboards, etc. 

Prominent Features

  • Top-notch Durability: Made from top grade EVA foam material, this rack is meant to last for many years without premature wear and tears. 
  • Foldable Design: Comes with a bag which can be used to store the rack after folding when it’s not in use. 
  • Scratch-proof: Comprises a non-slip mat that offers protection against scratches on your car’s roof that may appear due to friction. 
What I liked
  • Soft material 
  • Easy installation 
  • Sturdy velcro closures
What I don’t Liked
  • Straps loosen over time

What if an outboard canoe trolling motor is installed to your vessel? Simply, you will need to place it upside down over the gunnels to secure it properly. And the same goes for other canoeing accessories, which are either attached to your canoe or used in paddling a canoe.

HANDIRACK Inflatable Soft Roof Rack for Canoe – (Best Soft Canoe Car Top Carrier)

Key Specs

Weight Capacity170 lbs
CompatibilityUniversal fit
Key Features5 D ring anchor points, 1 year warranty, aero
Mounting StyleStrap
Dimensions14.6 x 7.4 x 5.7
Load Capacity 175 pounds


Next up, we have the canoe roof rack by HANDIRACK – one of the most versatile picks. From Audi to BMW, Toyota, Nissan, and more, it’s compatible with almost all the vehicle models. 

In addition to this, the rack is portable and can be removed easily from the car’s roof when not in use. And when it comes to its installation, you’d get each and every tool required for the process in the package including twin tubes, air pump, bow and stern lines, etc.

Prominent Features

  • Secure: This soft roof rack has 5 D ring anchor points made of metal that facilitates safe strapping of the canoe and other vessels. 
  • Warranty: With this rack, you get 1 year warranty against manufacturing defect. In case, any issue arises, the brand will resolve it without charging anything extra. 
  • Vibration-free: Thanks to an aero design, it does not produce vibrations, protecting your vehicle against unwanted scratches.
What I liked
  • Universal size, lightweight 
  • Can be used to transport variety of boats besides canoe 
  • Anti-corrosion coating for long-lasting use
What I don’t Liked
  • Unable to fit a full size canoe 

MeeFar Universal Car Roof Rack – ( Best Budget Canoe Rack for Car)

Key Specs

Weight CapacityNot specified
CompatibilityWide range
Key FeaturesVersatile load carrying, adjustable tie-down straps
Mounting StyleRoof, strap, and tie-down
Dimensions7.2 x 17.63 x 13.27
Load CapacityNot specified 


If you are looking for a flexible yet durable roof rack for transporting your canoe to the lake, MeeFar Universal Rack can be a good choice. From easy installation to quick storage, it offers it all and that too at highly economical rates. 

Additionally, the rack is  suitable for a wide range of vehicles including those with or without gutters.

Prominent Features

  • Versatile Load Carrying: This roof rack has a specialized design that’s flexible enough to carry watercraft of multiple categories like kayaks, canoes, SUPs, and more. 
  • Enhanced Safety: Since it comes with two sets of adjustable tie-down straps and padded locks, the load stays firmly in the place during transit. 
  • Accommodates Multiple Gear Sizes: Depending on the size of your gear, these racks can hold up to 1-3 shortboards, 1-2 longboards, or kayaks, offering flexibility for various equipment types and quantities.
What I liked
  • Convenient storage 
  • Easy to install
  • Universal compatibility 
What I don’t Liked
  • Superior Materials and Stability

Woowave Premium Canoe Roof Rack – (Best Universal Canoe Rack for Car)

Key Specs

Weight CapacityNot specified
CompatibilityAlmost any car
Key FeaturesEPE foam padded interior, aerodynamic design
Mounting StyleStrap
Dimensions29 x 5 x 2.8 
Load CapacityNot specified 


The Woowave Car Roof Rack can be your go-to sidekick for outdoor adventures. It’s tough, super user-friendly, and fits almost any car. Whether you’re hauling kayaks, surfboards, snowboards, or whatever floats your boat, this rack can keep  your gear snug and secure without damaging your vehicle. 

Prominent Features

  • Built to Endure: Featuring EPE foam padded interior and a UV-resistant ballistic nylon cover exterior, it can withstand the external elements while maintaining its integrity throughout all seasons. 
  • Wind-Protection: The sleek aerodynamic design not only shields your cargo from the wind but also ensures a smooth, noise-free ride. 
  • Waterproof Straps: Waterproof polyester straps with padded metal buckles are highly reliable, offering top-tier performance against water, UV rays, and wear.
What I liked
  • Effortless setup 
  • Highly durable 
  • Secure strapping system 
What I don’t Liked
  • A bit expensive

PIRIPARA Canoe Roof Rack – (Best Versatile Canoe for SUV & Cars)

Key Specs

Weight CapacityNot specified
CompatibilityMost crossbars
Key FeaturesEffortless loading, alloy steel frame, versatile
Mounting StyleRoof mount
Dimensions17.76 x 4.69 x 8.86 inches
Load Capacity150 pounds


Prepare to be amazed with PIRIPARA Canoe Roof Rack – a hassle free solution for transporting canoe. Crafted from robust alloy steel, this canoe roof rack guarantees unmatched durability and support.

With a set of 2 pairs (4 pieces) of specially designed canoe racks, you can confidently transport 2 canoes. In addition, installing the PIRIPARA Canoe Roof Rack is a breeze, thanks to the quick on/off hardware that allows for swift attachment and detachment.

Prominent Features

  • Effortless Loading: The wide mouth J-bar design facilitates easy loading and unloading of your canoe, streamlining your adventure preparations.
  • Durable Support: Crafted from sturdy alloy steel, the PIRIPARA Canoe Roof Rack offers unwavering support, ensuring your canoe reaches its destination unscathed.
  • Versatile Compatibility: Designed to fit most factory or aftermarket square, oval, and flat crossbars, this canoe rack is a versatile companion for various vehicles and crossbar types.
What I liked
  • All-weather durability
  • Durable steel frame
  • Maximum roof space
What I don’t Liked
  • Not compatible with round crossbars

XGeek Foldable Canoe Roof Rack – ( Best Foldable Canoe Roof Rack Mount)

Key Specs

Weight CapacityUp to 150 lbs
CompatibilityRound, square
Key FeaturesDurable construction, folding feature, support
Mounting StyleLuggage rack and roof
Dimensions19.5 x 6.8 x 19.3 inches
Load Capacity158.7 pounds


Our next pick, the Foldable Canoe Roof Rack by XGeek, redefines the way you transport your canoe. Designed with both convenience and performance in mind, this exceptional J bracket system  is capable of accommodating canoes weighing upto 150 lbs.

Moreover, installing the rack is a breeze, thanks to the comprehensive instructions provided. Plus, the inclusion of foam rubber protective pads ensures your canoe is cradled gently, preventing any unsightly scratches or dents.

Prominent Features

  • Effortless Assembly: Detailed instructions and 24-hour customer support ensure easy installation.
  • Universal Compatibility: Fits round, square, and oval-shaped factory-installed cross rails.
  • Innovative Foldable Design: Quick fold-down feature adapts to different canoe styles and other outdoor gear.
What I liked
  • Durable and rust-resistant construction
  • Folding feature
  • Round-the-clock customer service
What I don’t Liked
  • Can’t hold large canoes

Yakima EasyTop Canoe Roof Rack – (Best Canoe Rack for Truck)

Key Specs

Weight CapacityUp to 80 lbs
CompatibilityAny vehicle
Key FeaturesProtective padding, tool-free setup, versatile
Mounting StyleRoof and strap
Dimensions44 x 12 x 6 inches
Load Capacity80 pounds


The Yakima EasyTop Canoe Roof Rack effortlessly transforms your vehicle into a powerhouse of adventure, allowing you to carry up to 80 pounds of gear wherever you go. Crafted with durability in mind, the EasyTop boasts a sturdy design that’s not only rugged but also gentle on your precious equipment.

In addition, its protective padding ensures that your gear remains scratch-free and secure throughout your journey. Installation is also breeze, thanks to the 2 heavy-duty straps and 2 tie-down ropes included in the package.

Prominent Features

  • Universal Fit for Any Vehicle: The EasyTop effortlessly attaches to virtually all vehicle types, from SUVs to sedans, ensuring compatibility with your adventure-mobile.
  • Effortless Tool-Free Setup: With its integrated heavy-duty straps and double-latch buckle, installation becomes a breeze, allowing you to focus on your journey, not the equipment.
  • Adaptable for On-the-Go Adventures: Tailored for rental cars and spontaneous trips, the lightweight EasyTop offers temporary roof rack solutions that cater to various outdoor pursuits.
What I liked
  • Lightweight design
  • Versatile compatibility
  • Tool-free installation
What I don’t Liked
  • Less sturdy against wind

INNO Canoe Roof Carrier – (Best Canoe Rack for Suv)

Key Specs

Weight CapacityNot specified
CompatibilityMost crossbars
Key FeaturesRubber-coated straps, universal fit, protective
Mounting StyleBoard and strap
Dimensions33.5 x 9 x 11.8 inches
Load CapacityNot specified


The INNO canoe roof carrier goes beyond just accommodating canoes; it’s also perfect for transporting kayaks, surfboards, paddleboards, and more. Designed to fit square, round, Aero, and most factory bars, its universal design stands out.

Additionally, the package includes board pads and locking covers for added convenience. The included straps are coated with rubber to prevent any potential scratches or marks on your valuable items during canoe transportation.

Prominent Features

  • Versatile Compatibility: Designed for square, round, Aero, and most factory bars, ensuring broad vehicle compatibility.
  • Effortless Loading: Innovative floating strap system simplifies securing canoes, kayaks, surfboards, and paddleboards.
  • Protective Design: Rubber-coated straps prevent scratches, while included board pads and locking covers ensure gear safety.
What I liked
  • Rubber-coated straps
  • Universal fit
  • Floating strap system
What I don’t Liked
  • Less sturdy against wind

Thule Portage Canoe roof Rack – (Best Canoe Durable Car Top Canoe Carriers)

Key Specs

Weight CapacityNot specified
CompatibilityUniversal fit
Key FeaturesCushioned base, ease of installation, adjustable
Mounting StyleRack
Dimensions13 x 6 x 5.5 inches
Load CapacityNot specified


Introducing the Thule Portage Canoe Rack – the ultimate solution for canoe transportation from the renowned car rack manufacturer, Thule. Loading your canoe onto the rack is a breeze, thanks to the thoughtfully engineered ramped sides.

Additionally, the cushioned base offers a protective layer, ensuring your canoe remains scratch-free throughout the journey. The package includes tie-downs complete with buckle bumpers. These not only safeguard your car and canoe against scratches but also provide extra security during transport.

Prominent Features

  • Cushioned Base: The roof rack features a cushioned bottom, adding a layer of protection.
  • Ease of Installation: The installation procedures are quite simple, thanks to the detailed instruction manual.
  • Universal Fit: It’s universally compatible, meaning you can mount it on any top.
What I liked
  • Lightweight design
  • Ease of installation
  • Reliable customer support
What I don’t Liked
  • Susceptible to wear and tear

IKURAM Canoe Roof Carrier – (Best Universal Car Top Canoe Carriers)

Key Specs

Weight CapacityNot specified
CompatibilityMost crossbars
Key FeaturesRubber-coated straps, universal fit, protective
Mounting StyleRoof, rails and strap
DimensionNot specified
Load Capacity750 pounds


As a water explorer, it’s likely that you possess a collection of various watercraft like kayaks, paddleboards, and surfboards. However, transporting multiple watercraft can be quite a challenge. Fortunately, this exceptional watercraft carrier is designed to cater to your diverse needs, accommodating kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards easily.

Beyond that, the carrier rack features well-cushioned saddles made from thick rubber, ensuring that your valuable watercraft remains safe from any potential damage.

Prominent Features

  • TopGuard Maximum Protection: Oversized rubber saddles and padded uprights prevent kayak damage during transport.
  • Universal and Easy Mounting: Versatile J-Cradle design fits various cross rails, with inclusive safety tie-downs and heavy-duty straps.
  • Quick Raise and Fold Design: Convenient front release handle enables easy folding for overhead clearance and adaptability to different canoe shapes.
What I liked
  • Lightweight design
  • Ease of installation
  • Reliable customer support
What I don’t Liked
  • Susceptible to wear and tear

What I liked

  • Versatile Compatibility
  • Enhanced Kayak Protection
  • Quick Folding Design

What I don’t Liked

  • Installation Complexity
  • Limited Load Capacity

TMS Canoe Carrier – (Best Canoe Rack for Suv)

Key Specs

Weight CapacityUp to 75 lbs
CompatibilityAny vehicle
Key FeaturesAdjustable padding, wide mouth J bar, quick setup
Mounting StyleRack and crossbar
Dimensions 17. 25 x 4.5 x 14.62 inches
Load Capacity75 pounds


Discover the ultimate solution for your canoe transportation needs with the J-Bar Canoe Rack from TMS. This exceptional rack is expertly designed to accommodate canoes weighing up to 75 pounds and measuring up to 36 inches in width. 

The TMS Canoe Carrier is universally compatible, catering to all makes and models of vehicles, whether it’s an SUV or a truck. No matter your mode of transport, this canoe rack has you covered.

Prominent Features

  • Adjustable Padding: The carrier rack is designed with adjustable padding, offering a dual benefit of safeguarding your watercraft while providing enhanced carrying strength.
  • Wide Mouth J Bar: The wide mouth J bar configuration of the carrier rack provides a hassle-free loading and unloading experience.
  • Quick Installation and Removal: The quick on/off hardware system guarantees swift and efficient installation and removal of the carrier rack.
What I liked
  • Easy Loading
  • Adjustable Padding
  • Strong Steel
What I don’t Liked
  • Limited Weight Capacity
  • Bulky Dimensions

What are different Roof Rack Configuration Options?

Let’s have a look at a few major canoe roof rack configuration options:


These versatile rack systems provide an excellent solution for transporting a single canoe. The J-shaped design holds the canoe on its side, minimizing wind resistance and freeing up space on your vehicle roof.


If you’re planning to carry multiple canoes or kayaks, stacker-style racks are worth considering. These racks allow you to transport several boats vertically, saving roof space and making it ideal for group trips like canoe camping or outdoor enthusiasts with multiple vessels.

Saddle Racks

Saddle-style racks are designed to cradle the canoe on its gunwales (sides) and distribute the weight evenly. This configuration ensures minimal stress on the hull and provides a secure fit during transportation.

Being vertical in shape, saddle racks are suitable for various boat sizes and offer easy loading and unloading.

Foam Blocks

Foam blocks provide a simple and cost-effective solution for transporting canoes. Placed directly on your vehicle’s roof, these blocks conform to the shape of your canoe’s hull, providing cushioning and stability.

In addition, they are often used in conjunction to strap the canoe to the car roofrack.

Roller Racks

An additional configuration that warrants your attention is the roller rack system. Designed to streamline the loading process, roller racks feature integrated rollers that facilitate the effortless gliding of your canoe onto the roof.

Are there any Safety Considerations for putting roof racks?

When installing roof racks, safety is paramount. Here are a few major safety considerations devised by our team of experts:

  • Ensure that the weight of the canoe and the rack itself is within the vehicle’s weight capacity.
  • Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for the maximum load capacity.
  • Secure the canoe properly to prevent it from shifting during transit.
  • Regularly inspect the rack for any signs of wear or damage that could compromise its stability.

What Installation Tools are required for roof rack?

To install a roof rack for your canoe, you’ll typically need a few basic tools. Here’s the list of those tools:

  • Wrenches or socket set for securing bolts.
  • Tape measure to ensure proper spacing.
  • Screwdrivers for adjusting components.
  • Rubber mallet for gentle adjustments.
  • Level for ensuring the rack is mounted straight

Do’s of Installing Roof Rack on Car, Truck or any Vehicle

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper installation.

  • Distribute the weight evenly across the roof rack and secure the canoe tightly.
  • Use additional straps or tie-downs to further secure the canoe to the rack.
  • Double-check all attachments and connections before hitting the road.
  • Test the stability of the loaded roof rack by gently shaking it.

Don’ts of Installing Roof Rack on Car, Truck or any Vehicle

Don’t exceed the weight limits specified by the vehicle and roof rack manufacturer.

  • Avoid over-tightening screws, as it could damage the roof of your vehicle.
  • Don’t rely solely on the roof rack’s clamps; use additional tie-downs to prevent shifting.
  • Avoid obstructing the driver’s view by ensuring the canoe does not hang too far over the windshield.
  • Don’t forget to periodically check and tighten the roof rack components during long trips.

FAQs – best roof rack for canoecanoe car top carrier

How do I ensure the durability of a canoe roof rack?

To ensure durability, choose a rack made from sturdy materials like aluminum or steel. Regularly inspect and maintain the rack for signs of wear, and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for weight limits and usage.

What’s the importance of proper padding and protection in a canoe roof rack?

Proper padding and protection prevent scratches, dents, and damage to your canoe during transportation. Foam blocks, cushions, or rubberized mounts offer essential cushioning, maintaining both your canoe’s condition and your vehicle’s finish.

Can I use a roof rack for purposes other than canoe transportation?

Yes, many roof racks are versatile like MeeFar Car Roof Rack and can be used for various purposes like carrying cargo boxes or bikes. Confirm compatibility and weight limits with the manufacturer before use.

Can I use the roof rack of another car on my vehicle?

Using a roof rack from another car on yours is generally not recommended. Racks are designed for specific vehicle models and may not provide a secure fit or proper weight distribution.

Can I transport two canoes on one roof rack?

While it’s possible to transport two canoes on a single rack, ensure your rack and vehicle can handle the combined weight. One such example that can facilitate this is the IKURAM Canoe Roof Rack, with a load holding capacity of almost 750 pounds and vast dimensions to transport two canoes simultaneously. Balancing the canoes properly and using additional tie-downs is essential.

Can I install a roof rack on a vehicle without factory-installed roof rails or crossbars?

Yes, you can install roof racks on vehicles without factory-installed roof rails or crossbars. There are universal racks available that clamp onto the door frames, but make sure they’re properly secured.

Are there any weight distribution guidelines for loading a canoe on the roof rack?

Adhere to weight distribution guidelines provided by the rack manufacturer. Position the canoe centrally on the rack and use front and rear tie-downs to prevent shifts during travel.

What’s the impact of a roof rack on my vehicle’s fuel efficiency?

A roof rack may impact fuel efficiency due to increased wind resistance. Luckily, you can utilize an aerodynamic product like Woowave premium canoe roof rack, as it has a minimum impact on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

Can I open my vehicle’s sunroof or moonroof with a canoe roof rack installed?

Most canoe roof racks won’t allow you to fully open your sunroof or moonroof. Check the rack’s design and your vehicle’s specifications to determine if limited or no sunroof access is necessary.

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