Best Canoe Car Rack Reviews 2022

Taking your canoe up to the country (or down to the lake) doesn’t have to be a hassle anymore. A high-quality rack can help you load up your canoe in no time for safe and easy transport. Considering the many products from numerous brands around, it can be difficult to choose the best one for you. Worry no more since we’ve carried out extensive research among the best canoe car rack brands and chosen five quality racks from five of those brands to help you find the right one.
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Car Type
Our Top Choice
Malone Big Foot Pro™ Canoe Carrier
Malone is a fast-growing rack company committed to simple, high quality designs. This universal set securely fastens to any car's cross rails for versatile use.
Universal fit mounting jaws. Polycarbon platform attaches to a variety of factory cross rails. Corrosion-free. UV-resistant. Includes safety tie-down straps.
Racks/rails sold separately.
Platform Carrier
2.5 pounds
Best Value
Canoe Car-Top Carrier Kit
Attwood specializes in highly reliable boating and marine products. This simple and convenient canoe carrying kit has everything you need to easily transport your canoe.
Inexpensive. No factory rack required – everything you need included. Quick and easy to set up.
Some users reported needing to replace some of the foam blocks after a few weeks.
Foam Carrier
Standard Cars
1.6 pounds
Thule Portage Canoe Carrier 819
Thule makes it easy to live your passions with safe transport accessories. This universal carrier clips to your cross rack for simple, safe canoe transport.
Cushioned base pads. Ramped sides for easy loading. Weather-resistant. Includes center straps and bow/stern tie-down straps. Fits round bars and most factory racks.
Not completely universal. Requires a single reversible mounting bracket for most factory racks.
Crossbar Platform Carrier
Fits Round and Factory Racks
Adjusts to Crossbars
4.7 pounds
TMS Pickup Truck Bed Extender
TMS specializes in heavy duty vehicle and sports accessories. This sturdy, adjustable extender rack gives you a place to rack your canoe on your pickup truck.
Adjustable length and width. Includes orange safety flag. Held together with quick-release pins. Reflective tape for visibility. Foldable side arms.
A small number of users said the design didn't easily line up with their truck.
Bed Extender
Pickup Trucks
Canoes & Small Boats
Any Size Pickup Truck
32 pounds
Inno Locking Carrier Rack System
Inno is all about innovative car rack technology, with a wide variety of options to choose from.
Universal mounting. Easy ratchet system. Protective board pads. Includes keys and locks. Rubber coated stainless steel cable strap.
Requires a mounting over 24 inches.
Crossbar Platform Carrier
Canoe, Kayak & SUP
13.18 pounds

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What is the Best Canoe Car Rack?

Transporting a canoe or kayak can be very difficult if you don’t have the right equipment for the job. You can easily damage both the canoe and your car. You need to find the best canoe car rack that will enable you to carry out this task with ease. We’ve given you valuable information on what to look for, in order to find the right equipment based on your needs.
Our Top Choice
The Malone Big Foot Canoe Carrier installs on practically any vehicle's cross rails for superior versatility. Don't already have a cross rail system? Don’t worry – try the Malone Auto Rack Universal Car Roof Rack.

Malone Big Foot Pro Universal Car Rack Canoe Carrier with Bow and Stern Safety Lines

Malone is passionate about their mission: creating racks and accessories that are "simple to sell – simple to install – simple to use." The Maine-based company builds products to help people enjoy lakes, rivers and oceans while reducing their carbon footprint. They were the first to introduce universal carrier systems that could fit on any type of cross rail.

This mounting system is unique because of its universal fit, but it's also highly durable. Let's take a closer look:
  • The 4-point gunwale system keeps the canoe from rocking or moving.
  • The Polycarbon platform is compatible with multiple types of factory cross rails: round, square and oval.
  • A padded deck area provides protection for the canoe and gunwales.
  • The universal jaws easily mount to your pre-existing rails for quick canoe racking.
  • The jaws are corrosion and UV-resistant for long-lasting durability.
  • This kit includes bow and stern straps to really tie down your canoe.
Best Value
The Attwood Car-Top Canoe Carrier Kit uses snap-on foam blocks and adjustable straps to make canoe transport fast and easy, no matter what vehicle you're driving. For an easy kayak transport solution, check out the Attwood Car-Top Kayak Carrier Kit.

Attwood Car-Top Canoe Carrier Kit with Snap-on Foam Blocks & Adjustable Straps

Attwood takes marine products seriously, and for good reason. A good price isn't enough when it comes to serious boating equipment – reliability is essential to users' safety on the water as well. That's why Attwood has been working for over 100 years on improving their designs while maintaining reasonable prices.

This canoe carrier kit has a simple design that makes it easy for anyone to transport their canoe. For those without factory rails on their car, the foam blocks act as a protector to keep your car safe from scratches and dents. The included straps and clips are then used to secure the canoe in place – and that's it. Then you're ready for the long drive.
The Thule Portage Canoe Carrier provides a sturdy, long-lasting carrying method for cars with cross-rails. For pickup trucks, try the Thule GoalPost Truck Rack for reliable canoe and small boat transport.

Thule Portage Canoe Carrier with Weather-Resistant Padding & Ramped Sides for Easy Loading

Thule was founded in Sweden in 1942 when Erik Thulin started making products for local fishermen. In 1962 they produced their first ski rack and soon after began focusing on racks and transport products. Today, Thule passionately creates safe and durable racks so users can experience their passion anywhere they want, whether that's biking, skiing, canoeing or traveling.

This simple racking system mounts to round racks and most factory racks so you can use them with most vehicles. Let's take a look at what you'll get:
  • The cushioned feet secure the canoe without damaging it for smooth transport.
  • Ramped sides make it easy to load the canoe over onto the car.
  • The soft padding is weather-resistant for long-lasting protection.
  • This kit includes center straps with buckle bumpers and bow/stern tie-down straps so you can easily stabilize large canoes for smooth travel.
The TMS Bed Extender Rack makes it easy to toe canoes and other small boats right on top of your truck, and the adjustable height and width make it versatile for multiple boat sizes. For smaller canoes and kayaks, the TMS J-Bar Rack offers an even simpler solution.

TMS Heavy Duty Truck Bed Hitch Mounted Extender with Adjustable Height and Width for Canoes and Boats

TMS is passionate about rugged motorsports, creating high quality products drivers can rely on. That being said, they also offer a wide variety of quality products like consumer electronics and home & garden equipment.

This pickup truck bed extender makes it easy to haul a variety of cargo. The highly adjustable design makes it stand out, easily accommodating canoes and other objects of varying sizes. Let's take a closer look:
  • 4 quick release clevis pins hold together the extender for easy use and adjustment.
  • Both the width and the length can be adjusted to accommodate cargo of different sizes and shapes.
  • Reflective tape provides visibility for night driving.
  • The side arms can be folded downward to create a temporary work area.
  • Built to fit 2" hitches.
Inno's innovative ratcheting mount system fits universally and makes it super easy to mount a canoe, kayak or stand up paddle board. Looking for a small-car alternative? Check out the Inno Universal Mount for Small Vehicles.

Inno Kayak/Canoe/SUP Locking Carrier with Board Pads with Universal Size, Easy Ratchet System and Included Locks and Keys

Inno is thinking outside the box when it comes to car racking systems. They've been in the industry for 30 years, designing advanced systems to make it far easier to load up your cargo for a smooth journey. The company was originally founded in 1966 by Takaaki Murata – the inventor of the car seat headrest. Their superior attention to detail brought Inno to the forefront of the Japanese car rack market, and today the demand is rapidly growing the USA.

This locking carrier rack excels in ease of use and stability. Let's take a look at Inno's unique design:
  • The universal mounting system is compatible with square, round and most factory racks.
  • The floating strap system makes it easy to load canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards. Simply extend the strap over the cargo and ratchet it tight.
  • Once you've used the simple ratchet to tighten the straps, use the included key to lock the strap in place. Now you're ready to drive.
  • The design is extremely sturdy and built to last.

How Do I Choose the Best Canoe Car Rack?

Having spent days working hard, attending meetings and seminars indoors, you must be tired and in need of a small vacation. An adventurous camping expedition, or a few weeks in the woods or countryside would go a long way in refreshing your mind, allowing you to return to work with renewed energy and vigor. It’s now time to look for your camping tent and other gear, and entice a few friends to accompany you.

Camping next to a lake sounds like a good idea if you want some fishing, swimming and canoeing adventures. Nothing beats the experience of swimming out in wild, natural waters. You can’t compare it to swimming in a pool. If you’ll also want some paddling exercises and fun with your friends, how about getting yourselves canoe paddles and some canoes. You’ll definitely love the experience.

As you prepare to hit the country looking for the best spot, ensure that you and your friends fit your cars with suitable racks to carry the equipment you’ll need. We’ll see in a while what entails a good canoe rack.
Before you set out to get a canoe car rack, it’s important to know what you want in a rack. Don’t have a fixed budget, since you might end up buying something that won’t serve you appropriately. Do not be lured by the many cheap canoe car rack offers, as you might end up with substandard equipment.

These racks can retail anywhere from $20 to $500. Factors such as size and brand popularity determine their prices. Big car racks that fit onto bigger cars and can carry canoes as wide as 36 inches cost more than the small racks that fit onto small cars. The high-end racks come with special features, such as a gas strut that makes it easier to load a canoe, and are made of superior-quality materials. You’ll find that their bases are padded with safer protective buckle bumpers. While you can still find some inexpensive racks, we recommend you consider the safety of both your car and canoe before setting your budget.
Canoe car racks exist simply to aid you in getting your canoe to a lake or river. You may want to ensure that you have strong straps or stern tie-downs to ensure that you safely lock your canoe onto the rack. There are other extra features that are also important and which you may not want to ignore.

Here is what we are talking about:
  • Adjustability -Check if you can adjust the rack to increase or decrease its size.
  • Size -Consider the size of your car to select the size of your rack. This also requires that you check the size of your canoe.
  • Loading -Canoes can be heavy, so check how easily you can load it on top of your rack.
  • Weight -It’s important that you know the weight of your canoe, as different racks are designed for different weights.
  • Padding -Check whether the rack comes with cushioned base pads to prevent corrosion and scratching.
  • Safety -Check the buckle bumpers, straps, stern tie-downs, key and locks, and other tightening mechanisms.
Let’s learn more about canoe car racks.
Construction and Design
A canoe car rack is designed to firmly hold your canoe on top of your car as you transport it to the lake. These racks are mostly made of steel for strength. They have side arms that hold on to the boat. The side arms fold down to a base, on which you place the boat so it does not lie on the body of your vehicle. Most of these bases are padded or have rubber coatings. Since you have to fix the rack to your car, they come with mounting bolts of different sizes, depending on the size of the rack and the canoe you intend to carry. You’ll also find some racks with straps, buckle bumpers and stern tie-downs that you use to secure your canoe while in transit. Some come with a ratcheting mechanism, key and locks. The straps are usually strong, stainless-steel cables. A few racks have reflective tape for added safety.
Performance and Ease of Use
You’ll probably have to go through sections of rough road when going to a lake or river. If your canoe is not safely and securely placed on your rack, it can easily get damaged and even damage your vehicle. Worse still, you may lose your canoe if it snaps off and falls.

You can avoid all these risks by ensuring you get a rack with the right features. First and foremost, it must be made of strong materials to ensure that it holds on firmly, irrespective of the terrain you drive through. Most racks are made of strong stainless steel with cables or straps made of the same material. Steel is strong and sturdy and can withstand heavy loads. The straps are to fasten your canoe securely to the rack while in transit.

The raised side arms ensure that your canoe stays in place while you are driving. Check if they are padded or coated with rubber. The rubber prevents the metal from scratching your canoe. Some come with adjustable side arms that you can use to increase or decrease the space, in order to carry some extra load or to fit in a smaller canoe. It’s also good if you have a coated base to further protect your canoe.

Consider going for a rack with an efficient loading system. If your canoe is very heavy, you may want to choose one with gas struts to help with the mounting. Relying on your strength alone may not be a good idea.

Lastly, check if the rack is UV and corrosion resistant. Since you’ll have it permanently fixed on top of your car, it’s advisable that it be resistant to extreme weather conditions for it to last.

Get the Best Canoe Car Rack of 2022!

We’ve tried our best to give you as much information as possible about the best canoe car racks. We’ve also gone ahead and presented you with a list of some top racks to help you find one for yourself. If you’ve not been able to find one in this list, feel free to check out other quality racks from these brands.

Our Top Choice
Malone Big Foot Pro™ Canoe Carrier
Best Value
Canoe Car-Top Carrier Kit
Thule Portage Canoe Carrier 819
TMS Pickup Truck Bed Extender
Inno Locking Carrier Rack System