Best Kayak Storage
Kayaking is one of the most beloved spring and summer watersports there is. If you’ve decided to bite the bullet and invest in one instead of renting every time you want to hit the water, there are some vital accessories you’re going to need to look into. One of the most important kayak-related accessories you’ll need to put some money into is a way to store your boat. There are a number of different styles and options on the market so it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Our helpful and thoroughly researched buying guide will help to provide you with the insight you need to choose which storage option is the best for your particular needs. Keep reading to see our top ten picks and other tips you’ll need to decide which storage solution is the best.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Can be used on a number of different watercrafts
Easy to install
Wall mount design helps to save space
- Suspenz Big EZ
- Malone Auto Racks
- RAD Sportz Kayak Lift
- RAD Sportz Deluxe Freestanding
- Seattle Sports Wall Cradle Hooks
- Extreme Max Hoist
- Gear Up Straps
- RAD Sportz Hanger
- Log Kayak Rack
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Suspenz Big EZ
Can be used on a number of different watercrafts
Easy to install
Wall mount design helps to save space
May need to purchase heavier duty steel bolts if you wish to mount this outside
The Suspenz Big EZ took the coveted number one place in our buying guide for several reasons we will get into in our review. First of all, this incredibly versatile storage rack can be used for a kayak, canoe or even a stand-up paddleboard if you so wish. It comes with an affordable price tag and is really highly recommended by current users.Read more
The Suspenz Big EZ is designed to store your watercraft on its side at its strongest point. It has arms that are foam padded for added protection. This helps to cut back on the risk of wrecking your kayak by improperly storing it.
The weight capacity of this storage rack is 150 pounds.
This rack can be mounted right to your garage wall or to the side of your deck if you wish to store it outside. You can purchase the compatible freestanding frame from Suspenz separately if you don’t like the idea of making holes in your walls for the rack.
The foam and nylon padding used on the arms of this rack is made from top-notch materials. The 600D nylon will not fade if it’s stored in the sun and is strong and durable so it will be resistant to damage as well.
This item rings in around the middle of the line in terms of cost. When you consider the high-quality nature of this storage rack and how highly praised it is, you will see that the small investment required to purchase it is more than worth it.
2. Malone Auto Racks
Easy to put together
Rock solid construction
Foam pads pop off occasionally
Next, up on our list, we have this snazzy option from Malone Auto Racks. Don’t let the company name fool you, they definitely manufacture more than just auto racks. This particular storage system is designed to hold three kayaks. Let’s see just what else it has to offer you, though.Read more
As mentioned above, this rack is meant to hold up to three kayaks. It is a freestanding style, so if you have space in your garage or your backyard and a couple of extra kayaks kicking around, this might be the right pick for you.
The weight capacity for this storage rack is 250 pounds.
You can choose where to install the ‘arms’ of this rack to ensure you’re getting the right fit for your kayaks.
This rack has been powder coated which will help it to maintain its look whether you choose to keep it indoors or outdoors.
This is one of the pricier options that you’re going to find in our buying guide. The good news is that because it is meant to hold three kayaks and not just one, you’re going to be able to store all of your boats with it making the price tag much more reasonable.
3. RAD Sportz Kayak Lift
Includes an unconditional lifetime warranty
Simple to install and operate
Hardware included is high-quality
Can be used on more than just kayaks
May not work as desired on shorter ceilings
Taking the third place on our buying guide is this option from RAD Sportz. It looks a little (okay, a lot) different than the other options on our list so far but it stole the third place spot for very good reasons. With over 825 five-star reviews, you can rest assured that you’re buying a high-quality storage solution for your watercraft.Read more
As you may have noticed already by looking at the photo of this storage system, it looks a lot different than the other two we’ve reviewed so far. This is because this product from RAD Sportz is actually a hoist lift. This simply means that your kayak (or canoe) will be stored near the roof of your garage.
The weight capacity of this hoist is 125 pounds.
This product is adjustable in that it can host a number of different items up and out of the way, freeing up your precious garage floor space. Whether it's your kayak, a canoe, a ladder or your bicycle, this hoist can tackle it all.
The hooks on the hoist feature a rubber coating on them so they will not scratch the surface of your kayak. It has a locking mechanism that will prevent the hoist from accidentally releasing your equipment on top of unsuspecting vehicles or humans.
Get ready for a surprise. This incredibly high-quality, space-saving hoist is one of the cheapest options in our buying guide. We loved that it allows consumers to store their equipment up and off of the ground, freeing up precious space.
4. RAD Sportz Deluxe Freestanding
Dual tripod base makes this rack extremely sturdy, even in inclement weather
Includes one-year warranty
Padded sleeves protect your kayak from scratches
Sleeves are made from a UV-resistant material for added product longevity
Some reports of the instructions being hard to follow, unclear or missing altogether
No, you’re not having déjà vu, we are reviewing another product from RAD Sportz. What can we say? This company just knows what they’re doing! This storage option looks drastically different from the previous one we have from this brand. Let’s see what it is that sets it apart.Read more
This storage system has a freestanding style. This works great for people who have space in their garage to store a unit like this on their floor or it works well for outdoor storage solutions as well.
The weight capacity for this product is a whopping 175 pounds, making it one of the strongest options on our list.
You can choose where on the rack you would like to install the padded arms, making this rack adjustable to your specific needs.
Even though this rack is extremely sturdy as is, RAD Sportz does include hold down anchors in the package so you can secure this storage system to the floor, dock or deck.
This is one of the pricier options you’ll see in our buying guide. Though, you must take into account the fact that this rack is designed to hold two kayaks so the value is definitely there.
5. Seattle Sports Wall Cradle Hooks
Can be used outdoors with no problems
Easy installation process
Can hold a lot of weight
Included mounting hardware is not the most trustworthy
If you’re in the market for a basic storage solution for your kayak or paddleboard, look no further than this option here from Seattle Sports. No frills, heavy-duty and durable are all words that can be used to describe this storage solution. Let’s look a little closer, though, and see what else this product has to offer.Read more
This is the most basic, no-frills storage solution you’re going to see in our buying guide. It’s great for people who just want something easy to install that’ll keep their kayaks off of the ground.
Don’t let the simple look of this storage solution fool you. Surprisingly enough, these hooks are designed to hold up to 200 pounds. It shocked us, too!
There isn’t much in terms of adjustability with this storage solution.
If you want the fastest storage solution on the market, you’re going to love this product from Seattle Sports. It is the easiest option on our list to install and can be done so in a jiffy.
This product is one of the most budget-friendly options on our list. We loved its simplicity, how strong and durable it is and how quick the installation process is.
Easy to install
Frees up valuable floor space
Works great for garages with lower ceilings
Included hardware needs improvement
As you may be able to guess from the brand name of the company, this manufacturer specializes in ways to store your adventure gear. Whether you need bike, stand-up paddleboard, broom or skateboard storage, they have your back! Being that this company is so well-versed in the world of storage equipment, you can expect this particular product to be top of the line.Read more
This is a style we haven’t yet seen in our buying guide. StoreYourBoard has created a ceiling storage solution designed to be able to store two kayaks (or stand-up paddleboards).
This ceiling rack is able to support up to 150 pounds.
Consumers are able to adjust the length of the bars to accommodate the size of whatever it is they are storing.
This product comes with four padded support arms to protect your gear from scratches or damage.
This storage solution is very simplistic in design so we were a bit surprised to see the higher price tag attached to this product. Despite it requiring a slightly higher investment than other similar options on the market, we still think the StoreYourBoard adjustable mount is a worthwhile consideration.
7. Extreme Max Hoist
Safe to use
Can be operated by one person
Includes all necessary hardware
Can be used for more than just kayaks
May not work for all ceiling heights
Coming in 7th place, we have this hoist option from Extreme Max. This product is designed for a number of different uses other than kayaks. Canoes, bicycles, ladders or shop equipment, you name it, this item can hoist it.Read more
This is another hoist style storage system. It is a one-person operation which makes grabbing your gear for an impromptu kayaking trip an absolute breeze.
The weight capacity of this unit is 120 pounds.
The straps of this hoist are adjustable to suit the size of the item you will be storing.
The pulley system of this hoist features a locking mechanism that will provide safety and protection to the users of the system. It is a simple operation that will lower (or elevate) each strap at the same time to make getting your kayak up or down a cinch.
This system from Extreme Max is one of the most affordable options you’re going to see in our buying guide. We love that it is simple to operate and all of its added safety features were a big bonus.
8. Gear Up Straps
Adjustable by design
Very quick installation
Affordable price tag
Some complaints about the buckles being on backwards when the product arrived
Did buying your kayak break the bank? Bummer. The good news is, you don’t need to spend a huge portion of your next paycheck on a storage solution for your boat! This product from Gear Up is extremely affordable and is one of the simplest options on our buying guide. Let’s look a bit closer.Read more
This storage solution has a hang-up style, freeing up space on your garage floor. Though it is not as fancy pants as some of the other hang-up options on our list, this incredibly simple storage solution is still worth considering.
This product has a weight capacity of 150 pounds.
We have some good news for you if you’re looking for an adjustable storage system. This option from Gear Up has completely adjustable straps that will allow you to be the judge of how your kayak hangs.
Can you say ‘quick release buckles’? This product can! If you can’t be bothered with complicated storage systems, this product is going to be something you want to consider seriously. Thanks to these buckles you can get your kayak up and down easily with no fumbling at all.
This storage solution is the most affordable option on our list. It might also be the simplest in design, but it still provides a lot of value for kayak owners.
9. RAD Sportz Hanger
Powder-coated finish won’t scratch your kayak
Frees up valuable floor space
Can be mounted almost anywhere
May not arrive in the correct color choice
We had to include one more kayak storage solution from RAD Sportz, as they are one of the leaders in the industry. This particular option differs from the others from this company in a few ways. Let’s look a bit closer.Read more
This option is designed to be mounted on your wall, deck posts or, well, anywhere else you can think of. It comes with nylon straps to help keep your boat secure.
This is designed to hold 125 pounds.
With this option from RAD Sportz, you can tighten or loosen the straps as necessary to ensure a secure fit on your kayak.
This is one of the easiest storage solutions to operate. Simply place your kayak in the cradle of these racks and secure it with the straps!
Here we have another pocket-friendly option for our more budget-conscious readers. This is a simple storage solution that won’t break the bank.
10. Log Kayak Rack
Handmade with love
Assembly is easy
If you have a little (or, well, a lot) of extra cash to spend, this storage solution from Log Kayak Rack is going to catch your eye right away. Not only is this beautiful rack able to store four kayaks with ease, but it will also double as an art installation for your home.Read more
This is a freestanding kayak storage solution. It is not small by any means, so you will need to ensure you have the space necessary to display this.
Because this kayak rack is made with American Northern White Cedar, you can expect it to be a bit more durable than the other options on our list. It can hold four kayaks, each weighing up to 100 pounds, making the overall weight capacity of this rack a whopping 400 pounds.
This is not an adjustable kayak rack by any stretch of the imagination. What you see is what you get.
This rack is available in three different color options – natural, canyon brown or unfinished. If you choose the ‘unfinished’ style, you may wish to finish it yourself when you receive it, making it feel like more of a custom rack.
This is an expensive storage solution; we’re not going to lie to you. But, dangit, it is beautiful. Is it worth the humongous price tag? This is a well-constructed, handmade product that doubles as an art piece. We think it’s worth the price tag if you have the extra funds to invest in it.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
There are plenty of style options sure to suit your specific needs.
There are a few different storage system styles available on the market and, in order to provide you with an accurate idea of what to expect as you embark on your hunt to find the best option for you, we felt it was important to include the most popular styles in our buying guide. Let’s look a little more in depth at the types you’ll see on our list.
Freestanding Racks: This style of kayak storage has legs that will stand on their own once assembled. These styles will typically hold more than one kayak, making them a perfect choice for families who own more than one boat. They are typically quite easy to put together and, once unloaded, easy to move around if you choose to place it somewhere else around your home.
Wall Mounted – This style works well for people who need to free up some of the space on the floor of their garage, though it can also be mounted outside on the side of your deck or home if you prefer to not have your garage wall space compromised. They typically look like hooks with arm cradles that are often padded to help protect your kayak.
Hoist/Ceiling Mount - If you like the idea of freeing up your floor space but aren’t in love with the horizontal room that a wall-mounted storage system takes up, you may want to consider a hoist option. These usually use a pulley system to keep your kayak up by the roof of your garage or shed keeping it out of sight and off the floor and wall. They are easy to operate and make getting your kayak down off the ceiling a cinch. The ceiling mount option is similar to a hoist style but only in that, your kayak will be kept on the ceiling. These do not have pulleys and may require more strength to get your boat in and out of them.
Will the rack be able to support the weight of your kayak?
When we’re referring to the ‘weight’ of the storage solution, we’re not necessarily talking about how much the product itself weighs. We’re referring to how much weight the storage solution is capable of holding. This is important to know because if you purchase a rack that is not rated to hold the weight of your kayak, you’re going to wind up wasting time and money on a solution that just isn’t going to work for you.
Adjustable storage systems mean you can get the right fit every time.
Being able to adjust your kayak storage system to your specific needs is important. Not every kayak is made to be the same size, shape and weight, so having some leeway in terms of adjustability with your storage solution is going to help make sure you get the right fit for your particular kayak. Each style of storage is going to offer different ways to adjust it to fit your needs. Some have adjustable ropes and pulleys that can be lengthened or shortened to fit around your kayak. Some have hooks that can be moved up or down in order to make room for your boat.
Different storage solutions provide different special features that set them apart.
Every storage solution in our buying guide is different from the next. We wanted to be able to provide our readers with a variety of styles and options so that they can get a feel for what is out there in the world of storage systems for kayaks. Some have padded support arms to protect your boat. Some feature UV-resistant materials for storing outside. Some of the hoist systems have locking mechanisms in place to prevent your kayak from falling on top of your vehicle in your garage. Some are incredibly basic in design, not providing much in terms of features aside from their simplicity. Regardless of which item you choose, if it has a spot on our top ten list, it is there for a reason. These are the best kayak storage systems you can buy on the market today and we stand behind our reasons for including them on our list.
You will receive a lot of value for your investment.
Sometimes it feels necessary to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. When it comes to kayak storage systems, you’ve already likely spent a fair bit of money on your kayak in the first place. You don’t want to buy a storage unit for your boat that costs more than the kayak itself. The great news is, that most of the options on our list are priced very fairly and many of the options that are higher priced offer things like guarantees and warranties so you can feel protected in your investment.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Properly storing your kayak is crucial to expanding its lifespan. If you choose to forgo
a storage system, you may be looking at a warped hull or even a critter-ridden
cockpit or storage compartments which can be quite the pain to deal with.
Do not use the carrying straps of your kayak to store it. This can warp the shape of your
boat. Don’t store it on a flat ground unless you want to deal with the possibility of critters getting inside and making themselves a home.
Other Factors to Consider
Wobble is not a friend of the storage rack. Regardless of which style of storage you choose to invest in, you want it to be stable. If it is not, the chance of the storage failing is much higher. You don’t want to ever feel like your kayak is balancing precariously. Improperly storing your kayak in such a way can result in a destroyed boat and storage and can result in injuries to yourself or your nearby loved ones.
This may not be as big of a concern for freestanding kayak storage solutions, but for options where your kayak will be stored high or overhead, it becomes a bigger issue. We were sure to include products in our buying guide that have been thoroughly tested and reviewed to ensure we were offering our readers the best and safest options on the market. It would be a shame to spend your hard-earned money on a product that will drop your expensive kayak from the ceiling the first night it’s installed. If you are worried about the overall safety of ceiling hoists and you have the room for a freestanding storage unit, we suggest going that route. That said, if you are tight on space, the ceiling is one of the most underutilized spaces in our homes and garages. The ceiling hoists on our list have all been rigorously tested for safety so you can rest assured that the item you’re getting isn’t going to spontaneously drop your kayak, but we do understand if that is a concern of yours.
If you plan on storing your kayak outdoors, you need to look at the weather resistance capabilities of the storage solution you plan on purchasing. You will want something that is going to be stable to be able to withstand strong winds. UV-resistant fabrics or materials are a bonus so that your storage solution won’t prematurely wear out from constant exposure to the sun. You may also wish to consider where you’re planning on installing or standing your new kayak rack outdoors. Repeat exposure to extreme temperatures (hot or cold) may cause damage to your rack, not to mention your kayaks.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Where should I store my kayak?
We recommend storing your kayak indoors if you have space for it. Of course, we understand that not everybody has access to a garage so if you must store your kayak outdoors, that is fine but you may need to do some extra work to prevent your kayak from being destroyed by the weather. If you have an outdoor space where you can tuck your kayak away from the elements, like under your roof eaves or under a tarp, that would be most ideal for outdoor storage purposes. It is really important that you store your kayak away from where the elements can get to it. Sunlight can destroy the hull material of nearly any type of kayak. If it is consistently exposed to moisture from rainfall and snow, you can expect the hull of your kayak to gradually degrade as time goes by. Extreme heat and cold temperatures can do a number on the material of the hull as well. Do not store it in direct sunlight during the summer months. When your kayak is outdoors in the winter, repeatedly freezing and thawing can cause damage to it as well. This is especially true if your boat is made of fiberglass.
q: Is there anything I need to do to my kayak prior to storing it?
Yes. Just as you would need to winterize your yard come the colder months of the year, you need to do the same to your kayak. Prior to storing your boat for the season, you should do a thorough once (or twice) over to make sure everything is in good shape. Check your deck rigging. See if any bungees are losing their stretchiness. Check the rudder. Clean the cockpit. Take out the seat and thoroughly clean it to make sure there is no sand or other debris that has accumulated over repeated use. You may with to spray the kayak down and clean it with a 303 Protectant to help ensure the plastic will not dull. Tighten the hardware. Cover the cockpit so no pesky critters will find their way inside in the off season.
q: How can I ensure longevity on my huge investment in the Log Kayak Rack?
We get it. The Log Kayak Rack was by far the most expensive option on our list and you want to be able to protect your investment. The manufacturer recommends that consumers do not place the feet of this rack directly on the ground. Instead, use a landscaping block or something similar in size and build to place the feet of the rack onto. If you choose the ‘Unfinished’ version of this kayak rack, you may choose to finish it yourself. We recommend ensuring you’re following the directions on the can of finish to avoid ruining your expensive investment. The best type of finish for this product is a breathable one. Try to let the wood of your rack age a while before finishing it in order to help the stain soak in the way it is meant to.
q: Can’t I just place my kayak on the ground and store it that way?
You could, but you might be comprising the integrity of your boat by storing it that way. Storing it flat may damage the structure of your boat and can even warp or disfigure the shape of it. Not to mention, storing it directly on the ground makes it very easy for the neighborhood critters and crawlers (think raccoons, spiders, etc) to get into your boat and make themselves a lovely new home.
q: How can I keep my kayak clean?
Before stowing your boat for the winter months, we recommend rinsing it off with freshwater in order to get rid of any debris or salt that may have accumulated over the last few months of use. Don’t forget the rudder, cables and foot braces as well. You may want to get at it with a mild soap and water a few times a year to give it a good washing. We don’t recommend using any strong chemicals as they may damage your boat. Allow it to air dry before stowing it.