Multiple Kayaks on a rack beach

The Best Double Kayak Roof Racks

In Gear by Tanner V.

The Best Double Kayak Roof Racks

Ever want to take your family or friends kayaking, but simply you cannot get two kayaks to the water? Typically, you go by yourself, but this time you want to show your loved ones what they are missing.
The feel of the cool water, the sound of rushing water, and the taste of a cold beer after a long day’s paddle are all things you want them to enjoy too. Well, what you need is a reliable double kayak roof rack that will turn this trial into a life-long hobby.
If you find yourself in this case, or any other where you need to get more than one kayak to the water, you are in the right place.
We have diligently surveyed the entire market for the best multi-kayak roof racks to best suit your needs. Whether you need to take a family trip of 4 kayaks, a romantic get-a-way of 2 kayaks, or just want added flexibility in case you run into a fellow kayaker that needs a ride, read along as we detail the absolute best around.

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Think of this a multi-year investment that should not be skimped on. Cheap/faulty kayak racks have the potential to cost you much more than it costs to buy a quality one. They protect your car/kayak and protect others on the road.

Best Overall | Our Top Recommendation

Inno Dual Kayak Rack

  • Cradle Set-Stoppers

    Crossbar attachments to easy loading and secure kayaks

  • Folding Tower

    Stacker folds down with the twist of knob for additional clearance and aerodynamics

  • Thick Removable Padding

    Tower padding protects your kayak during transit and can be easily removed

I love the Inno Dual Kayak Stacker as many of my other posts will reveal. Of all the kayak carrier types, stackers leads the pack in multi-kayak transportation. The Inno reigns king amongst men because in a world where all stackers are the same; this peacock has feathers. 
Foam and plastics succumb quickly to weathering so most stackers do not have padding at all. The Inno Dual Stacker comes with thick removable padding meaning you needn’t remove the stackers every time you finish a commute, just slip the padding off and place it in the car.
It has a sturdy metal construction, which folds at the twist of a knob to provide additional clearance when not in use. This is not unique to the Inno, but a necessary feature nonetheless.
The Inno features the only stacker to come with kayak cradles to cushion and hold the kayak during transit. These adjustable pads independently affix along the crossbar to conform to any kayak width. Kayaks are secured to the roof rack in two additional locations than with other stackers. The competition has the kayaks resting directly onto the crossbars, which can lead to oil canning, hourly stops to check straps, and difficulty loading kayaks on slick crossbars. 
The unit fits most crossbar system but requires an additional piece for round crossbars. 

Best J-Cradle for 2 Kayaks

Rhino Rack Folding J Style Kayak Carrier

  • 99 Lbs. Weight Rating

    Crossbar attachments to easy loading and secure kayaks

  • Flexibility for 2 or 1 Kayaks

    Stacker folds down with the twist of knob for additional clearance and aerodynamics

  • Unique Paddle Holder

    Tower padding protects your kayak during transit and can be easily removed

When it comes to J-style carriers, the Rhino Rack J-cradles stand head and shoulders above the rest. As the tough name suggests, the cradles have the highest weight rating available at 99lbs. This industry best weight capability allows this racks to be used in ways others cannot. 
The angle of the vertical portion of the j-cradle can be adjusted to accommodate kayaks of varying sizes. At it’s most vertical position, you can load a kayak in the j-cradle AND use it as a tie down spot just like a stacker.
This 2-in-1 functionality is currently exclusive to the Rhino and makes it perfect for double kayak hauling.
I can’t recommend these j-cradles enough because of the versatility. It gives you all the safety of carrying a single kayak with added option of carrying an additional kayak for the same price.
However, the cradles are so reasonably priced you could buy two sets carry up to 4 kayaks. 

Additionally, Rhino sells an inexpensive add-on to the base of the j-cradles that provides a base for the kayak for added support. If you want to carry two kayaks and not rest one on the crossbars, this is a frugal option to avoid buying a second set cradles. 

Best Kayak Rack for Car Without Rails

OrionMotorTech Soft Sided Carrier

  • No Roof Rails Required

    Soft carriers work on any car without the need of rails

  • 165lbs. Weight Load Capacity

    Robust pads can handle the load of two kayaks with ease

  • Heavy-Duty Straps

    Strong straps and tie downs means you can travel with peace of mind

Loading a kayak without a roof rack system is not ideal. It is extremely important to take care when loading something onto your car both for you safety and that of others.
Now if you read around on the internet you will come across tons of different ways to strap kayaks onto your the naked roof of your vehicle. Most of them involve a pool noodle or foam block and ratchet straps.
These methods can work, but not they don’t provide a large margin of error.
If you most do it, the best way is with a pair of OrionMotorTech’s soft sided carriers. These are soft sided roof racks designed for hauling anything from kayaks to snowboards. 
These pads are lightweight, anti-vibration, and come with aero-dynamic heavy duty straps. The universal fit works on any vehicle and they weight rated up to 165lbs. 
No other soft-sided or temporary carrier can handle such a load. This makes them perfect for dual kayak application.
Either lay both kayaks side by side if you roof is wide enough or stacker the kayaks one on top of each other. 
This setup is quick and easy to use at a price so reasonable you’ll wonder why anyone would use pool noodles!

How to Load 2 Kayaks Onto a Car

There are a slough of options when considering how to carry two kayak rack, but the best options are to use two sets of J-Cradles or a Stacker set.
J-cradles are designed to carry a single kayak at a 45 degree angle. These save on roof space, but will run your budget up because you need to purchase two sets. 
Stackers are the best option in my opinion, but either will work. They are vertical towers that bookend the kayaks on one side and provide a tie down slot to securely strap the kayaks. They are made for hauling anywhere from 1-4 kayaks so you have added flexibility with this style of carrier.
If you go the stacker route, be sure to place the towers in the middle of the car. This better distributed the weight on the vehicle and allows the two kayaks to counter balance each other. (Think holding a gallon of milk in each hand as opposed to only one).

How to Load 2 Kayaks For a Car Without Roof Rails

Loading two kayaks onto a naked roof is risky to say the least. It is better to spend the money and protect your car/boats and others on the road. If you are going to do it anyway, use a soft sided rack like OrionMOtorTech Soft Sided.
These are specifically designed for cars without roof rails. The built-in feature will make it easier and safer to use than DIY alternatives.
Be sure to use plenty of straps and bow/stern tie downs!