Do I choose Foam or Steel Kayak rack

I was in Dicks yesterday shopping for a kayak and saw a soft foam carrier and other metal kayak racks to put on my car to drive my Kayak to the water. Which should I choose?

Go simple at first …
Is your kayak plastic??? … if yes you can be less careful with it. If it’s not large, the rack does not have to be very substantial. If you have more info on the brands and model of racks and what kind of boat you have it would be easier to help you out.

do you have a factory rack on your car? That can sometimes reduce the cost of carriers for your kayak.

Bow and stern tiedowns…
Repeat de mantra… Bow and stern tiedowns… Bow and stern tiedowns… Bow and stern tiedowns…

Sorry JackL


Investment in a good rack
like those made by Yakima and Thule will not be regretted. You can get by with the foam ones. But they are a bit of a PITA.

If you can find the bucks…
Go for a decent third party rack as soon as you can. It’ll be both more secure and will make loading and unloading much easier, not a small consideration for most women.

That said - I would get Thule or Yakima over generic stuff from Dick’s. These racks prove their worth. I tried a drive/paddle/drive too far last August and ended up nodding off long enough to pit the side of the Subie wagon against some guardrails at highway speed. The Subie won in the end - tho’ I thought it was totalled at the time it was repairable.

But the thing that the cop most appreciated was that the two 17 ft kayaks on the roof were still securely fastened against the stackers and had not become dangerous projectiles into oncoming traffic.

Most of what held them on was the security of the rack system itself, our habit of using good straps and having doubled them on the rear one. The car looked horrible but nothing on that roof had budged and those racks are still fine. That moment alone was worth whatever extra the Yakima system cost over some generic thing.

As always,
good advice from Celia.

My Yakima racks cost more than my first boat but the security of transport and ease of loading have made them worth their weight in gold. I leave them on my car all the time, and it takes less than 5 minutes to load and secure the boat. I have the Mako saddles. I did have rollers in the back, but they deteriorated in the Florida sun so I replaced them with the saddles and found the boat slides up just as easily as it did with the rollers.