Regardless of the kayak size, there are times you will find it hard to load onto a car’s roof. The worst is when you have an SUV that is higher off the ground. You would have to work harder to get the kayak onto the roof.
What is the solution in this case? Using a kayak loader is often recommended. That is what this comprehensive guide is all about. It will help you learn more about the kayak loader and why you should get one for yourself.
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What Is a Kayak Loader?
A kayak loader can be described as a device that would help load the kayak onto the vehicle’s roof. It could be a car or even SUV. These devices are vital to ensure even if you are alone; you can still load your kayak successfully.
Keep in mind that loaders are not the same as roof racks. However, they work together with roof racks to make the process simple and fast.
You can think of them as the second person who will be helping you with the loading of the kayak. As such, you can always have a faster technique of loading your kayak generally.
Benefits Of Kayak Loaders
The most obvious reason you would get kayak loaders is that they allow for ease of loading the kayak. Let us say you are working with a tandem or heavy kayak. Doing it alone might not always be easy. That is why you need a loader to make the process smooth and easy.
In case you have a tall vehicle such as an SUV or minivan, then you would find it a bit challenging to load your kayak. However, the use of kayak loaders mentioned in this guide will make it smooth and easy.
Most of these kayak loaders are simple to install. Some have suction cups to make the whole process easy. So, the overall usability of kayak loaders is great.
How to Pick the Best Kayak Loader
Of course, you have to install the kayak loader before using it. The installation varies from one model to another. Some would be easy to set up, while others might take more time.
The most common options include using suction cups or installing the kayak loader onto the crossbars. Whichever the case, ensure you are using one that you find simple to install. Well, suction cups will always be easy to install compared to the other options in the market.
The kayak loaders are available at different prices. For the most part, they are usually affordable. What is vital is that you understand what you are getting for the money. There is no point in spending so much money on a product not worth buying. Look at the features and compare them to other options to see if you should get a model at that price.
Look at the materials used to make the kayak loader. Are they durable? There is no point in getting a model that will break or bend after a few uses. It is why many people take their time to consider looking at the materials first and choose the one that will last long.
One small thing people tend to forget is that the design can influence how the kayak loader works. Look at what other customers are saying about the loader to see if its design will make your work easier.
A good example is when you get a kayak loader with multiple loading angle options. This means that you can adjust the angle to suit your needs. Such also offers the best flexibility that many people would want to see in a kayak loader.
Some also have the foam rollers shaped in a way that allows for ease of loading the kayak. There is no doubt you would enjoy working with such a kayak loader to reduce the rolling resistance.
Product Reviews of The Best Kayak Loader
This is among the best options as kayak loaders in the market, and it is for a good reason. Most people like it as it helps them to load and unload the kayak with ease. Let us say you are alone and you need to load the kayak; this would be a great choice for you.
Since it comes with a universal mounting system, it is generally easier to get it up on different factory crossbars. As such, it should work well with different vehicles in the market.
It comes with a foldable L-shaped arm. This will allow for mounting between the back and front bars of the roof rack. As you can see, loading would be easier to the point you will not scratch the body paint or damage a mirror accidentally.
Even if you are new to using such a loader, it should not take too long to figure it out. This is because the manufacturer sends you all the important information you need to get it up and running. Once you are done, simply store it until the next time you need to use it for loading your kayak unto your car roof.
- It is easy to use
- Mounting does not take time
- Can work with various factory crossbars
- It needs an existing crossbar system to work
Unlike the other model mentioned above, which requires the presence of a crossbar system, this one is different. Since it comes with strong suction cups, it should be easy to use it on different cars without a problem. These suction cups can reliably handle an impressive weight of 220 pounds. This should make them quite strong.
The model also features heavy-duty aluminum bars. The use of aluminum means you can enjoy the tool being lightweight while at the same time strong to handle your kayak loading needs.
There is also a thick rotating foam on the kayak loader. The foam’s work is to protect the hull of your kayak from scratching when loading it onto the car roof. Since it also rotates when loading the kayak, it will eliminate resistance as much as possible.
The package includes a towel too. You can use the towel to clean the surface where you will be placing the suction cups. This ensures you end up with a good suction from the device to keep it in position as you load the kayak.
- Great rotating foam
- Features a towel
- It is easy to use
- You might experience slight shaking
This is a versatile choice for those who might not have someone to help load or unload a kayak. Other than using it for kayaks, you could still use the same for canoes. This is because it has an impressive capacity to handle different types of vessels.
As for the setup process, you will find it easy. You can set it up on your trailer hitch by using common hand tools. This can make things easy for you to have the kayak onto the roof within a few minutes.
You will also like the included adapter mount. This allows for towing while at the same time using it as a canoe or kayak loader. So far, you can see how versatile this type of product is to make it a great choice for you.
The model comes with adjustable hardware that makes it fit different types of cars, SUVs, and trucks. This will be great for most users not to worry that it might not work for their vehicle.
- It is easy to setup
- It is adjustable to fit different vehicles
- The model is affordable
- It lacks comprehensive instructions in the package
This is still a great choice as the best kayak loader. It features v-shaped rollers that work with most kayaks. Such a shape also means that you will face less resistance when loading the kayak onto the roof of the vehicle.
Those who have tried it claim that loading a kayak from the vehicle’s rear is quite a breeze. As such, you should find more people going for it as they know it would be easy to use. Also, it fits most hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs. Such versatility makes this a top choice for most people.
The model is also adjustable. You will get up to three positions to use for loading your kayak. The loading position will depend on the type of car you are using. Such versatility is what most people want in a kayak loader.
As for installation, it takes only a few seconds to have it installed. You do not even have to read a lot of instructions since it uses suction cups. Its suction cups are strong and will remain in place for long.
- Easy to install
- Offers three positions for loading
- Made of corrosion-resistant material
- It can get squeaky over time
In case you are on a budget, this would be a great choice as a kayak loader. Just because it is affordable, it should not mean it would not work well for you. Simply go ahead and use the loader on different cars, and it will still work great to help you load the kayak.
Using suction cups makes it easy to install. No tools are needed as you identify a spot and put the suction cups in place, and you are good to go. It also features two mounting angles. This would allow you to mount the kayak, depending on your vehicle type.
The overall construction is heavy-duty. This is because the manufacturer uses aluminum bars and impressively strong suction cups. This combination makes it a reliable kayak loader to use for many years to come.
It also has two foam rollers that are vital to ensure smooth rolling of the kayak as you load it onto the roof. They are also good for protecting your kayak’s hull from scratches and dents.
- The foam allows for ease of loading
- It is affordable
- It has two loading angles
- Lacks proper usage instructions
Is it hard to use a kayak loader?
No. Most people find it easy to install and use a kayak loader. The best is when you use the kayak loaders with suction cups. These do not even need any tools to install.
How much weight can a kayak loader handle?
It will vary from model to model. Some can handle more while others are less. For the most part, they can handle an average of 200 pounds. No kayak is going to overload such kayak loaders.
Are kayak loaders expensive?
This one also depends on a model. Some can be as cheap as $50, while others will be more than $100. It depends on the brand and the features you get. Always take the time to evaluate the features before buying.